Enjoy performances by comedians Suzanne Westenhoefer, Sandra Valls, Karinda Dobbins, and Renée Santos; music by Gaye Adegbalola, Lourdes Pérez, Bitch, and Sinclair. Dance parties with DJ Olga T and DJ Lady Char; and our resident Yogini Richelle Donigan will help you greet each day with mindfulness.
No one ever accused Suzanne of being subtle, not the shuttle driver who took her to the airport, the woman she was in line with at the grocery store yesterday and certainly not her audiences. Subtle, she is not.
After 25 years of groundbreaking, stereotype-shattering and brutally honest comedy, she’s not about to start pulling punches now.
The kid from Amish Country who began her comedy career on a dare is celebrating a quarter century of out, open, no-holds-barred comedy.
Suzanne tells the truth. The truth is life is funny, especially when it’s fermented in Suzanne’s mind. That’s why she could never be in the closet, making her a trailblazer when she started doing stand-up in the 1990s. She was the first openly lesbian comedian with an HBO Special and the first openly lesbian comedian on “Late Night with David Letterman.”
Heck, she was on Sally Jesse Raphael in 1991 on a show called “Breaking the Lesbian Stereotype…Lesbians Who Don’t Look Like Lesbians.” From “OMG, a lesbian has long hair and wears make up” to “I went to Helen and Jane’s wedding last weekend,” that’s how far we’ve come in the 25 years Suzanne has been telling her truth to audiences all over the world. Some of that is certainly thanks to her candor, courage and charisma.
Suzanne never does the same show twice. She can’t. She doesn’t write anything down. She charges boldly onto the stage and what happens is always a mystery and a delight. Enjoy a wild night of comedy in a city near you.
“Talented and Hilarious” – Los Angeles Times
“Comedic Gold!” – Latina Magazine
“A Knock Out” – My San Antonio
"She brings to light issues that impact the women of color community!" - QWOC Media
"Valls is as true to her ethnicity as she is to her sexuality; knocking TV audiences on their behinds!" Curve Magazine
Sandra Valls is a comic, actor, singer, writer, and badass. She is best known for her powerful stand-up comedy performances in Showtime’s The Latin Divas of Comedy and Pride: LGBT Comedy Slam, hosted by Bruce Vilanch. Her unique mix of physical comedy and brilliant story telling make it easy to see why the Los Angeles Times calls Sandra “Talented and Hilarious”! Curve included her in their 2017 Power List as One of the Most Influential Queer Women in the Country and voted her One of the Top 10 Funniest Lesbian Comics. Latina Magazine voted Sandra One of the Top 33 Bad Ass Comics with Latin Roots and Go Magazine has named her One of the Top 100 Women We Love.
Sandra made her Off-Broadway debut at the famous SoHo Playhouse with her smash hit play THE LATINA CHRISTMAS SPECIAL, which she co-wrote and stars in. One of her other highlights is sharing the stage with Melissa Etheridge at the Lesbian Political Action Committee (LPAC) event in New York City honoring Billy Jean King.
Her other television credits include but are not limited to Outlaugh Festival, One Night Stand Up (LOGO), Comic’s Unleashed with Byron Allen (ABC), Habla! (HBO), Que Locos (Galavision), Funny is Funny, Latino 101 (Sitv), BET’s Comic View, NickMom Night Out (Nickelodeon), and countless other TV spots including MTV3’s Quiero Mis Quince, Wanna be Latinos and Top Tr3ce, Mun2 Comedy Documentary and I love Jenny!
Sandra is also a favorite onstage as an emcee. Her hosting credits include TEDX Women, Women in Medicine: Lesbian Health Fund Conference, San Antonio LGBT Chamber of Commerce Coming Out Day, Equality San Antonio – Spirit of Texas Brunch, Latino Institute at Creating Change, La Femme Film Awards (11 years in a row), Power UP 10 Amazing Gay Women and Men Gala, and GLAAD Awards and London Lesbian Film Festival…to name a few.
Always an human rights activist, Sandra was also honored in her hometown of Laredo, Texas with the 2013 International Woman’s Day Award for being a trailblazer and empowering women and was chosen by Unidos-The National Latino LGBT Human Rights Organization to be part of their prestigious list for Project VISIBLE Latinos LGBT in the USA and Puerto Rico: Out in Leadership. GLAAD has honored Sandra’s work at Mun2 with a Special Recognition Award for her groundbreaking achievements in production for promoting fair and accurate representation of the LGBTQI community in English-speaking Latino television.
Furthermore, The California Senate presented Sandra with a Certificate of Recognition for her relentless support of people in recovery in the LGBTQI community as exemplified by her leadership in producing “One Gay at a Time", a comedy show that celebrates people in recovery.
Sandra is also an actor, singer, and a published author. Pick up your copy of (Out on the Edge: America’s Rebel Comics) and read all about what it’s like to be a lesbian and a woman of color in the comedy world!
Catch Sandra sharing her healing and wisdom online Women's Empowerment Event: Rise up and Kick Ass. www.riseupkickass.com.
GAYE TODD ADEGBALOLA (pronounced AH - DEG - BA - LOLA), is a multi-instrumentalist and composer. She is a Blues Music Award (BMA) winner and a founding member of Saffire -The UppityBlues Women (1984-2009). Her CD about LGBTQ issues, “Gaye Without Shame” was nominated for a BMA and her children’s CD, “Blues in All Flavors" won the Parents’ Choice Gold Award. Her 2019 release, “The Griot” (pronounced GREE - OH) chronicles topical blues for topical times.
Gaye has received the Kristen Lems “Social Change Through Music” Award at the National Women’s Music Festival in 2018 and in 2019 the “Koko Taylor Queen of the Blues" Award for preserving traditional blues from the Jus’ Blues Foundation. Along with her music recognitions she is a former Virginia State Teacher of the Year (8th grade science) and has been honored as an OUTstanding Virginian. The Library of Virginia recognized her as one of the 2018 Virginia Women in History Honorees (along with Barbara Kingsolver, Rita Dove and others).
Mother of Juno Lumumba Kahlil, Gaye is a long-time activist, who continues to provide a voice for those who have been marginalized by society. By definition of her life’s work, she is indeed a griot.
Santos burst onto the Stand-Up comedy scene 6 years ago in her first National Television debut on Showtime Network's "Pride Comedy Jam".
The Network touts, "a hip and hilarious show with a great ensemble of up-and-coming diverse comics, including the witty anecdotes of Latina Lesbian comic Renee Santos." She has been a regular on the Los Angeles comedy scene performing consistently at local clubs, including the Comedy Store, The Laugh Factory, and the Hollywood Improv. In April of 2015 she became a Bi-Coastal Comic earning residency at NYC’s New York Comedy Club.
Santos has been moving and shaking in the Comedy arena since she took her funny on tour to the East Coast and many Colleges Nationwide. She returns to Olivia after first appearing for the Olivia family in May of 2013 when she joined Wanda Sykes and an amazing line-up of talented entertainment on Olivia’s 40th Anniversary Punta Cana Resort Vacation. The ball continued rolling, booking a starring role in the show “Stand-up and Deliver” featured on Jennifer Lopez’s new network NuvoTV Tuesday nights. Santos returned to the Television showcasing for Season 9’s “Last Comic Standing” airing on NBC. In the fall of 2018, she was signed by record label UPROAR Entertainment, the label responsible for launching the careers of greats Margaret Cho and Richard Pryor. In the fall of 2018 her first 1 Hour Comedy Album "Outside the Box" hit iTunes, Amazon, and anywhere you can buy Comedy or Music. In early October of 2019 her Stand-Up Comedy Special "Outside the Box" was picked up by Amazon Prime. Add to your Watchlist today! In 2020 she shot an HBO MAX Special “HA Fest” in San Antonio Texas and embarked on a new tour for 2021.
Although she has a natural funny bone, Santos has been working hard at her craft for several years both on stage and on-camera. She recently hit the NYC Equity Stage in Yvonne Hernandez’s Queer Monologues after wrapping her run as “Squeaky Fromme” in the acclaimed play Assassins. She recently played the role of Nurse Heidi Breslin in NBC'S newest hit show "New Amsterdam" and co-starred in TNT's "Murder in the First", as a CSI Officer, the Jerry Bruckheimer produced CBS sci-fi series “Eleventh Hour”, and Showtime’s “Californication” starring David Duchovny. Santos also has a “Bank of America/Merrill Lynch” Commercial running nationwide. Her acting credits include roles in several celebrated indie films, including her first starring role in Standout Productions’ newest film, "One Way Street," and the film "Shooting April" which was featured in two festivals and was named ‘Favorite Movie of the Month’ by Film Stage Magazine.
In addition, her voice-over abilities have landed her regular gigs on the ‘looping’ scene, including numerous Disney projects and the NBC hit series “Brothers and Sisters” for its last two seasons. Santos is no stranger to improvisation and sketch comedy writing either, beginning as an active member of Emerson College's Comedy Sketch Group in Boston and most recently sharing her characterizations on the stages of the infamous Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) in New York City. In June of 2019 she graced Caroline’s Comedy Club Main Stage as a Stand-up and writing collaborator for David Letterman producer Barbara Gaines' LPAC benefit. Currently, she is in Pre-Production for her next 1 Hour Network TV Stand-Up Variety Comedy Special slated to hit the world in early 2023.
Karinda Dobbins is a stand-up comedian, writer, and actor. Karinda has performed at comedy festivals across the country, including Comedy Central’s Clusterfest, and SF Sketchfest. Bitch Magazine said Karinda is one of “Six Hilarious Female Comedians You Don’t Know Yet – But Should.” She has been featured on Logo's NewNowNext. She has opened for Trevor Noah, Michelle Wolf and Gina Yashere. Her debut comedy album Black & Blue is available now.
“With her beautiful voice of thick smoke and clear honey, Lourdes Pérez leaves deep footprints that we will remember forever.” – Gloria Anzaldúa
Puerto Rican composer, poet, decimista, oral historian, vocalist and guitarist Lourdes Pérez is known for her “achingly beautiful contralto voice” and her ability to write emotionally rich songs about people, places, history and ideals. Often called “one of the finest Latin American vocalists and songwriters,” Pérez was invited in 1995 by legendary Argentinean vocalist, Mercedes Sosa, to perform as her surprise guest in Boston and later, in 2002, to sing a series of duets with her at multiple concerts in Austin, Texas. Pérez has performed internationally from remote areas to performing arts centers and has collaborated and recorded duets with artists across language and genre for over 25 years.
It is often said that her voice "transcends language" in ability to transmit and elicit emotion. In Canada, critics dubbed her “the Edith Piaf” of the Spanish language. Her soulful music, strongly rooted in her rural jíbara origins, has been characterized as a kind of "Puerto Rican morna or fado" and as an "opera of the people."
In the early ’90s when she began touring, Pérez was one of the only out, Latina lesbian musicians. Refusing to change her narrative, appearance or language, she often occupied spaces that didn’t overlap or include people like her. In doing so, she courageously opened paths for others along the way.
Pérez is one of 1000 performers in the world profiled in the Music Hound World: The Essential Album Guide (2000) and she is featured in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States (Oxford University Press, 2005). In 2006, she was one of the first five composers--and the only woman--to be awarded the unrestricted, United States Artist Fellowship for Music. Published works include 13 CDs (two of which include illustrated, oral history books), a 20 year box set and numerous scores and soundtracks for dance, theater and film.
In 2018 she released the book/CD Still Here: Homenaje al Westside de San Antonio (her lyrics and music; multiple artists) on Chee Wee Records, as well as a live album, Tengo la Vida: Live from Rome, on the Italian label, Block Nota Records. Pérez is the co-host of the new global podcast, Radio VoxFem, showcasing women songwriters/composers from every nation on earth.
Bitch makes witchy poet pop. She does it with violins and synthesizers. The resulting songs from her new album Bitchcraft, which came out on Kill Rock Stars February 4th, 2022, are heartbreaking, spectral, political and beautiful. Bitch is based in Los Angeles after living in New York for many years. She’s a longstanding queer music icon and “Bitchcraft” is her 9th studio album. Bitch first achieved notoriety as one half of the queer folk duo Bitch & Animal. The band went on tour with Ani DiFranco, whom they met while playing a gig at a pizza shop in Provincetown. In the mid 2000s, Bitch went solo, and shared stages with the Indigo Girls, acted in John Cameron Mitchell’s film Shortbus, co-wrote a song with Margaret Cho, produced two albums of her elder folk hero Ferron, and licensed some of her songs to The L Word. Eight years ago, she began to weave together Bitchcraft, her latest record.
Bitchcraft was born in a move from New York City, where Bitch had lived for 15 years, to a log cabin in the woods. There was all the time in the world to make art, and it was there, in the cabin, that Bitch began to write some of the songs that would appear on Bitchcraft. “It gave me space to think about the biggest version of myself that I could be,” she says of those early days in the cabin. The songs she wrote were a departure from anything she’d ever written before, and she began to craft huge pop tracks with the help of her trusty violin. Then, she moved to LA and Bitchcraft began to shapeshift again. In the years that followed, Bitch assembled a coven to complete it. She called on Anne Preven (Beyonce, Demi Lovato), the rapper God-des and Roma Baran (Laurie Anderson) as advisors. Melissa York (Team Dresch, The Butchies) and Faith Soloway (Transparent) co-wrote some of the songs. Bitchcraft, her first album in 8 years, is one that makes you think and makes you dance. It was recorded in LA, Austin, Provincetown, and Boston. Full of violins, synths, and huge vocals, the record is neon pink and in your face. It’s Joni Mitchell set to a click track; it’s queer Cyndi Lauper and will hex you with its brilliance. It also makes you think: about the state of the world, about evil politicians, about what it means to exist as a woman, and how to find joy along the way.
Sinclair is a multi-instrumentalist who writes, sings, plays and produces her own music. She has shared the stage with the likes of Daughtry, Kacey Musgraves, Mike Posner, Ke$ha, MKTO, Max Frost and more. She hails from Potsdam, NY, where she broke away from a highly religious sect of family members who have never accepted her since coming out, nor her wife, Natalie. With this hardship in her rear view, Sinclair has become a beacon of hope within the LGBTQ community, showing by example that you can overcome hate, find your own happiness - and choose your family.
Named in the “100 Women We Love - Class of 2017” for GO Magazine, many notable outlets have been impressed with Sinclair. Nylon raves, “No gimmicks. Just really good music,” while Teen Vogue says her music is, “bound to get stuck in your head”.
DJ Olga T
DJ Olga T
Making people sweat on the dance floor for the past 16 years, Olga T is a master of creating perfect live mixes and generating extreme crowd satisfaction. One of the few DJs in the Bay to effectively play multiple music formats, DJ Olga T knows music, all kinds of music. She is widely known for driving her crowd into a dance orgasm with non-stop booty shaking Hip Hop/R&B sets because that is what the masses ask for. However, her love and specialty is deep and soulful House music. If you're down for sexy soulful, latin, gospel, world beat and classic House grooves, she will take you to a higher level of emotional and melodic bliss.
DJ Olga T always plays with extreme passion and unparalleled perfection. Having an empty dance floor is never an option. Her sets are always exciting because of her never-ending arsenal of current, classic, and original songs, remixes, breaks and mash-ups. Olga imagines what it’s like to be on the dance floor and plays with genuine feeling and connection to the crowd. The energy exchange is her guide to making her audiences go crazy on the dance floor every time she plays.
Olga T has always raised the bar when it comes to performing as well as producing her own events. Sharing the spotlight with numerous fellow DJs by introducing them to successful parties, pushing them to do their best, and even teaching up and coming DJs effective DJing techniques, Olga T has always given back to the community that she loves.
Olga T is the creator of Oakland's weekly Wednesday night hot spot for all women, queers, and transfolk, "GOOD TIMES" at the beautifully appointed gay-owned and operated Bench & Bar in Downtown Oakland. Most recently, she has added a once a month Saturday night version of the party to the City called "GOOD TIMES in SF". These events are not to missed; they're always special.
Look out for free download links to some of her past mixed CDs and custom blends posted here.
DJ Lady Char
DJ Lady Char
One of the Sacramento's most prominent and musically diverse DJ’s, with club residencies all over California and Nevada. Char travels all over the Bay Area on a weekly basis rocking dance floors with pride. Char has a strong love of not just playing music, but being an active part of the community and our youth. She is an open format DJ who loves to genre hop during her sets, offering each night as a musical journey to her followers.
Lady Char was raised in the 707 and found her love for music in the beautiful Bay. Char grew up with a family who surrounded themselves with music and dancing and through them she gained a very broad musical taste (80’s, Souls, Reggae, R&B, Hip Hop, Alternative and even Country.) She was introduced to House Music during the late 90’s rave scene and this then paved the way towards her musical career.
In early 2016 Char started her own after school DJ youth enrichment program where she educates and inspires youth through music and DJ culture. You can find out more about Love Beat DJ Workshops HERE.
Char takes pride in creating an unforgettable experience for all, in every event she takes part in, big or small. She hopes to move you with music, beats that touch your soul and make you forget about the daily stresses in life. Lady Char is all about love and positivity, she promotes equality and loves to support all those with like minds.
Richelle Evelyn Donigan is a masterful Yoga Instructor, Life Coach, Author, and Speaker. She has been in the work and study of transformation for more than 40 years. Richelle has an extraordinary gift for creating safe empowering spaces for beginners and communities that have been traditionally underserved. She has created and led numerous retreats and workshops focusing on LGBTQ Communities. Her Butch Yoga workshops allow Butch Identified women to come as they are, listen and be heard by other Butches and support one another as they share and practice together. Richelle’s Vision Workshops are life changing. You will walk out with powerful clarity and strategies to create a life that you absolutely LOVE. A consummate teacher, Richelle embodies wellness and is dedicated to uplifting community with the profound healing practices of Yoga & Vision.