Berkeley Arts Festival Calendar


Super Cinema @Central

August 2018
Pictures from the Tumultuous 70s
Friday, August 3 The Last Picture Show 1971 / 118 min. / R / CC

The time is 1951 in a tiny Texas town. A diner, a pool hall and the Royal movie theater are the only places to go, "except to bed," critic Roger Ebert wryly comments in his review. Best friends Sonny (Timothy Bottoms) and Duane (Jeff Bridges) lust after a phony rich girl (Cybill Shepherd). Adults mostly guard their secrets. In the end, loss shakes loose some authentic emotion from the friends. Cloris Leachman and Ellen Burstyn are superb in supporting roles.

Friday, August 10 A Woman Under the Influence 1974 / 155 min. / R / CC

An LA housewife and mother, Mabel (Gena Rowlands), is unpredictable, sometimes volatile, sometimes overly friendly, to the extent that her construction worker husband, Nick (Peter Falk), wonders about her ability to handle the life they lead. Stellar performances from both leads make this an essential movie experience. Gena Rowlands won several Best Actress awards for it. The writer-director, John Cassavettes, is an icon of independent film.

Friday, August 17 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest 1975 / 133 min. / R / CC

Considered to be among the greatest films ever, Cuckoo's Nest is the story of a funny and often satisfying power struggle between a cocky recidivist felon (Jack Nicholson) and an authoritarian mental hospital nurse (Louise Fletcher). It's based on a Ken Kesey novel, boasts a near perfect ensemble cast (including Christopher Lloyd, Brad Dourif and Danny DeVito) and won all the major awards: Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Director and Screenplay.

Friday, August 24 Taxi Driver 1976 / 113 min. / R / CC

After being discharged from the Vietnam-era Marines, Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) drives a taxi in New York City. He's a loner who forms attachments to inappropriate women-a presidential campaign worker (Cybill Shepherd) and a 15 year old prostitute (Jodie Foster), whom he wants to protect. Pushed over the edge by their rejections, he begins to stalk the corrupt, sleazy guys who employ them. Martin Scorsese directs this thriller as black comedy.

Friday, August 31 Chinatown 1974 / 130 min. / R / CC

In a story based on the early twentieth century California Water Wars, private eye Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) takes a job following a Department of Water and Power engineer-who soon turns up dead. Immediately, Gittes is led by the engineer's widow (Faye Dunaway) to peel away layer after layer of corruption and mystery surrounding her husband's death. Directed by Roman Polanski, Chinatown is another of our greatest-and most beautifully shot-films.

September 2018
About Workers' Movements
Friday, September 7 Matewan 1987 / 135 min. / PG-13 / CC

It's 1920 in the town of Matewan, West Virginia. When Stone Mountain Coal Company cuts the wages of rebellious coal miners and brings in African American replacements, a United Mine Workers man (Chris Cooper) arrives to organize a union. In response, the company hires private detectives to oppose the miners and to set blacks and whites against each other. Tensions boil over, leading to a historic battle. James Earl Jones plays the character who leads black miners.

Friday, September 14 The Help 2011 / 146 min. / PG-13 / no CC

In 1963, Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis) agrees to let aspiring writer Skeeter Phelan (Emma Stone) interview her about her experiences as a maid to white families in Jackson, Mississippi. Gradually, other maids risk their jobs to join in with their own harrowing stories, which are all intended to yield a change-making book. Great storytelling and character development make this film exceptional. The ensemble cast also includes Octavia Spencer and David Oyelowo.

Friday, September 21 Blue Collar 1978 / 114 min. / R / no CC

Three Detroit auto workers (Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel & Yaphet Kotto) are buddies on and off work. They feel trapped between big industry and their do-nothing, corrupt union. They hit on a plan to rob the safe in the union office, leading to complications that lay bare the terrible predicament of working people. Written and directed by Paul Schrader (writer of Taxi Driver), who delivers an authentic, uncompromising ending. It's a very powerful film.

Friday, September 28 North Country 2005 / 126 min. / R / CC

Josey Aimes (Charlize Theron) flees her abusive husband with two kids to stay with her parents in her North Dakota home town. Most jobs available to her pay very little, so a friend (Frances McDormand) encourages her to apply to work in the same mine where she and Josie's father work. Josie's demeaning experiences there eventually drive her to start a legal fight with the mining company. Based on a true story, and directed by Niki Caro ("Whale Rider").

Aug 3, 3pm to 5pm, 2090 Kittredge St. (at Shattuck), Berkeley, CA 94704

Girls' Jazz and Blues Camp at The Freight & Salvage

The Girls' Jazz & Blues Camp is a supportive musical environment where girls have fun and develop self-confidence while honing improvisational, technical and ensemble skills. Join these young musicians as they present their end-of-camp performance!

Aug 3, 6pm to 8pm, Freight & Salvage Coffehouse 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley

Jazzschool Girls Jazz & Blues Camp Concert

Aug 3, 6pm to 7pm, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley

Extramarital Sextet/East Bay Hextet


Aug 3, 6:30pm to 9:30pm, Cafe Leila, 1724 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

Underneath the Underground VII Night One

Seventh Annual Oi, Punk, Ska fest featuring some of the best the West Coast has to offer, such as the likes of The Generators, Tried & True, West Lords, Down For Life, Junto, Blue Collar Criminals, The Complicators, The ChainLinks!

Aug 3, 7pm to 11:59pm, 924 Gilman, 924 Gilman St, Berkeley

The Jazz Fourtet

Aug 3, 7pm, Caffè Chiave, 2500 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

Amaranth Quartet

Equally at home with Mozart and Mendelssohn as they are with brand new string quartet compositions, violinists Emily Botel and Abigail Shiman, violist Julie Michael, and cellist Helen Newby met at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, formed the Amaranth Quartet in 2014 and have been going strong ever since. They've been one of the featured groups for the past two years at the annual Kronos Quartet Festival in San Francisco.

For us they'll present pieces from a wide range of eras:
Darius Milhaud, String Quartet No. 7
Felix Mendelssohn, String Quartet No. 2: III. Intermezzo
Igor Stravinsky, Three Pieces for String Quartet
Alyssa Weinberg, Parallels
Garth Knox, Satellites: III. Dimensions Nicole Lizee, Another Living Soul
Fodé Lassana Diabaté, Sunjata's Time: I. Sumaworo; III. Nana Triban
Rhiannon Giddens, At the Purchaser's Option
Alessandra Vrebalov, My Desert, My Rose

You can read more about their recent Kronos Festival concert and sample one of the pieces they'll be playing for us here.

Aug 3, 7:30pm to 9:30pm, Fifth Street Farms, 1517 Fifth St, Berkeley

Thor Hanson Presents Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees

A natural and cultural history of the buzzing wee beasties that make the world go round.

"A wondrous, action-packed journey to discover the secret lives of bees, flowers, and the unconventional men and women who study them. This book really is the buzz about bees, and it's destined to become a natural history classic."--Stephen Buchmann, author of The Reason for Flowers

Bees are like oxygen: ubiquitous, essential, and, for the most part, unseen. While we might overlook them, they lie at the heart of relationships that bind the human and natural worlds. In Buzz, the beloved Thor Hanson takes us on a journey that begins 125 million years ago, when a wasp first dared to feed pollen to its young. From honeybees and bumbles to lesser-known diggers, miners, leafcutters, and masons, bees have long been central to our harvests, our mythologies, and our very existence. They've given us sweetness and light, the beauty of flowers, and as much as a third of the foodstuffs we eat. And, alarmingly, they are at risk of disappearing.

As informative and enchanting as the waggle dance of a honeybee, Buzz shows us why all bees are wonders to celebrate and protect. Read this book and you'll never overlook them again.

Author and biologist Thor Hanson is a Guggenheim Fellow, a Switzer Environmental Fellow, and winner of the John Burroughs Medal. His books include The Impenetrable Forest, Feathers, The Triumph of Seeds as well as the illustrated children's favorite, Bartholomew Quill. Honors for Thor's writing include The Phi Beta Kappa Award and two Pacific Northwest Book Awards. Hanson lives with his wife and son on an island in the Pacific Northwest.

To reserve your seat, purchase a copy of Buzz by speaking to a bookseller or ordering from our website.

Aug 3, 7:30pm to 8:30pm, Mrs Dalloway's Bookstore, 2904 College Ave, Berkeley

The Klaxon Mutant Allstars

The Klaxon Mutant Allstars is a product of a new generation of eclectic-minded jazz musicians living in the technology-obsessed, genre-twisting, and multi-cultural mix that is the San Francisco Bay Area. With inspiration drawn from 1980s hip hop, to underdog baseball heroes, to the writings of David Sedaris, California politics, to covering local indie rock bands like Deerhoof, the Klaxons have created an album that, like the Bay Area, is multi-pronged in its influences, vital in its relevance, and boldly points towards the future.

Aug 3, 8pm to 11pm, Jupiter, 2181 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley

Rising Star - Kevin Goldberg presents "A Scrumptious Summer Showcase"

The JazzSchool is about to get spiced up with this eclectic and eccentric evening of musical revelry! This year's showcase will feature three spectacular East Bay ensembles: Lil' Elephant, Solate, and Wayfairy. Bring your friends; this is an incredible show that you won't want to miss!

Band Members and Instrumentation:
Lil' Elephant: Adam Hughes, guitar/lead Zvox; Connor Lonsdale, drums; Edwin Rhodes, keyboard/vox; Kevin Goldberg, bass/vox
Solate: Marissa Bergmann, vox; Joel Mandella, guitar; Maya Vilaplana, lead vox; Kevin Goldberg, bass/vox
Wayfairy: Mega Bloom, fiddle/vox; Ari Cowan, fiddle; Jazmine Davis, washboard; Jordan Stern, accordion; Quiver Watts, banjo/lead vox; Kevin Goldberg, bass/vox

Group Bios
Lil' Elephant is an unconventional Oakland ensemble bringing original tunes to stages of all sizes throughout the Bay Area. A labor of love several years in the making, this band of four motley miscreants fuses funk, rock, roll, rap, and classical influences into an exceptional and eclectic musical shmorgasboard. Major influences include Funkadelic, Traffic, In Flames and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. You'll find your feet tapping and your hips swaying before you know it.

Solate fluidly blends rhythmic guitar compositions of Joel Mandella with melodic storytelling of Maya Vilaplana in a unique indie-soul experience. Emboldened and enhanced by the vocal harmonies of Marissa Bergmann and the bass stylings of Kevin Goldberg, Solate's music is sure to move and uplift you!

Wayfairy started with a banjo on the turnpike and has grown into a six piece music project that fills the sonic space between mournful folk and riotous punk. The brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Quiver Watts, Wayfairy blends accordion, banjo, violin, washboard and upright bass with soft vocal harmonies, punctuated by raw wails. Come to dance, come to feel.

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Aug 3, 8pm to 9pm, California Jazz Conservatory 2087 Addison St, Berkeley

The Adi Meyerson Band

The Adi Meyerson Band is a hard-hitting ensemble that constantly thrives to paint a sonic portrait that is both reverential to the hard bop tradition and uniquely progressive and relevant.

Led by bassist and composer Adi Meyerson, the group is influenced by the deep tradition of swing and groove (Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington, Freddie Hubbard, Ahmad Jamal), and has created a project that manages to honor those traditions while creating music that is relevant to the 21st century. Compositionally, the band leans to a slightly more modern approach (Wayne Shorter, Alice Coltrane, Charlie Haden, Mulgrew Miller), adding vocalist & guitarist Camila Meza to the mix.

The Adi Meyerson Band is currently touring in support of their latest project, Miss Meyerson's debut album, Where We Stand, which contains all original material. In a live performance setting, the band includes a number of standards, Brazilian and Israeli tunes arranged for their particular instrumentation.

Miss Meyerson was born in the US and grew up in Israel. Although her main influences are strongly rooted in the Jazz tradition, traces of Israeli popular music (Yoni Rechter, Shalom Hanoch, Zohar Argov) can be found in her music. As part of the band's repertoire, Miss Meyerson seamlessly combines some of her favorite Israeli songs with her own original material, recently adding some lesser-known Brazilian and South American songs as well. (These particular songs are known to be a strong musical influence on her favorite Israeli songwriters). The result is a well-blended set that showcases all sides of the bassist and composer's history and personality though music.

"An instrumental set of swinging post bop that sounds like a lost Blue Note session...Purely smoking throughout." - Chris Spector, Midwest Records

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

Aug 3, 8pm to 10pm, The Back Room, 1984 Bonita Ave, Berkeley

Wonder Bread 5

Aug 3, 8:30pm to 9:30pm, Cornerstone, 2367 Shattuck Ave (Enter On Durant), Berkeley

Stu Allen & 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.

Aug 3, 9pm to 11:59pm, Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley