Berkeley Arts Festival Calendar


Your Song My Song

Your Song My Song
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In their wildly interactive shows for children and families, silly six-piece band Your Song My Song sings you through watery adventures, recycling kid revolutionaries, classic children's books, jungle expeditions, and deep sea dives! Singer and ukulele player Jaime Lee Currier weaves tales of friendship, love, and learning, while guitarist Eric Hart, violinist Rainbow Rubin, sax player, Hank Ibser, bassist Joe Shaughnessy, and drummer Nick Jackson keep up a rockin beat. Come sing along and laugh, shout, dance, and imagine with Your Song My Song and their classic kid hits, interactice improv songs, and new original story adventure songs which they've performed in a multitude of parks, schools, camps, libraries, clubs, festivals and museums throughout Northern California.

Your Song My Song's first not-JUST-for kids CD, Off The Blue, features "What Up Kids," "Slippery Fish," and a rousing interactive rendition of "Old MacDonald".

Rudy Trubitt
As a musician, Rudy may be best known as a member of The Squids, an annoying, yet entertaining new-wave band popular in Hawaii around 1980. Recently, he has been performing solo acoustic-guitar shows wearing a cow suit.

May 12, 11am to 1pm, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley, CA, 94704

North Berkeley Jazz Quartet

May 12, 11:45am to 2:45pm, Cheese Board Pizza 1512 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley,

Melvin Leonard and his Hot Sauce Band

New Orleans legend, Melvin "Blues Daddy" Leonard and his rippin' hot sauce band.

May 12, 4:45pm to 7:45pm, The Cheeseboard Pizza, 1512 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley

California Jazz Conservatory Student Performances

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

May 12, 6pm to 7pm, California Jazz Conservatory 2087 Addison St, Berkeley

MY Word Open Mic

MY Word Open Mic

May 12, 7pm to 9:30pm,

Arturo O' Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra. KPFA Benefit! Click Here for Tickets.

A Benefit for KPFA FM and DACA Support Services
Ft. Arturo O' Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
Bobi Céspedes Band, Son Jarocho All Stars
Saturday May 12, 2018

Doors: 6:30 PM
Show: 7:30 PM
$55.00 - $100

GRAMMY Award winning pianist, composer and educator Arturo O'Farrill - leader of the "first family of Afro-Cuban Jazz" (New York Times) - was born in Mexico and grew up in New York City. Son of the late, great composer Chico O'Farrill, Arturo was educated at Manhattan School of Music, Brooklyn College Conservatory and the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. He played piano in Carla Bley's Big Band from 1979 through 1983 and earned a reputation as a soloist in groups led by Dizzy Gillespie, Steve Turre, Freddy Cole, Lester Bowie, Wynton Marsalis and Harry Belafonte. In 2002, he established the GRAMMY® winning Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra in order to bring the vital musical traditions of Afro Latin jazz to a wider general audience, and to greatly expand the contemporary Latin jazz big band repertoire through commissions to artists across a wide stylistic and geographic range.

Following his 2009 GRAMMY® Award for "Best Latin Jazz Album" for the Orchestra's debut recording, Song for Chico (ZOHO), O'Farrill has received numerous GRAMMY® nominations and most recently two GRAMMY® wins for The Offense of the Drum ("Best Latin Jazz Album") and Cuba: The Conversation Continues ("The Afro Latin Jazz Suite," "Best Instrumental Composition"). Cuba: The Conversation Continues won a 2016 Latin GRAMMY® for "Best Latin Jazz Album," and his latest album with Chucho Valdés, Familia: Tribute to Bebo & Chico, has been nominated for a GRAMMY® Award in the "Best Instrumental Composition" category.

Arturo O'Farrill has lectured and performed in colleges and universities throughout the US and South America, is Director of Jazz Studies at the Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music (C.U.N.Y.) and is Artist-In-Residence at the Casita Maria Center for Arts & Culture. He's currently collaborating with director Moises Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater on an Afro Cuban version of Bizet's opera, Carmen. He is also a member of the Board of Governors of the New York Chapter of NARAS, and is a Steinway Artist.

About Bobi Céspedes Band
A sonera of the classic Cuban style and a priestess of the Yorùbán diaspora, treasured Bay Area singer Bobi Céspedes was described by the Los Angeles Times as "a Cuban powerhouse of a woman who demonstrates on record and in concert that she is the worthy successor to the throne of Celia Cruz." Céspedes founded the influential Bay Area Cuban ensemble Conjunto Céspedes in 1981 with her brother Luis and nephew Guillermo, releasing three spectacular albums on the Green Linnet and Xenophile labels and sharing the stage with salsa titans Tito Puenté, Rubén Blades and Celia Cruz.

Bobi Céspedes worked with Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart's Planet Drum project beginning in 1998, appearing on his Supralingua and Spirit into Sound releases, and toured the world with his ensemble. In 2003, Six Degrees Records released Rezos, a blend of Cuban son and electronic beats that included the track "Awoyo," a composition featured in season 4 of the smash Showtime series Dexter. Her follow-up, Patakin, features a cross-section of the Bay Area's finest Latin jazz musicians including bassist Saul Sierra and pianist Marco Díaz.

About Son Jarocho All Stars
Camilo Landau, leader of the Son Jarocho All Stars, is a musician with a lifetime of experience under his belt. He began learning the guitar and Cuban tres at the age of twelve from his uncle, GRAMMY®-nominated record producer Greg Landau. By the age of sixteen, Camilo had performed alongside Carlos Santana, and went on to continue his musical studies in Cuba and Nicaragua. Returning to the University of Santa Cruz for his undergraduate studies, he founded post-Latin group Carne Cruda, which remained active for over a decade. Over the years, Camilo has performed alongside such household names as Ozomatli, Los Lobos, Stevie Wonder, and countless others. In 2008, he and Greg Landau founded Round Whirled Records, and the two have dozens of records on their resumes. He is a 2016 GRAMMY® nominee, and the founder of the San Francisco Son Jarocho Festival.

May 12, 7:30pm to 8:30pm, The UC Theatre Taube Family Music Hall, 2036 University Avenue, near Downtown Berkeley BART Berkeley, CA, 94704

Roy Blumenfeld

Back in 1967, the mythic `Summer of Love', if you were in New York City the place to be was the Cafe Au Go Go on MacDougal Street, Greenwich Village where the star band was The Blues Project, a group on the cutting edge of improvisational, classical, blues and jazz. Roy Blumenfeld was the drummer, the heartbeat for the band. In 1967 Al Kooper and Steve Katz left the band to join Blood Sweat and Tears and Danny Kalb took leave of absence, The Blues Project released a third album "Live At Town Hall" consisting of live tapes and studio out-takes. .Over the years Roy has performed and recorded with the most illustrious soul, funk, blues and rock legends: Chuck Berry, John Lee Hooker, Carlos Santana, Paul Butterfield, Elvin Bishop, Nick Gravenites, Barry Goldberg, David LaFlamme (of It's A Beautiful Day), Barry Melton (of Country Joe and the Fish), Banana (of The Youngbloods), Peter Albin (of Big Brother and the Holding Company: the band that launched Janis Joplin) and Robert Hunter (of The Grateful Dead)... to name just a few.

6:30 door 510-472-3170 $15.-$25 at door ALL AGES * You can bring food, snacks and beverages *

May 12, 7:30pm to 8:30pm, Art House Gallery & Cultural Center 2905 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley

Joe Baer Magnant Group

The JBM Group play a funky fusion of styles, freely improvising over original compositions and arrangements of songs by Tom Waits, Mulatu Astatke, Erik Satie and Gary Burton. Magnant's genre-blurring guitar style developed while performing thousands of shows in an array of genres, studying at Berklee College of Music in Boston, and becoming one of the youngest faculty members of the Cape Cod Conservatory of Music.

May 12, 8pm to 11pm, Jupiter, 2181 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley

Australian Bebop Ragas

Australian Bebop Ragas ( also known as ABR) was originally formed with Teed Rockwell on the Touchstyle Veena, Stephen Kent on didgeridoo, and Sameer Gupta on drums. It featured original compositions based on Hindustani Ragas that Teed learned from over a hundred classes with Ali Akbar Khan, and from dozens of classes with Sitar Maestros Shahid Parvez and Habib Khan. Teed is the only person in the world to play in this musical tradition on the Touchstyle Veena, a unique customized instrument which has a guitar-like fretboard played by tapping the strings simultaneously with both hands.

The first ABR performance, at the Caffe Trieste in Berkeley, had one of the largest crowds in that venue's history, with people filling the streets and peering through the windows. There were several KPFA radio hosts in that audience, who later featured ABR on their shows. ABR played numerous concerts across the state and country, including three shows at the Freight & Salvage. They also recorded an album called Snakes and Ladders, which sold thousands of copies through a variety of distributors, has over a hundred listener-created stations on Pandora, and is widely listened to on Spotify.

The members of the original Australian Bebop Ragas have since moved on to a variety of exciting projects. Sameer has moved to New York, and is running the Brooklyn Raga Massive project. Stephen is now working with an Indian Vocalist in the popular dance music group Baraka Moon. Teed's group Bollywood Gharana combines traditional Hindustani ragas with Bollywood film tunes. He is also working with the world dance music ensemble DyaTribal, which has built up a large following in Sonoma County, and who played at Ashkenaz in Berkeley last March.

Andy Graham, the drummer in DyaTribal, plays drums and didgeridoo simultaneously, using a unique rack mounted system that he designed and built himself. Andy and Teed begin practicing the Australian Bebop Ragas material during DyaTribal rehearsals, and soon realized they could do this material as a duo. Even better, it would now be possible to create a whole new trio format by adding a saxophone, thanks to their discovery of an extraordinary local talent.

"Jesse Sheehan is one of the very few saxophonists trained in the Hindustani musical tradition" says Teed. "He understands that keeping the rules of the raga gives a special kind of freedom that is as powerful, but importantly different from, the freedom of jazz improvisation. I've never played with any melodic instrumentalist who had a better sensitivity to the ABR material." Jesse has had extensive experience playing saxophone and tabla professionally around the world with artists such as the Violent Femmes, Hot Buttered Rum, Steve Kimock, Melvin Seals, Candelaria and the Ethiopian funk psychedelic group Sun Hop Fat. His interest in Hindustani and Carnatic Classical music led him to India four times to study Tabla with living legend Pandit Nayan Ghosh for years, and also perform with many of India's finest musicians. While living in Mumbai, Jesse performed frequently with Louiz Banks, who arranged and produced for the great Indo-Jazz fusion guitarist John McLaughlin.

You can hear the original Australian Bebop Ragas album here.

If you want hear the same music re-conceived and transformed by this new collaboration, come to The Back Room on May 12.

Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 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).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

May 12, 8pm to 10pm, The Back Room, 1984 Bonita Ave, Berkeley

Madeleine Peyroux

We are SOLD OUT of advance tickets. Standing-room-only tickets will be available at the door after 8pm, once the show starts.

May 12, 8pm to 10pm, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley, CA, 94704

Bach's Orchestral Suites --- American Bach Soloists

American Bach Soloists Bach's Orchestral Suites

Historians have noted that Bach's music is intensely infused with the spirit of dance, whether expressing joy, felicity, sorrow, or devotion. The musical forms of dance were some of the most essential and permeating components of music from the Baroque era. Those clearly defined elements determined tempos, moods or affects, and the structural architectures of the vast majority of Baroque musical works, both with texts and purely instrumental.

Bach's suites not only celebrate the dance, but also the phenomenal technical abilities of his musicians. Bach titled them "Ouvertures" referring to the grand movement that opens the work, followed by a suite of dances, all requiring the most virtuoso instrumentalists. All four Orchestral Suites will be presented in these concerts, full of exuberant sonority, captivating melody, and displays of virtuosity from ABS's famous roster of "the best American specialists in early music" (The Washington Post).

Price Range: $35 to $89
Tickets: (415) 621-7900

May 12, 8pm to 10pm, First Congregational Church of Berkeley, 2345 Channing Way, Berkeley

Chora Roda

Chora Roda is a fun Brazilian choro jam session. Choro is an instrumental style combining classical, jazz and African elements. It definitely requires some study and practice, but there are lots of choro enthusiasts in the Bay Area. Common instruments are guitar, mandolin, flute, cavaquinho, clarinet, pandeiro; but all instruments are welcome. Whether you come to listen or to learn, a good time is guaranteed!

May 12, 8pm to 10pm, Caffe on San Pablo, 2500 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley

Mestis feat. Javier Reyes of Animals As Leaders, Hyvmine

World renowned guitarist, Javier Reyes (Animals As Leaders, T.R.A.M.), has a new solo project Mestís, which is an all instrumental effort. The debut EP, Basal Ganglia, is a five track offering showcasing Reyes' vast musical diversity and features an intriguing variety of instrumentation performed by highly acclaimed musicians. The EP is set for a Nov 27th release.

Mestís features Javier Reyes on guitar, bass, production and mixing duties. Matt Garstka (Animals As Leaders) handling drum programming, Hector Barez (Calle 13, Bio Ritmo) on percussion and David Stout (Marvin Gaye, Juan Gabriel, Smokey Robinson) on the trombone.

Reyes states: "...I've always wanted to create a style of music that focused on being emotionally exploitive and technically sound, yet simple enough for the average music listener to appreciate. Another influence was using the eight string guitar in a form that is unconventional to the 'trends' or independent of characteristics that are found in music styles/genres that have popularized it. Another and important reason was to create a true form of my own independent voice as an artist. To create music that expressed my personality, upbringing, emotions and musical taste."

May 12, 8:30pm to 9:30pm, Cornerstone, 2367 Shattuck Ave (Enter On Durant), Berkeley, CA, 94704

Trio Garufa plus All levels Tango dance class from 8-9pm with Andrea Fuchilieri

Trio Garufa features an international lineup playing classic and modern tango music from Argentina, including Astor Piazzolla's nuevo tango and the timeless golden-age tangos from the Argentine legends of the 1920s-'40s. Accordion and bandoneon player Adrian Jost grew up in Switzerland, where he played in various bands before falling under the spell of the tango. After moving to San Francisco, he met Argentine-born guitarist Guillermo Garcia in 1999. Their musical association and mutual love of Argentina's dance music led to Trio Garufa two years later. Bassist Sascha Jacobsen rounds out the group's classic tango instrumentation. In addition to having played at the top milongas (tango dance parties) in San Francisco and at several festivals in the U.S. and Canada, Trio Garufa has toured Argentina multiple times. When not performing, the musicians can likely be found out on the dance floor, as all three are obsessive tango dancers themselves.

Doors at 7:30 pm; Dance Lesson 8pm; Show at 9:00
Buy Tickets on EVENTBRITE
Tickets are $15 Advance / $18 at the Door

May 12, 9pm to 11pm, Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

Rebel Rebel - A Tribute To David Bowie, Debased: A Pixies Tribute

There are few artists as unique as David Bowie.
Every single album served as a reinvention or himself, as well as an innovation of musical creation and execution. Not to be outdone by his own recordings, Bowie also takes his material and reinvents it again depending on what he was doing musically in any given decade. For example, "Fame" morphed from the disco seventies to the big, layered sound of the eighties to the industrial noise of the nineties.
How does one even begin to pay musical tribute to an ever-changing artist?
San Francisco-based Rebel Rebel seek to tackle such a task with their own brand of fearless experimentation and reckless abandon. With Rebel Rebel, the emphasis is on adventure and feeling over simply recreating a song.
Mixing well-known tunes with deep album cuts, Rebel Rebel seeks to entertain both the casual listener and die-hard Bowie fanatic.
You know the songs. You've loved them for years... But you've never heard them this way!
Instagram: @rebelrebelsf

Hey! Been trying to meet you! We're based in SF, and we LA LA LOVE YOU! Join White Francis, Nik Deal, Mr. Grieves, and Crackity Jones, as they take you through a musical journey through the Pixies' earlier years. Your socks will be rocked off, and your earholes will be Debased! Twitter: @debasedsf Instagram: debasesf

May 12, 9pm to 5/12 12 midnight, The Starry Plough 3101 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley