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Enter Jeff Berkley, new host of the Songwriter Sanctuary Series

Normal Heights church that formerly hosted AMSD now home of songwriter showcase

Image by Thom Vollenweider

The Songwriter Sanctuary Series is an intimate monthly concert series featuring San Diego songwriters, produced in partnership with Normal Heights United Church, which formerly hosted the ambitious Acoustic Music San Diego concert series.  

Upcoming Event

Songwriter Sanctuary Series

  • Friday, September 29, 2023, 6:30 p.m.
  • Normal Heights United Methodist Church, 4650 Mansfield Street, San Diego
  • Age Limit: Not available

More

As of the upcoming September 29 edition of the series, Jeff Berkley takes over as host. Berkley (“I’m one of the rare native San Diegans”) is best known from Berkley Hart, his duo alongside his musical partner since 1999, Calman Hart (“I moved here from Utah in the early 1980s”). Berkley also produces music for others. At 22, he got his first co-producer credit for a Joel Raphael record. He’s since worked with a roster of talent including such notable locals as Gregory Page, Lisa Sanders, Stevie and the Hi-Stax, and Tim Flannery. 

He says he’s been lucky enough that his own records have been produced by talents who ended up inspiring his own later efforts. “I’ve worked with a lot of folks, some big-time and some local, and they all did the right thing. I learned everything from them including my dad James Berkley, Andy Mingione, Bob Johnson, Dave Sharp, Ben Moore, Joel Rafael, Paul Dieter, Kevin McCormack, Gavin Lurssen, Sven Eric Seaholm, and John Katchur.” Jeff Berkley & Friends released 13-song album in summer 2022 called Under the Covers featuring duet cover songs.


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Sanctuary Series performers for this edition include Julia Sage, Please Ask for Paul (duo), and Paul Sage Cannon. A songwriter since very early childhood, Julia Sage plays Chilean folk, blues, and Americana. She performs bilingual songs as a solo artist and with her band. In 2019, Sage was nominated Best New Artist by the San Diego Music Awards. Her 2022 album Desnuda was recorded locally at Chaos Recorders with Christopher Hoffee, who plays percussion on the title track.

Paul Cannon is a Native American born and raised on the San Pasqual Indian Reservation in North San Diego County. Cannon appeared on American Idol, making it as far as the top 50. A strong advocate for environmental responsibility, he supports cancer awareness and encourages locally grown organic foods, sometimes donating band profits to underprivileged children through World Vision, Invisible Children, Nika Water, and the Surfrider Foundation. Opening act Please Ask For Paul recently released their first single as a new duo, "Books."


The acoustically gifted venue formerly hosted AMSD, Acoustic Music San Diego, an ambitious series that brought headline acts to the neighborhood house of worship founded by Carey Driscoll in 2003. A retired copier salesman who has lived in San Diego since 1959, Driscoll produced more than 500 concerts over ten years, many of them at the Normal Heights church. Acts who appeared there during this period included Yes bassist Chris Squire with his reunited band The Syn, Al Kooper, the Strawbs, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Judy Collins, Janis Ian, It's a Beautiful Day, Tom Rush, Geoff Muldaur, John Sebastian, Tom Paxton, Richie Havens, Barry McGuire, Dave Alvin, Barry McGuire, Led Kaapana, and Peter Case.

"Music at NHUnited is one of the key areas for creating an inclusive worship experience for all who attend," according to the venue, whose Music Director recently relocated to Portland, Oregon. They're currently accepting applications for a new Music Coordinator - "We strongly encourage BIPOC and LGBTQ+ folks to apply." 

Food and beverages will be available from event sponsors Duck Foot Brewing Company, Flying Embers, and Grace 2 Go Meals. The next Songwriter Sanctuary Series edition on October 27 features Shhhhh, Cathryn Beeks with Nisha Catron, and Lady July. The December 1 concert includes Berkley Hart, Thea The Band, and Josh Weinstein.

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Image by Thom Vollenweider

The Songwriter Sanctuary Series is an intimate monthly concert series featuring San Diego songwriters, produced in partnership with Normal Heights United Church, which formerly hosted the ambitious Acoustic Music San Diego concert series.  

Upcoming Event

Songwriter Sanctuary Series

  • Friday, September 29, 2023, 6:30 p.m.
  • Normal Heights United Methodist Church, 4650 Mansfield Street, San Diego
  • Age Limit: Not available

More

As of the upcoming September 29 edition of the series, Jeff Berkley takes over as host. Berkley (“I’m one of the rare native San Diegans”) is best known from Berkley Hart, his duo alongside his musical partner since 1999, Calman Hart (“I moved here from Utah in the early 1980s”). Berkley also produces music for others. At 22, he got his first co-producer credit for a Joel Raphael record. He’s since worked with a roster of talent including such notable locals as Gregory Page, Lisa Sanders, Stevie and the Hi-Stax, and Tim Flannery. 

He says he’s been lucky enough that his own records have been produced by talents who ended up inspiring his own later efforts. “I’ve worked with a lot of folks, some big-time and some local, and they all did the right thing. I learned everything from them including my dad James Berkley, Andy Mingione, Bob Johnson, Dave Sharp, Ben Moore, Joel Rafael, Paul Dieter, Kevin McCormack, Gavin Lurssen, Sven Eric Seaholm, and John Katchur.” Jeff Berkley & Friends released 13-song album in summer 2022 called Under the Covers featuring duet cover songs.


Sponsored
Sponsored

Sanctuary Series performers for this edition include Julia Sage, Please Ask for Paul (duo), and Paul Sage Cannon. A songwriter since very early childhood, Julia Sage plays Chilean folk, blues, and Americana. She performs bilingual songs as a solo artist and with her band. In 2019, Sage was nominated Best New Artist by the San Diego Music Awards. Her 2022 album Desnuda was recorded locally at Chaos Recorders with Christopher Hoffee, who plays percussion on the title track.

Paul Cannon is a Native American born and raised on the San Pasqual Indian Reservation in North San Diego County. Cannon appeared on American Idol, making it as far as the top 50. A strong advocate for environmental responsibility, he supports cancer awareness and encourages locally grown organic foods, sometimes donating band profits to underprivileged children through World Vision, Invisible Children, Nika Water, and the Surfrider Foundation. Opening act Please Ask For Paul recently released their first single as a new duo, "Books."


The acoustically gifted venue formerly hosted AMSD, Acoustic Music San Diego, an ambitious series that brought headline acts to the neighborhood house of worship founded by Carey Driscoll in 2003. A retired copier salesman who has lived in San Diego since 1959, Driscoll produced more than 500 concerts over ten years, many of them at the Normal Heights church. Acts who appeared there during this period included Yes bassist Chris Squire with his reunited band The Syn, Al Kooper, the Strawbs, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Judy Collins, Janis Ian, It's a Beautiful Day, Tom Rush, Geoff Muldaur, John Sebastian, Tom Paxton, Richie Havens, Barry McGuire, Dave Alvin, Barry McGuire, Led Kaapana, and Peter Case.

"Music at NHUnited is one of the key areas for creating an inclusive worship experience for all who attend," according to the venue, whose Music Director recently relocated to Portland, Oregon. They're currently accepting applications for a new Music Coordinator - "We strongly encourage BIPOC and LGBTQ+ folks to apply." 

Food and beverages will be available from event sponsors Duck Foot Brewing Company, Flying Embers, and Grace 2 Go Meals. The next Songwriter Sanctuary Series edition on October 27 features Shhhhh, Cathryn Beeks with Nisha Catron, and Lady July. The December 1 concert includes Berkley Hart, Thea The Band, and Josh Weinstein.

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