Mike Parayno racked up $46, 000 in fines from the city of Berkeley. His last fine was for a party that never happened, “a future party,” said Parayno. “We got penalized for a future violation, six grand.”
In May, after years of hosting jazz concerts and parties at his house, he had had enough of the City of Berkeley and the fines they were slapping him with. He decided to move his long-time jazz oasis to North Oakland.
Birdland Jazzista Social Club, now located at 4318 Martin Luther King Jr. Way in the Longfellow neighborhoood, hosts weekly jazz concerts. Its owner, Parayno, plans to hold monthly street parties on a stretch of Martin Luther King Jr. Way, hoping it will become known as a music district throughout the Bay Area.
But this vision doesn’t come without its challenges from neighborhood crime and a myriad of other factors.