Oaklandís Waterfront Takes Center Stage at PortFest 2003
Oleta Adams to Star at PortFest 2003
Grammy-Winning Oakland Interfaith Choir on PortFest 2003
Bay Crossings Journal
Bay Crossings Poetry
Freeway Service Patrol Logs 1 Million Assists
Wine Festival by the Bay
How Do Bus Drivers Feel About Golden Gateís Financial Problems?
Paving the Way for Buses Ė The Great GM Streetcar Conspiracy
Port of Call: Cayenne, French Guyana
Opening of Argonaut Hotel in San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
Changing of the Guard at San Franciscoís Last Shipyard
The Port Of Oakland Needs Your Help!
Taste of Oakland
East Bay French-American School To Host Annual "La Place Du Marche"
What the AC Transit Bus Driver Knows
The Iraq war reader
Judge Orders Carnival Cruise Line to Stop Illegal Dumping
On the Oakland Waterfront, Seafarers Club Breaks New Ground
Year of the Salmon!
WTA: For Whom the Bridge Tolls
New Ferry Building Sunday Garden Market Opening May 4th
San Francisco Bay
Vermeer Chocolate Martini
Oakland Arts Focus
Music Calendar - May 2003
In appreciation: David Clark
Water Transit Authority  WTA

Oaklandís Waterfront Takes Center Stage at PortFest 2003

"The World Comes to Oakland"

Saturday, June 7th

Oaklandís Own Diva of Delight Faye Carol

Performing on the PortFest 2003 JazzStage at 1:50 PM

In 2003, Oakland has its very own diva of delight in the voice and energy of Faye Carol, who performs on the PortFest 2003 Jazz Stage at 1:50 PM. Bay Crossings recently had the pleasure of speaking with this magnificent woman by phone.

Like all budding artists, I wanted to know what constitutes making it, getting to the top of your game. The thing about making it to me is the fact that I am still singing after 40 years. I wake up in the morning, and I still own myself. To me thatís making it. I have been able to raise my daughter, Kito Gamble, free of drugs and abuse. Kito opened up Yoshiís. She is currently working on a gospel CD, and Iím doing some of the background work. I received a lot of support from my parents, Vertie and Spencer Gray, and my sister Libby, who lost her leg and discovered her poetís voice.

Making it is looking into the faces of young people and being able to tell them who Sarah Vaughn, Cab Calloway, and Billy Erkstine were. In growing up, we are discouraged to be entertainers because it is a tough life.

I had record companies tell me I was too black. I canít wake up in the morning, and be anything else. I like the ethnic part of myself. At first, I solicited and solicited, calling 50 million people, 50 million times. Then, when I couldnít get any play, I just said, Iíll just do the music of my culture. People named us bebop, jazz, but we were just singing, dancing, writing songs, and reflecting on life. In order to sell it, you got to call it something. I would like to be able to get with Naz or some of the contemporary artists. What I see them doing is going towards the heavy metal rock, more so than the tried and true. People go with the current thing, whatever is in your face. My husband, James Gamble, who is now deceased, was responsible for me going towards history. He taught at UC Berkeley. I thought I was going to be the next Aretha, and went to Los Angeles, but when I was looking at the contracts, I could not sign them. He said to me, I could do the music of my culture. It doesnít depend on a trend. Our music never goes out of style. When you study history, you have to know the times.

One of the greatest things that ever happened was a cabaret show. They were having a lot of us on the show at the Club Fugazi. Ben Vereen was the host. It was the end of the show, and we were all just standing there. My mind kept saying to me that there is a microphone over there and ainít nobody at it. I ran over to the microphone. The television cameras had left. I went over to the mic and started singing. The cameras came back. Ben Vereen hurried back, and a few more cabaret stars, and it just started to snowball. Everyone was just singing. It all just went from the thought of, that microphone was over there all alone. For all intents, the show was over, but I just had to sing, and it grew into a great big wonderful thing.

Another great time was when Nelson Mandela came to town after his incarceration. I was at the Coliseum singing with Pharaoh Saunders. I wrote the song that we sang for Mandela. Bobby Hutcherson was there. It was called Mandela Blues. What a beautiful gentle soul. I thought the man was going to walk on water. He just seemed to be walking in love and peace for the world. You couldnít detect any bitterness in him.

Oaklandís waterfront is well-known for being the economic engine of the region, moving cargo to and fro around the world. But itís also taking on a second life as a hotbed of fun times and good living.

Whatís attracting people is the stunning natural beauty of the Oakland/Alameda Estuary Itís a work of art, and when you live next to a work of art itís possible to take it for granted. Gorgeous vistas, magnificent ships gliding by, colorful storefronts, enticing restaurants, fancy hotels, and people from all cultures and backgrounds form a dazzling mosaic.

Once a year, the Port of Oakland throws a party to remind everyone of just how beautiful the Estuary waterfront is Ė and how lucky we all are to enjoy it.

This one-day festival began in 1935 when it was first called Port Day, and was held in conjunction with National Maritime Day. In the 1970s, the festival became an annual event and now draws upwards of 25,000 people. The event features fun, food, and music, in addition to offering the public an opportunity to explore this magnificent port, which occupies 19 miles of waterfront on the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay.

PortFest 2003 kicks off Saturday, June 7th, at Howard Terminal and Jack London Square, right next to the Alameda/Oakland Ferry landing. This is a free event with entertainment and activities for the entire family. Working ships will be on display, and possibly open for tours. There will be an air show featuring vintage planes. Ever-popular harbor tours aboard ferryboats will take place.

This is the publicís chance to learn about the Port and its three lines of businessóMaritime (the Oakland seaport), Aviation (Oakland International Airport), and Commercial Real Estate. The Portís commercial real estate holdings and airport are easily accessible to the public. But for safety and security reasons, the seaportís operations, industrial activities involving ships, cranes, trains, and cargo, are not designed to accommodate visitors. PortFest 2003 offers a rare peek behind the curtain.

Harold Jones, the Portís Director of Communications, is particularly enthused about this yearís festival. He told us, "PortFest generally takes place in Jack London Square. This year, we have a one-time opportunity to showcase a working terminalóHoward Terminalóadjacent to Jack London Square. By using the terminal, the exhibits and displays can be much larger than usual," he said.

PortFest 2003 will bring out crowds teeming with people from all over the Bay Area eager to meet someone, see the sights, spend the day in the sun, get some kettlecorn, and let their inner-child play. But more and more, folks that are in-the-know are finding that there is no better place to meet and greet than by the water.

Indeed, all around the Bay Area the waterfront is becoming an exciting entertainment destination, nowhere more so than Jack London Square. Established in 1989, Jack London Square is a happening downtown location, and features dining establishments, retail shops, a cinema, first class hotels, and a variety of attractions. Waterfront clubs like Yoshiís and Kimballís give us jazz, bebop, hip-hop, doo wop, and just plain music, that fills you up in a way that nothing else can.

Playing to this strength, PortFest 2003 has lined up top musical talents like Oleta Adams, Lenny Williams, the Big Belly Blues Band, Natasha Miller, the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, Faye Carol, Oaktown Jazz, Joel Dorham, and Radio Noise to rock the neighborhood, and more.

The flowering of the Oakland Estuary waterfront points the way to a cutting edge of urban living that waterfront communities across the nation are watching. But having a good time is old hat for the people of Oakland, taking pride in an artistic and cultural history that stretches back to the Gold Rush. More recently, Oakland was alive with the big band sound in the 1930s, and in the Ď40s grooviní to the bebop sound orchestrated by the likes of Charlie Parker, Thelonius Monk, and Dizzy Gillespie.

So if you feel like singing, eating, laughing, and just enjoying life, come on down to PortFest 2003 at Jack London Square and Howard Terminal in Oakland, on Saturday, June 7th.

For more information on festival activities, check out the PortFest 2003 entertainment insert in this issue of Bay Crossings. Also, check out the Port of Oakland website for further event information at www.portofoakland.com.