Sights & Sounds is your weekly guide to the Bay Area arts scene. Classical and jazz singer Tiffany Austin, who's playing the role of Harriet Tubman in Harriet's Spirit, told KALW’s Jen Chien about three fantastic arts events happening around the Bay this week.
- Nelson George and Rickey Vincent In Conversation — Moe's Books on 1/12
- Big Boi — 1015 Folsom on 1/12
- Black Comix Arts Festival — multiple venues in San Francisco 1/13-1/15
Nelson George and Rickey Vincent In Conversation, 1/12
Bestselling author and screenwriter on HBO's The Get Down, Nelson George will be sharing his new novel, To Funk and Die in LA in conversation with legendary Berkeley funk historian, Rickey Vincent. Together they will explore the roots of funk and its influence on the noir genre at Moe's Books in Berkeley. This event starts at 7 p.m. and is free to attend.
"I'm just a real big fan of the way that [Nelson] put together that program, so my interest is piqued! I'd love to read the books and see what he has to say about the music."
Big Boi, 1/12
Outside his primary roles as partner to André 3000 in OutKast, and as one of the central members of the Dungeon Family, Big Boi has released two albums as a solo artist — and he's currently touring his most recent record, Boomiverse, across the country. Paste Magazine's Nastia Voynovskaya called Boomiverse "an exuberant record that dabbles in different subgenres of hip-hop to emerge with a crisp, cohesive final product that stays true to Big Boi’s roots while cultivating an up-to-date sound. With Outkast collaborators Organized Noize handling the majority of the album’s production, Boomiverse is steeped in the classic Southern sound that predated what we know as trap music today. The album is far from the work of a legend resting on his laurels; instead, its inventive and genuinely fun sound makes a compelling case for why, 20 years after his debut, we should still be paying attention to Big Boi." Tickets are available online.
"I think that as artists, I love how daring both he and Andre have been ... They've always been on the leading edge on pushing the craft of hip-hop."
Black Comix Arts Festival, 1/13-1/15
BCAF celebrates black creativity in comic art. There’s film screenings, cosplay, and lots of panels with guests such as Brandon Thomas, who writes Horizon, and Jewels Smith who writes (H)Afrocentric comics. BCAF is a festival of the Northern California Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Foundation and is part of the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebrations in San Francisco. In 2015 USA Today's editors and readers selected BCAF as one of the ten best art festivals in the U.S. BCAF is free and open to the public. Events will be held at the Main Branch of the San Francisco Public Library and City View at Metreon.
"I don't know very much about black comics! So this is going to be an education ... so I'm ready to go to all of the events. I'm geeking up right now."