Venues compilation summary
- This will make it onto the web shortly, but given the level of interest I
wanted to make it available right away. Please keep sending the tips
-- this is great! --Michael
Many thanks to everyone who contributed to this compilation.
Where known, we list specific requirements for a venue. Absence of
any comment such as `requires demo tape & press kit' doesn't indicate
that one won't be necessary.
Open mic shows are a great place for an informal performance. Have a
look at The Bay Area Open Mic Calendar (http://www.merde.org/calendar/).
Phil DeBar's Human Voice Show: all groups are welcome to sing on
Phil's shows, to publicize gigs, record releases, etc. KKUP is heard
well from Redwood City and Oakland south to San Jose, Salinas, and
Santa Cruz/Monterey. Contact Phil DeBar: phil_debar@..., (707)
544-8738. [Note: A special opportunity on October 15, a Friday
afternoon from 3-6 pm (peak drive time - when people are actually
awake) - there will be a special edition of the Human Voice Show -
let's fill the entire slot (except for inevitable pledge breaks to pay
the rent) with a cappella!!! Let Phil know if you and your group want
to be radio stars!
Hotel Utah: Sound system is not so hot, but great ambience. Contact
Guy, 415-541-0960. (Requires demo tape & press kit.)
Edinburgh Castle: great little room upstairs, seats about 50.
Contact: Ray Wilcox, 415-255-8556 (Requires demo tape & press kit.)
Farley's Coffee house: Vocal-friendly open mic night on the third
Wednesday of every month. Advanced signups, but there's usually room
for walk-ins if you come early. 8-10 PM. It's a great crowd, and is a
good place to make connections, even for reasonably well-established
Union Square in SF is a crowded area with a lot of tourists, but it's
unclear how the police respond to public performances. (Anyone know?)
The Laurel Shopping Center in Presidio Heights has a wonderfully
reverberating central tunnel. Foot traffic is moderate on weekends and
the security guards are reported to have been very friendly to a capp
Espresso Garden: great open mic and gigging venue.
Jazzy Java, a little coffee shop near 85 & Cottle. They have a
performance every once in a while.
Border's Books is a great place to perform. They often have guest
singers. Some groups have drawn huge crowds, as many of the
University-Ave-street-strollers stop by.
Stanford University frequent performances by college groups.
Streetcorner Singing Lytton Plaza, outside of Burger King, is a good
spot to draw a small crowd, esp. in the summer. Weekend nights
typically see a lot of foot traffic, and being near Stanford the crowd
is young and lively.
Jumpin' Java, cafe on Castro Street, has had a cappella performers
[Near San Jose, Campbell has a promising, if not fully realized, historic
Orchard Valley Coffee Roasting Company on the corner of Campbell
Avenue and First, or Second, or Third. Live bands perform there in
the past, and it was a nice scene. A bunch of singers wouldn't be
unwelcome, though they might not get paid. It is internet-savvy: a
couple of web terminals available to rent for surfing.
Freight & Salvage Folk Coffee house, very nice venue with up to 240
seats. Variety of music, including folks, bluegrass. Major local a
cappella groups perform there on a regular basis. Contact Steve Baker
510-548-7603. (Please don't send unsolicited demo tape; call first.)
Ben and Jerry's on Oxford (just below UC Berkeley campus) - informal.
Drop by and ask permission. If people mention they are there for you,
you get some portion of the profits. They also have nights where they
Pasqua Cafe on Center near Oxford - informal. DeCadence reports that
Pasqua let them put out a `hat' for donations.
La Val's Subterranean, 1834 Euclid Avenue near Hearst. Cozy
downstairs venue of popular pizza restaurant has a variety of shows,
including a cappella.
Anna's Place, 1801 University Ave, (510) 849-2662. A wonderful little
cafe with a tiny stage that features live music on the weekends (maybe
even during the week). It seems like it's typically local guitar,
folk, blues, etc.
Mr. E's Jazz Club, 2284 Shattuck Avenue, downtown Berkeley (2 blocks
from Berkeley BART station). (510) 848-2009. SoVoSo has played this
club a number of times.
- UC Berkeley's Sproul Plaza is a great place for an impromptu set.
At Bancroft and Telegraph.
- Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley - can be very noisy, but is crowded and
welcoming to street music
Coordinices (sp?) Park at Euclid and Eunice has a great tunnel for
singing, though this is more of a `for us' performing venue. It's at
least 50' long, running under Euclid, with the entrance viewable from
the basketball court.
Emeryville (right next to Berkeley)
Border's Books will consider a cappella. Venue not as great as Palo
Alto, but you can get a good crowd. Acoustics bad if you sing indoors
The Musician's Coffee House
Broadway Plaza Shopping Center. The Center is outdoors, with
walkthrough plazas. Michael Barkley reports of his old barbershop
group's impromptu show: `the people loved us. Eventually the person in
charge of signing up such talent for the Center approached us and
thanked us for our efforts and invited us back whenever we wish.'
A summer concert series at the Todos Santos Park (The Edlos, SoVoSo
and the Whiffenpoofs have been there in the 1999 season). It's a mid
week lunch venue. The contact is Jim Ocean.
The Willows is a shopping center to consider. There's a gazebo that
people perform at. (Jim Ocean may be the contact.)
Sweetwater: great venue, good walk-in traffic. Contact Sharmon?
415-388-2820 between 1:30-4:30pm. (Requires demo tape & press kit.)
Santa Cruz and South
Kuumbwa Jazz Center: not cheap and often must be booked well in
advance, but it's a great spot with a good sound system.
Poet and Patriot - open Mic Saturdays 4-7.
Places that might be open to a cappella shows:
- The Crepe Place - late night and Sunday brunch live music
- Rosie McCann's Irish Pub and Restaurant - nightly live music
- So Say We - acoustic only and not if there is a performance in the
Dance Gallery that they share space with.
- Moe's Alley - Blues bar
- The Ugly Mug - coffee house
Mobo Sushi - very small stage, bring your own sound system, very bad
acoustics, but live music almost every night of the week!
- Anywhere on Pacific Garden Mall
- The Boardwalk
- Municipal Wharf - has a stage area
- Capitola Mall also has entertainment on weekends, especially in December
- Capitola Village - Art and Wine Festival
Don Quixote - Mexican restaurant
Henfling's Firehouse Tavern
Dvora Yanow runs a series (mostly folk) in San Jose, and they once
hired Artisan. They have an email mailing list and may be interested
in doing other a cappella shows. Contact: DYanow@...
Jim Ocean is the main contact for most alternative music booking in
the Contra Costa Area.
The Bay Area A Cappella E-Mailing List