Berkeley Arts Festival Calendar



Eclectic mix of funk, rock, afro, jazz and world tinged grooves.

11:45am to 2:45pm, Cheese Board Pizza 1512 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley

Super Cinema @Central

August 2018
Pictures from the Tumultuous 70s
Friday, August 3   The Last Picture Show 1971 / 118 min. / R / CC

The time is 1951 in a tiny Texas town. A diner, a pool hall and the Royal movie theater are the only places to go, "except to bed," critic Roger Ebert wryly comments in his review. Best friends Sonny (Timothy Bottoms) and Duane (Jeff Bridges) lust after a phony rich girl (Cybill Shepherd). Adults mostly guard their secrets. In the end, loss shakes loose some authentic emotion from the friends. Cloris Leachman and Ellen Burstyn are superb in supporting roles.

Friday, August 10   A Woman Under the Influence 1974 / 155 min. / R / CC

An LA housewife and mother, Mabel (Gena Rowlands), is unpredictable, sometimes volatile, sometimes overly friendly, to the extent that her construction worker husband, Nick (Peter Falk), wonders about her ability to handle the life they lead. Stellar performances from both leads make this an essential movie experience. Gena Rowlands won several Best Actress awards for it. The writer-director, John Cassavettes, is an icon of independent film.

Friday, August 17 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest     1975 / 133 min. / R / CC

Considered to be among the greatest films ever, Cuckoo's Nest is the story of a funny and often satisfying power struggle between a cocky recidivist felon (Jack Nicholson) and an authoritarian mental hospital nurse (Louise Fletcher). It's based on a Ken Kesey novel, boasts a near perfect ensemble cast (including Christopher Lloyd, Brad Dourif and Danny DeVito) and won all the major awards: Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Director and Screenplay.

Friday, August 24 Taxi Driver 1976 / 113 min. / R / CC

After being discharged from the Vietnam-era Marines, Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) drives a taxi in New York City. He's a loner who forms attachments to inappropriate women-a  presidential campaign worker (Cybill Shepherd) and a 15 year old prostitute (Jodie Foster), whom he wants to protect. Pushed over the edge by their rejections, he begins to stalk the corrupt, sleazy guys who employ them. Martin Scorsese directs this thriller as black comedy.

Friday, August 31 Chinatown 1974 / 130 min. / R / CC

In a story based on the early twentieth century California Water Wars, private eye Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) takes a job following a Department of Water and Power engineer-who soon turns up dead. Immediately, Gittes is led by the engineer's widow (Faye Dunaway) to peel away layer after layer of corruption and mystery surrounding her husband's death. Directed by Roman Polanski, Chinatown is another of our greatest-and most beautifully shot-films.

September 2018
About Workers' Movements
Friday, September 7       Matewan        1987 / 135 min. / PG-13 / CC

It's 1920 in the town of Matewan, West Virginia. When Stone Mountain Coal Company cuts the wages of rebellious coal miners and brings in African American replacements, a United Mine Workers man (Chris Cooper) arrives to organize a union. In response, the company hires private detectives to oppose the miners and to set blacks and whites against each other. Tensions boil over, leading to a historic battle. James Earl Jones plays the character who leads black miners.

Friday, September 14       The Help          2011 / 146 min. / PG-13 / no CC

In 1963, Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis) agrees to let aspiring writer Skeeter Phelan (Emma Stone) interview her about her experiences as a maid to white families in Jackson, Mississippi. Gradually, other maids risk their jobs to join in with their own harrowing stories, which are all intended to yield a change-making book. Great storytelling and character development make this film exceptional. The ensemble cast also includes Octavia Spencer and David Oyelowo.
Friday, September 21      Blue Collar      1978  / 114 min. / R / no CC

Three Detroit auto workers (Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel & Yaphet Kotto) are buddies on and off work. They feel trapped between big industry and their do-nothing, corrupt union. They hit on a plan to rob the safe in the union office, leading to complications that lay bare the terrible predicament of working people. Written and directed by Paul Schrader (writer of Taxi Driver), who delivers an authentic, uncompromising ending. It's a very powerful film.

Friday, September 28      North Country       2005 / 126 min. / R / CC

Josey Aimes (Charlize Theron) flees her abusive husband with two kids to stay with her parents in her North Dakota home town. Most jobs available to her pay very little, so a friend (Frances McDormand) encourages her to apply to work in the same mine where she and Josie's father work. Josie's demeaning experiences there eventually drive her to start a legal fight with the mining company. Based on a true story, and directed by Niki Caro ("Whale Rider").

3pm to 5pm, 2090 Kittredge St. (at Shattuck)
Berkeley, CA 94704

Buddhist Squirrels

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

Arabian Nights: The Porter's Tale Night of Tales and Shadow Puppets with Jeff Gere

In THE PORTER'S TALE, one story unfolds into another until, in a party, each of three one-eyed men tells his bizarre, roller-coaster tale of how he lost his eye. This 700 year old tale is Islam's `pulp fiction', revealing the anonymous genius of the people of the sands. In Hawaii, responding to the Iraq War (2003-04), storyteller JEFF GERE performed 10 Arabian Night tales over 18 months of sold-out shows (with belly dancer & two musicians). This is Jeff's favorite set of tales. Jeff's Shadow Puppets will animate three sections. The show runs two hours. Content Warning: Tales have sex, violence, Genie, Magic, philosophy & poetry! JEFF GERE was Oahu's Drama Specialist (Parks Department) for 30 years. There, he produced the Talk Story Festival, Hawaii's biggest storytelling celebration, Talk Story Radio & Story TV. Since retiring to end 2014, he has performed tales and shadow puppets in China, India, Romania, Australia, Japan & Taiwan. This is his first mainland tour in several years.

Doors at 6:30 pm; Show at 7:00 pm
Tickets are $15 Advance / $20 at the Door
Benefit for the Silk Road House - a non-profit organization created to promote and support an impressive array of diverse ethnic cultural traditions.

7pm to 8:30pm, Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

StickupKid, HeartsLike Lions, Sunata, DeathByFireworks, Return, NewCarSmell

7pm to 10pm, 924 Gilman, 924 Gilman St, Berkeley

Caren Yglesias presents Desert Gardens of Steve Martino.

This survey of twenty-one gardens by Steve Martino, whose work blends colorful, man-made elements with native plants to reflect the sun-drenched beauty of the desert, is sure to inspire gardeners, landscapers, and admirers of California and the Southwest. For more than thirty years, Steve Martino has been committed to the development and advancement of landscape architecture in the Southwest. His pioneering work with native plant material and the development of a desert-derived design aesthetic is widely recognized. A recurring theme of his work is the dramatic juxtaposition of man-made elements with ecological processes of the region. His love for the desert--the interplay of light and shadow, the colors, plants,and wildlife--inspires his work.

Caren Yglesias is a licensed architect and professor of Landscape Design at UC Berkeley. She has taught landscape architecture at Virginia Tech, University of Maryland, and the Academy of Art University. Book publications include The Innovative Use of Materials in Architecture and Landscape Architecture: History, Theory and Performance and The Complete House and Grounds: Learning from Andrew Jackson Downing's Domestic Architecture.
To reserve your seat, purchase a copy of Desert Gardens of Steve Martino in advance by speaking to one of our booksellers or ordering from our website.

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

Elaine Kreston and Friends

The Berkeley Hillside Club is delighted to welcome cellist Elaine Kreston back to our Concert Series. Joining Elaine for this performance will be two of her talented colleagues in an eclectic program of cello, piano, and world percussion music, as well as spoken word/cello pieces. Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.

The Artists:
Elaine Kreston, cello
John Malkin, piano and world percussion
Eric Schneider, spoken word

About the Program:
Please join us for magical evening of original compositions for cello, piano, and world percussion, woven with transformative recitations of poets Rumi and Hafiz. Included will be a solo cello suite by J.S. Bach, as well as Malkin's own minimalist solo piano compositions (reminiscent of Philip Glass). Hillside audiences will remember Eric & Elaine's earlier performances as RumiCello; featuring a sonorous recitation of timeless poems that spring to life within and around the music.

Info: 510-845-1350 Admission: $20 general, $15 students & seniors, $10 Hillside Club members

8pm to 10pm, The Berkeley Hillside Club 2286 Cedar Street Berkeley

Vinci Vibe & Her Groove Sector

Soul-minded, singer/songwriter, VinCi (Vin-Cee), renders a unique sound of her own, as she instills ready-hints of jazz, mixing in a close study of 70s rock and soul classics, while blithely blending a fervor reckoning of pop sense. Celebrating the recent release of her second LP, RISE, the product of the myriad of popular music ingrained in VinCi's musical upbringing, while being influenced by some of soul music's textbook names, such as Nina Simone, Curtis Mayfield, Sade and Marvin Gaye.

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

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

Danny Bittker: DannyBoyBlue

California Jazz Conservatory - Danny Bittker: DannyBoyBlue A musical journey, composed and presented by Danny Bittker (diverse woodwinds) along with a caravan of wonderful Bay Area musicians: Mara Fox (trombone); Lee Heuermann and Bryan Dyer (voices); Cote Reese (keyboards) ; Scott Foster (guitar); Adam Gay (bass); and Jason Levis (drums). Exciting and compelling sound and rhythm; something old new borrowed and
Doors Open: 7:30 PM Starts: 8:00 PM Ends: 10:00 PM Price Fees Qty Open Seating - General $15.00 +$1.21

8pm to 10pm, California Jazz Conservatory 2087 Addison St, Berkeley

Apollo's Fire: Monteverdi's L'Orfeo

Jeannette Sorrell, conductor and harpsichord
Karim Sulayman, Orfeo
Erica Schuller, Euridice
Cleveland's dynamic period-music ensemble Apollo's Fire returns with a semi-staged production of Monteverdi's beloved and timeless L'Orfeo. Director Jeannette Sorrell leads her superb instrumentalists and vocalists on a dramatic journey to Hades and back, following the mythic Orpheus on his tragic mission-including a reconstruction of the work's original ending, in which our hero perishes at the hands of Bacchus' followers. "Monteverdi's Orfeo was a triumph for Jeannette Sorrell, showing us new dimensions of her genius" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).

$36-$72. 642-9988. cal

8pm to 10pm, Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley

420 with Chris Murray, The Titan Ups and BURNT

8pm to 9pm, The Starry Plough Pub 3101 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley

The Nordic Fiddlers Bloc

The Nordic Fiddlers Bloc is a fiddle trio that masterfully blends the traditions of Norway, Sweden and the Shetland Islands. Olav Luksengård Mjelva (Norway), Anders Hall (Sweden) and Kevin Henderson (Shetland Islands), have swiftly gained a reputation for their gripping and unique blend of fiddle music since the inception of the Bloc in early 2009.

They maintain a firm focus on the traditions of their home while developing a sound that has been described as "meaningful," "intense," and "invigorating." Their clever use of harmony, rhythm, riffs & bass lines creates a sound that leaves the listener enthralled but at the same time dumbfounded that the sound only comes from three fiddles. 2016 saw the release of their eagerly-awaited second album, Deliverance, following their eponymous debut album released in September 2011 to great critical acclaim.

"Seldom before can three fiddlers have sounded so well matched as the Nordic Fiddlers Bloc. And seldom before can three fiddles have sounded so much like four and at times five instruments without using electronic trickery." - The Herald

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

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

Fandango Jarocho: Son Jarocho Jam Session

FREE - Donations of any size are welcome and greatly appreciated!
Enjoy a lively evening of son jarocho music, dancing, and zapateado - bring your dance shoes and instruments, or just come and enjoy the music and dance! There is no entrance fee, but any monetary donations are accepted in support of programming at La Peña.

Son Jarocho is a lively traditional art form from the southern Mexican state of Veracruz that sits on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.It is a lyrical and danceable music genre that formed in the melding of three cultures: Arabic-Spanish, African and indigenous Mexican.  It is at the same time highly improvised and highly structured-filled with complex poly-rhythms and musical dialogue in its dance, song, poetry and music.  The basic instrumentation of the son jarocho includes the jarana jarocha, guitarra de son (both guitar-like instruments) and zapateado (percussive footwork).  Regional variations include the harp and various percussive instrum (View Full Event Description Here:

8pm to 11pm, 3105 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA, 94705, United States

Del The Funky Homosapien, AMP Live

Del The Funky Homosapien, AMP Live, Domino (of Hieroglyphics), Richie Cunning w/ DJ Bad DJ, Down 2 Earth, J.Lately

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