Berkeley Arts Festival Calendar


Joe Warner Trio


May 17, 11:45am to 2:45pm, Cheese Board Pizza 1512 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley

Free Live Jazz

May 17, 4:30pm to 6:30pm, The Musical Offering, 2430 Bancroft Way, Berkeley

Retro JukeBox Band

Geechi Taylor's Retro JukeBox Band is a top Dance Band with an immense repertoire covering multiple genres including timeless 1920's-1960's Jazz, Blues, Motown & Retro versions of todays hits.

May 17, 4:45pm to 7:45pm, Cheese Board Pizza, 1512 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley

BEYOND LA BAMBA, Roots Arts Film Series with Q&A

Directed by: Marco Villalobos
Run time: 45 mins. Followed by Q&A!
Through the compelling story of a young musician who leaves home to follow his dreams, Mexico's 300-year-old Son Jarocho tradition comes vividly to life in Beyond La Bamba. From the rural roots of Veracruz to the urban rhythms of the Midwest, a family of iconic musicians forges a new life but remains true to their music.

May 17, 7pm to 8:30pm, 3105 Shattuck Ave. , Berkeley, CA, 94705, United States

Local author Channy Chhi Laux shares her powerful memoir, Short Hair Detention: Memoir of a Thirteen-Year-Old Girl Surviving the Cambodian Genocide.

In April 1975, Channy Chhi Laux was a happy thirteen-year-old girl who was excited to start a new school year. But as news reports announced that the Khmer Rouge was getting closer to taking control of Cambodia, Channy and her family were forced to relocate to Poipet, a border town to Thailand. From that point forward, Channy lived a life dictated by fear.

May 17, 7pm to 8pm, Books Inc. 1491 Shattuck Ave Berkeley

Post Bop Praise

May 17, 7pm to 9pm,

Perfectly Queer presents James Mattson, Wayne Goodman, Lori Ostlund, and Barbara Ridley Thursday, May 17, 7:30pm Pegasus Books Downtown Perfectly Queer presents a queer fiction night with James Mattson, Wayne Goodman, Lori Ostlund, and Barbara Ridley. Visiting author James Han Mattson (The Lost Prayers of Ricky Graves) reads with local authors Wayne Goodman, Lori Ostlund, and Barbara Ridley at a Perfectly Queer East Bay Plus book reading

An author signing follows the readings. Free admission, free refreshments. Door prizes at 7:30!


James Han Mattson was born in Seoul, Korea and raised in North Dakota. A Michener-Copernicus Fellowship recipient and graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, he has taught at the University of Iowa, the University of Cape Town, the University of Maryland, the George Washington University, and the University of California - Berkeley. His first novel The Lost Prayers of Ricky Graves was an Amazon Literature and Fiction Pick, an Amazon Best Book of the Month, a Publishers Lunch Bookseller Pick, a Kindle First Pick, a New York Post Required Reading, and was featured on NPR's Weekend Edition with Scott Simon. He currently lives in Maryland.

Wayne Goodman has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area most of his life (with too many cats). He and his fiancé Rick May host Perfectly Queer, a reading series which holds monthly events in San Francisco and Oakland. Goodman also hosts Queer Words, a quarterly in-conversation series. His books include Better Angels, Britain's Glory, Fortune's Lot, The Last Great Hope, The Seed of Immortality, and Vanya Says Go! When not writing, he enjoys playing Gilded Age parlor music on the piano, with an emphasis on women, Gay, and Black composers.

Lori Ostlund's story collection The Bigness of the World won the Flannery O'Connor Award, the California Book Award for First Fiction, the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award, and was a Lambda Finalist. Stories from it appeared in the Best American Short Stories and the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories. Her second book, After the Parade (Scribner, 2015), was a Barnes & Noble Discover pick and a finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and the Ferro-Grumley Award. She is a teacher and lives in San Francisco with her wife and cats, though she spent her formative years in Minnesota, cat-less.

Barbara Ridley was born in England but has lived in California for over 35 years. After a successful career as a nurse practitioner, she is now focused on creative writing. Her work has appeared in journals such as Writers Workshop Review, Ars Medica, The Copperfield Review, Blood and Thunder, and Stoneboat. Her debut novel When It's Over (She Writes Press, 2017) is set in Europe during World War Two and is based on her mother's story as a Holocaust refugee. Barbara can be followed at

May 17, 7:30pm to 8:30pm, Pegasus Books Downtown, 2349 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley

Poetry Flash presents Melissa Stein and C. Dale Young

Melissa Stein's new book of poems is Terrible Blooms. The New York Times says, "Ms. Stein reminds us that there is no honey-rough, or otherwise-without the sting." Her first book of poems, Rough Honey, won the APR/Honickman First Book Prize. She's received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She's a freelance editor in San Francisco.

C. Dale Young's new novel-in-stories, The Affliction, is his first collection of fiction. Charles Baxter says, "The linked stories in C. Dale Young's The Affliction send us off to a magical location, where the fantastical can seem both miraculous and ordinary. These tales treat life-and-death matters with a beautifully eloquent fervor, and, like the stories of Julio Cortázar, they remind us off how varied and unpredictable short stories, like the world itself, can be." He's published four collections of poetry, most recently The Halo, and his poetry has been anthologized several times in Best American Poetry. He's received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation. He practices full-time as a medical doctor.

May 17, 7:30pm to 8:30pm, Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley

Barbara Dane & the Tammy Hall Trio 91st Birthday Celebration

Barbara Dane and the Tammy Hall Trio
In a special concert with the Tammy Hall Trio, singer/activist Barbara Dane celebrates her 91st birthday and the release of the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings 2 cd set, `Barbara Dane: Hot Jazz, Cool Blues and Hard-Hitting Songs'. Tammy Hall (piano), Ruth Davies (bass) and Daria Johnson (drums) plus special guest from Cuba, Pablo Menendez(harmonica and guitar).

This career-spanning collection reflects over 60 years of the eclectic musical history of this "unsung hero of American music"(The Boston Globe) and offers unparalleled insight into the living legend cited as an inspiration by Bob Dylan and Bonnie Raitt, and whose own early mentors included Pete Seeger and Count Basie.

Now in her 90th year, Dane maintains "a jazz musician's sense of rhythm, a blues singer's deep investment in the material, and a folk stylist's attention to authenticity" (The Boston Globe).

Harnessing the energy of someone half her age, she continues inspiring audiences as an outspoken and indomitable woman who fearlessly followed her conscience and is still going strong, free of regrets, with wit, wisdom and swing.

Barbara Dane

Barbara Dane was a rising star in the late 1950s, performing and recording with many of the greats of jazz and blues including Louis Armstrong, Earl Hines and Jack Teagarden. She counted Langston Hughes and Lenny Bruce among her fans and was the first white woman to grace the cover of Ebony Magazine. An activist since her teens in Detroit, she was outspoken in her views on race and social justice and was unwilling to make the kind of compromises demanded by the music business of the day.

Inspired by the intensification of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s and the growing opposition to the Vietnam War, Dane turned away from the lure of fame and celebrity, striking out on her own path and dedicating her life to singing for peace and social justice. She shared the stage with Seeger, Joan Baez, Phil Ochs and Reverend Frederick Douglass Kirkpatrick at numerous massive peace rallies in Washington D.C. and was acclaimed as "the voice of the other America" by European audiences, a symbol of opposition to the Vietnam War. In 1966, Barbara became the first American musician to tour post-revolutionary Cuba, and in the early 1970s, she founded the groundbreaking Paredon Records (now part of the Smithsonian Folkways collection) with longtime partner Irwin Silber, documenting the music of the 1970s resistance and national liberation movements worldwide. Praised as a "People's Singer," Dane has long been "a versatile voice with a political purpose" (NPR) and remains a "symbol of resistance" even into the 21st century.

"I hope my abiding love for our benighted country is apparent," says Barbara, "along with my steadfast support of the people who suffer and struggle every day to keep it going. I hope you notice that it is possible to speak your mind to the world and still survive. Looking back over all these years of raising my voice, raising my children, raising some eyebrows, and raising hell wherever possible, I can assure you that although things look terrible right now, things do get better, sometimes even better than you can imagine! It will take time, and it surely will take plenty of struggle. But I promise you, the human race is moving in an upward spiral, not running around in circles or caught in a maze. Look up and keep pushing toward the sun of science and the stars of justice. You have only one life, so make it count!"

Tammy Hall

A frequent and favorite player here at the Freight, Tammy has with worked award-winning cabaret singer and actress, Connie Champagne, the Supreme Mary Wilson, chanteuse and actress Debbie De Coudreaux, The Montclair Women's Big Band, Houston Person, the late David `Fathead Newman', jazz violinists Regina Carter, Jeremy Cohen, Mads Tolling, orchestra leader and bassist Marcus Shelby, guitarist Terrence Brewer, vocalists Kim Nalley, Denise Perrier, Pamela Rose, Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir, Holly Near, Lynne Asher, Melba Moore, Miki Howard, Rhonda Benin, Darlene Love, Lady Mem'fis, Veronica Klaus, Diane Witherspoon, Queen Esther Marrow, Ernestine Anderson, Derek Lassiter, Frankye Kelley, Nicolas Bearde, Kenny Washington, Lisa Ferraro Erika Luckett, Karen Drucker and the late Etta Jones. She has traveled and performed extensively in Japan, Europe and Mexico, including a 30-city tour with Queen Esther Marrow and the Harlem Gospel Singers throughout Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Other venues and festivals of note include Kennedy Center (Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival), Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, Sala Filharmonica (Trento, ITALY), Herbst Theatre, Monterey Jazz Festival, San Jose Jazz Festival, SFJazz Center, Yoshi's Oakland and San Francisco and Kuumbwa Jazz in Santa Cruz, CA.

"A musician who has much to offer in the way of originality, fine technique and a rich, emotional quality that is evident on everything she does. Her playing is warm and persuasive and a listener's delight." - Marian McPartland, Piano Jazz

May 17, 8pm to 10pm, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley

DJ Lady Ryan

Now easily a Bay Area favorite and 2016's East Bay Express Best of the Bay pick for Favorite DJ, Lady Ryan is unique in that she is known for her eclectic taste in tunes and spellbinding voice. From Jazz to House, the flux of distinctive sounds she gracefully sets beside one another make for brilliant movement within the crowd.

May 17, 8pm to 11pm, Jupiter, 2181 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley

The Sensuous Embrace of Angola: Kizomba Nightz

Learn the slow, romantic, sensual Angolan social dance, then dance to Kizomba and Semba music inspired by African rhythms and Haitian compas.

Kizomba is a popular genre of music and partnered dance from Angola. Its is known to be smooth and slow, with grounded movements, danced in a close partner connection. The origin of Kizomba dance comes from Semba, a traditional type of dance and music from Angola known for its energetic movements.

For any questions please contact Kathy Reyes at

Yasert Ortega, originally from Mexico City, now resides in San Rafael. Yasert has danced to various types of music like merengue and cumbia, and his favorite; Dominican bachata and kizomba and semba. He has learned from several world masters.

Doors at 7:30 pm; Intro to Kizomba Dance Lesson with Markinson Johnson at 8 pm; Open Level Semba Yasert Ortega at 8:45 pm; Open Practica at 9:30 pm
Buy Tickets on EVENTBRITE
Tickets are $10 Advance / $12 Students
$15 at the Door

May 17, 8pm to 11:30pm, Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

Reed Turchi

Raised in the Swannanoa Valley outside of Asheville, North Carolina, Reed Turchi grew up playing piano, focusing on boogie-woogie and New Orleans styles before becoming infatuated with slide guitar.

While learning Hill Country Blues (RL Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, Mississippi Fred McDowell) firsthand in North Mississippi, he founded his blues-rock trio "TURCHI," which released its debut album Road Ends in Water in 2012. Called "everything a blues fan could want" (LA Examiner), the album featured guest Luther Dickinson on three tracks.

During a series of national tours, TURCHI released Live in Lafayette in early 2013, and exploded on the blues-rock scene, notably earning high praise from Living Blues Magazine ("for all of their communion with the past, TURCHI sounds vital, alive, and essential"), landing on the cover of Buscadero (Italy) and being showcased in a five-page feature in Il Blues Magazine (Italy). At that point, TURCHI's national touring grew to include Europe, highlighted with a headlining spot at Mojo Festival (Rome) in June 2014 after the release of Can't Bury Your Past, which expanded the trio with keyboards/organ (Anthony Farrell) and saxophone (Art Edmaiston).

Also in 2014, stemming from his tours in Italy, Reed began collaborating with renowned Italian guitarist Adriano Viterbini, leading to Scrapyard, an intimate, minimal, duo-guitar album recorded in Memphis and in Rome. Called "a marvelous example of talent and simplicity" (Bluebird Reviews, UK), the album earned a editor's feature from iTunes ("blues chemistry overflowing with earthy delta slide and dark pulsing electric guitar"), and a spot on Tidal's "editor's playlist."

After touring in the US and Europe behind Scrapyard, and continuing his search for new sounds, Reed moved from Western North Carolina to Memphis, where he immersed himself in the trademark grooves of soul and blues of the region. It was a time of personal and musical change, leading Reed to disband TURCHI with the release of sendoff EP We Spoke in Song, recorded at an old JC Penney in Richmond VA, amidst their final performances in October 2014.

Introduced to Tuareg music (Tinariwen, Bombino, Terakaft) by Adriano Viterbini during the Scrapyard tour, Reed began to write songs with a new sound in mind, combining influences ranging from Stax to Saharan blues, and started recording at Ardent Studios in April 2015. The result, Speaking in Shadows, was released in March 2016 on Devil Down Records and was immediately recognized as a new and successful step, with Pop Matters describing the shift as, "Dialing back the blues a bit and getting some Memphis soul grooves that lend these songs a funky quality," and Maximum Volume Music heralded it as "... a wonderfully eclectic affair...If Beck, Steve Earle, and T-Rex got together for a jam, it's a fair bet it might turn out like this."

Fresh textures abound, from the carnival of sounds on tongue-in-cheek "Drawn and Quartered," to the heartbreaking vocals of Heather Moulder on the spare, haunting lead track "Pass Me Over." As a songwriter, Reed confidently mines the classic blues/rock vein in "Offamymind" ("Well I can barely walk, so I guess I oughta/ Get behind this wheel and drive"), effortlessly shifts gears to the satirical "Everybody's Waiting (for the end to come)," and turns introspective in "Looking Up Past Midnight."

Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 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 17, 8pm to 10pm, The Back Room, 1984 Bonita Ave, Berkeley

Philip Glass Premiere --- New Century Chamber Orchestra

New Century Chamber Orchestra Philip Glass Premiere

New Century Chamber Orchestra concludes its 2017-2018 season with an historic West Coast Premiere of Philip Glass's Piano Concerto No. 3 featuring international soloist Simone Dinnerstein. As part of the nationwide celebrations of the composer's 80th birthday, New Century joined a consortium of orchestras that commissioned Philip Glass to write his first piano concerto in 13 years. A renowned Bach interpreter, Dinnerstein will present this new work alongside J.S. Bach's Keyboard Concerto No. 3 in G minor. Indianapolis Symphony concertmaster Zachary DePue appears as Guest Concertmaster in a program that also features string orchestra works by Henry Purcell, Francesco Geminiani and Bryce Dessner.

Price Range: $10 to $61
Tickets: (415) 392-4400

May 17, 8pm to 10pm, First Congregational Church of Berkeley, 2345 Channing Way, Berkeley

Reckless Kelly

Reckless Kelly
Understanding the virtuosity of Reckless Kelly requires the perspective of where the band has been. Cody and Willy Braun grew up in the White Cloud Mountains of Idaho. They moved to Bend, Oregon, and then migrated to that great musical fountainhead, Austin, Texas.

The band's co-founders and frontmen toured the country as part of their father's band, Muzzie Braun and the Boys, as children. They performed on The Tonight Show twice. Their father taught his four sons a professional ethic - integrity, persistence, hard work and professionalism - honed over three generations. They overcame hardships, struggled for recognition, and learned the lessons of the trial and error that defined them.

In one sense, it's remarkable in the way of any musician, athlete, or businessperson who bucks the odds.
In another, though, it's utterly natural that Reckless Kelly, born in the dreams of the two Braun brothers and their heritage but nurtured in the bumpy road of maturity, became the very essence of Americana music in all its far-flung glory.
"We came along in that second wave of the movement," Cody Braun says. "Son Volt's album Trace had a major effect on us. People like Joe Ely, Ray Kennedy and Robert Earl Keen were always big supporters. Our goal was to make music that had a country vibe but a solid rock edge."

In the end, all the recipe required was to just add water. Water facilitates life. It enriches the soul.
As Music Row magazine proclaimed, "In my perfect world, this is what country radio would sound like."

"This" is Reckless Kelly.

The heartland gave the band authenticity. Musical lives honed its skill. Adversity instilled its persistence. Moving to Austin gave it wings to fly.

The group's new album, Sunset Motel, is, like all its predecessors, distinctive in its own way while true to form. Self-produced and recorded in Austin's renowned Arlyn Studios (where Millican was made two decades ago) and mixed by Jim Scott (Rolling Stones, Dixie Chicks, Tom Petty, Sting, Roger Daltrey, Crowded House, et al.), it reflects Reckless Kelly's attention to craft and continuity.

Twenty years since its founding, Reckless Kelly continues to fight for wider recognition, secure in the knowledge that fans, critics and contemporaries will continue to sing its praises.

Willy Tea Taylor
American singer-songwriter from Oakdale, California.

May 17, 8:30pm to 9:30pm, Cornerstone, 2367 Shattuck Ave (Enter On Durant), Berkeley, CA, 94704