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Past Events


08.04.12 - Wintertime Carousel with SF's the Midwest Quiet - $5 - Doors at 7pm

Saturday, August 4th
Doors at 7:00 pm
$5 at the door 

Wintertime Carousel is the newest project in Simon Adler’s development as a songwriter. Simon Adler, born and raised in Eau Claire, Wisconsin now resides in Eugene, Oregon, studying at the University of Oregon. Here he has experimented with sounds and musical ideas that have coalesced into a new musical project, Wintertime Carousel. Wintertime Carousel combines reverb soaked guitars, simple drumbeats, solid bass lines, slides, and vocal harmonies creating a unique indie folk rock sound.

The Midwest Quiet was formed in 2010 in San Francisco by Craig Ness (the band’s only full time member). The songs are shaped by a patented recipe of his personal experiences including: an Ohio upbringing, a fondness for Mancunian music, and the natural surroundings of Northern California.


08.03.12 - First Friday: Art & Soul Preview Concert - Free - 7PM

Friday, August 3
7:00 pm

You don’t have to wait until the Art & Soul Festival opens Saturday afternoon to get a taste of what’s in store for our all-new street party featuring amazing music, an epic new art show, late night dance party and fun for all! 

In conjunction with Art Murmur, we’ll be hosting a FREE Art & Soul Pre-Party.  Catch live music from Oakland’s own Anita Lofton Project and Australia’s Rosie Burgess Trio. Heading to Art Murmur that evening? Ride the free Broadway Shuttle (runs until 1AM on Fridays) from the galleries directly to Awaken Café. 

Oakland-native Anita Lofton, formerly with the popular punk/rock group Sistahs in the Pit, “traded in her Marshall half-stack and Epiphone semi-hollow body casino for a microphone and an Epiphone acoustic guitar.” She’s still got rock in her blood and this talented singer will be offering up her neo-soul acoustic stylings with a band that includes violin, cello, upright bass and drums. 

Folk-festival favorites around the globe, The Rosie Burgess Trio slides effortlessly from folk to blues to gypsy-roots and back, and offers up “more energy than an illegally sparked firecracker” [Drum Media, Sydney]. Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, they bring their unique brand of folk roots, catchy harmonies and offbeat humor to kick off one of the top 12 “must-see summer festivals” in Northern California as proclaimed by the San Francisco Chronicle. 

Nothing goes with great music like great food! Options will include Awaken Café, which serves excellent coffee, lighter fare and desserts and the popular Liba Falafel mobile food truck. 

The Art & Soul pre-party happens in the heart of Oakland’s burgeoning Midtown Arts District – which includes Pro Arts, Oaklandish, Joyce Gordon Gallery, Bittersweet Cafe, NNEEKA and Oakland’s newest pop-up store, lOAKal, a mixed-use gallery curated by Ken Harman of Spoke Art. lOAKal in association with the East Bay Express and local designers from fiftyseven-thirtythree. 

Art & Soul Oakland 2012 is brought to you by the City of Oakland and East Bay Express, with our Friday night pre-party hosted by Awaken Café! 


08.03.12 - Coffee Cupping by Fourbarrel Coffee - Free - 10am

Friday, August 3rd
10:00 am

Similar to wine tasting, coffee cupping allows you to compare and assess the complex taste, smell, and mouth feel of specialty coffees.  An expert from Fourbarrel Coffee will be in the house cupping all of the single origin coffees we offer for sale.  Join us for this fun free event.




Naked Thursdays

Every Other Thursday
Thursday, August 2nd
7 pm 

This is a special opportunity to witness a night of amazing musicianship for NO COVER! Awaken Cafe is great and cozy new music venue in downtown Oakland. If you have not been, this will be a great night to check it out.

Renowned Indian Classical musicians Steve Oda (sarode) and Tim Witter (tabla) come together for this highly anticipated concert at the Awaken Cafe in Oakland. This is a part of a series of shows hosted every other Thursday by guitarist Tom Lattanand.

This is a special opportunity to witness a night of amazing musicianship for NO COVER! Awaken Cafe is great and cozy new music venue in downtown Oakland. If you have not been, this will be a great night to check it out.



Late Night Art

Wednesday August 1st
6 - 10pm
Tickets: $25 - $30
entrance fee includes the workshop, art supplies, and a three-course menu of delicious local dishes courtesy of the magical culinary duo: Jocelyn Jackson and Keri Keifer. (There will be a 2 drink minimum at the bar: tea, beer, wine, and other non-alcoholic drinks available) HAPPY HOUR from 6-7PM!

A unique social art and dining experience.

LATE NITE ART it is an evening of collaborative art-making, ambient music, to-die-for food and insightful discussion. In a few words, it’s a social art experience. With our theme of “Awaken” LATE NITE ART 3 will explore our dreams, subconscious thoughts, and the tinted glasses we use to create our own reality. We are always waking up and going back to sleep, dipping in and out of reality and dreams. What happens when we truly awaken? 

LATE NITE ART is a facilitated workshop that encourages you to work in free form. You can expect to meet interesting people, swirl around some tasty alcoholic beverages in your mouth, and treat your taste buds to some delicious eats. Come join us in thought-provoking discussion on what it means to create in collaboration.

Menu: First Course: Sweet corn and rosemary soup with candied zucchini, served with a bruschetta grossini

Second Course: Roasted tomato and summer vegetable crostata with a padron brochette, served with spicy mixed greens and rainbow carrots in a light vinaigrette

Third Course: Stone fruit clafoutis with a blackberry coulis

Given that we can only accommodate a maximum of 22 people, we require your confirmation in advance to guarantee you a seat.

We ask you to respect the time frame allotted for the event - 6.00PM - 10.00PM. This is an immersive experience that begins and ends with the same amount of people  no tardies and no early departees!

(Also a little note on policy, there are no refunds/extensions!) 

Check out our video here:




Mercury Falls is Patrick Cress, alto and baritone sax;  Michelle Amador – vocals;  Roger Riedlbauer, electric guitar;  Eric Perney, electric bass and drummer Tim Bulkley. The quartet brings years of experience in jazz, folk, pop, experimental, electronic and world music to Quadrangle, an album with seven interconnected tracks that flow together like a suite. The music can suggest West Coast cool jazz, the sounds of a tropical forest, experiential indie rock and the dark, creaky rhythms of a passing carnival, but doesn’t really sound like anything you’ve heard before.

This is a CD release event that should not be missed! All proceeds go to the performers to help raise funds for their next awesome release!

The cafe’ will be open until 11pm.


RUSTY STRING EXPRESS w/ Kim Kenny and the Otherlys

8 PM

Soulful Acoustic Strings and Voices at The Awaken Cafe on July 28!  The Rusty String Express is local favorite playing an exciting range of Irish, Gypsy Jazz, Pop and Old Time favorites.  Kim Kenny and The Otherlys blend blues, soul and bluegrass, weaving songs that celebrate love, loss, foolish abandon, release and mercy.  Together for the first time, these two bands will make your toes tap and your heart sing!  Tickets 8 dollars in advance, 10 at the door.




8 PM

Oliver steps out from behind the bar to rock some blues with his band, Smokin’ Dynamite!  Led by legendary bluesman Clifton Burton on harmonica and vocals, this band goes great with a cold beer.




7 PM

It’s Trivia Night the way we originally intended - with LIVE MUSIC AND TACOS!  Bueno Eats will be on hand making homemade tacos, Smokin’ J’s will be rockin’ homemade jams, and Oliver will be challenging your craniums with homemade trivia questions!  Bring a team or come and join one - its a blast!





The East Bay’s premiere literary showcase features the haunting vocal loops of BROOKE DABALOS, the sublime naughtiness of MG ROBERTS, the passion of SEAN LABRADOR Y MANZANO, the street smart engine known as CASSANDRA DALLETT, the deadpan gut and jaw of JOEL LANDMINE, the knee melting heat of MAISHA Z.JOHNSON, the heartbreaking dark humor of JOHN PANZER and the sheer heart of JASON SCHEINHEIT.