Zakiya Harris – “Interplay” and Kids Camp

We met up with local singer Zakiya Harris during the last day of her songwriting Kids Camp at Stern Grove Festival. She spoke about being one of the seven local artists chosen to participate in this season’s “Interplay” local artist commission series, her dynamic sound and band, Elephantine, and more.

She’ll perform her new song this Sunday, August 16 when she opens for Talib Kweli at 2 p.m.

Interplay – Con Brio

We attended a rehearsal with local funksters Con Brio in their Oakland studio to hear the band’s (almost finished) new song “Wings of Love”, which was created as part of the Festival’s local artist commission series, titled “Interplay: Artists In Concert With Nature”.

When front man Ziek McCarter got his first wave of inspiration to begin the commissioned piece, he was – believe it or not – in nature! After a long morning walk the band began throwing ideas around, and they eventually crafted a slow, grooving piece.

But after attending the tUnE-yArDs concert earlier this summer at Stern Grove Festival, both McCarter and keyboardist Micah Dubreuil knew that slow wouldn’t cut it. Their goal is to make everyone in the Grove dance and they created a completely different, high-energy song that will debut on the Stern Grove Festival stage.

Check out the interview and learn more about one of our favorite local bands, who will open for funk legends Morris Day and The Time on Sunday, August 9, 2015 at 2 p.m. at Stern Grove Festival.

Interplay – Bhi Bhiman

We asked local singer/songwriter and guitarist Bhi Bhiman to be part of the Festival’s local artist commission series, titled “Interplay: Artists in Concert with Nature”, in which seven local artists create pieces specifically for the Stern Grove Festival stage.

Bhi feels very comfortable in a place like Stern Grove, which he says reminds him of his hometown, St Louis. He wrote “Going Back Home” as a tribute to the feeling of missing your friends, your family, and everything that makes you feel “home.” For Bhi, his home is now in the Bay Area with his wife and daughter. Listen below to hear a preview of the song and learn about his creative process behind the commission. Come hear Bhi perform it live this Sunday, August 2 at Stern Grove Festival, when he opens for five-time GRAMMY-winning artist, Mary Chapin Carpenter.

Interplay – Kawika Alfiche of Hālau ‘o Keikiali’i

We caught up with kumu Kawika Alfiche of Hālau ‘o Keikiali’i at a Kids Day at Stern Grove, where a group of 100 kids learned the art of hula dance.

Hālau ‘o Keikiali’i was commissioned by Stern Grove Festival, as part of the “Interplay: Artists In Concert with Nature” series, to create a new work to debut this summer. Alfiche and the Hālau are crafting a 30-person hula dance and musical piece that represents both their hometown of San Francisco as well as the natural elements of Stern Grove itself.

Video: Artist Talk with Darlene Love and Ben Fong-Torres

The charismatic singer Darlene Love, featured prominently in the Academy Award-winning documentary, 20 Feet From Stardom, performed at Stern Grove Festival on August 10, 2014. Before the concert, Ms. Love spoke with music journalist and writer, Ben Fong-Torres, about her rise to fame and future plans. If you missed it, here are some highlights from the interview.