Berkeley Arts Festival Calendar


Joe Warner Trio


Jul 26, 11:45am to 2:45pm, Cheese Board Pizza 1512 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley

Free Live Jazz

Jul 26, 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.

Jul 26, 4:45pm to 7:45pm, Cheese Board Pizza, 1512 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley

Albany HS Jazz Combo 7:00 PM

Jul 26, 7pm to 9pm, Caffé on San Pablo, 2500 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley

Poetry Flash presents William O'Daly and Peter Weltner

Famed Spanish translator William O'Daly's new book of translation is Book of Twilight, by Nobel Laureate Pablo Neruda, which is Neruda's debut book, never before published in its entirety in the United States. The bilingual collection has just been nominated for the 2018 Northern California Book Award in Translation. His translations include eight other books of poetry by Pablo Neruda. He published a full-length collection of his own poetry, Water Ways, in 2017, with prose and photography by J.S. Graustein. A second collection, Yarrow and Smoke, will appear in 2018. He is a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, and his poems, essays, and translations have been widely published in literary journals and anthologies. He was profiled by Mike Leonard for The Show.

Peter Weltner's latest book is The Return of What's Been Lost, fourteen stories and fourteen `choral' poems, which, David Morris says, "meditate on loss, personal and cultural, and how mourning embodies in the self, incarnate and haunting, the hugeness of what is missing." He's published five previous books of fiction and six full-length collections of poetry, most recently The Light of the Sun Become Sea. His work has also appeared in some national anthologies, including Prize Stories: the O. Henry Awards, 1993 and 1998, as well as in many literary journals and magazines.

Jul 26, 7:30pm to 8:30pm, Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley

Max Schwartz presents: Mayberry

Max Schwartz and Abbi Berry's newest collaboration Mayberry will have their Bay Area debut at The Back Room.

First set: Max Schwartz and Abbi Berry duo
Second set: full band, featuring Benny Bock and Pele Greenberg

Max Schwartz and Abbi Berry first met in February 2016 as members of the Grammy Camp - Jazz Session, a program made up of about 30 high school students chosen by the GRAMMY Foundation to perform a week's worth of gigs in Los Angeles, including the GRAMMY nominee reception and the official GRAMMY Celebration at the LA Convention Center. Abbi was the lead soprano in the Grammy Choir, and Max was the bassist in the Grammy Combo.

They met again the following summer as featured members of the 2016 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, an all-star group put together by the Monterey Jazz Festival. Together they performed around Monterey County and then flew to Japan for a two-week tour. After working together in a couple of settings, they realized how much they enjoyed making music together and decided to form their own group.

The idea behind Mayberry was for these two to have a creative outlet, with only one rule: no music is off-limits! They draw influence from Max's background in bluegrass music, Abbi's love for pop, and their formal education as jazz musicians, but they love the challenge of figuring out how to arrange new music for only two performers.

Tickets are $18 in advance, $20 at the door and $15 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!

Jul 26, 8pm to 10pm, The Back Room, 1984 Bonita Ave, Berkeley

Joe Rut, Laura Benitez

Joe Rut rolls into the Freight & Salvage to celebrate the Release of his 7th album, Nekkid. Joe's quirky sense of humor underpins a heartfelt, richly lyrical and subtly hallucinatory Americana/Alt-country landscape. His funny songs can break your heart, and his sad songs can make you laugh. Comparisons have been drawn to Todd Snider, Josh Ritter, John Prine, and Loudon Wainright III. It is a deeply American music, although nobody seems to be guarding the border too closely (the guards apparently bribed with psychedelics to look the other way.)

Joe's life on the road with is wunderdog Potato was recently interrupted by the theft of his touring van, instruments, and his infamous Pretty Good Book, an antique accounting ledger containing approximately 250 handwritten song lyrics.

"I was gonna call it `The Good Book'", says Joe, "but it turned out that title was already taken,

Through perseverance and a dose of luck, the Pretty Good Book and Joe's Dobro guitar were recovered (Hooray!!) and the new album Nekkid highlights recent songs from the book
recorded live in 2018.

Joe Rut: "After the van was stolen, I spent 5 weekends handing out reward flyers at all of the flea markets and homeless encampments, not really expecting anything, but feeling like I had to try something. The loss of the book was devastating. There was no way I would ever remember all the lyrics written in it. Then one day, the phone rang. A homeless guy had found
the book by the side of the road in Oakland!! I had to force the reward on him. He didn't even want to take it. The next day I got a call about my Dobro!"

Joe's Song "Dosey Doe" was voted #1 song on SomaFM's Bootliquor Radio by listeners in September 2010, and his music ("Control Freak") has been featured on NPR's Undercurrents.
His song "Jelly Donut" inspired a feature about food-based songs in the SF Chronicle's Datebook, and he has appeared in Guitar Player Magazine. Joe's Dante-esque epic tragi-comedy "And The Horse I Rode In On" won "Best Song" in West Coast Songwriters Open Mic in June 2009. He was recently honored in Berkeley by a Joe Rut Cover Night, in which local artists took turns playing his songs.

Come celebrate the return of The Pretty Good Book, and the release of Nekkid! All proceeds go towards outfitting a new touring van.

And whiskey.
Lots of whiskey.
And probably some donuts.

Singer/Songwriter Laura Benitez uses the three chord tools of country music to tell the simple, unvarnished truth about love, too much whiskey, and the call of the road. Taking her musical cues from the heavily rock-influenced Bakersfield sound, and her lyric inspiration from her favorite songwriters Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn, Laura's songwriting is strikingly spare and straightforward. On her 2018 album "With All Its Thorns," recorded with her band, the Heartache, she delves deeper into country music's tradition of storytelling with songs about betrayal ("Secrets"), murder ("In Red"), and grief ("Ghostship"), with a whole lot of heartbreak in between.

John Amen of No Depression says, "Benitez and the Heartache strike their own persuasive balance, offering songs that will engage conventionalists and hybridists alike; in the process, honing an undeniable presence that...will only grow more finely tuned." Lloyd Sachs, author of T Bone Burnett: A Life in Pursuit, says "What a lovely sense of ease Benitez has. She makes familiar form sound fresh, no mean achievement at this point in the so-called roots movement."

Jul 26, 8pm to 9pm, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley

Stu Allen and Mars Hotel

A tradition started back in the 20th century, Ashkenaz's Grateful Dead Night is always evolving, reaching new heights since Stu Allen & Mars Hotel launched a weekly residency in late 2011. Led by acclaimed guitarist-singer Allen (of Phil Lesh & Friends, Melvin Seals & JGB, Ghosts of Electricity), a revolving cast of incredibly talented musicians inhabits Mars Hotel, drawing from the Grateful Dead's vast catalog to delight Deadheads and dancers of all generations. A Mars Hotel show is always an energetic evening of good vibes, good music, and good community.

When it became apparent that Jerry Garcia had played his final show in 1995, Stu Allen began working to keep Garcia's music, sound, and spirit alive in the concert setting. He regularly works with Phil Lesh and has also played sets with Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann. Allen is perhaps most known for fronting Melvin Seals' tribute to the Jerry Garcia Band from 2004 to 2011. He received more national acclaim in 2010 when he toured with Dark Star Orchestra. Allen shares the Grateful Dead's commitment to making each performance a unique event, from preparation to execution. He will perform multiple shows before playing the same song twice, and even then, that song will not be realized in quite the same way.

Mars Hotel takes this idea a step further by presenting a new band at each performance. Drawing from the rich music scene of the Bay Area, Allen has assembled a broad and ever-rotating group of musicians that makes each concert a once-only experience. As far as Grateful Dead tribute bands go, this is a concept that has never been done before.

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

Tickets are $15

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

DJ Cali and Hanif

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