Value Culture, a non-profit organization looking to connect people back to their communities & internal philanthropy, brought together the San Francisco community for a moment of musical bliss on Wednesday August 11th. Hosted at The Chapel, a former chapel turned into venue, presented on the outdoor stage in San Francisco, attendees were transported around the world in a cozy corner of the city. The lineup for the night consisted of indie folk singer/songwriter Noa Zimmerman, a young artist hailing from San Francisco who opened the night with soft melodies and a voice so gentle but sure that felt as if the listener was being cradled in a warm spring day. Sharing personal stories in between each song, including her astrophysicist friend’s practical feedback for the more magical elements in her song “The River”, from her latest album Indus. The personal anecdotes and gentle conversation with the audience helped welcome attendees into the opening of the night. More of her music can be found various music platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc along with more information on her Foundation and music from her albums on her website.
As Noa finished up her set, Dj Beatific began to set up to carry the night into a more hip hop atmosphere with remixes of hits from both the 90s and 00’s setting the mood for the pumped up performance of New Yorker rapper Kosha Dillz. Bringing over New York energy Rami Matan Even-Esh, aka Kosha Dillz, combines his personal feelings surrounding the world, politics, and his Jewish roots and much more through woven rap with more old school hip hop beats. He, alongside DJ Beatific, took the audience through some of his hits and more recent work that allowed him to share his emotional journey through the pandemic. Definitely taking on the role of stage hype man and main performer Kosha Dillz charmed the crowd with his charisma, witty conversations with the audience, and even a little heckling here and there. Although the crowd may not have been his usual rap listening demographic, he interacted with everyone throughout the night to keep them amped up. He set up the stage and easily transitioned the night into the main event’s hands, Gili Yalo.
Gili Yalo is an Ethiopian born musician who found his bearings and ties back to Ethiopian culture after an emotional life starting from coming to Israel with his family as refugees during Operation Moses. Much of Gili’s history talks on the difficulties of growing up as an Ethiopian man in Israel during a time when society wasn’t so keen on having neighbors so different share space with them. He has often shared in interviews how childhood stories and personal dealings with racism molded him to come to terms with the feelings of knowing and owning his Ethiopian history, roots, and blood. Pouring these sentiments into his music, Gili Yalo creates a new world of music taking inspiration from Jazz, Funk, and Blues genre sounds but tying together the haunting nature of Ethiopian scales, which are pentatonic. However the music is lively and incorporates Yalo’s feelings of music in Ethiopia being a way of life and not just dreams of being on stage. This was incredibly apparent in the strong and overwhelming power Gili Yalo brought to the stage. As he shared some of his hits like “Sew Lesew” and “Selam” the audience is transported into this mystical world that is so new and so nostalgic at the same time, especially for other immigrants. To be able to cross beyond the barrier of language and pull people from all walks into a new music, whether it be for the instrumentals or the hypnotizing pull of the vocals, is no easy feat and Gili Yalo beautifully achieves that. Gili’s music is available on popular music sites such as Spotify, ITunes, Apple Music, etc and his most recent album Made in Amharica is a musical journey that everyone genuinely needs to embark on.
Overall the night was an immense success for both the audience and for event coordinator Adam Swig who created Value Culture. Truly we do not need to be from the one same culture to share a bond with so many other paths our fellow humans take. Adam’s goals are embedded within his organization and Value Culture brought together the community in San Francisco to remind us just how connected we can all be thanks to music.