In honor of our Co-Founder and resident DJ Cheb i Sabbah, opening hour at Underground Nomads will feature his music, followed by dance performances and DJ sets in his honor.
DJ Sep returns for her 3rd Tuesday residency with a Global Dub set.
This week features Special Guest dancer from LA, Heather Shoopman, and resident dancer Calamity Sam. Heather and sam have a long history of performing together, and we could quite possibly be graced by some duet action, as they were dance partners for years and love performing together.
Heather Shoopman hails from Oklahoma where she grew up dancing everything from hip hop to country western. She has studied music and dance her entire life, and very eloquently embodies the songs she performs. Heather fell into bellydance over a decade ago and never looked back. Her studies in acting also contribute to the strong, fluid, zany style that is uniquely Shoop. She practices tribal improvisation regularly with her troupe “Heavy Metal”. Some favorite choreography collaborations have been with Mesmera, Calamity Sam, Sherri Wheatley and Jillina. She is a proud co-founder of BFLA-Belly Fusion Los Angeles, a collaborative focused on public awareness of Fusion Bellydance as an art form. In addition to traveling worldwide and teaching online at powhow.com, Heather teaches and performs regularly in LA. Her intention is to share the delight and healing power of dance.
“The music is your boss.”
Most known for her musicality and ability to connect with the audience, Calamity Sam is not afraid to ham it up and show her sense of humor on stage. She has been a featured performer and instructor in France, Holland, Spain, England, and across the U.S. Sam is based in Oakland, CA where she teaches Unmata/Hot Pot I.T.S.,co-produces Taverna Nights with Tatyana Balte, and the Tribal Fest Afterparty with DJ Amar. You’ll find her regularly in Los Angeles performing at Zulu Lounge, and producing an Improv night in L.A. called Eclectic Ensemble with DJ Amar.
One Fantastic Ride of a Life: Dub Mission’s DJ Sep Remembers Cheb i Sabbah
SF Weekly: [After hearing the sad news that DJ Cheb i Sabbah passed away last week, we reached out to DJ Sep, producer/promoter and founder of Dub Mission, who was also a friend of Sabbah’s. She wrote back with this remembrance.]
On my computer is an 82-page “worksheet” document, an absurdly long to-do list. On page 11 is a reminder to send Cheb i this email:
So I discovered something interesting the other day…..”Cheb” means young. “Sabbah” means morning. “Cheb i Sabbah” means young of the morning. Sepideh [my full first name] means white, used to describe dawn, as in white of dawn….WE HAVE THE SAME NAME! 🙂
I never got the chance to send the email.
In the days, weeks, and months to come, many words will be written about Cheb i Sabbah and his remarkable contribution to world music. His massively influential, self-coined “outernational” style of mixing Asian, Arabic, and African music together in one set will be emphasized. His indelible mark as a pioneering promoter will be noted. Many will talk about his 1002 Nights, those uniquely memorable events that brought world-class musicians to the Bay Area, often for the first time. Many will mention his long-running Tuesday night dance party at Nickie’s. “He turned me on to so much music I’d never heard before.” We’ll continue to hear that over and over again. And it’s all true. His impact was global.
I always thought of him as a local DJ. It was a privilege to be able to think of him that way which made it even more fun.
By any standard Cheb i had one fantastic ride of a life. A Jewish Algerian kid moves to Paris as a teenager, discovers DJing, manages Don Cherry, delves deep into Hinduism, records an untold number of talented world musicians, releases seven cherished records…and that’s just his official biography.
“As both a DJ and a promoter, I have a massive amount of respect for Cheb i.” That was one my quotes from an article on him written by Billy Jam in 2011, a few months after he was diagnosed with Stage IV stomach cancer. It’s still true, but the memories that keep coming back now have to do with Cheb i the person, not DJ Cheb i Sabbah. The signature mix I keep remembering was the mixture of his opposing characteristics. Cheb i could be very gentle and generous, especially to the musicians he championed, or curt and withholding, refusing to tell a fan the name of the song he’d just played before shooing the guy out of the DJ booth.
It was his character, not just his music, that drew so many to him. It was rewarding, being in his company. I once spent more than four hours at his apartment, having one of the most memorable conversations I’ll ever have. I know my experience is not unique. And yet, he could be exasperating to work with, his insistence on doing things his way causing avoidable hassle and stress. My experience is definitely not unique there either.
His stubbornness could be funny too. Once when we were producing and DJing a show together, he was told by the owner of the venue that he wouldn’t be able to smoke during his set. Cheb i calmly informed the owner that it would be impossible for him to DJ without smoking, he’d never done it before. Needless to say his set that night was accompanied by his usual chain smoking, with one concession. Between puffs, he held his arm down instead of up.
Google “the measure of a man” and many variations come up. This one by Peter Nivio Zarlenga struck me: “The measure of a man is the way he bears up under misfortune.” Perhaps Cheb i’s greatest misfortune came at the end when he faced a painful fatal illness. And here I find his most important and, hopefully, lasting influence on me. He faced mortality with grace and quiet determination continuing, stubbornly, to do what he loved until the end, death and smoking regulations be damned.
— DJ Sep / Dub Mission (For the SF Weekly)
Opening the night, we will play Cheb i Sabbah’s As-Far-As DJ mix, leading into the dance performances and DJ Sep’s dancefloor set.
Join us also on Nov. 21 for a Memorial event at 1015 Folsom from 7pm-2am featuring live music, DJ sets and more. 1002 Nights – A celebration of the life and music of Cheb i Sabbah. Details at Cheb i Sabbah’s page. Click on his photo above, or Here, to connect.