NightLife Intersections Music

Be serenaded by the sweet yet powerful sounds of percussion and strings and experience the ways musical instruments can foster connection in the last leg of our NightLife Intersections series. Explore how instruments have evolved across generations and discover how they can be used to bridge communities.

NightLife Intersections Resident DJ: Emelle

Check out Emelle's NightLife Intersections Playlist on the NightLife Spotify page

See more from the NightLife Intersections series here


Intersections: Strings & Conversation

Intersections: Strings & Conversation
African Hall
7:30 PM

Start the night with Hannah Mayree of Black Banjo Reclamation Project and sitar player Kamal Ahmad as they come together for a jam session and lively discussion around the history and evolution of their stringed instruments, and how they honor traditions and history while blazing a new path for the future.

Intersections: Drums & Conversation

Intersections: Drums & Conversation
8:30 PM

Catch Carmen Román and Pierr Padilla from Cunamacué joined by Harry Best and Kristy Aki Oshiro for a rhythmic performance and talk, touching on the link between culture and artistic expression and the use of percussive instruments as a symbol of resistance.

The Menu - Drinks and Bites from Liquid Happiness and Chef Rob

Menu TBD!

Black Banjo Reclamation Project

Black Banjo Reclamation Project creates musical, cultural and land-based opportunities for Black, Afro-Diasporic communities around the world to work with the banjo as a tool for reclaiming ancestral wisdom & creating Afro-futures. This project is founded by creative facilitator and musician, Hannah Mayree, who's work and art lends itself as a tool for redesigning and reconnecting to our roots as humans on this planet.


Cunamacué - Founded in 2010 by dancer, choreographer, filmmaker and educator Carmen Román, Cunamacué spotlights Peru’s African descendants and their deep cultural legacy through music and dance.

Harry Best

Harry Best - Best is a Caribbean steel drum music pioneer and a seasoned songwriter. His signature percussion is performed on“pans,” finely tuned steel drums handcrafted from 55-gallon oil barrels.

Kamal Ahmad

Kamal Ahmad - A sitar player and raga music teacher, Ahmad embarked on his musical journey by learning tabla (Indian hand drums) before delving into the art of sitar under the guidance of his older sister. He currently performs and teaches Indian classical music on both international and domestic stages.

Kristy Aki Oshiro

Kristy Aki Oshiro - Oshiro is a queer, trans and non-binary, fourth generation Japanese Okinawan-American taiko artist, who in addition to performing also teaches and plays an active role in the greater Bay Area taiko community.

A few don't miss NightLife details
  • NightLife guests are no longer required to provide proof of full vaccination or a recent negative test. We still strongly encourage all guests to stay up-to-date on their vaccinations, and to mask up indoors. As always, if you’re feeling under the weather, please NightLife another time. View health and safety information here.
  • Last entry into the rainforest exhibit is 7:30 pm — our animals need their sleep.
  • Morrison Planetarium is now open at NightLife with 4 showtimes. To maximize staff and guest safety, planetarium passes are required and capacity is limited. Passes are available online in advance for an additional $5 while supplies last to reserve a seat at a 6:30, 7:30, 8:30, or 9:30 pm planetarium show. Please see our FAQs for more details. (Please note: A limited number of standby seats will be available for all showtimes as space allows on a first-come, first-served basis. Food and drink are not permitted inside the planetarium.)
  • Beverages are available at various bars throughout the building, but food must be enjoyed outdoors or in the Academy Café only.
  • NightLife is for adults 21+ only. Valid, physical photo ID required.
  • Still have Qs? See our FAQs here.

Planetarium Shows

6:30 pm, 7:30 pm, 8:30 pm, 9:30 pm

One Sky Project is five short films exploring cultural and indigenous astronomy perspectives.

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Upcoming events

May 23rd at 6:00 pm

Why is California so special? Find out at the opening of our newest exhibition, California: State of Nature.

May 30th at 6:00 pm

Calling all creatures of the night! Explore the Academy's nocturnal side. Sounds by: DJ Mark Maiden.

June 6th at 6:00 pm

We’re bringing the spice at our hottest event of the year. Hear from spicy savants, sample fiery foods, & more.

June 13th at 6:00 pm

Honor Black contributions to global dance with a special Juneteenth edition of the Make History dance battle.

June 20th at 6:00 pm

Inked is back at NightLife! Explore the wonders of ink from cephalopods to live tattoos–yes, the real kind!

June 27th at 6:00 pm

Celebrate the LGBTQ+ community with a night dedicated to community, activism & joy. Featuring drag by Oaklash.