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Yoshi Akiba of Yoshi’s Jazz Club Launches 51Oakland Non-Profit Organization

on July 29, 2012with 0 comments

Benefiting Performing Arts and Music Education in Oakland Public Schools


(Oakland, CA) – Wednesday, July 25, 2012 – Forty years ago Yoshi Akiba and her partners launched the first incarnation of Yoshi’s Jazz Club and Japanese Restaurant. Once a small Berkeley restaurant, Yoshi’s is now recognized for bringing world-class musicians to its Oakland and San Francisco locations, while showcasing an array of local talent. Now, Akiba is expanding her vision to include Oakland youth with the launch of 51Oakland, a non-profit organization in partnership with Yoshi’s Jazz Club, that promotes educational, artistic and musical opportunities for Oakland youth. This weekend the organization will host two all-ages events benefiting performing arts and music education in Oakland public schools. “Oakland children do not have enough opportunity,” she says noting the funding cuts for arts and music programming in the schools. “We want to create opportunities for them that they’ve lost.”

The indoor and outdoor celebration at Oakland’s Toast Wine Lounge will kick-off the two-day community fundraiser on Sunday, July 29th. Hosted by Yoshi Akiba, with a special appearance from Don Reed, the event is from noon to 9pm and will feature live musical performances every hour, on the hour. Attendees will enjoy selections from David Gans (Host of KPFA’s “Dead To The World,” and Sirius XM’s “Tales From The Golden Road”), Kev Choice (keyboardist, composer, band leader, educator), Jordan McConnell (Grammy nominated musician), Cava Menzies Quartet featuring Shawn Whitehorn (keyboardist, educator), OUSD Ensemble, and DJ Jah Styles. Guests can also enjoy a delicious family-friendly menu and participate in a silent auction.

Don Reed, double NAACP Theatre award nominee, writer and Oakland native, revives his critically acclaimed one-man show East 14th: True Tales of a Reluctant Player for day two of fundraising in support of arts in Oakland public schools. The special one night only performance will take place atYoshi’s Oakland on Monday, July 30th. Praised by The New YorkerSan Francisco Chronicle, and East Bay Express, the play explores surprising family dynamics, rebellion, and the complexity of one’s moral compass.

Proceeds from both events go to making sure that Oakland students are afforded the resources and opportunities that will enable them to become the world-class musicians and artists that have been celebrated on the Yoshi’s stage for the last 40 years.

About 51Oakland
51Oakland was established in 2011 by Yoshi Akiba, co-owner of the renowned musical venues, Yoshi’s Oakland and Yoshi’s San Francisco, and Jason Hofmann, a young Oakland-based entrepreneur and former educator who, within the last few years, has become increasingly involved in philanthropic activities benefiting youth.

51Oakland, a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization, is organized and operated solely to promote educational, artistic and musical opportunities for youth in the Oakland community. An advocate of the Oakland Unified School District, 51Oakland provides access to mentoring, nurturing and training by professional musicians and, later this year, will underwrite and organize a monthly concert series, “Live at Yoshi’s,” featuring Oakland’s finest youth talent.


Sunday, July 29, 2012
51Oakland Presents
A Fundraiser Benefiting Arts and Music Education in Oakland Public Schools
Featuring Live Music, Comedy & More!
with Performances by:
David Gans, Kev Choice, Jordan McConnell, Cava Menzies Quartet featuring Shawn Whitehorn, OUSD Ensemble, DJ Jah Styles.
Appearance by Don Reed, Hosted by Yoshi Akiba
Toast Wine Lounge
5900 College Avenue (between Harwood Ave & Chabot Rd, near Rockridge BART)
Oakland, CA 94618
Doors: 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Free admission
All Ages

Monday, July 30, 2012
51Oakland Presents
True Tales of a Reluctant Player
A Fundraiser Benefiting Arts and Music Education in Oakland Public Schools.
Yoshi’s Oakland
510 Embarcadero West, Jack London Square
Oakland, CA 94607
Doors: 8 p.m.
Advance Tickets:
All Ages (Contains some mature language and themes)

Additional Info:

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