Berkeley Arts Festival Calendar


Nancy Wright Ensemble

Blues and Jazz

May 9, 11:45am to 2:45pm, The Cheeseboard Pizza, 1512 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley

Kenan Obrien

May 9, 4:45pm to 7:45pm, The Cheeseboard Pizza, 1512 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley

Stitch 'n Bitch

May 9, 6pm to 9pm, Caffe on San Pablo, 2500 San Pablo Ave., BErkeley

California Jazz Conservatory Student Performances

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

May 9, 6pm to 7pm, California Jazz Conservatory 2087 Addison St, Berkeley

Jazz in the Neighborhood Presents...Let's Call This - Anderson/Mezzacappa/Modirzadeh

Jazz in the Neighborhood Presents...Let's Call This - Anderson/Mezzacappa/Modirzadeh Our Berkeley neighbors and jazz colleagues at Jazz in the Neighborhood are hosting a weekly Jazz in the Neighborhood Residency at the California Jazz Conservatory, with Let's Call This - Anderson / Mezzacappa / Modirzadeh featured on May 9th.

Let's Call This is a new meeting of three improviser-composers who have developed singular voices as longtime members of the Bay Area creative jazz community. Saxophonist Hafez Modirzadeh joins bassist Lisa Mezzacappa and drummer Vijay Anderson to explore original compositions, structured improvisations, and conceptual flights, born from a shared sense of curiosity and possibility. Modirzadeh is known for developing a unique poly-tempered approach to jazz based on the music of Iran. Anderson composes tightly knit music with interweaving melodic lines and a driving momentum. Mezzacappa's compositions combine asymmetrical grooves with sonic abstractions and free zones of exploration. This performance is a special opportunity to hear the debut of this inventive and adventurous new trio.

Vijay Anderson is a freelance drummer, bandleader, composer, and teacher based in Oakland, California. He has performed and recorded with LA-based multi-instrumentalists Lynn Johnston and Vinny Golia; Bay Area composer/performers Ben Goldberg, Sheldon Brown, Graham Connah, Darren Johnston, Smith Dobson V, Lisa Mezzacappa, Aaron Bennett, Ava Mendoza, Hafez Modirzadeh, and saxophonist Marco Eneidi. He has worked extensively with Brooklyn bassist Adam Lane as part of Lane's Full Throttle Orchestra, the Adam Lane Trio, and Adam Lane's Blue Spirit Band. Anderson has composed and performed original scores for filmmakers Jeff Kao and Tim Hicks, as well as for projects by the Facing East Dance Company. He leads the Vijay Anderson Quartet, the Touch and Go Sextet, and the Silverscreen Sextet.

Lisa Mezzacappa is a Berkeley­-based composer, bassist, and bandleader. Called "one of the most imaginative figures on the Bay Area creative jazz scene" by The Mercury News and "a Bay Area treasure" by KQED, she has been an active part of California's music community for more than 15 years. Mezzacappa writes music for groups from duo to large ensemble, acoustic and electric, and has collaborated with film, dance, sculpture and installation art. Recent projects include ORGANELLE, a chamber suite for improvisers; Glorious Ravage, an evening-length song cycle for large ensemble and films; and TOUCH BASS, a collaboration with choreographer Risa Jaroslow for three dancers and three bassists. avantNOIR, a suite of compositions for jazz sextet, was released on Clean Feed records in 2017 and earned 4 1/2 stars in DownBeat Magazine.

Saxophonist/theorist Hafez Modirzadeh has performed, recorded, published and lectured internationally on original cross-cultural musical concepts which include "Convergence Liberation" (in Critical Studies in Improvisation, 2011), "Compost Music" (in Leonardo, 2009), "Aural Archetypes" (in Black Music Research, 2001), as well as "Chromodality" (for Wesleyan University, 1992). Twice an NEA Jazz Fellow, Modirzadeh received a Senior Fulbright Award in 2006 to work with Flamenco and Gnawan traditions in Andalucia and Morocco, and again in 2014, to research Turkish Makam harmonization in Ankara. He is a Professor of Creative/World Music at San Francisco State University.

May 9, 7:30pm to 9:30pm, Rendon Hall/Fiddler Annex @ California Jazz Conservatory 2040 Addison Street, Berkeley

New works by graduate composers

Berkeley New Music Project
UC Berkeley Music Department

David Milnes, director
New works by graduate composers Andrew Harlan, Kayla Cashetta, Selim Göncü, and Ursula Kwong-Brown

Price Range: free

May 9, 8pm to 10pm, Hertz Hall, UC Berkeley Campus

Molsky's Mountain Drifters

Molsky's Mountain Drifters

Buy Music
Molsky's Mountain Drifters is Bruce Molsky's new "power trio." As Berklee College of Music's Visiting Scholar in their American Roots Program, Bruce met virtuoso musicians Allison deGroot (banjo) and Stash Wyslouch (guitar), and formed a cross-generational band that brings a fresh approach to old-time music. Bruce is a Grammy-nominated multi-instrumentalist (fiddle, banjo and guitar) who has played in such legendary old-time bands as the Correctones, Big Hoedown and the Hellbenders; in collaborations with Mark Knopfler, Andy Irvine and Donal Lunny, Aly Bain, and Jerry Douglas. Allison has performed at major festivals with her own bands, the Goodbye Girls and Oh My Darling. Stash came to bluegrass (and then to old time music) from the punk-metal world, and has played at major festivals as a member of the Deadly Gentlemen.

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

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 9, 8pm to 11:59pm, Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley