Fairs, Festivals, & Fiestas

3rd Annual Frederick Douglass Day/Alternative 4th of July Celebration

When: Fri., July 3, 6 p.m. 2009

Oakland will never suffer for lack of against-the-grain Fourth of July fetes. One of the best is Oakland Public Conservatory's annual Frederick Douglass Day Celebration, which pays homage to the famed 19th-century abolitionist rather than to soldiers of the Revolutionary War. This year's event features Upsurge! Jazz Poetry Ensemble, a group that sets two spoken-word poets against a horn and rhythm section, so that the music behind them underscores the musicality of their language. Local actor Michael Lange will make a special guest appearance, alongside poet and activist Cesar A. Cruz. The show caps off with a performance by the conservatory's own Frederick Douglass Youth Ensemble, under the direction of saxophonist Steven Turner. Friday, July 3, at Oakland Public Conservatory of Music (1616 Franklin St.). BBQ served at 6 p.m., $12. OPCMusic.org

Rachel Swan

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