Seekers and dreamers have been finding their way to Berkeley for more than a century, but I doubt anyone’s arrived with a quest quite like Zan Stewart’s. After four decades as one of the nation’s most prolific and respected jazz writers, he’s exchanged his pen for a horn, devoting himself to honing his craft as an improviser and interpreter of jazz standards.
THE NICK OF TIME Nick’s Lounge, at 3218 Adeline near Fairview, has been a neighborhood fixture for almost 50 years. Bryan Smith bought the bar in April and has spruced it up, getting rid of the gambling machine and repainting the bar inside and out. He holds karaoke nights on Wednesdays and Thursdays and has live jazz two Saturdays a month. The last Saturday of each month is an “East Bay Open Mic” night, from 7 to 9 p.m. Now that it’s football season, Nick’s has live football from noon to 1 a.m. on Sunday and from 2 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Mondays.