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Returning in 2023

Oakland’s magnetic Art + Soul festival, celebrating local spirit, style, creativity, and pride, takes place every summer. The annual assemblage of world artists that call Oakland home will bring together the people of America’s most diverse and culturally exciting city to honor its rich musical heritage.

This year marks the 20th Anniversary celebration and live concert featuring the world-premiere of “Blues, Baroque, and Bars: From The Streets To The Symphony,” a new musical suite from legendary vocalist The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol. This powerful new work traces the story of Black people in America through the blues - the story of a people and an art form holding the history of Black America from the slave ships to the cotton fields to segregation to the present day. Featuring world-renowned drummer Dennis Chambers of Parliament/Funkadelic, Oakland's own MC RyanNicole bringing the bars, and a dynamic baroque string quartet, Blues, Baroque & Bars expounds on the blues, bringing together jazz, funk, R&B, classical and hip-hop to tell stories of triumph, sadness, romance, injustice, protest, humor, and resilience. “Blues, Baroque, and Bars: From The Streets To The Symphony” is created with funding from a Hewlett Foundation 50 Arts Commission.

Rounding out the Plaza Stage will be Oakland native and classically-trained pianist, emcee, composer and bandleader Kev Choicemulti-talented rapper/singer/songwriter and Oakland treasure Jonah Melvon; and three-time Grammy nominees, Oakland’s own Alphabet Rockers.

The Clay Street Stage will be headlined by the West Coast Blues Society Caravan of All Stars and also feature emerging Gospel artists Pastor Bo Jackson and Sounds of Life, J-Red, and JaCoree Prothro and The Crew; Future Rising: Oakland Public Conservatory of Music Alum and Faculty; and a participatory Community Dance Party led by Carla Service, founder of Oakland’s Dance-A-Vision.

And of course, the festival will offer lots of great food, beer, wine, artisans, and tons of fun for the entire family!