Berkeley is less quirky today than it was a week ago. The gods and goddesses of quirk shed a tear. Three years in the leaving, Mike Parayno has now completed his move from Berkeley to the Philippines, maintaining Bay Area ties with the Birdland Jazzista Social Club at 4318 MLK Way, Oakland. According to Parayno, the building is now on the market and his famous birdhouse truck has been sold. (Read more about Parayno and Birdland in previous Berkeleyside coverage.) (more…)
Fresh out of Berkeley High in the summer of 1979, Dan Wilensky had to make a fateful decision. The prestigious Eastman School of Music was offering a full scholarship at the same time that the Ray Charles Orchestra came calling for the young saxophonist. Wilensky chose Charles, and the gig turned into a six-month bandstand education that launched a gloriously diverse and insistently creative career. He returns to town next week for a series of gigs, making his first Berkeley appearances as a leader since heading to New York in 1980. Appropriately, he kicks off the run at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Freight & Salvage, performing as a special guest with the Berkeley High Jazz Ensemble and Berkeley High Combo A (which just earned top honors at the Monterey Jazz Festival’s 2015 Next Generation Jazz Festival).
To look forward to: a new wine bar, sushi restaurant, and smokehouse in Berkeley, and, this weekend, a tasting tour of local winemakers.
The story of a controversial community artist and jazz event organizer will come to an end later this month, at least locally, with the relocation of Birdman Mike from Berkeley to Manila, the capital city of the Philippines.
Cafe Yesterday: Berkeley's only breakfast cereal bar serves up TK coffee and seasonal sandwiches on Acme Bread along with Frosted Flakes.
Late last year Michael Parayno, the founder of arguably the hippest garage jazz club and barbecue joint in town, was having some serious run-ins with the city — as first reported on Berkeleyside.
By Andrew Gilbert
On December 10, we published a story by Sarah Henry on Multi Culti Grill Birdland Jazz, an informal BBQ supper club run by Michael Parayno, who is also known for his artisan birdhouses. The city is threatening to close down the Grill for code violations. Many readers left comments on the article expressing their support for the initiative which, they said, has brought a great sense of community to this north Berkeley neighborhood. Mike himself sent in this note: