The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend, April 14-16

Toots and the Maytals play Friday night at the UC Theatre. Photo: Courtesy UC Theatre

TOOTS AND THE MAYTALS If you don’t have plans for tonight, why don’t you rush over to the UC Theatre to catch one of the greats of reggae music, Toots and the Maytals? Can you think of a better way to celebrate e-filing your taxes? (Toots’ 1968 single, “Do the Reggay,” is credited with giving the genre its name.) The group plays as part of the one-year anniversary of the UC Theatre. Also appearing in the concert is Jamaican singer Leba Hibbert, Toots’ daughter. Friday, April 14, 8 p.m., UC Theatre, 2036 University Ave.

HURRICANE SAM It seems to be the season for one-year anniversaries. The Back Room is celebrating its own first birthday with a concert by the creator and owner of the venue, Sam Rudin, better known on stage as Hurricane Sam. Why Hurricane Sam? On Rudin’s first gig as a bandleader, he and his group had been hired to play on a cruise ship. They’d been at sea only a day when a hurricane struck off the North Carolina coast, destroying all of the band’s equipment. Hurricane Sam & the Hotshots – Jimmy Hobson on drums, Joel Kruzic on bass, and Jeff Ervin on sax – will perform on Saturday night at The Backroom. “Everything – the acoustics, the look and feel of the place, the enthusiasm, the support, the warm welcome from our musical neighbors… it all turned out even better than I had hoped,” said Rudin. “So this first anniversary is a special night. The band and I are psyched. We’re going to have a great show.” Saturday, April 15, 8 p.m., The Back Room, 1984 Bonita Ave.

A BIT OF BRAZIL Or, more properly, “Um Pouco do Brasil.” Vocalist Mary D’Orazi joins pianist/composer Marcos Silva to present an evening of some of their favorite songs by Brazilian composers including Antonio Carlos Jobim, Milton Nascimento, Gilberto Gil, Ivan Lins and Chico Pinheiro. Together with Harvey Wainapel on sax and clarinet, Brendan Neutra on bass, and Greg German on drums, D’Orazi and Silva will also be playing a few Burt Bacharach songs, arranged by Silva for D’Orazi’s recent CD To Brazil and Bacharach. Saturday, April 15, 8 p.m., California Jazz Conservatory, 2087 Addison St.

AFRICAN MUSIC CONCERT UC Berkeley’s African Music Ensemble, founded in the early ’70s, plays one concert a year, and your chance to hear the group is on Saturday night at Hertz Concert Hall. Master Ghanian musician C.K. Ladzekpo was recruited to the university from the University of Ghana in 1972 for a one-year stint. He’s still here 45 years later. Ladzekpo with fellow master drummer Kiazi Malonga together lead the student musicians and dancers in “an evening of explosive traditional African music and dance.” Saturday, April 15, 8 p.m., Hertz Concert Hall, UC Berkeley.


SUNRISE SERVICE We’ll hazard a guess that the It List has never had a recommendation earlier in the day. But you might want to get up very early on Sunday to enjoy a 6 a.m. sunrise Easter service held by the First Congregational Church of Berkeley at the Lawrence Hall of Science parking lot, with spectacular views over Berkeley and the Bay. The simple outdoor service will include music, song and prayer. Breakfast treats will be served immediately following. Bring a carafe of your favorite coffee to share. Cups, sugar and cream will be provided. (If it’s raining, the service will be moved to the First Congregational Church’s Loper Chapel.) Sunday, April 16, 6 a.m., Lawrence Hall of Science parking lot, 1 Centennial Dr.

Don’t miss these other events featured on Berkeleyside:

‘Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin’: The life and songs of a cherished musical talent
Big Screen Berkeley: More from the San Francisco International Film Festival
A fine bromance: Matisse/Diebenkorn at SF MOMA