AS A little piece of the Caribbean in Northern California, the New Karibbean City club is trying to expose local music to the California area.
Located in Oakland California, the club/restaurant is moving full speed ahead in its bid to become a known reggae/dancehall venue.
The club has been open for a number of years as the Karibbean City Club, but changed ownership three years ago. With the change in ownership came a change in name to the 'New Karibbean City'.
Richard ENC, who is of Trinidadian and Jamaican heritage, is actively pushing Caribbean music to a new audience.
Open from Wednesday to Sunday, the club acts as a restaurant in the day serving Jamaican food, and opens as a club in the night.
Speaking with The Gleaner recently, booking manager for New Karibbean City Club, Alicia Stewart, said the club was the only after hours club in the Oakland area. According to Stewart, the club plays dancehall, hip hop, R&B and a lot of dancehall, reggae and soca.
"We're definitely a Caribbean club. The whole idea behind the club is that there has always been a reggae dancehall scene in California, but we think it's lacking something. The California Caribbean scene isn't as big as New York or Miami, but we still have our own crowd and scene. So we wanted to do shows on a more consistent basis. We love Caribbean music and want to bring it to our community and to more people not from the Caribbean community," she said.
Stewart says the club is trying to make itself known as a venue in the Northern California area that is known for dancehall, reggae and soca acts. With a venue capacity of 700 persons, the club has been getting good numbers when Caribbean artistes perform. Thus far, acts such as Mr Vegas, Mavado, Sean Paul, Charly Blacks, Cham, Wayne Marshall, Demarco, Macka Diamond, Allison Hinds, Coppershot and Black Chiney, among others, have all performed at New Karibbean City to rave reviews.
"We were the first ones to bring Mavado to the Northern California area and it was amazing," Stewart said.
Stewart says she would like to see acts such as Protoje, Elephant Man, Beenie Man, I-Octane, Konshens, Sizzla, Bounty Killer and others perform at the club.
"We're really helping to spread the music to people who aren't familiar with dancehall. We had Demarco up here recently and he was amazing. There were people here that had never heard Demarco before and after the show someone came up to him and said that they never knew who he was before that night, but after hearing Fallen Soldiers they were blown away and had to go get his music. So people like that, who wouldn't normally follow the music, will know about it from our club," Stewart explained.