The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley, weekend June 9-11

Latino Afro-pop ensemble Guarandinga will perform at the Berkeley World Music Festival on Sunday. Photo: Courtesy Guarandinga

WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL The free 14th annual Berkeley World Music Festival runs Friday through Sunday at various locations across Berkeley. It kicks off with a party at La Peña on Friday night, followed by full days of music on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday at Civic Center Park, Fely Tchaco infuses pop with Ivory Coast rhythms, followed by Cuban Fito Reinoso, followed in turn by Zydeco Flames (this marks the festival’s first appearance in downtown Berkeley). On Sunday, the festival continues at People’s Park with Latino Afro-pop band Guarandinga, Senegalese Djialy Kunda Kouyate, and the “wild folk rock fusion” of The Mad Maggies. There’s also a ton of music at various stores on Telegraph Avenue on Sunday. Full details on the festival website.

BOSS REACH FOR THE STARS If you wanted to go to tonight’s BOSS’s Rising Stars Youth Leadership Gala at the Hotel Shattuck Plaza, you’re too late! It’s sold out, which provides vital funding for the scholarship fund. You can still donate to the fund through the Rising Star Awards. BOSS – Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency – works with homeless, poor, and disabled people to help them overcome homelessness and create long-term solutions to poverty and inequity. At tonight’s gala, BOSS will identify 20 local youth who are overcoming the odds to succeed. Berkeleyside is proud to be a sponsor of the BOSS Gala.

NELL ROBINSON & JIM NUNALLY The Berkeley-based Nell Robinson & Jim Nunally Band plays two concerts at the Aurora Theatre on Saturday and Sunday to promote their new CD. With a seamless blend of bluegrass inspiration, original material and classic country gems, Baby Let’s Take the Long Way Home begins a new journey for the band. Friends since 2009, Robinson and Nunally teamed up for a number of projects before falling in love. For Baby Let’s Take the Long Way Home, they rustled up what became their dream team: pedal steel player Pete Grant (The Grateful Dead, Guy Clark), bass fiddle player Jim Kerwin (David Grisman, Red Allen), and percussionist Jon Arkin (Lee Konitz, Gene Perla). Saturday, June 10, 8 p.m., and Sunday, June 11, 3 p.m., Aurora Theatre, 2081 Addison St.

QUEER COUNTRY Berkeley-based singer-songwriter Eli Conley has just completed an East Coast tour in support of his sophomore release, Strong and Tender. He’s back home on Sunday at The Back Room. Conley combines the themes of both traditional and socio-political folk with the issues and trends of today. The Secret Emchy Society opens the show with a preview of their soon-to-be-released album, The Stars Fell Shooting into Twangsville. The concert is part of Queer Country West Coast, a regular series featuring LGBTQ country artists in the Bay Area, and is a part of the 2017 National Queer Arts Festival. Tickets can be bought either online or at the door (cash only). Sunday, June 11, 1:30 p.m., The Back Room, 1984 Bonita Ave.


SAFE HARBOR Jewish Family & Community Services East Bay is holding Safe Harbor, a benefit concert for the agency’s services for refugees and immigrants, at the Freight & Salvage on Monday (worth extending the weekend for, certainly). The concert will feature The Qadim Ensemble, led by Eliyahu Sils on the ney, with Rachel Valfer Sills on oud and lead vocals, Faisal Zedan on percussion, Naser Musa on oud and vocals, and Hamid Saeidi on santoor. The repertoire includes Arabic, Jewish, Turkish Sufi, Hebrew-Yemenite, Armenian, Ladino, and Moroccan music, celebrating the common musical and spiritual heritage of the region’s cultures. World Harmony Chorus will open, drawing on its a cappella choral repertoire from a variety of ethnic sources and folk traditions, including urban jazz/gospel, humns from Madagascar and Zimbabwe, Appalachian shape-note singing, Eastern European kolos, and Venezuelan choral works. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear directly from a newly arrived refugee as well as an immigrant. All money raised will support JFCS East Bay’s Refugees Welcome Fund and Undocumented Family Support Fund. Monday, June 12, 7:30 p.m., Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison St.

Don’t miss these other events covered on Berkeleyside:

A pared-down ‘As You Like It’ at Cal Shakes is charming and accessible
Big Screen Berkeley: ‘Abacus: Small Enough to Jail’
Making waves at the Brower Center with Marielle Jakobsons