Dr. Herb Wong, Washington Elementary School Principal invited world class big bands to perform for BUSD students.
Dr. Herb Wong, seen here with Duke Ellington, invited world class big bands to perform for BUSD students. On Sunday, a Berkeley High Jazz alumni concert will honor Wong, who died in April. Photo: Suzanne McCullough

BERKELEY HIGH JAZZ ALUMNI CONCERT The “father” of Berkeley High’s acclaimed jazz program will be commemorated on Sunday at the third annual Berkeley High Jazz Alumni Concert. Musicians, spanning decades of Berkeley High jazz, will celebrate Wong’s life. Performers will include multi-instrumentalist Peter Apfelbaum, saxophonists BEnnett Friedman and Hitomi Oba, bassoonist Paul Hanson, percussionist Josh Jones, trombonist Sarah Cline (the current director of the program), and surprise guests. Charles Hamilton, who led the jazz program for 28 years to 2009, will be the day’s music director, and KCSM DJ Jesse “Chuy” Varela will emcee the day. Wong was principal of Washington Elementary in the ’60s, and was an early advocate for jazz education. The City of Berkeley will present a posthumous award honoring Wong’s inspiration to generations of Berkeley students. Sunday, June 1, 2-5 p.m., Coventry Grove, Kensington. Tickets are $20 at the door or through advance purchase on Eventbrite (recommended). Children under 5 are free. The concert benefits Berkeley High’s jazz programs. Doors open at 1 p.m. 


FAMILY FUN FESTIVAL The 10th annual Free Family Fun Festival will be held at the Downtown Berkeley Farmer’s Market in Civic Center Park on Saturday, May 31 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be two bouncy houses (which won’t fly away), a farm animal petting zoo, face painting, a skateboarding and hula hoop contests, puppet and zine making activities, family-friendly science, and much more. Civic Center Park, 2151 Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

Lisa Abregu of Berkeley was also a runner-up

CHOCOLATE AND CHALK ART FESTIVAL The 18th annual Chocolate and Chalk Art Festival will be held on Saturday, May 31 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Gourmet Ghetto (it’s an event-filled weekend for family-friendly activities in Berkeley). The chalk part of the festival is free to all ages: Areas of sidewalk are assigned to artists who can use their own chalk or buy artist’s chalk for $10. Even if you don’t create your own art, admiring the works of young and old artists is an annual treat. If chocolate is more your taste, several dozen different items are on offer, ranging from picante habañero chocolate gelato to chocolate chicken tikka kabobs to Oreo shakes. Chocolate tasting tickets are $20 for a 20-ticket packet, available either at event booths on Shattuck or online. In addition to the chalk and chocolate, there are pony rides, balloon artists, face painters and plenty of live music.

Eats, Beats & Brews. Photo: Downtown Berkeley Association

EATS, BEATS & BREWS Center Street turns into the Eats, Beats & Brews festival each Sunday in June, starting this Sunday, June 1, from noon to 6 p.m. Between Shattuck and Oxford, Center Street will be closed to traffic. Festivalgoers will enjoy live music, the many different restaurants of Center Street, an outdoor beer garden, street food vendors and food trucks. This Sunday, the music line-up include Black Bones, and Fito Reinoso y Su Ritmo y Armonia with DJ Antonio. The event, produced by the Downtown Berkeley Association, is part of Sunday Streets Berkeley.


BACH SE PIACE If all the outdoor festival-going has your heart racing, you can calm down with a concert of Bach’s sonatas for violin and viola da gamba on Saturday, May 31, at 8 p.m. at Trinity Chapel. The concert is part of the Berkeley Festival, produced by The San Francisco Early Music Society. Violinist Anthony Martin plays two of Bach’s sonatas for violin and keyboard, with harpsichordist Katherine Heater. Viola da gamba player Elisabeth Read plays the BWV 1027 sonata in G Major with Heather on the harpsichord. Tickets $15 and $10 can be reserved by calling (510) 549-3864. Trinity Chapel, 2320 Dana St.

Don’t miss these other events recently featured on Berkeleyside:

New Pints for Paws beer fest benefits Berkeley Humane
The Dance of Reality shows Jodorowsky at top of his game
Kushner’s new play is vital, intense, intelligent
Cascada de Flores: The incandescent songsters in Berkeley

Want to promote your local event to Berkeleyside’s many thousands of readers? Simply post it to Berkeleyside’s Events Calendar. It’s self-serve and 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...