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:

Friday, September 05th 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

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.

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.

Saturday, September 13th 2014

jazzArt for all

Draw to the exciting music of internationally acclaimed improvisors India Cooke and Don Robinson (and special guests) at this popular family event.

India Cooke - violin
Don Robinson - drums
Lisa di Prima - poetry reading

Music will also accompany the reading of two poems and a short story (Ntzoke Shange, Maya Angelou).

All art materials provided but you're welcome to bring your own.

Adults $5, Children free
No one turned away

3:30pm to 5:30pm, 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 Pinna Records, Sarah performs selections from this work, written over the period 1996-2011. The composer will be in attendance.

Fujieda's main fascination as a composer is to give expression to the voices of plants. With the aid of a device called the Plantron, he measures electrical fluctuations on the surface of their leaves, and converts the resulting data into sound. He then listens intently for musical patterns, which he repeats, transforms, and superimposes to form new musical pieces.

This new release is the first solo piano recording of this music to be made available outside Japan and also includes Fujieda's The Olive Branch Speaks, commissioned by Sarah for her 2009 A Sweeter Music project.

Join Sarah Cahill and Mamoru Fujieda for this very special event. The album will be available for advance purchase at a discounted price. Light refreshments will be served.

3pm to 5pm, 2133 University Avenue

Tuesday, September 16th 2014

Goggle Saxophone Quartet - Taylor Ho Bynum Conducts OrcheSperry

8 pm
Goggle Saxophone Quartet
Chris Jonas - soprano saxophone
Randy McKean - alto saxophone
Cory Wright - tenor saxophone
Dan Plonsey - baritone saxophone

Goggle's nucleus was formed at Mills College in 1987 when graduate students Randy McKean and Dan Plonsey, mutually attracted by the work of AACM stalwarts Anthony Braxton and Roscoe Mitchell, the World Saxophone and ROVA quartets, brought unsuspecting saxophonists into their orbit to realize their original compositions, featuring quirky rhythmic schemes and extended techniques. Chris Jonas joined them in 1989, bringing a love of active, overlapping structure and melody. McKean and Jonas moved to NYC in 1992, but the group continued with Plonsey and Bostonian Steve Norton, performing and recording as the Great Circle Saxophone Quartet in the mid-1990's. By the 00's, Jonas' former Oberlin schoolmate and instrumental hot-shot Cory Wright joined a touring saxophone sextet Plonsey formed to perform his music. Though subsequent relocations sent Jonas to Santa Fe and McKean, Plonsey and Wright to the San Francisco Bay Area, they have continued to collaborate and work together in various combinations, including the groups Daniel Popsicle and Bristle.

9 pm
Taylor Ho Bynum Conducts OrcheSperry
ela polak - violin
christina stanley - violin
shanna sordahl - cello
lisa mezzacappa - bass
john shiurba - guitar
rachel condry - Bb clarinet
cory wright - bass clarinet
phillip greenlief - alto saxophone
jon raskin - baritone saxophone
clifford childers - trombone
tim perkis - electronics
gino robair - percussion

As part of his acoustic bicycle tour, Taylor Ho Bynum will make a stop in the bay area to conduct OrcheSperry for a one-time-only performance. Here is what Bynum has to say about the tour:

"The Acoustic Bicycle Tour is an ongoing performance journey where I travel solely on bicycle, presenting solo concerts and playing with ensembles of area musicians. I see the entire trip as a kind of composition. Like all my music, it looks to combine the predetermined, indeterminate, improvised, intuitive and structured into an organic whole. The endeavor is an act of composition, a performance art piece, a philosophical statement, a celebration of musical community, and an exercise in extreme physicality. For me, there are clear analogies between choosing to travel by bike and choosing to pursue a career in creative music: the trip may be slower and more arduous, but it is ultimately more rewarding in its acoustic pleasures and unexpected delights."

8pm to 10pm, 2133 university ave

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
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

Friday, October 3rd 2014

Jerry Kuderna Lunch Concert

Pianist Jerry Kuderna plays from classics to the newest compositions.

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

Sunday, October 5th 2014

Amy X Neuberg solo - John Shiurba's 5 X 5

8 pm
Amy X Neuberg solo

9 pm
John Shiurba's 5 X 5

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

Wednesday, October 8th 2014

Molly Holm

Vocalist/Composer Molly Holm - solo improvisations

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

Friday, October 10th 2014

Jerry Kuderna Lunch Concert

Pianist Jerry Kuderna plays from classics to the newest compositions.

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

Envisions Ensemble; Viv Corringham and Friends

Set 1: Set 1: Henry Kuntz & Envision Ensemble

Back by popular demand, following their triumphant first "down from the mountain" August performance at Berkeley Arts Festival, a return appearance by the 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.


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


Set 2: Viv Corringham tour

NYC-based British experimental vocalist and sound artist Viv Corringham returns to Berkeley Arts Festival!

Viv Corringham has worked internationally since the early 80s, creating music performances, audio installations & soundwalks, using as her tools a gorgeous voice, a wide-open imagination, field recordings, and live electronics. Her Soundwalks series explores people's special relationship with familiar places and how that links to an interior landscape of personal history, memory and association - sometimes leading to very surprising, quite unfamiliar results.

Following a great show at BAF last year, Viv returns to the West Coast with an expanded local touring ensemble, featuring the core quintet of:

Viv Corringham: voice + electronics

Nancy Beckman: shakuhachi
Tom Bickley: EWI wind synth & contrabass recorder
Joe Lasqo: laptop, keyboards, small percussion
Jennifer Wilsey: percussion

The core quintet will be joined by guest artists - who may be musicians, dancers, and/or video artists - at different shows. Details will be updated here as they become available.

Music will include both game pieces and free improvs, and will likely also include sections of improv in renga-kai methodology or pieces based on the interactions of exotic integer series.

80% of the core quintet have studied with Pauline Oliveros at the Deep Listening Institute, so expect to hear Oliveros' pieces and/or methodology in action.

8pm to 10pm, 2133 University Ave

Sunday, October 12th 2014

the lost trio - nathan clevenger group

8 pm
The Lost Trio

9 pm
Nathan Clevenger Group

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

Friday, October 17th 2014

Jerry Kuderna Lunch Concert

Pianist Jerry Kuderna plays from classics to the newest compositions.

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

Sunday, October 19th 2014

Dan Plonsey - Daniel Popsicle

Daniel Popsicle

3pm to 5pm, Berkeley Arts - 2133 University Avenue

Sonic Body Series

8 pm
Phillip Greenlief - tenor saxophone
Leyya Tawil - movement

8:45 pm
Sonic Body Series

Local and international artists (musicians and dancers) meet to perform an evening of improvisation, creating spatial interaction and sonic abstraction in between the different bodies (body of sound and human body).

Improvisation Group with:
Phoebe Osborn, Sophia Wang, Rosemary Hannon and Christine Bonansea - movement

Tom Djll - trumpet
Jacob Felix Heule - percussion
Kanoko Nishi - koto
Suki O'Kane - percussion
Kyle Bruckman - oboe, english horn
Tim Perkis - electronics
Zachary James Watkins - electronics

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

Wednesday, October 22nd 2014

Host Family - Ape Like Impact

8 pm
Ape Like Impact

Britt Ciampa: drums
Jake Leckie: bass
Ryan Pate: guitar

Comprised of guitarist Ryan Pate, bassist Jake Leckie, and drummer Britt Ciampa, Ape Like Impact was founded around the core principle of utilizing simple form composition as source material devoted to the construction of complex musical worlds and sound environments. The trio draws from a myriad of sources in regards to composition and improvisation. From the sounds of a favorite shade of crayon to the saga of a drug addicted penguin and his road to recovery, Leckie's gravitational pulse, Pate's subtle flourishes, and Ciampa's tumbling drum and cymbal work combine to create a moody, understated, and brooding entity: a creature that sometimes stomps and sometimes kisses, but always dances.

9 pm
Host Family
Karl Evangelista & Nathan Clevenger - guitar
Jason Hoopes - electric bass
Jordan Glenn - drums

A long-dormant collaboration between three Mills College alums (and formerly featuring crack guitarist Andrew Conklin), Host Family explores the interstitial territory that abuts free improvisation, contemporary jazz, and chamber rock. Joining Host Family for this show will be Bay Area composer Nathan Clevenger, whose wiry, energetic guitarisms are a welcome addition to the household.

8pm to 10:30pm, Berkeley Arts - 2133 University Avenue

Friday, October 24th 2014

Jerry Kuderna Lunch Concert

Pianist Jerry Kuderna plays from classics to the newest compositions.

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

Saturday, October 25th 2014



Steve Adams - alto saxophone
Myles Boisen - guitar
John Finkbeiner - guitar
Phillip Greenlief - tenor saxophone
John Hanes - drums
Darren Johnston - trumpet
Lisa Mezzacappa - bass

Ornettology is the brainchild of guitarist Myles Boisen, presenting unique arrangements of compositions by Ornette Coleman and realized by a crack squad of players that can romp and ramble in the myriad of directions posed by Mr Coleman's music. Expect tight realizations of the iconoclast's work, free ranging jazz landscapes, funky grooves, and harmolodic improvisation.

8pm to 10pm, 2133 University

Sunday, October 26th 2014

Phillip Greenlief - Concrete Blonde (shudder plus guests)

8 pm
John Krausbauer - harmonium
Agnes Szelag - cello

"music for accordion(s)/harmonium(s)" is composed for live and multi-tracked accordion and harmonium. the composition is constructed from a simple systems-music structure and involves a phasing/detuning from a fundamental tone over the course of 20+ minutes. the resulting music contains sound textures that generate a multitude of beating tones, audibly active harmonic movement, and complex overtone patterns, as well as other psychoacoustic phenomena.

9 pm
Phillip Greenlief - Concrete Blonde

performed by shudder, with special guests
Kyle Bruckmann - oboe, English Horn
Lance Grabmiller - laptop, analog synthesizer
Phillip Greenlief - tenor saxophone, Bb clarinet
guest performers:
Aurora Josephson - voice
Tim Perkis - live electronics
John Shiurba - guitar, preparations, effects

Originally commissioned by Climate Theater, Concrete Blonde is a video score for electro-acoustic sextet. The score is a collage of numerous films that use the iconic image of the blonde to explore the fluid identity that has a reputation of being fixed in film language, but in this case, is assembled to illustrate the universal quality of the image.

Formed in 2002, shudder uses improvisation and composition to explore an emerging electro-acoustic language that uses microtonal systems and extended techniques to create a mesmeric musical soundscape.

On this occasion, Josephson, Perkis and Shiurba have been added to expand the band's potential to create a more vast language that responds well to the open possibilities of the score.

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

Friday, October 31st 2014

Jerry Kuderna Lunch Concert

Pianist Jerry Kuderna plays from classics to the newest compositions.

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

Today's Events - September 2

Freight Open Mic

$5 advance / $7 door. 644-2020.

7:30pm, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison Street

Zydeco Flames

$12. 8pm Cajun/Zydeco dance lesson with Cheryl McBride. 525-5054.

8:30pm, Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Avenue

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.


 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


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


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