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Press Release

For Immediate Release: 

WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL EXTRAVAGANZA

Comes to Berkeley, June 1-3

The all-free 15th Annual Berkeley World Music Festival celebrates song, music and dance from a wealth of cultures, Friday night through Sunday, June 1-3. Some of Bay Area's finest artists perform in various locations mainly within the Telegraph Avenue neighborhood near UC Berkeley.  Friday night,  La Peña Cultural Center  hosts Festival kick-off party at 3105 Shattuck Ave, 8 pm to midnight.

Saturday & Sunday world artists converge on Telegraph Avenue in an exciting mix of street sideshows and cafe concerts, Noon – 8 pm. On Saturday, Dan Cantrell & Friends (Balkan Soul Music) opens the Festival. The music tour then features the Harlan James Bluegrass Band (Traditional Music & Song), Silk Road Caravan (Middle Eastern Music & Dance), The Deep  Basement Shakers (Blues, Boogie, and New Orleans), and street artist treasure Michael Masley (Slide Hammer Dulcimer).  Saturday  evening finale is the multi layered Fula Brothers with Mali legend Mamadou Sidibe and guitar master Walter Straus.

Simultaneously Amoeba Music’s concert in People’s Park and crafts fair is Saturday, Noon – 6 pm. The all-star concert opens with Yassir Chadly & the Moroccans rocking Gnawa trance and melodic rhythms.  Then visitors are in for a rare treat when the world renowned Fanna-Fi-Allah steps onto the stage with authentic and exhilarating Qawwali Sufi music, followed by Carnival favorite La Gente's encompassing mix of reggae, cumbia and hip-hop.  

Saturday night Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community presents a "World Cultures Dance Celebration" featuring the rhythms of body and feet from four continents. Flamenco, Appalachian clogging, Indian Kathak, African dance, and modern Body Percussion will be performed, followed by a dance party with DJ Corey Mason of World One Radio , 8-12 pm at 1317 San Pablo Avenue, near Gilman St. 

On Sunday, the Festival joins "Sunday Streets Berkeley" on Telegraph where the Avenues become pedestrian plazas for folks to gather round community music groups and family fun activities. On Durant Avenue, opening act, Sadza Marimba  with guest appearance of Julia Chigamba, creates a village street scene along with African sculptures, designer fashions and colorful percussion instruments  The musical feast continues throughout the day with music traditions as diverse as China's Spirit Music Ensemble (Guzheng Zithers), Sikh Heritage Symphony (North Indian Classical), Simcha Trio (Klezmer) and Vukani Mawethu Choir (South African Harmonies / Gospel).

Not to be missed is Sunday’s afternoon headliner Bay Area Timba All Stars with premiere Cuban singer Fito Reinoso playing a medley of Salsa, Rumba & Son. North Bay’s award winning high-energy band  DGINN, delivers French Gypsy Funk for a memorable finale. With Berkeley united in music, plus a multitude of activities, as bubbles, juggling, and even a giant chess game throughout the weekend, there’s something for everyone! For more info, visi the event info booth at Telegraph and Haste, open Saturday & Sunday from Noon -6 pm  and www.bwmfest.org 

Festival sponsors include Amoeba Music, Askhenaz Music & Dance Community Center, Berkeley Community Media, City of Berkeley, East Bay Express, East Bay Media, KPFA 94.1FM, La Peña Cultural Center, Sonic.net, Sunday Streets, Telegraph Business Improvement District and UC Berkeley. 

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What People Are Saying About the Berkeley World Music Festival:

"While the music is global in scope, the artists are local, highlighting the wealth of talent, homegrown and adopted, that abides among us."

-Berkeleyside

"Music spills out from all corners of Berkeley during the annual Berkeley World Music Festival...It will feature a dazzling array of performances by some of the Bay Area’s finest artists."

-SF Funcheap

"Let’s celebrate what makes the Bay Area so unique: the fusion of music from all over the world."

-East Bay Express

"A dazzling array of music - from Balkan harmonies, South American rhythms, Japanese flute, African marimba, Klezmer, and Zydeco."

-SF Station

"A celebration of diverse local artists in an effort to promote local performers and provide a platform for artistic expression."

-The Daily Californian