Berkeley Arts Festival Calendar


Ballyhoo!, Bumpin' Uglies, Tropidelic

A rock band with punk energy and pop reggae grooves, Baltimore's BALLYHOO! are a fun, fan-loving powerhouse. These road dogs have tirelessly toured coast-to-coast taking their music to the people. Between the road and the studio, BALLYHOO! have crafted a sound distinctly their own; fresh, fun, and embodied by the soul of the party lifestyle. Lead singer and guitarist, Howi Spangler, has a reputation for mixing slick lyrics with his smooth but powerful voice. Drummer Donald Spangler lays out the hard-hitting beats. Scott Vandrey layers in the finishing touches to the band's signature sound on keys. The guys recently welcomed Nick Lucera as their new bass player.
BALLYHOO! released their 5th studio album Pineapple Grenade on June 25th 2013. It broke through the Billboard Top 200 at #189 as well as reaching #4 Billboard Heatseekers and #5 at iTunes Alternative charts.
The album features "No Good," produced by Rome Ramirez (Sublime with Rome) and mixed by Paul Leary (U2, Sublime); while the first single "Run" saw an early radio add from KRAB Bakersfield and early radio spins by KROQ Los Angeles, WHFS Baltimore, KTCL Denver, and KCXX Riverside among others. Alongside the album release, BALLYHOO! co-headlined the 2013 Summer Sickness Tour with Authority Zero and special guests Versus The World. Pineapple Grenade is the band's follow-up to the 2011 LAW Records release of "Daydreams," which debuted at #1 on the iTunes Reggae Charts and #4 on Amazon.
BALLYHOO!'s unique yet melodic blend of genres, along with their hardcore devotion to the road and their fans have pitched them into snowballing success. The band has performed with a myriad of national touring acts; 311, Slightly Stoopid, SOJA, The Dirty Heads, Matisyahu, and more. Tour highlights include the 2011 311 Pow Wow Festival, the 2012 and 2013 311 Caribbean Cruise, Bamboozle 2012, 2012 Charm City Music Festival, 2013 Cali Roots Festival & the entire 2012 Vans Warped Tour. In 2011, after concluding the Last Calls and Liabilities tour with respected contemporaries, Pepper, they were honored with being included on the ever-popular Hollister Holiday Playlist. They were listed on MTV's Top 100 Bands to Watch and even featured 2 downloadable songs on the popular video game ROCK BAND.

Bumpin' Uglies
Chris Hale - acoustic and fretless bass, vocals
Samantha Humphrey - lead vocals
Cheryl Pawelski - guitars, vocals
Gregg Ogorzelec - electric and acoustic mandolin and violin

Jul 14, 7:30pm to 10:30pm, Cornerstone, 2367 Shattuck Ave (Enter On Durant), Berkeley

Chora Roda

Chora Roda is a fun Brazilian choro jam session. Choro is an instrumental style combining classical, jazz and African elements. It definitely requires some study and practice, but there are lots of choro enthusiasts in the Bay Area. Common instruments are guitar, mandolin, flute, cavaquinho, clarinet, pandeiro; but all instruments are welcome. Whether you come to listen or to learn, a good time is guaranteed!

Jul 14, 8pm to 10pm, Caffè Chiave, 2500 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

Shasta String Celebration feat. Jody Stecher, Kala Ramnath, Sean Watkins, many more!

Shasta String Celebration Featuring Profound Folk Master Jody Stecher, Indian Violin Maestro and International Treasure Kala Ramnath, Grammy Winning Singer/Guitarist/Songwriter Sean Watkins (of Platinum Selling Nickel Creek fame), Legendary Old-Time Texas Fiddling Champion Matthew Hartz, Appalachian Music Masters John Herrmann and Chicken Train, Young Artists from The Shasta Music Summit, And many special guests..!

This show is the musical fruit of Tristan and Tashina Clarridge's 14th annual Shasta Music Summit, where seasoned master musicians from all over the world commune with colleagues from neighboring (and sometimes distant) traditions, while nurturing a host of creative young string players.

6-time Grand National Fiddle Champions and northern California natives Tristan and Tashina Clarridge have grown up in the company of these musicians, making literally dozens of Freight and Salvage appearances with Darol Anger, Crooked Still, Sean and Sara Watkins, Laurie Lewis, Bill Evans, Scott Nygaard, Mike Marshall and their own trio The Bee Eaters.

"My sister and I were privileged to grow up in an unusual way, one which prepared us for the way this event unfolds. We'd backpack for weeks at a time, or drive 2500 miles to go meet some musicians and get a lesson and go to a fiddle camp. The simple beauty of growing up this way has led us down a rich musical life path, and we want to bring to others something of what we've experienced" says Tristan. "This project isn't a business, it's a community. And listeners can get a taste of that community at the Freight and Salvage on July 14. These are some of the musical friends we've made as we travel through life."

Jody Stecher (born June 1, 1946) is an American singer and musician, who plays bluegrass and old-time music on banjo, mandolin, fiddle and guitar, and Dagar-vani dhrupad on the sursringar, a rare Indian instrument that is a baritone relative of the sarod.

Jonathan Allan Stecher was born in Brooklyn, New York. At the age of twelve he acquired a dusty fretless Gatcomb in an antique shop and bought it for two dollars. After gaining a solid grounding in bluegrass, cajun, blues and Scottish folk music, he studied Hindustani classical music for 3 years with Ali Akbar Khan and for 10 years with Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar. He has collaborated with Krishna Bhatt on an unusual album of fusion music Rasa (1982).
He met Kate Brislin (a former member of Any Old Time String Band) in 1974, In 1985, they started performing actively as a duo; they married on 29 July 1987.

Jody Stecher is regarded as one of the leading traditional folk artists in America. He has appeared on albums with a large and diverse group of musicians, including Jerry Jeff Walker, Jerry Garcia, David Grisman, Peter Rowan, Martin Simpson, The Seldom Scene, Laurie Lewis, {a559443] and Hot Rize. He has also written liner notes for many albums.

He recorded the field recordings (with Peter K. Siegel) and wrote the liner notes for the record The Real Bahamas (In Music And Song)

Jody has been twice nominated for a Grammy with his wife Kate for albums they have recorded together: in 1993 for Our Town ("Best Traditional Folk Album"), and again in 1998 for Heart Songs: The Old Time Country Songs Of Utah Phillips("Best Traditional Folk Album of 1997").

Jody Stecher's sister, Janet Stecher, is a professional singer in the duo Rebel Voices and leads the Seattle Labor Chorus.

Kala Ramnath
Violin maestro Kala Ramnath, the contemporary torch bearer of the Mewati Gharana, belongs to a violin dynasty from India- a unique musical lineage of seven generations which straddles both the classical systems of the subcontinent. Born into a family of prodigious musical talent which has given Indian music such violin legends as Prof. T.N. Krishnan and Dr. N. Rajam, Kala began violin studies at age 3, under the strict tutelage of her grandfather Vidwan. NARAYAN IYER. Simultaneously she received training from her aunt Dr. Smt. N. RAJAM. For fifteen years she put herself under the training of Mewati vocal maestro, Sangeet Martand PANDIT JASRAJ. This has brought a rare vocal emotionalism to her art.

She has performed at all the major music festivals in India, and dozens of music festivals worldwide, such as North Sea Jazz Festival in Cape Town, South Africa, Celebrations of India's fiftieth year of Independence in Europe, Festival of India presented by Government of India in Dhaka Bangladesh,and the South Asian Heritage Festival in Toronto, Canada. She has extensively toured the United States, Canada, UK, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Italy, France, Belgium, Greece, Russia, South Africa, Seychelles, Middle East, Trinidad, Kenya, Tanzania, Australia, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Mauritius etc.

Sean Watkins
Sean Watkins co-founded Nickel Creek when he was just 12 years old, kickstarting a career that's taken him from the stage of the Grammy Awards to the top of the bluegrass charts. The groundbreaking trio's platinum selling albums earned them a Grammy Award and the respect of musicians and fans everywhere. Along the way, he's become a masterful guitarist, singer and songwriter and a member of many different groups, including the touring bands of legendary singers Jackson Browne and Lyle Lovett. Following the 25 anniversary tour of Nickel Creek, Sean hit the road solo. His latest release "What to Fear" is a powerfully honest and insightful lyrical and musical statement, following his acclaimed 2014 release "All I do is Lie".

John Herrmann and John Engle
A master of Appalachian mountain music, John Herrmann has traveled the world performing for over thirty years, with extensive touring in France, Germany, Italy and Japan. 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, (most notably with Art Stamper and Ralph Blizard), and performed numerous times at the Smithsonian Folk Festival, and the National Heritage Award Ceremony. North Carolina fiddler John Engle is a master of the fiddling style of the legendary Tommy Jarrell and others.

Matthew Hartz
Legendary Texas fiddle master Matthew Hartz has an "ability to express through music what most of us can only feel." (-Fiddle legend Jim "Texas Shorty" Chancellor). From an early age, Matthew's ear was bent toward old-time fiddle masters Benny Thomasson, Oroville Burns, Texas Shorty and Terry Morris; but also The Beach Boys, the Ramones, Fleetwood Mac, The Rolling Stones and Johnny Cash... From the age of 14, Matthew traveled to TX to study with many of the legends of TX old-time fiddling. Renowned in many music circles for his deep groove and rhythmic integrity, Matthew was crowned Grand Champion numerous times at the Grand National Fiddle Championships in Weiser ID, the Grand Master Fiddle Championships in Nashville, TN, and the World Championships of Fiddling in Crockett, TX.

Tristan Clarridge
At the forefront of a folk-cello revolution, Tristan Clarridge has been steeped his whole life in the musical traditions of Bluegrass, Baroque, Jazz, Irish, and Appalachian mountain music.

He is a member of internationally acclaimed Crooked Still, and The Bee Eaters, who are known for their uniquely blended tapestry of sound, which the Boston Globe described as "chamber music's finely calibrated arrangements with bluegrass's playful virtuosity and pop music's melodic resourcefulness". He has also toured with Nickel Creek's Sean Watkins, Natalie MacMaster, Mike Marshall, Bruce Molsky, and as a longtime member of Darol Anger's Republic of Strings.

Jul 14, 8pm to 9pm, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley

The Muddy Roses

The Muddy Roses's sound is a beautiful balance of grit and grace that's been captivating audiences around the San Francisco Bay.
The rich, velvety soul of vocal bombshell Liz Lewis (West Virginia) and the band, led by guitarist and songwriter John LoGiudici, infuse destined-to-be-classic country and Americana originals with elements of blues, bluegrass, gospel, and jam to create a unique and dynamic sound. Fiddle player Diana Greenberg and banjoist/pedal steel master Andrew Waegel launch sonic trips to the front porch and the honky-tonk bar, while veteran Bay Area musicians Rob MacCloskey on bass and Rob Davis on drums keep the train running.

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 14, 8pm to 10pm, The Back Room, 1984 Bonita Ave, Berkeley

Sizzla, Marlon Asher, DJ Green B


With more than 70 full-length studio albums since the 1990s, Sizzla is one of the most prolific and commercially successful reggae acts of his era.

Sizzla is one of the most commercially successful reggae acts of his era. A hugely prolific artist who keeps up a high quality release rate, he has put out more than an incredible 70 full length studio albums since starting out in the 1990s. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, he is a keen subscriber of the Bobo Ashanti brand of the Rastafarai movement and studied mechanical engineering at Dunoon High School. In his youth he witnessed a real dancehall explosion and with that music came to a lifestyle of guns and drugs, but his devotion to religion helped steer him clear of this. Sizzla's served his musical apprenticeship under the Caveman Hi Fi sound system and has used his music as a way of getting his messages across. He has released on labels like Digital B, VP, Greensleeves, Kalonji Records, Xterminator Records and others. He has toured extensively with the likes of Luciano and has worked with Bobby Digital Dixon. In his long career he has had many hits including the likes of `Babylon Cowboy' and `Kings of Earth'. Some of his albums include the likes of Black Woman & Child, Taking Over, Bobo Ashanti, Da Real Thing and 876 from 2016 on Judgement Yard.

He is a fine live performer who always commands the audience on stage and has released two live albums as well as many compilations of his vast discography. Sizzla's first nomination for Best International Reggae Artist of the Year came at the 1998 MOBO Awards and he also won a place in various magazines' top 100 albums of the year. He has 21 albums that have made it into the Billboard charts, and most recently his LP 876 hit the number three slot. In his time he has worked with or been sampled by the likes of Rick Ross, Rhianna, Akon, Lil Wayne, Wyclef Jean and more, whilst awards have come in from the likes of MOBO, Rolling Stone, the Reggae Academy and more.

Marlon Asher

is a Trinidadian reggae singer from Enterprise, Chaguanas. His first hit was "Ganja Farmer" and he later went on to release three more popular reggae songs, his latest being "Fit and Strong".

Dj Green B

is one of California's toppa top reggae Djs! On the radio, in the club, or at the festivals she delivers an energetic set filled with hot new music and all your favorite anthems. Listen to her popular MixCds here:

Jul 14, 9pm to 11pm, The UC Theatre Taube Family Music Hall, 2036 University Avenue, near Downtown Berkeley BART, Berkeley, CA, 94704

Caribbean Allstars

The Caribbean Allstars are pioneers in the Bay Area reggae scene and longtime regulars at Ashkenaz. The ensemble, whose geographical roots range from Jamaica and South America to West Africa and the U.S., began joining together their musical forces and international backgrounds during the early 1970s. Out of such predecessors as Obeah and the Sons of Creation, the Caribbean Allstars were formed and became the founding fathers of Bay Area roots reggae. Although many musicians have come through the band since its founding, it has long been guided by its director, Trinidad-born drummer Hugh "Sweetfoot" Maynard.

The Caribbean Allstars not only play Jamaican reggae with a traditional electric bass-drums-guitars-keyboards lineup, but also add steel drums to bring in South Caribbean calypso and soca styles of Trinidad and Tobago, producing rhythms that drive listeners to the dance floor. Over the years the band has performed with an array of talent sitting in, including Taj Mahal, Narada Michael Walden, and Carlos Santana. Santana played on their second album and introduced them as "my favorite band" at the 1987 Bay Area Music Awards (Bammies). The Allstars were featured on Ashkenaz's 30th anniversary CD and have for many years been one of the core bands of the extended Ashkenaz world music and dance community.

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

Tickets are $15 Advance / $18 at the Door

Jul 14, 9pm to 11:59pm, Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley