VOCAL VIRTUOSOS Famed folk singer Joan Baez will make a guest appearance at Ashkenaz in Berkeley on Friday night to sing with the French performer Marianne Aya Omac. The pair joined forces in 2011 and have done three Northern California tours, as well as recording the song Duele together on Omac’s album Solo. The music is a departure from Baez’s usual folk repertoire with a melding of Gypsy and Flamenco music. Baez’s son, Gabriel Harris, will also be performing. Ashkenaz is at 1317 San Pablo Avenue
THE PLEASURES OF BACCHUS Berkeley’s Urbano Cellars is holding a party this Saturday to celebrate the release of its 2009 Sangiovese, a red Italian wine grape varietal whose name derives from the Latin sanguis Jovis, “the blood of Jove.” This Sangiovese is made from grapes in the Dry Creek area of Sonoma County. There will be lasagna to accompany the wine, and the local bluegrass group Get Offa My Lawn will be performing. The Sangiovese celebration runs from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 17 at Urbano Cellars, 2323 4th St., Suite B.
MELODIOUS WORDS For over eighty years Actor Reading Writers has given theatrical voice to the written word as professional actors bring short stories to life. They seek to reclaim the childhood pleasure of being read to, offering audiences an array of diverse tales from around the world. On Saturday Nov. 17, Bay Area actor Thomas Lynch will present Truman Capote’s comic short story The Thanksgiving Visitor at Moe’s Books at Telegraph Avenue at 7 p.m.
BECOME A FIX-IT MAN Tired of those broken appliances sitting in your closet? Bring them to the Lawrence Hall of Science’s Fix-it Clinic on Sunday. Experts will help assess the damage and develop a strategy – if possible – to get them up and humming again. If a repair is impossible, at least you will learn how the gadget was made. Bring some screwdrivers, a bag to carry spare parts, and a camera to document the process. The clinic runs from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday Nov. 18.
THE MAKING OF AN ACTIVIST Former Berkeley City Councilwoman Ying Lee, 80, has had an extraordinary life. Born in China, Lee came to the United States in 1945. She enrolled at UC Berkeley in 1953 and served on the city council from 1973 until 1977. She taught in the schools until 1982, when she moved to Washington to work for then-Congressman Ron Dellums. Working with Berkeley journalist (and Berkeleyside contributor) Judith Scherr, Lee has prepared an oral history, Ying Lee: From Shanghai to Berkeley, that has just been published. Lee and Scherr will be speaking at Eastwind Books at 2066 University Ave at 3 pm Sunday, Nov. 18.
Don’t forget these other weekend events previously mentioned on Berkeleyside: