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3-28-08 Novoscene Weekend

Posted by novoscene on March 28, 2008

Friday, March 28

Julie Dexter

When Atlanta based soul singer Julie Dexter brings her honey dipped voice to Maxwell’s tonight, lovers of laid back crooning and summery beats are in for a show. Fans of broken beat, house and left field soul have known Dexter’s sound for a minute and with any luck the Birmingham born soul singer will catch a little mainstream love this year.
Although she’s been singing, writing and running her own label – Ketch-A-Vibe Records- for nearly 15 years, the Atlanta based singer’s original music fits in closely with the Goapele, Jill Scott, India.Arie school of earthy, “concious” artists that have gained wider attention in the last few years. Over the years she’s released 9 albums and provided vocals for everyone from
Courtney Pine to the BBC’s Giles Peterson. Dexter’s newest album, 2007’s Moon Bossa is, as the name suggests, dripping with smooth bossa nova rhythms courtesy of bassist Khari Simmons and brings instant thoughts of afternoons on the beach with the breeze blowing through the palm trees.
Dexter’s sound is airy and measured and she her simple scats and easy voice float over most music without overpowering it. This talent has made her a favorite with broken beat, house and bossa nova producers and since her 1997 album with jazz duo J-Life, her collaborations have included dance floor and lounge hits with big names including Fertile Ground, IG Culture and Naim Thomas, who produced 2002’s classic Like Ours.
If you’re in the mood for some sweet sounds with a helping of feel good soul tonight, this show’s the place to be. Bring someone to snuggle with and your beach blanket.
Julie Dexter
Maxwell’s Lounge
341 13th St., Oakland

Saturday, March 29

Sam Lopes

Tonight blankspace hosts a reception for the new solo show by nationally recognized mixed media artist Sam Lopes.  Sam’s most recent work chronicles the “life” of an empty Gothic Victorian house for which he is a caretaker. Lopes’ colorful photographs, multilayered drawings and paintings are laden with a variety of objects, worn by history and the memory of unknown occupants. Whether it be mounted animal heads, shotguns hanging from the wall, or vacant chairs resting on colorful swirling rugs, these images carry the weight of past events in search of a place in the present. Each painted room serves as a physical and psychological landscape, representing both an unseen history and vibrant subconscious.

Sam Lopes
6608 San Pablo Ave, Oakland

Jodi Picault reads from Change of Heart

Jodi Picault is living the life that a lot of writers dream about-Creative Writing degree from Princeton, 19 commercially and critically successful books under her belt,nearly all bestsellers,  three of her novels have been adapted for television and 2004’s My Sister’s Keeper is being made into a big budget studio film due out next year.  Over the course of her 16 year career, Picault has found the sweet spot between literary respect and mainstream success.  And as much fun as it is to hate on mainstream genre authors who sell books in the John Grisham, Dan Brown and the Steven King stratosphere, Picault’s writing ain’t half bad.   Her stories look inside the classic suburban family and at all the problems bubbling behind the white picket fences.  Her latest book Change of Heart is a story of redemption and love full of the customary Picault twists.

Jodi Picoult
Cody’s Bookstore
1730 Fourth Street, Berkeley

Sunday, March 30

Rudy Mwongozi and SONWA

If you were a fan of the Java house during one of it’s incantations and miss the laid back jazz poetry vibe the popular coffee shop exuded, the New Earth Artist’s Cafe should be on you radar.  The cafe hosts regular concerts and performances with top notch musicians and you never know who stop by for the Monday night jam sessions.  The cafe is currently in the second week of an 8 run concert series and tonight’s performers are local afro jazz heavyweights Rudy Mwongozi and Sounds of New World Africa Trio.  Mwongozi’s sound has been described as being like “listening to Duke Ellington or Thelonious Monk at the 5 Spot in New York” as he blends classic jazz standards with African Drumming and more experimental  elements.  Spoken word poet Paradise hosts and sits in with the band. 

Rudy Mongozi and SONWA
New Earth Artist’s Cafe
2008 Park Blvd, Oakland


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