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Wendy Lee Gadzuk Rocks East Oakland

Blues music plays softly in Wendy Lee Gadzuk’s East Oakland studio, packed with well-worn and comfy furniture, rock memorabilia, a three-legged cat, and the raw materials of her mixed-media assemblages: animal remains, a bag of baby doll heads, old jewelry, and hardware she scavenged from furniture discarded by the roadside, stripped with a screwdriver kept in her purse for just that purpose.

American Music in the Parks

Have you stumbled across a couple of guys rehearsing their songs in Lincoln Park? The two stay-at-home dads were whiling away their time as their preschoolers played in sand and slide. E. Higgins Larson brought his guitar, Stephen Cavoretto brought his Melodica (an air-powered, handheld keyboard), and they strummed and tootled their way through old favorites. Then Cavoretto suggested they start a country band. Their park-bench sessions attracted other musical parents.

Sakai Smith and Nikita Germaine Houston Tour With Train

When Train, the San Francisco rock band, released its latest album, Bulletproof Picasso, in September, fans could hear a bit of Oakland on it, thanks to background vocalists Sakai Smith and Nikita Germaine Houston. The two are friends and are currently on a worldwide tour to promote the new album. Sakai landed a temporary Train backup gig in 2012 that turned permanent in 2013

Alameda Music Project Succeeds

A successful afterschool musical education program in Alameda expands to reach more underserved students.

New Life for The UC Theatre

The benighted and newly engaged couple of Brad and Janet, the doomed Dr. Frank-N-Furter, and the rest of the zany crew from Transsexual, Transylvania, are headed back to Berkeley. The UC Theatre on University Avenue, which hosted the longest running sequence of The Rocky Horror Picture Show midnight screenings, is going to open its doors again after 14 years, and the interactive, costumed late-night romp will once again be welcome, says David Mayeri, the board president of the nonprofit group behind the theater’s resurrection. But film will be only a small part of the offerings on tap at the new UC, which closed its doors in 2001 when Landmark Theatres balked at investing more than $1 million for seismic upgrades.

Full-tilt Fall Arts Preview

The fall arts season offers exciting programming across many genres.

Six Questions with Sarah Sexton

Teaching emerging artists the basics of self-promotion.

Alameda Music Project Succeeds

A successful afterschool musical education program in Alameda expands to reach more underserved students.

Tweaking Art and Soul

When downtown Oakland’s first Art + Soul festival debuted in the summer of 2001, it had one sponsor, one stage, and one small crowd. Yet the weekend festival steadily grew each year after. By its 10th anniversary, Art + Soul encompassed 10 city blocks around Frank H. Ogawa Plaza and City Center, and MC Hammer, En Vogue, and CAKE headlined in honor of the special occasion. More than 25,000 people came—Art + Soul’s largest crowd.

Bochan Huy Fuses Cambodian Rock and Hip-Hop

In one video, Bochan Huy puffs a cigar and sings soulfully about luxury cars. In another, she wears shimmering traditional Cambodian costumes in scenes cross-cut with photographs of people executed by the Khmer Rouge.