Berkeley World Music Festival, June 9 - 11

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 29, 2017 05:00pm | Post a Comment

The 14th Annual Berkeley World Music Festival descends on Berkeley Friday, June 9th to Sunday, Berkeley World Music FestivalJune 11th and it's all FREE. This year's line-up features a dazzling array of performances by some of the Bay Area’s finest artists and also marks the first time the Festival expands beyond the People's Park and Telegraph Avenue stomping grounds.

The Festival opens on Friday night at 8pm with a free kick-off party at La Peña Cultural Center, located at 3105 Shattuck Ave. Evening performances display the cross-cultural exchange between Spain, Peru, and Cuba. Peta Robles leads multi-textured drumming of the Cajon. Direct from Spain, La Mandanga offers passionate dance music.

On Saturday, the festival launches its first concert in downtown Berkeley at Civic Center Park from noon to 6pm. Honoring our ancestral lands, Corrina Gould, a Chochenyo Ohlone elder, opens the event, followed by a Chiricahua Nde’ “Apache” performance. Next, award-winning singer Fely Tchaco steps onto center stage, infusing lyrical pop into Ivory Coast rhythms. Concert headliners are legendary Fito Reinoso, a top Cuban songwriter, and Zydeco Flames, West Coast’s premier Zydeco band. Fito Reinoso y su Ritmo y Armonia’s sizzling Cuban Salsa, Timba, and Son rhythms reflect Cuba’s street beat and broad musical heritage. Zydeco Flames presents riveting Louisiana funk and R&B as only they can deliver. Saturday festivities also include performances by veterans Alan Hewitt and Summerlynn Rivera (Bluegrass with Clogger) and street music on Shattuck Avenue.

The music feast continues on Sunday with the acclaimed People's Park concert sponsored by Amoeba Music. Guarandinga brilliantly mixes Afro-Caribbean rhythms with East Bay Funk. Ousseynou Kouyate leads Djialy Kunda Kouyate in moving Senegalese melodies and high-impact dance grooves. Ousseynou continues a long family line of griot storytellers who carry on the oral history and arts of West Africa. Sunday’s headliner is show-stopper The Mad Maggies, whose Wild Folk Rock Fusion and eclectic styles of music is in itself a festival! Visitors will also be treated to an impressive music tour, mainly in Telegraph Avenue shops, from noon to 9pm. The best starting place on Sunday is the event information booth, located on Telegraph Avenue near UC Berkeley.

Duo Gadjo with singer Isabelle Fontaine open Sunday’s music crawl with Parisian café music. Master Shakuhachi player Cornelius Boots follow the music of the Japanese flute into new landscapes at Musical Offerings. China's Spirit Music Ensemble, an all-zither string quartet, journeys through China’s classical and folk traditions at Mad Monks. Acclaimed brothers Tsering Dorjee “Bawa” and Tenzin Choegyal share joyful Tibetan folk music and song at Moe’s Books. Incognito Express, a madcap Balkan Brass band, performs at Café Milano. Outdoors, Silk Road Caravan, Middle Eastern music and dance group, creates a street scene on Haste Street at Telegraph. Spirit of '29 will be playing Dixieland Jazz, Alan Hewitt wields the bluegrass mandolin, and Michael Masley on his invented Bow Hammer Autoharp brings uplifting sounds to Telegraph Avenue sidewalks. Macy Blackman & The Mighty Fines deliver New Orleans Blues for a powerful finale to the best ever Berkeley World Music Festival!

In addition to extraordinary music, the Festival offers a crafts village with food and children's activities daily. There's something for everyone and it’s all free! Schedules will be available at event information booths.

For more info, visit

Relevant Tags

Berkeley World Music Festival (10), Berkeley (28), World Music (146), Fely Tchaco (3), Fito Reinoso (2)