The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley, weekend of Aug. 2-4

Argentinian singer songwriter Sofia Viola
Argentinian singer songwriter Sofia Viola will be performing at Ashkenaz on Sunday night. Photo: courtesy Ashkenaz

SOFIA VIOLA Argentinian singer songwriter Sofia Viola is described by Ashkenaz as “a free spirit and a joyful performer with an easygoing attitude that is both contagious and healing.” She’ll be showcasing her Latin rhythms at Ashkenaz on Sunday night. She performs with her guitar and her ronroco (something I learned today: a ronroco, sometimes called a charango, is a Andean stringed instrument of the lute family). Sunday, Aug. 4, 8 p.m., Ashkenaz, 1317 San Pablo Ave.

TOOL LIBRARY If you love the tool lending library (c’mon, of course you love the tool lending library) there’s cause for celebration: it’s increasing opening hours to 40 hours per week. You can celebrate at the library on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. with coffee and light refreshments. It’s a chance to meet the staff, see examples of projects completed using the library’s tools and hear from local officials about the 40-year history of a great Berkeley institution. When it was started in 1979, the tool library had 500 tools and one employee. It now boasts 4,500 tools and three employees who, in addition to handing out tools, are troves of information and advice. And, if you hang around, you could go to the Fixit Clinic from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday. Saturday, Aug. 3, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Tool Lending Library, 1901 Russell St.

LITTLEST BEAR 5K A regular stream of fundraisers crosses the It List desk but, full confession, the Littlest Bear 5k had the cutest illustration (left). And it’s for a good cause! UC Berkeley’s School of Information is running the virtual 5k run/walk event to raise money for diversity and inclusion scholarships for I-School students (and we certainly know that tech needs more diversity). What on earth is a virtual 5K? “A virtual race is one that can be run (or walked or wheelchair rolled) from any location you choose. You can run, jog, walk, or roll on the road, on the treadmill, at the gym or on the track.” Plus, you get a neat T-shirt. The virtual 5k ends late on Sunday, Aug. 4, so get moving now.

MISSION BLUE Hurricane Sam, the founder and guiding light of The Back Room, describes Mission Blue as “one of our favorite bluegrass bands.” The group will be playing The Back Room on Saturday night. Mission Blue’s Dana and Avram Frankel say they “wrangle” California’s top bluegrass talent into a traditional five-piece band for their gigs. On Saturday, that means Jesse Personeni on banjo, Steve Pottier on bass and “a surprise special guest” on mandolin. Saturday, Aug. 3, 8 p.m., The Back Room, 1984 Bonita Ave.


TATYANA DIMITROVA It sounds like you’ll be in for a contemplative musical evening if you mosey over to the California Jazz Conservatory on Saturday. Tatyana Dimitrova explores jazz ballads: “A beautiful ballad creates a space for our loneliness, sadness, hope and love; a space we fill with longing. It is dark, it is internal, it is beautiful, and that’s what I sing!” The evening will feature the music of Duke Ellington, Horace Silver, Tad Dameron and others. Saturday, Aug. 3, 8 p.m., California Jazz Conservatory, 2087 Addison St.

Don’t miss this event covered earlier on Berkeleyside:

Looking for roots with Adrienne Shamszad