Berkeley Arts Festival Calendar


Free Live Jazz

Apr 19, 4:30pm to 6:30pm, The Musical Offering, 2430 Bancroft Way, Berkeley

Ben Goldberg/Michael Coleman CD release party

Apr 19, 7pm to 9pm, Maybeck Studio, 1537 Euclid Ave, Berkeley

Roots Arts Film Series: The Roots of Capoeira Film Screening & Community Discussion

$5 Dollar Suggested Donation to support La Peña's community programming!
JOGO DE CORPO: "Angolan Roots of Capoeira" (Brazil)
Directed by: Matthias AssunçaÌfo
Run time: 87 mins. Followed by brief Community Discussion with Bay Area Capoeira communities.
"Angolan Roots of Capoeira" follows the Afro-Brazilian Capoeira master, Cobra Mansa and his team on travels through Angola and Brazil in search of the historical roots of Capoeira. It is also a personal journey as Cobra Mansa is a descendant of slaves who were brought from Africa to build Brazil.
Click here to see the trailer.

Apr 19, 7pm to 9:30pm, 3105 Shattuck Ave. , Berkeley, CA, 94705, United States


Critically-acclaimed author Jessica Levine shares her new deeply moving literary novel, Nothing Forgotten.

When Anna, now living in California, is contacted by the Italian lover she knew decades before, she recalls their affair and the child she gave up for adoption. As the episode returns to haunt her--threatening the life she's built, including her marriage--the story moves back in time to her youth in Europe. Rome, 1979. Anna, twenty-two and living abroad, is involved with a man already engaged to be married. When she meets and befriends his fiancee, she is forced to confront the moral consequences of her actions. But an unexpected pregnancy, an anonymous letter, and threatening relatives complicate the picture. A novel in which an unconventional heroine, far from home, is forced to reckon with the judgment of others.

Apr 19, 7pm to 8pm, Books Inc, 1495 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley

Post Bop Praise

Apr 19, 7pm to 9pm, Caffe on San Pablo, 2500 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

Jacqueline Winspear reads from her new Maisie Dobbs mystery, To Die But Once.

During the months following Britain's declaration of war on Germany, Maisie Dobbs investigates the disappearance of a young apprentice working on a hush-hush government contract. As news of the plight of thousands of soldiers stranded on the beaches of France is gradually revealed to the general public, and the threat of invasion rises, another young man beloved by Maisie makes a terrible decision that will change his life forever.

Maisie's investigation leads her from the countryside of rural Hampshire to the web of wartime opportunism exploited by one of the London underworld's most powerful men, in a case that serves as a reminder of the inextricable link between money and war. Yet when a final confrontation approaches, she must acknowledge the potential cost to her future--and the risk of destroying a dream she wants very much to become reality.

Jacqueline Winspear's bestselling Maisie Dobbs series includes In This Grave Hour, Journey to Munich, A Dangerous Place, Leaving Everything Most Loved, Elegy for Eddie, and eight other novels. Her standalone novel, The Care and Management of Lies, was also a New York Times bestseller and a Dayton Literary Peace Prize finalist. Originally from the United Kingdom, Winspear now lives in California.


Apr 19, 7:30pm to 8:30pm, Mrs Dalloway's Bookstore, 2904 College Ave, Berkeley

Mafaro eZimbabwe Part 1, Roots: Traditional acoustic music from Zimbabwe

On April 19, 2018, the first of two concerts of ancestral Zimbabwean music will feature traditional mbira music: drumming, marimba, dance and choral music. Audiences will enjoy the transformative sound of mbira music as it was played over one thousand years ago in traditional ceremonies in Zimbabwe.

The KTO Project is collaborating with Bay Area musicians and dancers from Zimbabwe to celebrate the music of the people - Chimurenga music - and to explore its roots in traditional mbira music played by the ancestral Shona people in Zimbabwe.

The KTO Project will bring more than 15 musicians and dancers and a community choir of up to 25 people together to perform one concert of ancestral songs of Zimbabwe, then one concert of the popular, socially impactful music developed from the ancestral forms generations later.

A second concert, on April 21, 2018, will feature Zimbabwean mbira music played with modern amplified instrumentation and drum kit, with lyrics characterized by social and political commentary. The performance will feature arrangements and song by Kelly Takunda Orphan and Zivanai Masango.

Both concerts will feature Voices of Zimbabwe, the community chorus led by Kelly Takunda Orphan, developed in residence at Ashkenaz (that will run from February to April 2018). Members of the Zimbabwean, Southern African and World Music choral communities have a chance to participate in this choral project that will be featured at the Mafaro eZimbabwe: Zimbabwean Mbira Music for the People concerts.

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show 8:00 pm
Buy Tickets for this show on EVENTBRITE
Buy Tickets for Both Shows on EVENTBRITE
Tickets are $15 Advance / $20.00
Tickets for both shows (April 19th & 21st) also available.
$30 Advance / $40 Day of Show

Apr 19, 8pm to 11pm, Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

Beethoven: Symphony No. 9, Choral - Berkeley Symphony

Ken-David Masur, Guest Conductor
Laquita Mitchell, Soprano
Michelle Rice, Mezzo-Soprano
Amitai Pati, Tenor
Adam Lau, Bass
Marika Kuzma, Chorusmaster

UC Berkeley University Chorus, Nikolas Nackley, director
Chamber Chorus of the University of California, Magen Solomon, director
Alumni of the UC Berkeley University Chorus and Chamber Chorus
Select members of the Berkeley Community Chorus & Orchestra, Ming Luke, director
and other choirs

Apr 19, 8pm to 10pm, Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley

James Lee Stanley

An evening with James Lee Stanley is a complete joy. A folk singer with strong ties to rock, jazz, and blues, he is an internationally-known veteran with 31 albums to his credit.

Possessing a remarkable voice, extraordinary guitar orchestrations, songs that run the gamut from political outrage to romantic ballads, and a sense of comedic timing that engages every audience, James Lee Stanley provides an unforgettable experience.

"So where have they been hiding James Lee Stanley? We could say that James Lee Stanley is probably the last great undiscovered singer-songwriter in America. But true as that may be let's say something else, let's say that a diamond has been smuggled into the wasteland...and here is where the wasteland ends." - Tom Robbins, Author of Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

"It is simple, really. With James Lee you get great songs, great guitar playing, great voice and a gifted comedian as well. You are in for a very entertaining evening." - Village Voice

Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below or you may purchase your tickets at the door on the day of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

Apr 19, 8pm to 10pm, The Back Room, 1984 Bonita Ave, Berkeley

DJ Lady Ryan

Now easily a Bay Area favorite and 2016's East Bay Express Best of the Bay pick for Favorite DJ, Lady Ryan is unique in that she is known for her eclectic taste in tunes and spellbinding voice. From Jazz to House, the flux of distinctive sounds she so graceful sets beside one another make for a brilliant movement within the crowd.

Apr 19, 8pm to 11pm, Jupiter, 2181 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley

Bettye LaVette

Bettye LaVette
"Whatever she sings acquires the fierce, confessional intensity of someone who barely lived to tell the tale." - New York Times

FOR HER TENTH ALBUM and first album on a major label in nearly 30 years, legendary soul singer BETTYE LAVETTE takes on the songs of BOB DYLAN with the grit and experience that makes her one of the greatest living soul singers.
THINGS HAVE CHANGED is a masterpiece of interpretation of one of the greatest songwriters alive, by one of the greatest soul singers alive. Keith Richards and Trombone Shorty guest on the Steve Jordan-produced album, which is set for release on Verve Records on March 30.
Since the great 21st century rediscovery of Bettye LaVette returned her to prominence, she has worked extensively in the rock and folk idioms, with her unique takes on songs by the likes of The Who, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Fiona Apple, and Dolly Parton. But never before has she devoted an entire album to the material of one songwriter.
THINGS HAVE CHANGED spans more than five decades of Dylan songs, from 1964's immortal "The Times They Are A-Changin'" up to "Ain't Talkin'," the epic final track on his 2006 album Modern Times.
"Other people write songs, but he writes vignettes, more prose than poetry. I didn't find his words to be pretty so much as they are extremely practical or extremely logical. He can work things like `go jump off a ledge' into a song," says Bettye.
Bettye has only come face-to-face with Bob Dylan once, at a festival in Italy. Both backstage, Dylan was preparing to go on when his longtime bassist Tony Garnier pointed out Bettye. Dylan immediately stopped, walked over, and grabbed Bettye's face in his hands and kissed her, and headed out to play his show.
THINGS HAVE CHANGED sees Dylan's songs seriously transformed: "I had never really listened to It Ain't Me Babe," she says. "But I had to make it more dismissive-not fast and hard, but like a Jimmy Reed tune. And `The Times They Are A-Changin,' I had to flip that all the way round, so we worked up the groove on a beat box. That just made it extremely surprising."

DJ Harry Duncan
DJ Harry Duncan also produces and hosts In The Soul Kitchen, the award-winning, weekly radio show broadcast live on KCSM, the Bay Area's jazz station.
Respected industry-wide as an innovator, Duncan serves up his own Roots & Rhythm mix: a rich, danceable musical stew of soul, funk, blues, roots reggae, ska and jazz plus African, Latin and select World music when spinning live and while In The Soul Kitchen.
This music mix gives audiences, artists and promoters a welcome alternative to the kinds of in-house music often played at festivals and concerts.
Duncan has appeared with a wide variety of artists including Aretha Franklin, Tedeschi-Trucks Band, The Roots, George Clinton and P-Funk, Galactic, Trombone Shorty, Dr. John,
The Original Meters, Rebirth Brass Band, Dumpstaphunk, Cory Henry, Bonnie Raitt and Mavis Staples, India.Arie, Charlie Hunter, Tower of Power, Boz Scaggs, Lizz Wright, Cody ChesnuTT, Femi Kuti, Bombino, Steel Pulse, Madness and The Specials.

The box office is open 12:30pm-7pm (excluding holidays) and during all performances.
Box Office Phone: (510) 644-2020

Apr 19, 8pm to 9pm, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley

Bebel Gilberto

Bebel Gilberto
The multi-Grammy-nominated Bebel Gilberto's latest album, Tudo, which means "everything" in English, showcases Bebel's ethereal vocals and wistful, dreamy song writing in each of the CD's 12 tracks. Bebel splits her time between Rio de Janeiro and New York City; she's exquisitely synthesized musical influences from both cities in every track. Bebel's sultry tonality is constant throughout Tudo as are the warm and playful Brazilian rhythms that include wood bongos and shakers. The gorgeous melodies are shaped by touches of electronica, and Bebel's intimate vocals hint at a fantastical Rio de Janeiro.

Bebel had been tucking away musical gems over the past five years, from joyful melodies, to reflective, romantic lyrics, which appear on Tudo. In 2013 while working in Brazil on the Bebel Gilberto in Rio DVD, the rhythms began stirring inside her. Although she'd been ordered to rest in order to combat exhaustion, Bebel believed it was the right time to record; she knew the music would be strong. Despite the challenges 2013 brought, "I'm a good bon vivant," assured Bebel who always finds time for friends, attending to her rooftop garden overlooking Manhattan's skyline, or walking on the beach, "I know how to live." Tudo is perhaps Bebel's most intimate recording, captures the human vulnerabilities that bring both sorrows and joy.

Tudo was recorded in Brazil, New York City, and Los Angeles; produced and mixed by Mario Caldato Jr in early 2014. Bebel was able to gather her favorite musicians from all over the globe, liberally using the words "amazing," "beautiful," "heaven," "a luxury!" to describe their talents and contributions to Tudo. Bebel chose to work with the producer Mario Caldato Jr. because, as she put it, "I'm so eclectic, I needed one producer to translate it all."

Gilberto was born in New York to Brazilian music icons João Gilberto and Miúcha. Her musical education was her childhood in Brazil. She was surrounded by extended family including her uncle Chico Buarque and family friends like Milton Nacimento, Tom Jobim, Caetano Veloso, and João Donato; she made her first recording at age 7. "I just turned 48, so it's been 41 years!" exclaims Bebel with a laugh, "I'm really proud, but tired too!"

Bebel's life-long eclectic musical tastes are made palpable when listening to Tudo. In addition to living and breathing all types of Brazilian musical styles as a child, she was exposed to the greats, from Debussy to Prince; Michel Legrand to Billie Holliday; Bjork to Gershwin. Also evident on Tudo some tracks for than others, is her love for North American soul; she discovered Donna Summer, Earth Wind and Fire, and Michael Jackson on the dance floor as a budding teenager. "The whole disco thing plays a big role in my heart," says Bebel, who still loves to dance.

Several years after Bebel moved to New York City in 1991 her present day sound of electronic meets Brazilian began to crystallize. "Little by little, I learned what I wanted musically," says Bebel, who gigged all around the city and collaborated with many artists. She established a weekly gig at The Greatest Bar on Earth, on top of the World Trade Center in the early 1990's that drew a fervent international crowd. "At that gig, everything started to come together," says Bebel. "I think there I became a New Yorker-with a Brazilian heart of course!"

Tudo is sung in Portuguese, English-sometimes in the same song-and a touch of French. Bebel was delighted to finally record a duet with Seu Jorge, a friend for more than 20 years; their "Nova Idea" is a sexy mix of harmony and charm. Tudo features a mix of original tracks written or co-written by Bebel as well as other composers like Cesar Mendez who also plays guitar. She covers the Jobim classic "Vivo Sonhando," and sings a devastating version of Neil Young's "Harvest Moon," which she preformed in 2011 at Carnegie Hall, and also made her debut playing guitar.

Tudo musicians include Masa Shimizu on guitars, who is one of Bebel's longest running collaborators, "He can read my mind!" says Bebel. Didi Gutman of Brazilian Girls fame plays piano and percussionist Mauro Refosco plays a variety of drums and even bottle caps. Liminha, who was part of Mutantes, also co-produced Tudo, along with Kassin, who plays electric and acoustic bass and guitars; And the extremely talented Miguel Atwood-Ferguson created the string arrangements, as well as a magical new sound, which according to Bebel was the cherry on top of the cake.

Apr 19, 8pm to 9pm, The UC Theatre Taube Family Music Hall, 2036 University Avenue, near Downtown Berkeley BART, Berkeley, CA, 94704

MarchFourth, Black Sheep Brass Band


20-piece performance band from Portland, OR, United States.

This colorful explosion of brassy funk, rock, and jazz emanates from musicians, acrobats, stilters and more, touring the country year-round.

Apr 19, 8:30pm to 9:30pm, Cornerstone, 2367 Shattuck Ave (Enter On Durant), Berkeley, CA, 94704