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Listeners enjoy the sunshine and the music during last year’s Jazz on Fourth Street Festival. Photo: Tracey Taylor

The 18th annual Jazz on Fourth Street Festival kicks off on Sunday, May 19 at noon. The free festival supports the renowned jazz programs at Berkeley High.

“School districts around the country have trouble keeping their arts and music programs thriving,” said Marshall Lamm, who helps organize the festival. “Berkeley High’s jazz program has been a source of pride for the community for so long. It takes a community and it takes concerned citizens to support the kids. Every bit helps.”

Sunday’s program includes Dixieland from Mal Sharpe’s Big Money in Jazz Band, blues from Mark Hummel and the Blues Survivors, and Latin jazz from drummer and BHS alumnus Josh Jones and his Latin Jazz Group. The full 22-piece Berkeley High School Ensemble, directed by Sarah Cline, will provide the festival’s finale.

“Jazz on Fourth is a shining example of the high value the Berkeley business community places on supporting the arts in our public schools,” said Cline, BHS Jazz Program Director. “But more than that, it’s an exciting musical event — a free outdoor jazz festival that’s fun for the entire family.”

A raffle will be held during the festival to benefit the programs. The street and the plaza will be filled with Fourth Street merchants offering interactive displays, children’s activities and unique food and beverages including beer and sake gardens. All proceeds from beer and sake sales go directly to the high school’s jazz programs.

The proceeds from the event will help the school continue the jazz programs and provide funds for scholarships and travel to many upcoming national and international jazz festival competitions. The group is currently planning a tour to Havana, Cuba. Jazz On Fourth Street has collected over $150,000 for the music program since the Festival’s inception.

The festival is supported by Fourth Street Merchants, KCSM/Jazz 91 and Berkeleyside. The festival runs from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday on Fourth Street between Hearst and Virginia. For details visit Jazz on Fourth online.

Related:
Taking it to the streets: Jazz on Fourth [05.18.12]
Photo essay: Jazz on Fourth, great music, food, no rain [05.16.11]

This event was one of the many listed on Berkeleyside’s Events Calendar. Check it out — and submit your own events: it’s free.

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...