Downtown Berkeley has seen a major revival in recent years, with a profusion of new restaurants and much more. We round up reader favorites here.
There’s nothing quite like having children to put your own upbringing in perspective. Looking back, saxophonist Joshi Marshall realizes that growing up in west Berkeley in the 1970s and 80s with two prominent musicians for parents provided a fabulously rich creative environment, albeit one with little of the structure that he provides for his two kids.
Having dinner with kids on a patio rather than indoors has its advantages: for one thing, the screaming is more dissipated!
When the grooves get fierce, Hermann Lara feels right at home. Since moving back to the Bay Area in 1998 after earning a degree at Berklee College of Music, the San Francisco-born saxophonist has played in a vast array of dance-inducing settings, from Cuban timba ensembles and merengue bands to salsa combos and funk orchestras.
For talented and ambitious young musicians, the Bay Area offers an almost overwhelming array of resources. Layafette-raised trumpeter Billy Buss, who graduated from Berkeley High in 2006, took advantage of just about every program available, and he’s joined the long list of Bay Area musicians who have taken their rigorous training to New York City.
Sameer Gupta is on a mission to bring classical Indian music into places where it rarely ventures. A percussionist who plays tabla and trap drums, Gupta was a mainstay in Bay Area creative music circles until his 2008 move to Brooklyn, where he’s helped kindle a thriving Indian music scene with a weekly jazz-style jam session in a Prospect Park cowboy bar. He returns to California this weekend for a performance Sunday at the Subterranean Art House with Rohan Krishnamurthy , a master of mridangam, the drum that plays a central role in South Indian music.
It’s been at least two generations since jazz stars took on aristocratic titles, otherwise Dianne Reeves would surely be known as The Queen. The gorgeous singer with an even more glorious voice is one of jazz’s most regal figures, an artist who embodies the music’s enduring values of elegance, class and improvisational poise (which isn’t to say that she can’t get earthy when the music requires a little grit).
Living in Berkeley, it’s easy to take the Berkeley High jazz program for granted. Every few years, a new generation of ambitious students emerges from the jazz ensemble and heads off to music programs in New York, Boston and Los Angeles.
Rob Ewing belongs to a long, honorable and frustrating lineage of Bay Area musicians whose consistently inspired creative output is matched by a seeming indifference to self-promotion.
Today this space is all about cheese. And crust. And toppings.
Dafna Kory discovered the delights of jalapeňo jam during pre-dinner nibbles at a Thanksgiving gathering. She went out to buy a jar, couldn’t find the mighty spicy condiment anywhere, so she began experimenting with making her own. It became an instant hit among her posse.
On Friday evening, after seeing the excellent Up in the Air, we were eager to get a bite to eat. Our problem: it was after 10 o’clock.