Berkeley Arts Festival Calendar


String Quartet Sundays ~ featuring "The Town"

Sep 23, 1pm to 2pm, The Musical Offering, 2430 Bancroft Way, Berkeley

6th Annual Musical Extravaganza to Benefit the Charlotte Maxwell Clinic

6th Annual Musical Extravaganza to Benefit the Charlotte Maxwell Clinic, Marcelle Davies-Lashley, Shelley Doty, Vicki Randle, Kofy Brown, Julie Wolf, Amikaeyla Gaston, Elizabeth Sayre, Michaelle Goerlitz, Mena Ramos

Marcelle Davies-Lashley a Brooklyn native and baby of seven children born to West African parents from Liberia and Sierra Leone respectively is a psalmist extraordinaire. She began singing lead in the church choir at the age of 5 and never stopped, performing as a musical theater artist throughout her childhood. The sultry sound of the warm musical instrument of her voice will melt your heart and feed your soul. Marcelle has travelled to five of seven continents soothing and exciting the world in melody and song with a stage presence and sincerity that is mesmerizing and second to none. Marcelle toured Paris and Turkey with Craig Harris and the Nation of Imagination. Marcelle played the role of the Queen of Sheba in the national and international tour of Robert Wilson's opera The Temptation of Saint Anthony by Gustave Flaubert with the amazing libretto written by Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon. Marcelle with her band have set the stage on fire at the Brooklyn Academy of Music Café, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Joe's Pub in New York City, and Freight and Salvage in California. Marcelle is featured as a percussionist with the hypnotizing skills of her tambourine on Toshi Reagon's Have You Heard and on Carl Hancock Rux's Cornbread, Cognac and Collard Green Revolution as a featured vocalist. She has rendered her musical gift to the background vocals of Case, BeBe and Cece Winans Greatest Hits and Liz Wright to name a few. Marcelle released her first solo project of many to come titled "Easy to Love" in 2014 available on CD Baby. The transformative spirit, which is Marcelle, can take you away into the land of music most loving and beautiful. Marcelle had the honor of being the mistress of ceremony and support vocalist for the Jazz Foundation of America's Gala Performance at the historically acclaimed Apollo Theater in the spring of 2012. Marcelle was the featured vocalist for WNYC's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration "Where Do We Go From Here" at the Apollo Theater. Marcelle has worked as a musician coloring and making everyone else sound good lending background vocals with Angelique Kidjo, Bono and Macy Gray. South Africa, London, Italy, Germany, Australia, France, Portugal, New York City and the universe is better for the likes of the music from the depth and gospel jazz soul fusion of Marcelle Davies-Lashley.

Shelley Doty"...the complete performer in her use of cranked up emotions in her singing, edgy rock energy and swinging jazz guitar rhythms."

Labeled "a future legend" by one reviewer and a "guitar goddess" by another, Shelley Doty is considered one the best independent performers in the business. Watching her perform is awe-inspiring due to her masterful guitar licks, soulful voice and charismatic stage presence. As a songwriter, she creates articulate songs for today by sprinkling them with respect for the music of her youth (rock, R&B, jazz, funk). Shelley sings with passion and plays with an authentic raw energy that cuts through the air with jubilant imagination and freshness. Her brand new CD "Over The Line" is now out and available via CD Baby.

In addition to fronting her band, the Shelley Doty X-tet, Shelley also often performs solo acoustic. When Shelley plays electric guitar she rips into it like no other woman ever has - she has a swagger and confidence to play lead guitar that is as rare as it is electrifying. But she also has the subtly and tenderness to cause an audience to shiver at the elegance of her voice and insightful lyrics. Don't be fooled though - she can bring the same intensity she's known for when playing electric to an acoustic setting. Shelley was featured in the March 2008 issue of the renowned Guitar Player Magazine.

San Francisco native Vicki Randle has worked with such diverse artists as Aretha Franklin and Kenny Loggins, Celine Dion and Dr. John, Mickey Hart and Lionel Ritchie. She was the percussionist and lead singer for the acclaimed Tonight Show Band led by Kevin Eubanks for more than 14 years.
Julie Wolf
Oakland's Julie Wolf is a composer, teacher, and master of the accordion who has worked with Maceo Parker, Ani DiFranco, the Indigo Girls, Bruce Cockburn, Cris Williamson, and Barbara Higbie, as well as composing music for films and serving as music director for the Berkeley Rep's 2010 world premiere of Girlfriend.

Amikaeyla Gaston
Amikaeyla is the Founder and Executive Director of the International Cultural Arts & Healing Sciences Institute (ICAHSI). As a musician, she uses her voice as a catalyst for the voices of those that are not often heard. Due to her work and studies with traditional healers and cultural artists, coupled with her interest in the biological and psychological healing effects of music, she was invited to perform in India at the request and invitation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the Inaugural Festival of Sacred Chanting and Singing for the commemoration of the Golden Buddha.
Michaelle Goerlitz
Percussionist Michaelle Goerlitz moved to San Francisco in 1980, co-founded two renowned Bay Area bands, the Blazing Redheads and Wild Mango, and has played, recorded, and toured with such artists as Wayne Wallace, Tret Fure, Blame Sally, Holly Near, and Jennifer Berezan.

Sep 23, 2pm to 6pm, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley

Curium Piano Trio

Sep 23, 3pm to 5pm, Maybeck Studio, 1537 Euclid Ave, Berkeley

Five Spot Jazz Quintet featuring Mike Greensill

The band features five musicians who have a deep feel for the jazz tradition. All five could be leaders in their own right. Together the band is even better than the sum of its parts.

Hailing from Dursley, England, pianist Mike Greensill might be best known in the Bay Area as resident piano player on Sedge Thomson's weekly Public Radio show, West Coast Live, as well as his role as musical director to vocalist Wesla Whitfield, with whom he's recorded more then twenty albums. Not just a superlative pianist, he's also a gifted composer. The band showcases Mike's compositions and some tasty vocals too.

Saxophonist Charlie McCarthy's comes from a musical family: his father was an accomplished trombone player in the Bay Area. His playing experience includes many of the greats in jazz, including Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson, George Shearing, Stan Getz, Joe Williams, and many others. He's contributed some adventurous arrangements to the repertoire. He's featured on both tenor saxophone and flute.

Joe Cohen, featured on alto saxophone, is one of the most in-demand players in the Bay Area, with a busy schedule performing locally and on tour as well as studio work. Always the right note at the right time with an impeccable rhythmic feel. In addition to playing soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, Joe plays piano, flute and clarinet. A partial list of notable players he's worked with includes Bobby McFerrin, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Idris Muhammad and Lavay Smith. As well as a distinctive voice on saxophone, Joe contributes to the repertoire.

John Clark, on bass, studied with Ray Brown and Buster Williams and has extensive performing and recording experience both locally and nationally, appearing with Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks, Frank Jackson, the Hot Club of San Francisco, Denise Perrier and Jackie Ryan among many others.

Drummer Jack Dorsey is a first call in the Bay Area and has performed and recorded with Etta James, Jimmy Witherspoon, Lavay Smith and many others.

For this gig, the band has put together a program of original tunes that you won't hear anywhere else and new arrangements of jazz standards. The essence of jazz is originality no matter what the style.

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

Sep 23, 3:30pm to 5pm, The Back Room, 1984 Bonita Ave, Berkeley

Starry Plough Old Time Sessions! @ The Starry Plough Pub

For details, link here:

Sep 23, 4pm to 5pm, The Starry Plough Pub - 3101 Shattuck Avenue - Berkeley

Electric Squeezebox Orchestra

The Electric Squeezebox Orchestra (CJC Resident Artists) is a 17-piece big band led by Erik Jekabson and features many of the best players and arrangers in the Bay Area! They will be appearing Sundays at 5:30 pm through November 18th, with the Luis Manuel Quartet opening at 4:30 on September 16th.

ESO Band Members and Instrumentation: Saxes: Sheldon Brown, Larry Delacruz, Mike Zilber, Marcus Stephens, Charlie Gurke; Trombones: Rob Ewing, Danny Lubin-Laden, Patrick Malabuyo, Rich Lee; Trumpets: Erik Andrews, Erik Jekabson, Darren Johnston, Andrew Stephens; Piano: Steve Blum; Guitar: Jordan Samuels; Bass: Peter Barshay; Drums: Jeff Marrs

Artist Bio: The Electric 18th Orchestra is the Bay Area's own 17-piece big band, led by trumpeter Erik Jekabson, playing music composed and arranged by its members. The composers and arrangers, some of the very best in the Bay, draw from a wide variety of influences but always come up with powerful music with groove, beauty and subtlety. The band, which started a steady Sunday residency at the California Jazz Conservatory in March, has colloborated with a number of special guest artists, including John Santos, Kenny Washington, Alan Ferber, Dayna Stephens, Mads Tolling, Sandy Cressman, Kellye Gray, Avotcja, Spok and Ben Goldberg.

Artist Website:
Facebook Link:
Doors Open: 3:30 PM     Starts: 4:30 PM     Ends: 7:00 PM

Sep 23, 4:30pm to 7pm, Rendon Hall/Fiddler Annex @ California Jazz Conservatory 2040 Addison Street, Berkeley

¡Batey Boricua! Featuring NYC's Redobles de Cultura

Doors open at 4pm / Event begins at 4:30pm
$10 in Advance / $15 at the Door / Children and Youth (under 18): Sliding Scale $5-$10
La Peña Cultural Center and the Bay Area Bomba y Plena Workshop present a very special
¡BATEY BORICUA! featuring REDOBLES de CULTURA from New York City!
The event will feature a community Bombazo jam with the participation Redobles de Cultura and will include a performance by our featured artists.
Plus, we'll have delicious Puerto Rican food for sale: Authentic Boricua flavors by CaliRican Catering!
Redobles de Cultura (RDCNYC) is a collective of top New York City-based Afro-Puerto Rican Bomba practitioners: Julia Gutiérrez-Rivera, Nicky "Caja Dura" Laboy, Nelson Matthew González and Nina Rodriguez. They are proud members of today's "new" and younger generation of Bomberos, cultural workers and educators. Collectively, the RDC ensemble has 50 years of teaching and performing experience, a (View Full Event Description Here:

Sep 23, 4:30pm to 7:30pm, La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Ave. , Berkeley

Vocal Jam Session

The Jazzschool Vocal Department presents a monthly jazz vocal jam session, hosted by Angharad Jones. All are welcome! Singers should bring three copies of their song for the band. Please arrive by 4:00 pm to sign up.

$10 suggested donation at the door

Sep 23, 4:30pm to 6pm, California Jazz Conservatory 2087 Addison St, Berkeley

Mutilations / Bad Idols / As A Friend / It's Butter / Moondrops

The Mutilations
[East Bay Rock n' Roll]

Bad Idols
[Knoxville, TN Punx]

As A Friend
[Newport, TN Indie rock]

It's Butter
[LA indie]

[East Bay indie rock]

[east bay punk]

Doors @ 5pm // Show @ 5:30pm
$8 + $2 Membership
Safe(r) Space Venue: no drugs, alcohol, or bigoted behavior.

924 Gilman Street, Berkeley, California 94710.
An All Ages DIY, Volunteer Run, 501(c)(3) Nonprofit, Music & Art Community Space Since 1986.

Sep 23, 5pm to 10pm, 924 Gilman, 924 Gilman St, Berkeley

Orion's Joy of Jazz and Latin All Stars

The Orion's Joy of Sextet Jazz and Latin Jazz Concerts at Caffe Trieste include "The Best in in the West!!!"

Piano:Steve Mcquarry,Terry Rodriquez,Eugene Pliner,Tony Capricio
Guitars:Dave Bell,Eric Swinderman,Mark Babin,Ray Scott,Tony Corman and Ari Caprow
Vibes;David Casini,
Vocalists: Sandra Smith
Tenor sax :Jim Grantham, Dave Muratake,Joe Kaline
Alto sax /flute:Ruben Salcido
Bari sax Joe Kaline
Trumpets: Gil Cohen John DeBore
Trombone: Rick Brown,Dennis smith
Bass's: Jim Shearer,Attila Medvecsky,Richard Saunders,Carl Herder Jamie Dowd and Joe Mckinley

Sep 23, 5pm to 7pm, Caffè Chiave, 2500 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra
with Wynton Marsalis
and special guest Jon Batiste
Celebrating Duke Ellington

As summer turns to fall, celebrate under the stars in the stunning Greek Theatre, with one of the greatest jazz orchestras in the world! International jazz ambassador, nine-time Grammy winner, and Pulitzer Prize recipient Wynton Marsalis and his legendary Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra transform the magnificent outdoor theater into the biggest-and swinging-est-party in town. The orchestra is joined by charismatic pianist and music director of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert's house band, Jon Batiste, for a program celebrating the legacy of Duke Ellington. Expect the full panorama of Ellingtonia, from early Cotton Club "jump" classics, to dreamy big-band ballads, to selections from the Duke's lushly orchestrated suites.

Tickets start at $50

Sep 23, 5:30pm to 7pm, Greek Theatre

An Evening of Indian Classical Music with Pandit Nirmalya Dey & Pandit Mohan Shyam Sharma

Pandit Nirmalya Dey is a premier exponent of Dagarvani dhrupad, which represents the purest form of North Indian classical music as embodied through the raga system. He learned his art primarily from the great musician and teacher Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar, who taught him the techniques and the subtleties of dhrupad closely and with great affection. Pandit Dey's initial training at an early age was from Prof. Nimaichand Boral, a disciple of Ustad Nasir Moinuddin Dagar. Nirmalya Dey is a Top Grade artiste with All India Radio and with Indian National Television (Doordarshan), and has regularly performed in major music festivals in India and abroad.

Pandit Mohan Shyam Sharma is one of the leading pakhawaj players in India. Mohan Shyam learned the pakhawaj from Pandit Tota Ram Sharma of Mathura, and started his career accompanying Zahiruddin and Faiyazuddin, the junior Dagar Brothers, and the rudra-veena player Ustad Asad Ali Khan, in India and abroad. He has accompanied world-renowned musicians such as Pandit Ravi Shankar, Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia, and Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, and is a much sought-after accompanist in dhrupad and in other genres of Indian classical music.

Tickets are $20 and are available in advance at the link below, or 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!

Sep 23, 7pm to 9pm, The Back Room, 1984 Bonita Ave, Berkeley

Kateland Harte, JJ Mull, and Bonnie Chau

Kateland Harte is a writer of the group and so many people in that group that they have to do the work that you should have it and I will be there for sure if she wants me or I can meet her there and I can do that and I can get it done for her. This bio was written by predictive text.

j.j. Mull is a little poet, writer and bookseller based in Oakland, CA. He has lived in the East Bay for almost a decade, and currently manages Alley Cat Books in San Francisco.

Bonnie Chau is from Southern California, where she ran writing programs at the nonprofit 826LA. She received her MFA in fiction and translation from Columbia University, and has received fellowships and scholarships from Kundiman, the Fine Arts Work Center, ALTA, and Vermont Studio Center. She currently works at an independent bookstore in Brooklyn and is assistant web editor at Poets & Writers. All Roads Lead to Blood is her debut short story collection.

Sep 23, 7pm to 9pm, Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley

Leroy Mabrak (Mabrak showcase)

The members of Mabrak are the international masters of roots, rock, reggae sound and have had hits on the British Charts with ITAL TALK/LIQUID TALK in the mid '70s. Their recordings are well known in Germany, France, and in London. You can also hear them on the Jamaica's Golden Hits, Vol 1 recording doing the gem "Oh Carolina" A Jamaican CLassic from the 1960s.

The Founder and leader Leroy Mabrak was responsible for these musical landmarks, he has also developed the Worlds first electric repeater drum and functions as a resource consultant for drum music at Stanford University. This was the first time in the history of recorded music anywhere in the world when the Talking drum was used as a lead instrument in a song.

They have won four medals for musical composition and arramgement at the World Music Championships 2003, which was held in Burbank, California.

Doors at 7:30pm ; Show at 8pm

$15 Advance ; $18 Day of Show

Sep 23, 8pm to 11pm, Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

Al Di Meola, Jordan Rudess

Al Di Meola

Pioneer of blending world music and jazz, Al Di Meola, has an ongoing fascination with complex rhythmic syncopation combined with provocative lyrical melodies and sophisticated harmony. His celebrated career has spanned four decades and earned him critical accolades, three gold albums and more than six million in record sales worldwide. A bona fide guitar hero, perennial poll-winner (winning more awards than any guitarist living or dead), and prolific composer, he has amassed over 30 albums as a leader while collaborating on more than a dozen or so others with the likes of the fusion supergroup Return to Forever (with Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Lenny White), the celebrated acoustic Guitar Trio featuring fellow virtuosos John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucia, and the Rite of Strings trio with bassist Clarke and violinist Jean-Luc Ponty.

And while his dazzling technique on both acoustic and electric guitars has afforded him regal status among the hordes of fretboard fanatics who regularly flock to his concerts, the depth of Di Meola's writing along with the soulfulness and the inherent lyricism of his guitaristic expression have won him legions of fans worldwide beyond the guitar aficionado set.

A pioneer of blending world music and jazz, going back to early Latin-tinged fusion outings like 1976's Land of the Midnight Sun, 1977's Elegant Gypsy and 1978's Casino, the guitar great continues to explore the rich influence of flamenco, tango, Middle Eastern, Brazilian and African music with his World Sinfonia, an ambitious pan-global group that he formed in 1991. Their exhilarating world music fusion has been documented on such releases as 2000's The Grande Passion (featuring the Toronto Symphony Orchestra), 2007's Live in London, 2011's Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody and the stunning 2012 DVD, Morocco Fantasia (recorded at the Mawazine Festival in Rabat, Morocco and featuring special guests Said Chraibi on oud, Abdellah Meri on violin and Tari Ben Ali on percussion).

Growing up in Bergenfield, NJ with the music of Elvis Presley, The Ventures and The Beatles, Di Meola naturally gravitated to guitar as a youngster and by his early teens was already an accomplished player. Attaining such impressive skills at such a young age didn't come easy for Al, but rather was the result of focused dedication and intensive periods of woodshedding between his junior and senior years in high school. "I used to practice the guitar eight to ten hours a day," he told Down Beat. "And I was trying to find myself, or find the kind of music that suited where I was going with the guitar."

His earliest role models in jazz included guitarists Tal Farlow and Kenny Burrell. But when he discovered Larry Coryell, whom Al would later dub "The Godfather of Fusion," he was taken with the guitarist's unprecedented blending of jazz, blues and rock into one seamless vocabulary on the instrument. "I used to ride the bus from New Jersey to see him at little clubs in Greenwich Village," he recalls. "Wherever he was playing, I'd be there." In 1972, Al enrolled at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and by the second semester there began playing in a fusion quartet led by keyboardist Barry Miles. When a gig tape of that band was later passed on to Chick Corea by a friend of Al's in 1974, the 19 year-old guitarist was tapped to join Corea's fusion supergroup Return to Forever as a replacement for guitarist Bill Connors.

After three landmark recordings with Return to Forever -- 1974's Where Have I Known You Before, 1975's Grammy Award winning No Mystery and 1976's Romantic Warrior -- the group disbanded and Al subsequently started up his career as a solo artist. His 1976 debut as a leader, Land of the Midnight Sun, was a blazing showcase of his signature chops and Latin-tinged compositions that featured a stellar cast including drummers Steve Gadd and Lenny White, bassist Anthony Jackson and Jaco Pastorius, keyboardists Jan Hammer, Barry Miles and Chick Corea and percussionist Mingo Lewis. Over the course of six more albums with Columbia Records - Elegant Gypsy, Casino, Splendido Hotel, Electric Rendezvous, Tour De Force and Scenario - Al established himself as an influential force in contemporary music.

1980 marked the triumph of the acoustic guitar trio with Paco De Lucia and John McLaughlin. Their debut recording on Columbia Records, Friday Night in San Francisco, became a landmark recording that surpassed the four million mark in sales. The following year, 1981, Di Meola was inducted into Guitar Player's Gallery of Greats after five consecutive wins as Best Jazz Guitarist in the magazine's Readers Poll and winning best album and acoustic guitarist for a total of a record eleven wins. The three virtuosos in the trio toured together from 1980 through 1983, releasing the studio album Passion, Grace & Fire in 1982. In 1995, they reunited for a third recording, Guitar Trio, follow by another triumphant world tour.

In early 1996, Di Meola formed a new trio with the violinist Jean Luc Ponty and RTF bandmate Stanley Clarke called The Rite of Strings. Their self-titled debut was released in 1995. Di Meola subsequently recorded with the likes of opera superstar Luciano Pavarotti, pop stars Paul Simon, classical guitarist Manuel Barrueco, and Italian pop star Pino Daniele. Over the course of his career, he has also worked and recorded with Phil Collins, Carlos Santana, Steve Winwood, Wayne Shorter, Tony Williams, Herbie Hancock, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Milton Naciemento, Egberto Gismonti, Stevie Wonder, Les Paul, Jimmy Page, Steve Vai, Frank Zappa and Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba.

Di Meola's 2013 release All Your Life was an acoustic tour de force that had him revisiting the music of a seminal influence - The Beatles. "I really credit the Beatles for the reason why I play guitar," he says. "That was a major catalyst for me to want to learn music, so their impact was pretty strong." A virtual one man show of virtuosity, it features the guitar great interpreting 14 familiar Beatles tunes in the stripped-down setting of strictly acoustic guitar.

While currently juggling acoustic tours in Europe and electric tours in the United States, Di Meola arrives at the perfect marriage of the two aesthetics on his latest album, 2015's Elysium, which finds the guitar great blending the lush tones of his nylon string Conde Hermanos acoustic prototype model and a '71 Les Paul electric (his Return to Forever and Elegant Gypsy axe) in a collection of songs that are at once invigorating and alluring. "It represents a new composition phase for me, whereby the writing became, in a sense, my therapy during a challenging personal transition in my life," he said.

Di Meola is currently on tour in Europe and North America. In 2015, he was honored as the 22nd recipient of the Montreal Jazz Festival's Miles Davis Award, created in 1994 to honor a great international jazz musician for the entire body of his or her work and for that musician's influence in regenerating the jazz idiom.

During a 40-plus year career marked by hugely influential recordings and worldwide tours, Di Meola has regenerated the jazz idiom three times over while dedicating himself to his art. And at age 63, this guitar hero seems inspired to begin a new chapter in his career with the release of OPUS (EAR Music) in February 2017.

Jordan Rudess (born on November 4, 1956) is an American virtuoso keyboardist best known as a member of the progressive metal band Dream Theater and the progressive rock group Liquid Tension Experiment.

Sep 23, 8pm to 11pm, The UC Theatre Taube Family Music Hall, 2036 University Avenue, near Downtown Berkeley BART, Berkeley, CA, 94704