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Wednesday, Jan 15 1997
In Memoriam
The East Bay music community was shocked and appalled last month when David Nadel, owner and founder of Ashkenaz, the community-conscious nightclub, was shot and killed by a patron who had been kicked out earlier in the evening. "It was so senseless," says Asha Goldberg, a friend to Nadel for over 25 years. "David was completely nonviolent. He went outside to talk to the guy, probably to make sure that there were no hard feelings." The as-of-yet unapprehended perpetrator left the scene only to return moments later, knocking on the closed nightclub door. When Nadel opened it, he was shot in the head.

As staff and friends recover from the tragedy, live music at Nadel's well-established Berkeley club has been put on hold. "We hope to reopen in February," says Goldberg, "if Ron Nadel [David's brother and executor of his estate] can find the right people to run it."

David Nadel, who supported a wide range of unusual musical genres -- everything from zydeco to Bulgarian folk dance to western swing to Afrobeat -- was also intensely active in Bay Area politics, frequently allowing political meetings and benefits to be held at Ashkenaz. "His life should be a role model for people," continues Goldberg. "He spent it helping people."

A memorial and vegetarian potluck will be held at 11 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 18 and 19, at Ashkenaz (1317 San Pablo) to honor Nadel. All-day celebrations of live music and political satire will follow beginning at 12:30 p.m. with Ellis Island, Billy Dunn, Vos do Brazil, Zydeco Flames, Mark Hummel, Hedzoleh Sounds, Various People, Adama, Big Balkan Brass Band, Lyuba, Amandla Poets, Kotoja, Country Joe, Buffalo Roam, California Cajun Orchestra, Justice, Calabash, Rhythm & Steel, Paul Krassner, Frog Legs, African Rhythm Messengers, and many others who had grown to love and respect Nadel throughout his life. After the memorials Ashkenaz will again shut its doors until further notice.

So Long
We are sad to announce that Sarah Vowell, who's been contributing the column "Suspicious Minds" to the Music section over the past several months, has decided to pursue her career back in Chicago. Look for her writing in Spin and in the Internet magazine Salon (

Vowell's first book, Radio On: A Listener's Diary (just published by St. Martin's), is a meditation on Nirvana, NPR, and the state of radio generally, told in the form of a yearlong diary as she kept her ear to the dial in S.F., Chicago, and other cities. We'll let you know when she returns for a reading.

By Silke Tudor, Bill Wyman

About The Author

Silke Tudor

About The Author

Bill Wyman


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