Friday, July 13, 2012

Randy Weston's African Rhythms in Oakland

Living in the Bay Area and being in the fortunate position of having numerous interesting events constantly going on, it can sometimes be quite a task figuring out what exactly to check out. This weekend, in my mind, there isn't much of a choice at all. The best shows this weekend will be held at Yoshi's in Oakland, where legendary pianist, composer and innovator Randy Weston will be performing Friday and Saturday (two shows each night!) with his amazing African Rhythms Trio. Weston, who once opened and ran a nightclub in Tangier, Morocco for a number of years, is one of the best musicians at incorporating both jazz and traditionally rooted African music together in his playing. Behind each composition, there always seems to be a fascinating story, which he enjoys explaining, that is rooted deep within the NEA Jazz Master's heart and soul. Along with Weston on piano, the trio will be rounded out by Neil Clarke on percussion and one of the most incredible bassists I've ever seen in Alex Blake. These shows will undoubtedly be the type of performances that you'll end up walking away from completely mesmerized by not only the overall performance of the trio, but how deeply rooted the music they are performing is in culture and tradition. Do yourself a favor and go check out one of the greatest African-influenced jazz groups and pianists around.


Randy Weston - The Gathering

Randy Weston - Portrait of Frank Edward Weston

Randy Weston - African Cookbook

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