Berkeley Arts Festival Calendar


Homage to the Thief: A Cubist Jazzscape on Human Destiny

A benefit for California fire relief. Tickets are $15 general admission, $10 for students with ID.

Dec 19, 7pm to 9pm, The Back Room, 1984 Bonita Ave, Berkeley

Craig & MacGregor Band

Join The Craig & MacGregor Band for an evening of "Not Just Jazz," cheap drinks, good friends, and complimentary food from Bacheesos on Telegraph. Bar opens at 6:30pm | Music

Dec 19, 7pm to 11pm, The Marsh Cabaret, 2120 Allston Way, Berkeley

David Nadel Memorial with Balkan Dance and the Funky Nixons

Doors at 6:30 pm; Show at 7:00 pm

Entrance by donation

It's been 22 years since his passing, and his legacy lives on.

With thanks to the generous community of Ashkenaz attendees and donors who continue to support David Nadel's vision of a community space that celebrates intercultural exchange, Ashkenaz remains a thriving institution.

This year, we will be gathering in gratitude on December 19, for an intimate evening of remembrance, with Balkan dancing from 7pm to 9pm

Funky Nixons at 9:15 pm

Never one to turn down an opportunity to shake up the status quo, in the era of Bush the First David gladly took the opportunity to present The Funky Nixons and their brand of shit-disturbing rock. Such timely favorites as "Screw the Rich", "Smoke a Joint with Jesus", and "Barbara Bush's Dog" hearkened to David's social activist roots, and spotlighted Ashkenaz's role as a house of social justice.

The Funky Nixons

The Funky Nixons are a Berkeley-based rock/hip-hop band. Formed in 1990 on the eve of the first Gulf War, the band has performed over a hundred shows, concerts, and benefits all over the San Francisco Bay Area. Funky Nixons songs are played on college and pirate radio stations around the Bay Area. Songs include: Screw the Rich, Bum Rap, We Support the Troops, LA Driver, Minimum Wage, We Love the Pope, and Smoke a Joint with Jesus. Their song Barbara Bush's Dog was used as the theme song of the weekly radio show, The Street Spirit Hour. Music mpgs and photos of the Funky Nixons are posted at The Funky Nixons have performed at People's Park anniversary shows most years since 1991, and are sometimes referred to as the "House Band of Berkeley's People's Park" by other park organizers.

Dec 19, 7pm to 9pm, Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

Jazz in the Neighborhood Presents...Quinteto La Moderna

"Quinteto La Moderna" is the Bay Area's first quintet dedicated to the Cuban musical style known as "charanga." It features the flute and violin of Miguelito Martinez and Tregar Otton respectively, as they fashion strong melodic figures over the hard driving rhythm section of Bay Area Latin music stalwarts John Calloway, Steve Senft-Herrera and Michael Spiro. The group's repertoire ranges from the danzon to songo, from the cha-cha-cha to timba, and is truly the ideal group for both listening and dancing.

Band Members and Instrumentation Michael Spiro, percussion; John Calloway, piano and flute; Miguel Martinez, flute; Steve Senft-Herrera, bass; Tregar Otton, violin

Artist/Group Bio(s) John Callowayis a multi-instrumentalist who has performed with renowned jazz and Latin music artists such as Israel "Cachao" Lopez, Max Roach, Omar Sosa and John Santos. His recording credits include the GRAMMY nominated CDs "SF Bay," "Ritmo y Candela" and "Canto America" as well as film scoring for the HBO movie "Hemmingway and Gelhorn." His latest CD, "Asere Ko" was released in 2016.

Tregar Otton, violinist and arranger, was born in the Marshall Islands, and raised in Corpus Christi, TX and San Francisco, CA. As a young musician living in New York he was a member of Virgilo Martí y sus Majaderos, and performed weekly with Cuban legends Chocolate Armenteros, Patato Valdéz and Joe Santiago. He also played with Juan Carlos Formell, and was a member of the celebrated charanga groups Orquesta Broadway and La Típica Novel. Upon his return to the Bay Area in the early 1990s, Tregar became the musical director of Orquesta La Moderna Tradición, and has been a steady fixture in the S.F. music scene ever since.

For over a quarter of a century, Steve Senft-Herrera has held down the bass chair in a myriad of Bay Area salsa and Cuban music dance bands. His performance credits include include two tours of Spain, performances at Stern Grove, The Fillmore, The Telluride Jazz Festival, The SF Jazz Festival, and the Midsummer Night Swing Festival at Lincoln Center. His recording credits span Cuban dance music, Latin Jazz, and Flamenco, and include three albums by long-time Bay Area favorite Orquesta La Moderna Tradición. In addition to La Moderna Tradición, Steve is also the bass player for the acclaimed Bay Area treasure, Conjunto Karabali.

Born in Chiapas, México, Miguelito Martinez plays salsa and Latin Jazz with percussionists Karl Perazzo and Michael Spiro in Conjunto Karabali, El Sonero del Uruguay "Edgardo Cambon," La Moderna Tradicion and many more. He has performed and recorded with Alfredo de la Fe, Orestes Vilato, Karl Perazzo, Juan Carlos Formel, Michael Spiro, Felix Valoy, Ralph Irizarry, Little Johnny Rivero. In 2009, he was awarded the best Latin Jazz Flautist Of The Year for the Latin Jazz Corner.

Known for his work in the Latin music field, Michael Spirois an internationally recognized percussionist, educator and recording artist. He is a ten-time Grammy nominee, and has produced seminal recordings in the Latin music genre. His performing and recording credits cover an array of internationally known artists, from David Byrne, Carlos Santana and Charlie Watts, to Latin music icons Eddie Palmieri, Israel Lopez (Cachao) and Richard Egues, to such jazz luminaries as Ella Fitzgerald, Bobby Hutcherson and McCoy Tyner.

Dec 19, 7:30pm to 9:30pm, Rendon Hall/Fiddler Annex @ California Jazz Conservatory 2040 Addison Street, Berkeley