Berkeley Arts Festival Calendar


String Quartet Sundays featuring "The Town"

Jun 23, 1pm to 3pm, The Musical Offering Cafe, 2430 Bancroft Way, Berkeley

Kumi Uyeda -Bridge Piano Quartet

Jun 23, 3pm to 5pm, Maybeck Studio for the Performing Arts, 1537 Euclid Ave, Berkeley

Sunday Speakeasy with Lavay Smith, Denise Perrier & more!

Featuring the songs of Bessie Smith and 1920's Jazz and Blues, with Lavay Smith and Denise Perrier (vocals), Chris Siebert (piano), Pete Devine (drums), Joe Kyle (bass) and Rob Barics (reeds).

Internationally recognized as the finest voices in classic Jazz and Blues, Lavay Smith and Denise Perrier pay tribute to the Jazzy Blues songs of Bessie Smith and the 1920's. Accompanied by an all-star band that sounds as tight as the legendary musicians they emulate, you'll think The Back Room was a Roaring `20's speakeasy.

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 half 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 23, 3pm to 5pm, The Back Room Music, 1984 Bonita Ave, Berkeley

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 23, 3pm to 4pm, Hertz Hall, on the UC Berkeley Campus

Kumi Uyeda -Bridge Piano Quartet

Jun 23, 3pm to 5pm, Maybeck Studio for the Performing Arts, 1537 Euclid Ave, Berkeley

Redwood Grove Fashion Show

Save the date! More details coming soon!

We are pleased to announce that the UC BOTANICAL GARDEN AT BERKELEY will host a Redwood Grove Fashion Show with original garments, textiles, and sculptural adornments created in a collaboration directly inspired in and by the Botanical Garden.

As part of our Year of Ethnobotany celebration, the Garden is proud to support this unique and collaborative Designer-in-Residence Program that features plant-based design and innovation.

After hosting two previous eco-fashion shows with a diversity of talented local designers, the Botanical Garden Designers-in-Residence will be creating a collaborative show on themes of Seeds, Growth, Bloom, and Decay/Transformation.

The Fashion Show will highlight an abundant array of the Bay Area and California's most talented textile artists and fashion designers, including Erica Tanov and Christina Kim, Kristine Vejar, Aleishall Girard Maxon, Sierra Reading, Kenya Miles, Angelina deAntonis, and Ashley Corso.

Jun 23, 4pm to 6pm, UC Botanical Garden

ARTISTAS FRONTERIZAS: "Bajo construcción / Under Construction"

Doors at 3:30 pm; Show at 4:00 pm
Tickets are $15 Advance / $20 Day of Show

Come spend an afternoon exploring and challenging the concept of borders through music and performance!!
ARTISTAS FRONTERIZAS present for the first time "Bajo Construcción/Under Construction" in the Bay Area!
ARTISTAS FRONTERIZAS presentan "Bajo Construcción" por la primera vez en el Bay Area!

ALSO performing: New Voices Bay Area Trans, Intersex & Genderqueer Chorus!

Show at 4pm: reception to follow for an opportunity to meet and talk with the artists!

Concierto a las 4pm: recepción siguiendo el concierto para convivir con los artistas!

"Bajo Construccion/Under Construction" is a bilingual experience that explores the experience of border life through art song, oratorio and opera. Through their own musical collaboration and storytelling of transborder identity with a variety of classical music including art songs, arias and oratorio Artistas Fronterizas connect with their audiences in a visceral way unique to live, acoustic classical/operatic voice.

"Bajo Construccion/Under Construction" es un espectáculo bilingue que explora los temas de vida fronteriza. A través de su propia colaboración y narrativas de identidad transfronteriza con una variedad de musica académica como canción de arte, arias de ópera y oratorio se conectan con el público de una manera visceral, única de la técnica vocal lírica.

Learn more about ARTISTAS FRONTERIZAS and their vision at:

Anishka Lee-Skorepa, Soprano
Please check out my new website:

Jun 23, 4pm to 7pm, Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

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 to sign up.
$10 suggested donation at the door

Jun 23, 4pm to 6pm, California Jazz Conservatory 2087 Addison St, 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. Noa Zebley group 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.

Jun 23, 4:30pm to 6:30pm, Rendon Hall/Fiddler Annex @ California Jazz Conservatory 2040 Addison Street, Berkeley

Performance: Idris Ackamoor and the Pyramids *Note: actual end time may vary.*

Dynamic members of the Bay Area jazz scene since the 1970s, Idris Ackamoor â~¥ and the Pyramids perform an evening of their signature intergalactic jazz funk, afrobeat grooves, and hypnotic licks. The lineup features Ackamoor, Sandy Poindexter, Lionel Tanner, Bobby Cobb, Abdul Waheed, and a special guest.

The Pyramids were founded in 1972 when alto saxophonist Idris Ackamoor and original group members traveled to Europe and took a musical-spiritual journey to study with local musicians in northern Ghana, the land of the Frafra of Bolgatanga and the Islam-influenced Dagomba of Tamale. The band's first chapter concluded with their final concert at the 1977 UC Berkeley Jazz Festival. In 2007, the Pyramids announced their return, and they have since released a trilogy of critically acclaimed albums.
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 23, 5pm to 6pm, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

The Jupiter Chamber Ensemble play Arensky and Taneyev

The Berkeley Hillside Club is pleased to to welcome our friends, the Jupiter Chamber Ensemble, back to our stage with pair of marvelous Russian piano quintets by Anton Arensky and Sergei Taneyev. Joining the Jupiter Ensemble for this performance will be virtuoso pianist, Arkadi Serper. Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.

The Jupiter Chamber Ensemble are:
Victor Romasevich - violin
Michael Jones - violin
Stephen Levintow - viola
Paul Rhodes - cello
with special guest:
Arkadi Serper - piano

The Program:
Piano Quintet in D Major, Op. 51 - Anton Arensky
Piano Quintet in G Major, Op. 30 - Sergei Taneyev

The Artists: In 1997, two veteran freelancers, violinist Michael Jones and Juilliard-trained violist Steve Levintow, recruited BBC Orchestra violinist Andrew Davies and cellist Paul Hale of the Oakland Symphony to found the Jupiter Chamber Players. The group had the good fortune to connect with Marvin Sanders, director of Live Oak Concerts at the Berkeley Art Center, just as the Center's previous ensemble-in-residence, the Cypress Quartet, left to launch their international career. The Art Center remained the Jupiter's "home" venue for 10 years. Paul Rhodes replaced Hale in 2000, bringing his years of experience in numerous orchestras and as soloist with the Carmel Bach Festival. Two years later, Davies left to pursue other projects, and San Francisco Symphony member Victor Romasevich took over as first violinist. Romasevich brought deep fascination with Russian chamber music, including masterworks by such composers as Sergei Taneyev, Georgy Catoire, and Iosif Andriasov (with whom Romasevich studied violin and viola) - all links in a tradition going back to Tchaikovsky through the Moscow Conservatory. The Jupiter Chamber Players take pleasure in introducing wider audiences to the work of these composers, while continuing also to present more familiar Russian and European repertoire.

Arkadi Serper is a prominent pianist and composer. He had an outstanding career as Musical Director of the Musical Theater Department at the Gnesin Conservatory prior to his move to the Bay Area in 1992. Mr. Serper has performed in Europe, the United States, and Asia. His compositions have been performed by the Stockton Symphony, Vallejo Symphony, Kairos Youth Choir, The Crowden School, and the San Francisco Boys' Chorus. He has been a member of the Crowden faculty since 1992, coaching chamber music and teaching music theory and composition. Mr. Serper teaches piano at CCMC.

Jun 23, 7pm to 8:30pm, Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar St, Berkeley, CA 94709, United States

Lisa Geduldig Presents...Pride Comedy Night

Lisa Geduldig Presents...Pride Comedy Night

The producer of San Francisco's acclaimed annual Kung Pao Kosher Comedyâ,,¢ (Jewish comedy on Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant) and numerous other Bay Area comedy shows presents Pride Comedy Night, a 2-night, 2-city LGBT comedy fest: at Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz on Saturday, June 22 at 8pm and Freight & Salvage in Berkeley on Sunday, June 23 at 7pm. Comedy producer/comedian, Lisa Geduldig, and friends return to the intimate 200-seat Kuumbwa Jazz Center after a 7-year hiatus and to Freight & Salvage after testing the comedy waters here last summer.

Pride Comedy Night will feature a very funny, diverse, eclectic array of Bay Area, LA, and Santa Cruz-based LGBT comedians who span a few generations of comedy and have been performing for between 10 and 30 years. This multicultural (Latina, African American, Jewish...) line up consists of Marga Gomez, Sampson McCormick, Karinda Dobbins (Berkeley show only), and Lisa Geduldig. The Santa Cruz show will include special guest, Kim Luke.

Marga Gomez is a GLAAD Award winner and was named "Best Bay Area Comedian" by the SF Weekly, Bay Area Reporter and The SF Bay Guardian. Robin Williams called her "Amazing...a lesbian Lenny Bruce." Armistead Maupin called her "astonishing." Gomez's comedy has been featured on HBO, LOGO, Showtime, Comedy Central and PBS. She has been a guest on leading comedy podcasts Marc Maron's "WTF," "The Keith and The Girl Show," and Kevin Allison's "Risk." Her comic style has been described as "deliciously cheeky and incendiary" by the New York Times and "salaciously surreal" by the San Francisco Chronicle. She is a regular performer on Olivia Cruises and has been featured at numerous comedy festivals including SF Sketchfest, Montreal's Just For Laughs, South Beach Comedy Festival, Vancouver Comedy Festival, and The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She is also the author/performer of 12 solo plays, which have been presented Off-Broadway, nationally and internationally. Gomez can be seen in season two of the Netflix series Sense8.

Sampson McCormick is an experience, a down to earth comedic force of nature and has been one of the most sought after voices of diversity in comedy for close to two decades. He has appeared on BET, VICELAND, TV One, and several highly acclaimed independent films, including 2017's Oscar nominated I Live Here. His comedy offers riveting and fresh takes on race, religion, politics and sexuality-you know, all those things you aren't supposed to talk about in polite company.

Karinda Dobbins is a Detroit native who was born into a politically active family of skilled storytellers and sharp wits. Her worldview was shaped by their accounts of protest, civil rights and empowerment, weighty subjects that were always leavened with humor. Whenever she heard the grown ups laughing long past her bedtime, she took that as her cue to sneak out of her room and eavesdrop while they entertained themselves with Richard Pryor records. She not only listened, she learned, and grew up to hold her own as a keen comedic commentator. Karinda has appeared at the Bridgetown Comedy Festival and Comedy Central's Colossal Clusterfest. She has opened for Dave Chappelle, Trevor Noah, Michelle Wolf, Gina Yashere, and toured with W. Kamau Bell. Bitch Magazine said Karinda is one of "Six Hilarious Female Comedians You Don't Know Yet - But Should."

Lisa Geduldig is a Bay Area comedian and comedy producer who's the creator, producer, and MC of a variety of comedy shows including Kung Pao Kosher Comedyâ,,¢ - Jewish comedy on Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant, which is in its 27th year, Comedy Returns to El Rio, now celebrating its 10th Anniversary, and Comedy at Ashkenaz, which has been running monthly for the past two years. She moonlights as a freelance arts publicist.

Jun 23, 7pm to 10pm, Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley, CA, 94704