Oakland Museum of California

Civic Center

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In a Nutshell

  • Dance, drinks & DJs
  • Learn the history of drumming
  • Live jazz & Afro-beat music
  • Seven hours of music & more

The Fine Print

Promotional value expires Feb 26, 2011. Amount paid never expires. Limit 1 per person, may buy multiple as gifts. Valid only on 2/25. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

Early drums were reserved for cultural celebrations, from a particularly successful mammoth hunt to an uproarious zinger about the differences between men, women, and Neanderthals. Pound away at history’s gong with today’s Groupon: for $6, you get one admission to the O Zone, the celebration of the drum, at Oakland Museum of California on Friday, February 25 from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. (a $12 value).

Honoring the crucial roll of the drum throughout the history of music, the Oakland Museum of California brings West African grooves to the Golden State for a night of celebration, dancing, drinking, and rump-shaking enlightenment. The party starts at 5 p.m. and doesn’t stop until the clock bangs the bongo at midnight.

Kick things off in the soundtrack lounge, where the beloved vinyl antiquarians from Amoeba Music spin the best of world beats near the dance-inducing cash bar. Join master drummer CK Ladzekpo and famed composer and percussionist Anthony Brown for “California Futures: Soundtrack – The Drum.” This special presentation samples the progression of African drumming throughout history, with guest drummers and dancers acting as rhythmic raconteurs. Derique McGee resurrects the stomping, knee-slapping art of the hambone, bringing joy and ham to the crowd, before Duane Deterville illustrates the role of jazz in visual art and as a tool of resistance in California’s history. Take a break from King Tutting as Bill Bell and the Jazz Connection soothe the senses in concert with a fine dining menu from Chef Robert Dorsey of the Blue Oak Café, with food provided by Whole Foods Market, fueling feet for the big finale.

From 10:30 p.m. until midnight, the legendary Lagos Roots Afrobeat Ensemble blow the roof off the museum with colossal authentic funk. Featuring members of Fela Kuti & the Afrika 70, Sonny Okosun, and other cats who’ve jammed with Marley, Toots, and Jimmy Cliff, this Afro-beat supergroup closes the night with riotous beats infectious enough to put smiles on the faces of surly forty-niners.

Visitors are also invited to tour the OMCA galleries and to take a sneak peek at the Splendors of Faith/Scars of Conquest exhibit, which portrays the lavish history of Jesuit and Franciscan missions, which, while a feast for the eyes, is borderline difficult to dance to.


Oakland Museum of California was featured in the New York Times and Artdaily.org. One hundred eighty-two Yelpers give it a near perfect 4.5-star average. Nearly 4,900 Facebookers are fans of the museum.

Oakland Museum of California

California is too vast and diverse a state to capture through just one medium. That's why Oakland Museum of California combines art, history, and natural science collections—more than 1.8 million objects total—to tell the state’s story.

Organized around themes of land, people, and creativity, the art gallery showcases more than 70,000 works from the 19th century through present day, ranging from paintings and sculptures to new media. Encompassing more than 100,000 artifacts, including several thousand bird eggs, the natural sciences gallery spotlights seven particular landscapes, including Yosemite and Mount Shasta. The history gallery includes more than 2,200 objects that trace major periods in the state's history, tying together the lives of the indigenous people, incursions by Spanish settlers, and the giggling mad dash of the gold rush. In a nod to the history of Tinsel town, the interactive Creative Hollywood station lets visitors create an animation, add sound effects to movies, and forget a personal assistant’s birthday.

Forming the roof of each level, verdant gardens separate the galleries, while more greenery and sculptures beautify the museum's outdoor roof gardens and courtyards. The museum uses more outdoor space to hosts its Friday Nights @ OMCA, a family-friendly market full of live music, dance lessons, and local cuisine. Local and seasonal ingredients, meanwhile, flavor the dishes available in the museum's Blue Oak café. The café doubles as a residency for jazz bassist Ron Crotty, a founder of The Dave Brubeck Quartet, who grooves his way through jazz standards every Friday.

Customer Reviews

My friend and I enjoyed the museum displays and also ate a terrific lunch. It was a pleasant, relaxed afternoon. I also appreciated the brief guide, by one of the docents, through the new features of the museum upstairs. I do plan to go back!
Evelyn S. · January 27, 2014
Loved the museum! Thanks!
Michelle J. · January 13, 2014
Great museum and local resource, unfortunately underutilized.
Ron P. · January 5, 2014
Merchant Location Map
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    Civic Center

    1000 Oak St.

    Oakland, California 94607

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