Koncepts Cultural Gallery was a music club for avant-garde and experimental jazz. It was founded by Edsel Matthews and Kimathe Assante in 1984 with volunteer support. In addition to hosting concerts, Koncepts offered master classes by artists.1 Describing the organization, Matthews told the Oakland Tribune, "The big point behind concepts originally and now is that culture cures. Artists have what the culture needs, and we're trying to glorify the artists as they give us their art."2

ad from KPFA Folio, 1985

Over its history Koncepts Cultural Gallery hosted concerts in Jenny Lind Hall, with its last show at that location featuring Oakland blues guitarist Brownie McGhee. 2 From there, Koncepts Cultural Gallery reopened in the Western Pacific Depot building where it also served as the venue for Oakland's Jazz in Flight and was the venue where Henry Threadgill recorded, "Live at Koncepts Cultural Gallery" in 1991. 4

In 1992, Koncepts lost its lease. 3

However Koncepts Cutural Gallery found a new home in the Alice Arts Center by 1995 where it continue to do its works into the 21st Century. Unfortunately Edsel Matthews, born and raised in East Harlem, and a great contributor to Oakland, California died an early death.

Links and References

  1. Kelp, L. (June 11, 1987). " Koncepts will keep its jazzy act downtown in new, bigger spot; fall opening expected." Oakland Tribune.
  2. Kelp, Larry (1 November 1987). "What a Koncept! Oakland's unique jazz club reopens - and with a bang." Oakland Tribune.
  3. Edsel Matthews -- founded Koncepts Gallery SFGate
  4. Live at Koncepts Cultural Gallery". Wikipedia.