Berkeley Arts Festival Calendar


North Berkeley Jazz Quartet

North Berkeley Jazz Quartet

May 25, 11:45am to 2:45pm, Cheese Board Pizza 1512 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA

46th Annual Belly Dancer of the Year Competition

Saturday, May 25th, the afternoon competition begins at approximately 1:30pm, and the evening competition begins at 6:30pm.

Join us Memorial Day Weekend for the 46th Annual Belly Dancer of the Year Competition! Some of the best professional belly dancers from around the country will compete for titles and cash prizes in classic and fusion categories. The afternoon competition begins at approximately 1:30pm, and the evening competition at 6:30pm.

Special tickets available to Hillside Club members. Members contact manager for information:
This event sells out soon so be sure to get your tickets!

May 25, 1:30pm to 9:30pm, Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar St, Berkeley

West African Drumming Workshop Series with Mohamed Lamine Bangoura

2nd and 4th Saturday's:
October 13th, October 27th,
November 10th, November 24th,
and December 8th

Time: 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Cost: $125 for all 5 classes in series, or $30/class
Location: Ashkenaz Music and Dance Community Center
1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA
RSVPs greatly appreciated.

Enrich your understanding of traditional West African Rhythms with Master Drummer (Djembefola) and artistic director, Mohamed Lamine Bangoura. Lamine has a deep wealth of knowledge & experience; his energy is unique and unparalleled!! Through his music, Lamine's passion for preserving the history and traditions is revealed through his open hearted eagerness to share his culture. This is an incredible opportunity to study with this master artist, rounding out your understanding of these complex polyrhythms.

In this mixed level drum workshop you'll glimpse into the true spirit of Africa, from the energetic rhythms to Lamine's heartfelt appreciation for this ancient instrument as a tool for human connection and language.

Join us!!!

Bring your drum if you have one! If you need a drum to use for class please message in advance. Drum rental fee = $5/class

May 25, 3:30pm to 5:30pm, Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

VL Trio

Vission Latina trio is a unique group of virtuoso musicians who have stripped down their music to a minimalist sound, exposing the threads that weave together the complex rhythms of Cuban music.

May 25, 4:45pm to 7:45pm, Cheese Board Pizza 1512 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA

Third Saturday Possum Family Singers @ The Starry Plough Pub

For details, link here:

May 25, 5pm to 7pm, The Starry Plough Pub - 3101 Shattuck Avenue - Berkeley, CA 94

Ken Korach and Susan Slusser: Stories from the Oakland A's

If These Walls Could Talk: Oakland A's: Stories from the Oakland A's Dugout, Locker Room, and Press Box

Throughout their history, the Oakland Athletics have been one of the most audacious and individual franchises in all of baseball. As the longtime radio voice of the A's, Ken Korach has called countless improbable, unforgettable moments. As the San Francisco Chronicle's veteran beat reporter, Susan Slusser has become the preeminent scribe of the A's modern era. Both have witnessed more than their share of team history up close and personal. In If These Walls Could Talk: Oakland A's, Korach and Slusser provide insight into the A's inner sanctum as only they can. Readers will gain the perspective of players, coaches, and front office executives in times of greatness as well as defeat, making for a keepsake no fan will want to miss.

May 25, 7pm to 8pm, Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley

Customers / DancePartyBoys / Indieachi / Swells / TeleVicious

The Customers
Dance Party Boys band
indieachi (SLO)
Tele Vicious
Doors $8 + $2 membership.
safe(r) space venue: no drugs, alcohol, or bigoted behavior.
An All Ages DIY, Volunteer Run, 501(c)(3) Nonprofit, Music & Art Community Space Since 1986.

May 25, 7pm to 11:59pm, 924 Gilman, 924 Gilman St, Berkeley

The Kelly Park Big Band

Come enjoy this high-energy, original music big band!

Alto sax: Hermann Lara
Alto sax: Melissa Williams
Tenor sax: Bert Carelli
Tenor sax: Brenda Thompson
Baritone sax: Michael Peloquin
Trumpet: Paul Giorsetto
Trumpet: John Christensen
Trumpet: Daniel Radhikrishna
Trumpet: Stephen Saxon
Trombone: Rick Brown
Trombone: Charles Hamilton
Trombone: Kevin Costa Bass
Trombone: Leonard Nelson
Piano: Tom Suczek
Bass: Marc Levine
Drums: Kelly Park

Led by former Berklee College of Music faculty member Kelly Park, the Kelly Park Big Band is a 16 piece jazz ensemble that features original music and original arrangements. The music is written by members of the band and they have developed their unique sound and repertoire playing as the house big band at the Sound Room in Oakland for the last 4 years. Mr. Park holds a Bachelor's Degree in Jazz Composition and Arranging from Berklee and was greatly influenced by his friendship with the late great Thad Jones, who he met while living in Denmark. The band is high energy and creative, the music challenging and inventive, one of the premier Bay Area big bands! Facebook Link

May 25, 8pm to 10pm, Rendon Hall/Fiddler Annex @ California Jazz Conservatory 2040 Addison Street, Berkeley

Cris Williamson, Barbara Higbie, and Teresa Trull

"The first time I heard Cris' music, it was like hearing honey dripped on a cello... Cris has been a whole lot of women's heroes -- including mine." - Bonnie Raitt

Decades before women had any real access to the music industry, Cris Williamson was busy changing the face, and challenging the very structure, of popular music. In 1975, the twenty-something former school teacher recorded The Changer and the Changed,for her brainchild, Olivia Records, the first woman-owned woman-focused record company.

Her music and voice quickly became an essential part of the soundtrack of a movement, and was the cornerstone of what would become known as "women's music," music created, performed, and marketed specifically for and by women. Today, that recording, The Changer and the Changed, remains one of the best-selling independent releases of all time.

Berkeley's Barbara Higbie is a master of piano and violin who combines technical brilliance with the pure joy of playing. Her unique compositions weave together elements of jazz, folk, and classical with the music of Ghana and Brazil. Oh, and she also sings like a dream. She has been nominated for a Grammy award, won Bammy awards, performed on more than 65 albums, including one with Santana, one with Linda Tillery and Laurie Lewis, and three with Montreux, the band she co-founded with Darol Anger. Her latest album, Scenes From Life, is an all-instrumental collection featuring 13 new originals, that Singout! calls "highly recommended" and critic Andrew Gilbert describes as "gorgeously cinematic." In the words of the Los Angeles Times, Barbara is a "jolt of bright sunlight" - and everyone in the audience feels her warmth.

Teresa Trull is a vocal dynamo who sings with fearless intensity, as well as an accomplished producer of more than 30 albums. The San Francisco Chronicle has called her "absolutely magnificent," and the Sunday Oregonian describes her in performance as "needle sharp." She has shared the stage with such artists as Sheila E., David Sanborn, and Joan Baez, and recorded half a dozen albums, including wonderful collaborations with Cris Williamson and with Barbara Higbie.

May 25, 8pm to 10pm, Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley

4th Saturday Swing with LoneStar Retrobates plus Dance Lesson with Cheryl McBride and Michael Marangio

A Swing at Ashkenaz Production

The Lone Star Retrobates is a boot-scootin' wingtips-flyin' dance band specializing in authentic West Coast Swing. If Jazz is America's musical taproot, then this roadhouse-swing fusion is its west-facing branch.

Featuring trumpet, sax, twin fiddles, both standard and pedal steel guitars, drums and standup bass, rich four- and five-part vocal harmonies and even trick yodeling on demand, the Retrobates sashay from hot swing to honkytonk. Let's say Ella and The Inkspots were to gig with Billy Jack Wills at the corner of Louis Jordan and Ray Price, and say Johnny Mercer and the Pied Pipers were sitting in - that's the Retrobates in a nutshell. Oh, and with laughing gas piped in - these guys have a lot of fun.

The Retrobates show pleases all comers: retro-roots for the youth, jump-boogie for the hipsters, classic swing with new arrangements for granddad, and good tight original arrangements and vocal harmony for the many musicians who like to drop by and sit in on their shows. If they are not zootin' it they'll like as not be rootin'-tootin' it or sliding easy-like into a belt buckle polisher.

Doors at 7:30 pm; Dance lesson with Cheryl McBride and Michael Marangio at 8:00 pm; Show at 9:00 pm
Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 Day of Show

May 25, 8pm to 11:59pm, Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

The Clifton Street Regulars

The Clifton Street Regulars are a jazz quintet that has been playing jazz around the San Francisco Bay Area since 2013. Exploring swing, blues, latin and bop, the Clifton Street Regulars play a variety of songs from the jazz standards catalog.

May 25, 8pm to 10pm, Caffè Chiave, 2500 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

Brother Yusef: the King of Organic, Deep Fried, Fattback Blues

Brother Yusef is a master solo blues guitarist and passionate vocalist. His raw and authentic performances have been honed over thirty years into a style he calls "fattback blues," for its rich mix of Delta, Chicago, and Texas blues, alongside a hard-driving Louisiana stomp. With many influences, he takes audiences on an exuberant musical journey, from a backwoods juke joint to the fiery emotions of the sanctified church.

Brother Yusef has gained worldwide recognition through performances at music festivals, dance events and concerts; he was a featured performer at the Downtown Disney Resort in Anaheim, California (2001 - 2016), and has released 7 albums, including his most recent release, I Got The Blues: 10 Years Of Fattback Blues 1999 to 2009. Brother Yusef approaches the blues from a musical, spiritual and social context. He says, "For African Americans, blues has been about survival, healing, and freedom, and I'm pleased to be a part of this tradition."

Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Children under 12 are free. 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!

May 25, 8pm to 10pm, The Back Room Music, 1984 Bonita Ave, Berkeley