Jazzistas speak/tweets

Jazzistas speak on Birdland Jazzista Social Club(taken from berkeleyside.com and east bay express news articles, Dec 2010)

Chris says:
December 10, 2010 at 11:26 am

Great vibe and something genuinely interesting, cultural and grassroots happening – lord please let this continue!
Frances DinkelspielFrances Dinkelspiel says:
December 10, 2010 at 11:59 am

What a great combo of food and music. I would definitely like to check it out.
Lindsey says:
December 10, 2010 at 4:23 pm

I moved to this neighborhood over summer and didn’t know a single person. The very first time I walked by the Birdland BBQ, Mike invited me to have some food and introduced me to other neighborhood people. I’m a Cal student so most of my time is spent studying, leaving little time for meeting neighbors. Over these past few months I have looked forward to Friday night BBQs at birdland as a break from school. I still meet a new person each time I go! I have met people of all ages including international students and even neighborhood dogs. If it wasn’t for Birdland, I wouldn’t know anybody in my neighborhood.The sense of community as a result of these gatherings has been invaluable to me. I am truly heartbroken that the city has prevented such a harmless activity because of one person’s complaint.
Erick says:
December 10, 2010 at 4:42 pm

What the hell has this country come to? You can’t even have a damn BBQ anymore? Berkeley’s the man (not in a good way).
poundingserfs says:
December 10, 2010 at 4:51 pm

All these haters can’t stop Mike – he’s got too much soul!
Eric Arnold says:
December 10, 2010 at 5:05 pm

i grew up in Berkeley, not far from Mike’s house, on Virginia St. I’ve watched Birdland grow and evolve over the past months and have to say, it’s a community-building environment which is good for the neighborhood. I currently live in Oakland, and i miss the Berkeley that practically doesn’t exist anymore. It’s very sad that the city has decided to practice fascism rather than try to work with someone who is doing something very positive for the people around him, creating a safe place where neighbors can get to know each other better in a mellow, multicultural environment.There should be a difference between Berkeley and Walnut Creek. just saying…
Sarah says:
December 10, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Yay for Birdland! Like previous commenters have said, the BBQs and jazz at Birdland bring the neighborhood together. Maybe the haters should focus on the crime problems in the same neighborhood rather than going after this harmless guy building community.
dee-rob says:
December 10, 2010 at 9:07 pm

I’m an East Coast transplant, and Michael is part of why I’m staying. He lives the ethos of opening up his home for something bigger than locked doors and ignoring your neighbors.

I kind of hope whoever complained swings by, and like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, his/her heart will grow 10 sizes that day.
Benjamin says:
December 11, 2010 at 12:08 am

Folks breaking bread and the man is trying to shut it down.
Bill says:
December 11, 2010 at 10:49 am

Wonderful Berkeley institution those bird houses and now this. Great!
Harrison says:
December 11, 2010 at 12:47 pm

I have played and watched music at this place many times, and it has a great vibe. Birdland has really good barbecue, really good jazz, and is a great place to relax and meet new people on a Friday night. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to shut it down. It tightens the community through creative means.
Mateo says:
December 11, 2010 at 2:53 pm

amazing to see such a nice expression of social community in our city that doesn’t center around a ridiculous political polemic. I love walking by this party every Friday night and seeing people having a good time together.
Birdman Mike says:
December 12, 2010 at 10:26 am

Thank you Sarah for capturing the essence of Birdland and the community of Birdlanders. Just like the birdhouses, the jazz/bbq events started out as an accident. May 28th, Memorial Day, was when it all started this year. I wanted to BBQ for friends, and I hadn’t bbq’d for a while and I didn’t have a grill. So I bought a grill and smoker after doing a little research. I don’t really have a backyard since it’s full of birdhouses so the only place for the grill was my driveway in front of the building by the N. Berkeley Bart. My friends and I just pulled a few chairs out front for our first bbq and I think a futon. Community people passing by and Bart commuters were curious about our bbq, and we just invited them. That was the start. Since it was World Cup season anyway and since I was not teaching in the summer except one class, we decided to have another bbq and more neighbors joined. Craigslist gave us more futons. August was supposed to be the end of the community bbq’s but no one wanted to stop the gatherings especially after one neighbor played with his jazz trio in the garage which was full of birdhouses and a station wagon. and the rest is history. This has been a community undertaking since the very beginning. All I had was a bbq grill, a garage with leather couches; now it’s a supper club. wow, we should all put a leather couch in our garage and a grill in our front drive way and open more supper clubs to our neighborhood. What i’ve enjoyed the most from this undertaking are the Berkeley High School Jazz kids that play here with so much enthusiasm and their supportive parents. They are very addicting to be around. What energy. So come to our final gala event this Friday to see how special our community energy is in this area.
DC says:
December 12, 2010 at 11:47 am

I’ve always wondered what those lovely lights in my neighborhood were. Good job, Birdman Mike and thanks!
Anna says:
December 12, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Where have I been? Wish I had know about this establishment earlier. Let’s hope that this great idea/place stays in Berkeley and finds a “house”.
Christina Diaz says:
December 12, 2010 at 11:50 pm

oooh this sounds perfect to me ears! i am always in search of little jazz clubs and this place sounds like perfection. I always love seeing the birdhouses around town. And on a few evening walks past his house I noticed a chalkboard with a faded menu on it. I was so curious as to what it was for, now I know and I can’t wait to stop by sometime, hopefully in the near future!
Felipe D.C. says:
December 13, 2010 at 10:46 am

In terms of community building and chances for local great musicians to showcase themselves in a manner that doesn’t happen too often, specially in such intimate setting which includes great food, for a donation to praise the musicians that give their talents each friday, there just isn’t any other place I know besides Birdland.
Berkeley should only be proud that it boasts such a place, community built & supported. A place that doesn’t only teach or showcase about musical posibilities but also about how community can come together in one of its greatest forms.
It’s really something the city & neighborhood should enjoy to have.
The many people that show up on Fridays to take part of this great communal event definitely do.
marika says:
December 13, 2010 at 11:05 am

It ‘s very sad to hear that what’s still in my memories as a magic moment that I’m missing so much and i would like to live again and again, is disturbing someone. The city of Berkeley cannot stop something that is the real expression of what Berkeley means for a lot of dreamers. I saw the bbq and jazz community born. from only some chicken wings to the “multiculti concept”, from the kcsm radio playing to the great musicians.
unfortunately I’m back in italy now, and i’m missing the ritual of my friday night so much.. all the people that i knew there, so friendly with me….and Michael too(a lot)..:-(
I wish i could enjoy this Friday bbq or gala event with all you:-)…..wow, what a change!
birdneighbor says:
December 13, 2010 at 1:02 pm

So many good times, good conversations, great eats, excellent music…a truly organic and people centered event. So many have enjoyed this event.. As of now, the event is being shutdown, not really sure why since this event is NOT in the public’s right of way (unless someone were trying to drive their car on the sidewalk!) and there has been NO dialog in the community about this matter, just one clandestine complaint. I live next door and couldn’t hear anything during these events..

The complaint that is shutting it down will need to be scrutinized more closely by the city IMO. As a close neighbor I, and hopefully others will join in, will do everything possible to keep community events like this going.
birdneighbor says:
December 13, 2010 at 1:26 pm

one last thing: This is NOT a business : Mike makes NO money off this event. For many I know that doesn’t compute: doing something not for profit. This could be verified
Helio says:
December 13, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Truly sad that minority becomes majority in trying to “end” our marvelous community gathering that happen only once a week that is Friday. With nothing against the people that like or love to relax at home. Is our music to loud? Are the people looking to happy.? “Is it causing reduction of accidents because community does not need to drive?”
I really like Berkeley. Berkeley gave me a bit a sense of community. Just saying. I made good friends Julio, Lourenco (Larry), Paul, Mike and others…

The Birdland Social Jazzistas Club is my favorite place!



Shawna Peterson says:
December 13, 2010 at 3:50 pm

I truly love the independent and sharing spirit that Michael brings to Berkeley. As someone who grew up in this city, that sounds like what Berkeley often strives for. Birdland jazz is a throw-back to a different time and one we should attempt to replicate. Jazz concerts in small venues (houses) were a way to keep musicians playing and a community thriving. Michael is trying to do the same thing.
Jonah Levine says:
December 13, 2010 at 3:56 pm

Mike has been extremely generous to the jazz student community by letting young jazz musicians play at his club, usually doing the late set. I personally have had the opportunity to play there twice and it is by far my favorite venue to play at in the area. Birdland jazz is a great place where people can socialize, eat great food, and listen to great music. We cannot let this place get shutdown, it has become one of the most exciting events to visit on Friday nights. Do what you can to help!!!
Beth says:
December 13, 2010 at 5:12 pm

“Birdman” Michael and I have known each other for over 20 years (yes, we met in grade school…) and the Multi Culti Grill and Birdland Jazz Club is the latest in a long line of similarly creative, inspired and generous endeavors that Michael just can’t seem to stay away from creating for long. Lucky for us that he decided to stay in the Bay Area and not live the gypsy life he is so suited for! You just know that he’d create great food and friends and community wherever he goes, and he’s done it yet again. Love you, Michael…you are a force of nature.
Mike O. says:
December 13, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Shutting this place down would be shutting down the best jazz club in Berkeley. Birdland is an extremely fun and welcoming place where you can hear some of the best live jazz in town, while eating some of the best barbecue in town. It is a place where young musicians can play and be heard, and a place for the whole town to gather and have a great time. Shutting it down would be a huge disappointment to so many people who have experienced this wonderful place! Good luck Birdman!!!
Jun Gumabay says:
December 13, 2010 at 6:22 pm

It would be such a shame that one or two people can adversely impact a much-beloved community gathering of good music, good food, and good times. Especially when vague city codes are enforced. Given the passionate grassroots community support for Birdland, the city should show a little goodwill towards a resolution that allows neighbors to get together in the fashion that Birdland does it with: neighbors cooking and sharing with each other, amongst live musicians (many city and neighborhood residents at that!) and such a convivial atmosphere. Where can you live that life? Only in Berkeley. And the city wants to shut it down?

Also, where’s the due process? A neighbor complains about what? At least Mike should have opportunity to defend himself and his community of jazz/bbq lovers and friends/nieghbors. The city should allow Mike to see any documented complaints. The complainer could be kept private by blocking out his/her name on any documents.

Is the noise too loud? Was there a decibel reading taken? Just because the music is amplified doesn’t mean anything these days, because almost every home entertainment system also utilizes an amplified sound system. What matters is the decibel reading where the complaints are emanating from. The city should at least specify a decibel rating that violates its city codes, and take readings to justify its actions.

Public side-walk space taken up? I’ve been to these wonderful get-togethers, and while people are standing in the driveway and on the sidewalk, no one is impeded from traversing the sidewalk.

Food permits necessary? Oh c’mon! It’s just a neighborhood BBQ-pot luck. For goodness sakes!

Why should Berkeley have an interest in shutting down Birdland? If anything the city should embrace Birdland and be thankful that there is such a wonderful gathering within its borders. How lucky can folks be?
Paco Avila says:
December 13, 2010 at 7:07 pm

Birdland is doubtless one of the best places for musicians and music lovers alike to gather as a community and have a great time. The place is very open to young musicians, and I myself have greatly enjoyed playing there. The community that gathers there is immensely friendly and relaxed, making a trivial issue such as the possession of a permit by no means a good reason to close down such an amazing place. Shutting down Birdland will take away a huge part of what characterizes our jazz community, and if we allow it to happen without doing everything in our power to stop it, we’ll realize that we’ve made a huge mistake, and Birdland jazz will be missed tremendously.
Yee-Sing Chu says:
December 13, 2010 at 8:25 pm

I really enjoyed this relaxing jazz music at the Birdland. The place is very nice and the BBQ food is delicious. I’ll will be back.
John L. says:
December 13, 2010 at 11:37 pm

Birdland is the only reason why I would cross the Bay Bridge. It would be a shame if it was shut down.
Ethan says:
December 13, 2010 at 11:38 pm

This is cool! Hopefully we can get our permits. Work on it everything will be ok. All of birlanders supports you! =)
sean says:
December 13, 2010 at 11:42 pm

“Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us” – i also believe in it with all the avocado pie i can manifest out of $25. keep it up mike
tong zhang says:
December 13, 2010 at 11:43 pm

What a wonderful community event. I love the Jazz music there and the BBQ too. Please don’t shut it down…
Ylai says:
December 14, 2010 at 12:12 am

This place is fun! I remember when i came here and brought Lumpia for everyone. They loved it! =) The Barbeque, The Music, The friendship, what else can u ask for? It only happens on Fridays anyway so why don’t u just leave it alone? Michael is the man!!!! Please, don’t shut this place down!!
Yoko says:
December 14, 2010 at 12:49 am

It would be such a shame to close it down!
Ha N. says:
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 theather 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.

I have been thinking what should I cook to bring to the potluck for this cozy place next time, but now… WHAT?

Gopal says:
December 14, 2010 at 9:01 am

I support Birdland Jazz & BBQ, and want it to stay open to the public. It seems like turning it into a private club would defeat the whole purpose. It’s a block party that showcases the unique character and flavor of the community, (NPI).
Mlim says:
December 14, 2010 at 9:53 am

I am not a big fan of jazz perhaps because it is not my music of choice nor do I really have an ear for it. But Birdland Jazz and BBQ is more than just a place for jazz. It is an innovative social space that allows for many ideas to flourish by the osmosis of people interacting with each other on Friday evening; sharing stories, eating BBQ and listening to Jazz music.

At a time of deep recession and high unemployment, a social space of this kind is most needed to bring people together, helping the unfortunate ones among us to get through the tough times together. In addition, through this “get togetherness” some innovative creation can come out of it, be it music, food, social network space, photography etc. A look into the PC history will illustrate that is how the computer industry got it start.

I hope Birdland Jazz will continue to flourish.
M F says:
December 14, 2010 at 9:55 am

I live adjacent to the Birdland parties and I can barely hear the music from my yard. They are definitely in compliance with any laws restricting sound levels. The other adjacent neighbors have all beeen seen enjoying the music and food also. I have to conclude that whoever complained did so out of malice or they are a killjoy, not a for a legitimate reason.
Luiza Renata Motter says:
December 14, 2010 at 10:34 am

I’m from Brazil and for me it’s an unique event. Because it brings lots of culture, entertainment, happiness and good energy to everyone. I definetely support this great idea. Let’s keep Birdland Jazz Club forever!!!!
Tram Cao says:
December 14, 2010 at 2:27 pm

That’s such a unique place with full of energy from people who stop by. Birdland Jazz and BBQ is more than just a place for jazz, it is the place for people can relax and find themselve in music and delicous food. it’ also convenience for those who have childen since they could bring their kids to the place and enjoy the happy moment together.
thank for the event.
Nathan Kersey-Wilson says:
December 14, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Birdland is by far my favorite place in Berkeley. Of course, the music is brilliant, and the food is brilliant, but the greatest thing about Birdland is the community it creates. I’ve seen toddlers, high school students, college students, adults, and seniors all hanging out there- with eachother! The enjoyment of great music, food, and kind, welcoming atmosphere is something that transcends age, ethnicity, culture, religion, etc.
Birdland also offer an incredible opportunity to underground band and musicians. musicians get to talk to each other and the community, and in this way Birdland creates musical and extra-musical connections for people throughout the Bay Area.
Everyone I’ve asked about Birdland describes it as a totally “Berkeley” scene. This weekly community gathering enriches the entire city- Berkeley needs to embrace Birdland, not try to shut it down!
Jun Luo AKA Reanna (CCSF) says:
December 14, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Only in Berkeley… Awesome Jazz and food for a donation! I mean really, you gotta see it to believe it. Mike has to be one of the most creative guys I’ve ever met, and when he does something it’s all the way. So no wonder when he decides to have a casual get together on Friday nights, it turn into a feast of incredible ethnic foods and awesome live music. The crowd is super chill, diverse and interesting.PLEASE DO NOT SHUT IT DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Takashi Matsunaga CCSF says:
December 14, 2010 at 4:49 pm

I never heard live Cuban music before, and this BBQ event gave me a good opportunity to have a new experience. the atmosphere was very nice. There were surrounding by many art objects and birdhouses. It was an awesome display of art. We grabbed something to drink and some BBQ. We then listened to the music.These experiences we really need and have to keep these.
I support Birdland Jazz & BBQ, and want keep manage to go on!
Takashi Matsunaga CCSF says:
December 14, 2010 at 4:49 pm

I never heard live Cuban music before, and this BBQ event gave me a good opportunity to have a new experience. the atmosphere was very nice. There were surrounding by many art objects and birdhouses. It was an awesome display of art. We grabbed something to drink and some BBQ. We then listened to the music.These experiences we really need and have to keep these.
I support Birdland Jazz & BBQ, and want keep manage to go on!
laura menard says:
December 14, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Folks, save your passion for a Zoning Adjustment Board meeting or send your emails to the city council, no one on this blog has any power to accommodate the SPECIAL status you are requesting for Michael.
Tsutomu Nishi says:
December 14, 2010 at 5:16 pm

I’ve attended the BBQ event once. I had a wonderful time there. I liked the cozy atmospher and the relaxing music. I’m really sad to hear that this BBQ event is closing down. I hope they continue this event somehow!
Carlos says:
December 14, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Michael’s gathering is very entertaining with the music, the food, and the different cultures that gathered Fridays; it was fabulous. I particular learned that no matter what the occasion is, people from all cultures can come together and have fun ignoring the racial discrimination that always break us apart, when individuals say that only Asians or only Latinos or only white or only black can have fun by themselves. This is not true, because I noticed how easily it is for Michael to get many cultures together and talk about their own communities. This gatherings should continue forever…
48. Pingback: Birdland Jazz and Multi Culti Grill: Update | Berkeleyside
Sam says:
December 14, 2010 at 7:01 pm

Birdland is whats up. dont close it down
Macaulay says:
December 15, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Is anyone from Berkeley’s governing body reading these comments? I have never been to Birdland, but I sure hope to. As someone who has been paying, let’s say, generous tax rates to live in Berkeley, I have never complained because so much of it goes to make the city a good community to live in. These kinds of gatherings contribute to a good community, and deserves the support of the city, not the blind enforcement of regulations when they do more harm than good.
priscilla says:
December 15, 2010 at 1:29 pm

I am in complete shock that the city of Berkeley would try to kill the Birdland Jazz club & the Multi-Culti Grill. This treasured event Michael has created to create a greater sense of community and allow community members to gather, commiserate is spectacular and should be praised by the city of Berkeley. The Berkeley City officials should be ashamed of themselves.
Jian Luo says:
December 15, 2010 at 6:54 pm

Michael has been extremely generous to the jazz student community by letting young jazz musicians play at his club. His club is to gather everybody to have fun there. it should be closed down!!
ruiqi chen says:
December 15, 2010 at 10:50 pm

the birdhouse outside Michael’s backyard are very nice…most of them are made of recycled wood. I really love the BBQ!!! ^_^ and the party is wonderful.
you wei Tang says:
December 15, 2010 at 10:54 pm

I love the foods and drinks in there; you prepared a lot of foods and a lot of types of drinks for us. We were having fun with some new friends, and a cute dog. The dog is very cute, it always walked around the room and looking for foods. The most important part is the rock band members were having a music show in there, they are very cool! They made all the people were so exciting. I was exciting also! I was really enjoyed this music show and your room’s setting. In your room, we could see many bird lands for decoration in the wall. This is my first time to see the bird lands; it is very special and unforgettable for me. I saw some people start to dance in this pretty, even there were raining outside. I think everyone had a really great time in this pretty.
WingLam Hui says:
December 15, 2010 at 11:18 pm

I totally have a very nice time in the party. People around there is very nice, and we do have a very good coummication. I love this party. Everyone there have a lot of fun. Birdman Michael did a great job to provide opportunity to people who live in Berkely to commuicate. The BBQ, the music, and the party is GREAT!!!!!!!!
Yuemei Feng says:
December 16, 2010 at 12:23 am

I like Birdland. It provides a comfortable place for youth to enjoy Jazz music. This is the first place for me to spend my nightlife in U.S. If it is shuted down, my life will be dull. It is possitive for people, it is much better than other pubs, no violance, no drug. I really support Birdland.
Mick Del Rosario says:
December 16, 2010 at 12:54 am

After seven months of the city not taking action, what happened during the time? People were brought together, appreciation for delicious food and amazing music, and a sense of community was instilled within the area. It is a mistake to prevent Birdland from continuing as it is an example of how communities should come together, and to enjoy each others’ company. I urge the City of Berkeley to continue, and support, Birdland for it will be beneficial for the community.
Adrien says:
December 16, 2010 at 9:52 am

The Friday BBQ at Birdland is one of the first thing I tell to my friends, back in Switzerland. I spent 3 months at 1731 Sacramento Street. And during all the summer, it was the key event of the week! Why? I could hang out with people that I would never have met otherwise. I will always remember the atmosphere. This, is Berkeley, don’t close it down!
Jayson Artates says:
December 16, 2010 at 10:14 am

Preventing the Birdland Jazz Club and Multi Culti Grill to continue is such a shocker. What are these events thrown exactly? I see it as a weekly house party–just coincidentally, it has a good crowd of beloved regulars and new faces, good food, and good music on the regular. And what’s wrong what that? Nothing. Micheal Parayno has taken his home and turned it into a place of communal bonding out of the generosity of his heart and love for food and music–something most people don’t see too often: communal bonding and genuine generosity.

How could the city of Berkeley even think about closing it? There isn’t even an enforced donation, it’s just simply suggested to help cover the food, supplies, and other little things. Like Sarah Henry had said in her article: “The musicians don’t come here for the money. It’s supportive place to play and the vibe is right.” Something this amazing shouldn’t be shut down or forced into the back, something like this should be encouraged and praised up front. The Birdland Jazz Club and Multi Culti Grill could just be the beginning of a stronger community and more simple, yet still extraordinary social gatherings. If it’s beneficial to the community, and there’s no harm of it, why stop it? I support Birdland Jazz Club and Multi Culti Grill.
Sebastien Kuenlin says:
December 16, 2010 at 11:23 am

When I was in Berkeley on Friday night waiting impatiently … There was our traditional BQQ, it was great, awesome!! I love this place!!
Adrien and me will come and try the new version!!
Sébastien Kuenlin
Tobias Müller says:
December 16, 2010 at 1:08 pm

It was the best moment to meet other peoples from Berkley or from other counties. You will not find another friendly place like Friday BBQ at Birdland. In the 3 moths I never saw any problems at this event. Thanks for this time at Friday evening.
Best wishes from Switzerland
Toby Müller
Fei Xiong says:
December 16, 2010 at 1:39 pm

What a wonderful community event. I love the Jazz music there and the BBQ too. 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.Please, don’t shut this place down!!
Jia Ning Liu says:
December 16, 2010 at 6:43 pm

it is a wonderful place.I love the Jazz music there and the BBQ too. Please don’t shut it down…
Martijn van den Broek (Belgium) says:
December 17, 2010 at 12:44 am

I want to add to the international support: I was there when this venue started simply as Michael’s Friday night street side BBQ. Already then this was something truly special, with people from the local and international communities mingling. From a distance I witnessed the development: the canopies and sofas, the extra chefs and live bands. But the core of its success and popularity, a spirit of openness and spontaneity, remained. I hope there is a way to preserve this spirit, and the event, under the current demands to comply with city regulations.
Mr. Snappy says:
December 17, 2010 at 9:52 am

I am planning on coming tonight with several friends for a celebration. Will it still be happening in the rain??
Helio says:
December 17, 2010 at 10:07 am

Good morning Mr. Snappy,

Birdland will fly above the clouds, Birdland will fly above the rain clouds!

Looking forward to see you all!
Trang Tran says:
December 17, 2010 at 11:07 am

My name is Trang Tran and I am a Laney College Student in Michael’s class. I have recently went to the Birdland to see what’s so special about the place. Once I got there, I can see why it’s so captivating. The environment is a cozy and warm place to be at, yet it’s an exciting and fun event to be at. This event helped me on my assignments because I was able to experienced something new and then reflect upon it. It should not be shut down! it brings people together in unison to play, listen, and groove to the music/cultural event.
Wei Shao Liang says:
December 17, 2010 at 12:27 pm

it is wonderful place for food and music.
I like the bird houses which are made of recycled materials.
keep it open….THX….
Jia Li Liang says:
December 17, 2010 at 1:16 pm

I like birdland,I totally have a very nice time in the BBQ party.I support Birdland Jazz Club and Multi Culti Grill.
Jayne says:
December 17, 2010 at 1:46 pm

I’ve seen Birdland’s bird houses for years, and never imagined there was a secret jazz – bbq club there. It sounds fabulous to me because there are fewer & fewer local jazz or R&B clubs at all. And none are as cheap & pleasant as this sounds.
I hate the drinking etc. at most bars and it’ss only gotten worse as I’ve aged. I’m a musician who used to play at all kinds of places.
There must be some way to fix the safety issues on Sac’to Street. Good Luck!
I hope to visit next year…
LU ER ZHU says:
December 17, 2010 at 4:19 pm

It is a really good place for music and BBQ. I had a wonderful time w/ my frdz at there n i think every one at there might had a good time also. n I hope it can be continue …
thom says:
December 17, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Michael et al., YOU ROCK THE BLOCK. Kids, adults, dogs, music and the BBQ, the sofas, the garage — that’s where the community is and lives. When I was there with my friends a few weeks back, I had some of the best casual and candid conversations with folks that I’ve ever experienced. Going legit isn’t the worst you could do. Do it and keep going. The end is nowhere in sight, but it’s big for all!
Ka Ki Yu says:
December 17, 2010 at 5:02 pm

It is really a nice place. A place that we can enjoy ourselves and relax at the end of a week.
Michael is very nice to us and the birdhouses he made are very beautiful and cute.
All of the people there are nice and we have fun together. Michael provides a community for us especially those living in Berkeley to have fun together.
I highly recommend people to go there if they have a chance.
Allison Kimura says:
December 18, 2010 at 11:43 am

I experienced my first jazz concert here. As a college student, there are scare opportunities that are simultaneously enjoyable and affordable. Birdhouse is one of them. Safe community event for parents, children, friends, and family!
Helio says:
December 18, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Quynh Tran says:
December 18, 2010 at 2:13 pm

I have heard about the Birdland jazz club before, but I haven’t got any chance to go, until last night.
It was surprisingly FANTASTIC. The music, the foods and the people were so nice. Even though it was raining hard, the place was packed. Walking into the garage feel like entering another world to me. It’s cozy and full of magical rhythm. It makes you want to dance right the moment you walk in.
Alex Duong says:
December 18, 2010 at 2:15 pm

I love the environment: the BBQ, the people and the music.
It was a very nice place for our Friday night activity
I’m looking forward to go there soon
Serena Jew says:
December 18, 2010 at 3:15 pm

This is a great place to get together. Not only are you helping support local artist but you create a community. I come from San Francisco all the way to Berkeley. It is nice to get away from a big city into a small nice quiet area. I can go for walks at night around the park and the entire area, stand around his house and chit chat with other locals and not worry about my safety. The food and atmosphere is just great as well. His birdhouses are just magical as well. I hope this BBQ continues next year.
Vernon Chen says:
December 18, 2010 at 7:23 pm

Seven months with no action and they want to do something now? Ha.
I attended my first Birdland Jazz Club on Friday and it was definitely an eye opener. From the music, to the food, and even the atmosphere, it was something I had never seen and experienced before. This very club brings a sense of community to everyone and brings forward a new culture. People of all ages come here for a good time, with different bands coming every week and the delicious BBQ.
The city of Berkeley should not shut it down, but give them the permits they need to keep the club going as it is beneficial to the community.
Wei Wang says:
December 18, 2010 at 9:33 pm

I donot like people call it secret club. Actually, I had lot of fun with those who love music, food and enjoy this eventhough my English is not good for all communition. We hungout outside of garage and keep sidewalk clean, listening Jazz and eatting BBQ. That the best time since I have been here to be an international student. Also I like birdhouse, but I donnt think that a good idea to move BBQ into the backyard because there is too narrow and people pass through outside of the house will not find the loction where party is.
Chanli Liu says:
December 18, 2010 at 11:17 pm

A great place for people who want to communicate and socialize with other is BBQ at Birthland. I love jazz and taste different kind’s food while my friends and I were there. Michael, I hope you will find some way to resolve this situation with the city.
darby price says:
December 19, 2010 at 8:00 pm

I strongly support the continuance of Birdland –it makes an invaluable contribution to the local community and neighborhood. Birdland is a positive model for independent non-profit community building and entertainment. There should be more places like Birdland.
Karina Lau says:
December 19, 2010 at 10:28 pm

It was the best moment to meet other peoples from Berkley or from other counties. You will not find another friendly place like Friday BBQ at Birdland.I totally have a very nice time in the party.Please, don’t shut this place down!!
jpd ott says:
December 20, 2010 at 8:10 am

In reference to Birdland Jazz and the Multi Culti Grill:

Count one more voice raised and beer hoisted in support of Birdland Jazz/Multi Culti Grill! And to the city officials who want to close this event – why don’t you come and join in instead. You’ll be welcome and you’ll have a good time.

I’ve known the BJ/MCG impresario Michael Parayno for a long time and know him for what he is – an out in the open good guy who likes to have fun and bring joy to others. And he has conceived a great medium for both with his Friday evening wingdings.

The main issue seems to be that Michael’s events are moneymaking ventures. Certainly, Michael has an entrepreneurial gift that is the envy of many. And equally certain, we all plunk down a few bucks for an evening of food and music. But freedom isn’t free so why should a good time be? And if Michael blurs the line between commerce and community, his true and loyal friends know for sure which side of the line he stands on where we are concerned.

There are marvelous and some would say miraculous things happening Friday nights on Sacramento Avenue. For instance, one participant even swears that he watched the food multiply before his very eyes as Michael gave it his blessing. Although I can only report this as hearsay, I do recall hearing of a similar occurrence at some time in the distant past that many people still regard credibly.

Of course, this may sound completely ridiculous, which, of course, it is. But so is the fact that in this era when the government fails to effectively regulate the airlines, the banks, Wall Street and polluters the city of Berkeley has the time to regulate a bunch of people engaged in the free exercise of their right to pursue happiness. The real question is not whether some obscure city code is being violated but whether it is the right of the people freely and peacefully to assemble that is being violated. It’s time to bury arbitrary and intrusive bureaucracy in a deep hole under steel reinforced concrete along with a few metric tons of nuclear and human waste. Keep it up Michael, you’re a good dude and you lay down good food and that’s worth a lot. And remember – inferior minds are always trying to shackle the great spirits.

One word of advice to Michael – in future photo ops lose the cigarette, you don’t want to be a bad influence, and as much as we lament the passing of the beats – they’re history.

To the city officials weighing this matter – Free Birdland! Let it fly, let it soar! Forevermore!

Signed, JPD Ott
Lyrics R says:
December 20, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Birdland Jazz is a super awesome chill spot to kick it at if you ever find yourself at Berkeley on a Friday night. The music is lively and extremely calming after a long week of tedious schooling or work. Not only is Birdland a good place to relax and wind down, but it’s also a great place to bring your friends and family to enjoy good music, barbeque and s’mores. Birdland is open to anyone and there’s a huge community turn out. There’s no good reason to shut it down!
Dan says:
December 20, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Don’t shut down Birdland Jazz Club and Multi Culti Grill. I have only been there twice and I found the jazz and bbq amazing. The people are really friendly and everyone is welcome.
Chapala Das says:
December 20, 2010 at 10:36 pm

Birdland Jazz and Multi Culti Grill is a social club where people get together and share their Multi cultural thoughts. The beautiful Jazz music creates positive spirit among people, which in turn improve community strength in the neighborhood. Please don’t close this place down.
Fung Kit Chun says:
December 21, 2010 at 6:29 pm

I am a Laney College Student in Michael’s class, Asame30 class.
He invited his all students to job his Jazz party, and I am one of them.
I thought Birdland Jazz club was great because there were music and foods we can enjoy.
If there are more area for Birdland Jazz to party, that will be more perfect.
Chuck MacKinnon says:
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!
Steven Cheung says:
December 22, 2010 at 8:21 pm

Oh man, where to start…It was a Friday night, the rain was pouring and everyone seem to be home resting. The streets were silent and no people were to be seen. As I got near the Bart station near berkerly I saw one house, just one, with lights. I immediately saw the white gazebo. next to this big tree and realized that’s were the party is. After parking outside the Bart, I crossed the street and I was greeted by Mr. Parayno at the door. He said, “Hi guys, to me and my friend, come in” , As I sat inside, I saw a lot of people, I was surprised that a lot of people were there even though it was a rainy day. I remember seeing families there too, just enjoying themselves, sitting on the couch. I ate my delicious satay chicken and pepsi, the band started to play. I can’t forget the first time I heard the Nerio Degracia Mambo Jazztet played. It was the most wonderful experience i’ve done. Never have i thought that I would want to dance in a rainy day.
butch inumerable says:
December 22, 2010 at 11:42 pm

i hope that the city and the grill can work things out so that the birdland can continue to provide good eats and soulful jazz music that enriches the lives of so many local residents and music lovers everywhere. we take great solace in the fact that this oasis of good vibes has enjoyed ‘sanctuary’ and thrived of all places, at berkeley, which after all is synonimous with freedom of expression. we urge the ‘powers that be’ to work with the grill’s founders and find common ground, an amicable resolution, which is consistent with not only the letter, but the spirit of the law and yet preserve all that is good in the birdland experience.
Pauper says:
December 23, 2010 at 6:47 pm

Birds are a high flying species, kinda like Michael “The birdman” Parayno…Birds will always fly high, as will Mike. Can’t say I’ve ever heard of any birds being banned or outlawed anywhere. And bbq seems to be one of America’s favorite pastime… With that being said, what is The Beat; does it go on; has it stopped previously -only to re-boot in another place and time? Don’t be late for this flight of winged wonderment…
Now, enough of the poetic talk… Berkeley High’s baddest blowin’ the bop beyond your brains boundary, hipsters & hippies hip hoppin’ with their hot ribs in hand, smoke a rollin’ off the statue like mesquite smoker, lyrics and jargon being exchanged amongst the crowd… the session never dies!
Being the “Birdmans” right hand man, blood brother & neighbor for more than a decade, I can comfortably say… LIVE AND LET LIVE! see U next year folks :) -20II
David Wright says:
December 23, 2010 at 10:59 pm

To me, the Birdland BBQ exemplifies what is so great and unique about Berkeley. It would be sad to think that Berkeley would not want to continue to be a place that fosters this sort of unique community event.
Jose Santos says:
December 23, 2010 at 11:08 pm

Birdland Jazz cannot be stopped, do not shut down this gem of hope Michael Parayno carries to the table. I as a student of his at City College of San Francisco know how dedicated he is to the community. He offers a a wonder chance for the community to get together and know each other on a first name basis. Michael Parayno is an escape from the dull community that has no intention of friendship or spirit in ones own backyard.
Julien says:
December 24, 2010 at 12:46 am

I had to relocate to the Bay from the East Cost 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.
P.S: I am sure that noise is not an issue, as Michael has installed a soundproof curtain and one can witness that the street traffic noise covers the jazz escaping the muffled garage.
pierre says:
December 30, 2010 at 9:55 pm

Mike is one of those rare guys who selflessly organizes cultural entertainment for the benefit of the community. He has added tremendous value to the neighborhood allowing locals to meet and get to know each other. It is too bad that a few entitled people in Berkeley are ruining it for every one else.
Above birdland says:
December 13, 2010 at 10:52 am

I’m currently living on the second floor of “Birdland” and I’m a visiting student in Berkeley. Those bbq’s is one of the best things I was glad to experience during my stay here. I started to participate in June and only missed one during the whole time. It almost became essential for me to be there on friday’s, having a good time, meeting a whole bunch of new interesting people every single time. Also getting to know a few people pretty closely which made it a little family to me.
I’m of course looking forward to be at the last one as well, which will be the last one for me anyways, since I have to leave in early January. I feel sorry though for all the other birdlanders who have been supporting this great idea.
Hopefully future turns out well and it has been a pleasure being part of this event and the community.

Wish you all the best, Mike.
R. says:
December 13, 2010 at 11:27 am

EBGuy says:
December 13, 2010 at 11:56 am

Michael has tangled with the city of Berkeley before:
Until a few months ago [2005], Parayno used to work out of his mammoth garage below his one-bedroom apartment, but says that the city of Berkeley shut him down after frequent complaints from his upstairs neighbor that the property was not zoned for commercial use. Parayno says that the city also made him cover the name and phone number of his business from the doors of his pickups.
I certainly give him credit for his creativity, but I might feel differently if I lived next door. Then again, I suppose a once a month community building blowout would be preferable to student neighbors who partied every weekend. I don’t think something like this would happen in Elmwood. YMMV…
tram Cao says:
December 13, 2010 at 2:42 pm

i think the birdland is a great place for people to relax by the music and food. there’s also a place for people can make friends. the jazz/BBQ events are friendly and great. thank for the events.
el kool kyle says:
December 13, 2010 at 3:51 pm

i grew up in that neighborhood, and birdland is the only thing other than mr. mopps & guerilla cafe that makes that neighborhood still feel
like home. berkeley sucks now! because berkeley has sucked up the last outlets of expression for the artists that called it home for so long.

long live birdland!
Tweetie says:
December 13, 2010 at 4:25 pm

It is very clear what Michael is trying to create: a community of peace and happiness, no discrimination, only love for food and passion for jazz. I am not speaking for Michael, but I am sure this is what he has in mind.

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us —this line is for the haters
And the world will live as one.

The song is very simple to understand. I blame ignorance of the haters.

I am very proud to be a part of a community like this! Share the world, share your music!
Daniel says:
December 13, 2010 at 4:48 pm

What exactly is the problem with these barbecues? If there is a real issue (noise complaints or something), then maybe something can be worked out. Mike is a reasonable guy, not the sort to intentionally cause trouble. Perhaps there is a compromise somehow. Hell, if you came to him to complain, he would just invite you inside and give you free chicken and have you listen to some tunes.
Ethan says:
December 13, 2010 at 4:58 pm

This event is crakin.. I have fun meeting new people around there and we are not causing trouble to the community. There is no good reason to shut it down. No freedom to persue happiness. =) by the way Sir mike he’s cool..
Shina Zhou says:
December 13, 2010 at 7:52 pm

sir mike is really cool!! I am his one of his students, and I have been there(birdland) before. there were many handmade birdhouses, cool bbq party, great jazz concert on FRIDAYS!!!!!
really love it!!!!
Ritchie Le says:
December 13, 2010 at 8:20 pm

Parayno’s event is awsome! It is a family orienated place where both adults and children can enjoy the great food while listening to smooth jazz. The host, the band, and the people volunteering their time to serve and cater to the guest are friendly. The atmosphere of the jazz club gives out a positive vibe, which is relaxing for those who haven’t experienced a jazz club before.
Betsy says:
December 13, 2010 at 9:27 pm

What a shame to hear the City of Berkeley is shutting down Birdland.
If city officials were willing, I’m sure a compromise could be reached between Michael and the authorities to ensure the continuance of this fantastic event. Having participated in
several myself, I’ve seen the transformational effect Birdland has had on the neighborhood – extending to the greater Berkeley Community. It seems so short-sighted to curtail an event like this on the basis of code violations. If our neighborhoods had more on-going events like Birdland, we’d all be a little happier and perhaps a little closer. Is there any way to get a petition going and collect signatures? Just a thought.
Ruiqi Chen says:
December 13, 2010 at 10:28 pm

the birdhouse outside Michael’s backyard are very nice…most of them are made of recycled wood. I really love the BBQ!!! ^_^ and the party is wonderful.
Dalison I. says:
December 13, 2010 at 10:40 pm

I loved the atmosphere of the event. Everyone in the event was very friendly and very sociable. The food was delicious and the music was very entertaining.This is my first time attending a live jazz event. For my first time attending, this was definitely a good experience filled with joy and happiness.When I was young I always thought that jazz band events were boring. Now after witnessing a live jazz band event, it was really fun and enjoyable. The event engaged people into coming together and listening together as a community. This even really helped the community bond together while enjoying food and jazz.
Tin T Truong says:
December 13, 2010 at 11:13 pm

I think the Birdland is a great place for people, I have fun meeting new people, people! Please support Michael Parayno. the City of Berkeley is no good reason to shut it down!. O__ @ __0
Binh T Nguyen says:
December 14, 2010 at 8:39 am

I think Berekely Cty shouldn’t shut it down. Support Michael Parayno:)
Jian Feng Xu says:
December 14, 2010 at 9:58 am

This BBQ/ music event has brought a lot of fun to all participants, and we really enjoy it because we can listen the music while we are eating the BBQ stuff. It also gives an opportunities to people who want to have a place to gather together. It helps people know more about each other. There is no reason to shut down this such wonderful activity.
Steve Shiboski says:
December 14, 2010 at 10:12 am

Birdland is a great contribution to the N. Berkeley community and the Berkeley jazz scene at a time when there are few active local jazz performance venues. The number of people attending every week and the range of musicians that have played there are testaments to the interest and need for this kind of resource. It has also been a terrific place for young musicians to play, and many current and former students from the jazz program at Berkeley High are regular performers and attendees. It would be a huge loss to see it shut down because of “code violations”. I urge the city to make every effort to clarify what steps need to be taken to address these issues, and allow Michael and the many enthusiastic patrons of Birdland to keep this valuable community resource open.
Jun Luo AKA Reanna (CCSF) says:
December 14, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Only in Berkeley… Awesome Jazz and food for a donation! I mean really, you gotta see it to believe it. Mike has to be one of the most creative guys I’ve ever met, and when he does something it’s all the way. So no wonder when he decides to have a casual get together on Friday nights, it turn into a feast of incredible ethnic foods and awesome live music. The crowd is super chill, diverse and interesting.PLEASE DON NOT SHUT IT DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Qiquan Li says:
December 14, 2010 at 3:22 pm

The Birdland is a good communicated stage where people can relax, where people can meet new friends. I have visited one time last month, and I liked the incredible jazz music which brought a lots of joyce to people. Friendly people,delicious food, and blue jazz left me a poignant memory. I would like to come back again.
Jian Luo says:
December 15, 2010 at 6:56 pm

Mike’s club has Awesome Jazz and food!! It is a very fun and chill place to meet new people and have fun there! PLEASE DUN CLOSE IT DOWN!!
Chan Kit U says:
December 15, 2010 at 11:02 pm

In this event, I really learn a lot stuff, and I really enjoy it. I met a lot different people, but when i get there i really feel confused on it. Of course i went there with my friends, and we ate there, and listen music. It is awesome. Also it is my first time to join this kind of event, it is really nice and friendly. So if there still have these kind of events, I will go there once as always.
Mick Del Rosario says:
December 16, 2010 at 12:59 am

Who else would be so generous as to have random people from BART commuters and the community enjoy the festivities that Michael holds. The events held here are enjoyable and definitely brings the community together. I urge the City of Berkeley to work with Michael and team of the Birdhouse to ensure that these events continues.

  1. Julian Merino says:

    I was surprised upon hearing that both Birdland Jazz Club and Multi Culti Grill might be closing down by the end of this year. Michael Parayno is my Asian American Studies professor at the City College of San Francisco and offered me to come to the weekly Friday barbeques. I went to a few and a Manny Pacquiao fight. What I found very special about Birdland was the strength of the community it built by those who attended. That evening, Little Brown Brothers, a Filipino jazz band, had performed a couple of their pieces. They were followed by the Berkeley High School student jazz ensemble. I truly feel that Birdland is a safe haven for these jazz artists to perform. It is a sanctuary where their passion and love of music is admired by the audience. Without it, these artists will have difficulty finding other venues where their music can be cherished. Birdland revitalizes the culture of jazz and the subculture of Filipinos in jazz by allowing their music to be heard for dozens of ears. This also stretches out to the grill where a diverse choice of ethnic delicacy is created. All kinds of delicious food is shared. Hopefully this place doesn’t get shut down because Mr. Parayno is such a hospitable individual. He just wants to share the essence of history, culture and expression to the masses in a small intimate setting. Is that so much to ask?

  2. Jia Lin Huang says:

    I think jazz music is not loudly. On the contrary, it makes us feel confortable. I love the Berkeley Birdland Jazz Concert and I will continue to support it. Jazz music is an amazing power that it can connect different kinds of people together. Although we come from different cultures and different countries, jazz music is just like an language that it can let us be able to communicate with each other and have fun together.
    I hope I can go to the birdland jazz music concert next time!

  3. Lina Uyen Ho says:

    I was shocked to hear that they wanted to shut this place down. I went there ones and I believe it was great. I would be really pissed if it were to close down. Its like closing down a community and you get to meet a lot of people. This allows us to get closer to the people in the bay area and living that individualistic idea out of our society. Great jazz music, good food, and meeting people who care about one another. Its not even noisy, when I got there I was shocked since it stated it was noisy. Not noisy at all and its pretty cool how the garage is transformed into a little jazz club. People who want this place close down probably do not have a good sense in music.

  4. Francis says:

    I think that this place is a fantastic place to enjoy jazz music. The Fact that people want to shut it down due to noise doesn’t make any sense to me. I find jazz to be a really mellow genre of music. This place is also a great place to get in touch with the community, shutting it down would greatly reduce the cultural value of the area. Keep this place up and running!

  5. Nate G says:

    Birdland shouldn’t be shut down. Its an amazing place to listen to great jazz, have some extraordinary food, and just sit back and relax to the calm and relaxing atmosphere. Its a place where the community comes together. Students from all over the bay area come here to listen and support to the amazing bands and to to relax themselves from a hectic week of school. This is an event anyone can enjoy, from the youngest to the oldest, who doesn’t enjoy a little jazz in their life. Why prevent anyone from enjoying an experience like Birdland.

  6. Danny Li says:

    Mike’s party’s are a treat to the community and funded by him, and donations from people in the community only. The party’s are very friendly and a great place to meet people and hear good music. People come from all over the bay area to come to these events that are all to rare in our communities, Birdland jazz should be here to stay.

  7. Lyrics R says:

    Birdland Jazz is a super awesome chill spot to kick it at if you ever find yourself at Berkeley on a Friday night. The music is lively and extremely calming after a long week of tedious schooling or work. Not only is Birdland a good place to relax and wind down, but it’s also a great place to bring your friends and family to enjoy good music, barbeque and s’mores. Birdland is open to anyone and there’s a huge community turn out. There’s no good reason to shut it down!

  8. Sandee says:

    the birdland jazz is an aweosome and a relaxing palce to chill and have a good time with other people on a Friday night. Playing jazz music and having great food to eat, Why shut it down when its such a huge hit in the communty.

Michael, my brother, don’t stop doing until you get a mention in the Wall Street Journal:

I’m one of the folks known to hang out at Michael’s as an early joiner to the erstwhile family. I’m white bread and mainstream from the East Coast and not one to sign up for creating a public nuisance. To the folks talking about dice shooters and shooting shooters, come on now, save your scary anecdotes for a scene that compares.

Bill Graham and thugs, really? Birdland isn’t Altamont or any kind of stadium rock. It is college students, a metric ton of them international and some hearing jazz for the first time, Berkeley high schoolers, many with parents in tow to hear them and their friends jam, neighbors, hipsters, curious passersby, old folks, dogs, kids toasting marshmallows under the nearby parental eye, and middle-aged suburbanites like myself relaxing after work.

Don’t let the numbers confuse you into thinking mob scene. On the nights with hundreds, it’s all about flow. People come and go in waves, some for the food, some for the music and some for just an interesting jumping off point for a later night elsewhere. It’s not a crazy mob looking for trouble.

In fact, as someone who’s 46 now and spent most of my adult life as a single, petite woman, conscious of keeping safe in crowds, here’s a frame of reference. I’ve chatted with women (young and old) who, like me, are aware of social situations and personal safety but have dropped by alone. They’ve enthusiastically returned to Birdland precisely because of the friendly, neighborhood vibe, and a feeling of communal safety.

I’m not a tea partier or an Ayn Rand loving freak, but this situation is one in which you have to wonder about the bludgeon of zoning laws versus life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If there are neighbors complaining, than the city should be looking for mediation under nuisance laws. I’d like to hear any complaints and see what could be done to mediate for everyone.

My sense is that it’s more like the city throwing its weight than managing a nuisance. Makes you wonder when a city like Houston, certainly without Berkeley’s reputation for peace, love and granola, can operate without keeping it’s population in line with heavy-handed zoning laws.

And for those who haven’t been to the neighborhood who might want a sense of how much of a nuisance Michael could be here’s the lay of the land. To the right of his garage is a park, home to some of the homeless who have gotten a meal and pitched in with picking up the recycling. His own place is the two units closest to the street (and you can’t hear the music or the street from inside). Above is a third unit, rented out by a landlord who’s been favoring international students and kids on short-term work visas — so far enthusiastic supporters. The building and yard wrap around in a way to buffer the next closest building, such that no one is even near that stoop by a good 150 feet. The street in front is a wide 4 lanes with a meridian and a BART station on the other side.

It’s not an easy economy as we roll into a new year. I hope that a man gets to keep feeding a few folks who need it, while some musicians get attention from a receptive audience. Michael is a taxpayer, an educator, an artist, a multiculturalist and an entrepreneur. Aren’t those the kind of characters who built California?

Posted by Dee-Rob on January 2, 2011 at 1:00 AM | Report this comment

fistofate - It’s ludicrous to compare your situation to this one. The article doesn’t even mention neighbor complaints &, in fact, people have posted to say that the neighbors are involved in the parties. There is nothing to indicate this is a problem in the neighborhood - quite the contrary. I would actually hate having this happen right next to me, but that’s just me. If the neighbors aren’t complaining they should leave him alone.
Posted by homer on January 1, 2011 at 8:07 PM | Report this comment

Unfortunately, even in a liberal place such as Berkeley the ugly Puritan American values rear themselves. This type of party is wonderful and it is common place in many Latin American countries. In reading the article I noticed that there were not any complaints from neighbors so why is the city cracking down? This is all positive and I regret I never heard of these parties otherwise I’d have attended. They sound like a blast! Good luck to Mr. Parayno.
Posted by puritans_suck on January 1, 2011 at 4:55 PM | Report this comment

I noticed that all of the negative comments so far have been from people who don’t live in our neighborhood and who are reacting to events that happened elsewhere - they haven’t even attended Mike’s community barbecue to see if it actually compares.Well, I do live in the neighborhood and I have gone to the party several times and had a great time. It’s not really noisy outside, the few immediate neighbors are involved in the party anyway, and Mike puts up a heavy sound-proofing curtain over the garage now that there’s live music inside. There is a mellow, friendly ambience and it’s very like an international block party. The fun goes on for several hours and people come and go; I haven’t seen 200 people there at once.

I think that instead of harassing Mike Parayno and depriving us of our community-building get-togethers, the City should simply devise a new type of permit that does fit the circumstances. Can’t we have a permit for a weekly event?

Regarding the retail license, there is no garish advertising or (as far as I can tell) increased traffic or anything else that we neighbors have reason to complain about. Instead, the artisanal birdhouses are unique and decorate that end of the block in a quintessentially Berkeley way.

Posted by eastbayexp on January 1, 2011 at 2:58 PM | Report this comment

fistoffate, equating your random experience to an event which has been going smoothly and trouble-free for months is way, way off-target.When was the last time there was a fight at a jazz club? In fact, there’s been nothing even resembling a fight at Birdland because the vibe is so mellow and friendly. The music is soundproofed, so it’s not loud- outside-besides being mostly acoustic. Plus, most of the neighbors participate in the party, and actually look forward to it. Had there been a bunch of NIMBY complaints, the parties would not have lasted for nine months with no issues (other than the city trying to put the squeeze on the Birdman).

You may want to re-assess your flawed logic, which plays on paranoia and fear-mongering, but isnt even relevant to what’s actually happening. Or seek professional help for culture-hater syndrome.

Posted by Culture King on January 1, 2011 at 2:34 PM | Report this comment

Greg Daniel is the problem here, not Mike Parayno. Qualities such as integrity, entrepreneurship, community-building, arts and music should be esteemed to the highest degree. Parayno is about the only thing left in Berkeley which actually resembles Berkeley. He’s not hurting anyone. He’s helping to keep the neighborhood safer, because neighbors get to know each other. And he’s even providing a place where homeless people are welcome-they help recycle and clean up after the parties, btw. Plus, he’s giving young musicians valuable gig experience, and doing it all in a space where the age range is from about 16 to 60. and you want to harass him for that? Let’s face it: If the city of Berkeley knew how to put together a multicultural event half as good as Parayno’s, they would have done it.As for the birdhouse “business,” it’s not like he has a retail store. Just recycled wood which he crafts into one of a kind artisan masterpieces. It’s not like he holds a gun to people’s heads and forces them to buy birdhouses. He doesn’t even advertise. All his business is word of mouth. I don’t think you could be more low-impact than that.

Greg Daniel needs to stop being a repressive hater of culture and think about what’s best for the people of Berkeley. Matter of fact, they should be subsidizing the BBQs, which raise the quality of life index in that neighborhood.

Posted by Gopal on January 24, 2011 at 11:07 AM | Report this comment
This party is a far as you can get from a college frat party. For starters, it attracts everyone from teenagers to retirees, with everyone in between. Secondly, these parties aren’t about mindless debauchery or belligerent posturing. The emphasis is squarely on food and music, and people who might not ordinarily come into contact with one another end up having long and animated discussions.It is plainly a case of not fitting into any pre-existing profile that the zoning department already has for neighborhood events. Should you really have to get a permit to hang out in front of your house with your neighbors and their friends? That’s the sort of mentality that I would expect to see in some place like Orange County or Santa Clara County, not Berkeley.


Ha sido para mí una gran experiencia descubrir la Casa de Mike. Un gran club, de nivel internacional, una joya oculta en las calles de Berkeley. He pasado grandes noches ahí, escuchando encantadores ritmos. Una felicitación a Michael, que todo lo que toca lo convierte en arte y que ha hecho de esta una verdadera experiencia subversiva, artística, disfrutable.

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Posted by Victor Hugo Michel on 08/02/2011 at 6:50 PM

Michael Parayno’s Birdland Jazz is by far one of the best place i’ve experienced this summer. The atmosphere here is balanced with diversity and filled with great vibe. Where else in the Bay Area can you get barbequed goodies throughout the night while listening to great live music and chugging on the drink of your choice! of course you’ll be bringing your own alcohol, and no corking fee added! It’s not a question of IF we’ll come back but when. -BB

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Posted by Brent B on 07/28/2011 at 2:53 PM

Me and My friends needed a new place to hangout so we look thorugh yelp. we ran into birdland and decided to give it a shot. None of us really pays much attention to jazz music so we thoght it be cool to check it out. We drove to berkeley and was suprise at the diversity. not just races but ages as well. everyone…and i mean EVERYONE was there. young, old, black, white, asian, rich, poor whatever. every just had a chill ass time. come check out BIRDLAND!
-John Taylor

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Posted by John Taylor on 07/28/2011 at 4:24 AM

Once i left the Bart station i heard and saw a large crowd in front of a seemingly residential area and i knew that must be birdhouse. At first glance what i saw was a BBQ right in front of the club and a bonfire. With a charge of only $10 its a pretty good deal for all you can eat. Once inside, you will find a very unique atmosphere; a combination of a variety of jazz/blues and a very welcoming seating area. Although drinking may not be offered at this establishment, you’re still allowed to drink your own alcohol which is always a plus. I find the best part of the experience was the back area behind the house, where you will find 2 seating arrangements with hookahs. ~Alex

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Posted by Alex Chin on 07/27/2011 at 8:59 PM

Ohni öpis z’wüsse hei mr füre summer d’wohnig oberhaub em Birdland gmietet. Schnäu nach dr akunft si mr informiert worde, dass ä Jazzclub im chäuer isch. Es isch ä geniale Ort um nöii lüt kenne z’lerne u um fest z’fiere! U sit das mr da si machemr das jedes Wucheend. Immer wieder super Bands, gueti Stimmig u natürlech guets Ässe!
Merci Mike fürs organisiere u di offeni Tür. Ds’ Birdland isch ä Platz woni sehr wirde vermisse, so öpis fäut bi üs ir Schwitz!

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Posted by Niklaus Lehmann on 07/26/2011 at 9:04 AM

This is where I hang out at every Friday & Saturday from 8pm until the rooster crows three times with the Birdman Michael Parayno (who is also my Asian-American history professor and one cool cat or should I say bird). Jerry, Paul, the students from Switzerland (Baptiste, Kean, Marc, Niklaus) who live upstairs & myself (Chris) man the BBQ grills all night long.

It is a unique place that all should visit at least once if not several times. This place is good soul food that relaxes the mind and calms the spirit!

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Posted by CoolGeek on 07/25/2011 at 9:15 PM

I have visited and partied at the bird land. It is something else. Its one land that should be visited and heard. Its a night where you will meet a different people who just wants one thing : Good vibes, Good sounds and Great great crowd with flowing drinks artists who are all talented.

Must see place and you should meet the one and only Bird man, Michael!

Angela Atayde
Manila, Philippines

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Posted by Angela Atayde on 07/25/2011 at 7:57 AM

I’ve Performed at Birdland with Serious Licks “The Band” doing Smooth Jazz & Neo Soul, Michael Kirkland Bass, Stan Sirico Guitar, Tovia Bradley Drums, Stacy Carpenter Vocals, and Chayla G. Smith Vocals.
It was my frist TIME playing there and I Enjoyed myself Musicly, Personally, Socially and I had Great food!!
There is more than enough parking across the street from Birdland at the Bart Station. I look forward to a night off to go and sit and listen the sound is Good for the Ear Hole!! F-U-R in the area on a weekend night and Desire a Pleasanton location to take in some good Music & Food checkout Birdland!!
Ron S.L.Matthews
Keyboards, Vocoder, Vocals & Flute

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Posted by Ron S.L.Matthews on 07/22/2011 at 1:19 PM

I was in attendance that evening-beautiful, easy flowing, relaxed scene. What blew my mind was the caliber of musicianship and the wide range of musical styles among the three groups that evening. I brought 3 guests visiting from Cincinnati and new to Birdland, and they loved it - stayed for all three groups and said they were felt priviledged to be there. I’ve also performed at Birdland, and found it to be one of the most enthusiasic audiences in the Bay area. And I love the herringbone brick floor. Kudos, Michael!

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Posted by nancyw on 07/21/2011 at 3:36 PM

Birdland is one of those rare places that exists completely apart from all the consumer crap that drives our culture. It is there to foster and celebrate art and the human spirit and it is one of the only places in the bay area where people come to really listen and absorb the magic that jazz music can be. I have played there three times and I have really enjoyed the freedom that this type of place can offer to a musician

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Posted by adam on 07/21/2011 at 11:54 AM

I live in the neighborhood and was one of the first to play and enjoy music there. Mike does this for the love of it… these are parties that he throws and does NOT make money on…he only encourages donations for the bands, the food is free…in fact if he does get extra donations he invites more bands to play or buys ampflifiers and drums for everyone to play…Thanks Birdman for giving people the music back…bravo!

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Posted by jazzbass on 07/20/2011 at 3:13 PM

Just went last Friday for the first time. Wonderful music…Chell and friends and a latin group. great great food. relaxed enviroment. I’m definetley going back.

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Posted by Robin616 on 07/20/2011 at 1:16 PM

I have played at Birdland a few times - twice with El Guajiro which is a quartet doing traditional Cuban country music, fronted by singer/guitarist J.Escobedo who hails from Jiguani, Cuba (‘Chan Chan’ country). A couple more times I played with Little Brown Brother, a band doing blues, jazz & R&B. This band, led by Carlos Zialcita (harp,vocs) & Ben Luis (bass), is composed mainly of Filipino-Americans from the Bay Area. Carlos is also the director of the Fil-Am Jazz Society in the San Francisco Bay. Another time I played with KUL-X which performs a Kulintang ‘World/Jazz’ hybrid type of music based on the traditional gong music and rhythms of the Maguindanao culture from Mindanao (Southern Philippines). This is a collaboration with master Magindanawan artist Danongan Kalanduyan, an NEA recipient, Nat’l. Heritage Fellow & teacher at SFSU & Skyline College.

There is nothing quite like Birdland in the entire Bay Area that I know of.It is not, per se, a club, bar, or an establishment. It is a gathering place where the art of music is shared with the community in an atmosphere of mutual respect and admiration. It is where kindred souls gather to be soothed, uplifted, inspired, rejuvenated, recharged and restored. Music from all over the world is played here. It is indeed refreshing to play and be here. BTW, the chicken BBQ is killer.

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Posted by bora boraz on 07/20/2011 at 10:24 AM

As a young vocalist with an old soul, rooted in gospel and captured by jazz, I often wondered if I was born in the wrong decade. Perhaps I mistakenly missed the years of gentlemen in their top hats and ties and women too with their “Sunday best” on Friday night. All walking down the street after dark, picking up more neighbors as they go, and headed for that underground joint where musicians jammed til dawn…
No matter what I might have missed, one thing’s for sure-they say the Birdman brought it back. On more than one occasion I have heard Jazzista’s refer to “the old days” and “Harlem.” I may not have experienced firsthand what the scene was like back then, but I trust the tapping of gators, head-nodding and occasional hollering are signs that these folks are being musically transported by music that resonates with something deep within.
Of course, every night does not boast the same bands, and the variety of music represents the vastness of today’s jazzscape. But this particular story just goes to show that the “magic” many other jazzistas speak of is something real, something authentic and something with deep. The experience at Birdland reaches through time itself.

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Posted by Joyajonesmusic on 07/19/2011 at 9:22 PM

Birdland è un posto geniale! Si può ascoltare ottima musica ogni week end e l’ambiente è davvero fantastico. Inoltre c’è anche una grigliata offerta che è veramente senza fine…inizia alle otto di sera e termina alle quattro di mattina! Tutto questo mi ha permesso veramente poche volte di riuscire a lasciare il birdland prima di notte fonda. È definitivamente un posto da visitare.

Grazie a Michael e tutti i volontari per organizzare tutto ciò ogni weekend!

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Posted by Kean Mariotti on 07/19/2011 at 9:10 PM

I KNOW THE BIRDMAN. He is a cool cat. Long lifejazzista’s social club. great gigs great people great bbq. come again.

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Posted by herschel on 07/19/2011 at 11:33 AM

Birdland is an amazing place to play, chill, listen, eat, everything. The music is amazing, the vibe is great. As a Berkeley High student to get to play there is really special. Birdland is essential to a berkeley experience. Thanks Mike!

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Posted by falafel on 07/18/2011 at 9:49 PM

I had my first Birdland Experience (yes, with a capital E) this weekend and was blown away by the totally chill vibe out front and exquisite sounds inside… I had such a great time there Friday night, I came back on Sunday to enjoy chicken and waffles and more Jazz!

You couldn’t ask for a more intimate yet open setting to enjoy fabulous music, company, and of course-the food.

The experience left me with an overwhelming sense of being a part of something truly raw and authentic; reminiscent of the Berkeley I grew up in.

Thank you for restarting Berkeley’s heart, Mike!

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Posted by Kolohe on 07/18/2011 at 3:44 PM

Birdland is a really special venue, and so very unique. Where else can you go where you’ll be made to feel like you’re among family, hanging out in maybe your cousin’s backyard, while listening to the best musicians in the Bay (and sometimes from all over the country!)? Mike and Pinky have created a really welcoming community feeling with their overwhelming generosity. In that spirit, I usually bring a bucket of margaritas to share with whoever’s interested, and even my four-year-old daughter is welcome and comfortable there.

And the music… oh my. You can sit literally inches from the magic of live creation, watch the interplay between band members, see the expressions of the musicians as they weave together a beautiful tapestry of jazz. The intimacy of the venue is one of the most amazing aspects of being at Birdland - you are THERE, participating in the live creation of magic. I also love the diversity of the crowd, which adds to the unique energy of being in the place. In short, Birdland is an indispensable asset to the Bay Area’s jazz community.

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Posted by katalina16 on 07/17/2011 at 1:15 PM

Birdland est vraiment une place géniale. On peut y rencontrer toutes sortes de personnes, écouter de la très bonne musique avec différents groupes tous les soirs et manger de l’excellente nourriture. Que demander de plus 🙂

Merci Mike pour tout ce que tu fais pour la communauté et pour rendre nos soirées à Berkeley aussi bonnes.

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Posted by Baptiste Wicht on 07/17/2011 at 12:25 PM

What a treat it is to have a place like Birdland in the Bay Area! I brought my band out from NY to play there and we had a great time. Great audience and great vibe! Thanks again Michael and everyone at Birdland for the hospitality.
-Matt Renzi

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Posted by matt renzi on 07/16/2011 at 9:59 PM

Not only is Birdland the perfect place to relax, eat some of the best food in town and listen to wonderful music, but as a musician, you couldn’t ask for a more perfect gig! Last night I had the best of both worlds! Thanks Mike for what you are giving to our community!!

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Posted by chelleandfriends on 07/16/2011 at 3:08 PM

Birdland Jazz: It’s Crazy Perfect!

My oh my, it sure is so.
Crazy Perfect in every good way.
Crazy Perfect for a community space.
Where you’re in wonderment of its special sway.
And are glad that it exists.
To carry on its Crazy Perfect way.

May long live jazz.
May long live community.
May long live generosity.

Thank you Mike Party-ano, for the Crazy Perfect vision.
That makes us all the more richer.
And all the more luckier, to be alive in the space and time you’ve provided.
Oh so Crazy Perfect Birdland is!

Oh so Crazy Perfect.

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Posted by agent_dog on 07/16/2011 at 12:50 AM

Birdland is a musicians special place.It’s a Jazz and Blues lovers paradise.If one doesn’t have fun there;something is seriouslly wrong.The city of Berkeley should bestore upon Michael(Birdland) the key to the city of Berkeley. Where else can one go in the city of Berkeley and feel safe with all ages, sizes,sexof its attendees and musicians.I have booked Craig Horton & The Craig Horton Blues Band and Jesse Brown & The Purple Smoke Band, there twice. Purple Smoke will be there July,23th,2011 at 8pm. Craig Horton is there in August 2011. We loveeee this place. It is something Berkeley need.The community,neighbors,and Bay Aera musicians support Michael Parayno. Long live Birdland.Birdland have put Berkeley on the WORLD STAGE.

F.SCOTT TOLIVER on July 15,2011

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Posted by TOLIVER on 07/15/2011 at 6:40 PM

kabibble, yes, he’s a saint.

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Posted by yoyo_guru on 07/15/2011 at 5:55 PM

Birdland is the kind of thing that every city should encourage and it amazed me that a progressive town like Berkeley wasn’t behind Michael 100%. Birdland is the kind of thing that restores your faith in humanity-free food for anyone and everyone, great music, respect for audience, respect for the musicians, and a good time for everyone. I’ll be talking about Birdland when I’m in my 70’s.

Posted by SFBass on 07/15/2011 at 4:48 PM

Birdland is one of the best things that has happened to Berkeley in a long time. Music for millenia has been something that has brought people together as a community, but these days we either experience recorded music or pay large sums of money for shows. Birdman has brought back the community intimacy of live music with his “for loss community ventures.” I always look forward to evenings of great music, food, dancing and people when I attend the weekly events, and playing there has been one of my favorite gigs. I hope that with the support of the community this can last for a long time, it is something really special we are blessed to have right here in our neighborhood.

Posted by musicwillsavetheworld on 07/15/2011 at 2:15 PM

Looks like I’m not the only one who appreciates Birdland. I played there in May and will be there again in September. Michael has created something really special, loved by musicians and jazz-lovers alike. It’s a great community and I hope it’s around for years to come!

Posted by josiebee on 07/15/2011 at 12:58 PM

I’ve gigged twice at Birdland, and each time, I have been gratified by the energy and atmosphere there. It’s really amazing what Michael and his friends have accomplished, creating a space for artists to express themselves and attracting a decent crowd of people who come and enjoy it. Having played professionally for a number of years, I have exerienced many different types of venues - and I can say that there is something truly magical about Berkeley Birdland. The equipment is good, the acoustics are good, and there is consistently a good-sized crowd, who are really there to hear and experience the music. The people I’ve met are of many different ages, perspectives, and countries, and they really talk to one another, with an attitude of friendliness and openness which I very rarely find elsewhere. Thanks Birdman Mike, and long live Berkeley Birdland!

Posted by bongomonkey on 07/15/2011 at 12:36 PM

Birdland is the best jazz room in the Bay Area, better than anything going on right now in San Francisco. It’s difficult for me to understand why it is that SFJazz has all these millions of dollars to spend and haven’t been able to set up a similar sort of late nite jazz/blues party room, with a real piano, shows by Dayna Stephens and plenty of money left over for musicians. Michael Parayno is a saint.

Posted by kabibble on 07/15/2011 at 11:38 AM

I love the fact that Birdland is a short walk from my house. To me it’s the perfect muisic venue, that puts the musicians first and the audience first too. The free BBQ is a plus, but really it’s having an affordable and unpretentious place to hear great music that is the biggest benefit to the community.

Posted by Eric Hoffman on 07/15/2011 at 10:46 AM

Birdland is an amazing community resource. I’m so pleased to have it just down the street! Birdland feature the Berkeley High School Jazz program on a regular basis, where my son is enrolled. It gives these serious teenage musicians a chance to mix it up and jam with professionals and get a sense of what it’s like to play in a legit jazz venue. The fact that Birland does it all at loss and with volunteer labor is kind of mind blowing.

Posted by max on 07/15/2011 at 5:46 AM

Impressionante leggere come Birdland e’ cresciuto ed amato negli ultimi tempi. L’ultimo concerto che ho avuto il piacere di ascoltare, e condividere il calore unico della gente che puoi trovare li, e’ stato il passato dicembre. Purtroppo sono dovuta partire e tornare a casa , Roma. Quanto mi manca Birdland!!!! Vorrei ci fosse una Birdland in ogni Paese….e sono veramente contenta di leggere tutto il successo che sta avendo tra la gente che ama condividere quel tipo di atmosfera “magica”.
Prima o poi spero di poterne far parte anche io, di nuovo…

Posted by mkK on 07/15/2011 at 1:49 AM

Michael’s Birdland is a magic space in the community filled with dogs, kids, people young and old…there’s no pretensions allowed..just many moments of musical amazingness. We’ve had so much fun coming there over the past few months. A treasure in Berkeley!

Posted by Roshi on 07/14/2011 at 10:49 PM

Thank goodness for Michael Parayno and his community-centered vision for supporting jazz in Berkeley. In addition to hosting some of the best jazz players in the Bay Area, he offers a stepping stone for the talented young musicians coming up through the reputable local high school programs. With places like Anna’s and Coda not able to survive in the tough economy, Birdland is a great alternative — and is hosting jazz in a setting where it is meant to be heard — intimate and accessible to everyone.

Posted by JS on 07/14/2011 at 8:40 PM

BirdLand delivers once again on the Hottest Live Music sets I have ever listened in on. I come for the music but I come back for the people. This spot is definitly Cookin’ and I do mean those delicious and tasty eats … My New favorite place to be! Rock on Birdman ! Thanks for keeping the Vibe alive !

Posted by Gingee on 07/14/2011 at 7:20 PM

There is no venue like Birdland in the East Bay, and I am tempted to say in all the Bay Area. Where else can you see great music in an intimate, community space with plenty of parking, eat BBQ, BYOB and hang out until 5AM?? It just does not exist anywhere else in the Bay Area.

While the model is not exactly new, its presence here is, and I am impressed at how this homespun, down hom enterprise has managed to become so successful in such a relatively short amount of time. The patrons love it, and so do I.

Birdland is booked solid for musical performances about six months in advance (again impressive for such a small space), and I am proud to have booked my first band there in November, for which I will be providing DJ support.

This is a unique, necessary (and funky and eclectic) community space that has no parallel in the Bay Area.

Posted by gorney on 07/14/2011 at 6:19 PM

So much for the local jazz scene being “kind of blue,” eh? thanks to the EBE for (finally) recognizing this phenomenon which has been going for over a year now and is (obviously) creating a viral buzz which continues to grow. It’s a shame that other venues haven’t figured out that if you want to feature live music, you need to support the musician community.

The comments pretty much speak for themselves — Dayna Stephens is talented, sure, but what excites people is the venue itself and the fact its provided a place for appreciative, multigenerational audiences to enjoy talents like Stephens as well as other jazz artists. Attracting headline-level talent is great, but the venue itself is the draw, with a “name” player simply being the icing on the avocado pie.

The reason why Birdland has been able to grow is that it doesn’t base its existence on a for-profit model; more like a for-fun or for-music model. it’s also probably closer to the origins of jazz (think N’Awlins’ Storyville red-light district, East St. Louis brothels, and Harlem speakeasies) than the Masonic auditorium or Yoshi’s. and in a “down” economy, a $100 night to hear jazz may-not be cost-effective. OTOH, paying $10 (for members)-with 100% of proceeds going to the musicians and food included-leaves plenty of spare change to BYOB. plus no one’s kicking you out after the first set. Add the fact that it’s community-empowering and neighbor-supported, and it’s pretty-much a no-brainer.

Speaking as an original Jazzista (and staff photographer), it’s been interesting to see the media coverage of this venue — or should i say, the media attempt to keep up with Birdland’s buzz, and make sense of it all.

At this point, the buzz is impossible to ignore. but what will happen if other private social clubs spring up and adapt the Birdland model? Probably won’t affect the SFJAZZ model, but then that model doesn’t support localism in the same way..

It’s amazing what can happen when you remove greed from the equation.

Posted by Eric K. Arnold on 07/14/2011 at 3:44 PM

Birdland makes Berkeley the center of the universe.

Posted by bumhew on 07/14/2011 at 2:47 PM

I’m a Berkeley native and Birdland is my favorite hang out spot in town. There is nowhere else that cultivates community and culture so well. Birdlands’ all ages, all hours of the night, all you can eat bbq, gives something to everyone at a price that is accessible for anyone. All of this provides the perfect homey setting you feel like you are hanging out in your own basement, but you get the treat of listening to live world-class music.

Posted by zeveroni on 07/14/2011 at 2:24 PM

I’m a drummer from NYC and played at Birdland recently with the Matt Renzi Trio on the same night as Dayna Stephens. We had a blast! The audience was great and the place has such a hip and supportive vibe for live jazz. I even ran into friends from Brooklyn who just happened to be there. It really seemed like one of coolest spots in Berkeley and I hope they can continue to provide such a great community atmosphere centered around new and creative music. All the best!
Russ Meissner

Posted by russmeissner on 07/14/2011 at 1:25 PM

Playing at Birdland is always an amazing experience. There is no other place in the Bay Area that has great live music from 9pm-3am, free delicious bbq and drinks, hookah, and games every friday night. The venue itself is an amazing spot with birdhouses as insulators, bright neon stage lights, comfy leather couches, and a Berkeley crowd. Playing here is always fun for me because there is no need to promote yourself, there is always a crowd! I played two shows there recently, both 1am sets and we ended up staying for hours with people still in the crowd. There is no other place like Birdland in the Bay Area, I reccomend it to anyone that wants to have a good time.

Posted by Jonah Levine on 07/14/2011 at 12:46 PM

I performed at Birdland on this night with the Matt Renzi Trio for the earlier set before the Dayna Stephens group. This was the first time I had been to this venue as I am a bassist from NYC but I have to say it was a real pleasure to play here! It is rare to have a place like this for the appreciation of Jazz and improvised music even in NYC and especially in other parts of this country. What a great vibe and energy this place has. It was amazing to me that I had never heard about it before as I have toured on the West Coast(and almost always the Bay Area was included) many times over the years. Probably it’s relatively new but I hope this venue lasts for a long time to come….
Thanks Birdland and Michael!!
Best, Dave Ambrosio

Posted by davidcambrosio on 07/14/2011 at 12:38 PM

Mike has created a rare place for music in the Bay Area. He has a genuine love for the music and musicians, presents quality artists, pays them well, and most importantly understands the role of music in bringing people together and building community. And that is precisely what he’s done at Birdland: he has created a place where people of different races, economic backgrounds, and ages can and do come together. This is one of the most important venues in the Bay Area.

Posted by kpfrenraw on 07/14/2011 at 12:23 PM

Amen to that.

Posted by yoyo_guru on 07/14/2011 at 12:12 PM

Birdland is one of the BEST things about Berkeley and Mike has been amazing with his generosity in supporting the community. Birdland is all about real people, real connections, real music, real community. Being a professional musician and native of Berkeley, I feel very fortunate to live here and to see how Mike has combined his passions for music and community to create an amazing experience all in the right place at the right time! Thank you!!

Posted by jazztone on 07/14/2011 at 11:12 AM

I don’t make it out to Birdland often, but every time I come, I have a good time.

Posted by dmarlay on 07/14/2011 at 10:56 AM

The Dayna Stephens gig was wonderful- Birdland was full of appreciative people, there to listen in an intimate space.
I often go, sometimes just to hang out and talk in the back area or up front near the fire pit. No matter who is playing, there is always an up vibe to the place. It’s a magical place.

Posted by native san francsican on 07/14/2011 at 10:33 AM

We’re so lucky to have a community club like Birdland, and a community that supports such a treasure. Many thanks to Birdman Mike for making his vision into something magical.

Posted by lincoln on 07/14/2011 at 10:24 AM

A truly unique experience. Birdman welcomes everyone as if they were family. Such a great community builder and perpetuator of live music. This place is special.

Posted by Itzamana on 07/14/2011 at 7:58 AM

This place is pure magic. As a musician I am always hoping to play in good listening rooms and Birdland is the ultimate venue. The spirit of the place creates an infectious atmosphere of creativity, community and love. Berkeley should count it’s blessings to have such a hip music spot within it’s borders. Long live Birdland!

Posted by joshua on 07/14/2011 at 6:40 AM

I love Birdland! It has a welcoming, fun, laid-back, and just happy and relaxed atmosphere that the Berkeley and Bay Area music scene needs. And the music is some of the best out there. I constantly find my mind blown. Birdland also provides an incredible opportunity for local musicians, and is one of my favorite places to perform. we need birdland!

Posted by nathankw on 07/14/2011 at 1:57 AM

Birdland is music, community, food — everything! Mike welcomes us like family, we gather — folks of many backgrounds and generations — for some of the best music anywhere. It’s comfortable and hip, with a flow of people, chatting, listening, hanging out, enjoying. You’re comfortable going alone or with friends. We love it!
Many thanks to Mike and the folks who make it happen.

Posted by Ann on 07/13/2011 at 10:55 PM

there is no other place like birdland, a venue that offers young people mostly a cool venue that is not threatening, a wonderful taste of local jazz .Good food and up to 3 groups a night playing a nice variety of jazz and blues. long live birdland. where else could regular people go for a night of wonderful music for not much money . food included. ps I have played there several times and love that Michael Parayno is so gung ho about getting decent equipment ie amps, drums so that musicians can get set up even faster and play more!

Posted by vkhoe on 07/13/2011 at 10:34 PM

My family lives just a few blocks from Birdland and we are so happy this community-building neighborhood club is thriving here. This is what a truly healthy neighborhood is about; friendly people getting together to share good times, good music, good food, supporting talented artists. It’s amazing what can be accomplished when an energetic and passionate person like Michael puts hard work to his vision and leads the way. Thanks, Michael, for the best thing that’s happened to our neighborhood since Totland.

Posted by Keasley on 07/13/2011 at 10:31 PM

Birdland ROCKS! It’s a cozy venue but with fine acoustics and a wonderful multi-cultural, multi-age vibe. It seems to keep attracting great talent. The barbecue is a delicious plus. So glad it’s in my neighborhood!

Posted by North Berkeley Neighbor on 07/13/2011 at 8:10 PM

Birdland in itself is one of the most unique places or scenes you will find in the East Bay or really, the Bay Area in general.
In terms of gathering & forming community around amazing jazz music & musicians, & I don’t mean that lightly, with Jazz not being my only personal choice of music I can say that I have been amazed & surprised with the talents that show up at Birdland, time & time again. There just isn’t really anything like it, in terms of intimacy & great vibe that surrounds this community event, which happens every weekend & which I’m fortunate enough to be part of & volunteer with when I can.
Besides the fact of also being a community free barbecue, with free non alcoholic drinks, which goes as long as the music is playing or people are hanging out.
It’s just really a great place to find yourself on the weekend. For either the musician, the listener or just hanging out & talk or get into a game of sidewalk chess.
Thanks Mike, Pinky & Birdland volunteers & attendees for making it happen.

Posted by Felipe De Calisto on 07/13/2011 at 8:03 PM

Birdland is simply amazing! The music runs from great to fabulous. The BBQ is delicious — and free! But best of all is the open, friendly atmosphere. Mike Parayno is showcasing jazz and creating community. I’ve been going to jazz clubs in the Bay Area for over 25 years, and there’s never been anything like Birdland Jazzista Social Club. Thank you Birdman Mike!

Posted by ClaireSchoen on 07/13/2011 at 7:58 PM

I just have to agree with everything that’s been expressed above. Mike has set up a great venue at Birdland, and as a musician its some of the most fun I’ve ever had playing.

Posted by eallen on 07/13/2011 at 7:32 PM

I give Michael’s birdhouses as closing gifts to my real estate clients, and I live a few blocks away. To me, this place is quintessentially Berkeley… Michael’s irrepressible personality combined with a unique setting for artistic expression and fun. My son is a budding musician, and seeing the young artists jamming and having a great time encourages him to develop his skills. Keep it up, Michael!

Posted by RealtorTodd on 07/13/2011 at 6:52 PM

I played there Sunday w/The Charles Hamiton Quartet. It was my first time and it was a treat! Where else can you go and hear great jazz and eat barbeque and waffles! Please keep it going for us musician and you the listening audience.

Posted by bipbo on 07/13/2011 at 6:36 PM

I first met Mike sitting across from North Berkeley BART with his birdhouses about four years ago. I live near Berkeley Bowl so its an easy bike ride down to the water front. I would just keep in touch with mike and see the progress. Its so very wonderful to have Birdland to count on for every weekend. I can bring my out of town visiters and they can “know” why Berkeley is a special place. Birdland is quality community!

Posted by sailing allen on 07/13/2011 at 6:26 PM

This is the place to hang out on weekend, The music is fantastic in every genre of jazz. Its a valuable art and education for the young and old. Making history for the futre to come that will put Berkeley on the map in the future. Please support this venue for the art of music and jazz preservations……….

Posted by nerio degracia on 07/13/2011 at 6:22 PM

Birdland is definitely something special. I think the musician’s appreciate it too, as being a place that puts them and the music first.

Posted by brendan on 07/13/2011 at 6:12 PM

we love jazz. we’ve been here and there and everywhere to be a part of it. the existence of birdland is as important as the music that’s played there — it’s proof that improvisation and creativity, sustained by skill and passion — can really change a place. and eveyone who goes inside is changed by it, made to share something they never knew they could. plus, you know, the music is fiiiiiine. we’re bigs fans of birdland.

Posted by bree on 07/13/2011 at 6:12 PM

I can’t believe that we’re lucky enough to have Birdland in our own backyard! It’s jazz and community at its best. It’s wholesome for the kids to see people loving making and listening to great music. And it’s the nightlife jazz lovers have been longing for here in the East Bay. I can’t thank Michael and Pinky enough for their incredible generosity in every way to helping us all feel part of something so unique and special and such a contribution to the music scene (so many jazz musicians and so few venues) and to our family’s and neighbors’ joy.

Posted by Le Go-Go on 07/13/2011 at 6:02 PM

I’ve been to Birdland as both a spectator and a performer (with Kickin’ the Mule Blues Band), and Birdland is not only the hottest venue around right now, but it has the best vibe and overall vision of any venue I’ve been to or played at. This place is for real! At long last, the community has in Birdman Mike a true friend who promotes music and art to the people, by the people, and for the people. In these rushed and asocial times of people spending their leisure time behind a computer rather than getting out an communing, Birdland provides a sorely needed and essential place for people to gather, exchange ideas, deepen their souls through the music, and grow closer—as our society so desperately needs in these anonymous times. Thank you Mike and Pinky!

Posted by kickinthemule on 07/13/2011 at 5:39 PM

I live down the street from birdland and as a Berkeley property owner it adds a lot to my neighborhood it is truly a Btown original.

Posted by Lexington510 on 07/13/2011 at 5:30 PM

Birdland is a fantastic local hang out for jazz fans! Thanks to the generosity of Birdland Mike, always friendly and kind, welcomes the community to his home and venue with great food, smiles and fantastic music. Weekends feel complete when they include a stop at this community Jazz haven….

Posted by jewelK on 07/13/2011 at 5:06 PM

Love being part of the community of Birdland Jazz! Always feel welcomed there and the music is always great. Wonderful weekend hangout that is home away from home!

Posted by jewelK on 07/13/2011 at 5:04 PM

the birdhouse-covered truck out front brought me and friends inside on a strange saturday night; inside felt like home, and now we’re birds for life, with a land to call our own.

Posted by bzoooty on 07/13/2011 at 5:02 PM

I love Birdland! It is the grooviest best place to hang out. I love the people, the show, most of all, it is not a boozy scene at all, it really is about the music and the company. Birland is a true social club for the cool, the nerdy, lovers of what matters most in life. I like to make it my HQ every weekend if i can get over to the ebay, and i usually do.
Lots of luv to you, Birdman Mike and your sidekick, Pinky. You are a local treasure we get to appreciate every weekend.

Posted by crabulux on 07/13/2011 at 4:59 PM

I’ve been to Birdland several times, and it has been wonderful each time. As a Berkeley resident it’s amazing to see all types of people at Birdland- from old Berkeley hippies, to young yuppies, to everyone in between. Birdland fosters and reminds us of what a great community Berkeley is. The music is fantastic; The Birdman is funny and welcoming, and the vibe is great.

Posted by dgberk on 07/13/2011 at 4:50 PM

Jazzland Birdista Social Club is hands down one of the coolest joints in the Bay Area. I feel cool just to KNOW about it. I think the thing I love most about JBSC is the diversity and sense of community - all sorts of different people coming together for the universal pleasures of music and camaraderie. I love that everything is shared - music, wine, hookah, and most of all Michael’s home. Please keep it going!

Posted by williamsf on 07/13/2011 at 4:46 PM

Birdland *is* Bay Area Jazz the way it’s meant to be - shared community + culture, soulfully produced by Michael and Team Birdland. I look forward to seeing this amazing place continue to grow and delight all.

Read more about Michael and Birdland here:

-Elizabeth Dolge Guerra
Birdland Supporter, fan of all things entrepreneurial + beneficial to communities at large.

Posted by tropicalchic on 07/13/2011 at 4:36 PM

Birdland is the bomb! What a great outlet for musicians and listeners to get together and have a good time. I can’t wait to play there with Loveseat in September. Viva Birdland!

Posted by amargolis on 07/13/2011 at 4:31 PM

The addition of Birdland should make all Berkeley residents proud. Mike Parayno is providing a wonderful service to the community by bringing quality jazz acts to play at this unique venue and allowing neighbors to socialize and bond on a regular basis. I pray that the City of Berkeley refrains from another attempt to shut down this amazing social club.

Posted by mattfreedman on 07/13/2011 at 4:15 PM

What a treat to come to Birdland Jazz. I discovered it a few months ago and was so excited to actually have a jazz venue open up again in Berkeley. After the closing of Anna’s Jazz Island due to landlord conflict, the area has suffered greatly with small jam sessions opening up in houses and smaller clubs. But now musicians actually have a venue to perform in and listeners have a place to enjoy their favorite music: Jazz, Latin Jazz, Intsrumental Jazz and Vocal Jazz.

I was fortunate enough to perform there last Saturday night, a great sound system and a wonderful audience coupled with the amazing and grateful musicians(now a place to play in the East Bay) I hired for the gig, made it a night made in heaven. By the time we ended at 10:30 there was standing room only with listeners spilling out to the front and out the back and standing on the sidelines. Then I got to sit and watch the next fabulous group of musicians perform bossa/Jobim ….ahhh, what an evening it was!

Thanks Mike for providing a much needed venue in the Bay Area -
Lisa Lindsley

Posted by LisaLindsley on 07/13/2011 at 4:12 PM

I met The Birdman a couple of years ago. He called me outa the blue and said he had something i would be interested in. I came down and he sold me on bringing my band The Brewing Co. to his house. Here we are now, I’m proud to call Mike a friend. I’m even prouder to say my band has played his “Jazz Club” numerous times including my mothers birthday. Always to a full house and always to a room that listens. This place is a gem and there should be more like it. In fact, Mike inspired a pig roast on my own block in Emeryville Birdland Style. This place is fast becoming an institution and we are better for it. PS when jam sessions happen it is music evolution not devolution.

Posted by browniespeaks on 07/13/2011 at 4:07 PM

Birdland is a totally unique and awesome place to play. As a member of the Berkeley High Jazz Program, I can attest to the fact that Mike is giving the young, up-and-coming local players a completely one-of-a-kind opportunity. It’s a great atmosphere to play in, and it’s probably the only place in California where a 17-year old such as myself can get paid to play a set that STARTS at 1 in the morning. I go there when I’m not playing to enjoy the terrific music and great food too; Mike is a terrific host and I’ve never once had an unenjoyable experience there.

Posted by bhsjazzguy on 07/13/2011 at 4:07 PM

From its inception, Birdland Jazz and BBQ has always been a venue that was relevant to the needs of jazz artists in the Bay Area - AND also to the neighborhood where this “social club” was formed. As one of the members of Little Brown Brother, a group that performs at Birdland once a month, I have to say that this venue is unlike any other in that the emphasis is on the music and the community surrounding it - not how many beers you’ve sold at the end of the night. The diversity of acts and artists is also one you rarely see in a small venue. The enjoyment and participation of the audience there is remarkable - like a family having fun together. As a performing artist, it is important to feel respected and appreciated for what you do - and at Birdland this feeling never is in question. What you do there never becomes “background music” or “ambient noise” - it is considered art - that is relevant and necessary for the spiritual well-being of the artists and the audience. To the naysayers - I say “Leave Birdland alone - let it flourish and continue to serve the community!” This is how all clubs should be! Mabuhay ang Birdland Jazzista Social Club!

Posted by senyorblues on 07/13/2011 at 4:00 PM

Birdland is one of the coolest venues around, and Birdman is doing a great thing for musicians and listeners alike. You can’t beat it for atmosphere, vibe, and an eclectic mix of music. Please give it all the support you can, and come out to see the bands! In fact, why don’t you drop by on August 12th and see my band. 😉 Please excuse the plug, but we gotta eat!

Stan Erhart
The Stan Erhart Band
A great big plate of roots rockin’ blues
With a little of everything on the side!

Posted by StanErhart on 07/13/2011 at 3:08 PM

Rachel - great article! Danya is an astounding musician and I can’t wait to hear his new album. Birdland is one of the brightest spots in the Bay Area. Immediately when you enter, you’ll feel a sense of community and appreciation for the arts and musicians. I had the great opportunity to play at Birdland in May (and I’m playing there on July 30th as well) with Oakland legend Calvin Keys. The crowd couldn’t have been more supportive. Thank you Birdman and Birdland! - Brian Ho, Hammond Organist

Posted by brianhojazz on 07/13/2011 at 2:12 PM

Birdland Jazzista has given me hope for live music preservation..and the preservation of live musicians! I’ve played there twice with my band and once as a ‘BOD’ Blues on Demand..guesting with one of my fav blues artists. The love and energy you get from the audience (who are now becoming my friends and neighbors) is like nowhere else I play. Michael (the Birdman) treats all the musicians as if they matter.. He provides: all equipment backline and PA system (saving us the load-in work & hassles), great food, we can play anything we want..meaning our own compositions or not, we are not there to sell alcohol or food for the club owner..which forces us to play music of a ‘certain’ kind to promote that kind of selling, we can play just 2 sets which is MUCH less tiring..whereas other places make you play 4 sets..or 3 sets in a 4 hour period, and because community is what Michael is all about, he provides a music loving audience. It walks and talks like a party..must be a Partay! Live musicians will DIE without nurturing like this..this is the lesson that the “industry” has not learned yet. Oh, and I lovvve Pinky!

Posted by GG Amos on 07/13/2011 at 1:38 PM

Well, I didn’t make it to hear Dayna play that night but the fact that he played at the BJSC (Birdland Jazzista Social Club) show’s exactly what I’ve over heard a fellow musician comment on, that, “this place is really blown’ up” . i.e it’s generating a lot of buzz among fellow musicians and listeners alike.

As a musician what I like best about playing at the BJSC is that there are always people here (yes, even at 3am on a Friday night,…) and they are actually listening and responding to the music!

As a audience member, it’s a relaxed but stimulating environment where you can pay very little money to hear lots of great music (3 bands a night most nights), you can sit anywhere you like, there is no drink minimum, in fact it’s BYOB! and there is free (good) BBQ! seriously! (I’m not kidding). It’s the type of place you can wear what you want and be yourself and strike up a good conversation with just about anyone at anytime (well, if your not too busy enjoying the music).

Now there is also good backline music equipment for the groups to use, so band changes can be fairly fast, with not so much downtime.
I don’t think a lot of players know that yet because a lot of people still bring their own stuff.

Here is their FAQ: https://birdlandjazz.org/faq/

Posted by Dave on 07/13/2011 at 1:17 PM

FINALLY! A club that truly represents the artists for who they are and what they do…play amazing music!!! The Bay Area is in dire need of support for musicians who are struggling and being taken advantage of by venue owners who do not value what they do. Michael from Birdland is different. He understands and appreciates the music AND the musicians. This unique music venue deserves all the support it can get because without places like this music and art will just die and eventually disappear. Just because this country is heading down the wrong path of no culture, it doesn’t mean the Bay Area has to follow! Keep live music alive!

Posted by bassistheplace on 07/13/2011 at 1:16 PM

For me, Birdland Jazzista Social Club has been the Best place to perform and Listen to Music in California! Michael Parayno has put together a community of artists and Music lovers and treats them all like family with his incredible BBQ and his enormous, friendly heart! It is always a pleasure and I know i will always have a good time when I perform At Birdland! Javier Navarrette-Bay Area Percussionist

Posted by Javier Navarrette on 07/13/2011 at 12:48 PM

Great article! I had the chance to meet Dayna at only a few shows in SF over a span of months but like you said he remembers real-life names and faces and is one of the nicest folks you’d ever meet. (And yes, he’s a brilliant musician as well!) It seems only appropriate that a venue like Birdland would host such a wonderful musician and kind individual. Birdland achieves what many venues (not just here in the Bay Area, but in other major cities) only strive to do. It provides an affordable and accessible, safe haven for folks to come together, meet and share ideas, conversation, laughs, etc. while at the same time showcasing some of the best talent the Bay Area has to offer (and feeding your belly with yummy food!). As both a musician who’s performed there and an attendee of its private events, it’s my experience that nobody is ever turned away — anyone can become a member. Michael does his best to accommodate and provide. In these recent times of days filled with stress and worry, it’s a much welcomed change as Birdland delivers by providing a place to suspend reality for a moment — and just enjoy life. This venue is transformative in every sense and hope it sticks around for a long time. I hope people continue to support it so that it can act as a model for others to replicate and experience transformation in their own community as well.

Posted by hotmama on 07/13/2011 at 11:46 AM

Birdland is the best thing to happen in Berkeley in some time. Having both played there and been part of the audience it has an atmosphere like nothing else in the bay area. It feels ALIVE!
If Berkeley had any brains at all there would be more of these venues, it brings people from all walks of life together and creates community.
Steve Deutsch-musician and owner of Steve Deutsch Woodwinds, Etc.

Posted by stevedb3f3 on 07/13/2011 at 11:22 AM

Great new venue with a lot of instant street cred! I’ve played at Bird a few times and always have a great time! This place has a vibe that doesn’t always exist on this coast, and it’s willing to stay open for music into the wee hours! Bigger and bigger names are going to start appearing on the Birdland bills, just watch…

Posted by jazzmateez on 07/13/2011 at 10:28 AM

Great article, Rachel. For clarification, Birdland Jazzista Social Club is beyond New York City and the US(save New Orleans); it’s Lapa District in Rio de Janeiro where music is cracking till 5am; it’s Casa de La Musica in Havana Centro where things don’t jump until midnight; it’s Malate district in Manila where people are loitering music clubs till 7am just hanging out with friends and then sleep all day the next day only to party again the next evening all night; and it’s Southeast Asia where you can find street food all night on the street sitting on makeshift tables and plastic chairs on the sidewalks. That’s what Birdland Jazzista Social Club is all about: eating all night with friends and neighbors, hanging out with friends and acquaintances all night, and listening to some cool music-three bands a night on Fridays and Saturdays, and decompressing on Chicken and waffles and Latin Jazz on lazy Sunday afternoons. Jazzista is a way of life. Jazzistas make life appear like the members are on permanent holiday.

Posted by paparayno on 07/13/2011 at 4:01 AM

I am a jazz musican. I ve known dayna for a number of years and have learned a lot from him via stanford jazz. Im also an indie guy that supports all things grass roots and good. I have been to jazz venues all over the world and as of right now Birdland is my favorite place right after irvin mayfields and snug harbor in new orleans because of the coziness, friendliness, and the ACOUSTICS UP IN THERE! HaHa. When im on the sidewalk talking to the musicians and eating bar b q thats what i call( how its done son!) Growing up in louisiana and loving jazz music im always saddened by the formal state of affairs when in reality jazz started in backyards and brothels( Jelly Roll Morton, Storyville New Orleans.) It always has been a union of two different worlds. Yin and Yang. Im happy to see it start coming full circle and Kudos to Mike for his sacrafices that far outweigh my own to support the one few truly american artforms that has a transforming power, and power to build community that I am finally seeing first hand.

Posted by Jgray on 07/13/2011 at 12:09 AM

Searching for a jazz venue without having to pay huge bucks can be a challenging and daunting task these days. Especially, with the recession taking place, leaving many without jobs or money. Places like Yoshi’s can fetch upwards $100 and up, if you intend on bringing a date. Most jazz venues only seem to cater to those leaning on the more upper class. Most people that attend jazz venues come in brand new luxury cars, dressed in suits. And most jazz venues do not pay these musicians well, let alone, offer them food. What has the world come too? Those are very stereotypical for jazz venues, but there is one in the bay area that stands out of them all. This place is known to many as Birdland Jazz & BBQ (now Birdland Jazzista Social Club) located in Berkeley,Ca. Those in attendance ranges from homeless to doctors, lawyers, local musicians, millionaires, dogs, high school kids and more…. There is no where in the bay area where you can get great live jazz music from 8 p.m-5 a.m, with free food and B.Y.O.B., for a low fee of $10! Mike has truly formed a unique private social jazz club. This is not just a jazz club, its a place where people can come and socialize, mingle and meet new people. There is a hookah club in the backyard where people can relax, chill and have a conversation. Birdland brings the community together from all type of species and neighbors together. I consider this place my second home and would be devastated to see in go.

Posted by JazzistaFunk on 07/12/2011 at 11:51 PM