Berkeley Arts Festival

The Berkeley Arts Festival Calendar is dedicated to the notion that in Berkeley every day is an arts festival. With the first month-long Arts Festival in 1997, we initiated this web site and realized that it could fill a need for information about the activities of all the Berkeley arts organizations year-round. So we expanded it and kept it going, as a guide for the arts-loving people of Berkeley and in appreciation of the City's continued support.

The Berkeley Arts Festival presents

We again have a home for the Berkeley Arts Festival this year, 2133 University Avenue right next to Ace Hardware. We have scheduled concerts with some of the most creative people in Berkeley--the musicians, composers and writers who bring vibrant talents for all to hear and see. So come along with us on an exciting journey into their domains.
Suggested donation $10-$20 unless otherwise noted. Check for changes on our website: www.berkeleyartsfestival.com

Wednesday, August 20th 2014

Jon Raskin Trio and Ackley, McDonas, Stackpole

First Set - 8:00
Jon Raskin Trio
Vijay Anderson - drums
Matthew Goodheart - piano
Jon Raskin - saxophones

The trio will be performing "structured chaos" and "knowing the unknowable". These long time musical alchemists will descend into the musical memes of their past and burnish the fossils and jewels of inspiration. They will endeavor to "lift the bandstand".

Second Set - 9:00
Thollem McDonas - piano
Karen Stackpole - gongs and percussion
Bruce Ackley - soprano and tenor saxes, Bb clarinet

Gongwoman is our local maestra of the vibration, Ackley a founding member of Rova, and Thollem our vagabonding hero keyboardist. The trio's first concert together at Berkeley Arts last year was exciting and mysterious. Mutual affinities have drawn us together for another performance-which is sure to delight and surprise listeners.

8pm to 10:30pm, Berkeley Arts 2133 University Avenue, between Shattuck & Oxford


Friday, August 22nd 2014

Jerry Kuderna Lunch Concert

Pianist Jerry Kuderna plays from classics to the newest compositions.

12 noon to 1:30pm, 2133 University Ave.


Sunday, August 24th 2014

8pm Wobbly / Dimuzio 9pm Ackley - Lasqo - Ellis - Robinson

8pm: Thomas Dimuzio & Wobbly

Extreme space exploration by the Bay Area's most radical electronics duo.

Thomas Dimuzio is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, electronic musician & musical pioneer renowned for his innovative use of live sampling, looping techniques, signal processing, custom crossfade looping, and algorithmic mixing, which fuel the man/machine synergy of his performances. Intercepted signal feeds from collaborators, wild sources of MIDI-controlled feedback, modular synths, circuit-bent toys & ambient microphones become integrated sound sources within his system of live interactive electronics, effortlessly moving from electroacoustic & noise to glitch, dark ambient, improv & drone. Listed sound sources on his many CDs include everything from "modified 10-speed bicycle" & "resonating water pipe" to short-wave radios, loops, feedback, samplers, and even normal instruments such as clarinet and trumpet, while his current work is facilitated by the deep expanses of modular synthesis.

Jon Leidecker has been performing music under the name Wobbly since 1990. Releases include the album Wild Why for Tigerbeat6, Live 99>00 for Phthalo, Regards for Alku, Simultaneous Quodlibet for Important Records, and Playlist & Music For The Fire for Illegal Art. Recent festival appearances include Sound Unseen / Plunderphonia in Minneapolis, Ether at Royal Festival Hall in London, and Sonar in Barcelona.

Taking to heart Spider Robinson's advice from Melancholy Elephants, "Art is long, not infinite... One day we will use it up - unless we can learn to recycle it like any other finite resource", Wobbly has gone on vast plunderphonic raids with fellow "detrivores" like Negativland, Matmos, and the Chopping Channel crew.

Or, as the website detritus.net puts it: "He says he is a performer of pre-recorded live music. If you know what that means please email us."

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9pm: Bruce Ackley - Lisle Ellis - Joe Lasqo - Donald Robinson

Bruce Ackley has been critical to the Bay Area free improv scene since the Sound Clinic with Lewis Jordan & George Sams in the 70s, a time when he also began playing with Larry Ochs & Jon Raskin, leading to the founding of the world-renowned ROVA Saxophone Quartet. Although Bruce has mainly devoted his time ROVA, he has done notable side projects with John Zorn, Eugene Chadbourne, Henry Kaiser, Dino J.A. Deane, Joseph Sabella, Stefano Scodanibbio, Miya Masaoka (正岡みや), Rohan de Saram, George Cremaschi & Garth Powell.

Veteran of 40+ recordings (including Down Beat âoe°âoe°âoe°âoe°âoe° The Ornette Coleman Songbook), bassist and computer musician Lisle Ellis. has worked with Paul Bley, Peter Brötzmann, Andrew Cyrille, Anthony Davis, Ben Goldberg, Frank Gratowski, Joëlle Léandre, Rudresh Mahanthappa (ರುದ್ರà³++ಶ್ ಮಹà²,ತಪ್ಪ), Miya Masaoka (正岡みや), Myra Melford, Bob Ostertag, William Parker, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Stefano Scodanibbio, Cecil Taylor, William Winant, Pamela Z, & John Zorn, among many others.

Lisle Ellis' long-term working relationship with Donald Robinson, in groupings such as the Glenn Spearman Trio, What We Live and various Biggi Vinkeloe bands, has created one of free jazz's most subtly driving and telepathic rhythm sections, described as "the best bass-drums tag team on the scene" by Jazz Times, and this telepathy will be in full force tonight.

Laptopist/pianist Joe Lasqo studied classical music in India; computer music at MIT, Columbia, Berkeley/CNMAT; has been a long-time avant jazz musician; & has lived, played & listened in many East Asian and European countries (now in SF). Special interests include applying AI techniques from expert systems, natural language processing, & computational linguistics to music; and the intersection of traditional Asian musics with modernism. Besides many collaborations with local & international musicians, Joe's had a solo residency for 3¾ years+ at San Francisco's Viracocha. His album, Turquoise Sessions, is on Edgetone, + new releases w Beth Custer, Thomas Dimuzio & Biggi Vinkeloe coming in soon.

Master drummer Donald Robinson, whom Coda Magazine has described as a "percussion Dervish", has numbered among his most notable collaborators Alan Silva, Anthony Braxton, Oliver Lake, Glenn Spearman, Larry Ochs, Cecil Taylor, Wadada Leo Smith, George Lewis, Bobby Few, Raphé Malik, Joe McPhee, John Tchicai, Marco Eneidi, Miya Masaoka (正岡みや), & Matthew Goodheart. After coming up in the hothouse of the Paris free jazz scene, Don has been a stalwart of both the SF Bay Area and northern and central European avant-garde jazz scenes.

8pm to 10:30pm, 2133 University Ave.


Wednesday, August 27th 2014

Bob Marsh & Evangel King

8:00 PM window/door/river #1
Bob Marsh, cello and voice
Evangel King, movement and sound

window/door/river began as a graphic response to a dance class with Anna Halprin a couple years ago. It seemed to resemble some of my graphic music compositions. The four panels reminded me of windows, or maybe they were doors. Maybe they were all aspects of the life of a river. I decided to send this window/door/river composition to various friends, near and far, asking them to create any kind of interpretation they might desire. Various types of realizations can be found at http://windowdoorriver.bandcamp.com/

Six months ago I began working with dancer/choreographer Evangel King on this project, exploring the variety of meanings, literal and metaphorical, of windows, doors and rivers. In the end we decided to work within the contexts of actual windows and doors, letting the river portion be the river of life that flows around us at all times
.
Other locations for the Marsh/King window/door/river project were at the Luggage Store Gallery, Hospitality House Gallery and Anna Halprin's Mountain Home Studio.

Set 2, 8:20pm: Henry Kuntz & Envision Ensemble

A rare appearance by a daring pioneer of joyously unbounded, infinitely free jazz.

Henry Kuntz has blazed many trails in realizing the intersection of world musics (esp. from Latin America and Indonesia) with a ritualistic & shamanistic quest for joy and sonic freedom in a "festival time" outside of clock time.

The Envision Ensemble (an outgrowth of the earlier Opeye Orchestra) moves toward an advanced improvisational archetype, one in which multiple independent events may occur while the musicians simultaneously create an experiential musical whole.

Joining will be special guest Dan Plonsey, who has made a career out of being mathematically impossible.

Line-up:

- Henry Kuntz: sax, violins, gamelan, percussion, ringleader
- Brian Godchaux: violin, viola, mandolin
- John Kuntz: ukulele, guitar, mandolin, percussion
- Esten Lindgren: contrabass, pocket trumpet
- Dan Plonsey: saxes

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Set 3, 9:15pm: Tom Duff & his Wire Machine

In another rare appearance, Bay Area master Tom Duff will install and perform/operate Wire Machine, which takes Alvin Lucier's seminal composition/installation Music on a Long Thin Wire and runs with it.

Almost 40 years ago, new music explorer Alvin Lucier designed and assembled an embodied musical process from a long wire, clamps, tables, speakers, an amp, an oscillator, microphones, and a powerful magnet.

Impresario, master of digital graphics & electronic sound art, and developer of Duff's Device, Tom Duff has re-imagined, re-realized, and radicalized this original scenario on various occasions, e.g. the notorious 5-day performance on sfSoundRadio in 2011 and the site-specific realization for the Soundwave (5) festival at Battery Townsley in the Marin Headlands in 2012.

Tom will use his expanded version of Lucier's kit to perform his piece Lucier, Golomb, Gray, exploring the effects of useful information encoding schemes on a vibrating electromechanical system and its listeners.

You won't know what hit you, but your chakras will be thoroughly cleansed (losslessly, and without spurious outputs). Come if you dare...

8pm to 10pm, 2133 University Ave.


Friday, August 29th 2014

Jerry Kuderna Lunch Concert

Pianist Jerry Kuderna plays from classics to the newest compositions.

12 noon to 1:30pm, 2133 University Ave.


Sunday, August 31st 2014

Quattor Elephantis - John Bischoff

8 pm
John Bischoff - live electronics

Bischoff will perform solo electronic pieces which incorporate a custom analog circuit of his own design. The circuit is linked to his laptop via audio lines. As Bischoff activates the circuit, the resulting sounds are analyzed in real-time by the laptop and used to inform an extended computer-synthesis response. A binding together of the analog and digital realms is the result, the unique characteristics of each medium crossbred and counterpoised in time to form a hybrid sensibility.

9 pm
Brett Carson's Quattor Elephantis

Quattuor Elephantis represents an intelligible entirety, dynamic and volatile, perceived through the kaleidoscopic effluence of the Four Cosmic Pillars. A brew of primeval energy is parsed and made available for consumption in a convenient four-person package of musicians navigating constructed worlds. Psychic debris accumulates in corners of sound-space and crystallizes into intricate compositional/improvisational structures. Creation appears to organize itself, only to return once again to the Void.

8pm to 9pm, Berkeley Arts - 2133 University Avenue, between Shattuck & Oxford


Friday, September 5th 2014

Jerry Kuderna Lunch Concert

Pianist Jerry Kuderna plays from classics to the newest compositions.

12 noon to 1:30pm, 2133 University Ave.


Wednesday, September 10th 2014

Mike Guarino solo - Low Standards

8 pm
Mike Guarino solo

Michael Guarino - percussion, electronics

9 pm
LOW STANDARDS

Joshua Marshall, saxophones
Eli Wallace, piano

Marshall and Wallace are a pair of players who embrace the bilateral tradition of jazz standards realized in the interplay of saxophone and piano. Their repertoire is drawn from the great american songbook and the respective oeuvres of selected composers as seminal as Benny Golson and Charles Mingus. That said, their interpretation of these timeless pieces contrasts with that of strict adherents to the conventions developed in their germination. Songs undergo upheaval as form and tempo become suggestions and a wide variety of compositional elements are utilized as platforms for improvisation. Their ambition is to challenge the improvisational foundations of these tunes, reaching beyond the practice of interpreting harmonies and melodic material articulated by a given piece, whilst playing with reverence for a time-honored lineage as they directly engage the material, leap forth from it, and perhaps return in the spirit of humility due to prodigals such as these.

9 pm

8pm to 9pm, Berkeley Arts - 2133 University Avenue, between Shattuck & Oxford


Friday, September 12th 2014

Jerry Kuderna Lunch Concert

Pianist Jerry Kuderna plays from classics to the newest compositions.

12 noon to 1:30pm, 2133 University Ave.


Sunday, September 14th 2014

Sarah Cahill CD Release Concert: Patterns of Plants

Sarah Cahill - piano

To celebrate the release of her new two-CD album of Mamoru Fujieda's "Patterns of Plants" on the Pinna Records label, Sarah performs some of these collections of pieces ranging from 1996 to 2010. Fujieda's main fascination as a composer is to give expression to the voices of plants. With the aid of a device called a Plantron, he "tries to make those voices audible as melodic patterns. In applying this method, the act of listening attentively becomes important. The various patterns thus detected are repeated, transformed, and superimposed to form one musical piece." The new album will be available at the release concert, and refreshments will be served.

3pm to 5pm, 2133 University Avenue


Wednesday, September 17th 2014

tim perkis solo - steve adams / shinji / john hanes 3

8 pm
Tim Perkis solo - live electronics

9 pm
Steve Adams - electronics
John Hanes - electronics
Shinji - butoh movement

8pm to 9pm, 2133 University Avenue, between Shattuck & Oxford


Friday, September 19th 2014

Jerry Kuderna Lunch Concert

Pianist Jerry Kuderna plays from classics to the newest compositions.

12 noon to 1:30pm, 2133 University Ave.


Sunday, September 21st 2014

Pascucci Brztwa Duo - Wild Hen

8 pm
Maryclare Brzytwa - flute
Crystal Pascucci - cello

9 pm
Wild Hen
Rachel Condry, clarinet
Crystal Pascucci, cello
Mark Clifford, vibes
Britt Ciampa, drums

8pm to 9pm, 2133 University Avenue


Wednesday, September 24th 2014

IMAGES - the music of sun ra

Sets at 8 and 9 pm

IMAGES: The Music of Sun Ra
Dan Clucas - trumpet
Clifford Childers - trombone
David Boyce - tenor saxophone
Phillip Greenlief - alto saxophone
Karl Evangelista - guitar
Dominique Leone - keyboard, piano
Jordan Glenn - drums

8pm to 10:30pm, Berkeley Arts - 2133 University Avenue, between Shattuck & Oxford


Friday, September 26th 2014

Jerry Kuderna Lunch Concert

Pianist Jerry Kuderna plays from classics to the newest compositions.

12 noon to 1:30pm, 2133 University Ave.


Sunday, September 28th 2014

Social Stutter 4tet - Ultralash

8 pm
The Social Stutter Quartet

Elizabeth Schenck - alto saxophone, composer
Kasey Knudsen - alto saxophone
Phillip Greenlief - tenor saxophone
Cory Wright - tenor saxophone

The music of the Social Stutter Quartet deftly walks the line between chamber music and jazz, with solos emerging from the natural order of intricately written lines. This newly-formed ensemble was created to realize the musical vision of composer Beth Schenck. Unlike traditional saxophone quartets, the pieces are composed for 2 alto and 2 tenor saxophones.

9 pm
Ultralash
The Hollywood Laundrette

Karry Walker (Ultralash) and Myles Boisen (Club Foot Orchestra / Orchestra Nostalgico) revisit the days of Tin Pan Alley and Hawaiian kitsch as The Hollywood Laundrette. Backed by Boisen's acoustic slide guitar and her own ukelele, Walker croons toe-tappin' tunes of a simpler time while addressing modern topics such as pregnancy tests, punk rock squats, alienation, and criminal proclivities. They'll be playing songs from their debut album "The Hollywood Laundrette" and tossing in a few new ditties to spare.

8pm to 9pm, Berkeley Arts - 2133 University Avenue, between Shattuck & Oxford


Today's Events - August 20

Jon Raskin Trio and Ackley, McDonas, Stackpole

First Set - 8:00
Jon Raskin Trio
Vijay Anderson - drums
Matthew Goodheart - piano
Jon Raskin - saxophones

The trio will be performing "structured chaos" and "knowing the unknowable". These long time musical alchemists will descend into the musical memes of their past and burnish the fossils and jewels of inspiration. They will endeavor to "lift the bandstand".

Second Set - 9:00
Thollem McDonas - piano
Karen Stackpole - gongs and percussion
Bruce Ackley - soprano and tenor saxes, Bb clarinet

Gongwoman is our local maestra of the vibration, Ackley a founding member of Rova, and Thollem our vagabonding hero keyboardist. The trio's first concert together at Berkeley Arts last year was exciting and mysterious. Mutual affinities have drawn us together for another performance-which is sure to delight and surprise listeners.

8pm to 10:30pm, Berkeley Arts 2133 University Avenue, between Shattuck & Oxford


Ongoing Events

Mike's Out of Doors Sculpture Wall

Location: South side of Ashby Avenue between Pine Street and Elmwood Court.

Open: 10 am to 10 pm,  Monday through Saturday.


AMERICAN BUFFALO by David Mamet

 Closing Aurora Theatre Company’s 22nd season is David Mamet’s powerful, fast-paced drama AMERICAN BUFFALO. Set during one long day, three small-time crooks of great ambition and low morals make plans to rob a man of his valuable coin collection, including what they believe to be an extremely valuable “Buffalo nickel.” As the day goes on, paranoia builds, motivations change, and loyalties shift, with characters wielding words like weapons to intimidate and manipulate each other. A little out of luck and way out of their league, when the con goes awry, it’s every man for himself. Widely recognized as a modern masterpiece, The Washington Post declared“American Buffalo remains a gleefully flinty slice of burnt-out life: taut, funny and, in the end, surprisingly touching,” and The New York Times stated “sizzler, searing and dynamite…can still be used to describe ‘American Buffalo,’ which age has not withered or staled.”

Aurora Theater

2081 Addison Street

through July 13


PRIDE AND PREJUDICE

Actors Ensemble will present FREE in Berkeley's fantastic John Hinkel Park Amphitheatre PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, adapted by Constance Cox from the book by Jane Austen, directed by Ann O’Connell.  Performances are at 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays July 5th – July 20th, plus a special performance at 4 p.m. on Friday, July 4th – watch a play before the fireworks begin!  Join us as the Bennet girls grapple with Mr. Darcy, Charles Bingley, and the rest of Jane Austen’s rich (and surprisingly funny) universe.

The amphitheatre seats over 200 people, but we will reserve the first few rows as a courtesy especially to the elderly and disabled - call 510-649-5999 to make a reservation.  The amphitheatre is wheelchair accessible - access is best from Somerset Pl, take Southhampton from Arlington and continue straight onto Somerset Pl.  (Google Maps will send you to the top of park, quite a hike down)

Reimagining Progress: Production, Consumption and Alternative Economies

We are living as if we have an extra planet at our disposal.

–Jim Leape, Director General, World Wildlife Fund International

We face an urgent problem: our current consumption patterns outstrip our planet’s available resources, and yet our society continues to produce massive amounts of cheap, disposable goods. With its complex history as a center of international commerce, radical politics, technological innovation, and cultural experimentation, the Bay Area is uniquely positioned to help solve this problem. Reimagining Progress features local artists powerfully critiquing our unsustainable status quo, exploring our society’s relationship to production, consumption, and waste while proposing alternatives that balance valuing people and planet with financial profit.

Artists include: Donna Anderson Kam, Trent Davis Bailey, Hopi Breton, Kristin Cammermeyer,  Julia Goodman, Daniel Healey, Ames Kanemoto, Kathryn Kenworth, Michael Kerbow, Marie-Luise Klotz, Aviva Knox,  Sara Kraft, Annie Leonard, Patrick Lydon, Scott Constable,  Kate Rhoades, Barrie Rokeach, and Paul Taylor

Jurors:

Lawrence Rinder, Director of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; JD Beltran, Artist and President of the San Francisco Arts Commission,; Deborah Munk, Director of the Artist Residency Program at Recology San Francisco; Berit Ashla, Executive Director of the David Brower Center

Gallery Hours: 

May 22 - September 4, 2014

Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sundays, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

David Brower Center 2150 Allston Way