Koncepts Cultural Gallery was a music club for avant-garde and experimental jazz that operated as a nonprofit corporation . It was founded by Edsel Matthews and Kimathe Assante in 1984 with volunteer support. In addition to hosting concerts, Koncepts offered master classes by artists.1 Describing the organization, Matthews told the Oakland Tribune, "The big point behind concepts originally and now is that culture cures. Artists have what the culture needs, and we're trying to glorify the artists as they give us their art."2

ad from KPFA Folio, 1985

Over its history Koncepts Cultural Gallery hosted concerts in Jenny Lind Hall, with its last show at that location featuring Oakland blues guitarist Brownie McGhee. 2 From there, Koncepts Cultural Gallery reopened in the Western Pacific Depot building where it also served as the venue for Oakland's Jazz in Flight and was the venue where Henry Threadgill recorded, "Live at Koncepts Cultural Gallery" in 1991. 4 In 1992, Koncepts lost its lease in the Depot. 3

However Koncepts Cutural Gallery found a new home in the Alice Arts Center by 1995 where it continue to do its works into the 21st Century. Unfortunately Edsel Matthews, born and raised in East Harlem, and a great contributor to Oakland, California died an early death on December 31, 2003.

The nonprofit behind Koncepts was originally created in November 1985, but was rarely in good graces with California's Secretary of State or Franchise Tax Board (FTB). 5

Links and References

  1. "Koncepts will keep its jazzy act downtown in new, bigger spot; fall opening expected" L. Kelp Oakland Tribune June 11, 1987
  2. "What a Koncept! Oakland's unique jazz club reopens - and with a bang." Larry Kelp Oakland Tribune November 1, 1987
  3. Edsel Matthews -- founded Koncepts Gallery SFGate
  4. Live at Koncepts Cultural Gallery". Wikipedia
  5. Koncepts Cultural Gallery, Inc. corporate history from California Secretary of State Koncepts Articles.pdf Koncepts SOS Status.jpg