.RAW: Ensemble Brings Music, Art and Fashion to Beso Thursday

IF SubZERO and SVSX are any indication, there’s plenty of local artistic talent to go around in San Jose nowadays. While it may seem hard to regularly find these talents in a single place, a national organization called RAW started showcasing events locally this past May with a novel focus—rather than cover one aspect of a city’s creativity, why not share them all at once?
RAW: Ensemble on Sept. 27 is cross-pollination at play, an event unique for its all-inclusive focus. A typical RAW happening will feature paintings, sculptures, crafts, music and film in a single night. The edition on Thursday will feature music from Boyfriend Academy (electronic, and just heard at SVSX) and Heroes at Gunpoint (punk/metal) and more than 20 other artists, including Joshua Moreno (photos), Leighann Spivey (makeup) and  Demichild (performing arts).
“We try to be open minded to everyone and everything,” says Greg Gioia, showcase director for RAW: Ensemble. “A lot of what RAW is about is not really having limits. Anybody that has their artistic expression to share or some work to share with the world, they’re welcome, and we’re trying to just give an open forum for a lot of voices that have not had a way to be heard yet.”
Founded by fashion designer Heidu Laerra in 2005, RAW presents monthly shows in 54 cities across the United States. The concept was envisioned as a way for independent artists to pool their talent and gain more exposure.
Samantha Vu-Smith, a.k.a. Planet Cutopia, will present her recycled felt crafts for the first time this month and her husband, Tony Smith, will take the stage as electronic music artist Boyfriend Academy. He pointed out that RAW’s collaborative nature favors young artists: “When you have two dozen different artists and performers, each of those people has their own fan club, so you almost are guaranteed a decent-sized turnout just because it’s such a big lineup.”
RAW: Ensemble
Thursday; 8pm; $10
Beso Nightclub, San Jose


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