Oakland Art & Soul Festival 2004 – Labor Day Weekend


OAKLAND, California (August 1, 2004)—The City of Oakland, in partnership with Albertson’s, revealed plans to host the largest Art & Soul festival ever. Held in beautiful, re-energized downtown Oakland over Labor Day weekend September 4th–6th, 2004, this year’s festival features an all-star lineup of 60 bands with the biggest headliners to date. Celebrating their 20th anniversary, Los Lobos headlines on Sunday (in association with KFOG 104.5/97.7). New parent (along with actress Kate Hudson) Chris Robinson is on Sunday’s schedule as well. Jazz Grammy winner Norman Brown takes the main stage on Monday (in association with KBLX 102.9 FM). He follows the amazing Brian Culberstson with Michael Lington. In this election year, Art & Soul gets started Saturday with Presidents of the United States of America (in association with LIVE 105).
Los Lobos is one of America’s most distinctive and original bands. They blend rock, Tex-Mex, country, folk, R&B, blues and traditional Mexican music into their unique graceful, gritty sound. Their new album, The Ride, finds Los Lobos joined by friends like Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Bobby Womack and Mavis Staples. Also featured on Sunday’s Plaza Stage will be former Black Crowes frontman Chris Robinson who has just released his second solo project entitled This Magnificent Distance and Mindy Smith who seamlessly blends big city sophistication with the passion of classic country and folk.
Presidents of the United States of America were the surprise success story of the post-grunge alternative scene in Seattle. While other bands worked with screeching guitars and heavy angst, the Presidents loaded up on humor, writing short, simple punk songs brimming with fun-filled goofiness. They headline the main stage on the festival’s opening day. Sharing the stage on Saturday is amazing rap vocalist Lyric’s Born whose growling sing-speak uses every vocal trick possible, and My Chemical Romance whose loud, fast and aggressive music is built on a strong base of wonderful melody.
Closing out the Art & Soul festival on Monday with the traditional helping of smooth jazz is Grammy winner Norman Brown. His brilliant After the Storm album spent more than two years on the charts, but his magnificent live performances have made him the crowd-pleasing king of contemporary jazz guitarists. Talented young composer, arranger, keyboardist and trombonist Brian Culbertson with Michael Lington precedes Brown as does Oakland’s own Ledisi who owns a voice and style that can take your breath away.
Four stages offer simultaneous talent and diversion from 60 bands including local favorites Tony! Toni! Toné!, Jeff Narell, the Oakland East Bay Gay Men’s Chorus and the Oakland Jazz Choir. The Bay Area Blues Society runs continuous blues acts all three days at the City Center Blues Stage and the Oakland World Dance Festival features continuous dance performances throughout the festival at the 12th and Broadway Stage. Full Festival Schedule to Date (check back for updates)

Art & Soul has great music, but that’s not all. The festival features art exhibits, artisan booths and an eclectic array of food reflecting the rich cultural diversity found in the Oakland—the most diverse city in America. There is an expanded Family Fun Zone jam-packed with interactive activities for children of all ages, as well as kid-friendly carnival games, inflatable bouncers and hands-on activites to create their own art to take home.
In addition, Art & Soul proudly presents the Oakland Literature Expo, a program designed to spotlight Oakland’s literary heritage, promote literacy and showcase well-known and emerging authors. Saturday offers Oakland’s children and youth poets, as well as self-publishing and First Amendment panels. Sunday has a writer’s workshop, excerpts from Domestic Crusaders by Wajahat Ali, and the prestigious American Book Award presentations. Monday is dedicated to Literature without Borders covering literature, poetry and spoken word stories from around the world.
Special exhibits this year include ArtEsteem, the Crucible Demonstration and the remarkable Voices of Civil Rights, which features a life-size lunch counter and delves into the real voices of people who lived through the fight for civil rights in the South as well as comments from today’s activists and leaders.
Art & Soul takes place in downtown Oakland on Saturday, September 4th, Sunday, September 5th, and Monday, September 6th from 11 AM–6 PM centered in Frank Ogawa Plaza and City Center, encompassing 10 city blocks. Admission is $5.00 per day. (12 and under free.)
Art & Soul is directly accessible on BART from the 12th Street/Oakland City Center Station. (BART information: www.511.org or dial 511 on your telephone.) Or take AC Transit to downtown Oakland, 14th & Broadway. (AC Transit information: www.511.org or dial 511 on your telephone.
Art & Soul is presented by the City of Oakland and Albertson’s. Major sponsors include San Francisco Chronicle, CBS 5/UPN 44, LIVE 105, KFOG 104.5/97.7 FM, KBLX 102.9 FM, Port of Oakland, Trendwest, Horizon Beverage/Budweiser, Stonyfield Farms, and City Center/Shorenstein.
For more information on Art & Soul including vendor and sponsor opportunities, log onto www.artandsouloakland.com or call (510) 444-CITY.
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Media Contacts:
Michael Coats (707) 935-6203 or michael@coatspr.com
Lance Cutler (707) 996-5980 or lctoon@earthlink.net
Samee Roberts (510) 238-2136 or sroberts@oaklandnet.com

3 Responses to “Oakland Art & Soul Festival 2004 – Labor Day Weekend”

  1. lance cutler says:

    Run Dates:
    Now through September 6, 2005 Media Contacts:
    Michael Coats,
    Coats Public Relations
    (707) 935-6203
    Harry Hamilton,
    City of Oakland
    (510) 238-2107
    Labor Day weekend:
    September 3-5, 2005
    City of Oakland’s 5th Annual Art & Soul Festival
    11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
    Frank H. Ogawa Plaza/City Center/14th & Broadway, downtown Oakland
    Admission Fee: $5; children 12 and under free.
    City of Oakland’s 5TH ANNUAL ART & SOUL FESTIVAL
    The Bay Area’s best new festival returns! Three big days of live rock, blues, jazz, gospel and more on four concert stages. Fifth anniversary festival blends exciting national and local acts with extraordinary cultural diversity in art, poetry, music and food. Stroll through eclectic artisan booths. Sample delicious, exotic foods. Children of all ages revel in the festive Family Fun Zone. Listen to readings by acclaimed authors. Admission: $5 per day; children 12 and under free. http://www.artandsouloakland.com or (510) 444-CITY.
    # # #
    Editor’s Note: This is an initial calendar listing. A more detailed release with headliners and other event details will be issued later.

  2. l says:

    i just checked the calendar, is chris robinson playing on sunday after all? i’m trying to decide whether to drive to cali or not…

  3. j. torrence says:

    You need to change the price back to $5.00 and move the changes back to last year.
    I didn’t like this years festival.

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