XUXA SANTAMARIA, Russell Butler: Live Musical Performance
A diverse selection of Bay Area musicians activate Recapturing Memories of the Black Ark
Saturday, April 29, 2017, 7:00 PM
$10-$20 sliding scale at door
XUXA SANTAMARIA is a music and art project that strives to inspire collective resistance through pop and dance music. The music is in part designed to recall the mash of nostalgic and complicatedly post-colonial references people who grew up in the 90s are familiar with. Sofia Córdova, the artist, performer, scholar, and singer-song writer whose existential crisis birthed the project, describes XUXA SANTAMARIA as an alter ego “who was born in 1492 with the arrival of Columbus to the Caribbean.” Together with her partner and collaborator, musician Matt Gonzalez Kirkland, they produce dance music because they see pleasurable experiences like pop music and dance parties as situations in which painful questions of identity, history, and belonging reside.
Russell Butler is an experimental artist and DJ based in Oakland, California. Originally from Bermuda, Russell has developed a process of improvisation that draws from a rich cultural of history rooted in their island and the black, queer diaspora. For the past few years they have been making a brand of stripped down machine techno that has evolved rapidly with each successive release. Transplantation, evolution, and healing are themes in Russell’s music. They based their 2015 album, “God is Change”, on Octavia Butler’s Parable series of novels, in which these are central tenets of the philosophy that the books explore. Since its release “God is Change” has received major acclaim, with NPR naming it one of their top 10 favorite electronic albums of 2015. In 2016, Russell released “Visions of the Future” on Jacktone Records, which is a collection of improvised modular synthesizer sessions. A month later, Russell’s follow up to “God is Change”, “The First Step”, was released on Black Opal. “The First Step” is dedicated to the “…black, brown, trans, queer, and gay folks of Oakland” and posits that “…sometimes to resist oppression, all we must do is simply exist. That is the first step. Let us strive to walk without fear.” Russell's newest record, “I'm Dropping Out of Life”, was released on January 30th via CGI Records and has already received praise from NPR, Fact, Thump, and The Fader, with early play by DJs like Nina Kraviz, Umfang, and Powder.
See the full schedule of Black Ark performers below. Performances on Opening Night and scheduled Thursdays and Saturdays through April.
In addition to an artist stipend in accordance with WAGE standards, the performers will receive 50% of the proceeds from admissions.