redwood 2
Ash Reiter and Caldecott performed in the Mather Redwood Grove on Thursday June 6. Photo: Ted Friedman

A beautiful Berkeley redwood grove that is one of the city’s lesser known gems is the setting for a series of concerts organized by the UC Botanical Garden.

The opening show of the 2013 Summer Concert Series, on Thursday June 6, featured local singer Ash Reiter, whose style has been described as akin to Stevie Nicks, and the Caldecott band. It was the second appearance for Reiter who proved popular in a previous performance in the series.

The 5-acre Stephen J. Mather Redwood Grove was planted as part of the New Deal works program in the 1930s, so the trees are relatively young by redwood standards. On Thursday, UC Botanical Garden Director Paul Licht talked about how originally the creation of the grove was to have been a project for the Boy Scouts, but the depression put a halt to that plan. The Grove was dedicated in 1972 and is now accessible to ticket holders to the gardens, and hired out for private events, such as weddings. 

The amphitheater at the UC Botanical Garden makes an ideal venue for summer evening concerts. Photo: Ted Friedman

The annual concert series continues through August 29 and features a diverse line-up of folk, pop, rock, blues, jazz, world music and hard-to-define artists that are drawn to the intimate amphitheatre setting. Next up is Sean Hayes on Thursday June 13. Other acts include Ramon & Jessica and Gojogo (with Russian animation), and Winfred E. Eye and Jesse DeNatale.

Ticketholders are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner (no alcohol), and a warm layer to enjoy the music and natural beauty.

redwood 3
Ash Reiter and Caldecott playing as part of the UC Botanical Garden Summer Concert Series. Photo: Ted Friedman

Find information, including the concert line-up and how to buy tickets, on the UC Botanical Garden website.

Follow Berkeleyside on Twitter, and on Facebook. Email us at

"*" indicates required fields

See an error that needs correcting? Have a tip, question or suggestion? Drop us a line.

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...