Special Events and Weddings

DAP_0236_White_BGThe Ravi Abcarian Quintet will help you create just the right atmosphere for your special event by playing jazz classics, upbeat tunes from great musicals as well as relaxing ballads and bossa novas.

Our Love Is Here to Stay by George & Ira Gershwin.

Manhã de Carnaval by Luiz Bonfá & Antônio Maria.

Don Beck- trumpet and flugelhorn
Kasey Knudsen- tenor saxophone
Laura Klein- piano
Ravi Abcarian- bass
Bryan Bowman- drums


Review by Molly M., San Francisco, CA

“Ravi is such a talented musician!

Over the past few years, my,{now}, husband and I have thoroughly enjoyed Ravi’s public performances throughout San Francisco and Berkeley.

We enjoyed him so much we decided to have Ravi perform at our wedding!  Ravi performed as part of a trio during our ceremony procession, father-daughter dance and our first dance as husband and wife!  He also entertained our guests during the cocktail hour.

We received so many amazing compliments and inquiries on Ravi’s performance.  He added such an incredibly, perfect element to our special day and we are forever grateful!!

I strongly recommend Ravi’s music talents for your next event.  I promise everyone will ask for his information!”


Recent Posts

Khalil Shaheed Scholarship Fund 2023

Dear Friend of Oaktown Jazz Workshops,

Next year will mark 30 years since Oaktown Jazz Workshops got its start in the rec centers of Oakland. Founder Khalil Shaheed’s motivation was to cultivate the next generation of jazz musicians and at the same time, develop engaged, disciplined, and confident young adults.

As we look forward to this milestone, we want to thank you for your enduring support. It has enabled us to invest in thousands of young people, helping them to develop their unique voices. This is a moment to look back and take stock of all we’ve accomplished together.

Oaktown Jazz Workshops has been around long enough to see our alumni light up the music scene in Los Angeles, New York City, and the San Francisco Bay Area. They are arranging music for symphony orchestras, composing for films, and touring the world. Other alumni are applying the lessons they learned through Oaktown Jazz Workshops – like active listening and collaboration – in other meaningful fields.

The creative community that we have created is a rare and beautiful thing: safe, supportive, diverse, and multi-generational. In our cascading leadership model, our students are encouraged by seasoned professional musicians as well as young adult Youth Mentors. Your donations have allowed us to support students and alumni with guidance on college applications and professional development opportunities, suchas mentoring younger students, teaching private lessons, and leading concerts at our Jack London Square venue.

This year, we have prioritized bringing high-quality concerts to places where all the community can enjoy our performances, including children and families who can’t afford or easily access live music. Oaktown Jazz students performed at 25 Bay Area events, 10 of which took place at East Bay libraries. We have made 56 visits to local schools, to lead clinics and presentations. And we have hosted 94 Combo and Ensemble Workshops, and 63 classes in Improvisation, Music Theory, Live Audio Production, and Vocal Ensemble.

All these years later, Oaktown Jazz Workshops is still rooted in Khalil Shaheed’s words: To preserve this music we need a community of teachers, mentors, and storytellers who know the importance of the next generation to receive this art form. Students are challenged to improve on their skills in a collaborative, creative safe environment. We attempt to eliminate some of the hardships young musicians had to endure in the past to learn this music.”

Every year, we ask our supporters to contribute to the Khalil Shaheed Scholarship Fund, which covers the cost of workshops for young musicians whose families cannot afford tuition. It’s a great way to support the young people in our community seeking opportunities for creative expression and artistic development. Your support encourages our children’s creativity and enriches our community with music and culture vital to our past, present, and future. Please consider making a year-end donation to Oaktown Jazz Workshops.

With gratitude,

Ravi Abcarian
Executive Director
Oaktown Jazz Workshops 

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