Berkeley Arts Festival Calendar


North Berkeley Jazz Quartet

North Berkeley Jazz Quartet

Jun 22, 11:45am to 2:45pm, Cheese Board Pizza 1512 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA

Brahms - A German Requiem

Brahms gave his 1868 Requiem the title "A German Requiem" because the texts that he chose are in German, from the Luther Bible, not from the traditional Latin Requiem Mass. Brahms himself said that he would happily call his Requiem a "human" Requiem. It is a stunning work that focuses on comfort for the living - "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted." Combining Brahms's beautiful writing and well-crafted structure, it's become one of the most popular symphonic choral works in the literature. Our concerts will open with Brahms' Tragic Overture.

Concert soloists:
Ellen Leslie, soprano
Andrew Pardini, baritone
The soloists are winners of BCCO's Vocal Soloist Competition.

Our concerts are free; donations are always welcome.

Jun 22, 3pm to 5pm, Hertz Hall, on the UC Berkeley Campus

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

Jun 22, 3:30pm to 5:30pm, Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

Performance: Embodied Human Landscapes *Note: actual end time may vary.*

Suchi Branfman presents two dance works from a series exploring embodied human landscapes that surround the prison industrial complex, the result of her choreographic residency at California Rehabilitation Center, a medium-security state men's prison in Norco, California.

Angee's Journey retraces a mother's path to visit her son during his fourteen-year incarceration: four trains, five buses, two cabs, and twelve hours each way. Choreographed by Suchi Branfman and Ernst Fenelon Jr., whose mother made the arduous journey, and performed by Branfman and Fenelon along with members of Fenelon's family and a chorus of dancers (Cynthia Irobunda, Amy Oden, and Anna Paz), this thirty-minute piece honors the thousands of women that persist in supporting their incarcerated sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers.

Janie is an intimate performance piece inspired by the true stories of MaryJane, also known as The Bird Lady, who rescues and raises birds inside a women's maximum-security prison in Southern California. With text drawn from interviews conducted inside the prison, the work is created and performed by Suchi Branfman and visual artist Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo.
A thirty-minute film by award-winning producer, director, and editor Pam Uzzell, Welcome to the Neighborhood explores Mildred Howard's long family roots in the Bay Area and the impact of gentrification on local residents. Howard's mother, Mabel Howard, moved to San Francisco during World War II and became part of the growing community of African Americans in South Berkeley, where she spearheaded many significant political and community projects. Today, her renowned artist daughter Mildred can no longer afford to live in her lifelong home city.

This program is cosponsored by UC Berkeley's Black Staff and Faculty Organization and the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society.

Jun 22, 4pm to 5pm, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

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.

Jun 22, 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:

Jun 22, 5pm to 7pm, The Starry Plough Pub - 3101 Shattuck Avenue - Berkeley, CA 94

Rebelution: with guests: Protoje; Durand Jones and The Indications; DJ Mackle *Note: actual end time may vary.*

Fourteen years into an effervescent career, California reggae band and touring juggernaut Rebelution remains abundantly creative. Its members (singer/guitarist/lyricist Eric Rachmany, keyboardist Rory Carey, drummer Wesley Finley, and bassist Marley D. Williams) are as focused and committed as they are easygoing and laid-back. And they haven't lost a step since Falling Into Place, their 2016 studio album, became the band's fourth release to top the Billboard reggae chart, earning them their first ever Grammy nomination in the category of Best Reggae Album. Ever expanding and reaching wider audiences, the Rebelution phenomenon continues to spread good vibes on tour, and in the studio.

Free Rein, their sixth studio album, while still rooted in the Jamaican inspiration that Rebelution's songs and sounds have always paid homage to, takes experimental leaps and new adventures too, welcoming old fans and new audiences alike. The musicians collaborated with Jamaican artists on three of the 12 new tracks. Don Corleon (Sean Paul, Rihanna) produced "Rise On Top," a pointed reflection on celebrity and ambition; and Winta James, producer for Damian Marley and Chronixx, worked with the band on "Settle Down Easy" and "City Life," two songs that reflect a more confessional perspective.

"Celebrate," the new album's opening track, nods to the classic Rebelution sound. It has special meaning for the band too. In their long months on the road they've met fans with health struggles who've said that their music has helped them get through tough times. An energizing shout-out to one and all, the song celebrates the oneness of artist and audience.

"Patience," a reggae-R&B hybrid, is another hymn to human connection, a haunting message from the well of romantic love: "Maybe isn't good enough / I'm patient, I ain't giving up...Can I be your everything and more?"

Other tracks take a wider perspective. "City Life" is one that hits home for Rachmany. "There are moments," he says, speaking for urban dwellers everywhere, "when I just want to get out and find some solitude and find the beauty of mother nature." The uptempo groove conveys the positive energy of this universal desire.

The band remains in touch with the traditions that it builds on. Much of the style, the songwriting, and the quality of the instrumentals derive from Jamaican roots, says Rachmany, stressing what an honor it is that producers from reggae's birthplace signed on to work with Rebelution

But every great band is its own life force as well, and the musicians of Rebelution take inspiration from other genres, including soul, r&b, and folk. "A lot of this album has to do with being comfortable in your own skin," the singer notes. In "Take On Anything," for example, "what I'm trying to get across is that it's OK to be different, different is actually a beautiful thing - if you're comfortable in your own skin every single day then you really can take on anything."

Manifesting the singer's love for acoustic guitar are two quieter numbers, one of which, "Healing," takes the long view: "I wrote that song to remind people that life is always worth living, and to provide some healing energy to a person listening." Again, always making that connection with the audience.

Rebelution formed in Isla Vista in 2004 when a group of college friends discovered a mutual love for reggae. After their debut album Courage to Grow reached #4 on the Billboard reggae chart, there was no stopping them. Many more releases followed, and in 2012 Peace of Mind debuted at #13 on the Billboard Top 200, hit #1 on both the Reggae and Independent charts, and was the #4 iTunes album overall. 2014's Count Me In made an even bigger splash than its predecessor, entering the Reggae chart at #1 and the Billboard overall chart at #14. Then came the Grammy-nominated album Falling Into Place and the Rebelution concert experience, Live At Red Rocks.

With Free Rein, Rebelution is poised to continue spreading the joy. The band boasts an impressive 85 million spins on their Top 5 Spotify tracks alone, and will continue playing sold-out shows as well as taking the coveted headlining slots at some of the nation's top festivals this year. Additionally, Rebelution continues to transcend the world of music and break barriers with their entrepreneurial prowess. They recently launched their own four-night destination event on the beach in Jamaica and released their customized cannabis oil battery pen, herb vaporizer, and oil, which are currently available in select dispensaries in California, Colorado, Nevada, and Oregon. The journey rolls on.

Jun 22, 5:30pm to 6:30pm, Hearst Greek Theatre

Rock 'n' Film: Cinema's Dance with Popular Music

Illustrated Lecture
David E. James
David E. James teaches in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. His teaching and research interests focus on avant-garde cinema, East Asian cinema, film and music, and working-class culture. His recent books include Power Misses: Essays Across (Un)Popular Culture and The Most Typical Avant-Garde: History and Geography of Minor Cinemas in Los Angeles.

In his book Rock 'n' Film: Cinema's Dance with Popular Music, David E. James explores how rock's capacity for cultural empowerment and its usefulness as a driver of commerce and profit were reproduced in various kinds of cinema: independent documentaries and concert films including Monterey Pop and Gimme Shelter, narrative films such as King Creole and Privilege, and the experimental cinema of artists like Kenneth Anger. In his lecture James will explore the rich legacy of cinema's dance with popular music and what these films share with classic film musicals.

Jun 22, 5:30pm to 7pm, The UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, 2155 Center St, Berkeley


Jun 22, 6:30pm to 9:30pm,

Johnny Soultrain, Salt Petal, Sweet Undertow @ The Starry Plough Pub

For details, click here:

Jun 22, 8pm to 10pm, The Starry Plough Pub - 3101 Shattuck Avenue - Berkeley

Barrio Manouche

Barrio Manouche is a gypsy jazz & flamenco fusion ensemble based in San Francisco, with musicians from Spain, France, Brazil, California, Quebec and beyond.

The band performs a repertoire of original musical compositions deeply influenced by a range of musical traditions: from the swing of Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet, to the hot jazz of Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli, the flamenco & rumba of Paco de Lucía, to the avant-garde sounds of Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane.

The band is considered one of the Bay Area's biggest rising stars, mesmerizing audiences with their live musical performances that incorporate flamenco dancing and other memorable surprises.

Jun 22, 8pm to 10pm, Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley

4th Saturday Swing with Steve Lucky and the Rhumba Bums ft. Miss Carmen Getit plus Dance Lesson with Karen Lile & Michael Arntz

Doors at 7:30 pm; Dance lesson with with Karen Lile & Michael Arntz at 8:00 pm; Show at 9:00 pm
Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 Day of Show

A Swing at Ashkenaz Production

In a four-star CD review, DownBeat magazine wrote: "The Rhumba Bums abide by Cab Calloway's advice: `Live what's in your soul and sing your friggin' heart out.'" Steve Lucky & the Rhumba Bums have been one of the West Coast's most popular, to say nothing of most entertaining and fun, bands since composer-pianist-leader Steve Lucky assembled the Bums back in 1994 in the early days of the swing dance revival. The Rhumba Bums continue to play and sing just about the most irresistible dance tunes extant, mixing some well-known '40s and '50s jump blues and swing charts with rare and nearly-forgotten gems that deserve to be resurrected. The Bums' second CD, "Some Like It Hot!," features several band originals such as "Beat Girl," "Maybe Later," "The Hollywood Jump," and "Haul Off and Love Me," plus a live version of "Every Time I Hear that Mellow Saxophone," featured in the movie "Be Cool."

The Rhumba Bums include singer-guitarist Miss Carmen Getit, Matt Cowan and Doug Rowan on saxophones, drummer Brian Fishler, and bassist Lukas Vesely. The band's trump card is Getit, who offers vocal sparring matches with Lucky and guitar playing that, whether swing, blues, or even some bebop licks, is inspired, fast, and faithful to the genre. In pre-Rhumba Bums years, Lucky discovered Getit (who had played piano before she could read and has played guitar since shortly thereafter), bought Getit her first electric guitar and introduced her to the music of T-Bone Walker, Ruth Brown, and other swing-R&B legends, and they formed a piano-guitar duo in New York City.

Jun 22, 8pm to 11:59pm, Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

Margie Baker & Noah Griffin, Jr. - "To CJC with Love"

A special appearance by former Jazzschool educator Margie Baker, and her long-time friend Noah Griffin, Jr. Margie is a classic jazz & blues vocalist, that will transport you back to the heyday of jazz. Noah is a cabaret singer whose voice "glides on silk and gives the listener an escape route into romance." They come together to express their love for the Jazzschool with their new CD in hand.

Band Members
Margie Baker, vocals
Noah Griffin, Jr., vocals
Larry Chinn, piano
Chuck Bennett, bass
Jerry Pannone, drums
Jeff Sanford, saxophone

Dr. Margie Baker has been an educator and San Francisco School District administrator for 45 years and in the "singing business" for about that amount of time, too. Born in a shack in the piney woods of East Texas, she was nurtured by a very loving, religious, low-income family that was "salt-of-the-earth". When Margie's dad and mom divorced, her mother moved to California to become a riveter in the San Francisco Bay Area shipyards and brought her only child with her. Margie "wrapped herself up" in her studies and in her enjoyment of music, never having the desire to perform it. However, while raising a family and working full-time at educating children, she happened one night to have visited the Hilton Hotel for dinner and a show. One of her musician friends who knew she could "carry a tune" called her up to the bandstand to sing a song. She was quite unhappy about this because it was a total surprise. Out of courtesy, she accommodated him and sang "I left my Heart in San Francisco". Unknowingly to her, Mr. Conrad Hilton and his top administrative staff were in the audience. That very same evening, Mr. Hilton asked her to work for him. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Noah Griffin, Jr. graduated from harvard Law School, had a career as a newspaper columnist, talk show host, histroian, lyricist and vocalist. He began singing as a member of the San Francisco Boys Chorus, and performed with Bay Area opera companies. Later in life, he was a regular at the Fairmont Hotel's Venetian Room and the legendary Purple Onion.

Read the recent SF Jazz Article about Margie:
Artist Website

Jun 22, 8pm to 10pm, Rendon Hall/Fiddler Annex @ California Jazz Conservatory 2040 Addison Street, Berkeley

House of Soul II: Yolandra Rhodes & Dee Dee Simon

Yolandra Rhodes
Recently nominated as Best Jazz Vocalist by the Northern California Entertainer Music Awards and Semi-Finalist in Jazz Search West 2019, Yolandra is able to uplift spirits and stir the emotions of her listening audience with an easy grace and a subtle confidence.

A Jazz songstress, Yolandra brings her singular style to selections of tunes previously performed by visionaries such as Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson and Rachelle Farrell.

She has performed with Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, and on Clifford Brown Jr's (formerly with KBLX) "Jazz Cruise to the Caribbean," which also featured Gerald Albright and Alex Bugnon. Other appearances include Oakland's renowned Art & Soul Festival, Yoshi's, The 57th Street Gallery, The Fenix, The Back Room and Geoffrey's Inner Circle with Mr. Yancy Taylor, in addition to several performances of the National Anthem at Golden State Warriors games and for the U.S. soccer team.

Dee Dee Simon
A native of Oakland, California, Ms. Dee Dee Simon was born to sing. Her skills have been compared to the sassy vocal ability of Patti LaBelle, the richness of Gladys Knight, the fire of Chaka Khan, the edge of Tina Turner and the pureness of Whitney Houston. With a five-octane range, this songwriter, thespian, and executive producer has been hailed as the Soul of the Bay.

Dee Dee has opened for Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, Faith Evans, Jeffrey Osbourne, Charlie Wilson and many more. She is a winner of the Steve Harvey National competition, twenty-two Black Music Awards, a Best Female Vocalist award, and is the reigning Entertainer of the Year. She sings with all of her heart and soul because that's all she knows.

Tickets are $25 and are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). Children under 12 are free.

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 22, 8pm to 10pm, The Back Room Music, 1984 Bonita Ave, Berkeley

SABOR! Fiesta Internacional with DJ José Ruíz celebrating La Peña's 44th Anniversary!

Door Cover: $4.44 in advance online / $8 at the door ($9 with credit card)
DJ José Ruíz is back! Get ready to dance to a variety of rhythms from Latin America and around the globe in celebration of La Peña's 44th Anniversary! We'll be giving free La Peña sunglasses to the first 44 people at the party!

Arrive at 8:30pm to take advantage of the FREE "Latin Rhythms Dance Class" where you will learn multiple latin dance styles with dance instructor Juliana Mendonca! She teaches Salsa Merengue, Cumbia, Samba, and Tambor Venezolano! ALL LEVELS WELCOME!
DJ Jose Ruiz will be throwing down his eclectic mix of music from Latin America and beyond from 9PM-Midnight!
Los Cilantros will be open serving refreshing drinks: aguas mexicanas, sangria, micheladas, beer and wine!
DJ José Ruíz, aka MundoMuzik, is a DJ, radio host, promoter, and collector of world music, vinyl, art and all cultural and music ephemera. Jose's taste in music is very eclectic, unafraid to mix traditional, experimental or folkloric elements in his sets. His confidence and impeccable taste in music is deeply rooted in the time and research he dedicates to learn about the genres he plays. His respect for the origin and tradition of music he loves can be heard in depth as a radio host and felt when he fills the dance floor.

The class will be taught by Venezuelan dance instructor Juliana Mendonca! Juliana is a dance performer, choreographer and teacher. She graduated with a degree in dance from University Institute of Caracas, Venezuela in 2005, she also served as an instructor at the Performing Arts Department of the University of the Andes in Mérida, Venezuela (2012-2015). Juliana co-founded Raíz de Agua, a music and dance company. Juliana currently lives in Oakland, California with her husband and daughter, working as a dancer, choreographer and teacher.

Jun 22, 8:30pm to 11:59pm, La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Ave. , Berkeley

Charged Particles

Jun 22, 9:30pm to 11:30pm, The Albatross Pub, 1822 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702, United States