Fairs, Festivals, & Fiestas

Malcolm X Jazz Arts Festival

When: Sat., May 30, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. 2009

Free music festivals are a rare treat in Oakland these days. Even rarer are the ones that feature hip-hop emcees and spoken-word poets alongside jazz royalty. The Malcolm X Jazz Festival stands out in particular, both for the amount of latitude it gives to the word "jazz" and the quality of the acts it books. This year's billing includes three of the best tenor players alive. David Murray and Howard Wiley both hail from the East Bay (Murray currently resides in Paris, but returns several times a year); Abraham Burton will fly in from New York City with an electrifying trio that features drummer Nasheet Waits and bassist Eric McPherson. Chicano funk band Fuga! will round out the main stage lineup, showing that jazz is both protean and polyglot. As always, the festival will have a wide variety of food vendors, artisans, and community organizations, along with dancers, poets, ciphers, DJs, graffiti battles, and a Hood Games skateboarding contest. On Saturday, May 30 in East Oakland's San AntonioPark (18th Ave. at Foothill Blvd.). 11 a.m.-7 p.m., free. EastSideArtsAlliance.com

Rachel Swan

Price: free


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