OUR SHINING STARS Astrophysics, climate change, technology, and education are all on the table at tonight’s conversation with three local and renowned scholars. Yes, this one’s in El Cerrito — 960 Avis Drive — but one of the scholars, Saul Perlmutter, is a physicist at both Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley. He’s also the recipient of a Nobel Prize, for his discovery that the universe is expanding at an accelerated rate. Amy Luers is the director of climate at the Skoll Global Threats Fund and previously headed Google’s environment program. Phillip Alvelda has founded several media and technology companies as well as an education non-profit. Plus, he’s won an Emmy. Catch all of these phenomenal speakers for free tonight from 7-9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, Prospect Sierra School, 960 Avis Dr., El Cerrito.
BAREFOOT CHAMBER You don’t have to show up barefoot, but you can forget the stilettos. Barefoot Chamber Concerts presents exceptional chamber music in casual settings; in Berkeley, that’s St. Mark’s Episcopal Church Parish Hall at 2300 Bancroft. Agave Baroque is Barefoot’s first concert of the year, and the group will perform “Friends of Ferdinand,” a program featuring music by Johann Heinrich Schmelzer, Antonio Bertali, and other big names from the Holy Roman Empire. As always, there will be wine and olives. The show starts at 6 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 17. Tickets are $10-15 at the door or through Brown Paper Tickets.
OLD SCHOOL, NEW LIGHT Lost & Out of Print, together with the Berkeley Underground Film Society, is hosting their take on back-to-school night: a screening of lost-and-found short films shown previously in classrooms. On the list of gems is Glas, the 1958 Dutch documentary and Oscar winner on the glass industry in the Netherlands, and Le Poulet, a 1965 French short comedy about a boy’s attempt to save his pet chicken from the wrath of his hungry parents. “Old School, New Light” starts at 7:30 p.m. at The Tannery, 708 Gilman St. Free films, free parking; donations accepted.
FOUR SHILLINGS SHORT There are only two of them, but husband-and-wife duo Four Shillings Short manage to play more instruments than most orchestras. On Sunday, Jan. 19 from 3-5 p.m. Ashkenaz presents their multi-cultural, all-ages concert Around the World in 30 Instruments. Their family-friendly repertoire covers many continents, with a special focus on one of the band member’s native Ireland. This may be your only chance to hear a sitar, bouzouki, tinwhistle and krumhorn all on the same stage. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for kids. Around the World is part of Ashkenaz’s (1317 San Pablo Ave.) Soggy Sundays concert series.
YOUTH OPEN MIC Once you’ve heard Ashkenaz’s music for kids, head over to the Starry Plough where the kids themselves provide the entertainment. Young rockstars in the making can sing and shred at BandWorks’ Youth Open Mic from 4-7 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 19. All genres, all levels, and all ages — up to 17, that is — are welcome. Sign-ups at 3:30 p.m., show at 3101 Shattuck Ave.
Don’t miss these other events recently featured on Berkeleyside:
Z’Amico: A world of sound plays Berkeley Thursday
Restaurant week returns to Berkeley, Oakland
Berkeley MLK Breakfast will draw community together
Check out Berkeleyside’s event calendar for many more events, and make sure to post your own community happenings.