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San Francisco

Led by composer/pianist, JooWan Kim, Oakland based Hip-Hop orchestra Ensemble Mik Nawooj creates metamusic by sampling principles from the Hip-Hop and Classical genres.

Since 2010 Ensemble Mik Nawooj has attracted some of the most excellent classical musicians and MCs in the San Francisco Bay Area while gaining national attention.

 

Their new album “Death Become Life” is available today. Some of the music on the album deconstructs iconic classical repertoire - works by Beethoven, Bach, and Mozart - given the JooWan Kim treatment and featuring, of course, the ensemble’s MC: Sandman. 

 

The album release is accompanied by 5 live performance music videos, and a virtual release party in collaboration with Asian Art Museum x Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. The videos were filmed at the museum and feature turf dancers and Ensemble Mik Nawooj in the exhibitions.

 

JooWan Kim and Sandman joins us.

David K. Randall is a senior reporter at Reuters and The New York Times best-selling author of "Dreamland" and "The King and Queen of Malibu."

For Chinese immigrant Wong Chut King, surviving in San Francisco meant a life in the shadows. His passing on March 6, 1900, would have been unremarkable if a city health officer hadn’t noticed a swollen black lymph node on his groin: a sign of bubonic plague.

Empowered by racist pseudoscience, officials rushed to quarantine Chinatown while doctors examined Wong’s tissue for telltale bacteria. If the devastating disease was not contained, San Francisco would become the American epicenter of an outbreak that had already claimed ten million lives worldwide.

In "Black Death at the Golden Gate: The Race to Save America from the Bubonic Plague," Randall shares this little known story of an avoided epidemic.

Vanessa Hua is a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and the author of a short story collection, "Deceit and Other Possibilities." For two decades, she has been writing, in journalism and fiction, about Asia and the Asian diaspora.

In her new novel, "A River of Stars," Scarlett Chen is far from her native China, where she worked in a factory and fell in love with the owner, Boss Yeung -- holed up with other mothers-to-be in a secret maternity home in Los Angeles. Now she’s carrying Boss Yeung's baby. Already married with three daughters, Boss Yeung is overjoyed because the doctors have confirmed that he will finally have the son he has always wanted. To ensure that his child has every advantage, Boss Yeung has shipped Scarlett off to give birth on American soil. U.S. citizenship will open doors for their little prince.

As Scarlett awaits the baby’s arrival, she chokes down bitter medicinal stews and spars with her imperious housemates. The only one who fits in even less is Daisy, a spirited teenager and fellow unwed mother who is being kept apart from her American boyfriend.

Then a new sonogram of Scarlett’s baby reveals the unexpected. Panicked, she escapes by hijacking a van - only to discover that she has a stowaway: Daisy, who intends to track down the father of her child. The two flee to San Francisco’s bustling Chinatown, where Scarlett will join countless immigrants desperately trying to seize their piece of the American dream. What Scarlett doesn’t know is that her baby’s father is not far behind her.

If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life? It is the question at the center of Chloe Benjamin’s new novel, “The Immortalists.”

Four siblings find out and keep the dates secret from one another, but their prophecies inform their next five decades.

Live Music @ Opalka presents John Vanderslice on Saturday, September 29 at 8 p.m. Located on the Sage College of Albany campus, the live-acoustic set is part of Vanderslice's Living Room Tour, a house and small venue tour that the California-based musician is on this late summer into the fall. The tour is facilitated by Undertow Music.

Vanderslice is a singer-songwriter, record producer, and recording engineer and is the owner and founder of Tiny Telephone, an analog recording studio with locations in San Francisco Mission District and North Oakland.

Lauren Yee
laurenyee.com

  New York Stage and Film and Vassar College’s Powerhouse Theatre presents an Inside Look Workshop of Lauren Yee’s new play, The Great Leap July 7-9.

The play is set in San Francisco in the Spring of 1989.  Manford Lum, locally renowned on the sidewalk basketball courts of Chinatown, talks his way onto a college team, just before they travel to Beijing for a "friendship" game.  His background is a mystery, but he can sink 100 free throws in a row, so who cares?  When they arrive, China is in the throes of the post-Cultural Revolution era, and Manford must juggle international politics and his own personal history.

The art of hula is thriving in cities all over the country and the world, but it is not always understood.

In The Natives Are Restless, journalist Constance Hale presents the largely untold story of the dance tradition, using the twin keyholes of Kumu Patrick Makuakane (a Hawai‘i-born, San Francisco–based hula master), and his 350-person arts organization (Na Lei Hulu i ka Wekiu).

In the background, she weaves the poignant story of an ancient people and the resilience of their culture. In the foreground, she tells the story of an electrifying new form of hula that has emerged from a restless generation of artists like Makuakane.