Andrew Gilbert

Backup Singers Who Mattered

More than one Bay Area female vocalist got her start singing in church and played pivotal roles as backup singers for major acts. Four often-overlooked Bay Area soul queens talk about their glory days.

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Appetite for Jazz

For a case study in everything going right in Oakland, look no further than Duende, the jazz club and Basque-inspired restaurant at Telegraph and 19th in the historic Art Deco building that also houses Flora. Since opening in January, the venture has more than lived up to its promise, earning glowing reviews for its innovative menu while quickly establishing itself as a regional outpost for left-of-center jazz.

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A Woman in Full

A profile of jazz pianist/composer Myra Melford, who appears this month in San Francisco to perform Language of Dreams, a multimedia commission from the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Melford, a music professor at U.C. Berkeley, released her first solo piano album, Life Carries Me This Way, last month.

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Piano Story

In 2010, Oakland’s Piedmont Piano Company, founded and still owned by the Callahan family since 1978, retooled itself as a prime venue for jazz and other live performances in a 1946 art deco building in the Uptown district. The Callahan clan has been influencing music and music education in the East Bay for decades, through piano lessons, sales, and tuning.

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Faces of the East Bay