Berkeley Arts Festival Calendar


Free Live Jazz most Thursdays

Jul 11, 4pm to 6pm, The Musical Offering Cafe, 2430 Bancroft Way, Berkeley

Redwood Grove Summer Concerts: Pre-Bastille Day Fete

Le Jazz Hot\
Fabrice Martinez Gypsy Jazz Trio

Join the UC Botanical Garden for our annual celebration of Bastille Day with cocktails, sweet French bites, and swinging French music. Peruse our silent auction of unique French-themed items. All this while supporting the Botanical Garden and our mission of conservation, education and research. C'est magnifique!

We welcome you to bring picnic dinners to this lovely evening event.

Music By:

Paul Mehling, the leader of Hot Club of San Francisco, Le Jazz Hot, and the Ivory Club Boys, has been dubbed the godfather of American gypsy jazz. He discovered the music of Django Reinhardt and the Quintet of the Hot Club of France in grammar school, and decades later the music that took root in his young soul finally bore fruit.

Mehling launched the Hot Club of San Francisco in 1991, spearheading the American Gypsy jazz movement with countless concerts and a series of critically hailed albums, including 1999's Lady in Red (Clarity) featuring Maria Muldaur, Dan Hicks, and jazz/blues vocal legend Barbara Dane. In 2000, the Hot Club of SF became the first American band invited to play the Festival de Jazz Django Reinhardt in Samois-Sur-Seine, ground zero for the ongoing Django revival. Le Jazz Hot is the quartet version of the Hot Club of San Francisco, with all the same fine French Gypsy Swing played on stringed instruments.

Violin Virtuoso Fabrice Martinez, guitarist extraordinaire Jon Oliver Knight and Grammy-winning cellist Pete Jacobson collide to form the eclectic Fabrice Martinez Gypsy Jazz Trio.

Between busking in a mule-drawn, handmade wagon across Europe performing Eastern European gypsy music to mixing world, jazz, and gypsy music in artistic haunts of Los Angeles, it's no surprise that Fabrice Martinez has spent his life absorbing the culture and music of every country he's traveled through. This is why the Paris-born, L.A.-based artist is considered one of the most versatile and musically diverse violinists today. From 1930's Hot French Jazz, to Gypsy Jazz, to New World Jazz, the masterful sounds of Fabrice Martinez delivers a show you will never forget.

Shows will sell-out - buy online in advance. (No surcharge!)
Redwood Grove Gate opens at 5pm.
Ticket includes admission to the main Botanical Garden collections before it closes at 5:00pm. (a $15/adult value!)
Parking in the attached UC campus parking lot ($1/hr) is limited and not guaranteed - carpooling is highly encouraged.
All tickets are by registration "will call" list, no physical tickets.
Seating is general admission amphitheater.
Please contact us in advance if you will need a wheelchair accessible spot.
Snacks and drinks available; picnics welcome
Warm clothes recommended.

All concert ticket sales are final and non-refundable.
The value is not transferable to another concert or program. In the event you can cannot attend, another person may use your registration spots using your name.
(Please let us know if your tickets will go unused.)

Jul 11, 5:30pm to 7:30pm, Redwood Grove UC Botanical Garden

Chora Roda

Chora roda is Brazilian Portuguese for a jam session and party. Choro is a fun acoustic instrumental style featuring intricate melodies, sophisticated harmonies, and great beats. It is an amalgam of African rhythms, classical harmonies and jazz. Tico Tico is a famous choro song you may have heard.

Michael McMorrow and Laura Boytz started having rodas in public in 2016, to provide a forum for the many dedicated choro players in the Bay Area.

Choro is fun to listen to, and if you are bold, to play! It is a great adventure for all players, including jazz, classical, Latin, African and folk musicians. Common instruments include six- and seven-string guitar, mandolin, pandeiro (a kind of frame drum), cavaquinho (cousin of the ukulele), flute, saxophone, clarinet. But we have also had Portuguese guitarra, cello, violin, upright bass, accordion, trombone and melodica -- and even some singing -- at our rodas. We bring several binders with charts to share.

If you want to get an idea of choro, search for some of the following on You Tube:
Jacob do Bandolim
Waldir Azevedo
Altamiro Carrilho
Trio Brasileiro
Choro das 3

You can find some charts for some of the better known tunes here:

Have questions? Contact me at

Jul 11, 7pm to 9pm, Caffe Chiave, 2500 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

Catherine deCuir and Robert Schoen present The Rabbi Finds Her Way

"This rabbi gig. People have no idea what it's all about."

A year after graduating from rabbinical school, Pearl Ross-Levy lands the job of her life. As Associate Rabbi at Lakeshore Temple in Oakland, California, Pearl begins to learn what being a rabbi is all about.

Through compelling, inspiring, and often funny episodes, the young rabbi meets a cast of quirky characters and discovers what it means to become a leader in the synagogue community. As Pearl faces the challenges of her new role, we witness her kindness and compassion as well as her resourcefulness and courage.

Whether it is caring for her high school classmate (the victim of a serious car accident), struggling with the anguish of a man who believes he's committed a murder, or bringing the community together to help a lonely cancer patient feel not so alone, the rabbi teaches us how a little love and caring can affect people in wonderful ways.

The Rabbi's strength and faith grow as she continues to see that God does, indeed, work in strange ways.

Robert Schoen is the author of On God's Radar-My Walk Across America and the award-winning book What I Wish My Christian Friends Knew About Judaism.
He lives in Oakland, California.

Catherine deCuir is a cantorial soloist, jazz vocalist, and fiction writer. She lives in Albany, California.

Jul 11, 7:30pm to 8:30pm, Pegasus Books on Solano 1855 Solano Avenue Berkeley

Noah Frank/Grant Levin Jazz Duo

Noah Frank is an SF-based jazz trumpet player, composer, producer, engineer, DJ, and educator. He has performed at jazz clubs and festivals nationwide, including the PDX Jazz Festival in Portland, Herb Alpert's Vibrato Jazz Club in LA, and Paris Bistro in Philly. Noah's recording credits include Chance the Rapper, Saba Pivot, and Mr. Carmack. He splits his time between Brooklyn NYC and the SF Bay Area.

Grant Levin is a San Francisco-based contemporary pianist and composer who performs in various configurations from intimate settings to concert halls and festivals. His style showcases the piano as an infinitely dynamic instrument, allowing the listener to experience the sonic blend.

Together, Noah and Grant will be exploring the jazz repertoire from the 1920s thru today, re-imagining songs from jazz greats like John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, and many more.

Tickets are $20 general admission. 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!

Jul 11, 8pm to 10pm, The Back Room Music, 1984 Bonita Ave, Berkeley

Comedy at Ashkenaz! Better Than Therapy Tour with Mary Carouba & Regina Stoops

Bay Area comedian and comedy producer, Lisa Geduldig (of Kung Pao Kosher Comedyâ,,¢), and Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center joined forces almost two years ago to bring the East Bay a new monthly (the second Thursday of the month) comedy series, Comedy at Ashkenaz!

Since launching, the show has commemorated Black History Month, Women's History Month, Gay Pride, Mother's Day and Father's Day; hosted a political comedy night; and raised funds for three organizations and causes (the Redwood Empire Food Bank which provided food to shelters in Sonoma County for residents displaced by the North Bay fires, RAICES: The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, and Alameda County Community Food Bank).

On July 11th Comedy at Ashkenaz features the Better Than Therapy Tour with award-winning storytellers, Mary Carouba and Regina Stoops. Lisa Geduldig hosts.

In the Better Than Therapy Tour, which recently sold out the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa, Mary and Regina take you on a journey through two lives where random detours are met with quick wit and humor. From completely different worlds to a chance performance at the same dive bar, these two women formed a lifelong friendship based on a common love of laughter. Laugh at their problems; forget about yours! These two master storytellers come together to demonstrate that humor can elevate and inspire, and laughter really is the best therapy.

Mary Carouba, a popular comedian, TED talk presenter, and award-winning storyteller, uses her life story to entertain audiences and raise an eyebrow or two. Stories of her Arab/Irish household (where the family business was the "adult entertainment industry"), her career as a children's advocate, her work behind prison walls, surviving a liver transplant, and the loss of her home in the Northern California fires are all part of her powerful message of hope and humor. Finding the funny in almost any circumstance is a hallmark of Mary's life and Video:

Regina Stoops, a Moth StorySlam winner, takes her audience on an entertaining journey through a life filled with so many causes she has run out of room on her car's bumper. Through insightful humor, Regina takes a look at a seemingly ordinary life and redefines what it is to be "normal." The life of a gay, Catholic, Democratic, suburban soccer mom born in a town called Normal provides the backdrop for tales of diversity, adversity and suburban chaos. With a wide range of topics to cover, Regina is a regular performer at fundraisers, conferences and comedy clubs throughout the country. Video:
lisa+geduldig (1).jpg

Lisa Geduldig is a local 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 celebrates its 27th year in 2019) and Comedy Returns to El Rio (which just celebrated its 10th Anniversary in May).

**While Ashkenaz is an all ages venue, the comedy shows are not recommended for kids under 16.

Free parking at REI, across the street.
Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm
Tickets are $15 - $20 Sliding Scale

Jul 11, 8pm to 9:30pm, Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

Daniel Glover, Thomas Hansen -- Midsummer Mozart Festival's Piano Recital

A beloved Bay Area institution, the Midsummer Mozart Festival was founded in 1974. The Festival presents a critically-acclaimed summer concert season featuring renowned international soloists as well as distinguished local artists, with a dedication to fresh and intelligent interpretation of the work of this most enduring and universally loved composer. Our mission embraces both performances of the highest artistic excellence and cultivation of new audiences, including young people, to assure the future appreciation of great music and the arts.

Fantasy in C minor, K. 475
Rondo in D
Adagio in B minor
Gluck Variations, K. 455
Sonata (four hands) in F, K. 497

Pianist Daniel Glover has performed in 42 states and 27 countries throughout Europe, Asia, South America and the Caribbean. The San Jose Mercury News said, "Glover is an incisive, exciting, and apparently tireless player...a natural for hyper-virtuosic challenge." He has been hailed for his "extraordinary technique, analytical understanding and determined phrasing from the first to the last bar." (Südhessische Post, Germany) The San Francisco Classical Voice remarked, "The elegance and civility of Glover's approach was musically unimpeachable." "Dazzling...golly can he play! I kept expecting smoke to emerge from the interior of the instrument...a flawless sense of Lisztian style incorporating its emotional depth."

Mr. Glover has trained with such luminaries as Eugene List, Abbey Simon, Jerome Lowenthal, Nancy Bachus and Thomas LaRatta. He holds a master's degree from New York's Juilliard School, where he was a scholarship student. Among his numerous competition awards is first prize in the prestigious Liederkranz Competition in 1990. His successful 1992 Carnegie Hall recital in New York was a result of winning the Artist's International Competition. Mr. Glover also appeared in Washington, D.C.'s Corcoran Gallery and at the St. Petersburg Palaces Festival in Russia.

With a repertoire of seventy concerti and other works for piano and orchestra, Mr. Glover has appeared regularly with seventeen Bay Area orchestras, as well as numerous orchestras nationally and internationally. These appearances include the critically acclaimed "World Premiere" performance of Eric Zeisl's Concerto in C major (1952) in May 2005 with the Saratoga Symphony, which was honored as one of the "Top 10 Best Classical Concerts in the Bay Area, 2005" by the San Jose Mercury News. In 2013, Mr. Glover gave the world premiere of the Piano Concerto by Lee Actor, a work specially commissioned for him by the Peninsula Symphony, and recorded the work with the Slovak National Symphony in Bratislava, May 2014.
Mr. Glover has served on the faculties of New York University, University of the Virgin Islands, University of San Francisco, and Notre Dame de Namur University.

Mr. Glover has recorded ten CDs, including his latest release "Great Transcriptions by Legendary Pianists" (2015), Franz Liszt, The Profound and The Profane (2008), Spanish Impressions (2006), Romantic Russian Encores (2005), and a recording of live performances of three works for piano and orchestra by Mozart, Strauss and Prokofiev (2005). Previous recordings include the complete solo piano music by Ravel (2003), the Brahms Sonatas for Violin and Piano with violinist Matthew Reichert (2001).

Mr. Glover recently became a published author and editor for Dover Publications. These include editions of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 3, an album of orchestral pieces as transcribed by Liszt, and the complete piano music of Paul Dukas.

Thomas Hansen has earned enthusiastic critical and audience acclaim for his performances across the country. Born in Massachusetts, he began teaching himself piano at age four. He received a Bachelor of Music degree from the New England Conservatory and a Master's from the University of Michigan. His principal teachers were Theodore Lettvin and Thomas LaRatta. Mr. Hansen performed an all-Liszt recital in the Netherlands on an 1866 Steinway which Liszt himself often used for recitals. Among his many performances with orchestra in the Bay Area are appearances with the Peninsula Symphony, the Redwood Symphony, and the Merced Symphony. The Boston Globe has written that his performance "left no doubt about his fluency, and the cleanness and lack of hokum in his lively playing were most commendable." Mr. Hansen has been on the faculties of Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, the Nueva School in Hillsborough, and the Crestmont Conservatory of Music in San Mateo.

Jul 11, 8pm to 9pm, Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley