Tag Archives: Pamela Rose

Julia Chigamba and the Chinyakare Ensemble in Berkeley

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Julia Chigamba had been living in Oakland for about three years when she returned home to Zimbabwe in 2003 with a group of Americans who had been studying Shona dance and music with her. Eager for them to experience her culture in context, she brought them to her family village about 10 miles outside of the capital Harare and quickly discovered that much had changed in her absence.

“My family was so excited, they killed the cow and had a big ceremony,” recalls Chigamba, who teaches dance and drumming at schools around the Bay Area. “But when we wanted to show the community dancers no one was doing it any more! In only three years, even the elder women who had led rituals for the village, they were all into Christianity. I had to really talk them into getting out their drums and costumes.”

In much the same way that American popular culture often crowds out local production in countries around the world, Chigamba has found a steady erosion of traditional Shona culture in both rural villages and the capital, Harare. But Chigamba and her family, a cultural force amongst the Shona for generations, are working to reverse the slide. On Saturday, Chigamba and her Chinyakare Ensemble perform at Ashkenaz in a fundraiser for Chigamba Cultural Center, a family compound in Harare where her family teaches traditional rhythms, dances, songs and rituals. … Continue reading »

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Board candidate accuses Capitelli aide of trespassing

Pamela Gray, an aide to Laurie Capitelli, took this photo of campaign signs she said she found in Alejandro Soto-Vigil's recycling bin on Monday.
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A candidate for the Berkeley Rent Board, who is also an aide to City Councilman Kriss Worthington, filed a police complaint Monday charging that the aide to City Councilman Laurie Capitelli trespassed on his property.

Alejandro Soto-Vigil said that his wife saw Capitelli’s aide and campaign manager, Pamela Gray, walk onto his property on Berkeley Way around 3:20 p.m. to look at a recycling bin that was stuffed with campaign signs.

“Pam apparently had gone onto our doorstep and porch looking at things and then she went to the recycling area and pulled out some signs and started taking photos,” said Soto-Vigil.

Capitelli told Berkeleyside that he and Gray were delivering campaign material to Soto-Vigil’s neighbor when they saw that the recycling bin contained campaign signs. Since so many of Capitelli’s signs have been torn up or taken during the election, he wanted to see if any of them were in there. They were not. … Continue reading »

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Arts

Berkeley’s Jazzschool gets star treatment

Susan Muscarella, Jazzschool founder
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The San Francisco Chronicle gave Berkeley’s Jazzschool the star treatment on Sunday, devoting the cover of its pink arts section and seven articles to the 13-year old institution founded by pianist Susan Muscarella.

The Jazzschool, located in the basement of the old Kress dime store on Addison near Shattuck, matches some of the Bay Area’s leading artists with aspiring musicians and adults resurrecting long-held dreams of playing before a live audience.

In any given week, those students put … Continue reading »

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The lunchtime music scene at The Cheeseboard

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For many people living in Berkeley — or elsewhere in the Bay Area — there’s no better pizza than the one served at The Cheeseboard. For 20 years, the Berkeley cooperative has been spinning out pies. There’s never tomato sauce, but there is always some interesting topping, like roasted cauliflower, pesto, butternut squash, feta cheese, pasilla peppers, and more.

The Cheeseboard has a killer music scene, too. There’s always a band playing at lunch and a different … Continue reading »

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