Berkeley Arts Festival

The Berkeley Arts Festival Calendar is dedicated to the notion that in Berkeley every day is an arts festival. With the first month-long Arts Festival in 1997, we initiated this web site and realized that it could fill a need for information about the activities of all the Berkeley arts organizations year-round. So we expanded it and kept it going, as a guide for the arts-loving people of Berkeley and in appreciation of the City's continued support.

The Berkeley Arts Festival presents

We again have a home for the Berkeley Arts Festival this year, 2133 University Avenue right next to Ace Hardware. We have scheduled concerts with some of the most creative people in Berkeley--the musicians, composers and writers who bring vibrant talents for all to hear and see. So come along with us on an exciting journey into their domains.
Suggested donation $10-$20 unless otherwise noted. Check for changes on our website:

Wednesday, July 30th 2014

Grale, with Thomas Carnacki

8 pm Grale
Bruce Anderson - guitar
Gregory Hagan - voice, strings, electronics
Dale Sophiea - samples and narrative flow
Nico Sophiea - percussion, electronics

Grale usually accompanies / is accompanied by film and or video.
On this ocassion, Jerry Smith will provide the video and Lorin Murphy the film.

Jerry Smith is a visual artist currently based in Oakland, CA. He is a painter and media artist working with video, performance and interactive design. Jerry likes the band MX-80.

Lorin Murphy works with film and video, and curates Periwinkle Cinema

The theme might very well document recent media conversions from analogue to digital, just about everywhere.

9 pm
Thomas Carnacki's live performances are the product of a many-headed organism, although the number of heads has fluctuated variously from one to seven over the course of the years. Emphasizing subtle textures, tones, and frequently venturing into markedly sinister territory, Thomas Carnacki serves as a hub for a subset of Bay Area musicians who have been classified as the Miserablists. Instrumentation can range from violas to candlesticks to bicycle wheels to house plants. We guarantee nothing.

Sheila Bosco
Jesse Burson
Gregory Hagan
Jim Kaiser
Cheryl E. Leonard
Gregory Scharpen

8pm to 10pm, Berkeley Arts - 2133 University Avenue, between Shattuck & Oxford

Thursday, July 31st 2014

Upsurge! with Raymond and Zigi

Raymond Nat Turner, poetry-vocals
Zigi Lowenberg, poetry-vocals
Jessica Jones, tenor sax & flute
Rudi Wongozi, piano & keyboard
Erich Hunt, bass
Dante James, drums

8pm to 10pm, 2133 University

Friday, August 1st 2014

Jerry Kuderna Lunch Concert

Pianist Jerry Kuderna plays from classics to the newest compositions.

12 noon to 1:30pm, 2133 University Ave.

Sunday, August 3rd 2014

lorin benedict sarah elena palmer - doug carrol ron heglin

Lorin Benedict and Sarah Elena Palmer- voice

Two vocal improvisors with different orientations but a shared interest in collective exploration share a set together. And what's more, they will be joined by a VERY SPECIAL GUEST VOCALIST, who will remain unnamed until the night of the show.

9 pm
doug carrol - cello
ron heglin - trombone, voice

8pm to 10:30pm, 2133 University Avenue, between Shattuck & Oxford

Friday, August 8th 2014

Jerry Kuderna Lunch Concert

Pianist Jerry Kuderna plays from classics to the newest compositions.

12 noon to 1:30pm, 2133 University Ave.

Sunday, August 10th 2014

Mountains In Space

8pm: Mountains In Space

Mountains in Space perform live ambient electronic music made with analog synthesizers, custom algorithms, and field recordings. Their music is a time-dilated dive into fractal cosmic jello.

Mountains in Space is Luke Dahl and Colin Sullivan who met at Stanford's CCRMA computer music lab and began collaborating musically in 2013.

9pm: Luciano Chessa & Benjamin Kreith: Garrett - Confusing Salon Music & Noise since 2013

Bay Area New Music champions Luciano Chessa & Benjamin Kreith perform pieces from their suite Garrett - Confusing Salon Music & Noise since 2013, for violin, piano, Vietnamese Ä'àn bầu, bullhorn, saw, Aardvark synth app, harmonica & voice. A program consisting of original pieces, Erik Satie transcriptions, Futurist noise poetry, a Fluxus piece, delicate improvisations, and much more.

As a composer, conductor, pianist, & musical saw/Vietnamese Ä'àn bầu soloist, Luciano Chessa has been active in Europe, the US, Australia, & S. America. Recent compositions include LIGHTEST, a SFMOMA commission presented 2013 at the SF Columbarium & A Heavenly Act, an opera with original video by Kalup Linzy commissioned by SFMOMA & premiered by Nicole Paiement & the Opera Parallèle. Chessa's Futurist expertise resulted in an invitation by the NY-based PERFORMA Biennial to direct the first reconstruction project of Luigi Russolo's earliest intonarumori (mechanical analog synthesizers) orchestra, and to curate concerts of music specifically commissioned for this project. This was hailed by The New York Times as one of the best arts events of 2009. A double LP dedicated to the Orchestra of Futurist Noise Intoners and documenting the phase of-1 this project was released on the Belgian label Sub Rosa in 2013 & quickly sold out. In Dec 2013 Chessa conducted the Orchestra of Futurist Noise Intoners to a sold-out crowd at the RedCat in L.A. Additionally, Chessa has performed futurist sound poetry for well over 10 years. In June 2014 Chessa performed 3 concerts with Futurist Sound Poetry at the Guggenheim Museum in NYC, as part of the Italian Futurism retrospective; his voice reading Marinietti's Manifesto & poetry, to accompany Jen Sachs' videos, is to be experienced by all exhibit visitors, from Feb-Sep 2014. Chessa has been interviewed twice by the BBC as the foremost scholar of Luigi Russolo. His work has been recently featured in Artforum, Architectural Digest, Art in America, in the Italian edition of Marie Claire, and in Vogue Italia; a short documentary on his work has been broadcasted by RAI World in April 2014.

Violinist Benjamin Kreith has performed as a chamber musician, soloist and orchestra player throughout the US and Europe. He has premiered solo works at the Strasbourg and Marseille festivals and performed as a guest artist with the Ying and Muir Quartets. Ben helped to found the Ensemble CGAC in Santiago de Compostela, and has also performed with sfSound, Barcelona 216, and the Harvard Group for New Music. Recently he spent several years in Montana as a member of the Cascade Quartet and concertmaster of the Great Falls Symphony. He has had the privilege of working directly with composers including Francisco Guerrero, Gunther Schuller, and Magnus Lindberg. His live recording of Christian Lauba's Kwintus for violin solo is available on the Accord/Universal CD Morphing. Ben also plays the harmonica and experienced a brief moment of renown when his improvisations with Leonard Bernstein were broadcast on international television. He has taught at the Escola de Música de Barcelona, and served as artist-in-residence at the University of California, Davis.

8pm to 10pm, 2133 University Ave.

Wednesday, August 13th 2014

thollem mc donas/jessica lurie

8 pm
Jessica Lurie - saxophone
Thollem McDonas - piano

This will be the first time multi-instrumentalist Jessica Lurie and pianist Thollem McDonas meet in person, on stage, in sound. These two extraordinarily eclectic world traveling vanguard musicians will present spontaneous respirations between the known and the unknown.

9 pm
Jessica Lurie - saxophone
Thollem McDonas - piano
Lisa Mezzacappa - bass
Spirit - percussion

In the second set the quartet of Jessica, Thollem, bassist Lisa Mezzacappa and drummer/percussionist Spirit will take it further.

8pm to 9pm, Berkeley Arts - 2133 University Avenue, between Shattuck & Oxford

Friday, August 15th 2014

Jerry Kuderna Lunch Concert

Pianist Jerry Kuderna plays from classics to the newest compositions.

12 noon to 1:30pm, 2133 University Ave.

Sunday, August 17th 2014

Jill Jantzen, solo piano

Jill Jantzen, piano

Classical pianist Jill Jantzen, has been recognized for her "virtuoso performance..., professionalism and training." Currently based in Cincinnati, OH, Jill is taking her piano concert tour, Seasons of Sound, to the West Coast. The program features pieces by Beethoven, Gershwin, Shostakovich and Rachmaninoff; each representing life's familiar seasons of contemplation, difficulty, peace, and delight.

Throughout the tour, Jill seeks to share her classical music beyond the typical concert hall setting. The hosts for the Seasons of Sound tour are local restaurants and intimate concert venues. Come hang out and hear some great classical piano music!

4pm to 6pm, 2133 University Avenue, Berkeley, CA, United States

SL Morse - Ladies' Night

Heavy sedated distorted pulses and hypnotic vocals based on nightmares and lucid dreamscapes. Demonsleeper is the solo project of Alexandra Buschman.

SL Morse
voice/percussion/drums duo of Aurora Josephson and Sarah Lockhart. Combining composition and improvisation, the music veers from polite to deranged and back and forth in keeping with the short story it is based on. Lockhart and Josephson have collaborated artistically for 7 years on a variety of projects, both musical and multidisciplinary, including other SL Morse works, video/music performances as part of The Illuminated Corridor, and the noise rock band Tainted Pussy.

8pm to 9pm, Berkeley Arts - 2133 University Avenue, between Shattuck & Oxford

Wednesday, August 20th 2014

Jon Raskin Trio and Ackley, McDonas, Stackpole

First Set - 8:00
Jon Raskin Trio
Vijay Anderson - drums
Matthew Goodheart - piano
Jon Raskin - saxophones

The trio will be performing "structured chaos" and "knowing the unknowable". These long time musical alchemists will descend into the musical memes of their past and burnish the fossils and jewels of inspiration. They will endeavor to "lift the bandstand".

Second Set - 9:00
Thollem McDonas - piano
Karen Stackpole - gongs and percussion
Bruce Ackley - soprano and tenor saxes, Bb clarinet

Gongwoman is our local maestro of the vibration, Ackley a founding member of Rova, and Thollem our vagabonding hero keyboardist. The trio's first concert together at Berkeley Arts last year was exciting and mysterious. Mutual affinities have drawn us together for another performance-which is sure to delight and surprise listeners.

8pm to 10:30pm, Berkeley Arts 2133 University Avenue, between Shattuck & Oxford

Friday, August 22nd 2014

Jerry Kuderna Lunch Concert

Pianist Jerry Kuderna plays from classics to the newest compositions.

12 noon to 1:30pm, 2133 University Ave.

Wednesday, August 27th 2014

Bob Marsh & Evangel King

8:00 PM window/door/river #1 - Bob Marsh, cello and voice with Evangel King, movement and sound

window/door/river began as a graphic response to a dance class with Anna Halprin a couple years ago. It seemed to resemble some of my graphic music compositions. The four panels reminded me of windows, or maybe they were doors. Maybe they were all aspects of the life of a river. I decided to send this window/door/river composition to various friends, near and far, asking them to create any kind of interpretation they might desire. Various types of realizations can be found at

Six months ago I began working with dancer/choreographer Evangel King on this project, exploring the variety of meanings, literal and metaphorical, of windows, doors and rivers. In the end we decided to work within the contexts of actual windows and doors, letting the river portion be the river of life that flows around us at all times
Other locations for the Marsh/King window/door/river project were at the Luggage Store Gallery, Hospitality House Gallery and Anna Halprin's Mountain Home Studio.

8pm to 10pm, 2133 University Ave.

Friday, August 29th 2014

Jerry Kuderna Lunch Concert

Pianist Jerry Kuderna plays from classics to the newest compositions.

12 noon to 1:30pm, 2133 University Ave.

Sunday, August 31st 2014

joshua marshall curates

8pm to 9pm, Berkeley Arts - 2133 University Avenue, between Shattuck & Oxford

Today's Events - July 28

Ongoing Events

Mike's Out of Doors Sculpture Wall

Location: South side of Ashby Avenue between Pine Street and Elmwood Court.

Open: 10 am to 10 pm,  Monday through Saturday.


 Closing Aurora Theatre Company’s 22nd season is David Mamet’s powerful, fast-paced drama AMERICAN BUFFALO. Set during one long day, three small-time crooks of great ambition and low morals make plans to rob a man of his valuable coin collection, including what they believe to be an extremely valuable “Buffalo nickel.” As the day goes on, paranoia builds, motivations change, and loyalties shift, with characters wielding words like weapons to intimidate and manipulate each other. A little out of luck and way out of their league, when the con goes awry, it’s every man for himself. Widely recognized as a modern masterpiece, The Washington Post declared“American Buffalo remains a gleefully flinty slice of burnt-out life: taut, funny and, in the end, surprisingly touching,” and The New York Times stated “sizzler, searing and dynamite…can still be used to describe ‘American Buffalo,’ which age has not withered or staled.”

Aurora Theater

2081 Addison Street

through July 13


Actors Ensemble will present FREE in Berkeley's fantastic John Hinkel Park Amphitheatre PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, adapted by Constance Cox from the book by Jane Austen, directed by Ann O’Connell.  Performances are at 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays July 5th – July 20th, plus a special performance at 4 p.m. on Friday, July 4th – watch a play before the fireworks begin!  Join us as the Bennet girls grapple with Mr. Darcy, Charles Bingley, and the rest of Jane Austen’s rich (and surprisingly funny) universe.

The amphitheatre seats over 200 people, but we will reserve the first few rows as a courtesy especially to the elderly and disabled - call 510-649-5999 to make a reservation.  The amphitheatre is wheelchair accessible - access is best from Somerset Pl, take Southhampton from Arlington and continue straight onto Somerset Pl.  (Google Maps will send you to the top of park, quite a hike down)

Reimagining Progress: Production, Consumption and Alternative Economies

We are living as if we have an extra planet at our disposal.

–Jim Leape, Director General, World Wildlife Fund International

We face an urgent problem: our current consumption patterns outstrip our planet’s available resources, and yet our society continues to produce massive amounts of cheap, disposable goods. With its complex history as a center of international commerce, radical politics, technological innovation, and cultural experimentation, the Bay Area is uniquely positioned to help solve this problem. Reimagining Progress features local artists powerfully critiquing our unsustainable status quo, exploring our society’s relationship to production, consumption, and waste while proposing alternatives that balance valuing people and planet with financial profit.

Artists include: Donna Anderson Kam, Trent Davis Bailey, Hopi Breton, Kristin Cammermeyer,  Julia Goodman, Daniel Healey, Ames Kanemoto, Kathryn Kenworth, Michael Kerbow, Marie-Luise Klotz, Aviva Knox,  Sara Kraft, Annie Leonard, Patrick Lydon, Scott Constable,  Kate Rhoades, Barrie Rokeach, and Paul Taylor


Lawrence Rinder, Director of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; JD Beltran, Artist and President of the San Francisco Arts Commission,; Deborah Munk, Director of the Artist Residency Program at Recology San Francisco; Berit Ashla, Executive Director of the David Brower Center

Gallery Hours: 

May 22 - September 4, 2014

Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sundays, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

David Brower Center 2150 Allston Way