Berkeley Arts Festival Calendar


Free Live Jazz

Jul 12, 4:30pm to 6:30pm, The Musical Offering, 2430 Bancroft Way, Berkeley

Danny Duncan

Danny Duncan

will be going out on his first ever full US tour to meet the masses! He'll be joined by some of his best friends and they will be doing what they are known for, making people laugh! In each city Danny bring fans new jokes, stunts, songs, and `old-man' haircuts. It's like one of Danny's infamous meet-ups where thousands of fans congregate on a moments notice, but tons more fun! This is Danny Duncan Live! Don't miss it!

Jul 12, 6:30pm to 8:30pm, Cornerstone, 2367 Shattuck Ave (Enter On Durant), Berkeley

In the Swing

Jul 12, 7pm to 9pm, Caffè Chiave, 2500 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

In the Swing

Jul 12, 7pm to 9pm, Caffè Chiave, 2500 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

Joshua Churchill & John Davis

As a performance duo, Joshua Churchill and John Davis operate spontaneously to create densely layered organic and atmospheric works, combining Churchill's dynamic soundscapes with Davis's handmade, and often hand processed, 16mm and Super 8 films. For Other Minds, Joshua Churchill and John Davis will present a collaborative performance that engages viewers in meditative and abstract environments, using imagery and sounds are rooted in the environment and its natural rhythms.

Jul 12, 7pm to 9pm, David Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way, Suite 100, Berkeley

Ottessa Moshfegh: My Year of Rest and Relaxation

Ottessa Moshfegh discusses and signs copies of her powerful new novel, My Year of Rest and Relaxation. ABOUT MY YEAR OF REST AND RELAXATION

From one of our boldest, most celebrated new literary voices, a novel about a young woman's efforts to duck the ills of the world by embarking on an extended hibernation with the help of one of the worst psychiatrists in the annals of literature and the battery of medicines she prescribes

Our narrator should be happy, shouldn't she? She's young, thin, pretty, a recent Columbia graduate, works an easy job at a hip art gallery, lives in an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan paid for, like the rest of her needs, by her inheritance. But there is a dark and vacuous hole in her heart, and it isn't just the loss of her parents, or the way her Wall Street boyfriend treats her, or her sadomasochistic relationship with her best friend, Reva. It's the year 2000 in a city aglitter with wealth and possibility; what could be so terribly wrong?

My Year of Rest and Relaxation is a powerful answer to that question. Through the story of a year spent under the influence of a truly mad combination of drugs designed to heal our heroine from her alienation from this world, Moshfegh shows us how reasonable, even necessary, alienation can be. Both tender and blackly funny, merciless and compassionate, it is a showcase for the gifts of one of our major writers working at the height of her powers.

Ottessa Moshfegh is a fiction writer from New England. Eileen, her first novel, was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Man Booker Prize, and won the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction. She is also the author of the short story collection Homesick for Another World. Her stories have been published in The Paris Review, The New Yorker, Granta, and have earned her a Pushcart Prize, an O. Henry Award, the Plimpton Discovery Prize, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her first book, McGlue, a novella, won the Fence Modern Prize in Prose and the Believer Book Award.

Jul 12, 7:30pm to 8:30pm, Pegasus Books Downtown, 2349 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley

Ecostrike, Drug Church, Abuse of Power, Secondsight at Gilman

The Hard Times Shows & Wide Eyed Noise presents ECOSTRIKE
Drug Church

All Ages
$15 Admission + $2 Annual Gilman Membership to be paid upon entry in CASH

Jul 12, 7:30pm to 11:30pm, 924 Gilman, 924 Gilman St, Berkeley

Sylvan Esso, Kamasi Washington

Sylvan Esso's sophomore album, What Now, is the sound of a band truly fulfilling the potential and promise of their debut. Everything has evolved - the production is bolder, the vocals are more intense, the melodies are more infectious, and the songs shine that much brighter. However, it is also a record that was made in 2016 - which means it is inherently grappling with the chaos of a country seething inward on itself, the voices of two people nestled in studios around the country who were bemused by what they looked out and saw. It's an album that is both political and personal, and blurs the line between the two - What Now describes the inevitable low that comes after every high, fulfillment tempered by the knowledge that there is no clearly defined conclusion. What Now asks where we go as a culture when standing at what feels like a precipice. It's a record about falling in love and learning that it won't save you; about the oversharing of information and the fine line between self-awareness and narcissism; about meeting one's own personal successes but feeling the fizzling embers of the afterglow rather than the roar of achievement; about the crushing realization that no progress can ever feel permanent. It is an album that finds its strength in its own duality. But at its core, What Now is an album of the finest songs this band has ever written- produced masterfully, sang fearlessly- to articulate our collective undercurrents of anxiety and joy.

Kamasi Washington

Jul 12, 7:30pm to 9:30pm, Greek Theatre - 2001 Gayley Road, Berkeley, CA

Comedy at Ashkenaz! Benefit for RAICES (Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services)

This month's Comedy at Ashkenaz! line up features Ngaio Bealum, Victor Pacheco, Francesca Fiorentini, and Lisa Geduldig.

This month's Comedy at Ashkenaz! show will be a benefit for RAICES. The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families and refugees in Central and South Texas. RAICES is the largest immigration non-profit in Texas with offices in Austin, Corpus, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio.

Stop Separating Families! Families Belong Together!

Geduldig, who is bilingual and has lived in Mexico, has been doing media outreach for recent local immigration protests in her capacity as a publicist and concerned citizen. She and Ashkenaz turned the launch of the Comedy at Ashkenaz comedy series last October into a last minute benefit for North Bay fire relief and raised $1200 for the Redwood Empire Food Bank. Geduldig has raised 10s of 1000s of dollars for various organizations through her annual event, Kung Pao Kosher Comedy: Jewish comedy on Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant since its inception in 1993. And Ashkenaz has been a vital community venue, which has held many a benefit since being founded in 1973 by a dedicated human rights activist, the late David Nadel.

Ngaio Bealum is an American comedian, musician, writer, actor, activist, juggler and publisher. He co-hosted Cannabis Planet and published West Coast Cannabis Magazine.  He writes a column in Sacramento News & Review, answering questions from readers about marijuana and its politics.
Ngaio was born in San Francisco to hippie parents, leading to jokes about how he got his name. He is well known for his many film and television appearances as well as for being a regular host of High Times events, and more recently for being a frequent guest on Getting Doug With High hosted by fellow comedian Doug Benson. He recorded a CD called Weed and Sex. Former member of the Award Winning Hip Hop band Most Chill Slackmob, and 1994 People's Choice Award winner of the International Jugglers Association Fest.

Victor Pacheco is a large, yet highly energetic comedian with the unique talent of romanticizing the complexity of being an educator in today's unforgiving society. Victor's quick wit, commanding one-liners and warm personality have made him a favorite at comedy clubs, casinos and colleges across the West Coast and is a regular at Tommy T's Comedy Club and Laughs Unlimited Comedy Club. Victor is first generation Mexican-American; his family hails from Michoacan, Mexico.

Francesca Fiorentini recently stepped down from being a long-time host and producer of Newsbroke on AJ+ when they moved to Washington, DC. She was behind such viral hits like White Fragility in the Workplace. She is also a correspondent with Explorer on the National Geographic Channel. As a stand up comic, she has been featured at SF Sketchfest, the Comedy Comedy Festival in LA, and in seedy bars throughout the Bay Area. Francesca currently co-hosts the monthly comedy show, Verdi Wild Things, at The Verdi Club in SF. She is also a political activist and has lived in Argentina.

Lisa Geduldig is a local comedian and comedy producer who's the creator, producer, and MC of a variety of comedy shows including Kung Pao Kosher Comedyâ,,¢ - Jewish comedy on Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant (which celebrates its 25th Anniversary last December); Comedy Returns to El Rio! (which just celebrated its 10th Anniversary in May). She moonlights as a bilingual (Spanish-English) publicist.

RAICES (The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services) is a non-profit organization that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees in Texas. Founded in 1986, RAICES has grown to be the largest immigration legal services provider in Texas. With offices in Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio, RAICES is a frontline organization in the roiling debate about immigration and immigrants in the world. In 2017, RAICES staff closed 51,000 cases at no cost to the client. RAICES' advocacy and commitment to change are driven by the clients and families they serve every day as their attorneys and legal assistants provide legal advocacy and representation in an immigration system that breaks apart families and leaves millions without pathways to legal status. Parents separated from their children at the border (and other immigrants placed in detention) can't get released from ICE custody to reunite with their families until they pay the full amount of their immigration bond. Bonds are set at a MINIMUM of $1500 and are usually in the range of $5-10,000, even for asylum seekers without any criminal history. Unlike in the criminal system, bail bond companies either do not help people in immigration proceedings or impose very strict requirements, like private ankle monitors (which families have to pay to "rent"). Donations to RAICES directly support legal services for detained separated parents and the direct funding for bonds to get parents released. Through the monies raised, they can now reach many more families, reunite parents with their children, and pay bonds to get parents released.

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm
Buy Tickets Here
Tickets are $15 - $100 Sliding Scale

Jul 12, 8pm to 9:30pm, Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

Benny Bock

Benny Bock

is a pianist from El Cerrito, California. He currently studies at Oberlin Conservatory of Music with Dan Wall, Gary Bartz, and Billy Hart. He has shared the stage with Dayna Stephens, Nicole Henry, the Charles Mingus Big Band, and Ed Reed. During his time at Berkeley High School, Benny has won awards in the Santa Cruz, Folsom, Monterey Next-Gen, and Charles Mingus festivals. He also studied in Havana, Cuba during this time, and returned to explore the rich music there. An avid electronics enthusiast, Benny produces and records his own music, and works as a synthesizer demonstrator with legendary synth pioneer Tom Oberheim.

Nora Stanley

is a saxophonist and composer returning to her native Bay Area fresh out of Oberlin Conservatory. Growing up she was surrounded by music of all sorts and attended Berkeley High School's prestigious jazz program, also participating in conglomerate programs including SFJAZZ High School All-Stars, Jazzschool and Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble of San Francisco, where she was mentored by John Calloway. She has had the opportunity to travel to Cuba, Spain and Brazil, where she absorbed music that has informed her developing voice as a musician and composer. At Oberlin, Nora studied with Gary Bartz, Dan Wall, Eddie Henderson and Billy Hart, and has shared the stage with such greats as Ambrose Akinmusire, Eddie Henderson, Etienne Charles and Dayna Stephens.

Owen Storey

is a bassist currently studying at Manhattan School of Music with Jay Anderson. When he is not studying in New York, he is an active performer and teacher in the Bay Area. While in high school, he was a member of various honor bands, including the Berklee Five Week Workshop, where he studied with Terri Lyne Carrington. He has performed at many of the top Bay Area jazz venues, including Yoshi's and the SFJAZZ Center, and has taught at the Jazzschool and for the SFJAZZ summer workshops.

Pele-Or Greenberg

is a New York-based drummer studying at The New School with Andrew Cyrille, Kendrick Scott and Rodney Green, and hails from Berkeley, California. While at Berkeley High School, he became an active member of the Bay Area music scene, performing at famed venues such as Yoshi's, The Fox Theater, The Freight & Salvage, Cafe du Nord, Slim's and others, as well as the legendary Los Angeles club Whisky a Go-Go. While at Berkeley High, Pele competed at festivals including the Reno, Folsom and Monterey Next-Gen festivals, and spent a week studying in Havana, Cuba. In addition to playing in numerous Jazz groups in school, Greenberg also was an active member of an indie rock trio known as Black Bones, which recorded multiple EPs and performed around the Bay Area.
Tickets are $15 and are available in advance 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!

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

Niyaz featuring Azam Ali

The Huffington Post calls Niyaz, "an evolutionary force in contemporary Middle Eastern music." Based in Montreal, the duo blends medieval Sufi poetry and folk songs with acoustic instrumentation and modern electronic sounds. Their most recent album, The Fourth Light, is a tribute to eighth century Sufi mystic Rabia al Basri.

Based in Montreal, NIYAZ was founded in 2004 by captivating vocalist/composer and two-time JUNO Award nominee Azam Ali, and multi-instrumentalist/ composer and JUNO Award nominee Loga Ramin Torkian. Today with three best selling and critically acclaimed albums released on Six Degrees Records, all of which have debuted at #1 on iTunes and garnered the band an incredible amount of media attention including features on NPR and PRI, Niyaz continues to tour internationally and build on its impressive and loyal fan base worldwide. Since 2005 Niyaz has performed in the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore, Spain, Turkey, India, Russia, Poland, Dubai, Mexico, Finland, Slovenia, Italy, Portugal, Croatia, Morocco, Tunisia, and Austria. Their music has also been featured in several major film and television scores, which include, True Blood, Nip Tuck and Crossing Over.
Sponsored by: The Persian Center

Jul 12, 8pm to 9pm, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley