Monthly Archives

October 2018

All Female A Cappella Group From Zimbabwe to Appear at the Bankhead

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An all-female a capella quintet from Zimbabwe, Nobuntu has drawn international acclaim for their inventive musical style that ranges from traditional Zimbabwean songs to Afro Jazz and Gospel. The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center is thrilled for an upcoming performance by Nobuntu at the Bankhead Theater. Keep reading to learn more about this unique, acclaimed group.

About Nobuntu

Nobuntu’s concerts feature their pure voices and harmonies, augmented by minimal percussion, traditional instruments, such as the Mbira (thumb piano), and organic, authentic dance movements. Their smooth, melodic sound provides a musical window into the rich cultural traditions of Zimbabwe.

Nominated for Best Musician of the Year at the 2015 Zimbabwe International Women Awards in London, Nobuntu has performed at festivals and concert halls across Europe and Canada, as well as throughout the African continent. In addition to television and radio appearances, they have released two recordings called THINA (2012) and EKHAYA (2016). Their performances have been praised as “vibrant and stunning…full of sparkling energy.”

The word ‘Nobuntu’ is an African concept that values humbleness, love, unity, and family from a woman’s perspective. This vocal ensemble represents a new generation of young African women singers who celebrate and preserve their culture, beauty, and heritage through art. Nobuntu’s mission is the belief that music can be an important vehicle for change, one that transcends racial, tribal, religious, gender, and economic boundaries.

About the Bankhead Theater

The Bankhead Theater in Livermore is more than just another performing arts venue. For more than a decade, artists and audiences of all types have come together in this environment. Music of all genres is presented at the Bankhead, from authentic western swing to smooth jazz.

Our staff also schedules various dance, theater, opera, comedy, and acrobatics performances. Ultimately, we strive to engage, entertain, and inspire audiences of all ages.

There’s no question that exposure to the arts has the potential to transform lives. In fact, for a child, seeing, hearing, and/or taking part in a performance can ignite their imagination and fuel creativity for the rest of their lives. That’s why LVPAC makes the arts accessible and affordable for everyone.

Never been to the Bankhead? Well, this one-of-a-kind facility provides a rich environment for growth on both sides of the footlights. When you consider that the Grammy Award-winning vocal group Chanticleer has praised the Bankhead for its perfect acoustics, it’s no wonder why so many artists choose to make it a stop on tour.

Whether it’s Nobuntu or a different group, we invite you to share in the power of live performance at the Bankhead Theater.

The performance

Nobuntu is set to appear at the Bankhead Theater on Wednesday, November 7 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $20 to $50 and are going quickly so be sure to get yours as soon as possible.

Remember that the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center offers student and military tickets to nearly every performance. If you need student, military, or ADA tickets, please contact the box office. One last thing to keep in mind is that everyone, regardless of age, must have their own ticket to enter the theater.

We look forward to seeing you at the performance!

“Chris Perondi’s Stunt Dog Experience” Returns to the Bankhead

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Skilled trainer Chris Perondi makes a welcome return to the Bankhead Theater after a several year absence with the original stunt dog show, featuring his team of world-class athletic dogs. Focusing on the dog’s remarkable talents, professional performers create a high-energy show for all ages featuring delightful stunts, comic antics, and amazing tricks, from high jumps and barrel racing to pole weaving and disc catching. The “Stunt Dog Experience” is unusual in that all the dogs in the performance are rescue dogs that have been adopted from pounds and shelters across the country.

Originally from Stockton, California, Perondi has produced well over 8,000 shows in major theme parks and performing art center since 1999. Each show includes more than a dozen dogs such as a border collie mix named “Flashy Ferrar,” a Jack Russell/Terrier mix named “Crazy Confetti,” a Texas heeler named “Tasmanian Tex,” and a Belgian Malinois known as “High-Flying Harley.” The performance also has a mascot, Diggy, whose silly but helpful ways turn him into the star of the show.

The “Stunt Dog Experience” is highly interactive as the audience is asked to provide encouragement for the stunts. Not only that, but there are showdowns that are judged by audience applause. A series of five separate challenges known as the “Golden Bone Showdown” tests each dog’s intelligence, speed, accuracy, and leaping ability.

Throughout the performance, the dogs show off talents such as jumping rope, backflips, and walking backward on their hind legs.

About Chris Perondi

Perondi first began dog training as a hobby in 1996 with an adopted Australian Cattle dog named “Pepper.” After starting Northern California’s first Frisbee Dog Club a few years later, he created the “Extreme Canines Show,” which performed as halftime and sideline entertainment for the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park for many years. He went on to compete and perform in theme parks for the next ten years before developing the “Stunt Dog Experience” show, which was designated for stage performance.

Perondi and his dogs have appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Tonight Show, Good Morning America, and “Pet Star!” as well as in numerous commercials.

Dedicated to promoting animal rescue and pet adoption awareness, Perondi’s stunt dogs are all rescue animals adopted from shelters and pounds. He personally trains the dogs to perform specialized tricks and stunts, using treats and toys as rewards and matches each dog’s particular skills to the feats they most enjoy performing. Perondi remains a steadfast advocate for animal rescue and adoption, pet spay and neutering, and encourages everyone to spend more time with their pets.

The performance

An event tailored for families, “Chris Perondi’s Stunt Dog Experience” will be presented Sunday, November 11 with an afternoon performance at 2 p.m. and a second performance at 6 p.m. Ticket prices start at just $20. Please contact the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center box office if you need student, military, or ADA tickets.  

We look forward to seeing you at the Bankhead for this incredible performance!

What to Know About the Third Annual Diwali Festival

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Looking to do something different this weekend with the family that’s both fun and free? We invite you to join the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center and the Hindu Cultural Community Center as they celebrate the Diwali “Festival of Lights.” Keep reading to learn more about this third annual festival.

About Diwali Festival of Lights

The celebration is an ancient Hindu festival that marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year. Diwali is celebrated every autumn or spring in South Asian countries such as India and Nepal. The tradition originated as a festival marking the last harvest of the year before the start of winter and spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair.

This cultural event will feature spectacular Bollywood and Classical Indian dances, Dhol performances, along with a storyteller speaking about the history and meaning of Diwali. The Bollywood Jam will lead a free workshop on Bollywood dancing, to the music of world-renowned Ustad Lal Bhatti Ji.

The event will also offer a variety of different booths specializing in Bollywood apparel, jewelry, Diya decorations, rangoli art, and provide a craft area for children. Sansaar Indian Restaurant and other food vendors will be a the event selling delicious Indian cuisine.

This is the third year that Diwali “Festival of Lights’ has been held on the plaza and is one of many free family-oriented cultural events the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center sponsors throughout the year. In the coming months, they will offer an African American celebration in January, a Chinese New Year celebration in February, and a Hispanic Heritage Day in May. Stay tuned for more details regarding these events as they become available!

An Overview of Our Performing Arts Center

LVPAC offers a diverse range of programs providing access to the arts for the Tri-Valley community and beyond. Through the Bankhead Theater and the Bothwell Arts Center, the LVPAC staff puts on numerous events each year, from classes and workshops to concerts and performances.

Not to mention, educational outreach is a significant part of what we do here. LVPAC goes above and beyond to ensure that every student has the opportunity to experience the arts through different activities. Portions of such activities are underwritten through generous contributions and matching gifts to our education fund.

Contribute to Our Performing Arts Center

Ready to help us share the performing arts with young minds? We are always in need of donations at the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center. Please contact our education staff to learn more about these programs that support school and family performance.

As a 501(c)3 nonprofit, your gift is tax-deductible. Keep in mind that your support helps to bring incredible art and artists to the Livermore community. Plus, all donations of $125 or more qualify you for membership.

Here are just some of the benefits of being an LVPAC member:

  • Priority ticketing
  • Complimentary tickets to the Season Announcement Party
  • Special offers and invitations to LVPAC galas and events
  • Discounts on Bothwell classes
  • And more

We hope to see you and your family at the Diwali Festival of Lights this coming Saturday, November 3 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Bankhead Plaza!

Legendary Hitmaker Jim Messina to Appear at the Bankhead

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An undisputed expert in the fine art of making hit music, Jim Messina arrives at the intimate Bankhead Theater in early November. His legacy spans five decades, three acclaimed super-groups, a vibrant solo career, as well as contributions as producer and engineer for other rock luminaries. Among Messina’s hits are such timeless favorites as “Your Mama Don’t Dance,” “You Better Think Twice,” “Thinking of You,” and “Angry Eyes.”

About Jim Messina

Messina, the son of a semi-professional guitarist, began learning to play at age 5 and was particularly attracted to the sound of Elvis Presley and Ricky Nelson records. Growing up, Messina lived part-time with his mother in Texas and part-time with his father in California, where he soon became interested in the music of early surf/rock groups. Messina began putting together a band in high school and was making music in no time.

Messina first worked with legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Buffalo Springfield as a recording engineer on their second album in 1966. Shortly after working on their third album, he replaced Bruce Palmer on bass and toured and recorded with them until they disbanded. He then signed on as the lead guitar with fellow Buffalo Springfield member Richie Furay to create Poco.

“Pickin’ Up the Pieces” was the only debut album to ever receive a perfect rating from Rolling Stone magazine and Poco went on to help define the new musical genre of country rock in the early 1970s, paving the way for artists such as The Eagles.

A thriving career as a producer led Messina to collaborate with newcomer Kenny Loggins in late 1971 and the two went on to release eight hit albums together in seven years. The duo sold more than 16 million copies and scored top hits with songs such as “Your Mama Don’t Dance” and “Listen to a Country Song.” Together, they sold 16 million albums, becoming one of the most successful musical duos ever.

Over the years, Messina has fostered his solo career, exploring other influences from jazz and flamenco to Latin and island sounds. He has released albums, both studio as well as live, including two in the last five years. He reunited with Loggins in 2005 for a series of shows reigniting interest in their music.

Messina continues to tour widely, traveling the road to tell the stories and sing the songs that made his aforementioned groups truly iconic.

The performance

Jim Messina is set to appear at the Bankhead Theater Friday, November 2 at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $20 to $70 so be sure to get yours as soon as possible. Please contact the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center box office if you need student, military, or ADA tickets.

No matter where he’s been or where he’s going, Messina’s music continues to make the journey well worth taking. See why Pop Matters says that “Messina’s songs stand the test of time.”

Get your tickets to Bankhead Presents: Jim Messina today! We are also happy to answer any questions you may have about the Bankhead Theater.

The Story Behind the Song

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Guitarist Suzanna Spring of the Mustangs of the West reflects on her life as a songwriter and the story behind their new single “T-Shirt from California.”  Come hear the Mustangs play the song THIS FRIDAY, October 26 at the Bankhead.  Read her story and then get tickets to hear it live!

The Story Behind “T-Shirt From California”

I wrote the song “T-Shirt From California” as a valentine to a place I missed when I was living in another state. I wasn’t born in California, but my parents were always California dreaming and we moved here the year I turned sixteen. I still remember the shock of the big sky, the far horizon, and the freedom. No one asked what church I went to, and it felt like everyone out here was just beginning something. I used to drive in the evenings up to a reservoir, because the road had twists and turns, and with the windows down I could really feel the way the air changes from desert-hot to cool. I became a Californian. I fell in love with the mountains and the desert. I went free-diving for abalone up the coast; hiked in Yosemite, in Joshua Tree, drove down Highway 1, to the teal-color ocean that is Big Sur.

I moved to southern California after college, and I auditioned for a band called The Mustangs, because my mom had taught my sister and me to sing and how to harmonize, and I wrote poems and songs and played guitar. I always had melodies in my head, because I’d kept a radio next to my bed since age six, soaking in the music. This band–The Mustangs–all of us women had similar stories in a way, and we had given up a lot to begin something new. We played gigs around southern California, frequently at The Palomino for Ronnie Mack’s Barn Dance. We were new writers, and we wrote a lot of love, and love-gone-wrong songs. We had some ballads, too, and a cool version of a Stones song. I always pictured that when The Mustangs got a record deal, I’d drive up PCH and run out on the beach screaming.

The band dissolved when one person left the band, another moved, and I went to Nashville to write songs. Nashville was different than California. The checkers at the grocery stores would ask, “How can I hep you?” and one time I overheard two grocery baggers having a discussion about which was the best religion: Methodist or Baptist. Any night of the week in Nashville you could hear great music, great songs–and just like all the waiters in L.A. are actors, a lot of the waiters in Nashville had song ideas they sometimes wrote on napkins, and if you talked to a waiter long enough, they would tell you a song idea they had, and ask you what you thought.

I had mostly written songs alone, in moments of angst, but in Nashville your publisher would make writing appointments for you, with co-writers, and you’d have a regular schedule of appointments: 10am-2pm, 2pm-5pm, 5pm-8pm. Not all of those necessarily on the same day, but sometimes, yes. You needed to write 12 songs a year for the publishing deal, but everyone wrote more than that, to improve the odds of getting a song cut. Then you’d make rough recordings of your songs and play them for your publisher, and if your publisher liked them, you’d get a studio recording session. This was heaven, and one step closer to having your songs played for artists, managers, and record labels. I learned that a lot of the songwriters kept “hook books”–journals where they jotted down song titles and ideas. It was more efficient than a napkin and kept all the ideas in one place. You could take this book to your writing appointment and say, “I’ve got this title,” and if your co-writer didn’t grab onto it you could say,”Well I’ve got this other idea…”

I wrote for Bluewater Music, a publishing company known for signing artist/writers. Unlike some publishers who would put up a blackboard telling their writers they needed an uptempo positive song for a particular country artist, Bluewater mostly let us write what we wanted to write. Of course the songs didn’t always get cut, because they weren’t about wise grandparents or falling in love at age four and still being crazy about each other at fifty, but If a Bluewater song did hit, it usually hit big. They were known for good and quirky writers and although I didn’t like it that they didn’t pay much, I did like the freedom.

I was missing California one morning, and just sitting on the small sofa in my living room, strumming guitar, and the chorus to “T-Shirt From California” came into my head. I knew it was good because it stayed with me; I don’t think I even wrote it in the hook book. I took the chorus to a writing appointment with Wes Hightower, a writer and session singer, and we wrote a song about how it feels when someone leaves for California to start something new– and how it feels to be left. The things I loved about California–the ocean, driving up Highway 1 or down Sunset Boulevard, hiking in Topanga Canyon –all went into that song.

I always thought “T-Shirt” would get cut by an artist in Nashville, but now I realize it probably belongs to California. I sent it to Sherry Rayn Barnett, with some other songs, since we’d stayed friends after The Mustangs. And after I moved back to California, Sherry said she had an idea about The Mustangs, and had been talking to Holly Montgomery about us playing together again, and that we should record this song. Holly had played with a drummer named Suzanne Morissette Cruz and Sherry had met Aubrey Richmond, and Sherry had found a place to record. George Landress engineered. From the first run-through, it felt right. And all the things I love about California music, the guitar jangle and the Beach Boys harmonies, it’s all there. Sherry got the song to Kirk Pasich at Blue Élan, and he got it.

And so the song came back to California, and became something new, as did The Mustangs Of The West: Suzanne, Aubrey, Holly, Sherry and me. We got a record deal, and “T-Shirt From California” is our first single. So don’t stop California dreaming–It’s different out here.

–Suzanna Spring

DON’T MISS the MUSTANGS of the WEST
Opening Act: Paul Jefferson

Friday, October 26 at 8pm

CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS NOW!

RED: Connecting to Art

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Red“, John Logan’s Tony Award-winning play about abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko, opens tonight on the stage-on-stage at the Bankhead Theater. If you don’t have tickets, get them now … this is truly a play worth seeing.

Our team has watched as this powerful play has emerged – from the first read-through to last night’s dress rehearsal – in much the same way a Rothko painting emerged as he applied many layers of precisely-tinted color. “Red” is a remarkable five-scene window into the heart and soul of an artist at work – a gifted, passionate, tortured mind wrestling his art to life. Rothko verbally clashes with his assistant Ken, yet each takes away something from the other. Poised at an important moment in the history of art – as Abstract Expressionism was giving way to Pop Art – the play shines a light inside the mind of an artist driven by his artistic ideals.

The intimacy of the stage-on-stage setting at the Bankhead, makes the play even more compelling. The raw industrial feel of the walls and lighting evokes Rothko’s studio. Seated just feet from the action in the acoustically-beautiful space means the audience is part of every word, every breath, every emotion.

Viewing art in a museum, especially Rothko’s commanding canvases, can be a transformative experience. Watching an artist at work provides a view into artistic creation. But seeing into the soul of the creator yields an understanding of the value and meaning of art that goes beyond what the eye can see. “Red” provides that inner view of art in a way that will remain with you forever.

 

 

RED by JOHN LOGAN

Directed by Misty Megia with Harvey T. Jordan as Mark Rothko and Michael P. McDonald* as Ken
*Member of the Actor’s Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers.

FIVE PERFORMANCES                STAGE-ON-STAGE AT THE BANKHEAD                    LIMITED SEATING

October 18 at 7:30pm
October 19 at 8:00pm
October 20 at 2:00pm
October 20 at 8:00pm
October 21 at 3:00pm

BUY TICKETS NOW

 

On personal connections…
I’m familiar with many of the artistic references in the play. I grew up around classical music and my mother often took us to art exhibits. Years later, I volunteered in a parent-led arts and music elementary school program. But some personal connections to “Red” made working on it even more enjoyable…

One of the first things Rothko asks Ken when they meet is “Who’s your favorite painter?”  It’s a flashback for me.  When I was 25, I had a “final” interview for a high-tech marketing job. It was with the vice president, several levels up, a final sign-off before an offer could be made. He was well-known for being critical and difficult, and I felt intimidated walking into his office. But the first thing he asked was “Who’s your favorite artist?” which led to a fascinating discussion about finding inspiration in different types of art. A couple years later, at dinner with him and his wife on my first business trip to Boston, they encouraged me to visit a museum in every city I traveled to. His understanding that art recharges the soul, refreshes one’s perspective, and sparks new ideas stayed with me and I have, indeed, looked for museums everywhere I’ve gone.

 

 

 

Event Preview: “Steel Magnolias” By Robert Harling

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We are excited to welcome back L.A. Theatre Works for a new production of Robert Harling’s “Steel Magnolias,” a powerful story of resilience and friendship. Arguably better known for the 1989 film version, the play illuminates the enduring bonds created between six extraordinary women who help each other absorb and accept life’s challenges and changes. A single performance of “Steel Magnolias” on Friday, October 12 opens a month of theatrical drama at the Bankhead Theater.

About “Steel Magnolias”

The play by Harling made its New York City debut in 1987 and has been staged in numerous productions around the globe, as well as memorialized in the iconic film version starring Sally Fields, Dolly Parton, and Julia Roberts. Filled with memorable characters, humor, and touching moments, “Steel Magnolias” reveals both the strength of the human condition and our shared need for companionship.

Anna Lyse Erikson, Associate Artistic Director for L.A. Theatre Works, highlights the play’s focus on friendship.

Says Erikson, “These special people could be siblings, childhood pals, a college roommate, a mentor – they are the ones we’d go to any lengths to support, with whom we can disagree strongly while loving deeply. They change our lives just by being in them. Our connections with them defy the limitations of distance and time.”

For the women who meet at Truvy’s beauty shop, their lives increasingly hinge on each other and together they find they can face and survive more than any one of them could manage alone.

L.A. Theatre Works has been the foremost radio theatre company in the United States for more than 20 years. LATW plays are regularly broadcast internationally and their unique, live radio-style performances are known for first-rate casts and sound effects. LATW has the rare ability for fostering an immediate audience connection in all venue sizes.

They make a welcome return to the Bankhead following prior productions of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” and Abby Mann’s “Judgement at Nuremberg” here

The performance

This can’t-miss performance of “Steel Magnolias” takes place Friday, October 12 at 8 p.m. in the Bankhead Theater. Tickets start at just $20 but are selling quickly, so be sure to get yours before it’s too late.

The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center offers student and military tickets to nearly every performance. We ask that you contact the box office directly if you need student, military, or ADA tickets.

LVPAC is expecting a large audience for this performance, so we thought it would be good to remind attendees of the following Bankhead policies:

  • Everyone, including children, must have their own ticket to enter the theater.
  • ADA seats or spaces are designated for wheelchairs only.
  • Our military discount is offered only to active military personnel.

When it comes to performing arts centers in the Tri-Valley area, the Bankhead stands alone. This one-of-a-kind venue provides an intimate setting for both performers and audience members alike. So if you’ve never been to the Bankhead, we encourage you to purchase tickets to “Steel Magnolias.”

Contact us today with any questions.

Filipino Barrio Fiesta to Be Held During Filipino American History Month

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October officially marks Filipino American History Month in the United States. The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center and Livermore Fil-Am Organization will celebrate with the third annual Filipino Barrio Fiesta. This year’s event focuses on the Trinity of Past, Present, and Future of Filipino culture.

Before we talk more about this celebration, let’s first discuss October’s significance as Filipino American History Month. The first known presence of Filipinos in the continental United States dates back to October 18, 1587. The Filipinos, known as “Luzones Indios,” came ashore from the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Esperanza and landed in present-day Morro Bay, California.

Laws were passed in November of 2009 to officially recognize October as Filipino American History Month in the U.S.

About the Filipino Barrio Fiesta

The three-hour celebration includes a speech at noon by the Department Chair of Asian American Studies at UC Davis, Robyn Rodriguez. Those attending can look forward to various performances by the Livermore Fil-Am Dance Troupe, Fil-Am Veterans Rondalla, Joseph Galang, Kali Association of America, Pallen’s Martial Arts, Nita Nowakowski’s Dance Troupe, K Fresh, DJ Bitesize, Arthur Barinque and Denise Bridges, and Granada Hip Hop Club.

During the event, there will be Filipino food for sale, an awards presentation, Mahjong games, and historical exhibits showcasing Filipino-American arts and culture. We encourage attendees to bring roses, fruits, photos of loved ones, coins, and other objects to display on an altar that will be made as a place to respect to those Fil-Am who came before us. There will also be a community mapping project that helps trace the history of the Filipino people in the U.S.

Please note that all activities will take place on the plaza in front of the Bankhead Theater at 2400 First Street in downtown Livermore.

The Filipino Barrio Fiesta is one of many free family-oriented cultural events the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center sponsors throughout the year. Our team also serves as co-sponsor of Taste of Africa with the Cheza Nami Foundation on October 6 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Other events include Native American Day in September, Diwali Mela: Festival of the Lights in November, a Chinese New Year celebration in February, and Hispanic Heritage Day in May.

Get to know our performing arts center

The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center is an independent non-profit offering a diverse range of programs that provide access to the arts for the Tri-Valley community and beyond. Together with the Bothwell Arts Center, we are proud to offer numerous events each year, from classes and workshops to concerts and performances. LVAC understands the power of the arts for young people, which is why our staff works tirelessly when it comes to educational outreach.

The performance

The third annual Filipino Barrio Fiesta takes place Sunday, October 7 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the plaza in front of the Bankhead Theater. We look forward to seeing you and your loved ones for this free event!

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions.  

“A Taste of Africa” to Celebrate Culture, Diversity

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Cheza Nami Foundation will present the seventh annual “A Taste of Africa,” an adventure into African culture at the Bankhead Theater Plaza in downtown Livermore on Sunday, October 6. This free family-friendly event, co-sponsored by the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center, is a celebration of culture and diversity offering food, music, and various activities for kids.

About “A Taste of Africa”

The vibrant music and movement that are central to African cultures will be at the center of the celebration as performances by local artists are showcased on the outdoor stage throughout the day. Opening the celebration will be Tô Aí, a group focused on diaspora arts and culture. Their performance will offer excerpts from their current folkloric arts production which incorporates dance, song, visual arts, percussion, spoken words, and capoeira.

Followed by Tô Aí is Djidé Koffa from Cameroon and Mabanza from Congo-Brazzaville, whose engaging music tells the story of Africa in the post-modern era. Those in attendance can look forward to a story of longing, hope and love shared around the world. A performance by Bitezo Bia Kongo concludes the morning, as director Loubayi Arnaud and others share their goal to spread awareness of Congolese culture and fostering peace and understanding through drumming and dance.

In the afternoon, the lively percussion and dance of Afrique Sogue feature the culture of the Manding and the Mandinka people. We also look forward to the Malima Kone Trio offering the beautiful sounds of Mali and Burkina Faso, before Namorados Da Lua presents a blend of diverse styles from reggae to Brazilian samba and Axe carnival music. Closing the day will be the unique contemporary Afro-World fusion music of Rahan Boxley and his band.

To enjoy more African music, visitors can also enter a drawing at the Cheza Nami booth to win free tickets to see Zimbabwe’s all-female a capella group Nobuntu when they perform at the Bankhead in early November. The quintet, recently nominated for Best Musician of the Year at the Zimbabwe International Women Awards, represents a new generation of young African women who celebrate and preserve their culture through art. Their inventive pure vocal harmonies and minimal percussion infuse music from traditional Zimbabwean songs to Afro jazz and gospel.

Other activities at “A Taste of Africa” include an African Gojo hut exhibit, a reading library at the Maktabas booth, face painting at the Mami Afrika booth sponsored by Waw Amasha, and Cheza Nami’s photo booth. The Kids Zone offers hands-on experiences in African arts and crafts as well as other activities. A true taste of Africa will be available throughout the day at the food and marketplace, featuring booths by Golden Safari Restaurant, Kitenge 365, VaziSafi and Urembo Asili, African Wood Carving and Handicrafts, and many more.  

“A Taste of Africa” is made possible through a generous supporting grant from the City of Livermore’s Commission for the Arts, as well as support from the Clorox Company and SambaDá.

The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center staff looks forward to seeing you and your family at “A Taste of Africa!”

Upcoming Events

Sat 17

Holiday Art Fair: Earlier Than The Bird

Sat, November 17 @ 7:00 am - 11:00 am
Sat 17

6th Floor Project

Sat, November 17 @ 8:00 pm
Organizer: Del Valle Fine Arts
Sun 25

Handel: The Messiah

Sun, November 25 @ 3:00 pm
Wed 28
Dec 01

Annual Family Concert

Sat, December 1 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Organizers: Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center
925.373.6800
, Livermore-Amador Symphony
925.447.6454
, and Valley Dance Theatre
925.243.0925

Call 925.373.6800 or email websales@livermoreperformingarts.org for tickets and information