UpSurge!
Friday, September 28, 2012, 8:00 pm (doors open at 7:00 pm)the power of poetry, the pizzazz of jazz $20.50 advance / $22.50 at doorPurchase tickets online
September 28 8:00 pm

UpsurgeUpSurge! is poetry. UpSurge! is jazz. It's the love of language blended with the power of fascinating rhythms and funky grooves. The BerkeleyPatch calls the group "a unique fusion of eclectic jazz and provocative poetry that reaches deep into the soul." The City of Oakland honored the group with an official proclamation, thanking them for twenty years of celebrating "Oakland’s beauty, people, culture, and music," as well as for "striking spiritual, emotional, and intellectual chords within us all." The City of Berkeley declared its own UpSurge Day — "for contributions to the City of Berkeley and beyond."

Poets Raymond Nat Turner and Zigi Lowenberg make up the metaphors, sling the similes, and paint the word pictures, accompanied by piano, horns, drums, and bass. Raymond grew up in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. Zigi grew up in the New York borough of Queens. Raymond founded UpSurge! in 1990, and Zigi soon joined him on stage. With imaginative compositions, innovative arrangements, and in-your-face commitment, their eclectic ensemble mixes jazz and poetry with politics, and freely adds musical flavors from klezmer to calypso. Their influences range from Amiri Baraka to Walt Whitman, Gil-Scott Heron to Bertolt Brecht. They've played jazz festivals from Monterey to Ghana, and released two albums, All Hands on Deck, which earned an Indie Award nomination from the Association for Independent Music in 2000, and Chromatology.

For an evening of fearless poetry and swinging jazz, a unique, cutting-edge mix of music and the spoken word, catch UpSurge! at the Freight.

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Listen to a track from Upsurge:

 

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Listen to sample tracks from upcoming artists.