CREATING A TOP TEN LIST — make that a top twenty or even thirty list — of great tunes by the great John Lee Hooker? Many a fan would sign up for such a song-filled, celebratory challenge. "Boom Boom" would be front-and-centered on many dedicated listeners' lists, and "Crawling King Snake" and "Bottle Up and Go" would surely make music-major cameos, too. The blues legend passed away in 2001, and his storied songcraft continues to reverberate and influence blues players of today, as well as a host of artists who work in a host of genres beyond the blues. A loyal fan can pay tribute to Mr. Hooker's memory by putting "Endless Boogie" or another album on the hi-fi for the evening, of course, but there are other routes to honoring the icon. One come-together way, an event that's serving as both a remembrance-filled festivity and a fundraiser, too? It's the...
CENTENNIAL FOR THE BLUES... gathering at the Chapel of the Chimes Oakland on Saturday, Aug. 19. Chapel of the Chimes, as many music mavens know, is the home of Mr. Hooker's burial site, and fans are invited to visit the site and pay their respects. As for the name of the event? The "Centennial" tells the story: The 100th anniversary of Mr. Hooker's birth is coming up, and those who've been moved and influenced by his talent and impressive catalog will get together to spotlight his story and life.
THE AFTERNOON SESSION, from 1 to 3 p.m., is dedicated to "...community members and fans..." who will be able to bid on silent auction items and revel in the good tunes. A ticketed event begins at 3 o'clock and will include "...live music and formal remarks from family members and Oakland mayor Libby Schaaff." The beneficiary of the happening? The John Lee Hooker Foundation, which brings blues educations to area schools (Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary in Oakland is the first school to participate in the program).
TICKET INFORMATION? Find it here, then clear the afternoon of Aug. 19 for music, shared memories, and a song-sweet celebration of the King of the Boogie.