From the East Bay Exress:
From Redwood Grove to BFD
Our staff recommends the best summer festivals in the Bay Area and beyond.
San Francisco Offside Festival
Local jazz guitarist Alex Pinto and Laura Maguire, former music curator at cherished and daring SF venue Viracocha, are no strangers to pushing the limits of contemporary jazz. Their SF Offside Festival takes a local approach to the jazz circuit, celebrating homegrown heavy hitters — Mads Tolling, Wiley and Marcus Shelby, and Dave Mihaly among them — and emerging talent such as Aram Shelton, Lisa Mezzacappa, and Pinto himself. While last year’s festival went down exclusively in San Francisco, two of this year’s three offerings will be in Oakland, at Awaken Café and Duende. Go to challenge your notions of jazz, or simply see what your own backyard has to offer. — A.G.
10 Music Festivals To Overwhelm 2013
by Michael Fortes
4. SF Offside Festival
Although the SF Offside Festival is in its second year now, it’s still the baby of this list in terms of size, with only eight bands spread across three days. But this relatively small package of music packs a punch, and offers a refreshing shot in the arm to all those who have bemoaned the emergence of established pop, rock, and crossover vocal acts at jazz festivals. With its singular focus on emerging jazz talent in the San Francisco Bay Area, Offside positions the Bay Area region – and the jazz genre – as a living, fire-breathing being that is, if anything, even more exciting today than it was back during jazz’s heyday in the first half of the 20th century. In other words, this ain’t your grandpa’s jazz. Don’t expect to hear tired museum music – be prepared for cutting edge ensembles, hungry young lions, and a bounty of new original compositions. Not only that, Offside has expanded into Oakland as well, bridging a divide between sister cities that, although different in many ways, share a common musical heritage that is impossible to ignore.