MLK Jr. Civic Center Park and Telegraph Ave. at Haste St.
Berkeley, CA 94704
The 14th Annual Berkeley FREE World Music Festival happens Friday to Sunday, June 9-11 in various locations citywide. It will feature a dazzling array of performances by some of the Bay Area’s finest artists, in various locations citywide. This marks the first time the Festival expands beyond People's Park and Telegraph Avenue stomping grounds.
Friday night starting at 8 pm, the Festival opens with a free kick-off party at La Peña Cultural Center located at 3105 Shattuck Ave. On Saturday the festival launches its first concert in downtown Berkeley at MLK Jr. Civic Center Park, between Allston Way and Center St., Noon – 6 pm. Sunday, musicians converge on Telegraph Avenue, Noon – 9 pm, performing in cafes, shops, along the sidewalk, and on the main stage in People's Park, Noon – 6 pm. Best starting place on Sunday is the event information booth, located on Telegraph Avenue at Haste St. near UC Berkeley.
The Festival showcases the Bay area's rich world music scene and it's all free. At Civic Center Park on Saturday renowned festival headliners: West Coast's premiere Zydeco band, Zydeco Flames and legend Fito Reinoso who's considered a top writer of Cuban music, perform with rising star Fely Tchaco (Ivory Coast Tribal Pop). A Muwekma Ohlone presentation, with Native American exhibition and social dancing, opens up the park festivities. Award-winning singer Fely Chaco then steps onto center stage infusing West African forest rhythms into lyrical pop. Fito Reinoso y su Ritmo y Armonia (Cuban Son, Rumba & Timba) follow with sizzling rhythms that reflect Cuba's street beat and broad musical heritage. Zydeco Flames caps the event with riveting Louisiana funk & R&B.
The music feast continues on Sunday with a Telegraph Avenue music crawl and People's Park concert. The high-energy band, Guarandinga (Latin Afro-Pop) opens the concert, followed by Djialy Kunda Kouyate (Senegal Music & Dance) led by acclaimed griot singer, Ousseynou Kouyate. Concert headliner is show stopper Mad Maggies (World Folk Rock Fusion) whose multiple styles of music is in itself a festival.
Throughout the day visitors will be treated to performances in a variety of Telegraph venues featuring Incognito Express (Balkan Brass Band), Michael Masley (Bow Hammer Autoharp), Silk Road Caravan (Middle Eastern music & dance), Spirit of '29 (Dixieland Jazz), classical Chinese music and more. In addition to extraordinary music, Bekleley World Music Festival offers a crafts village with children's activities and food each day. There's something for everyone! Schedules will be available at event information booths. For more information visit wwwberkeleyworldmusic.org.
Festival sponsors include Amoeba Music, Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, Berkeley Community Media, City of Berkeley, East Bay Express, East Bay Media Center, KBBF 89.1 FM, KPFA 94.1 FM, La Peña Cultural Center, People’s Park Office, Telegraph Business Improvement District, UC Berkeley, and YWCA Berkeley / Oakland