Berkeley Arts Festival Calendar



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

May 4, 11:45am to 2:45pm, Cheese Board Pizza 1512 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley

Kickin' the Mule

Kickin' the Mule plays a variety of jazz- and blues-related genres: New Orleans R&B, Oakland and Chicago blues, Memphis and Motown soul, and Oakland funk.

May 4, 4:45pm to 7:45pm, Cheese Board Pizza 1512 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley

California Jazz Conservatory Student Performances

California Jazz Conservatory ensembles present a series of semester-end concerts.

May 4, 6pm to 7pm, California Jazz Conservatory 2087 Addison St, Berkeley

Extramarital Sextet/East Bay Hextet

Extramarital Sextet/East Bay Hextet


May 4, 6:30pm to 9:30pm, 1724 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702, USA

Tessa Fontaine, author of The Electric Woman

Tessa Fontaine's writing has appeared in PANK, Seneca Review, The Rumpus, Sideshow World, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from the University of Alabama and is working on a PhD in creative writing at the University of Utah. She also eats fire and charms snakes, among other sideshow feats. She lives in South Carolina. The Electric Woman is her first book.

Advance praise for The Electric Woman
"With fearless grace and piercing intensity, Tessa Fontaine juxtaposes the thrill of eating fire with the luminous mystery of her mother's devastating strokes and harrowing transformations. I have never read a book more tender or more true. We all live in a World of Wonders, a world of terror. The Electric Woman delivers us to the potent mercy of unmitigated love, the passion of shared suffering, the resilience of the spirit, and the ecstasies of our transfigurations. The heart breaks, and breaks open-in the divine light of despair, we discover radiant joy: the hidden holiness of every breath, every being, every moment." -
Melanie Rae Thon

May 4, 7pm to 9pm,

The Jazz Fourtet

May 4, 7pm to 9pm, Caffe on San Pablo, 2500 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

Berkeley Symphony's 14th Annual Benefit Gala

Don't miss this one-night-only experience with superstar violinist Joshua Bell. The evening will feature incredible performances and experiences, dining, and auction items. All proceeds support Berkeley Symphony's concert and educational programs, including the commissioning of new work and the Symphony's award-winning Music in the Schools program. About Joshua Bell With a career spanning over 30 years as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, conductor, and arts advocate, Joshua Bell is one of today's most celebrated violinists. A Sony Classical artist, Bell has recorded more than 40 CDs garnering Grammy, Mercury, Gramophone, and Echo Klassik awards. Bell became the Music Director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields in 2011, the only person to hold this post since Sir Neville Marriner formed the orchestra in 1958. Joshua Bell -The Classical Collection, a 14-CD set and For the Love of Brahms, with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Steven Isserlis, and Jeremy Denk are his most recent releases. Scheduled for release later this year is Bell's recording with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields of Bruch's Scottish Fantasy and the G minor concerto.

Bell performs on the 1713 Huberman Stradivarius violin and is a staunch advocate for music education.

Box Office Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-4pm â^(tm) Phone: 510.841.2800

May 4, 7pm to 11pm, Craneway Pavilion,1414 Harbour Way South, Richmond

6th Annual Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering Faculty Concert

The 6th Annual Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering Faculty Concert features:
Karen Mueller
Steve Eulberg
Deborah Hamouris
Holly Tannen
Dusty Thorburn
The Berkeley Dulcimer Orchestra.

Karen Mueller bridges many mountain dulcimer traditions to formulate her own dynamic style. She started playing the dulcimer in 1979 by learning the innovative tunes on the Pacific Rim Dulcimer Project record, featuring Neal Hellman, Force & d'Ossche, and Bonnie Carol. From there she began adding traditional Appalachian and Celtic music to her repertoire, and developed her own arrangements of these styles as well as pop, jazz, and original material.
Karen grew up in Winfield, KS, home of the Walnut Valley Festival, and was introduced to the dulcimer and autoharp there.

She has been a finalist in the National Mountain Dulcimer competition, and first place winner in autoharp, both at Winfield in the mid-1980s. Today she is a full-time performer and instructor, and has travelled throughout the US and England teaching at major workshops and festivals. She has also performed the challenging Blackberry Winter dulcimer concerto twice with Minnesota orchestras.

Steve Eulberg & Deborah Hamouris are Co-Directors of the Berkeley Dulcimer Orchestra, as well as the Artistic & Executive Directors of the Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering, respectively. Steve travels nationally to perform & teach, and is an active member in the Musician's Union Local #1000. Deborah teaches dulcimer at the Freight & Salvage and directs community singing groups.

Holly Tannen is a well-known folk musician and humorist, offering traditional and original takes on familiar songs, accompanied by dulcimer.

Dusty Thorburn, founder of River City Dulcimers in Sacramento, is a long-time guitarist and occasional mandolin player who discovered the dulcimer several years ago and has been obsessed ever since.

All will be teaching at the Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering on May 5th at the Freight & Salvage.

Tickets are $13 in advance and $15 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

May 4, 7:30pm to 9:30pm, The Back Room, 1984 Bonita Ave, Berkeley

University Symphony Orchestra: MATALON/BERNSTEIN/ADAMS

The UC Berkeley Department of Music, CNMAT and Cal Performances present Bloch Lecturer Martin Matalon.NOTE: These concerts take place in Hertz Hall.Friday, May 4 at 8pmand Read more at

May 4, 8pm to 10pm, Hertz Hall, UC Berkeley

MDC - Millions Of Dead Cops, FLiPOUT A.A, Year Of The Fist, Heartless Folk

Doors @ 7pm // Show @ 8pm
$12 + $2 Membership
Safe(r) Space Venue: no drugs, alcohol, or bigoted behavior.

May 4, 8pm to 5/4 12 midnight, 924 Gilman, 924 Gilman St, Berkeley

Jean Rondeau, harpsichord: Le Vertigo

MusicSources is pleased to announce the Bay Area debut of Europe's rising superstar of the harpsichord. Having taken many top prizes in competitions and performing in nearly every prestigious concert venue, Jean Rondeau has taken the classical music scene by storm. A major artist featured on Warner Classics, his recordings have been best sellers. We are eager to showcase this sensational young musician performing music of French baroque composers.
Price Range: $25 (seniors, MusicSources members) $30 general
Tickets: (510) 528-1685

May 4, 8pm to 10pm, Saint Mary Magdalen Church, 2005 Berryman Street, Berkeley

Angélique Kidjo's Remain in Light, Bells Atlas

Angélique Kidjo
Angélique Kidjo is a GRAMMY Award-winning Beninese singer-songwriter and activist, noted for her diverse musical influences and creative music videos.

Angélique Kidjo grew up in Ouidah, Benin, a country in West Africa that sits snugly between Togo and Nigeria.

She was born into a musical family, her mother is a choreographer and director of a theater group, her brothers are instrumentalists and at the age of six she was singing and dancing in her mother's company and later joined her brothers' group, the Kidjo Brothers Band, where she sang a variety of Benin-style songs.

Growing up in Benin exposed her to a rich variety of music. She was heavily influenced by the traditional folk styles and love songs of the country - epic songs full of allusions to the history of the villages and the rituals and voodoo ceremonies of the older generation
but, perhaps more importantly, she was listening to the new urban African music percolating up from South Africa and the Western songs ranging from James Brown, Aretha Franklin to Jimi Hendrix that she heard on the radio.

The formidable South African vocalist Miriam Makeba was a great influence on the young Kidjo, so much so that Angelique, who was already making a name for herself, recorded an adaptation of a Makeba song for Benin radio. Her first hits followed and she toured the Ivory Coast.
It wasn't until Kidjo made the trip to Europe that her career came alive. It was Cameroonian producer, Ekambi Brilliant, who suggested that Angelique move to Paris to record and the singer left Benin for Europe.

Paris in the eighties was the breeding ground for the new African music and African artists, freed from the constraints of African tradition yet incorporating their roots with western styles were generating revolutionary sounds.
Delicately plucked guitars were mixing with rock drums and lyrics were tackling more worldly issues. Makossa from Cameroon, soukous from Zaire which is now the DRC and mbalax from Senegal was being injected with a new attitude and was taking over the dancefloors. Kidjo was in her element.

When she first arrived she sang and recorded with a group called Alafia and then joined the jazz tinged band, Pili Pili. She later recorded two jazz albums with Pili Pili and played with them at the Montreux Festival in 1986.
In the same year she joined forces with bass player and composer Jean Hebrail, and together they worked on their own music.
Through regularly working at Le Baiser Salé in Paris, she also met many African and Antillean musicians and was able to form her own group and release her first solo album, Parakou.

Bells Atlas
Bells Atlas emerges from the vibrant cultural and musical backdrop of Oakland, CA. Blending heavy percussion, soulful vocal harmonies, and thoughtful arrangements, this dynamic group has arrived at a sound that is uniquely their own. Primarily made up of 4 core members with a musical chemistry that compliments and surprises, the sonic palette that makes up Bells Atlas is deep and exciting. They capture the spirit of eclectic influences (soul, west African & Brazilian rhythms, noise pop, psychedelia) and draw a wide audience with diverse tastes, setting the stage from a world their own. Their musical intuitions are a place to discover and explore cinematic sonic landscapes and relentless movement. You can find their s/t album and Hyperlust EP on Bandcamp and iTunes. Look out for more music to come!

"The California band sound alluringly exotic... they're the complete mystical package." -NME Magazine

"Eminently chill and sexy in equal measure but with out of this world complexity and musical sophistication".... "This is the kind of record that kickstarts movements"- Afropunk

"It's pretty easy to get lost in the group... lush harmonies fill your ears... their groove is anything but ordinary." -okayplayer

"Bells Atlas represents all that is great about the bustling East Bay indie scene right now... [their] sound is an authentic slice of the dynamic culture and budding musical landscape of the area." - SF Chronicle's article "Bells Atlas - Spirit Guide to the Local Scene"

"... no two-bit adjectives can contain their infectious sound that draws influences from all corners and unexpected places the world over that could only spring in the natural light and mystic foggy air that the Bay Area provides."- Impose Magazine

"Here arrives a band on the scene with music in tow that is intelligent, diverse, and inspired. You can only parse out some influences-soul, R&B, samba, and the polyrhythms of West African music-but no one characteristic can define the sound in a way that does it justice. The only certainty is that, after listening to East Bay-based Bells Atlas, your ears will thank you for the experience." - Asterisk Magazine


May 4, 8pm to 9pm, The UC Theatre Taube Family Music Hall, 2036 University Avenue, near Downtown Berkeley BART, Berkeley, CA, 94704

Meshell Ndegeocello

Meshell Ndegeocello

There are albums dedicated to personal pain, or political protest, love, death, nostalgia, rage. There are those that are simply fun, glossy, the soundtrack to a good time. Some are exploratory, a musical journey, shapeshifting soundmaking, a new way to do an old thing. An artist can make a choice about concept and content, or heed a vision, follow their muse or their manager. But in times so extreme and overwhelming, when there is no known expression for the feeling, no satisfactory direction for art or action, then they might take refuge in a process, a ritual, something familiar, the shape and sound of which recall another time altogether, so that they can weather the present long enough to call it the past. Some albums are testimony, some confessions, and some are escape. "Ventriloquism", the latest album from MESHELL NDEGEOCELLO, is a place, like its process, to take refuge from one storm too many.

May 4, 8pm to 9pm, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley

UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra

UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra
David Milnes, music director
Martin MATALÓN Les lignes de fuite
BERNSTEIN Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
John ADAMS Harmonielehre Date:
Price Range: $20-$5

May 4, 8pm to 10pm, Hertz Hall, UC Berkeley Campus

Leif Ove Andsnes, piano

Chaconne, Op. 32
Selected works
Sonata No. 17 in D minor, Op. 31, No. 2,
The Tempest
Two Scherzos, D. 593
Idyll and Abyss
Three Piano Pieces, D. 946

Charismatic Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes is admired as much for his thoughtfully constructed recital programs as for his insightful interpretations of a wide range of repertoire. Here, he matches rarely heard Sibelius piano pieces from the early 20th century with Beethoven's moody Tempest Sonata, Carl Nielsen's dynamic Chaconne, sparkling works by Schubert, and Jörg Widmann's homage to Schubert, his kaleidoscopic Idyll and Abyss. "A probing musical analyst as well as an interpreter of enormous technical panache and poetic nuance" (San Francisco Chronicle).
$68-$96. 642-9988.

May 4, 8pm to 10pm, First Congregational Church of Berkeley, 2345 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA

Ex Machina: 887

Written, designed, directed, and performed by Robert Lepage

Revered for his expansive theatrical imagination, Canadian director, actor, and playwright Robert Lepage focuses his latest work down to the most intimate scale-a one-man show steeped in his own childhood memories. In this "touching, intimate, powerful" (The Guardian, London) performance, Lepage's commanding presence is amplified by the technical wizardry of his production company, Ex Machina. The production employs everything from archival film footage to shadow puppetry to dollhouse-like miniatures of entire city blocks-creating an elaborately shifting psychological landscape that connects personal history to broader questions of collective memory.

Performed in English and French with English supertitles.

A Berkeley RADICAL programming initiative. More information on
Berkeley RADICAL >>

$48-$98. 642-9988.

May 4, 8pm to 10pm, Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley

Zaytoven - The Superproducer behind Future, Gucci Maine, Migos, Usher, Lil Uzi Vert and more

Producer born in Germany. Raised in San Francisco, but now based in Atlanta, Georgia.

May 4, 8:30pm to 9:30pm, Cornerstone, 2367 Shattuck Ave (Enter On Durant), Berkeley, CA, 94704

Stu Allen and Mars Hotel

A tradition started back in the 20th century, Ashkenaz's Grateful Dead Night is always evolving, reaching new heights since Stu Allen & Mars Hotel launched a weekly residency in late 2011. Led by acclaimed guitarist-singer Allen (of Phil Lesh & Friends, Melvin Seals & JGB, Ghosts of Electricity), a revolving cast of incredibly talented musicians inhabits Mars Hotel, drawing from the Grateful Dead's vast catalog to delight Deadheads and dancers of all generations. A Mars Hotel show is always an energetic evening of good vibes, good music, and good community.

When it became apparent that Jerry Garcia had played his final show in 1995, Stu Allen began working to keep Garcia's music, sound, and spirit alive in the concert setting. He regularly works with Phil Lesh and has also played sets with Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann. Allen is perhaps most known for fronting Melvin Seals' tribute to the Jerry Garcia Band from 2004 to 2011. He received more national acclaim in 2010 when he toured with Dark Star Orchestra. Allen shares the Grateful Dead's commitment to making each performance a unique event, from preparation to execution. He will perform multiple shows before playing the same song twice, and even then, that song will not be realized in quite the same way.

Mars Hotel takes this idea a step further by presenting a new band at each performance. Drawing from the rich music scene of the Bay Area, Allen has assembled a broad and ever-rotating group of musicians that makes each concert a once-only experience. As far as Grateful Dead tribute bands go, this is a concept that has never been done before.

May 4, 9pm to 11:59pm, Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley