Photo by Briget Huber
Photo by Briget Huber

Hey Kids! is a weekly feature looking at what’s coming up for families and kids of all ages.

“I believe the day will come when all God’s children, from bass black to treble white, will be significant on the Constitution’s keyboard.” – MLK

Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday with medley of weekend events! Henry Oden teaches and performs in “Blues in the Library”, a free presentation for families and kids aged 3 and up.  Oden is a renowned singer/songwriter/bassist who grew up in Richmond, where he began gigging as a teen soon after his dad ordered his first guitar from a Montgomery Ward catalog.  His musical career spans more than four decades, in which his masterful bass playing backed blues luminaries such as Jimmy Reed, Freddie King, Big Mama Thornton, Bill Withers, Pee Wee Crayton, Percy Mayfield and Joe Louis Walker.  Presented by the nonprofit Golden Gate Blues Society, “Blues in the Library” is happening on Friday, Jan. 15th at 3pm in Mission Branch Library.

The Marcus Shelby Quartet presents “MLK and Jazz”, an illuminating concert that explores the history of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and music that was essential to the civil rights movement.  Led by Mission resident, bassist and composer Marcus Shelby, the ensemble will be performing re-orchestrations and rearrangements of spirituals, slave songs, labor songs, freedom  songs, blues and modern jazz.  Shelby will also be discussing the history of Dr . King and the music that evolved during this crucial era in the quest for equality.  This quartet features Bay area’s finest — Faye Carol on vocals, Howard Wiley (tenor sax, soprano sax), Adam Shulman (piano) and Jeff Marrs (drums).  “MLK and Jazz” is an all-ages show at Red Poppy Art House. It starts at 8pm on Friday, January 15th.

Marcus Shelby Quartet performs "MLK and Jazz" at Red Poppy on Jan. 15
Marcus Shelby Quartet performs “MLK and Jazz” at Red Poppy on Jan. 15

Consider giving back to this great community on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. This Monday, you can roll up your sleeves to help clean 24th Street with neighbors or  donate books to the SF Public Library. Visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial at Yerba Buena Gardens.

Where in the world is Pancho Villa? In Serbia, of course.   Johnny Depp will play the Mexican Revolutionary in a new movie directed by Emir Kusturica, lavishly titled “Seven Friends of Pancho Villa and the Woman with Six Fingers”. Last Wednesday, Kusturica unveiled a lifesize statue of comrade Depp, honorary guest and promoter of the Kusterndorf International Film and Music Festival (as in Kustendorf, the village that Kusterica built). Balkanphiles in the Mission know where to find Kusturica — Lost Weekend Video carries “Time of the Gypsies” (1988), “Underground” (1995) and other titles.

Filming a Western in the Balkans is nothing new. Karl May was a 19th century German writer who wrote bestselling books, many set in the American Old West. Between 1912 and 1968, German cinema produced movies loosely based on his stories and fictional characters, like Apache Indian Winnetou and his German blood brother Old Shatterhand. Twelve films of the Winnetou series were shot in locations in former Yugoslavia (now Croatia), with its spectacular views of mountains, canoeable rivers and lakes.  Hundreds of locals filled in as movie extras and staff.  The Karl May Westerns preceded and influenced the Spaghetti Westerns that emerged mid-1960’s (“A Fistful of Dollars”, “The Good, the Bad and The Ugly”, “The Mercenary”). To this day, Winnetou remains popular in Europe, particularly in Germany where 200 fan clubs thrive. (Here’s an old NY Times article [via Der Spiegel] questioning German obsession with the fictional Indian chief.). In 2009, an amusement park touting itself as the first Indian reservation in Europe, opened in Croatia. Behold, Winnetouland!

Interestingly, Karl May never set foot in America until long after his Western novels were published. He only went as far as Buffalo, New York.  Hmm. In related news, check out Kimberly Chua’s article “Community Rallies for High School Ethnic Studies Classes”.

Less is more…  Mission Minis bakery is now a-go-go, tantalizing reserved hedonists.  24th Street Mini Park is looking swell, thanks to Precita Eyes artists. On a misty Monday afternoon, they were applying grout and hand-buffing the new painted tile mural of people, jungle flora and fauna. Artists come in all sizes; Lower 24th Street newsletter informs that Buena Vista Elementary School students illustrated posters for San Francisco General Hospital’s flu prevention campaign this winter. Rigoberto Hernandez notes that Mission Playground may receive artificial turf, courtesy of City Fields Foundation.

Last but not least, Ernesto Nava, the last living son of Pancho Villa, died this past New Year’s Eve. Born in Mexico, he moved to Hayward in 1942 where he resided until the age of 94.

Henry Oden performs blues at Mission Branch Library on Friday, Jan. 15
Henry Oden performs blues at Mission Branch Library on Friday, Jan. 15

Upcoming events: (subject to change, confirm times)

The Bright River

A hip-hop retelling of Dante’s Inferno by a traditional storyteller with a live soundtrack performed by some of the best hip-hop and klezmer musicians in the Bay Area. A deep-rooted love story, a profound meditation on mass transit, and a passionate commentary on the current war in Iraq. The show tours the Afterlife with a unique blend of theatre, Jewish folklore, and beatboxing. Written by Tim Barsky, directed by Jessica Heidt. Show run continues Jan.14-Feb. 20. $15-$35. Brava Theater, 2781 24th St. (at York)

Blues with Henry Oden

Henry Oden from the Golden Gate Blues Society will present a musical blues program for children 3 years and up. Fri., Jan. 15. 3pm-4pm. Free. Mission Branch Library, 300 Bartlett St. (at 24th)

MLK and Jazz

The Marcus Shelby Quartet featuring Bay Area legend Faye Carol on vocals, will perform rearrangements and re-orchestrations of music created during the civil rights movement in celebration of the 80th birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Interactive discussion by composer/bassist/lecturer Marcus Shelby about the history of the MLK, the civil rights movement in general, and the evolution of spirituals, slave songs, work songs, blues and modern jazz. Fri., Jan. 15. 8pm. $15-$20. Red Poppy Art House, 2698 Folsom St. (at 23rd)

Adapting and Creating Family Portraits

Create family portraits either from existing photographs or new portraits. Led by artists Mahader Tesfai and Evan Bissell, participants work with photos, paint, cut ups and collages to create art that will be part of the scenic design and installation for “Mirrors in Every Corner”, Intersection’s new play. Open to all skill levels and ages. Please bring family photos, images or small objects to use. Space limited. To register, contact Rebeka Rodriguez at 415-626-2787 x108 or Sat., Jan. 16. 12pm-2pm. Free. Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia St. (btw 15th and 16th)

The Greatest Bubble Show On Earth

Just two more shows before it floats away!  Gobs of bubbles brew in the Marsh: flying saucer bubbles, smoky square bubbles, cosmic bubbles, centipede bubbles, even kids in bubbles. Float into an iridescent paradise with Louis Pearl, the Amazing Bubble Man. Accompanied by Jetty Swart’s winsome live accordion and vocal music. Sundays, Jan. 17 & 24. 11am. $7-10. The Marsh, 1062 Valencia St. (near 22nd St.)

Day of Service on MLK Day

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” Join your neighbors in helping clean the area around 24th street in acknowledgement of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior Day. There will be two 2-hour work periods starting at 10am and 12pm: choose from either one. Meet at Philz at 10am or noon to establish/join a group. Collect garbage within one city block around 24th Street. Alternatively there’s interest to do some weeding along Harrison St. between 22nd to 24th. Bring large garbage bags, brooms, dustpans and gloves. If you intend to weed, bring gardening tools. Collect garbage and weeds in your bags and dispose of full bags at trash cans at the street corners. Email Elena with questions at elena.engel(at)friendssfpl(dot)org. Mon., Jan. 18. 10am & Noon. Meet at Philz Coffee on 24th and Folsom.

Donate Books

Celebrate this national day of service and support the SFPL!  All donations are tax-deductible.  Each year Friends of SFPL receives nearly half a million donated books, which they resell to the public through two bookstores and a number of book sales.  All profits benefit the library and many books are donated to schools and other non-profit organizations. Notable books are offered to the special collections of the library.  They accept audio CDs, LPs, cassettes, DVDs, Blu-ray discs, VHS tapes, computer software and console games.  They do not accept books that are damp or moldy, encyclopedias, legal statutes or magazines.  Mon., Jan. 18.  10am-3pm.  Friends of SFPL Donation Center, 438 Treat Ave. (btw 17th and 18th)

Bringing the Noise for MLK: Radical Love (and Other) Letters

Portrero Hill based Youth Speaks presents the 13th Annual Bringing the Noise for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., celebrating his birthday with the Bay Area’s leading youth spoken word artists and performers. Hosted by Lauren Whitehead and Denizen Kane, featuring DJ Treatunice. With special guests Rev. Cecil Williams and Janice Mirikitani from Glide Memorial Church, the home to spirit, social justice and poetry for thousands of SF. Mon., Jan. 18. 7pm. $6-$16. Herbst Theater, 401 Van Ness Ave.

Mommy’s Playdate

Birds do it, bees do it, even moms reinventing mac-n-cheese do it. Good Vibrations (Polk St. store) invites mamas to enjoy a “Mommi-tini” and get in touch with your inner MILF.  Personalized store tour and one-on-one consultation with renowned sexologist author/expert, Dr. Carol Queen. Enter to win a “Sexy Starter Kit” to hustle your muscle. Tues., Jan. 19. 7pm-9pm. Free. Good Vibrations, 1620 Polk Street (at Sacramento Street)

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