Rhonda Benin "Just Like A Woman"

Rhonda Benin "Just Like A Woman"

Maria Muldaur, Kim Nalley, Barbara Dane, Sandy Cressman, Niecey Robinson, The Lillian Armstrong Tribute Band

Saturday, March 30th

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$24 ADV / $28 DOOR (plus fees)

  • All tickets are subject to an additional $4 per ticket facility fee.

Rhonda Benin
Rhonda Benin
Maria Muldaur
Maria Muldaur
Maria Muldaur is best known world-wide for her 1974 mega-hit "Midnight at the Oasis," which received several Grammy nominations, and enshrined her forever in the hearts of Baby Boomers everywhere; but despite her considerable pop music success, her 50-year career could best be described a long and adventurous odyssey through the various forms of American roots music. During the folk revival of the early '60s, she began exploring and singing early blues, bluegrass and Appalachian "old timey" music, beginning her recording career in 1963 with the Even Dozen Jug Band and shortly thereafter joining the very popular Jim Kweskin Jug Band, touring and recording with them throughout the '60s.

In the 39 years since "Midnight at the Oasis," Maria has toured extensively worldwide and has recorded 40 solo albums covering all kinds of American roots music, including gospel, rhythm and blues, jazz and big band (not to mention several award-winning children's albums), before settling comfortably into her favorite idiom, the blues, in recent years. Often joining forces with some of the top names in the business, Maria has recorded and produced on-average an album per year, several of which have been nominated for Grammy and other awards.

Her critically acclaimed 2001 Stony Plain Records release, Richland Woman Blues, was nominated for a Grammy and by the Blues Foundation as Best Traditional Blues Album of the Year, as was the follow up to that album, Sweet Lovin' Ol' Soul. Her timely 2008 album, Yes We Can!, featured songs from some of the most socially conscious songwriters of the past half century: Bob Dylan, Marvin Gaye, Allen Toussaint, Garth Brooks and others, and featured her "Women's Voices for Peace Choir," which included: Bonnie Raitt, Joan, Baez, Jane Fonda, Odetta, Phoebe Snow, Holly Near and others.

For her 2009 release, Maria revisited her original jug band roots, teaming up with John Sebastian, David Grisman and Dan Hicks. Maria Muldaur & Her Garden of Joy was nominated for Best Traditional Blues Album of the Year by the Blues Foundation, and garnered Maria her 6th Grammy nomination, as well.

In 2011, Maria detoured from her ongoing exploration of vintage blues and released Steady Love, a return to her much-beloved New Orleans (the place she calls her "musical and spiritual home") to record a contemporary electric blues album that reflected the kind of music she loves to perform live - what she calls "Bluesiana Music" - her own brand of New Orleans-flavored blues, rhythm and blues and "swamp funk." Steady Love reached #1 on the Living Blues Chart and garnered her another nomination for Best Traditional Female Blues Artist from the Blues Foundation.

Now, in 2012, for her 40th album, Maria has produced ….First Came Memphis Minnie, a loving tribute to the pioneering blues woman, who inspired and influenced so many female blues artists who followed in her footsteps. The album features special guests Rory Block, Ruthie Foster, Bonnie Raitt, Phoebe Snow and Koko Taylor, accompanied by the amazing guitar work of Del Rey, David Bromberg, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Roy Rogers, Bob Margolin, Steve James and Steve Freund.

The new album is a true labor of love for Maria, who considers Memphis Minnie to be not only a trailblazing musical pioneer for all women, but also a personal blues hero. "From that first moment I heard her soulful music on an old scratchy 78 to this," says Maria, "Memphis Minnie, and the example she set for me, has remained a profound influence on my life and my music."

The queen of mid-20th century blues, Memphis Minnie was a true musical innovator who pioneered the electrified Chicago-blues-band sound. In her prime, she was a blues singer, songwriter, entrepreneur and guitar–player-par-excellence; a colorful, larger-than-life figure who in 1942 was one of the first blues musician to record with an electric guitar. In a recording career which spanned over 40 years, she released more than 200 songs, many of which she wrote and several of which endure today as blues classics. From the beginning of the Great Depression through the end of World War II - through an endless stream of innovative recordings and consistently compelling live performances – she dominated the primarily male dominion of the Chicago blues scene.

"At a time when women were 'kept in their place,' both personally and professionally," says Maria, "Memphis Minnie was tough, independent, outspoken, and played a mean guitar! But, she was more than just a guitar hero of early country blues. She ably adapted to newer trends and modernized her style, which helped account for her years of popularity. She was tough, determined, talented, and courageous enough to defy and overcome all the racial, social, economic, and gender barriers that existed in her time, forging the life she envisioned for herself on nothing but her own terms!"
Kim Nalley
Kim Nalley
In looks, Kim Nalley exudes the aura of a diva from a by-gone era. Vocally, she has pipes to burn packing a 3 1/2 octave range that can go from operatic to gritty blues on a dime, projection that can whisper a ballad yet is capable of filling a room with no microphone, and the ability to scat blistering solos without ever losing the crowd's interest or the intense swing. She has been compared to all the greats, but in the end, it's Kim Nalley and no one else - an unforced instrument with clarity and jazzy musicality, effortlessly delivered, and a sense of humor to boot.

"GOD, CAN THIS WOMAN SING! It's as if a vocalist from the great post-war blues and jazz combos had been transported to the end of the century." Blues Access Magazine

"Nalley is the best singer, any style, I have heard in years. Phil Elwood- San Francisco Examiner

"Kim Nalley has pipes to burn and works the stage like she means it." San Francisco Chronicle

"Sultry voiced Kim Nalley brings an irresistibly sexy sense of swing, rhythmic dexterity and beautiful sound to the classic, with her crisp diction and playful delivery of earthy lines." Down Beat

Awarded "Most Influential African American in the Bay Area," vocalist Kim Nalley, is already being called "legendary" and "San Francisco institution." No trip to San Francisco is complete without seeing Kim Nalley perform. With an international reputation as one of world's best jazz & blues vocalists, she is has graced concert halls from Moscow to Lincoln Center. A true Renaissance woman, Kim Nalley has also been a featured blog writer for JazzWest and SF Chronicle's City Brights, shortlisted for a Grammy, a produced playwright, a former jazz club owner, an accomplished stage actress, a history academic, and an avid lindy hop & blues dancer. Her many philanthropic endeavors include founding the Kim Nalley Black Youth Jazz Scholarship.
Barbara Dane
Barbara Dane
Barbara Dane was a rising star in the late 1950s, performing and recording with many of the greats of jazz and blues including Louis Armstrong, Earl Hines and Jack Teagarden. She counted Langston Hughes and Lenny Bruce among her fans and was the first white woman to grace the cover of Ebony Magazine. An activist since her teens in Detroit, she was outspoken in her views on race and social justice and was unwilling to make the kind of compromises demanded by the music business of the day.

Inspired by the intensification of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s and the growing opposition to the Vietnam War, Dane turned away from the lure of fame and celebrity, striking out on her own path and dedicating her life to singing for peace and social justice. She shared the stage with Seeger, Joan Baez, Phil Ochs and Reverend Frederick Douglass Kirkpatrick at numerous massive peace rallies in Washington D.C. and was acclaimed as “the voice of the other America” by European audiences, a symbol of opposition to the Vietnam War. In 1966, Barbara became the first American musician to tour post-revolutionary Cuba, and in the early 1970s, she founded the groundbreaking Paredon Records (now part of the Smithsonian Folkways collection) with longtime partner Irwin Silber, documenting the music of the 1970s resistance and national liberation movements worldwide. Praised as a “People’s Singer,” Dane has long been “a versatile voice with a political purpose” (NPR) and remains a “symbol of resistance” even into the 21st century.

“I hope my abiding love for our benighted country is apparent,” says Barbara, “along with my steadfast support of the people who suffer and struggle every day to keep it going. I hope you notice that it is possible to speak your mind to the world and still survive. Looking back over all these years of raising my voice, raising my children, raising some eyebrows, and raising hell wherever possible, I can assure you that although things look terrible right now, things do get better, sometimes even better than you can imagine! It will take time, and it surely will take plenty of struggle. But I promise you, the human race is moving in an upward spiral, not running around in circles or caught in a maze. Look up and keep pushing toward the sun of science and the stars of justice. You have only one life, so make it count!”
Sandy Cressman
Sandy Cressman
American jazz singer
The Lillian Armstrong Tribute Band
Tammy Hall - Musical Director
Ruth Davies - Bass
Ruth Price - Drums
Kristen Strom - Saxophone