Birdland Jazzista Social Club aka Birdland Jazz and BBQ and MultiCulti Grill was originally founded for no other purpose than to have a bbq on Memorial Day 2010; and it never stopped. The core purpose is still to eat barbecue every Friday evening with friends and neighbors, gossip about the latest news and happenings, and listen to some live music. Out of those core principles arose other purposes of establishing a more community and cultural vibe in the Upper Westside of Berkeley(envision East Village in NYC, Casa de la Musica in Havana Centro, Cuba, Lapa District in Rio de Janeiro, Palermo District in Buenos Aires, and Malate District in Manila), supporting local jazz/blues/salsa musicians and the local Berkley High School Jazz Program, and providing the best South East Asian bbq grilling outside of Asia. Why is the food free? When was the last time you asked your brother or sister or friend to pay for food at your house? Our community is family, and every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, our neighborhood engages in the great tradition of the Kwakwaka’wakw people of the Northwest who practiced competitive wealth destruction through the ceremony of the “potlatch. ” Let the jazzistas speak themselves from the Berkeleyside.com’s article on Birdland.http://www.berkeleyside.com/2010/12/10/what-next-for-the-multi-culti-grill-and-birdland-jazz-club/

Julien says (stranger, neighbor, friend, jazzista, and now brother)

December 24, 2010 at 12:46 am

“I had to relocate to the Bay from the East Coast last summer to be near my daughter who had moved here with her mom. Not an easy task. I didn’t know anyone, neither did I have a job or a home. Thanks to some angels (one is named Michael), after a few weeks of hell spent slipping against artificial, politically-correct and self-righteous bores, one evening I magically found myself sharing succulent ribs with my dog while meeting with real people and enjoying soulful music. I had finally met with the FABRIC OF LIFE, the weaves of genuine humanity. You know what I mean, not just a web or a net, I am talking about the real stuff stuffs are made of, the organics: the real heart warmer, the plentiful stomach filler, the brilliant soul teaser, the restless spirit lifter, the unmistakable brain developer, the loving joy provider … The barbecue was first a home for me where to spend some quality time with my child, where she met other kids, pets, parents and grand parents, friends and cousins visiting, artists, scientists, architects, students, businesswomen and men working at home, teachers, therapists, also preachers, healers, wanderers, philosophers and wise crazies, retirees, activists, ex wanabees who now almost are … personalities from all walks of life and from all origins with whom to converse and get together to represent our neighborhood community. Needless to say that thanks to the barbecue, thanks to the support I received from all of you, I now have a job and a home. Most of all I now have very good friends in Berkeley. Michael, thanks for your help, thanks for everything, and thanks to Pinkie for sharing her bones with Herschel.”


Chuck MacKinnon says: (stranger, trumpeter, friend, jazzista, and now brother)

December 22, 2010 at 2:29 pm

“As a musician who played there recently with the “Billy White Quintet,” I can attest that this venue is one of the most unpretentious jazz clubs ever. Jazz is too often presented with fancy white table cloths that cater to the richest people. But often the people who love jazz the most can’t afford that type of night out – especially students and musicians! Birdland refreshingly presents an earthy/artsy/backyard/garage vibe that is inviting for it’s lack of amenities. This will keep the audience pure of heart and will hopefully attract true lovers of music and exotic BBQ. It would be unthinkable if the city were to ever attempt to pull the plug on this soulful venue, it’s situated with a park on one side and the BART across the street so there are very few neighbors to bother. Thank you Michael (and Helio at the grill) for your gracious and thoughtful endeavor!! I wish there was a Birdland on every corner then the human race would be happy again!”


Oscar Pangilinan says: (stranger, saxophonist, friend, jazzista, and now brother)

October 23, 2010

“I’m grateful to have been a part of this event, and am touched by the support and warm reception this small community up there in Berkeley gave to us. It’s really changed my mind on how much impact events like this really can have, even if its only to a small audience. Lately, all I’ve been hearing and dealing with are money issues that have been a driving force in my gig choices. But last night wasn’t about money at all, though the donations we did receive certainly helped! Instead, what I earned from the experience was a much needed sense of liberation.

Music at its core is about community, sparking conversation, and bringing people together in different ways. That said, last night was about the music, and bringing something to people that cannot be so easily quantified. Last night was about the love of jazz and the triumph of the human spirit.”


Ha N. says: (stranger, my student, mother, friend, jazzista, and now sister)

December 14, 2010 at 2:39 am

“What happened with the city? This is the ONLY place that could satisfy my entire family: parents laid back to enjoy live jazz, children danced and played with the beautiful dog, all of us enjoyed the food and the atmosphere as much as others do. Since we found out this wonderful community club, we didn’t want to stay at home nor go to movie theater anymore. Friday night at Birdland is an exception to our kids to stay up late a little bit because this is the time we reward to everyone in the family after a hard-working week. Food and music heal our soul. Every Friday, to us, Birdland Jazz is lullaby, birds and dogs are stuff animals, BBQ food is supper. We are so thankful for the Birdland owner who has brought the best musicians in town and others who have served the best food in the world. They have been sharing the best delights to us, to the community.”


Why Multi Culti Grill(Birdman Mike taken from berkeleyside.com article)

“Myself, Morgan Lim, and the other three regular artists who rotate turns at the grill — we don’t call ourselves chefs or cooks — had been looking for ways to express ourselves through the medium of meat, working with spices and sauces from our diverse cultural backgrounds, instead of fabric, colors, and sketches.

Morgan grew up in Malaysia, I’m from the Philippines. We wanted to experiment with flavors. Our menu includes Penang Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce, Rib-Eye Beef with Rendang Sauce, Java Rub on Pork Loin Satay, Petaling Jaya Shrimp Satay, and Tilapia Sambal Curry Wrapped in Banana Leaf.

I’ve been to more than 40 countries and I love street food, it’s where you find the most innovative, authentic, and affordable eats. So it’s fusion food, mixed cuisines, a Multi Culti Grill.”

Birdland Jazzista Social Club Oakland currently does not sell or serve food. Cafe will open at the 4th quarter of 2014/1st quarter 2015.