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In these nine distinctive advanced ensembles students gain intensive experience in their art form and create original works.


Discovery of one’s gift is the beginning of a journey. When ready, students are invited to join one of nine distinctive resident companies at the Center. In these companies, alongside professional faculty and accomplished adult mentors, students gain intensive experience performing cultural masterworks from around the world as well as in creating original works of theater, dance, music, and film.

Iron Triangle Theater

Joe Orrach, Director

Iron Triangle Theater performs original works created through improvisational workshops as well as scripted works, both traditional and contemporary. The company maintains a repertoire of poetry, scenes, and monologues from Richmond community history as well as under heard literary voices, all of which are performed at community events throughout the Bay Area. Through year-round writing and production, young adult company members are supported in the translation to stage of material that reflects their life experiences and those of their community.

Iron Triangle Urban Ballet

Miya Hisaka, Director

Iron Triangle Urban Ballet is a pre-professional concert repertory dance theater company  that attracts the most advanced dancers from The Center’s dance program.  The Company creates diverse original works together as well as presents works from local, national and international choreographers. ITUB’s primary focus is:  training and performance; the development of team working and leadership skills; and nurturing the individual artist in finding their own voice through movement.  Membership ranges from 11-14 members, with technical levels ranging from advanced beginning to advanced dancers, as well as alumni. There are annual Fall auditions.

Richmond Bloco Steel Band

Joe Kelly, Director

Bloco, which means “group” in Brazilian Portuguese, draws inspiration from parade and procession traditions in Louisiana, Bahia Brazil, West Africa, and Trinidad, as well as the imagination of students from the Center’s neighborhoods. East Bay Center’s award winning ensemble combines the traditions of American Jazz, Brazilian samba, and West Indian calypso as played on the steel drums, with contemporary urban hip-hop music styles.

Richmond Chamber Ensemble

Candace Sanderson, Director

Hiyas Hila, Director

Supported by the Center’s large private and group musical instruction program East Bay Center’s Youth Chamber Ensemble prepares and performs challenging music grounded in the Classical European tradition, from the Eighteenth into the Twenty-first Century. Repertoire material generally features diverse music written for two to nine musicians and is usually performed without a conductor. The members of the Richmond Chamber Ensemble rehearse year round, welcoming guest artists, preparing side by side recitals and collaborating with vocalists, dancers and theater productions at the Center.

Richmond Jazz Collective

Howard Wiley, Director

The Richmond Jazz Collective at the East Bay Center is where mentors and young jazz lions meet. Dedicated to the skills and repertoire of Jazz’s Be Bop era and its luminaries such as Thelonius Monk, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, and Miles Davis, the Collective also explores Latin jazz forms, Rhythm and Blues, and contemporary styles. In this Resident Company, works of the masters are analyzed, studied, and transmitted to new generations of composers and jazz creators.

Son de la Tierra

Artemio Posadas, Director

Dolores “Lolis” García, Director

Son de la Tierra (Song of the Earth) reflects an intense commitment to traditional practices of distinct Mexican dance, poetry, music, and ceremonial occasions including Xantolo (Día de los Muertos), La Rama and monthly Fandangos. Central to this group’s purpose is a dedication to Son as a cultural form, exemplifying a range of unique expressions from rural Mexican villages to inner-city California neighborhoods.

Voices of Reason

Dana Salzman, Director

Comprised of eight to sixteen young singers, Voices of Reason adds an urban mix of school-yard intensity and hip hop inflection to the deep roots of African American Song — spirituals, gospel, blues, jazz, R&B, and soul singing. Whether a capella or accompanied, Voices of Reason reminds us that before the first word was spoken, it was most likely sung.

West African Music and Dance Ensemble

CK Ladzekpo, Director

Betty Ladzekpo, Director

The work of the Music and Dance Ensemble is based on the vast wealth of classical music and dance forms from West Africa. The Ensemble is seen as a guardian of the root dance forms of West Africa, ensuring their integrity and clarity, maintaining a tangible link directly to West Africa and their cultural context. Though clearly West African in origin, the dance and music of the Ensemble is choreographed and composed specifically for an American audience.

For More Information on Ensembles

 Please contact Lolis García, Associate Director of Student Development and Training.

(510) 323-2019