Berkeley Arts Festival Calendar


Noon Concert: UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra *Note: actual end time may vary.*

David Milnes, music director
Bethany Lee, piano
SAINT-SAÃ<NS Piano Concerto No. 5
SAINT-SAÃ<NS Danse Macabre

Continuing its 66th season, the Noon Concert series features the Music Department's varied and diverse performance activities. Inaugurated in 1953, these concerts are very popular and well attended by those on campus and in the wider community. Traditionally on Wednesdays and Fridays, each concert begins promptly at 12:15 and ends by 1pm.

Oct 31, 12 noon to 1pm, Hertz Concert Hall

Stitch 'n Bitch

Oct 31, 6pm to 9pm, Caffè Chiave, 2500 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

Craig & MacGregor Band

Join The Craig & MacGregor Band for an evening of "Not Just Jazz," cheap drinks, good friends, and complimentary food from Bacheesos on Telegraph. Bar opens at 6:30pm | Music

Oct 31, 7pm to 11pm, The Marsh Cabaret, 2120 Allston Way, Berkeley

Jazz in the Neighborhood Presents...Rhonda Benin

Vocalist Rhonda Benin breezes in with her unique combination of jazz, blues, and soul with a show featuring the tunes of Stevie Wonder and Bill Withers, along with Rhonda's original songs and some special "Halloween tunes". "Rhonda Benin is a tremendously assured singer who inhabits the celebratory zone where jazz, soul and blues meet."

Rhonda Benin - vocal
Tammy Hall - piano
Geechi Taylor - trumpet
Ruth Davies - bass
Alcide Marshall - drums

Jazz in the Neighborhood presents its Wednesday night series at CJC with financial support from AFM Musicians Union Local 6.

Oct 31, 7:30pm to 9:30pm, Rendon Hall/Fiddler Annex @ California Jazz Conservatory 2040 Addison Street, Berkeley

Halloween Dance Party & Salsa Class!

The evening starts off with a beginners salsa dance class from 8pm-9pm, followed by TWO sets of LIVE SALSA MUSIC by Orquesta La Peña - directed by Josh Jones! The band will perform songs from your favorite salsa artists including Eddie Palmieri, Beny Moré, the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, El Canario, Celia Cruz and many more. Make sure to come dressed in your Halloween best to participate in our costume contest!

This is an ALL AGES event! Beginners are welcome!

Doors open @ 7:45pm / Salsa dance class @ 8pm / Live salsa music @ 9pm
$10 Advance / $15 Door

Oct 31, 7:45pm to 11pm, La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley

The Austin Lounge Lizards

The Austin Lounge Lizards are arguably the perfect pairing of their hometown's slogan, "Live Music Capital of the World," and its unofficial motto, "Keep Austin Weird." Since 1980, the Lizards have been spoofing topics American families try to avoid at the Thanksgiving table: subjects like politics, religion, romance, and themselves. With pointed lyrics, precise harmonies and instrumental expertise, the band has become legendary for its satirical skewering through song.

The Lizards originated in 1976 in New Jersey, when Hank Card (vocals, rhythm guitar) and Conrad Deisler (vocals, lead guitar, mandolin) met as mutual history majors at Princeton University and started songwriting together. Following graduation, both Hank, a native Oklahoman, and Conrad, a Tex-Cali-Connecticut-Venezuelan, ended up in Austin. University of Georgia philosophy graduate and banjo/dobro player Tom Pittman completed the founding-troubadour trifecta in 1980, and the Austin Lounge Lizards was born.

Oct 31, 8pm to 10pm, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Relive this cult classic on screen, complete with the Bay Area's premier live cast, Barely Legal! Sweethearts Janet and Brad stumble upon the flirtatious mad scientist, Dr. Frank-N-Furter's, bizarre abode during his annual Transylvanian science convention. Audience participation is expected. Burlesque show included, plus prizes for best costumes.

Oct 31, 8pm to 11pm, The UC Theatre Taube Family Music Hall, 2036 University Avenue, near Downtown Berkeley BART, Berkeley

Halloween Flamenco Fiesta featuring Miguel Infante, Melissa Cruz, Ricardo Diaz, Senen Sentio, and LoCura

Doors at 8:00 pm;
Event from 8:30 pm - 2am
Tickets are $15 Early Bird (until Oct 19)/$20 Advance / $25 Day of Show
Music and dance performances start at 8:30, followed by sevillana/bulerias dance-off competition. Performances resume at 9:30pm, with LoCura at 10:30pm.

Buy Tickets Here

The Halloween Flamenco Fiesta is Juerga style, featuring Flamenco artists from Spain and the Bay Area, coming together to share and showcase Spanish Flamenco traditions and Oakland Flamenco fusion, and celebrate Halloween with master performers, a sevillanas/bulerias dance-off, a costume contest, a Latin DJ and a celebration of the roots and branches of the incredible cultural heritage of Flamenco.

Raffle prizes include workshops with Miguel and Senen, gift cards, show tickets, spa massage, and T-Shirts.

Miguel Infante is a flamenco dancer, choreographer, and teacher from Málaga, Spain, located on the southern tip and Mediterranean coast of Andalusia. He began his professional career with mentors of the stature of Merche Esmeralda, José Ruíz, Manuel Reyes, Antonio Reyes, Paco Romero, Rafael del Carmen, Fran Espinos, and Andrés Peña.
He was most recently principal dancer of legendary Spanish guitarist Juan Martín's Flamenco Dance Ensemble and has toured internationally all over Europe and North America.

Mr. Infante is described as, "...a festero to the core:  part percussionist, part singer, part dancer, and all artist, integrated and inseparable.  He is spontaneous and full of charisma, communicating passion through his music and dance wherever he finds himself, be it at a local bar, in the kitchen, at a private party, or on stage."

Melissa Cruz is a Bay Area-based flamenco professional and has been a full-time flamenco artist and instructor for the past 14 years. After being exposed to flamenco while studying Spanish at UC Berkeley, she began dancing with Rosa Montoya and soon thereafter, joined Ms. Montoya's professional company. Apart from frequently performing in theatrical presentations, she teaches a full weekly schedule of flamenco dance classes and presents consistently in the local flamenco cabaret circuit. Melissa is also the dancer and percussionist for the band, LoCura, with who she performs and tours. Recently, she served as Adjunct Dance Faculty at The University of San Francisco, as a guest instructor at the world dance youth program, Danceversity, and currently presents her own apprentice dance repertory group. Melissa has performed as a soloist in the San Francisco International Arts Festival in 2012 and 2016 and has presented in eight San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festivals; in 2010 and 2011, as a featured soloist. She was commissioned to present a solo representing the genre of flamenco in the 2013 San Francisco Isadora Duncan Awards Ceremony and was a featured artist in the 2014 Tucson Flamenco Festival. Currently, she is principal dancer and choreographer for the San Francisco Flamenco Dance Company which debuted the show, "Mares" in September 2016. As described by Rachel Howard of the SF Chronicle: "Any dancer could make pained faces. But Cruz is clearly possessed by the duende -- the spirit that drives this deeply introspective art."

San Francisco flamenco guitarist Ricardo Diaz is an internationally renowned artist who has worked with Flamenco Dance Companies in San Francisco, with Carola Zertuche and TeatroFlamenco, Caterina Costa in Rome, and Yjastros in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He performed in Seville, Spain, in Pena Torres Macarena, El Chozas and Cerro del Aguila and also played in several Festivals around the world, including Grenoble, Vancouver, Albuquerque, Avignon, Calgary and Mont de Marsan in France. Ricardo performed with world-renowned Flamenco artists La Tania, Alejandro Granados, Jesus Montoya, Jose Anillo, Juan Requena, Pastora Galvan, Canito, Alegria Suarez, Rafael Amargo, David Lagos and Andres Marin.

Born in Huelva, Andalucia in 1977, Senen Sentio began exploring Cante Jondo 30 years ago (traditional flamenco singing).  This takes him to the Academy of flamenco singer Esperanza Fernandez.  With her, he began to become fond of the sociocultural, gypsy and Andalusian expression. In each style of cante, there is an introduction, an explanation of the purpose for them.  This happens through personal anecdotes and stories and other expressions, which is intended to be a journey of the soul from where we can feel free from the social realities that affect us.

A fan of great latin american singers like Silvio Rivera, Pablo Milanes, Chavela Vargas, Mercedes Sosa and Victor Jara.  Esperanza Fernandez guides him into the passionate universe of the Cante Flamenco with the compas and ritmo (beat and rhythm).  In the process of making flamenco `his', He studied history of flamenco.  His knowledge makes him great for workshops, teaching flamenco, as a historical and cultural legacy from Andalucia and the gypsies.

During his 7 year residency in Barcelona, he had the opportunity to continue to learn and internalize the melody and the flamenco beat with Maestro Juan Miguel Cerro in Taller de Musica y del Esmuc. He is presently on tour, which began last February in California, later taking him to Mexico and Guatemala.

Senen has created several flamenco recitals with various artists (Ricardo Diaz, Juan Moro, Victor Rosell, Jose Juan Trespalacios, Alfredo Millan, Joselillo Campos, Phillip Adie, Anoush Saadat, Paul Boudauder, Steve Bertelli, Juanma "El Churrero", etc). In other shows he has been accompanied by bailaoras (flamenco dancers) such as Rakel de Luna, Vanesa Galvez "La Lirio", Ruth Quesada, etc.  These flamenco recitals and shows aim to take the audience in a voyage where the music and the diverse expression that comes from the innermost place of our being

Oakland-based LoCura has crafted their own unique musical identity: "Califas Mestizo Music," a blend of Latin American and Iberian rhythms such as rumba, cumbia, salsa and flamenco influenced by punk rock, ska, rap, dub, reggae, dancehall with local and global lyrical themes. The band's name ("it cures it") reflects their ethos of making music a remedy, a theme which permeates lyrics such as "la cultura cura la locura (culture cures the madness)."

With three powerhouse women at the helm, their live shows are a soul-stirring punk-edged party mixing cajon-driven rhythms with mutilingual lyrics that reflect the unique intersection of cultures in the Bay Area. Ana Tijoux meets Manu Chao with a touch of Lhasa.

Spanish-American vocalist Kata Miletich, expanding on the group's influences, notes "one big inspiration for the ways we consciously and unconsciously connect different music is this idea that styles and rhythms travel from Africa, Europe stretching across the Americas and mixing with indigenous sounds. Culture is alive in so many different ways, and shows up in different places to tell a story."

LoCura has toured the U.S, Canada, Nicaragua, Mexico and Spain playing music festivals and sharing the stage with artists such as Bombino, La Cuneta Son Machin, Ziggy Marley, Beats Antique, Quetzal, and Nortec Collective. In the California Bay Area they have opened for Sergio Mendes, La Santa Cecilia, The Seshen & Bomba Estereo and have sold out The Great American Music Hall and The Independent in San Francisco. LoCura has released three full length albums and is currently writing and recording music for their fourth album.

Oct 31, 8:30pm to 11:59pm, Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

Midtown Social, Sal's Greenhouse, Lil Elephant

Midtown Social

It's time to stretch, hydrate, and double-knot your dancing shoes, because The Bay Area's favorite soul party band, Midtown Social, is back with their first full-length release. Midtown Social's freshly squeezed blend of California soul, funk, and rock is downright irresistible. Midtown Social is a nine-piece tour-de- force. But it's more than just a band. Together, these nine musicians are a collaborative community of writers, arrangers and artists. When they're on stage, they invite you into the family.

The Midtown mission is to spread the message of positive social change through art and music. As rates of eviction and homelessness soared due to technology-driven corporate gentrification across the Bay Area, Midtown Social began hosting charitable fundraisers following the release of their debut EP Down On Sixth, including one for the Homeless Youth Alliance.

With San Francisco and Oakland flush with tech money but wracked by police violence and deepening social tensions, the band decided their next release should stand as a voice for the people. Midtown Social documents the struggle to make art in a city and a society divided against itself. The record is inspired by the determination to push onward: Midtown Social serves up food for hungry souls-fuel for a revolution of free, open and creative thought.

Written and recorded as the Bay Area artistic community continued its exodus amid evictions and club closures, Midtown Social speaks with the voices of a generation that understands the power and beauty of its diversity. Each track represents a sound or aesthetic representative of that community by drawing upon the colorful musical impulses that compose it.

Recorded at John Vanderslice's magical, all-analog Tiny Telephone in Oakland with engineer Jamie Riotto, the record captures Midtown Social's raw live sound without any unnecessary ornamentation.

Deeply inspiring and guaranteed to make you sweat just as much as it makes you think, Midtown Social presents a message of solidarity and hope, voiced by a community of people who are as diverse, bold, authentic, and vulnerable as the community in which they were forged. Midtown Social asks us all to come together, to find common ground, love and camaraderie, to fight for our communities, way of life, and rights-and to stand together as one.

Sal's Greenhouse
Bay Area vocal powerhouse and baritone saxophonist, Sally Green formed her band, Sal's Greenhouse to get the listeners shaking and showcase her more than considerable talents in an original music setting.

Sal's Greenhouse built an impressive body of original music with a varied blend of influences like Nikka Costa, Brand New Heavies, Sharon Jones, and many more, resulting in a completely unique and original funky and soulful sound that feels good and moves its fast growing audience.

Lil Elephant

Sick licks.
Poetic stories.
Flamboyant Exuberance.

Three phrases that describe Oakland based Lil' Elephant - comprised of Adam Hughes, Edwin Rhodes, Connor Lonsdale, and Kevin Goldberg. They evoke a youthful and unique sound.

2018 saw the release of their first EP, Electromagnetism; its five songs contemplating the power of love, the complexities of relationships, and journeys of personal transformation.

Oct 31, 8:30pm to 11:30pm, Cornerstone, 2367 Shattuck Ave (Enter On Durant), Berkeley