Time to Pour Your HeART Out for Kids

Tim Burgess &nbsp&nbsp Mary Lou’s Apartment, above, rounds out a broad selection of entertainers and  libations at the upcoming Pour Your HeART Out fundraiser hosted by Rhythmix Cultural Works. The fun takes place Saturday, Aug. 10.

Time to Pour Your HeART Out for Kids

Only at a wonderfully creative facility like Rhythmix Cultural Works could Pour Your HeART Out, a benefit for youth arts — an annual showcase of some of Northern California’s most talented women in craft beverage, food and the arts — take place all under one roof. On Saturday, Aug. 10, from 2 to 5 p.m., enjoy an exclusive afternoon of live music, food and drink, while helping Rhythmix provide free arts education programs. The programs reach an estimated 2,500 East Bay youth annually.

Each year, Rhythmix Executive Director, Tina “bean” Blaine, curates a mix of women-owned or operated wineries, breweries, distilleries and restaurants to provide tasting samples to guests.

A panel discussion, moderated this year by Oakland’s Bay Grape owner Stevie Stacionis will provide deeper insight into some of the libations offered. This year’s panel, titled “Cultivating Community,” features: Julie Johnson of Tres Sabores, one of the first winemakers to produce solely on a certified organic farm; Dr. Chris Wachira, the first (and only) Kenyan-American winemaker; Cary Quintana, an Oakland-based winemaker of Cuban descent; and Laurel Schenck of Drake’s Brewing Company. Stacionis will guide the audience through a discussion and tasting with these four women, covering multiple generations of craft-beverage makers with diverse backgrounds.

On the musical front, Oakland’s hottest new 12-piece all-women jazz ensemble, Mary Lou’s Apartment will perform. A compact-yet-mighty big band, Mary Lou’s Apartment is dedicated to creating great American music in an atmosphere of kindness, joy, political action and fun. The group showcases compositions and arrangements of the African-American musical geniuses Mary Lou Williams and Melba Liston.

Presenting a musical “conversation” with voice and piano are powerhouse vocalist Christelle Durandy and pianist Odalys Caro. A recent addition to the Bay Area music scene, Durandy is quickly making her mark as one of the lead vocalists with the Grammy-winning Pacific Mambo Orchestra as well as her many other Bay Area musical projects.

The entertainment doesn’t stop there. Attendees can enjoy pop-up performances of salsa rueda and belly dance throughout the afternoon along with a show-stopping finale presented by the beloved Taiko fusion group, (and Rhythmix house band) Maze Daiko.

In addition to great entertainment and amazing tastings, take a chance to win premium limited production wine packages, winery tours, museum passes and concert tickets in the silent auction and instant wine cellar raffle. 

Limited-edition wines for the auction were donated by the Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wines. Some of the top auction items include a chef’s dinner at East End, tickets to SF Jazz, San Francisco Symphony, Oakland Zoo and winery tours and tastings at Clos Pegase, Tres Sabores and Grgich Hill Estates.  

Rhythmix Pour Your HeART Out takes place at 2513 Blanding Ave. All proceeds will help bring free world music and dance assemblies to more than 2,500 East Bay students this school year and help match a grant from the California Arts Council to provide these offerings. 

For a full list of beverage and food vendors, and to purchase tickets (use keyword SUN to get a $20 discount) visit: www.rhythmix.org or call 865-5060.


Jennifer Radakovich is the assistant director at Rhythmix.