June 2017 – September 2017
Inspired by the musical archives of the San Francisco Public Library, Hit Parade examined contemporary issues of gentrification, eviction, and neighborhood change through an engagement with local music history. Hit Parade was a culmination of San Francisco memories, musical memories, community musical storytelling and grassroots musical memory. Hit Parade gathered musical histories of the Western Addition, Bayview Hunters Point, and Mission neighborhoods. Then, local musicians came together for the first time to publicly rehearse historic San Francisco songs they’ve never played before. A temporary vinyl records listening station was also available in our Public Knowledge Library, which included music from Hit Parade and San Francisco. Watch the Open Rehearsals and listen to the Hit Parade Listening Room playlist on Spotify. For more on this artist project and to unearth the history of San Francisco music, check out our Blog.
Josh Kun is writer, artist, scholar, and curator who above all is interested in the connections between different cultures. He often works in the sphere of popular music, and if there is a guiding idea that runs through his various activities it is the crossfade. On a standard DJ console, the crossfade slider moves between the music on one input channel and the music on the other without fully fading out either—as Kun writes: “It allows you to mix without erasing, combine without destroying, to juggle and sustain difference, to use what already exists to create something entirely new. You use the crossfader when you want to create a new conversation between disparate voices, a new mix out from the archive, all while moving crowds and shaping publics.” Currently based in Los Angeles, Kun has collaborated with the Los Angeles Public Library on two projects that brought to life archival histories of music and culture in that city: Songs in the Key of LA (date) and To Live and Dine in LA (date). For Public Knowledge he returns to the Bay Area, where he worked as a music journalist for a decade, to explore with others how San Francisco is changing and what kinds of cultural connections have been and may still be possible in this city.
Minna Choi is the artistic director of the acclaimed Magik*Magik Orchestra. Choi also records as Magik*Magik and is the choir director for the City Church of San Francisco.
Idris Ackamoor is the founder and executive/co-artistic director of the multi-disciplinary performance company Cultural Odyssey and heads the legendary jazz ensemble The Pyramids.
Marcus Shelby has composed for theater, film, and dance. He has released numerous acclaimed recordings with his Trio and Jazz Orchestra.
Diana Gameros recorded her 2013 album Etorno Retorno in the Bay Area, which explores her experiences as a Mexican immigrant.
Ahkeel Mestayer was raised in the Mission district and speaks out against gentrification. He is a member of the 10-piece salsa/hip-hop/samba/rock band Soltron.
Public Knowledge and Hit Parade was supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency.