Arts Listings

Oakland East Bay Gay Men’s Chorus

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:16:00 PM

“Put on your zoot suit and feathered hat!” The Oakland East Bay Gay Men’s Chorus, with Swing Fever and Denise Perrier, is celebrating with its third annual cabaret, Cabaret Zoot Suit, this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, 5 p.m., in the Fellowship Hall of the First Christian Church of Oakland, 111 Fairmont Avenue. 

There will be both cabaret table seating and theater seating in the hall, where the band “will be swingin’” as the audience arrives. A fundraiser intermission will feature a silent auction and cash bar. There’ll be a prize for best period costume. 

Oakland East Bay Gay Men’s Chorus, with musical director Michael Robert Patch, will perform both as full chorus and as Otto Voci, a small ensemble featuring solo vocalists.  

Celebrating their 10th anniversay, OEBGMC was founded by the late Dick Kramer. In April, Mayor Dellums declared June 4 and 5 OEBGMC Days, in honor of their artistry, community and philanthropic work.  

Collaborators Swing Fever have been on the Bay Area bandstand since 1978. Led by San Francisco–native Bryan Gould on trombone, the quintet’s sound is based on tenor sax and trombone harmonies, with guitar instead of piano. “It’s a lovely blend, and less cluttered,” says Gould. “Pianos take up a lot of space, musically.” The group has played both Monterey and San Francisco Jazz Festivals and have recorded four CDs, two featuring famed trumpeter Clark Terry. Their fourth CD features live recording from Freight & Salvage in Berkeley and from Kimball’s East in Emeryville and features Clark Terry, with two other great jazz players, Buddy DeFranco on clarinet and Terry Gibbs on vibes. 

Denise Perrier has been a familiar voice in the Bay Area for 30 years. Her contralto renditions of jazz, ballads, blues and Latin have been heard on a number of CDs, four of her own (including “Live At Yoshi’s: Blue Monday Party”), featuring artists like saxophonist Houston Person and cellist Cash Killion. She’s recorded with organist Jack McDuff and guitarists George Benson and Philip Upchurch. On Monday, June 22, she’ll be performing with the Junius Courtney Big Band at Yoshi’s. 



Oakland East Bay Gay Men’s Chorus with Swing Fever and Denise Perrier, 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday at First Christian Church of Oakland, 111 Fairmount Ave., Oakland. $20-30 and up.