THE FIRST EVER FREE BERKELEY JAM FESTIVAL

People’s Park will come alive with sunshine, great music and kind folks this Saturday, September 8th from 1 – 5 pm. Three high-energy Bay Area jam bands, Tea Leaf Green, Ten Ton Chicken, and Wayside will be performing for free in this eclectic legacy of a park, along with the upbeat acoustic rock of Randy Todd and the Bizar Ether keeping us groovin’ in between sets.

The four bands are all amazing examples of the flourishing jam scene here in the Bay Area, weaving together strands of rock, funk, jazz, blues and reggae in their own improvisational styles. The San Francisco quartet, Tea Leaf Green, kicks the festival off from 1 - 2 with their awe-inspiring brand of progressive, experimental rock that captured the hearts of all present for their High Sierra debut this summer (see JamBase review).

At 2:30, Berkeley’s own Ten Ton Chicken, a quintet of bass, guitar, drums, keyboards, and sax, takes the stage for an hour of their special blend of Chicken Soup, which will undoubtedly dance the happy crowd through an adventure of some of the funkiest improvisation around.

At 4:00, get ready for the Berkeley quartet, Wayside, whose recent string of amazing summer shows has won them many new fans and created a buzz about their improvisational, high-energy groove rock. Wayside, which includes New Orleans keyboardist Josh Paxton, formerly of Michael Rae and the Kosmic Krew, will also be inviting some special guests up on stage to take the jams even higher.

In between each set, Randy Todd and the Bizar Ether, a semi-acoustic trio that has built up a loyal following at their Wednesday night Bison Brewery sessions in Berkeley, will take over and let loose with show-stopping guitarist Michael Bizar, formerly of the Chicago-based band Citrus.

People’s Park is located in between Haste and Dwight Way, just east of Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, CA. The festival itself is entirely free, while all proceeds from artist merchandise will benefit The Pachamama Alliance, a local non-profit partnering with indigenous peoples towards rainforest preservation.

So, to all you live music lovers in the Bay Area: put the Berkeley Jam Festival in your plans for Saturday and take advantage of this showcase of amazing, local musicians that’ll remind you why the grassroots way is always so much fun – it’s all about getting the good music out there and sharing it with the peoples (park, that is).

[Published on: 9/3/01]

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