City Center Unplugged featuring Nancy Wright and the Rhythm and Roots Band
Celebrate your summer with City Center Unplugged, a Friday evening outdoor music series featuring an array of local bands.
Save those Friday evenings — June 11 through August 27 from 6:30 – 8:00pm — for dinner at one of City Center Bishop Ranch’s many restaurants. Grab an outside table, enjoy a leisurely dinner, and catch some of the tunes that will be filling Alexander Square.
Each Friday’s music will have its own rhythm and beats, with everything from retro to rock, Brazilian to blues, Latin to salsa, and of course a good dollop of jazz. You just might find yourself dancing your way back to the car. And setting the tone for a fine weekend.
Alexander Square, at City Center Bishop Ranch
7/23/21 Jules Leyhe
It’s hard to find a true blues guitarist in today’s musical landscape, but that’s exactly what you get with Jules Leyhe. Armed with a degree in Guitar Performance from the esteemed Berklee College of Music and with the soul of a musician three times his age, Leyhe combines classic blues guitar with modern electronic instrumentation and creates a sonic mesh you’ll surely feel in your core. Named one of Guitar Player Magazine’s 12 Players of Christmas in 2014 as well as the Bay Area Blues Foundation’s All Stars in 2015, Leyhe has already shared the stage with many of Blues’ greatest talents – including Buddy Guy, Fantastic Negrito, Charlie Musselwhite, Chris Cain, Jimmy Vivino, Barry Goldberg, Nick Gravenites, Elvin Bishop, and Maria Muldaur.
7/30 Sophie Pecora
8/6/21 Nancy Wright and the Rhythm and Roots Band
One of the most highly respected, in-demand sax players on the blues, Americana, and R&B scene, Nancy Wright stepped forward in 2009, releasing four critically acclaimed solo albums and receiving five consecutive Blues Music Award nominations and a Living Blues Artist of the Year nomination. Seasoning from decades of “sideman” work (including John Lee Hooker, Elvin Bishop, Joe Louis Walker, and Tommy Castro) is evident. With stunning command of the tenor sax, a fat-rich tone and warm vibrato, she utilizes growls, sputters, honks and high-note wails while never losing sight of the strong melodies at the core of her trademark emotional soloing.
8/13/21 Nora Stanley
Nora Stanley is a Bay Area-based Saxophonist and Composer. She grew up in Berkeley and attended Berkeley High School’s prestigious jazz program as well as various conglomerate programs such as SFJAZZ High School All-Stars, Jazzschool and Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble of SF. She is a graduate of Oberlin College and Conservatory where she was fortunate to study with Gary Bartz and Billy Hart. She has shared the stage with Ambrose Akinmusire, Eddie Henderson and Dayna Stephens among others and has performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival, SFJAZZ and abroad in Cuba, Spain and Brazil. Stanley leads multiple bands of her own, developing a unique repertoire of original music, and also plays around with some of the Bay Area’s finest musicians. Her influences range widely from West African and Afro-Latin music to Straight-Ahead Jazz to Rock and R&B.
8/20/21 Michelle Lambert