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

    SKATING IN PALESTINE Adam Abel, a New York City filmmaker, will premiere his newest project Friday night at La Peña Cultural Center. The film, called Qalqilya, will show at 7:00 p.m. It’s a feature-length documentary about “Sajed, a Palenstinian skater, who mentors a group of Palestinian youth who skate, do parkour, and perform beatbox and hip-hop in Qalqilya, a city in the West Bank of Palestine,” according to the La Peña website. More information is available at the film’s website. You can make donations to the film at the premiere or at this website. Make your reservation online now. (more…)

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

    HIMALAYAN FAIR The 31st annual Himalayan Fair at Live Oak Park will run will run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 17, and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 18. The free fair features over 100 vendors, some here all the way from the Himalayas. Entertainment includes numerous dance and music offerings throughout the day, showcasing the cultural traditions of the region. Founded in 1983, the Himalayan Fair is a great Berkeley tradition. Live Oak Park, 1300 Shattuck Ave.  (more…)

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

    A ROCK OPERA THRILLER This weekend, First Look Sonoma and ROCKIT Opera is presenting three performances of the world premiere of composer/librettist (and Berkeley local) Sheli Nan’s SAGA of the 21st Century Girl: A Rock Opera Thriller. The new opera stars Crystal Philippi as a disturbed young girl struggling to cope with her self-absorbed mother (Valentina Osinski) and gutless father (Jo Vincent Parks) and their dysfunctional home. Portraying various aspects of the predatory impulse are the Shadows, both hilarious and genuinely frightening, portrayed by Alexis Lane Jensen and John Duykers. The company says the show, with its “completely original narrative with haunting musical themes is dynamic, captivating, and humorous at times.” SAGA is recommended for mature audiences. SAGA opens tonight and there are performances Saturday and Sunday. The show is at the Osher Studio, 2055 Center St. in downtown Berkeley. Visit First Look Sonoma online for details. (more…)

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

    BILL SANTIAGO With his knack for biting political satire and a fondness for taboo topics that has garnered him comparisons to George Carlin, comedian Bill Santiago should be well received in Berkeley. On Friday, Jan. 31, Santiago is performing at La Peña, at 3105 Shattuck Ave., where he’s presented his renowned wordplay, astute observations and bilingual comedy in the past. The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. (more…)

  • A life in clave: Josh Jones keeps the beat

    Josh Jones has had a fair share of glory. An early product of the Berkeley Unified School District’s jazz education program, he’s toured and recorded with jazz legends, helped spark the Bay Area’s acid jazz scene in the 1990s, and worked with hip hop icons like Tupac Shakur, Digital Underground, and Too Short. But his most important work has taken place away from the spotlight, teaching young musicians about the intricacies of swing, funk, and clave, the essential pulse of much Afro-Cuban music.

  • Zambomba Gitana: An Andalusian Christmas in Berkeley

    In Andalusia’s Jerez de la Frontera, where impromptu gatherings often burst into extended flamenco sessions, the holidays offer numerous opportunities for celebrating the season. In another sign of Bay Area Flamenco’s steadily expanding footprint, the decade-old organization presents its first ever Zambomba Gitana, an evening of dance and music Friday at Brava Theater in San Francisco and Saturday at La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley.

  • The It List: 5 things to do in Berkeley this weekend

    OHLONE MURAL CEREMONY The city of Berkeley is holding a rededication ceremony to celebrate the restoration of the Ohlone Mural. The mural, which depicts the creation story of the Ohlone people who once inhabited the Bay Area, was originally painted in 1995 by Jean LaMarr, a Native American artist. Local artist Miranda Bergman began restoring the mural a year and a half ago through the Public Art Mural Restoration program. Bergman used warm water washer and worked with special care to restore vibrant color to the mural’s 1,000-square-foot surface. The rededication ceremony takes place Saturday, Oct. 12, at 11:30 a.m. at the Ohlone Greenway Park on Hearst Street. The event will feature speakers, a blessing ceremony and a reception at Heyday Books on 1633 University Ave. afterwards. (more…)

  • Praise for amazing women: Venissa Santi, Tiffany Austin

    Innovation is overrated in jazz. Developing your own voice is far more important than the often quixotic quest to break new musical ground, and over the weekend several artists perform around Berkeley who are in the midst of crafting a highly personal sound.

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

    ‘SUPER CINEMA’ AT THE BERKELEY PUBLIC LIBRARY  The Berkeley Public Library’s free film series “Super Cinema” continues, starting July 5. Each month on Friday afternoons at 3 p.m., the library explores a different theme. This Friday’s theme is ‘Resisting Injustice’, in honor of the recent Supreme Court rulings on marriage equality. Kick back and watch “Stonewall Uprising”, a great movie that tells the whole story of the June 1969 riots in New York City that sparked the gay rights movement. Central Library in the 3rd floor Community Meeting Room. 2090 Kittredge (at Shattuck). More details at Berkeley Public Library online. (more…)