The city of Berkeley is a haven for street performers. From sunrise to sunset, Berkeley attracts a variety of public musicians. Student groups, indigenous communities and seasoned musicians triumph in the open air. They play for their community, for their fans or simply for fun. In this video series, listen to their stories and take part in a culture of selfless performance.

1 Sather Tower

From the highest point on the UC Berkeley campus, University Carillonist Jeff Davis wakes Berkeley residents up to the chiming of bells.


Michael Masley greets commuters at the Berkeley BART station with his amplified kalimba and discusses the importance of street music.

On another morning, Yoshi Moriyama and Mandy Barriga take up the same spot. A few months later, they play again — this time catering to a larger crowd.

3 Sather Gate

Students take a break from class to enjoy the a cappella arrangements of UC Men’s Octet. The group performs every Wednesday afternoon under Sather Gate.

4 Haas Pavilion

Near the steps of Haas Pavilion, Cal Raijin Taiko drummers prepare for their annual showcase at the end of April. The technique dazzles passers-by.

5 Sproul

Members of Danza In Xochitl In Cuicatl assemble every Tuesday as the sun sets. They beat the drums, dance to its rhythms and celebrate a rich tradition.

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Videos and photo illustrations by Multimedia Editor Walter Zarnowitz. Contact him at [email protected]

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  • Pam Mei Kawehiokekuahiwi G

    Walter, thank you for your interest and effort. The page looks beautiful. I just wanted to say that what I meant to convey is that we need more spaces where we can enjoy dancing while interacting with the elements, rather than walled off from them completely inside a building. It is difficult for us to find a level surface (preferably grass), where we have enough space, access to toilet facilities, and drinking water. If we could have this plus a temporary awning, or some sort of large canopy during heavy rain available for drumming and dancing groups, many students and the broader community would benefit. ~pmg of Danza IXIC