Berkeley World Music Artists Take You Around The World at the All Free Festival
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Artists Converge on Telegraph Avenue
for Weekend of World Music
Saturday & Sunday, June 11th & 12th
The free 13th Annual Berkeley World Music Festival steps up to a two-day event on Saturday and Sunday, June 11th & 12th, Noon – 9 pm. Some of the finest world music artists, who call the Bay Area home, will present a dazzling range of continuous music outdoors and in Telegraph Avenue cafes and shops. Best starting place is the information booth located on Telegraph Avenue at Haste Street, near UC Berkeley.
The Festival showcases Bay Area’s rich world music scene and it’s all free! Each day offers dance concerts led by internationally renowned headliners who are foremost proponents in their fields of music: John Santos (Afro-Latin Jazz), Fanna-Fi-Allah (Sufi Qawwali) & Trio Garufa (Argentine Tango). Saturday & Sunday finales are dance parties at the newly opened Tap Haus on Durant Ave, just east of Telegraph.
On Saturday at Peoples Park multi-Grammy nominee & 2016 grand headliner, John Santos leads an all-star line-up, 1-6 pm. The dynamic Moroccan band AZA opens up the Amoeba Music concert, with Tamazight “Berber” rhythms, a female horn section and soaring vocals. Then The Dogon Lights’ electrifying West African harmonies transport the audience into “Afro-Galactic Hip-Hop”. Santos brings his illustrious sextet and special guests: Cuban timbales legend Orestes Vilató, multi-instrumentalist Jose Roberto Hernandez & Latin hip-hop to folk artist Rico Pabón, who brilliantly connects jazz to it’s Afro-Caribbean roots. A crafts village with kids zone adds to the People’s Park festivities.
Visitors will also enjoy a musical feast throughout the weekend at various Telegraph Avenue venues. Margaret & Kristoff open the Festival at the Med Caffe on Saturday with Celtic and Renaissance music of the European countryside. Simcha Orchestra (Klezmer) then sets up in front of the Berkeley Hat Company. Ensohza brings traditional Japanese Folk Music and Dance. Sadza Marimba with special guest Julia Chigamba draws the audience into the joyful rhythms of Zimbabwe. Both Ensohza & Sadza perform at Telegraph & Haste. Virtuoso ambassador Neema Hekmat, on stringed Santur, journeys through Persia's mystical music and poetry at Moe's Books.
Saturday evening showcases emerging stars Gabriel Navia and Cuban vocalist Sulkary Valverdes (New Wave Latin). Special guest Latin,Grammy nominee and Bolivian legend, Eddy Navia, adds to this pan-Latin performance at Remy’s Mexican Restaurant. The incomparable Dirty Cello (Gypsy Blues ‘n Rock) is Saturday’s evening’s dance party finale at the Tap Haus!
Not to be missed is the Festival’s Saturday Night Party, starting at 9:30 pm, w/ cover at 1317 San Pablo near Gilman featuring Oakland-based singer/songwriter Piwai’s fascinating crossover of traditional Zimbabwean rhythms into the jazz idiom.
On Sunday the world music tour continues when Ghost Note Ensemble opens with fast-paced music from Jewish, Hungarian, Moldavian, and Ukrainian folk traditions at the Med Caffe. Bayou Noir (Cajun / Zydeo), Spirit of ’29 (Dixieland Jazz) and Michael Masley’s celestial “kalimbalom” bring uplifting sounds to Telegraph.
Sunday’s double connect transforms the YWCA gym at 2600 Bancroft with headlining performances, 3-7 pm. Trio Garufa’s captivating Argentine Tango is complete with special dance performance and lesson, followed by Fanna-Fi-Allah's authentic and exhilarating sufi qawwali music
Evening performance is SonoMusette (Vintage French Revisited) recapturing the 1920’s Parisian scene and hot gypsy jazz with French chanteuse, Mimi Piraud, at Café Milano. Festival's grande finale is Rumbaché salsa party band featuring 2014 Grammy Award Winner Omar Ledezma Jr. as it’s front man. With extraordinary music, plus crafts, there’s something for everyone!
Festival sponsors include Amoeba Music, Ashkenaz Music & Community Dance Center, Berkeley Community Media, Berkeley Honda, City of Berkeley, East Bay Express, East Bay Media Center, KBBF 89.1 FM, KPFA 94.1 FM, Raleigh's Pub & Grill, Telegraph Business Improvement District, UC Berkeley, and YWCA Berkeley/Oakland.