Members of Diamano Couras perform, photo: RJ Muna

Cal Performances, the university’s arts presenter and producer, stuffs its schedule each year with an extraordinary variety of music, drama, spoken word and dance. On Sunday, September 26, Cal Performances will hold its first ever Fall Free For All, a day long celebration of the arts that provides a preview of the coming season and a taste of the variety of the programming.

Free for All includes the Kronos Quartet, members of the San Francisco Opera Adler Fellows, Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir, Mark Morris Dance Group, Melody of China, John Santos Sextet, Pacific Mozart Ensemble, Word for Word, Teslim with Kaila Flexer and Gari Hegedus, Diamano Couras West African Dance Company (above), Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra Ensemble, classical guitarist Marc Teicholz, singer/musician Melanie DeMore, and UC Jazz Ensembles.

“I don’t think there’s every been a free day of this breadth and variety in the Bay Area,” said Christina Kellogg, director of public relations and new media, Cal Performances. “We want the toddlers to come, and the elders to come, and the people who have never been to a concert before.”

All of the artists involved in the Free for All have strong connections to Cal Performances, according to Kellogg. They’ve either performed in the past or are scheduled to perform, and a number are involved in the organization’s education programs.

“It’s our way of welcoming everybody and introducing our new season,” said Matías Tarnopolsky, director of Cal Performances. “To those who have never been to Cal Performances, we say come and sample our rich and diverse line-up of artists. To longtime Cal Performances patrons, we say bring your friends and neighbors.”

Cal Performances plans for the Free for All to be an annual event to herald the new season. This year’s season will in fact begin two days before the Free for All, with the Bayanihan Philippine National Dance Company. Four days after the Free for All, the season schedule picks up pace with a series of performances by the Mark Morris Dance Group.

Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...