Berkeley Arts Festival Calendar


Hard Songs conference

"Artifice and complexity" is the phrase commonly used to characterize the aesthetic world cultivated by fifteenth-century composers. Their music employs dense contrapuntal structures, extensive intertextuality, and elaborate transformations like retrograde and mensuration canons. Viewed from the vantage point of the sixteenth century (following the advent of music printing and the religious reformations), the fifteenth century would seem to represent the last flowering of artifice for artifice's sake.

What makes something difficult in this period? Is complex music difficult to compose, perform, or understand? Where should we set the bar for calling something "hard"? What cultural or intellectual work did the category of "difficulty" perform in this repertoire? And is "difficulty" the right concept at all? Surely what we find difficult is not the same as what late-medieval musicians did; and surely the values and judgments surrounding difficulty are not universal.

Through scholarly presentations, a workshop with professional singers of early music, and a roundtable discussion, this symposium addresses an issue fundamental to understanding the musical cultures of the fifteenth century.

9:30-11:00 - Session II: Performance
Roger Grant, Wesleyan University
David Fallows, The University of Manchester
Jesse Rodin, Stanford University

11:00-11:30 - Coffee break

11:30-12:30 - Session III: Analysis and Historiography
Fabrice Fitch, Royal Northern College of Music
Jamie Reuland, Princeton University

12:30-2:15 - Lunch

2:15-3:30 - Session IV: Singing Hard Music
Jesse Rodin and the members of Cut Circle

3:30-4:00 - Coffee break

4:00-5:30 - General discussion

This symposium is hosted by Assistant Professor Emily Zazulia with generous support from the Hellman Fellows Fund.

Jun 1, 9:30am to 5:30pm, Morrison Hall, UC Berkeley (Room 250)

Freddie Hughes and the House of Hughes

Soul legend Freddie Hughes and his band.

Jun 1, 11:45am to 2:45pm, Cheese Board Pizza 1512 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA

Eifman Ballet: The Pygmalion Effect (United States Premiere)

Eifman Ballet, Cal Performances

For 40 years, across a shifting political climate for artists in his native Russia, the defiantly controversial choreographer Boris Eifman has created "works that hinge on extreme theatricality, acrobatic pas de deux, and spectacular effects" (The New Yorker) for his Saint Petersburg company. In The Pygmalion Effect, the company dances a brand-new ballet inspired by George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, set to a score by Johann Strauss Jr.

Jun 1, 2pm to 4pm, Zellerbach Hall

Gamelan Sekar Jaya 40th Anniversary Celebration

Gamelan Sekar Jaya returns to SFAIF with a thrilling mix of traditional and contemporary Balinese music and dance! The internationally acclaimed performing arts troupe celebrates its 40th Anniversary under the direction of legendary gamelan composer, I Nyoman Windha, and dance master, I Nyoman Cerita. These two luminaries of the Balinese performing arts lead the 50-member Bay Area company through a dynamic range of Balinese music and dance that resonates in the heart and captures the imagination with its intricacy and depth. This dazzling anniversary show will feature Sekar Jaya's four distinct gamelan ensembles-- the delicate gender wayang quartet, the shimmering bronze angklung and gong kebyar orchestras and the riotous giant bamboo gamelan jegog. The evening includes an unmissable world premiere collaboration created by Pak Windha and Pak Cerita.

Friday May 31st, 8:15 pm
Saturday, June 1st, 2pm

Jun 1, 2pm to 3:30pm, 2 Marina Boulevard, San Francisco

Spring Concert! Berkeley Baroque Strings

The Berkeley Baroque Strings presents a Spring evening concert with works by Antonio Vivaldi and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, a son of Johann Sebastian Bach.
Returning as featured soloist, William Skeen will perform C.P.E. Bach's "Cello Concerto in A Major."
Under the music direction of Kati Kyme, a member of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and the New Esterhazy Quartet, the chamber orchestra is an affiliate of the San Francisco Early Music Society.
free/donation gratefully accepted

Antonio Vivaldi Concerto Rustica
Antonio Vivaldi Sonata a 4 al Santo Sepolcro, E Flat Major
C.P.E. Bach Symphony in C Major Antonio Vivaldi Sonata a 4 al Santo Sepolcro, b minor
C.P.E. Bach Cello Concerto in A Major

Jun 1, 4:30pm to 6:30pm, St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 2300 Bancroft Way, Berkeley

Enrique Chagoya: Aliens

Please join us upstairs at More Moe's as we celebrate the publication of Aliens (Kelly's Cove Press, paperback, $25.00). Mr. Chagoya will speak and autograph copies of the book.

Aliens is a timely new monograph of art and pithy texts by the eminent San Francisco artist and Stanford professor Enrique Chagoya. The 128-page book features paintings, drawings, lithographs, and twelve of Chagoya's singular codices, with sixteen foldout pages.

Aliens explores some of the artist's pioneering themes: "Reverse Anthropology" and "Reverse Modernism," and is filled with the artist's brash, spot-on humor. Aliens is divided in halves, with two front covers. One half proceeds from left to right and showcases single-page works, while the other half unfolds from right to left, in the traditional manner of codices. Although the book is printed on heavy stock in a wide, landscape format, it sells for twenty-five dollars.

Chagoya's art reminds us that we are all aliens; it speaks directly to the absurd and horrifying return to tribalism in our time, as many lives are threatened and numerous freedoms curtailed.

Jun 1, 7pm to 8pm, Upstairs on 4th floor, at More Moe's 2476 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley

Killer Caribou / Von Tramps / NAPOI / The Exit Plan

The Exit Plan Not A Part Of It
The Von Tramps
Killer Caribou
ALL AGES. Doors . $10 + membership

Music Featuring

Not A Part Of It Musician/Band   Eugene, Oregon
Punk Rock Deep Affection Collaborative Progression

Killer Caribou Musician/Band Based out of Livermore CA! We play (good) music.

The Von Tramps Musician/Band THE VON TRAMPS are an American rock band formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 2015.

The Exit Plan Musician/Band Born of decades of Bay Area punk rock,
The Exit Plan is:
Casey - Guitar/Vocals
Mat - Guitar/Vocals
Andy - Bass
Ryan - Drums

Jun 1, 7:30pm to 10:30pm, 924 Gilman 924 Gilman St, Berkeley

Eifman Ballet: The Pygmalion Effect (United States Premiere)

Eifman Ballet, Cal Performances

For 40 years, across a shifting political climate for artists in his native Russia, the defiantly controversial choreographer Boris Eifman has created "works that hinge on extreme theatricality, acrobatic pas de deux, and spectacular effects" (The New Yorker) for his Saint Petersburg company. In The Pygmalion Effect, the company dances a brand-new ballet inspired by George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, set to a score by Johann Strauss Jr.

Jun 1, 8pm to 10pm, Zellerbach Hall

Funny Girlz Redux

Seattle singer/comedian Lisa Koch hosts the return of "Funny Girlz!", featuring hilarious Texas comedian Vickie Shaw, and demented cabaret-comic Roxanna Ward. Snort-inducing comedy, fabulous music and a rumored appearance by the reclusive Barstow Gay Men's Chorus.

Lisa Koch
"Hearing Seattle's Lisa Koch is one of life's wickedest pleasures... her brand of absurd confessional comedy is clearly resonating with millions of fans." --Curve Magazine

"Koch's talents seem to know no bounds as she goes from gut-busting comedy into an introspective beautiful medley and back again..." - Broadway World

Picture Tina Fey meets Bette Midler with Joan Jett guitar chops... and you've got Lisa Koch. With 5 solo recordings, she is one-half of loony sketch-comedy duo Dos Fallopia (Ham for the Holidays), and an alumnus of cult quartet Venus Envy (I'll Be A Homo for Xmas). She has shared the stage with Steve Martin, Janis Ian, The Indigo Girls, Lily Tomlin and more. Koch has been featured on Olivia and LOGO, is the composer of Off-Broadway musical "27, Rue de Fleurus", and is proud to report that one of her songs has actually been sampled by Jay-Z.

Vickie Shaw
Texan Vickie Shaw is a recovering SOB (Southern Baptist), and has raised three kids as an out lesbian mother. Vickie has been seen on Comedy Central's Premium Blend, LOGO, Showtime, and is a regular on Olivia Cruises. She's featured in the films "Laughing Matters More" and "I'm Not Your Role Model."
Roxanna Ward
Roxanna Ward
Cabaret-comic extraordinaire Roxanna Ward hails from Laguna Beach, CA. Ward is mom, teacher, director, conductor, and a regular performer on Olivia. She penned the R&B single, "Remember Who You Are" (Phyllis Hyman, Suede).

Jun 1, 8pm to 10pm, Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley

Bill Pettiti

I started playing drums at the age of 10. I studied with various teachers in Chicago, my cousin Nick Petitti, in particular, who was a professional jazz drummer in the Chicago area and worked with world class jazz musicians.In Chicago, I worked as a drummer in a variety of musical settings and styles, which eventually led my taking up classical flute, jazz flute, and saxophone.

I attended Chicago's own Roosevelt University to study classical flute, and eventually found my way to Dick Grove School of Music in L.A.I studied many years with Larry Kassin in San Francisco, a wonderful classically trained flautist who hailed from Chicago as well. Later, I studied for over five years with Jim Grantham in San Francisco, an incredible musician and Jazz educator! I also played and studied for twenty years with Lawrence "Larry" Cady, who's worked with bassist Richard Davis, Josh Haden and Spain, John Coppola, Jimmy McCracklin among others.Over the years, I've played numerious gigs and sessions with world class musicians who have worked with jazz greats such as Joe Henderson, Sun Ra, Earl Fatha Hines, Bobby Hutcherson. I have had innumerable other musical influences and life experiences that have affected my approach to music.

Currently, I am fortunate to work with some of my favorite jazz musicians in a number of San Francisco-based music venues.

Jun 1, 8pm to 10pm,

The George Cotsirilos Quartet

A group of accomplished, veteran musicians, the George Cotsirilos Quartet, featuring George Cotsirilos on guitar, Keith Saunders on piano, Robb Fisher on bass and Ron Marabuto on drums, released a widely acclaimed CD, Mostly In Blue, last year - which spent over three months on the national Jazz Weekly radio top 50 charts, rising to number 15, and has received excellent notices:

"Four stars. A pleasure." - Howard Mandel, Downbeat

"With his perfectly round solo and chordal tone, Cotsirilos weaves a tight, swinging fabric.....bop, beautifully performed...Sounds like it is straight out of Blue Note in the 60s, but all tracks are original, and there isn't a dull track amongst them." - Tom McCarter/KZSU, 90.1, Stanford, CA

"After three acclaimed trio albums since 2006 with bassist Robb Fisher and drummer Ron Marabuto, they hooked up with pianist Keith Saunders . . .The results are astounding." - Miles Jordan/Chico News & Review

In its December 2018 issue, Downbeat Magazine listed Mostly In Blue among the best CD's of 2018. The group performs primarily original modern jazz compositions along with some gems from the jazz canon. Its members are:

George Cotsirilos: Guitar

"George Cotsirilos' meticulous and tasteful guitar work is marked by remarkably subtle shifts in accents, and minute changes in expression and dynamics. He displays an impeccable sense of timing especially in revealing the hidden rhythms of complex melodies. His approach to harmony is whimsical, but patently beautiful at all times." - Raul D'Gama Rose, All About Jazz

"One of today's finest jazz guitarists and composers, Cotsirilos has an unerring sense of swing and melody. His solos, while displaying accuracy and technique, are filled with soul." - John Heidt, Vintage Guitar Magazine

Originally from Chicago, George Cotsirilos has been a member of the San Francisco Bay Area jazz community for many years and has performed with a wide variety of artists, from San Francisco jazz fixtures like Eddie Marshall, Mel Martin, Pharaoh Sanders and Mark Levine to internationally recognized blues singer Etta James, Bill Evans bassist Chuck Israels, and the jazz/soul vocal group, The Whispers. He has recorded six prior CD's as a leader and co-led the quintet, San Francisco Nighthawks (Monarch Records), with venerated drummer Eddie Marshall, bassist Robb Fisher and pianist Paul Nagel. His three prior trio CD's on OA2/Origin Records with current quartet members Fisher and Ron Marabuto received wide critical acclaim ("Sublimely fluid jazz guitar skills...this is about as tight a jazz trio as you'll ever be lucky enough to hear with eloquent bass lines and delicately nuanced percussion." - David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle). Cotsirilos's last trio CD, Variations, was chosen by erstwhile Washington Post jazz critic and Jazztimes editor, Royal Stokes, as one of the most notable jazz instrumental CD's of 2013.

Keith Saunders: Piano

Keith Saunders spent his formative years in Los Angeles where he studied with Charlie Shoemake and later, with Horace Silver. He worked extensively in L.A. with such well-known artists as Eddie Harris, Roy McCurdy, and Bill Watrous, then moved to New York City in 1984, where he worked and/or recorded with a wide variety of musicians, including Richie Cole, Frank Wess, Ralph Lalama, Joe Lovano, Hank Crawford, and Mickey Roker. In 1991, Keith became the leader of The NY HardBop Quintet, which had begun as a cooperative unit. As such, he wrote and arranged music recorded by The HBQ for the TCB Montreux Jazz label, as well as numerous television spots including promotions for VH1 and ESPN. Now residing in the East Bay, he is one of the San Francisco Bay Area's most in demand jazz pianists.

Robb Fisher: Bass

For over six years, bassist Robb Fisher toured and recorded with the legendary Cal Tjader, anchoring Cal's Grammy Award-winning album, La Onda Va Bien, and Grammy nominated album, Gozame Pero Ya. He has also worked extensively and recorded with such jazz and Latin luminaries as Chet Baker, Art Pepper, Carmen McCrae, Tania Maria, Clare Fischer, and Rob Schneidermann. Additional recordings on which he can be heard include San Francisco Nighthawks, featuring Eddie Marshall on Monarch Records, Jeff Pittson's Invisible Love as well as On The Rebop, Past Present, and Variations by the George Cotsirilos Trio, all on OA2/Origin Records.

Ron Marabuto: Drums

One of the San Francisco jazz community's most highly regarded drummers, Ron Marabuto has resided in both San Francisco and New York and has worked with a long list of jazz luminaries, including Pepper Adams, Roland Hanna, Tommy Flanagan, Steve Grossman, Ray Drummond, Rufus Reid, Mark Levine, Bruce Foreman, Buddy Montgomery, Rob Schneiderman, and Warren Gale, among many others. A San Francisco Area native, he is the son of noted jazz pianist John Marabuto and a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley. He can be heard on a wide variety of recordings, including all three CD's on OA2/Origin Records by the George Cotsirilos Trio.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 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!

Jun 1, 8pm to 10pm, The Back Room Music, 1984 Bonita Ave, Berkeley

The 7th Annual Spring Roll Music Series J Pop Soul

The 7th Annual Music Series with Jazz Popular Soul music an fine dinning

Jun 1, 8:45pm to 10:45pm, Eat at Thai Restaurant, 1181 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702, United States

Brazilian Dance Party feat Xaxado Mission (Forró) & Oakland Samba Revue + food from chef Cristiano Vasconcelos!

Xaxado Mission is a San Francisco based Brazilian band that specializes in Forró, a genre of music originated in Northeastern Brazil. Their repertoire brings high energy songs from masters Luiz Gonzaga and Jackson do Pandeiro, in addition to a few Carimbo fusions, and Samba sets tailored for dancing the hours away. Playing both classic and modern Forró songs, their instrumentation consists of authentic Forró instruments like the zabumba, accordion, triangle, seven string guitar, pandeiro, winds and bass, sometimes harmonica. If you've never heard of Forró, but enjoy dancing to styles like salsa, cumbia, samba, then you won't want to miss Xaxado Mission!

Oakland Samba Revue: Debuting this summer, Oakland Samba Revue is the newest contribution to the Bay Area's rich legacy of top notch Brazilian music. Based on the 'little big band' sounds of samba de gafieira, O.S.R. is a product of Grupo Falso Baiano co-founder Brian Moran - "Morangão", backed by Henry Hung (trumpet), Jeff Cressman (trombone), Aaron Germain (bass) and David Flores (drums), and featuring vocalist Katiana Vilá. Rooted in acoustic samba, O.S.R. is samba, is jazz, is funk, is fun! Music to dance to, music to listen to. If you need to link it to somewhere, here's my site:

Doors at 8:30 pm; Show at 9:00 pm
Tickets are $13 Advance / $16 Day of Show

Jun 1, 9pm to 11:59pm, Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley