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Music Festival


  • Blues & BBQ BlowoutSaturday, August 1

    Back by popular demand after serving up a birds-eye view of pitmasters at work not to mention nearly 6,000 delectable BBQ samples happily gobbled up by appreciative festival-goers our 2nd Annual Oaktown Throwdown BBQ Competition is a true crowd-pleaser. More than 40 top professional pitmasters and backyard teams from all over California will bring the savory aromas of beef, chicken, pork and ribs sizzling on the grill. Festival-goers can once again feast on smokin samples for a small sampling fee while supplies last and vote for your favorite! The Oaktown Throwdown is a fully sanctioned Kansas City Barbeque Society and California Barbecue Association Team of the Year competition which means that participants are competing for the attention of accredited judges and cash prizes, in addition to trophies hand-crafted by local artists.

    Featured PerformancesSaturday, August 1

    West Coast Blues Society Stage In a perfect pairing, Saturdays Blues & BBQ Blowout jams with non-stop live blues produced by Ronnie Stewarts West Coast Blues Society. The powerful lineup features former Tower of Power lead singer and legendary soul crooner Lenny Williams. Williams fronted the Oakland super-group during the height of its fame, garnering numerous gold records in addition to ten Billboard hits as a solo artist. The ever-popular Blues Stage will also showcase Roharpo & The Real Deal Blues Band, Big Cat Tolefree & The Hypnotics, and the West Coast Blues Society Caravan of Allstars featuring local blues legends Wylie Trass, Teddy Blues Master Watson, Terrible Tom Bowden, and Willie G, with special guests Karl Bracy and Wanda Diamond. Edwin Hawkins Gospel ShowcaseAlso on Saturday, the festival continues its tradition of hosting a powerful Gospel Showcase presented by famed Edwin Hawkins and the Community of Unity. A trailblazing force behind the evolution of contemporary gospel, Hawkins is perhaps best known for his 1969 classic Oh Happy Day, one of the biggest gospel hits of all time and a major pop radio smash. This years lineup features rousing performances by Lawrence Matthews, Demetrius Tolefree, Derrick Hall and Co., Nona Brown, Walter Hawkins Love Center Choir, Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir and many more.

    BANDALOOP Capping the festivals amazing Saturday lineup will be a breathtaking performance by world renowned BANDALOOP performing on (and off) the wall of City Hall. Fresh from a widely acclaimed appearance at the Reykjavik Festival in Iceland and recent filming in Yosemite National Park, the Oakland-based vertical dance companys last City Hall performance garnered 2 million views on YouTube! Founded in 1991 by choreographer and artistic director Amelia Rudolph, the cutting-edge company is known for weaving dynamic physicality, intricate choreography and the art of climbing to turn dance literally on its side.

    Professional Teams:Bar-B-Qs-2-Go, Thousand Oaks; Juicy Os BBQ Team, San Jose; Chef Renes Kitchen, El Cerrito; Butchers Daughter BBQ, Alameda; Fat Man Super BBQ, Oakland; Hog Eat Hog BBQ, Martinez; Smokey Luv BBQ, Novato; M.A.C. BBQ Shack, San Jose; Meat Gazers, San Ramon; Old Chico BBQ, Brentwood; Plastered Pigs Can Fly, Placerville; RBQ, Gilroy; Rics Righteous Ribs, San Jose; Ring of Fire BBQ, Cameron Park; Salt and Pepper Pork Pullers, Brentwood; Shig Ninja BBQ, Chandler; Slap Yo Daddy BBQ, Diamond Bar; SloDog Q, Stockton; SmOakland, Oakland; Son of Smoke, Tracy; Starvin Marvins Bay Area BBQ, San Francisco; The Art of Barbecue, Oakland; The Porks of Hazzard, Oakland; Too Ashamed to Name, San Jose

    Backyard Teams:Just The Tip, Oakland; Stop Playn BBQ, Oakland; The Wizard is on the Loose, San Francisco; Ribbin Aint Easy, Truckee; Hello BBQ, San Jose; Pit Bull Bar B Q, East Palo Alto; JW BBQ, Castro Valley; Kdawgs BBQ, Hercules; Smokin Js, San Jose; Team Five Hundy, Sacramento; Antioch River Rats, Oakland; Crodaddys BBQ, Oakland; Hooks Cali Que, Antioch; Fattys, Livermore

    2015 Oaktown Throwdown Participants:(As of press time; subject to change)

  • Elevate Oakland StageSunday, August 2Oaklands own Sheila E. has shown tremendous dedication to the families and future of Oakland by advocating for youth through Elevate Oakland, the non-profit she co-founded in 2013 with Yoshi Akiba (owner of Yoshis), Lynn Mabry and Jason Hofmann. Last year the organization raised over $110,000 in support of innovative music and arts programs in the schools through a star-studded inaugural fundraiser at the Fox Oakland Theater.

    On Sunday, festival-goers will be treated to an unforgettable experience as a stellar lineup of veteran and rising local stars shine brightly on the Elevate Oakland Stage. The not-to-be-missed showcase will feature Oakland favorites Kev Choice, Martin Luther, 34-56 Band with Ashling Biscuit Cole, Ray Obiedo with Leah Tysse, Pacific Soul and newcomers The League featuring hip hop artists and dancers Pete Tha, Bren Esco, J.A.I, and Dominic.

    D Sharp, official DJ of the 2015 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, will spin between live sets, with spoken word artist Ryan Nicole emceeing what is certain to be a rousing, memorable program that will also feature young musicians from area schools.

    Main Stage Performances

    Sunday, August 2On Sunday, the festival celebrates Oaklands long line of famous musical families as the KBLX 102.9 FM stage hosts trailblazer and Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter, percussionist/drummer and composer Sheila E. Hailing from Oaklands famous Escovedo Family (father Pete turns 80 this year), Sheila E. is celebrating her 40th year in music with a new album, Icon, in addition to memorable live shows across the U.S. and abroad. A world-class artist, Sheila E. fuses R&B, Latin, jazz, funk, pop and rock into her signature vibrant, dynamic performances. Working alongside a host of greats including Prince, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, and Beyonc, Sheila E.s infectious grooves on current and longtime favorites like The Glamorous Life and A Love Bizarre are certain rev up the crowd.

    The Family Stone brings to the festival a ton of hits delivered with its high-energy soul, funk and psychedelic sounds. The venerable group consists of original Sly & the Family Stone members Jerry Martini and Cynthia Robinson, with guest appearances by other members. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees are taking a break from their world tour to return to the Bay Area for Art + Souls big 15.

    Zakiya Harris feat. Elephantine brings a dynamic whirlwind of music, dance and theater hailing from Oakland. Zakiyas passion is evident in her live shows where she gracefully moves from slinging energetic vocal tones to spitting rhymes while busting Afro-Haitian dance moves. She has shared stages with Michael Franti, The Seshen, Bells Atlas and many others. Along with her dynamic band Elephantine, she creates music that fuses soul, house and hip-hop with electronic sensibilities.

    Oaklands rich music heritage boasts a number of musical families.. In addition to the Escovedos and Sly & The Family Stone, Oakland-based national recording artists The Pointer Sisters, En Vogue and Tony!, Toni!, Ton each include siblings.

    Elevate Oakland Founders, Kev Choice, Martin Luther, Pacific Soul, Ray Obiedo, Leah Tysse, D Sharp, 34-56, Ashling Biscuit Cole, Ryan Nicole


    Event Map & Performance TimesSaturday, August 1, noon 6:00p Sunday August 2, noon 6:00p

    SATURDAY, AUGUST 1Art + Soul Main Stage Blues Showcase Produced by the Ronnie Stewart and the West Coast Blues Society12:30 - 1:15 Roharpo & The Real Deal Blues Band 1:30 - 2:15 Big Cat Tolefree and The Hypnotics 2:30 - 4:30 West Coast Blues Caravan of All Stars Karl Bracy, Wanda Diamond, Teddy Blues Master Watson, Wylie Trass, Lil Jr. Crudup, Hollywood Jenkins, Willie G., and the Legendary Fillmore Slim4:50 - 5:45 Lenny Williams

    Clay Street Stage Gospel Showcase Presented by Edwin Hawkins and Community of Unity12:30 Community of Unity Choir 12:50 Brenda Jeff & Company1:10 Jovan Watkins 1:30 Nona Brown & I.M.C.1:50 Dayanna Griffin 2:10 Love Center Choir 2:30 Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir 2:55 Ashling Biscuit Cole3:15 Carl Mason & Voices of Celebration In Praise 3:35 Jayvyn Williams & Arising Generation 3:55 Byrd Sisters4:15 Derrick Hall and Co. 4:35 Lawrence Matthews 5:00 The Porter Brothers & Genesis 5:25 Demetrius Tolefree

    EBX Plaza Stage Turf & All Styles Dance Battle Presented by YAK to the Bay Bay Areas hottest dancers vie for cash prizes in high-flying competition. 12:30 3:00 Preliminaries: Turf & All Styles Dance Battle 3:00 3:20 BANDALOOP: Renowned Oakland-based vertical dance pioneers in breathtaking performance dancing on and off the wall of City Hall.3:30 5:30 Finals: Turf & All Styles Dance Battle

    Jefferson Street Stage2:00 2:45 Willow Steps3:15 - 4:15 Damond Moodie4:45 5:30 Willow Steps

    Kinetic Arts Center Circus Stage14th & Jefferson1:00 - 5:00 Oaklands acclaimed circus school and performance company dazzles with aerialists, acrobats and clowns


    SUNDAY, AUGUST 2Art + Soul Main Stage Hosted by R&B KBLX 102.9 FM1:00 - 2:00 Zakiya Harris feat. Elephantine 2:45 - 3:45 The Family Stone4:30 5:45 Sheila E.

    Elevate Oakland Showcase (Clay Street Stage)Presented by Elevate Oakland12:30 Ryan Nicole, Stage Host/Oakland spoken word artist12:35 Pacific Soul1:15 DJ D Sharp1:25 Elevate Oakland Co-Founders Sheila E., Yoshi Akiba, Lynn Mabry and Jason Hofmann1:35 Ray Obiedo with Leah Tysse2:25 DJ D Sharp2:35 Ryan Nicole 2:45 The League featuring Pete Tha, Bren Esco, J.A.I, a


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