Arts & Events

At the Berkeley Arts Festival This Weekend

By Bonnie Hughes
Friday May 07, 2010 - 11:43:00 AM

This weekend the Berkeley Arts Festival will present the third night of John Schott's Typical Orchestra Retrospective and the India Cooke Bill Crossman Duo Audiences coming into the future home of the Judah L. Magnes Museum at 2121 Allston Way are greeted by the large figurative works of painter Bob Brokl.  

Friday at 8 pm. The final performance of John Schott's Typical Orchestra which has been in residence for three consecutive nights to thoroughly explore a 25-year retrospective of John's compositions. The sprawling, knotty guitarist of T.J. Kirk, Junk Genius, and Dream Kitchen, Schott's contribution to last year's Berkeley Arts Festival was the 8-hour solo guitar meditation on "Round Midnight". This year he and longtime colleagues Steve Adams, saxophone (Rova); Dan Seamans, bass (New Klezmer Trio); and John Hanes, drums and Darren Johnston, trumpet, turn an empty warehouse in downtown Berkeley into a Jazz cellar, an original blues research woodshed. 

Sunday at 8 pm . The India Cooke Bill Crossman Duo (with India on violin and Bill on piano) plays beautiful, passionate improvised music. Within each piece, the Duo weaves in elements of various world musics yet maintains an overall sound based in African-rooted musics (jazz and blues). The Duo has performed at the Berkeley Arts Festival and other venues, been featured on KCSM-FM radio, and has recorded two CDs.  

The Berkeley Arts Festival has been playing in empty store fronts in downtown Berkeley for close to twenty years. The Allston Way site is its most impressive site by far. Many friends of the festival came together on short notice to transform a sort of warehouse warren of a space into a room with warm lighting, beautiful paintings and exciting music.