The It List: Five thing to do in Berkeley, weekend of Nov. 17-19

Runners gathering on Milvia Street for the start of last year’s Berkeley Half Marathon. Photo: Courtesy Berkeley Half Marathon

HALF MARATHON In just a few years, the Berkeley Half Marathon has established itself as a civic fixture. The race starts downtown, runs uphill through Southside, heads into north Berkeley and the Gourmet Ghetto, goes west to Fourth Street and the Bay, before heading back up to the downtown finish. The fifth edition of the half marathon starts on Sunday morning at 8 a.m. at Milvia and Bancroft (the 10k race starts at 9 a.m. at Fourth and Page; the 5k starts at 9:15 a.m. at Milvia and Bancroft). If you have your running shoes handy, registration for the races remains open until noon on Saturday. The Berkeley Public Schools Fund provides the official charity team of the event and has a set a fundraising goal of $40,000 this year. If you are more interested in spectating, there are 11 designated cheer stations, many with entertainment, along the course. There are numerous street closures and parking restrictions in force during the races, and AC Transit has detours on 15 routes affected by the race. Sunday, Nov. 19, from 8 a.m.

BILL FRISELL Guitarist Bill Frisell returns on Saturday to the Freight & Salvage with his trio Beautiful Dreamers, featuring violist Eyvind Kang and drummer Rudy Royston. The Guardian praised their self-titled album for exploring “country-steeped impressionism, chugging barndance music, brooding folk-blues, and whimsical covers of pop tunes.” Saturday, Nov. 18, 8 p.m., Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison St.

VOLLEYBALL Some Cal-minded sports fans will have their eyes on Palo Alto over the weekend, but if you want to avoid CTE, over-commercialization and a variety of other ills, you could cheer the Golden Bears women’s volleyball team, who face 14th ranked USC on Friday and 18th ranked UCLA on Sunday at Haas Pavilion. It’s a tough assignment as the team tries to reverse a four-game losing streak. The two matches are part of a regular season-ending home stand, which includes matches against Colorado and Stanford next week. USC match, Friday, Nov. 17, 6 p.m., and UCLA match, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2:30 p.m., Haas Pavilion.

JOFFREY BALLET The Joffrey Ballet has three performances over the weekend as part of Cal Performances’ season. The program includes Justin Peck’s In Creases (left), performed to a live Philip Glass score, and Alexander Ekman’s Joy, a Cal Performances co-commission, which receives its West Coast premiere. Berkeley’s John Adams’ Saxophone Concerto provides the music for Encounter, choreographed by Joffrey Ballet Master and Principal Coach Nicolas Blanc. Friday, Nov. 17 and Saturday, Nov. 18, 8 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 19, 3 p.m., Zellerbach Hall.


DANN ZINN Local saxophonist Dann Zinn closes his current tour on Saturday with a performance at the California Jazz Conservatory. His quartet features Taylor Eigsti on piano, New York-based drummer Mark Ferber, and bass wunderkind Zach Ostroff. Here’s what the CJC has to say about Zinn: “As a world-class saxophonist/flutist, Zinn is renowned for being a passionate soloist and composer/arranger. Hailed over the years as ‘inventive,’ ‘distinctive,’ and for ‘creating a stunning and emotional listening experience,’ Zinn has developed a unique style distinguishing him as a one of a kind artist with a tone unlike any other horn player on the jazz scene today.” The group will premier original compositions and arrangements of standard repertoire. Saturday, Nov. 18, 8 p.m., California Jazz Conservatory, 2087 Addison St.

Don’t miss these other events covered on Berkeleyside:

‘The Royale’ at the Aurora is electrifying
Big Screen Berkeley: ‘LA 92,’ ‘Blow-Up’
Twisting the roots with East Bay’s Janam