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

Cal basketball head coach
Cal basketball head coach Cuonzo Martin. Photo: CalBears

COACHING FOR LITERACY EVENT Coaching for Literacy has partnered with Cal Bears basketball to offer an “all-access” fan experience to raise funds for literacy work during the Saturday Feb. 6 Stanford game in Haas Pavilion. The Golden Bears join 17 other NCAA institutions and the Washington Wizards as a member of Coaching for Literacy’s 2015-16 Assistant Coach Program schedule. The initiative is to raise valuable awareness about the problem of illiteracy in America. Currently, 19% of high-school graduates in America are functionally illiterate. Financial support will also be raised and directed to literacy efforts in the Bay Area through The Re(a)d Zone – an initiative of the 50 Fund, the legacy initiative of the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee. Details at CalBears.

UncoolUNCOOL FEST Berkeley’s 924 Gilman, the venue that serves as ground zero for the East Bay independent music scene, and famously spawned Green Day, is hosting the first-ever Uncool Fest, two days of music organized by Uncool Records to celebrate the release of ‘Drive North’ by Swmrs, the band formerly known as Emily’s Army that includes drummer Joey Armstrong (son of Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong). Other bands playing include: Creativenative; Skandalism; Mylo Mu; Dog Party; The Frights; Mom Jeans; Melted; Dinosaurs; and No Parents. The event is on Friday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. through Saturday, Feb. 6 at 11:45 p.m. 924 Gilman St. Tickets: $15 at the door Fri./Sat. $20 weekend pass plus $2 annual membership.

TEDxTEDX BERKELEY TEDxBerkeley returns to the UC Berkeley campus on Saturday, Feb. 6. The event gathers world-leading thinkers, makers, and doers to discuss “Finding x.” How do we find solutions to our world’s imperfections? How do we identify these problems, and once we’ve locked onto them, how do we make sense of them in the larger systems to which they belong? The audience will be composed of a diverse mix of over 2,000 students, professors, and thought leaders from Berkeley and beyond for a stimulating day of presentations, discussions, entertainment and art that will spark new ideas and opportunities for all. TEDxBerkeley takes place at Zellerbach Hall. General Admission: $100, UC Berkeley Alumni: $75, UC Berkeley Students/Faculty: $40. Details at TEDxBerkeley website.

OtelloOTELLO “Abbasso le spade!” If you’re an opera lover, you probably know the famous cry (“Put down your swords!”) when Otello enters the stage in Verdi’s great, late opera. That entrance sets in motion Shakespeare’s tragedy, as interpreted by Verdi and his librettist, Arrigo Boito. Verismo Opera brings Otello to the small stage at the Hillside Club, which presents a rare chance to see grand opera in an intimate setting. Not a concert performance: Verismo has sets, costumes and a chamber orchestra. Tickets from Brown Paper Tickets $30, $25 seniors, $20 students and free for under-12s. Performances on Saturday, Feb. 6, 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 7, 2 p.m., Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar St.

allstars-1-250BOB MARLEY BIRTHDAY PARTY Bob Marley would have been 71-years-old on Saturday. You can celebrate in style with the Caribbean Allstars at Ashkenaz. The Allstars are pioneers in the Bay Area reggae scene and Ashkenaz regulars. In addition to Jamaican reggae, the group adds steel drums to create the South Caribbean calypso and soca styles of Trinidad and Tobago, guaranteed, according to Ashkenaz, to “drive listeners to the dance floor.” Tickets $15, $10 students. Doors open at 9 p.m., show at 9:30 p.m., Ashkenaz, 1317 San Pablo Ave.

Don’t miss these other events featured on Berkeleyside:

New York City comes to Berkeley: Rez Abbasis Raaq
BAMPFA’s inaugural exhibition ‘Architecture of Life’ is an eloquent survey
Lights, camera, action: Time to shine for BAMPFA’s film programming

To find out what is going on in Berkeley and nearby, be sure to check out Berkeleyside’s Events Calendar. And submit your own events: it’s self-serve and free.