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Berkeley World Music Festival Returns To Telegraph Avenue, June 13

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 25, 2015 05:59pm | Post a Comment

The 12th annual Berkeley World Music Festival returns to Telegraph Avenue on Saturday, June 13th from Noon – 9pm. The Bay Area’s finest artists present a dazzling array of continuous music in Telegraph Avenue cafes and shops, and on the Amoeba Music-sponsored People’s Park stage from 1-6pm. This FREE Festival celebrates global unity, bringing together cultures as far-reaching as Middle Eastern Jewish, Arabic, Roma, Colombian, Asian, and African.

The all-star concert at People’s Park opens with Soji & the Afrobeat Band. Soji Odukogbe attracted acclaim originally as lead guitarist for the great Fela Kuti. Next up is The Georges Lammam Ensemble, led by a violin virtuoso presenting an all-Arabic show with exotic dancers. The final act is the Oakland-based Candelaria, who fuses Afro-Colombian, cumbia, and reggae into a spectacular new form that moves the South American cumbia phenomenon onto the world stage. People’s Park festivities also include a colorful crafts fair and an exhibition performance by the All Nations Singers at 12:30pm, which includes Native American social dancing that the audience can participate in.

A musical feast will be served throughout the day at various Telegraph Avenue venues. Safra opens the Festival at the Cafe Mediterraneum at noon with spirited music and songs of the Mizrahi (Middle Eastern Jews). Jesse Autumn & Shelley Phillips offer a Celtic and Scandinavian concert with woodwinds & double strung harps at Musical Offerings. Tres Meminas play Bossa Nova & Brazilian Jazz, transforming Remy’s Mexican Restaurant into an Iberian music hall. Moe’s Books provides a backdrop for Ultra World Duo’s bamboo flutes and Chinese zither. KPFA host Stephen Kent, the world’s premiere exponent of the didjeridu, performs trance music at the YWCA gym on Bancroft. Pakistani legend Riffat Sultana shares songs from Qawwali Sufi to Punjabi pop at Cafe Milano. Rumen Shopov & Edessa (Romani Balkan music) is the Festival finale at “The Village” (2556 Telegraph Avenue) led by multi-instrumentalist Shopov, one of the greatest living players of Bulgarian and Turkish tapan drumming.

Outside on Telegraph Avenue, catch Zimbabwean performer and educator Julia Chigamba for marimba dance music; Spirit of ’29, a Dixieland Jazz band; Michael Masley’s “kalimbalom”; plus a crafts fair and a Kids’ Zone. There’s something for everyone!

Also, don't miss the Berkeley World Music Festival's opening party on Friday June 12th at Ashkenaz at 9:30pm, featuring Thomas Mapfumo & The Blacks Unlimited. Zimbabwean exile Thomas Mapfumo is one of the best-known artists in African music. He propels lyrical mbira folk music into politically charged and irresistible Afro-pop. 

Find out more information on the Berkeley World Music Fest HERE.

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World Music (0), Safra (1), The Georges Lammam Ensemble (1), Candelaria (1), Soji Odukogbe (1), Telegraph Avenue (2), Berkeley World Music Festival (10), People's Park (3), Berkeley (28)