Berkeley Arts Festival Calendar


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 13, 12 midnight, The Starry Plough 3101 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley

Temescal Farmers' Market

May 13, 9am to 1pm, 5300 Claremont Ave, Oakland CA 94618

Soul Sanctuary Dance

Family-friendly Freestyle Community Dance. Come dance freely every Sunday morning at Soul Sanctuary Dance. No admission fee / 100% volunteer produced.

Soul Sanctuary Dance is a welcoming and inclusive all-ages community freestyle/ecstatic/shoes optional dance that supports free expression, community, physical and emotional health, and a spirit of generosity. We dance to an irresistible eclectic blend of world music, funk, house, soul, electro swing, positive hip hop, reggae, dance classics, jazz, blues, electronica, and other music to free mind, body and soul.

Organic fruit for all after the dance.
The dance is completely organized and run by volunteers.
Wheelchair accessible. No scented products please. Shoes optional.

The dance is a generosity and donation-based event. We don't charge a fee for admission. Instead, we post this message at the welcome table: "Your dance today at Soul Sanctuary Dance is a gift from those who have made donations to the dance, and from the volunteers who organize and produce the dance. We invite you to pay this generosity forward for future dancers, in whatever amount or manner you choose, so that we can continue to keep this chain of gifts alive."

May 13, 11am to 1pm, Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

String Quartet Sundays ~ featuring "The Town"

May 13, 1pm to 2pm, The Musical Offering, 2430 Bancroft Way, Berkeley

The Noel Jewkes Quartet, featuring Kay Kostopoulis

Noel Jewkes is one of the premier saxophone players in Northern California. He has worked in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 35 years, and has earned a distinguished reputation with lovers of Jazz.

Listening to the majestic phrasing and harmonic adventurousness of Noel Jewkes is almost like hearing the entire history of modern jazz in a single evening. No wonder he is revered by musicians, critics, and music lovers alike as the premiere Saxist-by-the-Bay. Some years back, Phil Elwood, the legendary jazz critic, said of Noel, "I don't know of a better contemporary modern saxman anywhere."

And Kay Kostopoulis is not only one of Northern California's finest singers, she is also a great friend of Noel's, and their on-stage partnership exudes a rare chemistry and musical rapport.

This performance includes Chris Amberger (bass) and Jack Dorsey (drums). Both of these guys have appeared at The Back Room before and have been part of Noel's legendary stable for years.

Rounding out the quartet, and contributing a few songs of his own, is our own Sam Rudin at the piano.

Please join us for a perfect Mother's Day afternoon!

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 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 13, 4pm to 6pm, The Back Room, 1984 Bonita Ave, Berkeley

Electric Squeezebox Orchestra (CJC Resident Artists)

The Electric Squeezebox Orchestra (CJC Resident Artists) is a 17-piece big band led by Erik Jekabson and features many of the best players and arrangers in the Bay Area! They will be appearing in Rendon Hall every Sunday through June at 5:30 pm with a different student group opening .

May 13, 4:30pm to 6:30pm, Rendon Hall/Fiddler Annex @ California Jazz Conservatory 2040 Addison Street, Berkeley

STREAMS OF CONSCIOUSNESS Reading James Joyce and Virginia Woolf with Patrick McMahon

Reading James Joyce and Virginia Woolf with Patrick McMahon Every other Sunday, 5:00 to 7 p.m. (early arrivals from 4:30).
Suggested donations $10-$20 per discussion. Sandwiches, tea and wine included For registration and syllabus, please contact Patrick McMahon,

In 1919 Virginia Woolf, bemoaning the demise of the contemporary novel, still placed hope in various young writers experimenting with fresh forms:
They attempt to come closer to life, and to preserve more sincerely and exactly what interests and moves them . . . record(ing) the atoms as they fall upon the mind, in the order in which they fall . . . tracing the pattern, however disconnected and incoherent in appearance, which each sight or incident scores upon the consciousness.
One of the most promising of those young writers, she noted, was James Joyce, whose Ulysses, then a work in progress, would in its published form open up the technique of "stream of consciousness," an approach to narrative attempting to get closer to life and finding coherence in profusion. Woolf would in time be greatly influenced by Joyce in her own experiments with narritive voice, from Mrs. Dalloway to The Waves. Tracing the paths by which both artists arrived at their masterworks, our course of study will be sequenced in three, three-month series, of 7- 8 meetings each.
Fall/Winter, We'll select our readings from The Portable Joyce, edited by Harry Levin, and The Virginia Woolf Reader, edited by Mitchell A. Leaska.

May 13, 5pm to 7pm, University Press Books, 2430 Bancroft Way, Berkeley

Dr. Squeez and the Hugz

May 13, 5pm to 7pm, Caffe on San Pablo, 2500 San Pablo, Berkeley

California Jazz Conservatory Student Performances

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

May 13, 6pm to 7pm, California Jazz Conservatory 2087 Addison St, Berkeley

Gilman SKA Night - Be Like Max [LV] & More!

Sunday Gilman Ska Show! Las Vegas ska-punk kingpins bring their energetic live show back to Berkeley. Tell a friend or 30!

Be Like Max
[Las Vegas, NV ska-punk legends]

[Las Vegas, NV]

Map Quiz
[Berkeley, CA pop-punk]

Mr. Can't Get Right
[San Leandro solo ska! // ex-The Skunkadelics]

More TBA!

Doors 5:30pm // Music 6pm
$10 + $2 Membership
All Ages
924 Gilman is a safe(r) space venue

No Bigots
No Drugs
No Alcohol

May 13, 6pm to 10pm, 924 Gilman St, Berkeley

Anthony Davis.

House concert in private home in North Berkeley Hills with pianist/composer Anthony Davis. Mr. Davis will play 2 sets, with wine and cheese served during the intermission. Seating is limited. For information, please contact the concert host at:

May 13, 7pm to 9pm, Private home in North Berkeley Hills, Private home in North Berkeley Hills.

Madeleine Peyroux, Carsie Blanton

Madeleine Peyroux
Madeleine Peyroux's extraordinary journey is one of music industry's most compelling.
Eight albums and 22 years since her debut Dreamland, Peyroux continues to challenge the confines of jazz, venturing into the fertile fields of contemporary music with unfading curiosity.

Peyroux's new album, Anthem, finds the singer-songwriter collaborating with writers/musicians Patrick Warren (Bonnie Raitt, JD Souther, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Lana Del Rey, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers), Brian MacLeod (Sara Bareilles, Leonard Cohen, Tina Turner, Ziggy Marley) and David Baerwald (Joni Mitchell, David and David, Sheryl Crow), who are also the basic rhythm section players on the album. Together, they cast a sober, poetic, and at times philosophical eye on the current state of the world.

Produced and co-written by Larry Klein, the album came to life during the pivotal 2016 US elections, with the writers absorbing a "constant stream of news" over many months. The "consciously not too preachy" songs, fuse Peyroux's, at times political outlook, with glimpses into her personal world. Honed and patiently refined with fellow writers they mix the public with the personal, striking that perfect equilibrium of dark humour and compassion.

Anthem is an album born out of the team being "together in one room, musing over world events and letting personal experiences spark ideas". David Baerwald's sadness over the passing of poet John Ashbery, ignited thoughts of much admired figures lost over the years and paved the path for All My Heroes. Baerwald's loss gave rise to feelings of awe at these figures' trailblazing ability to guide and "light fires in the shadows", but also brought to light their very human vulnerability.

Inspiration for the evocative Lullaby, written by Baerwald, Klein, MacLeod, Peyroux and Warren, came from "the image of a solitary woman in the midst of a vast open sea singing to her child, or possibly herself, as she faces the chasm of the world." With engaging empathy, the song paints a haunting picture of the displaced person's desperation, as she is tormented by memories of "a time before the war", in a boat paddling towards the unknown.

Anthem weaves the colourful stories of people confronting life's challenges in a multitude of ways. With pathos and a hint of irony it laments over financial tribulations in Down On Me, speaks of disappointment and unfulfilled dreams in the bluesy Ghosts of Tomorrow and delivers a scathingly poignant social commentary in The Brand New Deal. Coming ten years after Bare Bones, the singer-songwriter's previous album of original songs, Anthem finds Peyroux wiser with finer articulation powers. Inspired by her idol Leonard Cohen's ability to "suffer for the work, but still present the listener with just a friendly thought", Peyroux sends a spiritual but clear message of hope, optimism and resilience in the face of a turbulent reality.

There are two covers in this album. Paul Eluard's WW2 poem Liberté, and the title track, Leonard Cohen's monumental Anthem, which also marks Peyroux's third interpretation of the iconic poet's work.

Soon becoming Peyroux's "personal anthem", Cohen's soulful masterpiece "tied together all the stories on the record", with uncanny relevance and topical worldly observation.

It was Cohen's astonishing ability to tap into the human psyche and "make you think about things without forcing you into it", that was the underlying thread throughout the project, leading to a more fluid style of writing, "that is about saying something rather than saying everything."
Anthem's lighter tunes include On My Own and On A Sunday Afternoon and 70's sounding Party Tyme which "has some darkness to it."

A key track on the album is Paul Eluard's poem Liberté which came to Peyroux's attention when a family friend requested she contribute a song to the documentary On the Tips of One's Toes (Sur La Pointe des Pieds), telling the story of her gravely ill son and the family dealing with his fatal illness (Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy). A well-known poem in France and recently set to music by French rocker Marc Lavoine, "Liberté was already in the air following the Paris terror attack". It came up for Peyroux and Klein as they were trying to put music to a sequence in the documentary showing the young boy going on daily outings and activities. It evoked questions about the parents' ordeal of "living with the knowledge that their son will not live a full life", and triggered thoughts of "life's greatest questions about mortality, overcoming adversity and man's place in the grand scheme of things".

The 21-verse poem was edited down to fit the album's format and its stanzas adapted, before Peyroux and Klein wrote their original composition. Delivered in French and encompassing the entire human experience, Liberté begins with the lines "On my school notebooks, On my school desk and the trees", to convey the essence of childhood and growing up. It goes on to touch on adulthood, romantic loneliness, and the many facets of human life, before finally speaking of illness, death and recovery. "With every verse Eluard mentions different places, imaginary and real where he would write 'the name' but the name itself remains a mystery until the all revealing last line "I was born to know you, To name you, Liberty". Under Klein's sensitive production, the arresting poem assumes an enchanting folksy simplicity, with only Klein's acoustic guitar and Warren's atmospheric synth strings to accompany Peyroux's mesmerising voice.

Anthem is Peyroux's "biggest project to date", with the artist investing many months of hands-on involvement in the studio, "exploring processed sounds and editing in post tracking. Special in that it was written with the group of musicians/writers who also played on it, "this album was about discovering the original songs as they were being recorded" and mastering the courage to "let the songs choose their own path." The new album includes several songs bearing Peyroux's distinctive, instantly recognizable style including On My Own and Sunday afternoon, but Anthem's spirit was that of exploring new styles whilst resting safe in the knowledge that "if you are loyal to yourself, there should always be a thread running through your music."

Madeleine Peyroux - The Summer Wind Madeleine Peyroux - Everything I Do Gohn Be Funky (From Now On)

Carsie Blanton
"Her smoky vocals recall Nina Simone and Billie Holiday, while her wit as a songwriter is in the spirit of Cole Porter." NPR
"impeccably catchy collection of coy songs about her sexual peccadillos" Robert Chrisgau

New Orleans based singer-songwriter Carsie Blanton has always been a little unorthodox. Raised on a commune in rural Virginia, Carsie never went to high school but was "unschooled" at home, until she left for the Oregon coast at the age of sixteen. She grew up listening to artists like Leonard Cohen and John Prine, and began taking piano lessons at age six. As Lilith Fair-era singer-songwriters like Sheryl Crow and Ani DiFranco emerged during her pre-teens, Carsie ditched the keys for a guitar and began writing songs. Before long, her voracious musical appetite led her to a lifelong love of jazz (Billie Holiday and Nina Simone), Motown (the Supremes and Sam Cooke), and songwriters from Duke Ellington to Tom Waits.

Carsie's latest release, So Ferocious, is a playful indie-pop record for smart, ferocious libertines. Blanton shows off her love for her hometown of New Orleans with brass bands and barroom piano, but blends in electronic ins

May 13, 7pm to 8pm, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley, CA, 94704

Berkeley High Crew 50th Anniversary Party and Reunion

Come join current and former rowers, parents, and coaches to help celebrate 50 years of Rowing at Berkeley High! For many years, BHS Crew was the only public high school rowing team on the West Coast. We have a long and proud tradition helping young men and women grow mentally and physically in a fun, supportive environment. There will be food and drink, the opportunity to see old friends and team-mates, win prizes, and dance to live music from the David Landon Band. Proceeds will benefit Berkeley High Crew, a non-profit 501c(3) corporation. You can learn more about David Landon and hear his music at

Doors at 6:00 pm; Show at 7:00 pm
Buy Tickets on EVENTBRITE
Tickets are $15 Advance / $20 at the Door

May 13, 7pm to 10pm, Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley