Berkeley Arts Festival Calendar



Benefit show for MADRE- a partner of "grassroots Syrian women's groups to provide humanitarian aid to refugees and to demand peace and justice for all Syrians".

Bands TBA

Wheelchair accessible, all-gender restrooms, scent-free space ABSOLUTELY NO DRUGS, ALCOHOL, OR BIGOTED BEHAVIOR. ZERO TOLERANCE - THIS IS A SAFE(R) SPACE VENUE

May 26, 12 midnight, 924 Gilman, 924 Gilman St, Berkeley

North Berkeley Jazz Quartet

May 26, 11:45am to 2:45pm, The Cheeseboard Pizza, 1512 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley

VL Trio

May 26, 4:45pm to 7:45pm, The Cheeseboard Pizza, 1512 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley


WoodBarry Jazz

May 26, 6:30pm to 9:30pm, Cafe Leila, 1724 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702, USA

HellHeart /Gurschach / Vivifyd / FortressUnited / Frolic / HabaK

Bands4Bands presents:
Fortress United
Habak (tijuana, mx)
doors 7pm
$10 + $2 membership
safe(r) space venue: no drugs, alcohol, or bigoted behavior allowed

May 26, 7:30pm to 11:59pm, 924 Gilman, 924 Gilman St, Berkeley

Celebrate Dresden Baroque Chora Nova

Chora Nova will cap its 2017-18 season a tribute to Dresden's brief but brilliant moment in the sun as the musical capital of Europe. Artistic Director Paul Flight has assembled a full Baroque orchestra with soloists featuring lesser know masterworks by Bach, Zelenka, and Hasse.

Reviewers have praised the musicality, discipline, and spirit of Chora Nova with comments such as "a lively addition to the East Bay classical music scene," "absolutely unique among our many choruses" and "as sheerly beautiful as sound gets." Paul Flight, who has guided the group from its beginning in 2006, has been called "a lean and confident, graceful [conductor].... a pleasure to watch... because the musical effort is a pleasure to hear."

Zelenka Miserere in C Minor
Hasse Requiem in E-Flat
Bach Der Gerechte Kommt Um
Morgan Balfour soprano
Lisa van der Ploeg alto
Paul Flight alto
James Hogan tenor
Price Range: $10 to $25
Tickets: (510) 654-0844
Buy Tickets

May 26, 7:30pm to 9:30pm, First Congregational Church, 2345 Channing Way, Berkeley

The Ladles

The Ladles have three-part female harmony perfected...but their sound is more than that. They are an amalgamation of their respective histories and influences, blending swing, old-Time, Motown and choral music into a sound all their own. Using acoustic instrumentation and three voices, they create a dreamy other-world atmosphere that draws audiences in and calls for attention. They quiet noisy bars and liven up staid concert halls. Just think what they'll do here!
The Ladles are Katie Martucci, Caroline Kuhn, and Lucia Purpura-Pontoniere.
Here are links to some Ladles videos: "Hands of Time" and "Father Neptune"

May 26, 7:30pm to 9pm, Fifth Street Farms, 1517 Fifth St, Berkeley

Shemekia Copeland

"Shemekia's a ball-of-fire vocalist with a voice that's part Memphis, part Chicago and all woman...devastatingly powerful. She's a great singer, period." -Chicago Sun-Times

"Shemekia captures the timelessness of the blues while spinning it forward with remarkable maturity." -USA Today

Whether she's belting out a raucous blues-rocker, firing up a blistering soul-shouter, or digging deep into a subtle, country-tinged ballad, Shemekia Copeland sounds like no one else. With a voice that alternates between sultry, assertive, and roaring, Shemekia's blend of genres showcases the evolution of a passionate artist with a modern musical and lyrical approach.


May 26, 8pm to 10pm, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley

Helen Orzel Group

Born into a family of accomplished classical musicians, Helen Orzel formally studied and performed classical piano in Los Angeles, Germany, and Serbia. After coming back to the U.S., she decided to abandon it all to play funk, jazz, rock, blues and her own compositions. If you listen closely, you can still hear Rachmaninoff sneak his way into her playing. Rumor has it that Chopin and Monk sit on either side of her when she's playing and bicker at each other.

May 26, 8pm to 11pm, Jupiter, 2181 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley

5th Annual Benefit Concert: Angelo Montesano Scholarship Fund

Kelly Park & Friends in The 5th Annual Benefit Concert for the Angelo Montesano Scholarship Fund.
Band Members and Instrumentation:
Kelly Park - Drums;
Glen Pearson - Piano;
Fritz Burden - Bass;
Charles Hamilton - Trombone;
Jesse De Torres - Vocals

May 26, 8pm to 10pm, California Jazz Conservatory 2087 Addison St, Berkeley

Steel Pulse

Steel Pulse
The UK Grammy-Award winning Steel Pulse is known for exploring various styles of music, but when it comes to the message, the reggae group has remained close to their roots. The Group have continued their commitment to fighting injustice, educating the masses, and promoting positive messages through spiritually uplifting music.

"We just can't ignore the politics, because every life and soul that's born on this earth is a political manoeuvre for someone, at some stage", Hinds explains. "From a spiritual aspect, it's really an upliftment through facing reality - what's out there. We deal with positive spirits. It means putting aside the guns, the drugs and all of the things that are ailments of society - especially the black communities right now".

STEEL PULSE have always taken their causes to heart, filing a $1 million class action lawsuit against New York City's Taxi & Limousine Commission. The group charged that cabbies refused to pick up blacks and Rastafarians throughout the streets of New York.

New Kingston formed in 2006 in the basement of their Brooklyn home, when brothers Tahir (keys), Courtney Jr. (drums) & Stephen (guitar) began covering music by the likes of Bob Marley, Earth Wind & Fire, Dennis Brown, Michael Jackson, and many more. The three brothers, under the watchful eye of their father (and bassist) Courtney Panton Sr., called themselves New Kingston to appropriately reflect a combination of their Jamaican heritage and their present lives in progressive New York City. The musical styles of both places informed their sound and songwriting.

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

May 26, 8pm to 10pm, The UC Theatre Taube Family Music Hall, 2036 University Avenue, near Downtown Berkeley BART, Berkeley


May 26, 8pm to 10pm, Caffè on San Pablo, 2500 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

4th Saturday Swing - Stompy Jones plus Dance Lesson with Karen & Michael

With revivalist zeal, the Stompy Jones band doesn't just recreate, but breathes new life into the most jumping, rocking, and swinging small band music of the '30s, '40s and '50s. One of the busiest bands extant, Stompy Jones returns to our stage performing songs from its ever-lengthening set list that includes new favorites from its most recent CD, "Sock It to Me!" Taking its name from a classic Duke Ellington tune, Stompy Jones has performed everywhere from San Francisco's Top of the Mark to Disneyland (a monthly gig) and Santa Rosa's Ellington Hall. Big band leader Les Brown said that the sextet has "the best small band sound that I've heard in years." Inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2010, Stompy Jones has had its music featured in films including "Deuce of Spades" and the award-winning short "All About Alice."

The group, originally known as the Swing Session Band, was formed in 1998 to play East Coast Swing and Lindy Hop in the spirit of the hottest jump bands. Its repertoire features rousing revivals of classics by Louis Jordan, Earl Hines, Fletcher Henderson, Louis Prima, Roy Milton, and John Kirby as well as several originals. Stompy Jones boasts musicians who have been playing this music all their lives, with sizzling horns, slapping bass, and irrepressible dance drum beats. Hank Maninger plays guitar and belts and shouts the blues, with trumpeter Rob Dehlinger and saxophonist Keith Crossan trading riffs with boogie-woogie pianist William Beatty. Drummer Lee Beary and bassist "Little David" Rose keep the rhythm section tight.

Doors at 7:30 pm; Dance Lesson at 8:00 pm
Show at 9:00 pm
Buy Tickets on EVENTBRITE

Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 at the Door

May 26, 8pm to 11:59pm, Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Ave

The Nimbles

If you are looking for an out-of-the-ordinary live music experience, a new local band, The Nimbles, certainly delivers. Formed by four veteran Bay Area musicians, The Nimbles feature a highly entertaining and eclectic blend of styles, from Blues to Latin Jazz to Southern Rock to Bluegrass, with a bit of Celtic, Eastern European and Alt-Folk influence for good measure.

They call themselves "genre-fluid," and utilize what seems like a whole music store's inventory of electric and acoustic instruments on both original songs and some unique arrangements of more familiar tunes. Speaking of being nimble, Nathan Ladyzhensky, a Russian-trained violinist, has abilities that run the gamut: he might sound like a gypsy fiddler from Eastern Europe, unless he is delivering tasty grooves on the keyboards, mandolin, melodica, guitar or percussion. Lead guitarist Greg Richey's roots are clearly in Southern Blues and Classic Rock, but he moves quite comfortably and adeptly through Jazz, Bluegrass and various acoustic styles.

Jazz and musical theatre influence their female lead singer, Lynne Clyde, whose rich, husky voice gives a chanteuse-like feel to the arrangements. Lee Richardson's bass playing exhibits one-man band tendencies and abilities, while holding all the above together with a well-executed groove. He also sings and sometimes, somehow manages to add some solid percussion parts with his feet.

All-in-all, The Nimbles offer a unique sound that is well worth checking out, especially if you are looking for a rich and rousing, clap-your-hands, toe-tapping experience.

Tickets are $15/general admission and $10 for students with ID. 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 26, 8pm to 10pm, The Back Room, 1984 Bonita Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA

The Green

The Green
The GreenSince forming on O'ahu, Hawai'i, in 2009, The Greenhas become one of the most successful and beloved bands in the reggae genre. During their relatively short career, the band has been awarded a Best Reggae Album nod from iTunes(2010, for their self-titled debut), fourcoveted Na Hoku Hanohanoawards in their native Hawai'i (2011 and 2014, including Group of the Year, two different Reggae Albumsof the Year and Entertainer of the Year), and two #1 BillboardReggae chart debuts, along with charting on the BillboardTop 200. Not bad for a band that was formed by six members of Hawai'i's tight-knit music scene to record a few songs and have some fun. The Green was one of the first Hawaiian reggae bands to tour extensively onthe mainland, as well as going further afield to New Zealand, Japanand other locales. Before becoming a headliner on their own, the band supported bands like Bruno Mars, Rebelution, Michael Franti, Iration, SOJA, and Damian Marley, as well as performed at acclaimed festivals including Vans Warped Tour, Wakarusa, Sierra Nevada World Music Festival, and California Roots Festival. The Green's fourth studio album, Marching Orders, comes out October 20, via longtime label partner Easy Star Records. It continues the group's steady march to the top ranks of their genreand beyond, with early reviews already calling it "innovative" and "imaginative." The Green has a winter headlining tour lined up and recently announced covering much of the U.S., with further touring plans expected to be announced for a busy 2018.

Raging Fyah

Raging FyahRoots reggae band from Jamaica
Members: Kumar Bent, Anthony Watson, Demar Gayle, Delroy "Pele" Hamilton, Gizmo and Mahlon "Debo Ras" Moving (left the band)

May 26, 8:30pm to 10:30pm, Cornerstone, 2367 Shattuck Ave (Enter On Durant), Berkeley

George Cotsirilos Trio

George Cotsirilos: Guitar
Robb Fisher: Bass
Ron Marabuto: Drums

"Sublimely fluid jazz guitar skills...this is about as tight a jazz trio as you'll ever be lucky enough to hear, with eloquent bass lines and delicately nuanced percussion." - David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle

May 26, 9:30pm to 5/26 12 midnight, The Albatross Pub, 1822 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley