Oakland Active Turns 1

The Oakland Active Orchestra will celebrate 1 year together on Tuesday, Oct. 13, in their monthly concert at The Uptown. And Henry Grimes, who happens to be passing through town, will be performing with them.

Normally a rock club alongside a polished, dark-wood bar, The Uptown has been opening its doors to a more avant-garde crowd at least once a month for a couple of years now, hosting the likes of Weasel Walter and Moe! Staiano. (Round of applause.)

For the past year, the Uptown’s jazz/improv nod has gone to the OAO with a free Tuesday concert. To celebrate, the group will perform 12 short pieces by different members.

Saxophonist Aram Shelton convened the OAO after coming to the Bay Area from Chicago. The idea, as he told me during a radio interview, was to provide a way to present composers’ works for a large group. The whole effort, though, hinges on a large group that’s willing to show up, rehearse, and stick to it after the novelty is gone.  The OAO certainly seems to have done all that.

Shelton uses the “Active Music” banner for a variety of shows done in different milieus (is that a word?)  More about all that, and the OAO anniversary show, at activemusic.wordpress.com.

This might be good sly moment to note that Grimes and Roscoe Mitchell are playing in Berkeley on Friday, Oct. 15, at the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT).  Grimes turns 75 this month, so a packed hall would be a nice way to help him celebrate.