View the schedule in a calendar format HERE


Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza
Thursday September 11, 5-8pm

East Bay Brass Band is a SF Bay Area, New Orleans-style brass band that specializes in mash-ups of popular artists from Jelly Roll Morton to AC/DC to Raymond Scott to Paula Abdul to Shostakovich to R.E.M. They also do straight covers drawn from a number of sources, including (but not limited to) trombone shout bands, New Orleans brass bands, hard bop, funk, rock, country, and pop. The group contains members from many Bay Area bands including Blue Bone Express, Albino!, Wicked Mercies, MJ’s Brass Boppers, Tamalpias Brass Quintet, Cyclub, and more. “We drop bombs, kick brass, and funk people up! While mash-ups are habitual, all music that gets ’em hyped and dancing is our ritual.”

Coming off the cultural street corners of the Bay Area’s diverse musical scene, Alta California is an Afro-Cuban, flamenco, hip-hop, pop, and soul super-group; practically a who’s who of Bay Area Latin, funk and flamenco musicians and dancers, playing their own genre of “Rumba Esquina” (right off the streets). Acclaimed vocalists, Orlando Torriente and Piero Amadeo Infante, from San Francisco’s Mission District and East Bay’s East Oakland, respectively, bring gritty, emotional, moving stories of love, loss, and the triumph and influence of their family of all colors through songs and music, including Corrido, Nueva Trova, and all with the energy of rumba, alternative, and Latin rock in both Spanish and English. This is true Latin street music. “Alta California is the Bay’s hardest-hitting most musical new Bay Latin Dance Band.”



2181 Shattuck Ave – – All Shows FREE
Thursday September 11
Selector: A NIGHT DEDICATED TO PRINCE – 8.oo-11.oo
Once the Kickoff Party wraps up, walk across to the Jupiter where the Selector DJs Delon & Spooky Electric lay down the Purple Funk, mixing classic and rare Minneapolis Sound cuts for an evening of all-things Prince!

Friday September 12
A real Bay Area legend (by way of New York), Ren the Vinyl Archaeologist made his mark by curating top notch events featuring hip hop legends and supporting independent artists from the Bay and beyond. Since True Skool’s inception in 1999, his online magazine and newsletter has served as a resource that covers hip hop history, politics, emerging artists and events. As a DJ, he has shared bills with world-renowned artists such as Grandmaster Flash, Jazzy Jeff, Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, Kool DJ Red Alert, Mixmaster Mike, Q-Bert, Apollo, Cut Chemist, DJ Premier, Wu-Tang Clan and many more.

Soul-minded, singer/songwriter, VinCi, (Vin-Cee), renders a unique sound of her own, as she instills ready-hints of jazz, mixing in a close study of 7o’s rock and soul classics while blithely blending a fervor reckoning of pop sense. Celebrating the recent release of her second LP, RISE, a dynamic eleven-song collection that reunites her with erudite console-man, Michael S. Rosen! RISE is the product of the myriad of popular music ingrained in VinCi’s musical upbringing, while being influenced by some of soul music’s textbook names… such as Nina Simone, Curtis Mayfield, Sade and Marvin Gaye.

Saturday September 13
The top musicians from this year’s BHS Jazz Program make it to the Jup stage! Since 1976, Berkeley High School Jazz, one of California’s top award-winning high school jazz bands, has played jazz festivals in Europe, Japan, and California including the Next Generation Jazz Festival at the Monterrey Jazz Festival. Hailed for its spirited performances [“the indisputable jewel in Berkeley’s musical crown” –S.F. Bay Guardian], Berkeley High School Jazz has launched the careers of some of the best musicians in the jazz world, including Joshua Redman, Peter Apfelbaum, Benny Green, Ambrose Akinmusire, Joshi Marshall, Miles Perkins, and Dave Ellis.

DUBTONIC KRU – 8.oo-11.oo
Blending heavy baselines, psychedelic guitar riffs, echoing keyboards, popping percussion with roots reggae, imagine dub, jazz and rock… Put them all together and you get a new breed of Jamaican music called DubTonic Kru! Like their style of music, Dubtonic is a mixture of two words “DUB”, relating to the heavy drum and bass aspect of reggae music and “TONIC”, referring to medicine. Their versatility and capability in being able to serve the right dosage to their varying audiences was the edge they had over their counterparts when they were voted BEST NEW BAND IN THE WORLD” 2010 – 2011 at the Global Battle of the Bands World Finals in Malyasia. Founding members of Dubtonic Kru, “Jubba” and “Stone”, a dynamic Drum & Bass duo, who over the years contributed to the development of modern Roots Reggae, with their unique sound and approach that intertwines Jubba’s mesmerizing Reggae/Jazz Fusion drumming with Stone’s groovy, yet pulsating bass lines.

Sunday September 14
PETE MADSEN – 2.oo-4:30
Pete Madsen is a teacher, writer, guitarist and performer based in Berkeley, California. He has written numerous lessons for Acoustic Guitar and Play Guitar magazines; and is the author of FretMaster: Slide Guitar and the Fretmaster: Funk Book, both published by Backbeat books; as well as A Guide to Acoustic Blues Guitar and the soon to be published The CAGED System for Guitar. Well versed in just about every type of acoustic blues you can think of, Pete’s one of the Bay Area’s best blues pickers and we’re glad to showcase him this week as part of the MusicFest.

THE PARMESANS – 5.oo-7:30
The Parmesans are a string trio from San Francisco, California. Part contemporary folk, part alternative country, sort of blues and not quite bluegrass, their music centers on vocal harmony supported by arrangements for acoustic guitar, mandolin, double bass and trumpet. They released their debut LP, Wolf Eggs, in 2013 followed by the Nature’s Burrito EP in 2014.


2133 University Avenue –

Sunday September 14
SARAH CAHILL 3.oo-5.oo ($10-20 suggested donation)
To celebrate the release of her new two-CD album of Mamoru Fujieda’s “Patterns of Plants” on the Pinna Records label, Sarah performs some of these collections of pieces ranging from 1996 to 2010. Fujieda’s main fascination as a composer is to give expression to the voices of plants. With the aid of a device called a Plantron, he “tries to make those voices audible as melodic patterns. In applying this method, the act of listening attentively becomes important. The various patterns thus detected are repeated, transformed, and superimposed to form one musical piece.”


2090 Kittredge, 3rd Floor – – All Shows FREE

Friday, September 12
North Indian Classical Music w/ ARJUN VERMA – 12.oo
Sitarist Arjun Verma has spent his entire life steeped in the tradition of North Indian Classical music. The son of internationally performing sitarist Roop Verma, a disciple of Ali Akbar Khan and Ravi Shankar, Arjun began learning sitar from his father at age five. He will perform traditional Hindustani ragas in a free afternoon concert at the Central Library.


2072 University Ave – – All Shows FREE

Saturday September 13
Rocking R&B and blues from this local band.


2087 Addison St –

Friday, September 12
DEBBIE PORYES NEW JAZZ QUINTET – 8.oo ($18 gen /$15 students and seniors)
The sophistication and warm emotional power of Debbie Poryes’s music is hard to overstate. Her highly original compositions are influenced by jazz from bebop to post-bop to modern times, as well as by 20th-century classical music and free jazz. Her voicings, melodies and touch are exquisite. Her sense of time and swing are deeply felt, and yet she can also be light hearted. Featuring Kasey Knudsen on alto saxophones, Erik Jekabson on trumpet and flugelhorn, Peter Barshay on bass and Deszon Claiborne on drums. “Poryes is an inventive pianist, taking familiar standards and setting them slightly askew to re-examine them. Poryes’ originals are varied in their moods and effects, serene… powerful…admirable.” – Cadence Magazine

Saturday September 13
IAN FAQUINI – 8.oo ($15 gen /$12 students and seniors)
Ian Faquini is a 20 year old Brazilian guitar player and singer who resides near Berkeley, California, where he was a member of the renown Berkeley High School Jazz program. At the age of 16, Ian became the mentoree of the legendary Brazilian guitar maestro Guinga, who took Ian under his wing. In a very short amount of time, Ian has become one of the most unique and respected guitar players in the San Francisco Bay Area, demonstrating rare chordal technique and a special delicate touch on very difficult pieces. His last few summers have been spent in Brazil, where he has performed and studied with some of that country’s highest level guitar players, including Marcus Tardelli, Guinga, and others. Ian recently joined the faculty at California Brazil Camp, is currently is completing a degree at the Jazz School in Berkeley, and performs concerts in both a solo format as well as a jazz duo with saxophonist Doug Pet. Ian plays and sings originals, as well as a large reportoire of sambas, choros, bossa novas, and Brazilian classical guitar pieces.

Sunday September 14
SF Early Music Society Presents: LES VIOLETTES AND ENSEMBLE VERMILLIAN -8.oo ($15 gen /$12 students and seniors)
The California Jazz Conservatory and The San Francisco Early Music Society have established an exciting affiliation that delights both our audience and our local musicians. Early music lovers and jazz music lovers join together to celebrate the improvisational kinship of the two genres. Early music is not light entertainment but a spiritual bridge to another time and place, a deep momentary experience sent to us by past voices in a universal language we rediscover and re-create with each performance.


2349 Shattuck Ave – – FREE

Thursday September 11
In 2012, McSweeney’s issued Beck’s new album, Song Reader – a book of sheet music that invited listeners to interpret the unrecorded material themselves. With thousands of performances uploaded to YouTube, and all-star concerts and recordings produced, the message of this inclusive experiment is clear: whether it’s Nora Jones or Jack White in the
studio, the Portland Cello Project undertaking the complete work, Beck himself solo in Santa Cruz, or a teen in her bedroom singing into a laptop, every rendition of each of these twenty varied songs is definitive. In that spirit, we are inviting some bright lights of the Bay Area music scene to come together for a one-time collaborative performance of this work. We might not produce the offhand masterpiece that is Bob Dylan and The Band’s Basement Tapes. But then again, we might.


2020 Addison Street –

Thursday September 11
BILL MONROE BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE – 8.oo ($22 adv/$24 door)
There would be no bluegrass if not for Bill Monroe. He gave the genre its name and its distinctive style, and for most of the 20th century he embodied the essence of the art form, which is typically delivered by a five-piece acoustic string band featuring instrumental virtuosity on banjo, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, and string bass, and plaintive, high lonesome voices singing in close harmony. Monroe’s influence reaches far and deep, and will be very much in evidence during the Freight’s popular annual tribute, hosted for the fifth year in a row by Berkeley’s own Laurie Lewis.

Friday September 12
Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line return to the Freight riding high from the success of their most recent album, Carnival, which rose to #11 on the Americana Radio Chart. Nora Jane grew up in Virginia, studied at NYU, and taught English in Brooklyn before moving to Nashville to focus full time on music. Bluegrass Unlimited called her first solo album, recorded in 2010, “a marvel that combines brilliant songcraft, a sultry yet honey-hued voice, and an inspired sense of personal musical style.” The reviewer for Bluegrass Breakdown called it “one of the most mesmerizing, haunting, and hard-hitting projects I’ve ever heard.” Carnival ups the ante with a compendium of songs that tell memorable stories about a range of compelling characters.

Saturday September 13
Blast off with Alphabet Rockers through their hip hop grooves, rhymes, and “super positive messages for kids” [Common Sense Media]. Their energetic educational shows feature beatboxing, fun and easy to learn contemporary dance moves, interactive theatrical skits promoting healthy living, and original award-winning music from their CDs. Working with educational advisors and contemporary music and dance creators, Alphabet Rockers parallels a Bay Area based Sesame Street workshop. Whether singing together in the carpool lane, playing the iPhone app together on the bus, or watching the videos together, Alphabet Rockers is the soundtrack for the modern family!

ELIZA GILKYSON W/ NINA GERBER – 8.oo ($26 adv/$28 door)
Eliza Gilkyson is one of the finest singer-songwriters making music today. She “doesn’t pull any punches,” says the New York Times. “She graces the music with her lush and passionate voice; a dark and lonely sound, hope and satisfaction, and edgy lyrics with piercing imagery round out the whole.” The Boston Globe praises her “masterfully structured, startlingly intimate songs in a beautifully lived in voice.” She started her musical career recording demos for her father, the legendary folksinger and songwriter Terry Gilkyson, and has since released 19 solo albums, including Land of Milk and Honey, which earned a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Folk Album. Freight favorite Nina Gerber is the LeBron James of guitar players – a superstar who makes everyone around her play better. She’s added her talents to the work of a wealth of wonderful artists, including Karla Bonoff, Peter Rowan, Nanci Griffith, Lucy Kaplansky, Laurie Lewis, and Kate Wolf, with whom Nina started her musical career.

Sunday September 14
ERIC BIBB – 8.oo ($25 adv/$27 door)
Eric Bibb has been playing and singing the blues for more than 40 years, but his music embraces more than the blues. “It’s blues, it’s country, it’s work songs, it’s ragtime, it’s spirituals. All of those things are in the hopper,” Eric says. With a Grammy nomination, multiple W.C. Handy nominations, and the Blues Foundation award for Acoustic Artist of the Year in 2012, Eric has recorded more than 40 albums in his illustrious career, with guest appearances from friends like Pops and Mavis Staples, Charlie Musselwhite, Bonnie Raitt, and Taj Mahal. Not only is Eric a fingerpicking wonder on the guitar, but according to the Sunday Times, he’s “blessed with one of the most soulful voices in popular music.” Here’s what the website No Depression says about his latest album, “These songs of heart and hope may be a crowning achievement in his four-decade career, and lord knows the world needs to hear them.”


2179 Bancroft Way –

Saturday September 13
Gautam Tejas Ganeshan presents “Story of This Place,” a project of original songs that began earlier this year at the Berkeley Art Museum, and continues with this performance at the Subterranean Arthouse. Berkeleyside calls Gautam’s music “an incredible presence…gentle renegade performance.”

Sunday September 14
MARCA CASSIDY AND BRIANNA LEA PRUETT – 7.oo ($10-15 suggested donation)
Songs and poetry by people of native heritage. Bay Area resident Marca Cassity delivers inspired folk rock spirit songs. Called a “soulful songstress,” by the L.A. Weekly, Marca was raised in rural Oklahoma. The product of her Osage Indian ancestry and blue-collar sweat, hard work is no mystery to Marca, and it shows in her art and her expression. Songwriter, singer, painter and poet from Gold Country, California, Brianna Lea Pruett’s musical expressions travel widely, much like herself. Born in the mountains of Northern California and a singer from her earliest days, she plays California folk, country, and the musical style of her Appalachian and Southeastern Woodlands heritage with equal passion as compositions that show a love for jazz, blues, and soul music.


1920 Shattuck Ave – – All Shows FREE

Saturday September 13 & Sunday September 14
“…One of the lonesomest, hard-drivingest traditional bluegrass bands alive…High Country manages to be fresh and exciting without even the merest nod to modern music.” – Bluegrass Unlimited. Over the last forty years, High Country has earned its place as the West Coast’s premier traditional bluegrass band. Strongly influenced by the classic styles of Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs and the Stanley Brothers, the band’s blend of banjo, mandolin, fiddle, dobro, guitar and bass delivers the upbeat excitement of true bluegrass music. High Country’s show offers a vital mix of powerful originals and standards, from blues to breakdowns to gospels sung in close harmony. With driving rhythm, skillful picking and soulful singing, High Country brings the energy and experience of six seasoned professionals to this spirited American art form. After four decades of performing, the band remains fresh and exciting, and brings their love of bluegrass to an ever-widening audience.

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