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Oakland trying to change image with May 25 concert at Lake Merritt

by Lynda Carson (newzland2 [at]
Concert To Be Held At Lake Merritt In Hope Of Changing Oakland's Tarnished Image!
Concert To Be Held At Lake Merritt In Hope Of Changing Oakland's Tarnished Image!
Oakland trying to change image with May 25 concert at Lake Merritt

By Lynda Carson - May 25, 2024

Oakland, CA - Oakland is trying to change its tarnished image with a Saturday May 25, free concert at Lake Merritt, which includes SambaFunk, Jazz Media, and the Oakland School for the Arts Jazz Combo. Located at the Lakeside Park, Edoff Memorial Bandstand (Lake Merritt) from 1:00PM to 4:00PM.

Reportedly for the Saturday May 25, free concert, “SambaFunk! is an Oakland-based Cultural Arts organization residing in the historic Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts. Under the Artistic Direction of Theo Aytchan Williams - aka King Theo - SambaFunk! brings a unique rhythmic spirit of soulful drumming and funky movement to diverse audiences. Through classes and performances, the organization’s goal is to present accessible pathways to African centered Art and Culture in an effort to build strong, well communities. At the May 25 Love Our Lake launch event, SambaFunk! will form a lively procession to open the festivities, followed by an energetic on-stage drumming and dance performance.

Jazz Mafia

In the year 2000, trombonist, bassist, composer, arranger, and producer Adam Theis co-founded Jazz Mafia – an eclectic artist collective of forward-thinking and accomplished players in Electro, Hip-Hop, World, Classical, and Jazz. Twenty years in the making, Jazz Mafia is a prolific staple of the quintessential Bay Area sound, uniting creative and accomplished area instrumentalists, vocalists, MCs, composers, and arrangers. The collective quickly garnered a reputation for its collaborative and risk-taking spirit, and over the years has worked with Roy Ayers, Lyrics Born, Zion-I, Rebelution, Latyrx, Galactic, Ledesi, Blackalicious, and Jackie Greene, to name a few. Recently, the collective performed sold out residencies at the SFJAZZ Center, collaborated with the Oakland Symphony at Paramount Theatre of the Arts, and also curates musical experiences for Stanford University, Art & Soul Oakland Festival, and many other presenters.

Oakland School for the Arts Jazz Combo

Oakland School for the Arts (OSA) is a diverse and inclusive public grade 6-12 charter school that blends immersive, robust arts education with comprehensive academics, providing integrated opportunities for collaboration, expression and personal growth. The OSA Jazz Combo emanates from one of the top jazz and music programs in the Bay Area. Students perform in school ensembles as well as local organizations like Oaktown Jazz Workshops, SF Jazz All Stars, and Oakland Eastside All-Stars. Many of the students even have their own bands and perform locally and on tour. Musical influences range from straight ahead Jazz, to Afro-Cuban, Jazz Fusion, to R&B and Hip-Hop, and Bluegrass.”

Oakland has a tarnished image of violence, mail carrier robberies, car theft, robberies of stores or restaurants, crime, shootings, murders, and slumlords, including landlords charging Rolls Royce prices in apartments located in areas with Ghetto like conditions.

As recent as May 23, 2024, in my neighborhood in Oakland, the mail carrier was robbed around 2:30PM, near 10th Avenue, and East 19th St., and the armed robber/s got away with the keys to the mailboxes of the local apartment buildings. Meanwhile making matters worse, Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, is moving as quickly as possible to dismantle the postal system, as we presently know it.

Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, of Greensboro, NC, is apparently a rabid Trump and Republican campaign contributor.

(Updated in 2019) the Executive Branch Personnel Public Financial Disclosure Report: Periodic Transaction Report (OGE Form 278-T), for Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, is very revealing of his activities. See link below…

Extremely High Rents In Oakland:

Additionally, reportedly according to, “As of May 2024, the average rent in Oakland, CA is $2,023 per month. This is 33% higher than the national average rent price of $1,516/month, making Oakland one of the most expensive cities in the US. When you rent an apartment in Oakland, you can expect to pay about $1,628 per month for a studio, $2,023 for a one-bedroom apartment, and around $2,609 for a two-bedroom apartment. If you opt for a three-bedroom rental, you could pay $3,491 or more.” According to RentCafe, the average rents in Oakland are $2,553 per month.

The Festival at the Lake (Lake Merritt):

The Festival at the Lake (Lake Merritt), a street festival including live concert music, was active from 1982 to 1997, however it was discontinued in 1997 due to violence, and other issues or problems that occurred through the years.

During June of 1994, reportedly in the Washington Post, on June 6, 1994, 77 people were arrested after trouble began when a huge crowd of people gathered after the end of a music festival at the Festival at the Lake, at Lake Merritt, in Oakland. “News reports said at least 15 people were injured in what police described as a "full-scale riot" in Oakland, across the bay from San Francisco, according to the Washington Post article.”

During November of 2023, reportedly a body was found in a suitcase at Lake Merritt.

According to CNN in 2024, “Rising crime risks turning Oakland into a “ghost town.”

As an example of some of the crime going on, reportedly at Cybelles pizzeria in Oakland, it has been targeted four times by robbers, and the employees have had to fight back. Other restaurants in Oakland have also been robbed, with some of them being robbed repeatedly.

And according to Wikipedia, “Oakland has been consistently listed as one of the most violent large cities in the nation,” and there have been problems with the Oakland Police Department through the years.

Lynda Carson may be reached at newzland2 [at]

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