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Archive for October, 2011

BELAFONTE IN BERKELEY | Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thursday, October 20th, 2011


Wednesday, November 30, 2011
First Congregational Church

2345 Channing Way
Berkeley, CA 94704 | map

Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Dr. Mona Scott, Al Young
pay tribute to a legend

Click cover to read the Kirkus Review

KPFA Radio 94.1FM presents


My Song

Hosted by Davey D (KPFA host of Hard Knock Radio)

plus tributes by Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Dr. Raye Richardson, Blanche Richardson, Dr. Mona Scott, Al Young

From a poverty-stricken childhood in Harlem and Jamaica, Harry Belafonte rose to become one of the world’s most popular singers, a film star, and a lifelong passionate social activist in the civil rights movement and numerous other humanitarian causes. Among his friends along the way were Eleanor Roosevelt, Paul Robeson, Sidney Poitier, John F. Kennedy, Marlon Brando, Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, Fidel Castro, and Danny Glover.

My Song is the inspiring autobiography of this unique artist and activist—the first singer in history to sell over one million records (Calypso), a winner of Broadway’s Tony Award, the first black producer in television (for which he won an Emmy, the first African-American to do so), and Oscar nominations for Carmen Jones. After being appointed by President John Kennedy cultural advisor to the Peace Corps, Belafonte served five years. He was also prominent in working for the release of his friend Nelson Mandela, and ending the apartheid government in South Africa. He was one of Martin Luther King’s closest confidantes and strongest supporters. In 1987 he accepted the appointment as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. He has been honored by many diverse groups including the NAACP, the ACLU, the American Jewish Congress and the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith. He received the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors for excellence in the performing arts, and in 1994 the National Medal of Arts from President Clinton. Now 84, he remains an outspoken, progressive critic of U.S. foreign policy.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee is the Democratic Representative for CA District 9.
Blanche Richardson is the proprietor of Marcus Books in Oakland.
Dr. Raye Richardson is the co-founder & owner of Marcus Books, Oakland & S.F.
Dr. Mona Scott is the owner of Black Repertory Theatre in Berkeley
Al Young, poet and author, was recently California Poet Laureate

$15 advance tickets: :: 800-838-3006 or Marcus Books, Pegasus Books (3 locations), Mrs. Dalloway’s, Moe’s Books, Walden Pond, DIESEL a Bookstore, SF: Marcus Books, Modern Times Books,

($18 door) Benefits KPFA Radio 94.1FM



Josh Brown: Dear Wall Street, This is Why People Are Angry

Sunday, October 16th, 2011


Josh Brown may be in the same group as the bankers and brokers that the Occupy movements are protesting against, but he’s just as angry as the protesters are at his own industry.

© Emmanuel Dunand / AFP | Getty Images

Josh Brown: In 2008, the American people were told that if they didn’t bail out the banks, their way of life would never be the same. In no uncertain terms, our leaders told us anything short of saving these insolvent banks would result in a depression to the American public. We had to do it!

At our darkest hour we gave these banks every single thing they asked for. We allowed investment banks to borrow money at zero percent interest rate, directly from the Fed. We gave them taxpayer cash right onto their balance sheets. We allowed them to suspend account rules and pretend that the toxic sludge they were carrying was worth 100 cents on the dollar. Anything to stave off insolvency. We left thousands of executives in place at these firms. Nobody went to jail, not a single perp walk. I can’t even think of a single example of someone being fired. People resigned with full benefits and pensions, as though it were a job well done.

The American taxpayer kicked in over a trillion dollars to help make all of this happen. But the banks didn’t hold up their end of the bargain ….

For the whole story, go to Marketplace Money
(Friday, October 14, 2011)


Approach to Wall Street, Manhattan, October 2011

Visit Josh Brown’s blog:


Economy-watcher John Cassidy’s RATIONAL IRRATIONALITY
Top Ten Unlikely ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Supporters

(The New Yorker, October 17, 2011)


Charles Lloyd/Maria Farantouri: ATHENS CONCERT Audio CD Release on ECM

Saturday, October 15th, 2011


“A gorgeous, soulful collaboration.”
— Al Young

Courtesy photo

Maria Farantouri and Charles Lloyd in concert

Experience Dorothy Darr’s video introduction to the Charles Lloyd-Maria Farantouri ATHENS CONCERT at Vimeo

Martin Longley’s BBC review (29 August 2011)

John Fordham’s UK Guardian review (25 August 2011)

Dorothy Darr

Charles Lloyd’s website

The Maria Farantouri website

Dorothy Darr at

Calendar of Charles Lloyd’s tour dates



Saturday, October 15th, 2011
A clickable treat


Photo: Karen Johnson

Al Young and Harry Belafonte, KPFA Benefit at First Congregational Church, Berkeley, CA | 30 November 2011


Three years before “I Have a Dream” got preached,

the 1960 March on Washington

propelled us into DC. Once we reached

the Saturday when you were going on,

mean horseback cops reared up to stomp us. “Stop!”

one hollered in a trembling southern drawl.

“Let them kids live!” We thanked this rebel cop

with gut sighs, then we cut straight for the Mall.

You, Harry Belafonte, sang our songs.

You let us know you came down on our side.

Green college kids, we knew what rights, what wrongs

forced us to see you, hear you, while we died.

No caving in. No turning back. Just home.

Calypso? All we heard was: “Daylight, come!”

—Al Young

© 2011 Al Young

Photo: Jan Etre

[L-R] Poet Al Young, actor Danny Glover, painter Arthur Monroe | First Congregational Church, Berkeley | 30 November 2011

Photo courtesy Kindness of Strangers

The poet in October

Al Young and legendary Keystone Korner club owner Todd Barkan | City Lights Books | Photo: Samuel Wooten

© Samuel Wooten

Guitarist Calvin Keys prepares to read from Kathy Sloane’s Keystone Korner: Portrait of a Jazz Club | City Lights Books

Samuel Wooten

Author-photographer Kathy Sloane in triumphant, joyful City Lights book launch mode

Photo: Al Young

Rosemary Hutcherson and Bobby Hutcherson (master vibist and storyteller) | City Lights Books

© Jim Dennis

Al Young, Terri Hinte, Ora Harris, Rosemary Hutcherson | City Lights Books

© Al Young

devorah major, San Francisco’s former poet laureate, takes in author-photographer Kathy Sloane’s presentation during a jam-packed book launch for Keystone Korner: Portrait of a Jazz Club at City Lights Books. Up in the background, poet Q.R. Hand mulls it all over.

With Jeanne Houston at the 2011 PEN/Faulkner Gala

At the 2011 PEN/Faulkner Gala, Washington DC in September

Poet Natasha Threthaway, novelist-memoirist Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, and Al Young just before the PEN/Faulkner Gala dinner in Washington, DC.

Al Young

Maxine Hong Kingston speaks of her life-long friendship with James and Jeanne Houston at the Heyday book launch for The Queen’s Journey, an unfinished novel by James D. Houston.




Tuesday, October 11th, 2011


The 2011 Thomas Wolfe Prize

© Jade Poteat
| The Daily Tar Heel

Al Young, recipient of the 2011 Thomas Wolfe Prize, delivers the annual October Thomas Wolfe Lecture at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Read reporter Grace Harvey’s account

Al Young to deliver Thomas Wolfe Lecture October 4 | University of North Carolina College of Arts & Sciences

Hear and watch Al Young’s 2011 Thomas Wolfe Lecture at Historic Playmakers Theatre, Chapel Hill, NC


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

© Terrence Byrnes

The Fighter & the Writer:
Litquake presents a tribute performance honoring
Ishmael Reed

Musician, poet, publisher, novelist and dramatist Ishmael Reed is one of the most prolific and thought-provoking authors at work in America today. From his first novel, The Free-Lance Pallbearers (1967) to his latest, Juice! (2011), and all his poetry, plays, essays and anthologies in between, the iconoclastic trailblazer has pointedly highlighted our nation’s political and cultural repression. Reed has been instrumental in exposing the work of new authors through his online literary magazine, Konch, and the Ishmael Reed Publishing Company. As a jazz pianist and lyricist he has worked alongside such talented musicians as Taj Mahal, Allen Toussaint, Cassandra Wilson and David Murray. This evening of music, poetry, tributes and drama honoring Reed and his many contributions to the Bay Area literary scene features emcee W. Kamau Bell, music from Broun Fellinis, and live dramatic performances directed by Carla Blank.
(Rumor has it that poet-vocalist Al Young may perform with the band.)

PS: On Wed Oct 12, 2011, Litquake presented Ishmael Reed with its annual Barbary Coast Award in honor of his long-standing contributions to the Bay Area literary scene. Hosted by W. Kamau Bell, friends/performers included Clark Blaise, Tennessee Reed, Carla Blank, Ianthe Brautigan Swensen, Boadiba, Yuri Kageyama, Alejandro Murguía, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Genny Lim; with Seth Corr, Sherry Davis, and Boadiba performing Act II, Scene 6 of Reed’s play, Body Parts. Musical accompaniment by Broun Fellinis.

P.P.S. “Fantastic crowds at all the Wednesday and Thursday events. Reports from producers are still coming in but here are a few highlights…The Barbary Coast Award tribute to Ishmael Reed rocked the Z Space theater with amazing readings and music, and closed with California poet laureate Al Young singing the classic Billie Holiday/Frank Sinatra tune “We’ll Be Together Again,” accompanied by Ishmael on piano, backed by the Broun Fellinis.”
— More Litquake Wrap-Ups | 2011 Final Call: The Weekend Blast

Al Young reads Ishmael Reed’s poem, “When I Die, I Will Go to Jazz,” sings Carl Fischer and Frankie Laine’s “We’ll Be Together Again” (backed by Ishmael Reed at piano and the Broun Fellinis), then presents Ishmael with the Barbary Coast Award. ||| Watch this and other jubilant segments captured October 12, 2011 as Litquake occupied Z Space.

Z Space
formerly Project Artaud Theatre
450 Florida St.
San Francisco, CA 94110 | map

Tickets @12


While Ishmael Reed often gets slapped with the label of satirist, his stand-alone fiction, poetry, essays, articles, plays, songs, op-eds, reviews and drawings speak boldly for themselves. After all, the urge to take on fraudulence, pretension, hypocrisy, arrogance and injustice pulses at the heart of true satire. A tireless, world-class artist, teacher and arts activist of measureless passion and cares only begins to describes Ishmael Reed: a global treasure. When he tells us that ‘writing is fighting,’ he means it. Every syllable. Body and soul. Ishmael shines the laser light of his pen and wit into all manner of dark matter. Little in heaven or hell sails or crawls past him. A friend to the young, the up-and-coming, and the overlooked, he can’t help but inspire. Without his presence, savvy, strength and fierce output, the world wouldn’t work the same.”
— Al Young


Sunday, October 16, 2011
Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists Hall
1606 Bonita Avenue at Cedar Street

dancer & artist
Patricia Bulitt

Patricia Bulitt is an interdisciplinary artist/dancer who has served for years as Project Director for “Our Neighbors Dance Their Dance: A Celebration of World Dance” in association with the cities of Daly City and Berkeley. She received her M.A. from UCLA. Her numerous awards and fellowships include a National Endowment for the Arts Choreography Fellowship, California Arts Council residencies, and the Outstanding Woman Artist Award from the City of Berkeley. Her work with improvisational dance and the making of site specific performances has been in association with Urban Creeks Council. Bulitt is a movement specialist at several schools and has been teaching creative dance/movement for over 20 years in California and throughout Alaska.

Celebration and Benefit honoring dancer & artist

for her medical expenses

Sunday, October 16
Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists Hall
1606 Bonita Avenue. (at Cedar Street)
Berkeley, CA 94707 (map)

Poetry, dance and storytelling will include singer & songwriter MELANIE DeMORE California poet laureate emeritus AL YOUNG dancer & artist PATRICIA BULITT

Suggested contribution: $25. Any contributions welcome. Checks payable to Patricia Bulitt. For non-profit contributions, make checks payable to Berkeley Partners for Parks (7% deduction applied)

Additional information:
Patricia Bulitt: 510.841.6612, or
Berkeley Fellowship: 510.841.4824


Part 2
Sunday, November 13, 2011

Photo: Al Young

Patricia Bulitt and poet Gary Snyder at Berkeley’s Hillside Club, 2008

Sunday, November 13, 2011
Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists
1606 Bonita Avenue (at Cedar Street)
Berkeley, CA 94707,

Very special guests: storyteller GAY DUCEY storyteller OLGA LOYA body musician KEITH TERRY dancer & singer MAHEALANI UCHIYAMA

Suggested contribution: $25. Any contributions welcome. Checks payable to Patricia Bulitt. For non-profit contributions, make checks payable to Berkeley Partners for Parks (7% deduction applied)

Additional information:
Patricia Bulitt: 510.841.6612, or
Berkeley Fellowship: 510.841.4824


City Lights Books
261 Columbus Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94133 (map)
Wednesday, October 19, 7pm

Join Kathy Sloane and guests to launch
KEYSTONE KORNER: Portrait of a Jazz Club

© Lance Iversen | San Francisco Chronicle

Read Sam Whiting’s San Francisco Chronicle article
(October 10, 2011)

Text and photographs by Kathy Sloane
Co-edited with Sascha Feinstein
Preface by Al Young
264 pages paperbound
Indiana University Press
Paperback: $40.00
ISBN: 978-0-253-35691-8
(includes an audio CD of Keystone Korner jazz artists)
November 3, 2011 — official date of publication


November 5, 2011, 7-9
Book reading and signing. Books Inc Alameda, 1344 Park Street, Alameda, CA 94501

November 30, 2011, 6-8 pm.
Book reading and signing. University Press Books, 2430 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 94720

December 3, 2011,  2-4 pm.
Lecture and slide show. Museum of the African Diaspora (MOAD), 685 Mission Street at Third Street, San Francisco, CA
94105-4126 “Photographer Kathy Sloane will show images from her extensive jazz archive and read from her new book, Keystone Korner: Portrait of a Jazz Club. Referencing MOAD’s new exhibition, Collected, Sloane will talk generally about cultural preservation and specifically about how and why she pursued her passion documenting the African American art form known as jazz.”

December 8, 2011, 7-9 pm.
Book reading and signing at Books Inc., San Francisco Opera Plaza, 601 Van Ness, San Francisco, CA 94102

Feature articles on Keystone Korner: Portrait of a Jazz Club —
San Francisco Chronicle
Jazziz, Fall 2011  (pp. 72-79)


Book launch for

An unfinished novel

by James D. Houston

Sunday, October 23, 2011
Cabrillo College Music Recital Hall
6500 Soquel Drive
Aptos, CA 95003

There are few more intriguing and captivating characters in the history of Hawaii than its last queen, Liliuokalani—the island monarch who could just as easily read Shakespeare as “sit barefooted on a woven mat.” Told with mesmerizing detail by master storyteller James D. Houston,  A Queen’s Journey captures the deep ambiguities of Liliuokalani’s magnetic personality and the tumultuous times in which she lived. Houston (1933-2009) was perhaps the only writer with the literary talent, courage, and deep knowledge of Hawaiian culture and history needed to tell this story, and although he died before finishing the novel that was to be his masterwork, we are lucky to have this first part, which stands alone as a fully realized and moving portrait of the queen and her time.

Order directly from Heyday

Short readings by Wallace Baine, Alan Cheuse, Rory Criss, Geoffrey Dunn, Karen Joy Fowler, Stephen Kessler, Maxine Hong Kingston, Forrest Robinson, Karen Tei Yamashita, and Al Young. Remarks by Jeanne Houston and Malcolm Margolin. Music by Braddah Timmy.

Photo courtesy Paul Kitagaki/Sacramento Bee

James D. Houston was born in San Francisco and received his master’s degree in American literature from Stanford, where he studied under Wallace Stegner, Irving Howe, and Frank O’Connor. Among his many fiction and nonfiction books are Bird of Another Heaven, Snow Mountain Passage, Where the Light Takes Its Color from the Sea, Surfing: A History of the Ancient Hawaiian Sport, Californians: Searching for the Golden State, Hawaiian Son: The Life and Music of Eddie Kamae, and Farewell to Manzanar, the last of which he co-authored with his wife, Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston. Over the course of his prolific career, Houston won many awards and honors and taught creative writing at a number of universities and workshops. With Jeanne, he divided his time between Hawai’i and an old Victorian home in Santa Cruz, California. Visit his website at

FREE advance tickets are recommended and are available at Cabrillo Bookstore, below, or online until Oct 22 at 4:00 p.m. There will be a limited number of tickets available at the door, so come early if you don’t have a ticket! For more information call 510. 549.3564 — X



Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Nancy Keane’s 3300 Club
3300 Mission Street




Keane’s 3300 Club
3300 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94110