BIRDLAND Jazzista Social Club ~ Reborn
|Onstage: the charming neon sign with the blinking yellow bird|
|The new sign outside the North Oakland site|
Mike's dream is to form a musical community around a neighborhood, in this case, North Oakland, with services that appeal to concert-goers and benefit the locals. The beginning phase of this "neighborhood music scene" that will "reinvent the entire neighborhood like Austin's music scene," includes six businesses along a five-block stretch of Martin Luther King Jr. Way - Marcus Bookstore, MLK Cafe, Ray's Barbershop, The Fruit Basket, Gallagher's Liquors and Micro's Market - offering free music on Fridays and Saturdays from 9pm to midnight. Taking advantage of these day-businesses after hours, the opening weekend included such diverse genres as blues, samba, bossa nova, West African, neo-Soul, Jazz and Cuban music. Conversely, during the day, the 2700-square-foot Birdland building will be open as a retail space, selling Mike's one-of-a-kind birdhouses as well as offering dance and music classes. He hopes to open the cafe component by Thanksgiving.
Birdland's proximity to the MacArthur BART station is important; Mike has plans to include British Taxis, pedi-cabs and a Thai tuk-tuk that will be available for hire, to transport people from Birdland to BART or their vehicles (there is a spacious parking lot adjacent and ample street parking).
Mike's vision is about community-building. Billed as the "Bay Area Arts & Music Project" (BAAMP), he says, "it can't just be about us," and hopes the neighborhood will become known as, "the Bay Area music district." I attended two concerts in the series at the charming Marcus Bookstore, the oldest black-owned bookstore in the United States, with its striking exterior murals and beautiful, interior leaded-glass (created by the owner's brother and offered for sale). Being in a bookstore late in the evening for an original music concert is inspiring and interesting, and allowed browsing between sets for my next read. Blanche Richardson, co-owner of Marcus Bookstore, said of Birdland, "I think what they're doing is great. It really instills a sense of community."
Check it out, by clicking here: BIRDLAND WEBSITE
***If you are interested in an insider's description of the original Birdland, read this interesting and info-rich post on Culture Spy Blog (of East Bay Express) by the eloquent and obviously, seriously cool, Simma Lieberman.*** Below her post, is my own. ***
SCROLL DOWN, just below Bibliography -OR- click here ---> Simma Lieberman
Birdland Jazzista Social Club. September 27, 2014 <http://birdlandjazz.org/>.
Martersteck, Paula. "Birdland Jazzista Social Club Hopes to Establish an Oakland Music District." Culture Spy. April 18, 2014. September 27, 2014 <http:www.eastbayexpress.com/CultureSpyBlog/archives/2014/04/18/>.
***** Simma Lieberman post about Birdland on the Culture Spy Blog: *****