Tony! Toni! Tone! Kick Off 8-Show Hometown Concert Series Tonight At Yoshi's Oakland

Posted by Billyjam, December 19, 2014 01:04pm | Post a Comment

It's only fitting that Tony! Toni! Toné!, who back in the day along with En Vogue and MC Hammer led Oakland's thriving urban music scene, would hold down a eight concert, four-night residency at their hometown club of Yoshi's Oakland - starting tonight, December 19th, through Monday December 22nd. The internationally successful neo soul RnB group scored such hits as "Little Walter" off their 1988 debut album Who? and a string of hits of their hugely successful follow-up album, 1990's The Revival that spawned the hits including "Feels Good," "It Never Rains (In Southern California)," "Whatever You Want," and "The Blues." As group members pursued individual projects - most notably Raphael Saadiq and the hard working D’Wayne Wiggins who has collaborated with countless artists over the years - the group's popularity as a whole slowly waned and they stopped working together as a group.  But then a decade ago the Tonys regrouped sans Raphael Saadiq when Wiggins and Timothy Christian Riley, along with their cousin Amar Khalil performing lead vocals, got the group back together and started touring. In addition to excitement to shows such as their hometown series that kicks off tonight at Yoshi's Oakland there is also much anticipation for the new Tony! Toni! Toné album (the first since 2011's Icon) getting ready to drop that features collaborations with such stars as Beyonce Knowles, Keyshia Cole, Rhymefest, and Slick Rick.   

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51Oakland Presents Don Reed's "East 14th" to Benefit Oakland Schools

Posted by Billyjam, July 28, 2012 02:21am | Post a Comment
Oakland born-and-raised comedian Don Reed, whose built a rep for his work on HBO, the Cosby Show, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, will be doing a special one-off performance of his renowned one man show East 14th: True Tales of a Reluctant Player at Yoshi's in Oakland on Monday July 30th. The critically acclaimed, funny but poignant show, that has the distinction of being the longest running one man show in Bay Area history, will benefit Oakland Public Schools Music & Arts Education thanks to the 51Oakland organization.

East 14th
's storyline is described by its producers as chronicling the true tale of a young man raised in Oakland by his mother and ultra-strict stepfather as a middle class, straight A, God-fearing church boy. The boy, however, wanted to be just like his dear old dad. Too bad he didn't know dear old dad was a pimp. And yet we find even the outlaws in our community have a moral compass that leads our most promising to higher ground and higher education. This week I caught up with writer, director, performer Reed to ask his long-running popular play, his stand-up work, East Oakland, and the state of the East Bay school system today.

You have said that you were at first reluctant to do a show like East 14th: True Tales of a Reluctant Player because it is so close to you & your personal life. But once you did it on stage was it a cathartic rewarding (or other) experience?

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