2023 Contra Costa County Fair opens May 18-21 – schedule of events and activities
See more at Contra Costa County Fair 2023 (contracostafair.com).
See The Curtis Family C-Notes at Yoshi’s Mother’s Day night Sunday, May 14
The San Francisco/Bay Area First Family of Song
Where music is more than just a family affair
Of America’s Got Talent and JCPenney TV commercial fame!
DOORS OPEN: 6:30PM SHOW: 7:00PM
Tickets: $35 General Admission. $69 Premier Seating & Early Entry at 6:00 p.m. – available at THE CURTIS FAMILY C-NOTES – 2023-05-14 – – Yoshi’s – Oakland CA (yoshis.com)
As seen on TV, television commercials and shows like, America’s Got Talent, known to the world as The Curtis Family C-notes, a family band, where music is more than just a family affair, it’s a way of life, with the mother, father, and their five children (Mama C, Papa C, Zahara, Nile, Isis, Kiki and Phoenix). Papa C aka Maestro Curtis, a seasoned veteran in the music industry has produced and performed with icons like Maurice White (Earth, Wind and Fire), played with the Count Basie and Duke Ellington orchestra, to name a few. His wife, Nola Curtis aka Mama C, a seasoned performer in her own right, has made her mark as a vocalist and professional figure skater. Along with their five children have become known as a multitalented gifted band of seven.
The family recently released their debut album, “Awaken”, that was submitted in the first round of voting to the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) by Grammy music director, Larry Batiste, for consideration for Best R&B album of the year. The San Francisco Standard sponsored their CD release party, where Mayor London Breed, community leaders, music industry legends like Lenny Williams of Tower of Power and others were in attendance, in fact, the Mayor MC’ed the introduction of the family that night.
The Curtis Family members are committed community activists who focus on helping seniors, youth and the homeless. The Family has performed for the Golden State Warriors, the San Francisco Giants, America’s Got Talent and for political leaders and dignitaries from around the world. The Curtis Family has the distinction of being dubbed “The San Francisco/Bay Area First Family of Song”. The band was sought out by one of the biggest retail giants in the country, JCPenney, to make a 2021 Christmas Holiday commercial which aired for weeks, both nationally and internationally singing “Joy, Comfort and Peace”. At present the family is being vetted for their own television sitcom by major network and film producers. (See video slide show of some of their work)
Maestro Curtis PhD, and his wife Nola are proud faculty members of the San Francisco Community Music Center where all 5 of their children are also students; they all take pride in being a part of an institution that ensures high quality music education that is accessible to people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, regardless of financial means. (www.sfcmc.org mission statement excerpt)
For more information on this family and its members: www.thecurtisfamilycnotes.com
Yoshi’s is located at 510 Embarcadero West in Oakland. For more information visit www.yoshis.com or call (510) 238-9200
Long-awaited Discoveries and Revivals reprise includes stirring symphony connected to films Alien, E.T., Boss Baby
Geoffrey Gallegos to conduct the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra in Orinda May 21st
On May 21, conductor and music director Geoffrey Gallegos and the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra will reprise a rousing concert following a late-February postponement due to a certain well-known virus. Unwilling to deprive concert-goers of such an enchanting and enriching musical experience, the orchestra offers an encore well worth the twelve-week wait.
The first discovery on the program is a spirited piece entitled Anniversary Overture by the accomplished composer Anthony Doherty, who is an Antioch resident. Doherty’s numerous compositions have been performed around the world and include two notable commissions by Bay Area orchestras.
Also on the program is Max Bruch’s opulently romantic and light-hearted Concerto for Clarinet, Viola, and Orchestra. This rarely performed composition will be a new discovery for some listeners and a revival for others.
The concert will close with Howard Hanson’s lyrical and uplifting Symphony No. 2, also called “Romantic.” Since its premiere in 1930, this work has been performed many times in traditional orchestral settings and then rediscovered, revived, and reconfigured as part of the soundtracks for the films Alien, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, and Boss Baby.
Sunday, May 21, 4:00 pm, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 66 St. Stephen’s Drive, Orinda
Tickets: ContraCostaChamberOrchestra.org or at the door (Adults, $20; Seniors, $15; Students, $7)
About the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra
The Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra is comprised of volunteer musicians ranging in age from teens through octogenarians. Among them are a scientist, lawyer, x-ray technician, engineer, plumber, CPA, physicist, and a graphic designer, as well as sales representatives, students, homemakers, teachers, and artists.
The orchestra’s mission is to provide multigenerational avocational musicians opportunities for lifelong learning, collaboration, and enjoyment while providing high-caliber, affordable entertainment and enrichment to their communities.
Formed in the late 1970s, the orchestra has established a robust presence in the county. The group plays familiar as well as uncommon musical works, often featuring a professional soloist. In addition to performing at the historic El Campanil Theatre in Antioch, the orchestra also plays at the gorgeously remodeled St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Orinda and at special events for residents in Rossmoor. The group also performs annually in a sing-along of Handel’s Messiah at various locations in the county.
The organization is a 501(3)c non-profit and is entirely financially reliant on ticket sales, grants, and contributions from players and audience members. To make a donation, go to www.ContraCostaChamberOrchestra.org/support.
About Geoffrey Gallegos
A San Francisco native and sixth generation Californian, Geoffrey Gallegos has been a fixture in the San Francisco Bay Area music community for over 30 years. From 1985 to 1990, Maestro Gallegos served as Associate Conductor of the San Francisco Chamber Players Orchestra. In 1991 he was appointed Principal Conductor of the San Francisco Concerto Orchestra and continued in that capacity until 1993. He resumed his association with the SFCO from 2000 – ‘06 as Principal Guest Conductor. In 2003, he was engaged as Assistant Conductor of the Peninsula Symphony Orchestra (N. CA) and served in that position until 2008. It was also in 2003 that Maestro Gallegos made his debut with Golden Gate Opera in San Francisco conducting I Pagliacci and was subsequently invited to become Music Director and Principal Conductor. During this tenure he conducted the majority of GGO productions including Gianni Schicchi, The Telephone, Madama Butterfly, Carmen, Suor Angelica, Hansel and Gretel and the world premiere production of Lincoln & Booth. In 2004, following an extensive search, Maestro Gallegos was invited to become Music Director and Conductor of the Kensington (CA) Symphony Orchestra, only the third in the Orchestra’s 44 year history, a position he holds currently. In 2015, following a year long search, Maestro Gallegos was engaged to become Music Director and Conductor of West County Winds, a symphonic wind and percussion ensemble in residence at Contra Costa Community College and serving West Contra Costa County. He was invited to guest conduct the opening of the 49th season of the Diablo Symphony Orchestra (CA) and has also guest conducted numerous ensembles throughout the Bay Area, US and in Europe.
Maestro Gallegos has a deep commitment to music education. In 2001, he was appointed Music Director and Conductor of the Golden Gate Philharmonic, an all-city string youth orchestra in San Francisco that offers an integrated program of orchestral and chamber music performance as well as music theory. More recently, he has assumed the new titles of Artistic Director and Principal Conductor and Acting Executive Director of the GGP. From 2001-2010, he also participated in the Artist in Residence program at the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts (S.O.T.A.) where he served as guest conductor of the orchestra and wind ensembles, and taught music theory and sight singing. During the 2000-01 academic year, Maestro Gallegos was appointed Conductor of the San Francisco State University Symphonic Wind Ensemble. In the summer of 2002 he was invited as a Guest Conductor of the Orchestra at Cazadero Music Camp and was reengaged for the 2004 summer session. From 2007-2010, Maestro Gallegos served as Instrumental Music Coordinator and Liaison at The Nueva School in Hillsborough where, among many duties, he oversaw the prestigious Menuhin/Dowling instrumental music program and organized and managed the Menuhin/Dowling Competition for Young Musicians. Maestro Gallegos has served as an adjudicator for numerous youth competitions, masterclasses and workshops throughout the Bay Area, and was invited to participate as a jury member for the 2014 annual Parade of Orchestras Festival held in Honolulu.
Maestro Gallegos studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Preparatory School and San Francisco State University, completing, with honors, a Bachelor of Music degree in Instrumental Education and Conducting. Advanced studies in orchestral and operatic conducting continued at the University of Iowa School of Music, where he received a Master of Arts degree with High Distinction and served as Conductor of the University Chamber Orchestra. Four times he was awarded fellowships, chosen from a large international pool of applicants, to the prestigious Conductors Institute held at West Virginia University and the University of South Carolina. In 1991, Maestro Gallegos was nominated for the Annual Conductor’s Guild Thelma A. Robinson award. Since 2005, he has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Community Music Center in San Francisco where he began his music lessons on the trumpet at the age of nine. He currently resides in San Francisco with his wife Julie.
“Every Day is Memorial Day” exhibit at the Lafayette Library
Photographs of the Lafayette Crosses by Jeff Heyman
The City of Lafayette’s Public Art Committee has selected “Every Day is Memorial Day,” a collection of nine black and white photographs of the Lafayette Crosses by East Bay photographer Jeff Heyman, for an exhibit at the Lafayette Library’s Public Art Gallery through summer.
“Every Day is Memorial Day” focuses on the somber experience of walking among the Lafayette Crosses, or Lafayette Hillside Memorial, and contemplating the lives lost during war. Heyman found inspiration for the photographs from his own experience in war zones while he served with United Nations Peacekeeping.
The exhibit runs May 4 through August 30, 2023. There will be an opening reception and artist’s talk Monday, May 22, from 6:00-7:00 p.m., prior to the Lafayette City Council Meeting. The Public Art Gallery exhibit is on display in the Don Tatzin Community Hall at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, Calif. For hours, please call the library at 925-385-2280.
First taking photography classes at San Ramon Valley High School in Danville, Calif., Heyman went on to earn a degree from San Francisco State University in Fine Art Photography. He studied under the photographers Catherine Wagner, Don Worth, Jack Welpott and Melanie Walker, and painters Paul Pratchenko and Robert Bechtle. “Every Day is Memorial Day” is Heyman’s third solo exhibit. See his photos here: https://heymanfoto.smugmug.com/Exhibits/Jeff-Heyman-LLLC-Memorial-Day-Exhibit/
“These photographs of the Lafayette Crosses really capture for me the feeling of forgotten wars and vanished lives,” Heyman said. “We should never forget war and those we have lost – in a very real way every day is Memorial Day.”
To view more of Heyman’s work visit his website at heymanfoto.smugmug.com or on Instagram @heymanfoto.
Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra to perform Brits & Brahms at Antioch’s El Campanil April 15
The Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra will perform Brits & Brahms on Saturday, April 15 at 2 pm at the historic El Campanil Theatre in Antioch’s Rivertown. The concert offers a timely message of hope through a captivating three-part musical experience. The orchestra will perform spectacular pieces that explore humanity’s astounding ability to thrive despite hard times.
Tickets can be purchased at ElCampanilTheatre.com or at the door (Adults $20, Seniors $15, Students $7).
The theater is located at 602 W. 2nd Street.
Contra Costa County surveys community for Arts & Culture Strategic Plan
El Condado de Contra Costa Examina a la Comunidad para Planificación de las Artes y la Cultura
By Kristi Jourdan, Office of Communications & Media
What is the future of Contra Costa County’s arts and cultural landscape? As part of the County’s efforts to develop an Arts and Culture Strategic Plan, a survey will be available to residents during the month of April to gather community feedback.
The County has contracted with Arts Orange County as Project Manager to lead the arts and culture planning process. The goal is to guide an arts and cultural planning effort through an inclusive community engagement process that recognizes and respects the geographic and demographic diversity of the County. The process also includes an inventory of the County’s arts and cultural assets, including organizations, venues, and public art.
The survey will be open until April 30, 2023. To participate, visit www.surveymonkey.com/r/NSMSL2B
A Spanish language version of the survey is available at www.surveymonkey.com/r/YJHCQDH
¿Cuál es el futuro del panorama artístico y cultural del Condado de Contra Costa? Como parte de los esfuerzos del Condado para desarrollar un Plan Estratégico de Arte y Cultura, una encuesta estará disponible para los residentes durante el mes de Abril para recopilar comentarios de la comunidad.
El Condado ha contratado a Arts Orange County como Gerente de Proyecto para dirigir el proceso de planificación de las artes y la cultura. El objetivo es guiar un esfuerzo de planificación artística y cultural a través de un proceso inclusivo de participación comunitaria que reconozca y respete la diversidad geográfica y demográfica del Condado. El proceso también incluyeun inventario de los bienes artísticos y culturales del Condado, incluidas organizaciones, lugares y arte público.
La encuesta estará abierta hasta el 30 de Abril de 2023. Para participar, visite www.surveymonkey.com/r/NSMSL2B Una versión en Español de la encuesta está disponible en www.surveymonkey.com/r/YJHCQDH
East Bay: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin Sat. & Sun. March 18 & 19
Dublin’s 39th St. Patrick’s Day Celebration will be held Saturday, March 18 and Sunday, March 19, 2023. The festival activities and entertainment will run 10am-5pm both days and is held rain or shine.
The 2023 St. Patrick’s Day Festival’s visitors will enjoy a variety of events such as:
- Firefighters Pancake Breakfast.
- St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
- Shamrock 5K Fun Run & Walk.
- Food and Drinks – International food stalls.
- Shopping – More than 250 booths selling crafts, food, jewelry and more.
- Carnival Rides & Games – Enjoyment for the whole family.
- Music – Live concerts.
- Entertainment – Irish Music and Dance.
Annual Firefighters Pancake Breakfast
Green pancakes anyone? Enjoy a delicious hot pancake and sausage breakfast served fresh off the griddle by the firefighters from Local 55. The cost is only $5.00 per person and the funds are used to support charitable efforts funded by Local 55. It’s a perfect way to start the morning before finding a seat for the parade or heading over to the festival!
- Saturday, March 18, 2023
- 7:00 a.m – 10:00 a.m.
- Fire Station #16, 7494 Donohue Drive in Dublin
- (At the corner of Donohue Drive and Amador Valley Blvd.)
- $5 per person
39th St. Patrick’s Day Parade
After a hearty breakfast at the Firefighters’ Local 55 Pancake Breakfast, residents and guests can find a spot in Downtown Dublin to watch the Dublin Lions Club St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which begins Saturday, March 18 at 9:30 a.m. The parade kicks-off at Dublin Boulevard and Amador Plaza Road, traveling east on Dublin Boulevard, north on Village Parkway, and west on Amador Valley Boulevard, ending near the Dublin Senior Center. Guests are encouraged to bring their own chairs and blankets to watch from along the parade route. The parade features more than 80 entries, including festive marching bands and floats, Irish bagpipes, local dance troupes, equestrians, and more.
This is a rain or shine event, so be prepared with rain gear in case of foul weather!
2023 Shamrock 5K Fun Run & Walk presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods
Join in the fun and festivities of the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration by participating in the Shamrock 5k Fun Run and Walk. Lace up those running shores, put on your favorite green, and head out to run or walk.
- Sunday, March 19, 2023
- 8:30am race start time
- 1 Mile 5K course.
- Commemorative event t-shirt for all participants registered by March 3, 2023.
- First three finishers in each age group in the Competitive Division will receive a medallion and a Dick’s Sporting Goods gift certificate.
- Open to everyone! Run or walk our 5K route.
- Enjoy a post-race celebration with refreshments, entertainment, and prize drawings!
- Join the over 2,000 participants in this fun event!
- This is a rain or shine event!
The Shamrock 5K Fun Run and Walk is part of the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration which features three stages of Irish music and dancing; over 250 festival booths; and plenty of Irish food and drink!
For more information on the Fun Run including route map, parking and directions, and how to register, please visit the Event Registration Page. For questions, please contact Anthony Calvo at email@example.com.
Other Things to Do at the Festival
Entertainment – Three Stages of Irish Music and Dance! (See schedule)
You’ll find everything from traditional Irish folk music to Celtic Rock and bagpipes performing throughout Saturday and Sunday on two stages. And don’t miss the Irish Dancers performing continuously on the Dance Stage.
Food and Drink – An International Food Court!
An expanded Irish menu will feature corned beef sliders; Irish bangers and mash; Guinness-marinated tri-tip on Irish soda bread; boxty; and, of course, fish and chips! Traditional festival favorites like kettle corn and corn dogs, along with international choices, such as teriyaki chicken and beef kabobs, will also be served.
Shopping – Over 250 Booths!
The Irish Marketplace will feature unique Celtic artwork, Irish tartans, hand knit wool sweaters, shawls, beautiful Celtic jewelry, and more! Other vendors will include arts and crafts booths, commercial vendors, non-profits groups, and sponsors.
Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Irish Tea Cottage
Enjoy lively Irish music along with a steaming cup of Irish tea, served with delicious shortbread and scones. Open Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
For the festival’s program, directions and parking, parade route and more details visit the festival’s website at www.DublinStPats.com.
St. Patrick’s Day Concert in San Ramon Friday night March 17
The San Ramon Community Chorus is performing a free St. Patrick‘s Day Concert on Friday, March 17 start at 7:00pm at the Alcosta Senior & Community Center at 9300 Alcosta Blvd. This annual show will also feature performances by the McBride School of Irish Dance. We hope to see you there!
The Community Chorus is open to those who enjoy recreational singing in a friendly, stress-free atmosphere. We sing familiar tunes from Broadway classics and folk. No experience or auditions are required. Sessions end with a performance (optional participation).
“Return of the Jedi” 40th anniversary celebration at Contra Costa Con 5 Sunday in Concord
Meet the Ewoks, Darth Vader and more at Concord Hilton Hotel; Kids 9 & under are FREE! Plus, FREE parking
Co-promoted by American Brick Builders
Contra Costa Con 5 is coming to Concord this Sunday, Mar. 12, at the Hilton Concord Hotel featuring actors and behind the scenes creators from the Star Wars family celebrating Return of the Jedi 40th Anniversary movie release.
Actors from Return of the Jedi and other Star Wars films on hand at Contra Costa Con 5 include C. Andrew Nelson (Darth Vader), Margo Apostolos (Ewok Tokkat), Kevin Thompson (Ewok Chubbray), Alan Fernandes (Tusken Raider) and David Gonzalez (Ak-Rev–Jabba the Hutt’s drum master).
Adding to their star power is one of the most prominent voice actors of the past 30 years, Mark Dodson. He voiced Salacious Crumb in Return of the Jedi and provided various voices for Ewoks: The Battle for Endor and Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens. Dodson is perhaps best known as the voice of the eponymous creatures in Gremlins and Gremlins 2: The New Batch.
Emmy Award-winning director, writer and producer Kirk R. Thatcher (Return of the Jedi, Star Trek, Spider-Man, Muppets and RoboCop) is part of the behind-the-scenes talents from Industrial Light & Magic at Contra Costa Con 5 that also includes David Carson (Return of the Jedi, Empire Strikes Back), Randy Ottenberg (Return of the Jedi, Star Wars: Episodes I and II), Selwyn Eddy III (Return of the Jedi, Empire Strikes Back, Ewoks: The Battle for Endor) and David Tanaka (Star Wars: Episodes I and IV).
There will be panels with the actors and ILM technical stars at Contra Costa Con 5.
The Rebel Legion Endor Base, Mandolorian Mercs Teren Clan, 501st Legion Golden Gate Garrison and Droid Builders members will come as their favorite Star War characters to meet and have photos taken with fans of the iconic movies.
Toys, art, comics, LEGO, anime, vintage and new collectibles, games, jewelry, apparel and much more will be featured at the family-friendly show hosted by Bay Area Festivals and American Brick Builders.
Contra Costa Con 5 is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with free parking at the Hilton. The first 300 families get a free Toy Bag.
Featured guests enjoy meeting and chatting with attendees. However, the ticket admission price does not include picture, autograph or audio with featured guests.
A free, family-friendly Star Wars Cosplay Costume Contest for attendees awards cash prizes in different age groups. Contest registration will be taken during the day with contest judging at 3 p.m.
New items and collectibles from Star Wars, Disney, Transformers, Funko Pop, LEGO, Pokémon, G.I. Joe, Marvel, DC, Dragon Ball Z, My Hero Academia, Hot Wheels and much more will be available from the wide variety of exhibitors at the show. Posters, anime, art, prints, t-shirts, hats, books, buttons, classic video games, jewelry and cards are featured too.
The Hilton is located at 1970 Diamond Blvd, two blocks off Interstate 680 in Concord. For more information visit www.ContraCostaCon.com.
Tickets for Contra Costa Con 5 are on sale now at www.ContraCostaCon.com. Advance ticket buyers get entered in a free raffle and get a free $2 Shopping Buck at check-in. Children nine and under are free. Presented by Bay Area Festivals and co-promoted by American Brick Builders of Antioch.
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