Coffee Roasted By

Online Ordering
Best Cafe '13, '14, '15, '17, '18

Get email updates.
Search our events.
Like us. Follow us. Rate us

Past Events


12.14.12 - O.I.M. Presents: Urban Backwoods Showcase - $5 - 7pm

Friday, December 14

OaktownIndie Mayhem Presents: Urban Backwoods Showcase:

“Ain’t no love in the heart of the city”, or so Bobby Bland sings on his hit tune, and this always seems true. Sprawling concrete streets and buildings frame the daily struggle and strife often seen in our city homes. But deep in the urban framework, if you look hard enough, you can find trees, animals, bodies of water, grass, and maybe a little love. These “Urban Backwoods” provide the perfect backdrop for songwriters to find deep and emotional inspiration. On December 14 three of these gifted urban story tellers will take the stage at Awaken Cafe.

Alison May

With the first chord struck and the first note sung, Alison May’s resounding presence silences audiences to a low murmur, eliciting the “I can’t believe that voice just came out of her” reaction before commanding the complete attention of the room. This scene plays out effortlessly night after night as Alison takes to the mic with songs from her eloquent debut album Earnest Keep. 

Yonat & Her Muse

Yonat and her Muse, fronted by Yonat Mayer, are a trio that draw inspiration from the beautiful hills that surround Oakland. 

Aerin Monroe

Heartbraking describes Aerin Monroe’s music as the sibling he’s never had. You can hear this intimate relationship he has through his recordings, through his voice, and through his caramatic live performances. 


12.13.12 - Naked Thursdays: Tom Lattanand and Doppler Trio - Free - 7pm

Thursday, December 13

The Doppler Trio

The Doppler Trio is definitely fun. This tenor sax, upright bass and drum set trio sets out to play music that has the drive of rock, the harmonic and melodic vocabulary of jazz, and the joy of a backyard BBQ with good friends, skateboards, sunshine and plenty of food and beverage. The music is written and performed with the intent of bringing every listener along for the wild ride.

Tom Lattanand

Keeping alive the blood, beauty, and desire in his music and playing, Tom Lattanand expresses a unique voice as a guitarist, composer, song writer, and producer. His 2011 release, the entirely instrumental solo guitar album Stone Seat View, is a fluid, cohesive piece—combining the raw unpredictability of emotion with the felt sense of patterns in nature: rings, whorls, knots.



12.12.12 - Wednesday Night Jazz Series: Crow Crash Radio - Free - 7pm

Wednesday, December 12th 

Crow Crash Radio pilots a flying saucer deep into the unconscious of American roots music, producing an ambience that is both dreamy and driving: a form of retro-futurist instrumental rock. Crow Cash Radio are: Brian Strang (guitar), Andrew Joron (theramin), and Mark Pino (drums).

Crow Crash Radio


12.11.12 - Board Game Night - Free - 7pm

Tuesday, December 11

Every Tuesday Night! Bring your own board game or play ours.  We have Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit, Settlers of Catan, Scrabble, Apples to Apples, Scategories, and Cranium.

Game Night - Awaken Cafe


12.08.12 - John Ettinger Group & Ornettology - Free - 8pm 

Saturday, December 8th 

John Ettinger

“Despite releasing three acclaimed CDs over the past decade featuring some of jazz’s most accomplished improvisers, John Ettinger is one of the East Bay’s best kept musical secrets. The El Cerrito violinist gained a good deal of attention in 2006 with “Kissinger In Space,” an album as strange, wondrous and amusing as its title. He’s mostly been out of sight since the release of his last CD, 2008’s beauteous “Inquatica” with Pete Forbes on drums, piano, and banjo, a multi-tracked improvisational duo session marked by his judicious use of space and a haunting version of Hoagy Carmichael’s “Stardust.”” - Source: 

The John Ettinger Group is: John Ettinger - violin; Jon Preuss and Myles Boisen - guitars; Todd Sickafoose - bass; and Lorca Hart - drums.


A powerhouse band consisting of top bay area musicians, Ornettology plays terrific arrangements of the music of Ornette Coleman. 

Oenttology is Steve Adams (Alto Sax), Myles Boisen (Guitar), Kim Cass (Bass), Jim Ettinger (Violin), John Finkbeiner (Guitar), Philip Greenlief (Tenor Sax), John Hanes (Drums), Darren Johnston (Trumpet)


12.07.12 - First Friday: Gamelan X with Sam Rogers, Classical Revolution and Winnie Christian - Free - 7pm

Oakland Art Murmur
Friday, December 7
Artist Reception 7pm to Midnight 
7 pm -
Winnie Christian 
8 pm - Classical Revolution
9 pm - Sam Rogers 
10:30 pm - Gamelan X

Four live groups:  Gamelan X, Sam Rogers, Classical Revolution and Winnie Christian

Gamelan X Gamelan - Noun: A traditional instrumental ensemble of Indonesia, typically including many bronze percussion instruments. X - Adjective: Absolutely Amazing

Gamelan X

Drawing its inspiration from the clove and incense scented air of Bali, Indonesia, Gamelan X, “The Bay Area’s own Funkadelic of ethnomusicology” (SF Guardian), explores the sonic landscape of contemporary beleganjur gamelan to offer a wildly unique expression of both East and West.

From the resonating sound of the gongs to the explosive drum beats and interlocking cymbals, Gamelan X remixes the ritual of a Balinese procession with a decidedly west coast twist.

The ebb and flow of the energy of a performance will transport you on a journey that will take you from dancing ecstatically, through moments of reflection and wonder.

Gamelan X will be transporting Downtown Oakland’s crazy First Friday street party all over the world and back December 7 at 10:30pm for a FREE blast of culture and dancing. As usual the cafe will be stocked with amazing beer and local wines!

Sam Rogers

Sam Rogers is called “The One Mouth Band” for good reason: he makes all the sounds of a band using only his mouth, and with the precision/feel of a seasoned musician. A finalist in the 1st US Beatbox Championships, & the 1st solo act to compete (and win!) an a cappella competition. Based in San Francisco, Sam happily astounds & inspires audiences from Sydney to Sao Paulo to Salzburg to Singapore.

Classical Revolution

Classical Revolution founded on November 12th 2006 at Revolution Cafe in the Mission District of San Francisco. In the past 5 years, they’ve presented over 700 chamber music events in more than 90 Bay Area venues, with the goal of bringing live chamber music to our neighborhoods, making it an open, accessible, and fun musical experience for the community. They bring orchestral groups to not so orchestral spaces. Just like our cafe! Classical Revolution will be presenting the Lyrical String Duo featuring Stephen Osserman on guitar and Lucia Conrad on Violin! 

Calling Winnie Christian “adorable” would be an understatement. It would also be missing the point. This girl is talented! She sings fearlessly and with a style all her own. Oh and she’s 14. Yeah. What are you doing with your life? Just kidding, but in all seriousness, we’re pretty sure Christian is going somewhere so check her out at the cafe for Free before having to pay $40+ a ticket. 

Douglas Truth

An art reception for the AMAZING California artist Douglass Truth will also be taking place 7pm - Midnight for his brand new works!


12.06.12 - Tails Across Borders Kickoff Fundraiser - $30 adv/$35 door - 6:30pm

Thursday, December 6th
6:30 pm
$30 advance
$35 at the door
Tickets & Info :

This event marks Tails Across Borders’ (TAB) first kickoff fundraiser! TAB is a nonprofit devoted to rescuing unwanted dogs and cats from local kill shelters and providing funds for a struggling veterinary program in Yelapa, Mexico. 

Guests will enjoy an evening of live jazz and original music by virtuoso guitarists Danny Heines, Tom Lattanand, and vocalist Audio Angel, wine and beer (1 drink included with ticket fee), light bites, and wonderful raffle and silent auction items.

Tails Across Borders


12.05.12 - Wednesday Night Jazz Series: Jesse Levit - Free - 7pm

Wednesday, December 5th

Jesse Levit

Jesse Levit started playing the saxophone and piano at the age of seven. By the time he was sixteen, he was playing gigs around the Bay Area and had recorded on two CDs, Oaktown Jazz and Pocketized, with Oaktown Jazz Workshops under the direction of Khalil Shaheed. At seventeen, Jesse was chosen from a nationwide pool of entrants to play lead alto in the SFJAZZ High School All-Star Band where he performed with Gonzalo Rubalcaba, and later that same year was selected as lead alto for the Monterey Jazz Festival High School All-Star Band, where he toured for three weeks around Japan and ultimately shared the stage at the Monterey Jazz Festival with Wynton Marsalis. The next year, Jesse attended Cal State University Hayward and was featured on the CD Excursions, recorded at the prestigious Skywalker Sound. Since then, he has split his time between Oakland and New York City, and has toured extensively around the world playing in numerous cruise ship orchestras on six continents.


12.04.12 - Winnie Christian with the Smooth Pandas - Free - 6pm

Tuesday, December 4th

Winnie Christian

Calling Winnie Christian “adorable” would be an understatement. It would also be missing the point. This girl is talented! She sings fearlessly and with a style all her own. Oh and she’s 14. Yeah. What are you doing with your life? Just kidding, but in all seriousness, we’re pretty sure Christian is going somewhere so check her out at the cafe for Free before having to pay $40+ a ticket. 

The Smooth Pandas

The Smooth Pandas seem to love to cover songs with virtuoso vocal performances. And that’s perfectly okay since they can pull it off. Friends of Winnie Christian (around the same age too), this band is talented beyond their years and it shows.  


12.03.12 - JC Villafan, Ian Franklin & Infinite Frequency, and Brian McShane - Free - 7pm

Monday, December 3rd 

JC Villafan

Bluesy, Soulful, Smooth and incredibly catchy. JC Villafan knows how to craft a song and knows how to deliver it. His silky smooth voice and incredibly slick guitar playing blend together to create an exciting showcase of raw talent.  

Ian Franklin

Ian Franklin jumps and tumbles over a funkiliciously punchy rhythm section provided by his band, Infinite Frequency. Franklin and his band slap so hard you might fall down on the dance floor… watch out!

Brian Mcshane

A product of the burgeoning philadelphia music scene, Brian Mcshane’s songs combine his love of singer/songwriter storytelling with classic R&B/soul musicianship, which he ties together seamlessly with his one-of-a-kind voice.