“The native intellectual had learnt from his(her) masters that the individual ought to express himself(herself) fully. The colonialist bourgeoisie had hammered into the native’s mind the idea of a society of individuals where each person shuts himself(herself) up in his(her) own subjectivity, and whose only wealth is individual thought. Now the native who has the opportunity to return to the people during the struggle for freedom will discover the falseness of this theory. Brother, sister, friend–these are words outlawed by the colonialist bourgeoisie, because for them my brother is my purse, my friend is part of my scheme for getting on. The native intellectual takes part . . . in the destruction of all his(her) idols: egoism, recrimination that springs from pride, and the childish stupidity of those who always want to have the last word. Such a colonized intellectual, dusted over by colonial culture, will in the same way discover the substance of village assemblies, the cohesion of people’s communities, and the extraordinary fruitfulness of local meetings and groupments. Henceforth, the interests of one will be the interests of all.” Frantz Fanon
Birdland Jazzista Social Club-Manila now open.
Birdland Jazzista Social Club History Video
Welcome to the Birdland Jazzista Social Club a.k.a. Birdland Jazz and BBQ and Multi Culti Grill, a private social club. If you would like to join the other Jazzistas and learn the secret handshake and penguin walk, email Birdman Mike at email@example.com, 510.827.5414 to become a member. You must be a friend of a Jazzista first.
Birdland Jazzista Social Club began as a one time front yard driveway barbecue(since the backyard is tiny and the sun sets on the driveway) on Memorial Day Weekend, May 28, 2010 for friends and neighbors of the Birdman. There was no clear purpose other than just to get together with a futon and some chairs on the driveway and part of the sidewalk. It was such a hit that the bbq with KCSM 91.1 jazz radio playing in the background continued for several months every Friday. Somewhere along the summer, more neighbors, friends, and BART commuters out of the North Berkeley station weary from their commute joined in for the free bbq every Friday, bringing some small dishes and their own drinks. Thus, Birdland Jazz and BBQ was born especially when my adjacent neighbor Paul Lynch brought his jazz trio to play in the garage in August.
By early Fall 2010, renovations were underway to covert the six car garage to a cultural space for the community. By the end of the summer and early autumn, words like “community building, global intersections, organic arts paradigm, culturas sin fronteras y de la resistencia, and triumph of the human spirit” were being thrown around. Birdman just wanted to have bbq every Friday and have a good time; the only triumph Birdman knew was to never run out of food for eight hours. Birdmom once told Birdchild, “You can get bored of conversations at a party; you may not recall who played music at the event, but you run out of food, fiesta is over, and everyone remembers.” Birdman grew up in a provincial town in the Philippines where these human experiments happen everyday, so the bbqs’ and music ain’t nothing but a chicken wing. But Birdman was running out of money by the end of August since the bbqs’ were all free. So six friends and neighbors stepped up to sponsor the cost of the bbq, and the sponsorship rotated every seven weeks for each person.
By Fall 2010, Multi Culti Grill was also added to Birdland Jazz and BBQ, inspired by Morgan Lim, a Malaysian born satay grill artist and connoisseur. Morgan wanted to showcase the great grilling traditions of Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines. Who was Birdman to argue; he loves to eat and cook. This has become the specialty of Birdland Jazzista Social Club focusing on satays, rendangs, and seafood wrapped in banana leaves. By September 2010, jazz programming was also added to support the local jazz musicians who increasing had fewer places to play given the closures of so many local jazz hubs (Anna’s Jazz Island, Shanghai 1930, Downtown Restaurant in 2010 and D’Vine Jazz and Wine and Coda Jazz in 2011) and to afford the kids of the Berkeley High School Jazz Program a place to play. By this time, the community, neighbors, and friends were making Friday night bbqs their weekly ritual to break bread with each other; homeless and folks on the margins of insanity(most of Berkeley) found a place to call “home;” unemployed and financially distressed people who wanted have something to eat and be entertained on Fridays found something very affordable(the food was all free, lol); upscale professionals and hipsters who wanted to be part of something cutting edge that they could twitter/facebook/blog about; families with kids and dogs in tow could also have a place to go all together; and Berkeley High School Jazz kids had a place to gig every week. All these reasons were lost on the Birdman. Birdman just wanted to party like the way they party in the favelas of Bahia in Brasil and streets of Manila’s barangays and Malate district where he frequents.
December 2010 was when the City of Berkeley Zoning informed Birdman Mike and Birdland that it was in violation of public right of way ordinance for people eating and conversing in front of the builiding on the sidewalk, and public health ordinances for serving free food to neighbors, friends, and anyone who came up to the grill. This was a low point for Birdland Jazz and BBQ. Birdman and the other Birdlanders did not know that people can not be on the sidewalk with a piece of chicken, rib, or calamari; heck, even the neighborhood dogs who came with ribs in their mouths did not know they were being criminalized. Birdman consulted with Birdmom on the issue; Birdmom, an uber devout Catholic who goes to church daily, replied: “There’s always a Judas in every neighborhood.” Birdman and Jazzistas don’t know; no one has ever kissed them on their cheeks. Birdman did not know that one can not give away free food to the public; one needs a public health permit. In an attempt to comply with Berkeley City Ordinances, Birdland Jazz and BBQ morphed into the Birdland Jazzista Social Club, no longer open to the public but now a private social club only taking place on private property and minimal traffic on the sidewalk so as not to obstruct people who might be walking around midnight in this bustling subway station not unlike the Shibuya district of Tokyo(the little beagle, named Pinky is our little Hachiko). Birdlanders used to intentionally block passersby from walking through; pedestrians first had to eat something and meet their neighbors before they were allowed to pass through. It was Birdland’s way of creating a sense of community by meeting folks from the neighborhood. That will no longer be a tradition, but the Jazzistas are still committed to the spirit of openness. Berkeley Zoning Department has been helpful clarifying the zoning issues for Birdland so free bbq will only be available to private members to avoid public health permits. Please register your dog also for a jazzista membership.
2011 brought a new year. Birdland cooperated with the City of Berkeley who now support these type of gatherings to promote community in the neighborhood. Birdland Jazzista Social Club expanded this year to provide movie nights, block parties, and other, birdhouse building and other workshops for kids and their parents, and any other neighborhood activities the Jazzistas can dream of.
In 2012, Birdland Jazzista Social Club expanded to Manila, Philippines. In 2013, another branch will open in Bangkok at the famed Chatuchak weekend market where you can listen to jazz, have drinks, while enjoying the shopping at the 15,000 stalls available at the market.
Birdland Jazzista Social Club is the little jazz garage/bbq grill locomotive that could because it couldn’t be any other way. Located right across the North Berkeley BART station in Berkeley’s upper west side adjacent to Central Park de Ohlone, the cultural space is 1200 square feet with a stage for performers and seating on comfortable leather couches. In the front driveway and in the backyard are Multi Culti Grills serving anything out of Southeast Asia you can grill. Tropical drinks like lychee, rambutan, coconut and guava will be added this summer along with fish and bulgogi soft tacos. There’s also two hookah/shisha lounges in the backyard and a mini sports tv viewing area in the front sideyard for boxing aficionados to catch the latest fights replayed. Birdland Jazzista Social Club will remind you of Latin American café/music houses and small European venues. Birdland is all about creating a new social model, a new cultural ethos where neighbors get together every week and a social gathering not based on profit, or non-profit. Birdland Jazzista Social Club is a for-loss and for love human experiment that belongs to everyone and has no owners; Jazzista is a state of mind and being.
“Viva la potlatch, Viva el pollo y calamari, Viva la comunidad! Hasta la Jazzista Siempre” Ernesto Cevi”che” Jazzista
“Give me a pork rib, or give me death!” Anonymous Jazzista
Birdland Jazzista Social Club is generously supported by the Birdland Jazzista Fundonation. After all, “it’s all about having fun!” We are NOT a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization. We are a 510 (it’s free) for loss business organization.
One Garage, a BBQ Grill, and a Beagle Produksyon
BIRDLAND JAZZISTA SOCIAL CLUB receives endorsements and endorses Canopus Drums, Spaun Drums, Blue Mic, Jazzkat Amps, Mark Bass Amps, Nord keyboards and Guitar Center.