Jazz of Fourth in 2010: this year the free street festival takes place on Sunday May 15, noon-5:00pm

At Berkeleyside we like jazz, and we like Fourth Street. We are also big fans of Berkeley High’s outstanding jazz bands — so we weren’t going to say no when we were given the opportunity to participate in Jazz on Fourth, a music, food, and shopping extravaganza which raises funds for the BHS jazz program.

Having a booth at Jazz on Fourth — which takes place this year on Sunday May 15, from 12-5pm — allows us to support the talented musicians at BHS and have some fun meeting readers new and old — all to the accompaniment of some great live music and delicious food and drink.

The family-friendly Jazz on Fourth Street festival, presented by Fourth Street Merchants and KCSM/Jazz 91, is in its 16th year, and there’s a more than impressive line-up to look forward to.

Up first is the legendary Dixieland outfit Mal Sharpe’s Big Money in Jazz Band. Known as the “Grateful Dead of Dixieland,” the band pays tribute to classic New Orleans and Dixieland music. You may have heard band leader and trombonist Mal “Man-on-the-Street” Sharpe, from his specials on KQED, and his Sunday night KCSM radio show, “Back on Basin Street”.

Jazz on Fourth Street is a fundraiser for Berkeley High's Jazz program

Also playing on Sunday: the authentic Cuban jazz of Pellejo Seco; the classic blues of Delta Wires; two Berkeley High School Combos and the grand finale with the award-winning Berkeley High Jazz Ensemble, led by musical director Scott Dailey.

During the festival, which is free, both the street, between Hearst and Virginia, and the plaza will be filled with Fourth Street merchants offering interactive displays, children’s activities and great food and drink, including beer and sake gardens. All proceeds from beer and sake sales go directly to Berkeley High Jazz programs.

A raffle which is already underway at stores on the street, offers prizes from the likes of Zut, Aveda and The Gardener.

The Berkeley High Jazz Program is known as a national model of instrumental education. The proceeds from the event will help the school continue the jazz programs and provide much needed funds for the ensemble to travel to many upcoming national and international jazz festival competitions.

Berkeleyside’s booth will be in front of the Lighting Studio at 1808 Fourth Street — we hope to see you there. Visit the Jazz on Fourth website for full information on the event.

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...