Oakland’s beloved 19th annual Art+ Soul festival, held in the heart of the downtown area on July 27 and 28, will feature a range of musical talent on its stages. A family fun event, it will include a dance contest, marketplace of artisans and food for every appetite, from down-home barbecue to world class fusion cuisine.
Oakland welcomes home two-time Grammy® winner Fantastic Negrito who co-headlines along with Grammy® winning R&B artist Estelle.
A newly established Emerging Artists Stage dedicated to the late Victor McElhaney will feature artists on both days.
There will be hundreds of handcrafted art and artifacts at the festival’s annual Artisan Marketplace; a huge Family Fun Zone jam-packed with interactive arts, carnival, bouncy houses and more; scores of food vendors cooking up everything; plus beer, wine and specialty cocktails featuring Effen Vodka, a festival sponsor (21 & over).
Last week in the Post, we featured the events of Sat. July 27. This week we focus on the performers and activities of the last day of the festival, July 28, with all blues all day on the main stage.
When you listen to Fantastic Negrito, you’re invited to hear the story of life after destruction. Each song is a real story about a musician from Oakland who experienced the highs of a million-dollar record deal, the lows of a near-fatal car accident, and is now in the midst of a rebirth that took him from the streets of Oakland to the Grammy® stage.
While playing on the streets of Oakland in 2014, Fantastic Negrito won the inaugural NPR Tiny Desk contest. In 2016, he released his debut album, ‘The Last Days of Oakland,’ which went on to win a Grammy® for Best Contemporary Blues Album. And this year he won his second Grammy® in the same category, for his critically acclaimed release ‘Please Don’t Be Dead.’
West Coast Blues Society
Firing up the stage for Oakland’s newest Blues star will be the West Coast Blues Society annual festival showcase with veteran musicians Ira Walker, Fillmore Slim, Willie G., Terrible Tom, Bobby Young, Jock Shock, and Karl Bracy; Oakland Blues Divas featuring Baby Bee, De Jeana, Margie, Xymphoni, and Earnestine; as well as a tribute to the legendary Johnny “Guitar” Watson.!
Jazz Mafia Returns!
Jazz Mafia brought it to the 2018 festival with an eclectic, rousing lineup of top local talent, and this year promises to be another amazing show. The jazz collective’s stage will come alive with Heaviest Feather featuring TNT (Trance Thompson, Tym Brown & Nataly Wright), Jazz Mafia Bay Revue – a 10-piece band featuring guest vocalists/MCs including Tiffany Austin, Mani Draper, Ryan Nicole, Deuce Eclipse, Aima the Dreamer, and Dakini Star; Jazz Mafia Choral Syndicate directed by Trance Thompson ─ a 20-piece All-Star Funk/Soul/ Gospel Chorus, plus Hive, a group of vocalists/music educators making music with just their voices and some crazy sound effects. DJ Lady Fingaz.
Art + Soul Oakland 2019 takes place in downtown Oakland Saturday, July 27 and Sunday, July 28, from noon to 6 p.m., centered in Frank H. Ogawa Plaza. Advance tickets are available for purchase online for just $12 Adults and $6 Seniors (65 & older). Save even more with two-day tickets available through advance purchase only. At the door, admission will be $15 Adults and $9 Seniors (65 & older). Ages 18 and under enjoy free admission (no ticket required).
Art + Soul Oakland 2019 is Northern California’s most accessible festival with direct service via both BART’s 12th Street City Center station and AC Transit, in addition to $5 parking in the adjacent City Center West Garage, 12th Street at Martin Luther King Jr., Way. Free attended bicycle parking will be available (please bring your own lock).
Art + Soul Oakland 2019 is produced by Heart of the Town Events in association with the City of Oakland and Oakland Central.
For tickets and information, including the complete 2019 lineup, visit Art + Soul Oakland