Berkeley Arts Festival Calendar


New Event

Jun 30, 7:30am to 8am,

North Berkeley Jazz Quartet

Jun 30, 11:45am to 2:45pm, Cheese Board Pizza 1512 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley,

Outsound Presents Fund Drive The Saturday A Month Before Donor Thank You Dinner featuring Actual Trio

<b>Outsound Presents Fund Drive</b>
The Saturday A Month Before Donor Thank You Dinner
featuring Actual Trio
with John Schott, Dan Seamans, and John Hanes
Join us in supporting a great organization with wonderful music and a buffet by Slippery Fish Catering
Reserve you seat at Indiegogo
or make donation via Paypal

Jun 30, 6pm to 8pm, Finnish Kaleva Hall, 1970 Chestnut St., Berkeley


McKennaTown is a four-man acoustic ensemble, with David Brownell on mandolin and violin, Berne Reuben on percussion, Joe Saah on stand-up bass, and Steve McKenna on guitar and vocals. We play songs that Steve has been writing and performing in the Bay Area over the past thirty-odd years, and they incorporate folk, rock and roll, blues, and country influences; we also do our own arrangements of some of our favorite songs by people like The Drifters, The Beatles, Tom Petty, and Jimmy Cliff.

Collectively, Steve, David, Berne, and Joe bring more than a century of musical experience to the table,

Jun 30, 6:30pm to 9:30pm, Cafe Leila, 1724 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

Dark Star Orchestra

About this Event Performing to critical acclaim celebrating over 20 years and more than 2700 shows, Dark Star Orchestra continues the Grateful Dead concert experience. Their shows are built off the Dead's extensive catalog and the talent of these seven fine musicians. On any given night, the band will perform a show based on a set list from the Grateful Dead's 30 years of extensive touring or use their catalog to program a unique set list for the show.

Stream and download high-quality mastered soundboards:

Hear Phil Lesh join DSO at The Fillmore:

Jun 30, 7pm to 11:59pm, The UC Theatre Taube Family Music Hall, 2036 University Avenue Berkeley

Chicken Train

A master of Appalachian mountain music, John Herrmann has played banjo for 50 years and traveled the world performing for more than thirty years. Equally adept on banjo, fiddle, mandolin, bass, and guitar, he has recorded at least fifty records on labels such as Rounder, County, and Sugar Hill, and performed numerous times at the Smithsonian Folk Festival. Together he and North Carolina fiddler John Engle focus on the North Carolina fiddling style and on African-American folk songs that pre-date the strict blues form, from a time when music passed freely between black and white rural communities. For this performance, Chicken Train includes Meredith McIntosh, an amazing Kentucky guitarist, and local bassist Emily Mann, of Paper Wings and Crooked Jades. Here's a link to the new CD.

Reservations are necessary to assure you a seat and made by calling (510) 525-9248, or via email at

Doors open at 7:00, music at 7:30. Cost is $20; all proceeds go to the musicians.

Jun 30, 7:30pm to 9:30pm, Fifth Street Farms, 1517 Fifth Street, Berkeley

Rob Hart Trio

The Rob Hart Trio is an exciting blend of organic traditional jazz, fusion, funk, latin and textural experimental music, along with high-powered, on-the-edge improvisations. Established in the early 1990s, the Trio has gone through a series of different incarnations of instrumentation and evolutions, taking the trio through pathways of musical adventures.

Jun 30, 8pm to 11pm, Jupiter, 2181 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley

Spiller // Rex Ruit (album release) // The Brankas // Damper +

Spiller (Eugene, OR)
The Brankas Rex Ruit (album release!)
Lavender Scared
Doors 7:30pm
$10 + $2 membership

Jun 30, 8pm to 11:59pm, 924 Gilman, 924 Gilman St, Berkeley

Fleetwood Macrame @ The Starry Plough Pub

Couldn't get tickets to Fleetwood Mac? Don't worry. Fleetwood Macramé is quickly becoming the Bay Area's most exciting tribute band. What began as a simple exercise in fun has turned into an awe inspiring live experience complete with show stopping renditions of Fleetwood Mac's greatest hits. Audience participation is encouraged, and bay area crowds are coming in droves to sing along with Fleetwood Macramé. What's more, they sound so much like Fleetwood Mac, if you closed your eyes you would think it was the real thing. Only it's better, because you are front row!

Jun 30, 8pm to 10pm, The Starry Plough Pub - 3101 Shattuck Avenue - Berkeley

Ricardo Peixoto and Jovino Santos Neto Brazilian Duets

The Berkeley Hillside Club is pleased to have another old friend return to our stage, Bringing with him a very talented colleague. Guitarist, composer, and arranger, Ricardo Peixoto, has appeared in our Concert Series in numerous ensembles. This time he will be performing with master pianist, composer and arranger, Jovino Santos Neto, in a program of original and classic Brazilian music. Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall

Ricardo Peixoto - guitat
Jovino Santos Neto - piano

Three-time Latin Grammy nominee Jovino Santos Neto, a master pianist, composer and arranger, is among the top Brazilian musicians working today. Currently based in Seattle, Washington, he has throughout his career been closely affiliated with the Brazilian master Hermeto Pascoal. He was an integral part of Pascoal's group from 1977 to 1992, where he fine-tuned his artistry, performing around the world and co-producing several legendary records.

Currently, Jovino leads his Seattle-based Quinteto and teaches piano and composition at Cornish College of the Arts. He can also be heard around the world as a piano soloist, working with symphony orchestras, jazz big bands, chamber music groups, and in collaboration with musicians such as his mentor Hermeto Pascoal, Bill Frisell, Paquito d'Rivera, Airto Moreira, Claudio Roditi, David Sanchez, Joe Locke, Marco Granados and many more.

Since moving to the US from his native Rio de Janeiro in 1993, Jovino Santos Neto has continued to tour the world and to record prolifically. He has recorded multiple CDs with his Seattle-based Quinteto, including Canto do Rio, nominated for a Latin Grammy in 2004. In 2006 Adventure Music released Roda Carioca with an all-Brazilian lineup including Joyce, Hermeto Pascoal and several other notable musicians and long time colleagues, earning him a second Latin Grammy nomination. In 2008 he released a piano duo with Weber Iago, Live at Caramoor, also nominated for a Latin Grammy award in 2009. In 2010 Veja o Som (See the Sound) was released, a double disc collection of duos with musicians such as Bill Frisell, Joe Locke, Paquito d'Rivera, Anat Cohen, João Donato, Airto Moreira, Joyce, Paula Morelenbaum and Monica Salmaso, among others.

Jovino's compositions have been performed by the Seattle Symphony, NDR Big Band in Hamburg and by numerous jazz and chamber music groups. Jovino gives lectures, clinics and master classes worldwide on a variety of musical topics.

Originally from Rio de Janeiro and currently based in the Bay Area, guitarist, composer and arranger Ricardo Peixoto is among the top representatives of Brazilian guitar in the US, with a fluid melodic style and a keen compositional sense. Ricardo originally came to the US on a scholarship to the Berkeley School of Music in Boston. As guitarist and composer, he has continued to explore elements from his Brazilian roots, with its rich and diverse musical traditions, integrating them with the freedom and improvisational approach of jazz.

Ricardo's compositions have been featured on `Inverse Universe' with vocalist Claudia Villela, on `Kindness of Strangers' with Terra Sul, and on Bud Shank's `'s Rainbow', among others. Additionally he has recorded, performed, and collaborated with, among others, Flora Purim and Airto, Dom Um Romão, Sivuca, Claudio Roditi, Raul de Souza, Paul McCandless, Toots Thielemans, Dori Caymmi, Guinga, Arturo Sandoval, Spok, Marcos Silva and Berkeley Choro Ensemble. He has performed throughout the US, Europe, Canada, Japan and Brazil. He teaches at the California Jazz Conservatory and has taught at Jazz Camp West and California Brazil Camp.

Info: 510-845-1350 Admission: $20 general, $15 students & seniors, $10 Hillside Club members

Jun 30, 8pm to 10pm, The Berkeley Hillside Club 2286 Cedar Street Berkeley

Make Jazz

Jun 30, 8pm to 10pm, Caffè Chiave, 2500 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

Iko Yaya plus Dance Lesson with Dana DeSimone

I*ko Ya Ya dishes out steaming New Orleans-drenched "swamp and roll" for your dancing pleasure! The band is made up of longtime members of some of our favorite local groups, and it'll be a night of big time "bon temps roulez"! The party started in 2013 when the original lineup got together to play the Louisiana-influenced music that moves them. Tonight it's a full plate of their favorite New Orleans-based dance music - blues and boogie, Cajun/zydeco, R&B, Second Line, and even a little country - all delivered with a Mardi Gras vibe. Among the dance favorites are "We Make a Good Gumbo," "It's All Over Now," "Hey Pocky Way," and "Waltz Across Texas." I*ko Ya Ya is singer-percussionist Cheryl McBride (born and raised in New Orleans, a member of SwingThing, and one of our regular dance teachers), guitarist Jim Scott (Mark St. Mary, CZ & the Bon Vivants, Jeffery Broussard), bassist-singer Lance Houck, drummer Sam Siggins (California Cajun Orchestra, Courtableu, Creole Belles), saxophonist Otoe Mori, and trumpeter Marty Arvan.

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

Jun 30, 8pm to 11:59pm, Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

Laura Dreyer and the Manhattan/Rio Connection

Laura Dreyer & The Manhattan/Rio Connection features saxophonist/flutist Laura Dreyer performing dynamic original Brazilian jazz compositions and colorful arrangements of Brazilian standards. Featuring John R. Burr (Piano), Tyler Harlow (Bass), Ami Molinelli (Percussion), and Zach Mondlick (Drums), Laura Dreyer & The Manhattan/Rio Connection synthesizes catchy lyrical melodies with jazz and Brazilian rhythms, resulting in an exciting contemporary palette of sound, with a strong rhythmic twist.

Saxophonist, flutist, and composer Laura Dreyer is a vibrant, creative voice in the New York jazz scene. Her catchy original compositions combine lyrical melodies with jazz, Brazilian rhythms, funk, and rock. A multi-instrumentalist, Dreyer performs both nationally and internationally with her Brazilian Jazz ensemble, "Laura Dreyer and the Manhattan/Rio Connection," while additionally being in great demand as a sideperson. Audiences have heard her in the bands of such diverse artists as Dr. Billy Taylor, Dom Salvador, Helcio Milito, Portinho, Bossa PDX, Walter Bishop Jr., Mel Lewis, Robert Palmer, Nnenna Freelon, saxophonist/author James McBride, The Diva Jazz Orchestra, and many others. Laura has recorded four CDs as a leader/producer, including "Mysterious Encounter" (Lavasphere), "Free Flying Bird" (Sony/Piloo), and "Sax in the City" (Apria), and "Vida. Arte. Amor." (Mayimba Jazz). She is also featured on acclaimed Brazilian pianist Dom Salvador's newest release, "The Art of Samba Jazz," which received a Premio da Musica Brasileira award for Best Instrumental CD. Laura attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music form SUNY Empire State College. She has additionally studied with saxophonists Joe Henderson and Joe Lovano, and composers Lyle Mays and Jim McNeely. She is active as a music educator, having served on the faculties of the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Clinics, Cazadero Music and Arts Camp, Jazz Camp West, and the New York Pops Salute to Music Program. She was a featured performer and educator in Busan, South Korea at The Friends of Music in Korea Music Festival, and is currently on the faculty of Léman Prep School/Leman Conservatory, Riverdale Country School, and The New York POPS PopsEd program. Laura regularly conducts clinics and workshops at high schools and colleges, which have included Berklee College of Music, The University or Reno, Nevada, Portland State University, The Jazz Improv Convention, and The California Jazz Conservatory. Website:

Jun 30, 8pm to 10pm, California Jazz Conservatory, 2087 Addison St, Berkeley

The George Cotsirilos Quartet

The George Cotsirilos Quartet, featuring George Cotsirilos on guitar, Keith Saunders on piano, Robb Fisher on bass and Ron Marabuto on drums, celebrates the release of their widely-acclaimed CD Mostly In Blue with this performance at The Back Room.

Mostly In Blue has spent weeks among the top 25 CD's on the National Jazz charts, accompanied by excellent reviews:

"Four stars. A pleasure." - Howard Mandel, Downbeat

"With his perfectly round solo and chordal tone, Cotsirilos weaves a tight, swinging fabric...bop, beautifully performed...sounds like it is straight out of Blue Note in the 60s, but all tracks are original, and there isn't a dull track amongst them. - Tom McCarter, KZSU 90.1

"After three acclaimed trio albums since 2006 with bassist Robb Fisher and drummer Ron Marabuto, they hooked up with pianist Keith Saunders. The results are astounding." - Miles Jordan, Chico News & Review

The quartet performs primarily original modern jazz compositions along with some gems from the jazz canon. It includes:

George Cotsirilos: Guitar
"George Cotsirilos' meticulous and tasteful guitar work is marked by remarkably subtle shifts in accents, and minute changes in expression and dynamics. He displays an impeccable sense of timing especially in revealing the hidden rhythms of complex melodies. His approach to harmony is whimsical, but patently beautiful at all times." - Raul D'Gama Rose, All About Jazz

Originally from Chicago, Cotsirilos has been a member of the San Francisco Bay Area Jazz community for many years and has performed with a wide variety of artists, from San Francisco jazz fixtures like Eddie Marshall, Mel Martin, Pharaoh Sanders and Mark Levine to internationally-recognized Blues singer Etta James, Bill Evans' bassist Chuck Israels, and the jazz/soul vocal group The Whispers. He has recorded six prior CD's as a leader and he co-led the San Francisco Nighthawks with venerated drummer Eddie Marshall, bassist Robb Fisher and pianist Paul Nagel, who recorded for Monarch Records. His three prior trio CD's on OA2/Origin Records with current quartet members Robb Fisher and Ron Marabuto received wide, critical acclaim ("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). Cotsirilos's most recent trio CD, Variations, was chosen by erstwhile Washington Post jazz critic and Jazztimes editor, Royal Stokes, as one of the most notable jazz instrumental CD's of 2013.

Keith Saunders: Piano
Keith Saunders spent his formative years in Los Angeles where he studied with Charlie Shoemake and later, with Horace Silver. He worked extensively in L.A. with such well-known artists as Eddie Harris, Roy McCurdy, and Bill Watrous, then moved to New York City in 1984
where he worked and/or recorded with a wide variety of musicians, including Richie Cole, Frank Wess, Ralph Lalama, Joe Lovano, Hank Crawford, and Mickey Roker. In 1991, Keith became the leader of The NY HardBop Quintet, which had begun as a cooperative unit. As such, he wrote and arranged music recorded by The HBQ for the TCB Montreux Jazz label, as well as numerous television spots including promotions for VH1 and ESPN. Now residing in the East Bay, he is one of the San Francisco Bay Area's most in-demand jazz pianists.

Robb Fisher: Bass
For over six years, bassist Robb Fisher toured and recorded with the legendary Cal Tjader, anchoring Cal's Grammy Award-winning album, La Onda Va Bien, and Grammy-nominated album, Gozame Pero Ya. He has also worked extensively and recorded with such Jazz and Latin luminaries as Chet Baker, Art Pepper, Carmen McCrae, Tania Maria, Clare Fischer, and Rob Schneidermann. Additional recordings on which he can be heard include San Francisco Nighthawks, featuring Eddie Marshall, on Monarch Records, Jeff Pittson's Invisible Love as well as On The Rebop, Past Present, and Variations by the George Cotsirilos Trio, all on OA2/Origin Records.

Ron Marabuto: Drums
One of the San Francisco Jazz community's most highly-regarded drummers, Ron Marabuto has resided in both San Francisco and New York and has worked with a long list of jazz luminaries, including Pepper Adams, Roland Hanna, Tommy Flanagan, Steve Grossman, Ray Drummond, Rufus Reid, Mark Levine, Bruce Foreman, Buddy Montgomery, Rob Schneiderman, and Warren Gale, among many others. A San Francisco Area native, he is the son of noted jazz pianist John Marabuto and a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley. He can be heard on a wide variety of recordings, included all three CD's on OA2/Origin Records by the George Cotsirilos Trio.

Tickets are $15 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!

Jun 30, 8pm to 10pm, The Back Room, 1984 Bonita Ave, Berkeley