Serving the San Francisco Bay Area New Music Community

                 
Octopus Literary Salon
2101 Webster St. #170
Oakland CA 94612   
510-844-4120

The Octopus is a literary salon, re-interpreted in the 21st Century to engage and entertain readers, writers, musicians, artists of all ages in Uptown Oakland, California. The Octopus Literary Salon includes a most excellent café with delicious food, beer & wine, a small-scale specialty used and new bookstore (we sell used records too!), and a space for public readings and discussions as well as other literary spontaneity and, of course music performance. We even have a costume closet. Come by and play some records, the piano, eat a sandwich and chat with some nice people.

We think of a salon as "a gathering of people led by an inspiring host, held for amusement and to increase the knowledge of participants through conversation." The salons of the 1800s cited the Roman poet Horace’s aims of poetry, “either to please or to educate.” Today, the salon continues to be interpreted as a meeting place for readers and writers. Combine salon notions with the traditions of a public house or “pub” and we’ve arrived at our own real time “local,” The Octopus Literary Salon.

Our name is inspired by the fascinating sea creature, muse, and symbol used in literature and myth, compelling and multi-faceted. The octopus is highly intelligent, and renowned for its playfulness and shape shifting. The Giant Pacific Octopus is a native animal to the San Francisco bay area so befits a traditional pub name.
https://oaklandoctopus.org/

Upcoming Events:
Wednesday, May 29 2019 9:30 PM
Phillip Greenlief  More...

Friday, June 14 2019 6:30 PM
The Deconstruction of What You Know|Dunkelman/fluke-mogul/NishiS

The Deconstruction of What You Know
--Joshua Allen, tenor saxophone
--Henry Kaiser, guitar
--William Winant, drums
--Kevin Murray, drums

&

Dunkelman/fluke-mogul/Nishi-Smith
--Nava Dunkelman, percussion
--gabby fluke-mogul, violin
--Kanoko Nishi-Smith, koto

Doors at 6:30 | $10 | all ages

The Deconstruction of What You Know:
Joshua Allen has created his own personal language on the tenor saxophone, with an emphasis on polytonal and asymmetrical phrasing, as well as extending the range and sonic ability of the instrument. He does this with constant emphasis and study of the overtone series, and the generation of multiphonics from the application of this process. He is currently teaching Fellowship students at the Brubeck Institute at the University of Pacific. He was born in Berkeley, California in 1972. Like many of today’s prominent musicians, Mr. Allen was a product of the Berkeley public school system, studying saxophone starting at the age of nine under Phil Hardymon. He went on to study with such prominent Bay Area musicians as Bill Aron, Joe Henderson, and Rory Snyder. With his focus squarely on jazz composition and performance, Mr. Allen moved to Southern California in the early nineties to study with Rick Helzer at San Diego State. He became active in the Latin Jazz community, and worked with various musicians such as Dennis Chambers, and Eddie Palmieri. Mr. Allen’s return to the Bay Area in the mid 90s to finish his Bachelors degree at Sonoma State. His association with saxophonist Marco Eneidi led to working relationships with musicians such as Glen Spearmann, Matthew Goodheart, Damon Smith, and eventually Cecil Taylor.

Grammy winner Henry Kaiser is widely recognized as one of the most creative and innovative guitarists, improvisers, and producers in the fields of rock, jazz, world, and contemporary experimental musics. The California-based musician is one of the most extensively recorded as well, having appeared on more than 250 different albums and contributed to countless television and film soundtracks. A restless collaborator who constantly seeks the most diverse and personally challenging contexts for his music, Mr. Kaiser not only produces and contributes to a staggering number of recorded projects, he performs frequently throughout the USA, Canada, Europe and Japan, with several regular groupings as well as solo guitar concerts and concerts of freely improvised music with a host of diverse instrumentalists. Mr. Kaiser was, perhaps, the first recording artist to employ digital looping, on his 1978 albums ALOHA and OUTSIDE PLEASURE.
Evidence of his exceptional musical breadth and versatility can be found in a partial list of the extraordinary artists with whom he has recorded and/or performed: Herbie Hancock, Richard Thompson, David Lindley, Bob Weir, Lukas Ligeti, Michael Snow, The ROVA Sax Quartet, Elliot Sharp, John "Drumbo" French, Raymond Kane, Michael McClure, Bill Laswell, Steve Lacy, Fred Frith, Barbara Higbie, Terry Riley, Jody Stecher, John Abercrombie, Leo Smith, moe., Negativland, Michael Stipe, Terry Riley, Jim O'Rourke, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Sergei Kuriokhin, Zero, Critters Buggin', Diamanda Galas, Sonny Sharrock, Hans Reichel, Chris Cutler, Henry Cow, John Zorn, Andy West, David Torn, Bill Frisell, Joey Baron, Davey Williams, Eugene Chadbourne, Evan Parker, Sang-Won Park, Material, The Golden Palominos, Victoria Williams, Jin-Hi Kim, John Oswald, Glenn Phillips, Toshinori Kondo, John Stevens, Tom Constanten, Kiyohiko Senba, Bruce Anderson, Sang-Won Park, Yuji Takahashi, Jaojoby, John Medeski, Zoogz Rift, Ngoc Lam, Dama Mahaleo, Merl Saunders, Freddie Roulette, Mari Kimura, Harvey Mandel, Danny Carnahan, Robin Petrie, Rakoto Frah, Rossy, Alan Senauke, John Tchicai, George Lewis, Kazumi Watanabe, Peter Brotzmann, Zero, Bob Bralove, Greg Allman, Billy Kreutzman, Jerry Garcia, Miya Masaoka, Miroslav Tadic, Cecil Taylor, Nels Cline, and Amos Garrett.
On the global roots front, Kaiser has made 4 albums of cross-cultural collaborations with Korean musicians Sang Won Park and Jin Hi Kim. He is also known for the 10 albums that he has made with musicians from Madagascar, his many albums of collaboration with musicians from Sweden and Norway, his album with Zimbabwe's Thomas Mapfumo and Wadada Leo Smith, several collaborations with Vietnamese musicians, and his production work on 6 albums of music from Burma, as well as his numerous productions with Hindustani musicians such as Ali Akbar Khan and Brij Bhushan Kabra. Most recently he recorded 2 albums of collaboration with Carnatic musicians from South India, playing together with a Chinese gu-qin player from Beijing and two other American Improvisors.
Kaiser has had a parallel career in the film and television industry for over 35 years, working as a producer, director and soundtrack composer. He directed and produced many hours of science television programming. He received an Academy Award nomination for his work as the producer for Werner Herzog's ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD, he was also the underwater camera and soundtrack composer for that film. Kaiser worked on 3 other Herzog films: THE WILD BLUE YONDER, GRIZZLY MAN, and LITTLE DIETER NEEDS TO FLY.
He is a scientific diver in the US ANTARCTIC PROGRAM. 2012 marked his tenth deployment beneath the twenty foot thick ice of the Ross Sea. Previously he taught underwater research at THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT BERKELEY for 17 years; where he was a an early pioneer in the use of underwater video for scientific research and diver training. Mr. Kaiser has more Antarctic under-the-ice footage in films and tv shows than any other underwater cameraman. With ten scientific diving deployments to Antarctica, he probably has more dives under fast ice than any other professional videographer.

In 2016, William Winant was awarded a large unrestricted grant from the Foundation of Contemporary Arts in recognition for his groundbreaking work as a contemporary percussionist. In 2014 he received a Grammy nomination for his recording of John Cage’s historic solo work, 27' 10.554" for a percussionist, on Micro Fest Records.
He has collaborated with some of the most innovative and creative musicians of our time, including John Cage, Iannis Xenakis, Pierre Boulez, Frank Zappa, Keith Jarrett, Roscoe Mitchell, Anthony Braxton, Fred Frith, James Tenney, Terry Riley, Cecil Taylor, Gerry Hemingway, Mark Dresser, Barry Guy, Marilyn Crispell, George Lewis, Steve Reich and Musicians, Nexus, Charles Wuorinen, Jean-Philippe Collard, Frederic Rzewski, Ursula Oppens, Joan LaBarbara, Annea Lockwood, Danny Elfman/Oingo Boingo, Ashely Fure, Sonic Youth, Marc Ribot, Keith Rowe, Ikue Mori, Joey Barron, Lin Culbertson, Bill Frisell, Yo-Yo Ma, Rova Saxophone Quartet, Lawrence “Butch” Morris, and the Kronos String Quartet.
He has recorded and toured worldwide with his own groups including ROOM, w/Chris Brown and Larry Ochs, CHALLENGE, w/Anthony Braxton and David Rosenboom, WAKE, w/Frank Gratkowski and Chris Brown, the ABEL/STEINBERG/WINANT TRIO, and the William Winant PERCUSSION GROUP.

NYC-based drummer Kevin Murray started his improvised music career as a direct result of a workshop and performance with bassist William Parker in 2012. From 2013-2016 he was a regular member of Sun Ra and Cecil Taylor-veteran trumpeter Eddie Gale’s ensembles, and has also performed alongside Nicole Mitchell, Peter Kuhn, Rent Romus, Darren Johnston, Tom Weeks, Josh Allen, Joel Frahm, gabby fluke-mogul, Aaron Rubinstein, Eli Wallace, Kaelen Ghandhi and others. He has a live album featuring William Parker, Dave Sewelson, and Kaelen Ghandhi that is due out on Gaucimusic this summer. Other projects include Elaine the Singer, a side project of math-rock duo Floral, and now-defunct groups Percentage Bridge, Parhelion, and The Investors.

Dunkelman/fluke-mogul/Nishi-Smith:
Nava Dunkelman/gabby fluke-mogul/Kanoko Nishi-Smith:
Nava Dunkelman is a Bay Area based percussionist and improviser. Born in Tokyo, Japan and raised in a multi-cultural environment by an American father and Indonesian mother. Her musical interests span the globe from Japanese taiko to Indonesian gamelan to American marching band, and from classical to contemporary to the avant-garde. Nava studied percussion under Eugene Novotney at Humboldt State University before attending Mills College, where she graduated with a degree in music performance in 2013 and studied with William Winant, Fred Frith, Maggi Payne, Zeena Parkins, and David Bernstein.
She has performed and collaborated with William Winant, Fred Frith, John Zorn, Ikue Mori, George Lewis, Matmos and many others. She has performed classical and contemporary pieces with the William Winant Percussion Group, Joan Jeanrenaud, San Francisco Girls Chorus, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and others.
She also formed electro-percussion experimental noise duo IMA, and improvisational duo DunkelpeK.
Nava enjoys discovering her own musical language by exploring experimental approaches to communication, progression and space.

gabby fluke-mogul is a violinist, improviser, composer, & educator living in Oakland, CA. gabby explores the depths, infinite sounds, hues, & multitudinous voices of the acoustic violin. through improvising//composing, gfm hopes to create space for individual & collective intersectional process, intimacy, & vulnerability. they are interested in the sensual nature of sound—how desire & eroticism are embodied & translated within the political & poetic context(s) of improvisation.
​gabby holds a BA from Hampshire College (Amherst, MA) in Music & Critical Studies of Childhood, Youth, and Learning where they studied with Rachel Conrad, Marty Ehrlich, Jamie MacDonald, Dan Warner, & Becky Miller and a MFA in Music Performance and Literature with Improvisation Specialization from Mills College (Oakland, CA) where they worked with Pauline Oliveros, Jennifer Wilsey, Zeena Parkins, India Cooke, Fred Frith, Roscoe Mitchell, Kala Ramnath, W.A. Mathieu, & Kara Davis. gabby will complete Pauline Oliveros's Deep Listening Certificate Program in December 2018.
gabby believes in the power of listening, improvisation, babies, children, & kindness. gfm performs with a variety of ensembles & collaborative projects in addition to facilitating community-based workshops & teaching (toddlers-adults) in public, private, & non-profit learning spaces.

Kanoko Nishi-Smith is a performer currently based in SF/Bay Area. Though classically trained on piano, receiving a BA in Classical Music Performance from Mills College, her recent interest has primarily been in performing 20th century and contemporary musical compositions for piano as well as for koto (Japanese 13-string zither), and free-improvisation in various different contexts, with musicians, as well as dancers, poets,
and visual artists.  More...