Saturday February 8 @ 7 pm. Occidental Center for the Arts presents ‘Climbing Up the Mountain’: Singing the History of Black America. Benjamin Mertz is a charismatic Bay Area performer, composer, song leader, writer, human rights activist, and the founder/director of Joyful Noise Gospel Singers. He has just released his first CD entitled ‘Climbing Up the Mountain’. Join Benjamin Mertz as he leads us on a song and spoken word journey through history, with the power and beauty of black traditional music. From work songs to spirituals, from gospel to blues and jazz, this inspiring presentation will celebrate the wisdom and courage of black music, and the indelible mark it has made on American culture. Singing along is encouraged! Also features vocalist Nancy Louise, with Brendan Buss on saxophone. $15 Adv. /$20 at the door. Fine refreshments. Wheelchair accessible. www.occidentalcenterforthearts.org. 3850 Doris Murphy Ct. Occidental, CA. 95465.