8th Annual Comcast Art & Soul Oakland Festival

Art and Soul Oakland 2007 173

OAKLAND, California (July 2, 2008)—The City of Oakland announced headliners and featured performers for this year’s 8th Annual Comcast Art & Soul Oakland. Thanks to guaranteed stellar lineups, abundant parking, easy BART access and the bargain price of just $10 per day, Comcast Art & Soul Oakland has been named the Bay Area’s “best annual cultural event” by Oakland Magazine. The SF Weekly added, “Art & Soul is dialed in to practically everything that makes Oakland great.” Held in beautiful, re-energized downtown Oakland over Labor Day weekend August 30, 31 and September 1, 2008, this eighth annual celebration features an eclectic all-star lineup of 60 national recording artists and hot Bay Area bands sure to please every musical taste.
Comcast Art & Soul Oakland gets off to a running start on Saturday with Oakland’s own fast-rising pop-punk band, The Matches (in association with LIVE 105). The band is known for incendiary live shows mixing pop, rock and punk styles. The sure to-be-well attended Indigo Girls headline Sunday (in association with KFOG 104.5 FM/97.7 FM.) The Grammy award winning Indigo Girls have used their tight harmonies and impeccable musicianship to become one of America’s most popular folk/rocks acts. R&B powerhouse and Grammy winner Stephanie Mills headlines Monday’s show (in association with KBLX 102.9 FM.). Mills shot to fame on Broadway in the Tony award winning smash musical The Wiz.

The Matches anchor the main stage on opening day. Renowned for energetic live shows, their unique brand of punk-folk and country creates socially conscious impassioned anthems. Sharing the main stage on Saturday are The Wombats whose humorous pop-punk is based on danceable indie-rock hooks. Filling out the main stage for the day are the hip-hop sounds of the Bay Area’s Zion-1 with their sharp poetics and original production and Port O’Brien whose new album The Wind and the Swell has been called “a rich and original collection of catchy and brainy folk-pop.”
Grammy Award winners The Indigo Girls feature two distinct musical personalities: Emily Saliers brings a gentle, musically complex spirituality and Amy Ray adds her singer/songwriter punk rock flavor. The resulting music is accessible, moving and true and has garnered the group a huge, rabid and loyal following. (Groups rounding out Sunday’s Main Stage will be announced at a later date.)
Capping Comcast Art & Soul Oakland on Monday, soul/R&B diva Stephanie Mills brings her powerful vocals to the ever-popular KBLX 102.9 FM stage. Starring in The Wiz on Broadway, she became known as the “little girl with the big voice.” She has since become one of the most recognized R&B singers with mega hits such as “Never Knew Love Like this Before.” Also on the lineup are, Rose Royce the great soul-funk band from Los Angeles featuring tight funk jams and horn heavy musical arrangements. Keeping with Art & Soul tradition, the famed Walter Hawkins commands the Gospel Stage backed by a a strong lineup of the Bay Area’s most electrifying gospel groups.
Comcast Art & Soul Oakland delivers six stages offering simultaneous talent and diversity from 60 bands. Many of the stage lineups are still being formalized, but the acts are diverse and wonderful. One of jazz’s greatest vibraphonists, Bobby Hutcherson plays Saturday, with his innovative four-mallet playing. Also playing Saturday is Ray Obiedo who is from Richmond, California and brings his smooth jazz guitar sound to Oakland. Miko Marks adds her sultry voice and country guitar to liven up the Culture Jam Stage.
The ever popular Oakland Blues & Heritage Stage features terrific acts like Cleveland Jones and his Temptations Review, the mellow blues of Billy Dunn whose new album My Feet Is Achin’ is a hit, or the classic, original blues of Oakland’s own “Big Cat” Tolefree. The Culture Jam Stage brings an eclectic mix to the party from Jennifer Johns and her other-worldly heavyelectromagneticsoularpoeticjunglerap to the uniquely sophisticated guitar stylings of Legally Blynd. The World Dance Festival will present three days of the Bay Area’s hottest troupes showcasing a variety of dance expressions including traditional/heritage, world and new generation (hip hop). The exciting Latin Stage is back all three days featuring Cuban Salsa practitioner Fito Reynoso on Sunday. Featuring different styles of Latin music each day, the Latin Stage always generates hip-shaking dance moves from the crowd.
Comcast Art & Soul Oakland has great music but that’s not all. A family paradise, the festival boasts the largest Family Fun Zone of any festival in the Bay Area, complete with kiddie rides, children’s entertainment and free festival admission for ages 12 and under. The ever-expanding Family Fun Zone is jam-packed with interactive activities for children of all ages, as well as kid-friendly carnival games, inflatable bouncers and hands-on activities to create their own art to take home. In addition, dozens of local food and wine purveyors will sample tasty treats and beverages at the Oakland’s Own Expo. Every year, Comcast Art & Soul Oakland features hundreds of art exhibits, artisan booths and a mouth-watering array of food reflecting the rich cultural diversity found in Oakland—the most diverse city in America.
The 8th Annual Comcast Art & Soul Oakland is Northern California’s most accessible festival offering direct service from BART (12th Street – Oakland City Center Station) and free parking for thousands of cars. Last year more than 70,000 people enjoyed three sensational days of music, food, fun, dance and art in beautiful downtown Oakland. As Samee Roberts, City of Oakland Director of Marketing points out, “Art & Soul has burst onto the scene as Northern California’s multicultural mecca of music, art and food with the most wonderfully fun, diverse festival crowd you will find anywhere!”
The 8th Annual Comcast Art & Soul Oakland takes place in downtown Oakland on Saturday, August 30, Sunday, August 31 and Monday, September 1, 2008 from Noon–6 PM. The festival is centered in Frank Ogawa Plaza and City Center, encompassing 10 strollable city blocks. Admission is $10.00 per day at the door; $5 for seniors and youth 13 to 18, and 12 and under free.
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) (http://www.comcast.com) is the nation’s leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services. With 24.7 million cable customers, 14.1 million high-speed Internet customers and 5.2 million voice customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of broadband cable networks and in the delivery of programming content.
For more information on the 8th Annual Comcast Art & Soul Oakland, log onto www.ArtandSoulOakland.com or call (510) 444-CITY.
# # #
Media Contacts:
Michael Coats (707) 935-6203 or michael@coatspr.com
Lance Cutler (707) 996-5980 or lance@winepatrol.com
Harry Hamilton (510) 238-2107 or hhamilton@oaklandnet.com

Leave a Reply