Berkeley Arts Festival Calendar


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."

May 26, 11am to 1pm, Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702, USA

String Quartet Sundays featuring "The Town"

May 26, 1pm to 3pm, The Musical Offering Cafe, 2430 Bancroft Way, Berkeley

NewBlue Soul Jazz

May 26, 2pm to 3pm, Artis Coffee, 1717 4th Street, Berkeley

Electric Squeezebox Orchestra (CJC Resident Artists)

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 June (except March 17, April 14 and June 9) with special guest appearances.
Berkeley High School Combo A opens for ESO

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

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 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.

May 26, 4:30pm to 6:30pm, Rendon Hall/Fiddler Annex @ California Jazz Conservatory 2040 Addison Street, Berkeley

"Lost Illusions" | A Reading Group with Ken Knabb

Please join us in reading and discussing Balzac's great novel Lost Illusions. We will be gathering every other Sunday at 4:30-7:00 p.m. around the Big Table in the back of the bookstore for six meetings (March 17 & 31, April 14 & 28, & 26), then we'll move on to the next works in our series.* We will be using the translation by Kathleen Raine (Modern Library paperback). The bookstore will have copies for purchase. Participation is free, but donations of $10 or so per meeting are suggested to help support the bookstore, which provides us with a pleasant meeting space and complimentary wine, sandwiches, and cookies. For more information, please contact Ken Knabb -- * * * "Balzac is the epic poet of the barbarous age of industrial commercial civilization, what Marx called the period of primitive accumulation. "[Both authors] even have certain emotional and personality traits in common. Both are daemonic writers driven by prophetic fury into

May 26, 4:30pm to 7pm,

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

May 26, 4:30pm to 5:30pm, California Jazz Conservatory, 2087 Addison St, Berkeley

Orion's Awesome Joy of Jazz sextet and Latin Concert Party

May 26, 5pm to 8pm, Caffè Chiave, 2500 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

Pathogens/Middle-Aged Queers/Unpopular Opinion/Rattus Invictus

Sunday night punk show @ Gilman!
-The Pathogens (bay area punk supergroup- euro tour homecoming!)
-Middle-Aged Queers (queercore x-The Cost, Fang, Flipper, Wet-Nap, Yaphet Kotto)
-Unpopular Opinion (redwood city indie/pop punk)
-Rattus Invictus (SF hardcore)
$10 NOTAFLOF/doors
No drinking/drugs, no bigotry, no fucked up behavior Show up early and volunteer!

May 26, 7pm to 10pm, 924 Gilman St, Berkeley

Sun Valley Players Shostakovich, Beethoven & Bach

The Berkeley Hillside Club is excited to host the return of the Sun Valley Players, an ensemble of virtuoso musicians, to our Concert Series. They will be performing one of Beethoven's Late Quartets, the Shostakovich Quartet No. 14, the Bach Cello Suite No. 2, and more. And there's a secret ... this super-group are all mild-mannered members of the San Francisco Symphony, including Assistant Concertmaster Jeremy Constant, and Assistant Principal cellist Amos Yang, as well as violinist Polina Sedukh and violist Adam Smyla. Joining them for this concert will be double bassist Charles Chandler. Don't miss these world-class artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.

The Sun Valley Players are:
Jeremy Constant - violin
Polina Sedukh - violin
Adam Smyla - viola
Amos Yang - cello
and special guest
Charles Chandler - double bass

The Concert: In the early 17th century Johanne Sebastian Bach wrote six suites for unaccompanied cello that today are considered to be among the most profound works in all of classical music. Because they are technically demanding these solo pieces were little known and rarely publicly performed until they were revived and recorded by Pablo Casals in the early 20th century. The brilliant Amos Yang will perform a version of the Cello Suite No. 2 with the addition of a double bass part, accompanied by Charles Chandler.

In the last several years of his life, Ludwig van Beethoven created a series of six string quartets of surpassing beauty, subtlety, and sophistication. These pieces have become known as the "Late Quartets." At the time of their composition, however, Beethoven's contemporaries didn't know what to make of them; one commented that "we know there is something there, but we do not know what it is." Composer and conductor Louis Spohr called them "indecipherable, uncorrected horrors." Since that time, however, these works have become revered by generations musicians, scholars, and listeners alike. For this concert the Sun Valley Players will be performing one of these venerated works, the Grosse Fuge, Op. 133. Beethoven originally composed this mammoth piece as the final movement of his String Quartet #13, Op 130, but it was longer than all the other movements of Op. 130 put together so his publisher convinced him to turn in into a separate work. It stands alone as fresh and modern as it did when it was written.

The Dmitri Shostakovich's Quartet No. 14 is considered the most accessible of Shostakovich's late quartets. The words "late quartets" evoke those works of Beethoven which share many qualities with the Shostakovich Quartets: refinement of the composer's musical language and process as well as experimentation in musical form, whether toward complexity or simplicity; the result being an intensely personal idiom, recondite and eloquent for those who will listen.

The Program:
Cello Suite No.2 in d minor, BWV 100 - J.S.Bach / Shinji Eshima (with double bass accompaniment)

Synchronicity - Andres Martin (for violincello & double bass)

Grosse Fuge, Op. 133 - L.V. Beethoven

String Quartet No. 14 Op. 142 - D. Shostakovich

About the Artists:
After winning the Grand Prize in the 1979 Du Maurier competition in Canada, violinist Jeremy Constant studied in New York with Ivan Galamian and then with the great violinist Itzhak Perlman before making the San Francisco Bay Area his home. He became a member of the San Francisco Symphony in 1984, with whom he continues to perform as Assistant Concertmaster. He has been Concertmaster of the Marin Symphony since 1994 and in 2000 was named Concertmaster of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. He is a frequent soloist with the orchestra and participant in the Edgar M. Bronfman Chamber Series. As an active soloist and chamber musician both here and abroad, Jeremy has performed on radio and television around the world. He was violinist in the San Francisco Piano Trio, and a founding member of the Navarro Trio and Navarro Quartet. He can be heard as Assistant Concertmaster on Grammy Award winning releases such as the continuing Mahler cycle by the San Francisco Symphony and can been seen on their ongoing television project Keeping Score. Jeremy plays the ex-Heberlein Stradivarius from the year 1700, which was donated to the San Francisco Symphony for his exclusive use. Residing in Oakland with his wife Sharon, Jeremy is a pilot who took over 7 years to build a plane which he currently enjoys flying.

Born to a family of musicians in St. Petersburg, Russia, Polina Sedukh began studying violin at the age of four, her first teachers being her father Grigory Sedukh and Savely Shalman. She is a graduate of Special Music School of the St. Petersburg Conservatory, and the Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory, where she studied under the guidance of Lev Ivaschenko and Vladimir Ovtcharek. She also holds Artist Diploma from Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA, where she studied with Laura Bossert and Malcolm Lowe. Prizewinner of the International Spohr Competition in Weimar, Germany, Ms. Sedukh made her solo orchestral debut at the age of seven with the Chamber Orchestra of Liepaya, Latvia and has since appeared as soloist with St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra, Boston Virtuosi Orchestra, St.Petersburg Capella Symphony Orchestra, Newton Symphony Orchestra and Weimer State Capella Orchestra. Following her passion for symphonic music, Ms. Sedukh pursued career in major American orchestras, presently being a member of 2nd violin section of San Francisco Symphony since 2009, and having previously served as a member of Boston Symphony Orchestra from 2004 to 2007.

At age 17, violist Adam Smyla won the first prize at the National Viola Competition in his native Poland. Within six months, he became the youngest member of the Polish National Radio and Television Orchestra and was invited to join the Penderecki String Quartet with whom he toured throughout the world for nearly a decade. Adam was Assistant Principal Violist of the Chicago Lyric Opera and Principal Violist of the Concertanti di Chicago before becoming a member of the San Francisco Symphony in 2000. Adam appears frequently in chamber music concerts throughout the Bay Area, often in collaboration with his wife, pianist Edna Koren.

Amos Yang is the Assistant Principal cellist for the San Francisco Symphony. He has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the U.S., the Far East and Europe. He has also collaborated in chamber music with the Ying Quartet, the Turtle Island String Quartet, pianists Ann Schein and Melvin Chen, violinist Earl Carlyss and composer Bright Sheng. Yang's awards include the Performer's Certificate at Eastman School of Music and first prizes in the American String Teacher's Association and Grace Vamos competitions. He was finalist in the Pierre Fournier International Cello Competition and was awarded the CD Jackson Prize at the Tanglewood Music Festival for outstanding musical contribution. As cellist of the Maia String Quartet from 1996-2002, Yang was involved in many educational programs, performing throughout the country for schools under the auspices of such organizations as Arts Excel, Young Audiences Inc. and the Midori Foundation. During this time he also served on the faculties of the Peabody Conservatory, the University of Iowa, Grinnell College and the Interlochen Advanced String Quartet Institute. Yang holds bachelor's and master's degrees from the Juilliard School of Music. Before joining the San Francisco Symphony, Yang was a member of the Seattle Symphony, maintaining a private teaching studio as well as cultivating an active solo and chamber music life. Born and raised in San Francisco, he was a member of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra and San Francisco Boys Choir.

Info: 510-845-1350 Admission: $20 general, $15 seniors & students, $10 Hillside Club members

May 26, 7pm to 8pm, The Berkeley Hillside Club 2286 Cedar Street Berkeley

Marty Stuart And His Fabulous Superlatives

We are SOLD OUT of Advance Tickets to this show. Standing Room Only tickets will be available for purchase after 7 pm on the night of the show.

May 26, 7pm to 9pm, Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley

George Kahn Quartet - Straight Ahead

When a young musician's sources of inspiration are jazz greats like Dave Brubeck, Ramsey Lewis, Joe Sample, Vince Guaraldi and Wynton Kelly, you'd figure that his own music would turn out to be pretty special - and in the case of jazz pianist and composer George Kahn, you'd be right. His music captures the feel of the West Coast Jazz scene of the '50s and '60s, but with a contemporary edge.

Kahn is a Los Angeles-based jazz pianist and has released nine self-produced CDs. His 2010 release - Secrets From the Jazz Ghetto - is a 2-CD set featuring seven new tracks and a retrospective of George's original compositions. The newest release, George Kahn Trio - Straight Ahead, features George in a trio setting with Alex Acuña and Lyman Medeiros.

Straight Ahead is just what it sounds like: the songs are melodic and catchy, the feel is contemporary yet classic. Building on Kahn's strong catalog of Jazz releases, this album will always be a good companion, wherever you are, whenever you listen.

Joining George on this visit to Berkeley is Lyman Medeiros, a young gun on the Los Angeles jazz scene, who has recently toured with Steve Tyrell and Dianne Schuur. Gary Zellerbach on guitar and Chris Gamper on drums round out the quartet.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, general admission; $10 for students with ID. 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 26, 7pm to 9:30pm, The Back Room Music, 1984 Bonita Ave, Berkeley


May 26, 8pm to 11pm, Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

Rent Romus' Life's Blood Ensemble: Manala

The Finnish Heritage Society presents the East Bay debut of Rent Romus and Heikki Koskinen's "Manala" (netherworld), a representation of cultural rediscovery through the lens of music weaving the elements of jazz, traditional folk, and free improvisation inspired by the mythic prose of cultural liberation and identity found in the Finnish and Finno-Ugric folklore and shamanic traditions. Awarded grant support from Finlandia Foundation National and Suomi-Seura-ry via the Ministry of Education and Culture Helsinki Finland, this epic presentation will take place at the newly restored historic Berkeley Finnish Hall presented as part of the Finnish Heritage Society's spring cultural events programming featuring Romus' Life's Blood Ensemble.

May 26, 8pm to 10pm, Finnish Kaleva Hall, 1970 Chestnut St, Berkeley