Hillside Club Concert Series

Welcome to The Berkeley Hillside Club Concert Series. Our goal is to provide a superb venue for musicians and listeners to experience the joy of live music performance. Come join us in our historic and acoustically excellent hall and see why artists and audiences are raving about our Concert Series.

Our concerts are open to the public and generally begin at 8:00 pm (Sunday concerts usually start at 7:00 pm) but please check the individual concert listing for the exact time. Our doors usually open about an hour before show time.

TICKETS: Unless otherwise indicated, tickets for our concerts are only available at the door on the evening of the performance.
We have no advance ticket sales or reservations.  We accept cash or checks but NOT credit cards.

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QUESTIONS: If you have any questions or comments regarding our Concert Series, feel free to write to concerts@hillsideclub.org

PAST CONCERTS: Our Concert Series presents an eclectic mix of musical genres and artists; to see a list of past concerts click here.

Note: Upcoming concerts are listed here in chronological order.
Please scroll down to see all upcoming concerts

         David Wishnia                                David Ryther                                       Sarah Wood                                   Omid Assadi

The Circadian String Quartet
"The Sound and the Fury”
Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring" Re-imagined

Friday 14 Oct 2016 at 8:00pm

Admission: $20 general, $15 students & seniors, $10 Hillside Club members
The Berkeley Hillside Club
2286 Cedar Street
Berkeley 94709
Info: 510-845-1350

The Berkeley Hillside Club is proud to present the Circadian String Quartet  performing David Ryther's remarkable transcription of Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring" for string quartet and percussion, along with Debussy's famous String Quartet No.1 and variations by the Russian composer Anton Arensky.  Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.

The Circadian String Quartet  are:
     Sarah Wood & David Ryther - violins
     Omid Assadi -  viola
     David Wishnia - cello

About the Concert:

The Circadian String Quartet presents "The Sound and the Fury: The Rite of Spring Re-imagined,” the first concert in a series of three programs developed to explore the revolutionary sound world from Stravinsky's ballet The Rite of Spring and its links to the explosive events of the decades from which it sprung. This iconic 20th century masterpiece, which infamously caused a riot at its 1913 premiere, struck a powerful nerve in a Europe wracked by political and social tension. Since then, the music has provoked unending fascination with its mix of French harmonies & deep, primal Russian roots. This concert features the Circadian's own version of The Rite for String Quartet and Percussion, which will be heard alongside Debussy's ground-breaking 1893 quartet and a collection of variations based on Russian folk themes.

The Program:

String Quartet No. 1 in G minor Op. 10                                         Claude Debussy (1862-1918)

Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky                                       Anton Arensky
    from String Quartet No. 2 Op. 35a

The Rite of Spring: Scenes of Pagan Rus’ in Two Parts          Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)
    Part 1: A Kiss of Earth
        I. Introduction
        II. The Augurs of Spring: Dance of the Young Girls
        III. Ritual of Abduction
        V. Spring Rounds
        V. Ritual of the Two Rival Tribes
        VI. Procession of the Oldest and Wisest One
        VII. The Kiss of the Earth/Dancing out of the Earth

    Transcribed for String Quartet and Percussion by David Ryther

The Ensemble:

Bay Area based Circadian String Quartet was founded in 2013 to promote the classical and contemporary string quartet repertoire, in particular music of cultural and folkloric significance. Since then, the group has been featured by Mt. Shasta's Music by the Mountain Chamber Music Festival, SunsetArts Chamber Music Series in San Francisco, and the Merced Symphony Association. CSQ has collaborated with many fine musicians, including the St. Petersburg-based Rimsky Korsakov String Quartet during their 2014 North American tour, and with local musicians of the San Francisco Opera and Ballet. CSQ is proud to have given world- and U.S. premieres of exciting new pieces of chamber music, a result of working closely with several living composers, including Sahba Aminikia, Toronto-based composer and pianist Noam Lemish, and British composer Ian Venables. The Circadian String Quartet has recently been accepted as an ensemble with the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music.

Members of CSQ serve as resident teaching artists for the Villa Sinfonia Foundation's Zephyr Point Chamber Music Workshop in South Lake Tahoe, NV. Dedicated to music education, the quartet works intensely with musician of all ages in developing their musical abilities in chamber music. The quartet has also developed and presented interactive school programs for grades 4-12.

What people are saying:

"...the ensemble’s(Circadian String Quartet's) approach to interpreting Ryther’s transcription [of The Rite of Spring] was consistently impressive. The performance was clearly the result of passionate commitment, and the contagions of those passions had no trouble spilling off the stage into the audience area."

-Stephen Smoliar.

The Artists:

David Ryther
(violin) has brought his interpretive powers as a soloist to such festivals as the Darmstadt Summer Festival of New Music, the Banff Center, and the Green Umbrella Series at the Bing theater in Los Angeles. He has been featured playing new music with adventurous ensembles sfSoundGroup, Earplay, San Francisco Contemporary Players, the Berkeley New Music Ensemble, Sonor, and Octagon. An active violinist, he can be found playing in many of the orchestras and ensembles in the Bay Area including the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. David graduated with highest honors in music from UC Santa Cruz and recently received his doctorate in contemporary violin performance from UC San Diego. A dedicated teacher and conductor, David is a teacher and assistant conductor with Villa Sinfonia in San Francisco, teaches violin at the Crowden School, and has served as coach and interim conductor with the Berkeley Youth Orchestra. As a composer, David has had world premieres played by the Villa Sinfonia, an orchestra piece called "Friend" commissioned by the Croi Glan dance troupe in Cork Ireland, and has worked in residency with Kate Weare company in New York and Dandelion Dance Theater in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Sarah Wood (violin) leads a versatile career as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician. She has soloed with the Music in the Mountains Summer Festival Orchestra and the Panache, Villa Sinfonia, and Icicle Creek Chamber Orchestras. In addition to her membership with the Circadian String Quartet, Sarah has performed chamber music concerts across the Northwestern and Western United States, and is a frequent recitalist. Sarah is currently acting assistant concertmaster of the California Symphony, acting Principal Second Violin of the Berkeley Symphony, and a member of the Music in the Mountains Summer Festival Orchestra. As an educator, she is on faculty at the Crowden School of Music and teaches privately. She earned her Doctor of Musical Arts in violin performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder where she studied with the Takacs String Quartet and Lina Bahn, and also holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s in violin performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music as a student of Paul Kantor and William Preucil.

Native of Iran, Omid Assadi (viola) holds a B.M. and M.M. from San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he studied with Jodie Levitz and Bettina Mussumeli. Mr. Assadi is an active ensemble player and soloist; he has concertized with many of the Bay Area’s orchestras and has appeared numerous times as soloist with Golden Gate Philharmonic, City College of San Francisco String Orchestra, Kensington Symphony Orchestra, and Villa Sinfonia. Omid’s love for chamber music has led him to study chamber music with the members of the Kronos String Quartet as well as the San Francisco Conservatory of Music faculty members. In addition, he has collaborated with Jennifer Culp, Jodi Levitz, Jorja Fleezanis, and with the Shams Ensemble.

An active chamber musician, David Wishnia (cello) routinely concertizes with both the Circadian String Quartet and the Villa Piano Trio, and has taught at the Zephyr Point Chamber Music Camp and Sequoia Chamber Music Workshop. David has also appeared as a soloist with the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra and Villa Sinfonia. He is currently a member of the Marin Symphony, and has performed in numerous Bay Area ensembles, including the Berkeley Symphony, Modesto Symphony, Sacramento Symphony, Russian Chamber Orchestra, and Marin Oratorio, among others. David received his Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music, where he studied with Aldo Parisot. He also studied with Jerome Carrington and Maurice Gendron, and received coaching from Paul Tortelier, Janos Starker, and Pierre Pasquier.

The Erik Jekabson String-tet
plays the Music of Duke Ellington

Saturday 29 Oct  2016 at 8:00pm

Admission: $20 general, $15 students & seniors, $10 Hillside Club members
The Berkeley Hillside Club
2286 Cedar Street
Berkeley 94709
Info: 510-845-1350

The Berkeley Hillside Club is pleased welcome another old friend back to our stage. Trumpeter, composer, and arranger, Erik Jekabson, has delighted our Concert Series audiences with his music, both as a leader and a side-man many times. This time he will be bringing back his String-tet ensemble with a new program of his own arrangements of Duke Ellington's music - this will be some serious jazz!  Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.

The Erik Jekabson String-tet are:

    Erik Jekabson - trumpet
    Mike Zilber -
    Adam Shulman -
    Anthony Blea -
    Charith Premawardhana -
    Dillon Vado -
    Doug Stuart -
    Evan Hughes
- drums

About the Concert:

Trumpeter and arranger Erik Jekabson leads this 8 piece chamber ensemble which explores the music of Duke Ellington from new angles. Ellington, one of the most important American composers of the past hundred years, offers many rich musical veins to mine for new ideas. This ensemble does it with violin, viola, trumpet, saxophone, vibes, piano, bass and drums - and surpassing creativity and virtuosity; expect some new sounds from old classics.

About the Artists:

Erik Jekabson is a freelance trumpet player, composer, arranger and educator who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.  He is equally busy playing and composing for different bands, leading his own groups and teaching a wide variety of students.  Erik has four CDs out under his own name: his most recent album is “Erik Jekabson Quartet & John Santos: Live at the Hillside Club”, (released in 2014) which like  “Anti-Mass”(2012) , and “Crescent Boulevard” (2010) are on his own Jekab’s Music record label.  A fourth CD,  “Intersection”, was recorded in New York in 2002 and released on the Fresh Sound/New Talent label.  Erik also co-produced and played on two other recordings which are widely available: “Vista: the Arrival” and “New World Funk Ensemble”. He’s recorded as a sideman on numerous other jazz recordings, as well as doing session work in many other genres of music and on movie and video game soundtracks. He’s spent time on the road with Illinois Jacquet, John Mayer, Galactic, and the Howard Fishman Quartet, and has performed at such notable venues as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Algonquin Room, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Madison Square Garden, the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with David Letterman.  As an arranger and composer, he’s written for both vocalists  such as Madeleine Peyroux, Ani DiFranco, Jackie Ryan, Kenny Washington, Madeline Eastman, Kellye Gray, Sandy Cressman, Raz Kennedy, Shanna Carlson, and instrumental ensembles like the San Francisco Symphony, the Stanford Jazz Orchestra, the Realistic Orchestra, the California State University East Bay Jazz Ensemble, the SF Composers Orchestra and his own Electric Squeezebox Orchestra, which plays every Sunday at Doc’s Lab in San Francisco.

Pianist Adam Shulman has been a staple of the San Francisco Jazz scene since he moved to the city in 2002. Before the move, Adam was a student at UC Santa Cruz where he studied with the great pianist Smith Dobson and the trumpeter/arranger Ray Brown. He received his degree in classical performance under the tutelage of the Russian pianist Maria Ezerova.  In addition to leading his own groups, Adam can also be seen as a sideman with countless bay area musicians and vocalists such as John Wiitala, Vince Lateano, Kitty Margolis, Andrew Speight, Dayna Stephens, Erik Jekabson, Gary Brown, Patrick Wolff, Faye Carrol, Ian Cary, and Mike Zilber among many others. Adam has played as a sideman with internationally renowned artists Stefon Harris, Willie Jones III, Miguel Zenon, Mark Murphy, Alan Harris, Luciana Souza, Paula West, Ratzo Harris, Larry Coryell, Sean Jones, Grant Stewart, Bobby Hutcherson and with the Glen Miller Orchestra.

SF-based Saxophonist and composer Michael Zilber is described by NEA JAZZ MASTER and jazz legend David Liebman as “one of the best players and composers around anywhere. Period!” The Canadian-born ex-New Yorker has 10 CDs to his name as a leader or co-leader. He has also been a sideman on a  number of recordings, and, over the years, has performed/toured and/or recorded with everyone from Liebman to Miroslav Vitous to Bob Berg to Dizzy Gillespie, among many others.   Zilber co-led a band with drumming great Steve Smith for 8 years, releasing the top 20 Blue Jay Jazz recording “Reimagined: Jazz Standards, Volume 1” in 2003. His newest recording is “Live Beauty” (Origin - 2015), which made Downbeat Magazine’s best CDs of the year list for 2015, as well as garnering rave reviews from Jazz Times and All About Jazz. “Live Beauty” was a follow up to the group’s “Shot Through With Beauty” on independent jazz label of the year Origin Records, which NPR jazz critic Andrew Gilbert picked as a top 10 record of the year. These recordings are co-led with guitar great John Stowell. “On Turning Ten: The Billy Collins Project” from 2010, musical settings of the American Poet Laureate’s poems, also on Origin Records, was hailed by Jazz Times’ Bill Milkowski as a work of art of the highest order. Current groups Zilber leads or co-leads include his “Originals for the Originals” Project, with a CD of the same name to be released in January on Origin Records, featuring Dave Kikoski, James Genus and Clarence Penn. As well, his quartet with Stowell, formed in 2007, will be releasing Basement Blues, the group’s 3rd CD on Origin. Lastly, Zilber leads Weather Wayne, his electric jazz homage to Wayne Shorter, and a group that recently played for a sold out house at SFJAZZ.

Anthony Blea , master violinist, is a veteran performer, composer, and instructor, whose performances have graced the stages, and enriched the musical community of the San Francisco Bay Area for over four decades. Awarded a full scholarship to attend the San Francisco Conservatory of Music at age 11, He would later travel to New York,  and study at the Manhattan School of Music where he received his Bachelor’s degree, and return to the Bay Area, to receive his  Master’s degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. His work in classical and modern music with hallmark musical institutions like The San Francisco Opera Orchestra, and the Bay Chamber Symphony, is made all the more exceptional when viewed alongside his Incredible body of work in the field of Afro Cuban Music,  where he has established himself as one of a handful of players in the world,  who have actually mastered the subtle  and beautiful genre of Charanga music, an amalgam of both European classical music and African rhythms. Performances with iconic artists like Israel “Cachao” Lopez, Ray Charles, Boz Scaggs and Leonard Bernstein,  have garnered him the attention of the press and music lovers alike and earned him a well deserved reputation as the bay area’s best multi-talented violinist.

Violist Charith Premawardhana was born in Sri Lanka, raised in Chicago, and has been a resident of San Francisco since 2004. He holds performance degrees from The Ohio State University, Rice University, and a chamber music degree from San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Charith is the founder of Classical Revolution, an organization which promotes live music performances in neighborhood and community venues. What started in 2006 years ago as a weekly chamber music reading session at Revolution Cafe in San Francisco’s Mission District has grown into a worldwide phenomenon, with over 30 active chapters in cities around the US, Canada, and Europe. Classical Revolution is very active in the SF Bay Area, having presented more than 1200 live performance events since 2006. Charith is a proponent of new music of different styles, and has premiered more than 300 new works since moving to San Francisco in 2004. In addition, he has recorded and performed with diverse groups such as world chamber ensemble Musical Art Quintet, pop group Third Eye Blind, jazz singer Madeleine Peyroux, rock band The Mars Volta, Indian/jazz percussionist Sameer Gupta, folk rock band Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes, hip hop orchestra Deltron 3030, gypsy folk group Rupa & the April Fishes, and numerous other ensembles from various musical styles. With all of these different projects, Charith’s main interest is in chamber music, and he brings the experience gained in performing in a string quartet to each of these non-classical chamber groups and vice versa. Charith has held positions in orchestras around the US including the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Columbus (OH) Symphony, Houston Ballet, Berkeley Symphony, Monterey Symphony, Sacramento Philharmonic, Cabrillo Contemporary Music Festival, and Aspen Music Festivals. He has performed at the Newport, Montreal, Monterey, San Jose, Playboy, Vancouver, and Victoria Jazz Festivals.

Vibraphonist Dillon Vado grew up in San Jose, California and began playing music at the age of 7. Learning at first informally from a close family friend, he immediately showed an interest in music. He played music in middle school, and high school focusing on primarily tenor saxophone, and percussion. At Del Mar High School, Dillon spent a lot of time playing in the various music programs offered, from concert percussion in the concert band, to snare drum and tenor drums in the marching band and winter drumline. By the age of sixteen Dillon was gigging and playing regularly. His experiences in high school really helped launch his professional career, because he had many opportunities to play musicals, play in the jazz band, and lead/compose for the drumline. These experiences led him to play snare drum after high school in the first ever Santa Clara Vanguard Winter Drumline, while also studying music at West Valley College in Saratoga, California. It was at West Valley that he started playing vibes more often, and eventually formed his own band, Grooveyard Shift. After West Valley, Dillon transferred to The California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley, California and is currently there pursuing a Bachelors of Music in Jazz Studies. 

Drummer Evan Hughes was born and raised in Berkeley, California. Always strongly driven towards music, he began drum lessons at the age of 12, and was able to further develop through programs such as the prestigious Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble, as well as the Jazzschool in Berkeley. Through these opportunities, Evan found a large Bay Area community of like-minded young musicians, who encouraged him to pursue his musical endeavors. By the end of high school Evan was fortunate enough to begin working as a professional drummer around the Bay Area, and to participate in both the San Francisco Jazz Festival’s High School All-Star Big Band, as well as the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Next Generation Orchestra. After graduating from high school, Evan decided to move to New York to begin studies at New York University. While at NYU, he worked closely with jazz icons such as Joe Lovano, John Scofield, George Garzone, Brian Lynch, Ralph Alessi, as well as studied under drummers Tony Moreno, Billy Drummond, and Dafnis Pietro.  He has participated in tours of Europe, Japan, Abu Dhabi and Costa Rica, and played at many prestigious New York City jazz clubs such as The Blue Note, The Jazz Standard, Smalls, and The Jazz Gallery. Since graduating NYU, Evan has worked closely with multi-grammy winning producer and composer Don Sickler, developing the "Jazz Drum Corner" as a valuable asset and educational tool to Mr. Sickler's already extensive music publications.  Evan teaches high school music ensembles at the Calhoun School in New York City.  Evan also continues to tour with longtime musical partners Julian Waterfall Pollack & Ben Flocks, as well as Juno award winning singer Sophie Milman.

there will be lots more great music coming up over the coming weeks and months:

...and we'll post more info here as it becomes available.