New Jazz Series in Oakland

Saxophonist Jacob Zimmerman pinged me a couple weeks ago about a series of monthly, Sunday evening shows at Actual Cafe in Oakland near Berkeley. The next installment is tonight, June 19, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

The Actual Jazz Series is indeed billed as jazz, and it’s drawing from the pool of players around Berkeley’s Jazzschool. But a quick glance at their Web site, which includes sound files of some sets in their entirety, shows that some abstract, not-so-Sunday-evening stuff is part of the mix, too.

They’ve set up a blog (linked above) that previews each month’s programs with some links to artist pages and sound samples. The June 19 show is listed here.  A guitar duo of Noah Phillips and Chuck Johnston will start, followed by Bristle, a drummerless quartet led by saxophonist Randy McKean. Both acts seem rather out-there; this should be really interesting stuff.

I have not been to Actual Cafe yet (and Google Maps apparently shows you the boarded-up building that Actual hadn’t occupied yet). But I already like them, because — and this is something to note for Sunday’s concert — they don’t allow laptops on the weekends. (And they’ve got some pretty good reasons. I support their decision.)

Due to Father’s Day, I can’t make tonight’s show, but I’m hoping to get the July installment, curated by trumpeter Erik Jekabson, on my calendar. That’s going to be more straight-jazzy and should be quite nice. Support local jazz and the venues that are kind enough to host it!

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