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  • The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

    SPRING EQUINOX AT CESAR CHAVEZ PARK  Gather this evening at the Chavez Memorial Solar Calendar to celebrate the official arrival of spring. The event, led by Lori Lambertson of the Exploratorium Teacher Institute, will include a discussion about the “reasons for the seasons,” the Chavez virtue of HOPE, and other global spring equinox celebrations. Dress warmly: the weather is part of the experience. Friday, March 20, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., sunset is at 7:15 p.m. Cesar Chavez Park, 11 Spinnaker Way, Berkeley. (more…)

  • The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

    CONVERGENCE One of the highlights of this year’s Jewish Music Festival will be Sunday night’s performance of Convergence by Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell, together with Bay Area klezmer trio Veretski Pass. “I knew no precedent of a Yiddish song organically growing out of a Negro Spiritual, but inside my own head — and I hesitate to say this, but in my heart — I felt I didn’t particularly need a precedent,” explains Russell. Convergence combines diverse strains of traditional Jewish and African-American music to explore exile, spirituality, hope and redemption. The performance includes animation work by San Francisco-based artist Meredith Leich. Tickets ($25, $22 for students, seniors and JCC East Bay members) are available from Brown Paper Tickets. 7 p.m. Sunday, March 23, JCC East Bay, 1414 Walnut St.  (more…)

  • The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

    COLLEGE BOUND Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates and others want to create a “college-going” culture in the city. To that end, the mayor’s office, in conjunction with the Berkeley Alliance and UC Berkeley’s Center for Educational Partnerships is organizing the first city-wide College and Career Day on Friday. The idea is to help all students “visualize and prepare for a full range of post-secondary options through structural, motivational, and experiential college preparatory experiences.” More than 5,000 students will participate in city-wide events on College and Career Day. They will be encouraged to wear T-shirts with their favorite college logos, listen to their teachers describe their own paths to college, and various fun projects, such as a dorm room door decorating exercise. Mayor Bates will visit the King Child Development Center along with Oski the Bear, a school-wide assembly at Berkeley Technological Academy and a lunchtime rally at Berkeley High School. Details here.

  • Out in Berkeley: Ben Goldberg’s Orphic Machine

    The best educators don’t just impart information, they provide intellectual tools that can be applied far from whatever topic they’re ostensibly teaching. For clarinetist/composer Ben Goldberg, the experience of taking several undergraduate courses at Brandeis with poet and essayist Allen Grossman in the early 1980s has continued to reverberate, gaining amplitude rather than fading through the years. Grossman’s cryptic writing is the source of inspiration for Goldberg’s most ambitious work yet, “Orphic Machine,” a song cycle that premieres on Sunday at Freight & Salvage as part of the 27th Annual Jewish Music Festival (which commissioned the piece with Chamber Music America).