2022 Summer Series June 11 - July 2

CHELLE and Friends


Daughters of the Delta

(world premiere)

Date(s) & Time(s): Saturday, June 11, 8:00 PM
                                 Sunday, June 12, 2:00 PM

Duration: 90 mins plus intermission
Location: Plymouth Jazz and Justice Church
                424 Monte Vista Ave, Oakland, CA 94611

Opening Night Poem: Ayodele Nzinga

Post Performance Saturday:
Artist Discussion (moderated by devorah major)
Post Performance Sunday: Artist Reception

Ticket Information

Early Bird (Up to Apr 30): $16
Advance Price
: $20
At the Door: $25
Full Time Students & Seniors: $10

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Attendance Rules

CLICK HERE for health, safety, and seating information.

If you cannot attend, but would like to support Michelle Jacques and Daughters of the Delta, thank you for making a donation.

Engagement funded in part by:

California Arts Council, InterMusic San Francisco and Plymouth Church

Artist Information

Visit Artist Website


Artist Sample Video

Artist Interview


Production Details

Daughters of the Delta

Celebrated joyously in Michelle Jacques’ signature New Orleans Big Band style, Daughters of the Delta is an anthology that honors African American women composers and musicians hailing from Louisiana in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Seminal figures whose body of work became the backdrop to the Great Migration as Black people moved out of the South during the Jim Crow era. But also individuals whose names were in danger of being written out of history.

Exploring the genres of Spirituals, Gospel, Jazz and the Blues, and featuring original compositions and lyrics by Ms. Jacques and Cava Menzies with new arrangements of traditional songs by Brian Dyer, Daughters invokes the memories of these legendary ladies and invites their spirits into the house. Join CHELLE and friends to celebrate the likes of great women such as Becky Elzy and Alberda Bradford, Lil Hardin Armstrong, Lizzie Miles and many more.

CHELLE and Friends New Orleans Big Band

Presenting a festive combination of jazz, funk, soul, Creole, Cajun, gospel, Caribbean, African, Zydeco, rock and the chants and stirring rhythms of Mardi Gras Indians; New Orleans native, and Oakland's own "Queen of New Orleans Music", Michelle Jacques and some of her very special friends take all of these influences and a few more, and stir them into a stewpot of musical gumbo that is sweet, spicy, aromatic and definitely intoxicating. CHELLE! and Friends create an unforgettable sound and the ensemble is made up of some of the most distinguished and accomplished musicians in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Artist Biographies

Michelle Jacques (Artistic Director, Vocals)
During a four-decade career in the music industry, Michelle Jacques is, was and has become: a singer, bandleader, composer, songwriter, musical-arranger and educator. Michelle has traveled and performed with many well-known artists including: Wynton Marsalis, Linda Hopkins, Ladysmith Black Mambaza, Pete Seger, The Persuasions, Al Green and Manhattan Transfer. Notable Festival appearances include Montreux, Gurten, Berne, Festijazz and the UN Conference of Human Rights, Geneva. She was also a founding member of Street Sounds a cappella quintet and an original member of Linda Tillery’s Cultural Heritage Choir. Michelle’s educational portfolio includes: director of the Select Vocal Ensemble at Oakland School for the Arts, San Francisco Symphony's Adventures in Music and Oakland Youth Chorus. She is a lecturer at University of San Francisco and also serves on the Governors Board of the Recording Academy’s San Francisco Chapter, and the board of the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus.

Cava Menzies (Co-creator, Researcher)
Cava is a multidisciplinary musician, visual artist, and educator who resides in Oakland, Ca. She is a Bay Area native and hails from a long line of creators; her grandmother a pioneer in the New York Jazz scene as a dancer at the Cotton Club, her father, Eddie Henderson, an accomplished jazz trumpeter and early member of the Herbie Hancock sextet, and her mother a classically trained flautist and music enthusiast.    Cava holds a BA from the Berklee College of Music in Boston where she studied jazz piano and music education. She received her MM from the University of Miami where she studied composition and music production and recording. Cava is a founding music faculty member at the Oakland School for the Arts and served as the Artistic Director of the school from 2015 - 2018. Her musical directing and arranging work have been featured in performances with Chris Martin, Coldplay, Daveed Diggs, Rafa Casal, Dave Grohl, Kehlani, and Adrian Marcel. Through her cumulative work at OSA, Cava has led four concert tours to Italy, Puerto Rico, and New Orleans and has taught over 2000 young musicians from Oakland.

Bryan S. Dyer (Musical Director, Vocals & Percussion)
Bryan S. Dyer is a multi-talented musician who not only sings but plays and teaches several instruments including bass guitar, percussion and piano; writes and arranges music, conducts choirs and groups, and works in television, radio and film. A veteran of some of the Bay Area’s top vocal groups including Street Sounds, SoVoSo, Slammin All Body Band, Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir and CHELLE! and Friends, He also performs with Zadell, Rankin Scroo and Ginger, and R&B group, D.A.P.

Rhonda Crane (Vocals, Percussion)
Although Rhonda is native to Brooklyn, New York, she was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Being associated 17 years with the Edwin and Walter Hawkins Music & Arts National Conference has blessed her to work with numerous artists as the O’Jays, Tramaine Hawkins, Donald Lawrence, Ricky Grundy, Daryl Coley, LaShun Pace and Yolanda Adams to name a few.

Tammi Brown (Vocals)
Tammi Brown is a sultry songstress and musician receiving broad praise for her rich tones, elegant phrasing, and stylistic versatility. Her musical career has taken her to venues as diverse as Apollo Theater in New York City, Yoshi’s in San Francisco, Mumbai Stadium in India, the Monterey Bay Blues Festival and the Monterey Jazz Festival. She has worked with jazz guitarist, Stanley Jordan, Tom Schuman of Spyro Gyra, White Album Ensemble, the Santa Cruz County and Monterey Symphonies and shared a bill on tour with Dr. Maya Angelou. She is currently a featured vocalist with musicologist and two-time Grammy nominee, Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir and CHELLE’s Juke Joint.

Jay Lamont (Vocals)
Jay Lamont is originally from Oklahoma City and is a graduate of Langston University with a B.A. Degree in Broadcast Journalism. Jay relocated to Houston to work in the comedy business and embark on a career a singer. He subsequently toured nationally and internationally with Street Sounds. In addition to working with CHELLE, Jay is also the lead vocalist with two R&B bands. His groups have opened for a wide variety of artists including the late great Luther Vandross, MAZE featuring Frankie Beverly, D.L. Hughley, Steve Harvey, Tommy Davidson, Cedric The Entertainer, Mike Epps, Jamie Foxx, R. Kelly, The Gap Band, The O’Jays and the late Roger Troutman.

Donna Viscuso (Saxophone, Harmonica, Vocals)
Donna Viscuso is an experienced performer, composer and teacher. Donna has performed, recorded and toured with many groups, including The Snake Trio, Jackeline Rago and The Venezuelan Music Project, Altazor, Wild Mango, the KTO project, Chelle and Friends, Brazilian singer Adriana Moreno and Chilean singer/songwriter Lichi Fuentes.

Michaelle Goerlitz (Drummer/Percussionist)
Michaelle Goerlitz has been playing drums and percussion since she was eight years old. She was a founding member of two renowned & long-term projects, the Blazing Redheads and Wild Mango. Among the list of people Michaelle has played with: VNote Ensemble, Venezuelan Music Project, ‘Chelle & Friends, Wayne Wallace, Mark Levine, Tom McDermott, The Brazilian Jazz Project, Ojala, rhiannon, Yair Dalal, Naser Musa, Barbara Higbie, Jami Sieber, Tuck & Patti and Samba Rio. In 2007 she was named a “rising star” in Downbeat Magazine.

Kevin Scott (Bass)
Kevin J Scott is a bassist/songwriter in the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area. He plays 4, 5 & 6 string basses--fretted & fretless; and also plays upright bass. Kevin played bass for former Tower of Power singer Lenny Williams for over 22 years. He also plays for Beebe Memorial Cathedral CME church in Oakland, CA for about 8 years, R&B Hip Hop group Fiveten featuring Jammin’ Jay Lamont, Project4band, Kymberly Jackson and Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont

Eric Swinderman (Guitar)
Eric is a dynamic musician and composer. His bands have enjoyed extensive engagements at Ivey's, Solomon Grundy's and Pasand's in San Francisco, California. in addition to critical acclaim for his solo work, Eric is also in demand as a sideman for Bay Area celebrity singers. He has taught guitar workshops at the Jazz Camp and several college campuses.

San Francisco International Arts Festival
Phone Number: 415-399-9554 | Email: [email protected]
1222 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94109