Berkeley Arts Festival Calendar


Temescal Farmers' Market

Aug 12, 9am to 1pm, 5300 Claremont Ave, Oakland CA 94618

Soul Sanctuary Dance

Family-friendly Freestyle Community Dance. Come dance freely every Sunday morning at Soul Sanctuary Dance. No admission fee / 100% volunteer produced.

Soul Sanctuary Dance is a welcoming and inclusive all-ages community freestyle/ecstatic/shoes optional dance that supports free expression, community, physical and emotional health, and a spirit of generosity. We dance to an irresistible eclectic blend of world music, funk, house, soul, electro swing, positive hip hop, reggae, dance classics, jazz, blues, electronica, and other music to free mind, body and soul.

Organic fruit for all after the dance.
The dance is completely organized and run by volunteers.
Wheelchair accessible. No scented products please. Shoes optional.

The dance is a generosity and donation-based event. We don't charge a fee for admission. Instead, we post this message at the welcome table: "Your dance today at Soul Sanctuary Dance is a gift from those who have made donations to the dance, and from the volunteers who organize and produce the dance. We invite you to pay this generosity forward for future dancers, in whatever amount or manner you choose, so that we can continue to keep this chain of gifts alive."

Aug 12, 11am to 1pm, Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

String Quartet Sundays ~ featuring "The Town"

Aug 12, 1pm to 2pm, The Musical Offering, 2430 Bancroft Way, Berkeley

John Clarke Trio

A self taught classical guitarist composer crossing over into all other genres, a classically trained violinist with heavy old time fiddle leanings, and world percussionist trained by the masters. John H. Clarke, Josh Mellinger and Rob Hansen make up this acoustic instrumental, East Bay based trio.

Aug 12, 4pm to 8pm, Jupiter, 2181 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley

Desi Comedy Fest

Desi Comedy Fest

San Francisco, CA... Bay Area-based Indian-born comedians, Samson Koletkar and Abhay Nadkarni, and The Times of India Group Present The 5th Annual Desi Comedy Fest, an 11-day South Asian stand up comedy extravaganza touring comedy clubs and theaters in 9 Northern California cities: San Francisco, Berkeley, Mill Valley, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara,
San Mateo, Milpitas, Dublin, and Mountain View. The festival, the largest of its kind in the US, runs August 9-19 this year and features over 30 South Asian comedians from all over
the US, with diverse ethnic (Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Iranian, Syrian-Mexican, Libyan, Japanese, and Filipino) and religious backgrounds (Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, and Catholic). Last year's festival boasted an attendance of 2700: up from 700 in 2014, the first year of the festival. 4000 attendees are expected this year.

What's new this year? This year, Koletkar and Nadkarni are partnering with The Times of India Group, India's largest media conglomerate, that just completed The Gaana Music
Festival, the largest ever Indian music festival in America. This year's Desi Comedy Fest will be a grander spectacle than ever before. It will feature the best comedians from the
previous four years and 10 brand new and hilarious comedians. One third of this year's comedians are women. The festival comes to 3 new cities this year: San Mateo, Milpitas, and Dublin. Since last year's festival, Desi Comedy Fest has held shows in Portland, Seattle, San Diego, and Los Angeles. In 2016 it toured 20 shows in 20 days across four
cities in India. This June, the festival is bringing 6 comedians to New Jersey for one night for its East Coast debut.

[Desi (pronounced "THEY-see") is a term for the cultures and products of the Indian subcontinent or South Asia and their diaspora, derived from the Ancient Sanskrit (deÅ>á or deshi), meaning Land or Country. Desi countries include India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and Maldives.]

Abhay Nadkarni, festival co-producer, observes, "2018 has not been such a good year for the Indian reputations: Aziz Ansari was in the news for the wrong reasons, Ajit Pai revoked Net Neutrality, there's a group called Hindus for Trump, and Trump pardoned Dinesh D'Souza thinking he is Hindu. We just want to show America that Indians still contribute in a positive way #NotAllIndians."

Festival co-producer Samson Koletkar notes, "In this post-Trump America, Republicans and Democrats seem more divided than Indians and Pakistanis. So we are bringing together Indian and Pakistanis to show we can all laugh together at our differences. It's going to be like the 2018 White House Correspondents Dinner, but with 50 shades of brown."

The idea for the festival was born on August 14 and 15, 2013, Pakistani and Indian Independence Days, respectively, when Koletkar produced a few comedy shows that featured Pakistani and Indian comedians. The positive response to the shows planted the seed for something larger: The Desi Comedy Fest. Koletkar and fellow Indian comedian, Abhay Nadkarni, talked about the cultural zeitgeist in the South Asian community: usually introverted South Asians are taking to the stage to openly talk about their cultural characteristics while also addressing immigration, race, and other personal experiences of the South Asian diaspora. That discussion spawned the idea for the festival, which they launched the following year in 2014. Koletkar adds, "Where else can you find Indians and Pakistanis sitting together and laughing?"

Aug 12, 7pm to 9pm, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley

Tango Revelation Milonga presents: Emilio Solla-Seth Asarnow duo piano/bandoneon


Grammy Nominated Argentina born and NY based pianist & composer Emilio Solla got his degree in Classical Piano at the National Conservatory of Music in Buenos Aires and his MA in Jazz Composition at Queens College in New York. He continued to study composition, arranging, counterpoint, improvisation and conducting in Buenos Aires, Barcelona and New York.

His first band, Apertura, was praised by Astor Piazzolla himself as one of the most interesting new sounds in the Buenos Aires scene in 1986. Nowadays, with seven CDs as band leader (Fresh Sound Records) and more than forty as arranger/producer, he is considered by peers and critics to be one of the most outstanding and personal voices in this musical stream, a fusion of modern Argentine tango and folk with jazz and other contemporary music styles (generally referred to as "Tango-Jazz"). He has performed all around Europe, Japan, the US and Latin America to raving reviews in many of the most important Jazz houses and Festivals (Bim Huis, Lincoln Center, Marciac, Blue Note, Fasching).

Solla moved to Barcelona in 1996, and to New York in 2006, always in search of personal and artistic growth. Since in New York, he has composed for, arranged for and performed with Paquito D'Rivera, Arturo O'Farrill, Edmar Castañeda, Pablo Aslan, Cristina Pato and many others, besides performing with his quintet Bien Sur! in town at the Jazz Standard, Dizzie's and Smalls, featuring  saxophonist Chris Cheek. Former members of this band include Donny Mc Caslin and Jeff Ballard. This quintet has released its first CD, Bien Sur! (Fresh Sound, 2010), with special guest Billy Hart, included in the Best of 2010 list by Downbeat Magazine.

He continues to tour Europe with Emilio Solla & Afines, his Barcelona's based quintet, while working as a free-lance arranger and pianist in different projects in NY. Since November 2010, he is leading a nine piece orchestra, La Inestable de Brooklyn, featuring some of the strongest jazz players in NYC (John Ellis, Ryan Keberle) whose first CD, Second Half (2014) has been Nominated for a 2015 Grammy Award as Best Latin Jazz Album. In November 2014 Solla's first symphonic work had its World Premiere at the Palau de la Musica, during the Barcelona Jazz Festival, with concerts at the Chicago Symphony Hall and Rutgers University in 2015. 2016 will bring him back to Buenos Aires for the Premiere of the orchestral version of his Suite Piazzollana.

He has a long background as educator as well, having taught regularly in different conservatories in Argentina and Spain. He is currently a Faculty Member at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and has given clinics in Jazz Composition at Emory University, Bates College, Gotemburg Music School (Sweden), Jazz & Pop Conservatory (Helsinki, Finland)

Seth Asarnow, a native of the Bay Area, has a repertory consisting of hundreds of tangos. He can be heard on recordings that range in style from traditional tango to pop. Mr. Asarnow has both composed film scores and played on film soundtracks, and he works regularly with some of the finest tango dancers in the world. Highlights of his performances include Piazzolla's Four Seasons with Donald Runnicles and members of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, as well as concerts with Symphony Silicon Valley, and the Santa Cruz and San Jose chamber orchestras. He recently appeared on NBC's Dancing with the Stars, performing with the cast of the Broadway show Forever Tango. Mr. Asarnow is also the bandoneónist and musical director of the show Tango Adamor, the Los Angeles Tango Festival, and Nora's Tango Week, an annual international conference for the instruction and celebration of tango, now in its sixteenth year in the Bay Area. He also directs and performs often with his Sexteto Tipico, one of the few authentic traditional tango groups in the United States.

Seth Asarnow's musical influences include Aníbal Troilo, Leopoldo Federico, and Astor Piazzolla, whom he met in 1989. He continues to promote the tango locally, teaching bandoneón and playing both public and private engagements. He made his San Francisco Symphony debut in 2007.

Doors at 7:30 pm; Dance Lesson at 8 pm; Performance at 9 pm
8-9pm: All level class with Christopher and Caroline: Connection-Navigation-Breathing
9pm-12am: Milogna with live music by Emilio Solla-Seth Asarnow Duo plus DJ Rene Quebec.

Emilio Solla will perform with bandoneon player Seth Asarnow

Hosted by Sonja Riket of Intimate Embrace Tango with DJ Rene Quebec
Buy Tickets Here

Tickets are $25 Day of Show / $20 Student & Senior Day of Show / $20 Advance / $17 Student & Senior Advance

Aug 12, 8pm to 11:59pm, Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley