The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley, weekend of March 30 – April 1

The City of Berkeley’s Egg Hunt Extravaganza takes place Saturday at Willard Park. Photo: Abraxas3d

EGG HUNT The City of Berkeley’s annual Spring Egg Hunt Extravaganza will be held on Saturday at Willard Park. Among the activities are a petting zoo, a visit withe the Spring Bunny, arts and crafts, an interactive kid’s carnival, and Bunny Hop dance lessons. And, needless to say, there are egg hunts galore, starting for one-year-olds at 10 a.m. (see the full schedule on the city’s website). There’s also a scavenger hunt for kids 11 and up. Children who participate get a basket to collect their goodies. Saturday, March 31, 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Willard Park, 2720 Hillegass Ave.

QUEEN OF KATWE No, not the movie. The actual Queen of Katwe! Phiona Mutesi from Uganda, is speaking for Berkeley Chess Club on Friday night. If you haven’t seen the movie or read the book, Mutesi lost her father at age 3 to AIDS. She had to quit school to help support her family before she learned to read or write. Her world changed when she discovered chess, where she proved an extraordinary prodigy. (Suggested donation of $10, which will all go to Mutesi to help fund her studies.) Friday, March 30, 6 p.m., Berkeley Adult School Auditorium, 1701 San Pablo Ave.

MAMA AFRICA Ashkenaz will be jumping on Saturday night with Mama Africa: From Congo to Oakland – Sistahs of the Drum and Mabiba Baegne with special guest Nikki Campbell. Mabiba (left), born in Brazzaville, Congo, is an internationally known teacher, drummer and choreographer of traditional and contemporary African dance. The evening is also a fundraiser for Women Drummers International. Saturday, March 31, 8 p.m., Ashkenaz, 1317 San Pablo Ave.

JUST LIKE A WOMAN For the sixth consecutive year, vocalist Rhonda Benin celebrates Women’s History month at the Freight & Salvage. This year’s lineup for Just Like a Woman features Holly Near, Linda Tillery, blues artist EC Scott, jazz/folk/blues/soul/R&B artist Kimiko Joy, youth artists Lyla Neely and Maya Parades-Hernandez, producer/singer Rhonda Benin, backed by music director Tammy Lynn Hall & The Lillian Armstrong Tribute Band. Peralta College Community radio personality Flo Wiley is host/emcee. Saturday, March 31, 8 p.m., Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison St.


ROMAIN PILON French Jazz guitarist Romain Pilon performs at the California Jazz Conservatory on Saturday. He’ll be together with the CJC Blue Ensemble under the direction of Jeff Denson, and in trio with Alan Hall on drums and Jeff Denson on double and electric basses.​ Pilon is considered one of Europe’s finest guitarists. Called “world class” by the Financial Times, Pilon claims influence from (eclectic alert) Led Zeppelin, Coltrane, Weather Report, Duke Ellington and Ravel. Saturday, March 31, 8 p.m., California Jazz Conservatory, 2087 Addison St.

Don’t miss these other events covered on Berkeleyside:

Choral ‘Iron Shoes’ by Shotgun Players and Kitka
Big Screen Berkeley: ‘The China Hustle,’ ‘The Outhouse,’ ‘Mr. Universo’

School’s in session with Jeff Weinmann’s Alma Matters