Join us for the inaugural night of Little Nicky's at Studio Grand. 

We are pleased to announce the inaugural installment a monthly series called "Little Nicky's" at Studio Grand in Oakland. Curated by Noah Phillips and Chuck Johnson, each month features a set by a Bay Area artist or group whose sound will complement the special atmosphere of Studio Grand, a multi-use arts space with intimate and lush acoustics. Guitarist and composer Chuck Johnson will open each installment with a solo performance. 

For our opening night, Little Nicky's is proud to present clarinetist and composer Ben Goldberg, whom John Zorn has described as “one of the greatest clarinetists I’ve ever heard.” Goldberg truly is a Bay Area treasure, and for this performance he will play a rare solo set. 




Chuck Johnson is a composer and musician residing in Oakland, CA. He approaches his work with an ear towards finding faults and instabilities that might reveal latent beauty, with a focus on American Primitive guitar, experimental electronics, and minimalist composition. Recordings of his work have been published by Three Lobed, Strange Attractors Audio House, Merge, Communion, and Amish, among others.

In 2010 he was featured on the Tompkins Square compilation Beyond Berkeley Guitar and in 2011 his solo acoustic guitar debut A Struggle Not A Thought was released on Strange Attractors Audio House. His follow-up solo LP Crows In The Basilica was released to critical acclaim on Three Lobed Recordings in May of 2013, and he will be featured on Volume 7 of the Tompkins Square series Imaginational Anthem in the summer of 2014.



Photo by John Rudoff

Photo by John Rudoff


From 1992, when his group New Klezmer Trio released Masks and Faces and "..kicked open the door for radical experiments with Ashkenazi roots music." (San Francisco Chronicle) to 2013’s simultaneous release of Subatomic Particle Homesick Blues (featuring Joshua Redman) and Unfold Ordinary Mind (featuring Nels Cline), which the New York Times noted for “..a feeling of joyous research into the basics of polyphony and collective improvising,” clarinetist and composer Ben Goldberg has shaped a career through relentless pursuit of musical truth across many genres and styles, resulting in the Downbeat Critics’ Poll naming him the #1 Rising Star Clarinetist in both 2011 and 2013. 

Ben Goldberg grew up in Denver, Colorado. He received his undergraduate music degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Master of Arts in Composition from Mils College. He was a pupil of the eminent clarinetist Rosario Mazeo, and studied with Steve Lacy and Joe Lovano.

Ben is a composer-member of the avant-chamber Jazz ensemble Tin Hat; and also performs with plays monk; Myra Melford’s Be Bread; Nels Cline’s New Monastery; Todd Sickafose’s Tiny Resistors; Alison Miler’s Boom Tic Boom; Clarinet Thing; and Afterlife Music Radio.

Sure to be a great night!

*Cover Photo by John Rudoff


Doors 8pm, Show at 9pm


$10-15 Sliding Scale