GERSHWIN PROJECT Pianist Peter Nero, a two-time Grammy winner, “romps through” George Gershwin’s music with bassist Michael Barnett and vocalist Katherine Strohmaier on Sunday, Feb. 8 at Zellerbach Hall, as part of Cal Performances’ jazz series. Nero’s trio will perform songs from musicals and films like “Strike Up the Band,” “Porgy and Bess,” “Funny Face,” “Girl Crazy,” and “Shall We Dance,” as well as standards from the Great American Songbook. Zellerbach Hall, 7 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 8. Tickets available from Cal Performances.
LUNAFEST The fourth annual Lunafest Film Festival will be held at Kala Art Gallery at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 6. Lunafest features short films for, by and about women. The evening is being held by the Zonta Club of Berkeley/North Bay, and proceeds benefit the Breast Cancer Fund, the H.E.A.T. Watch program of Alameda County which works to end the sex trafficking of young women, and the Zonta International Foundation. Lunafest events were started by nutrition bar company Luna in 2000 to spotlight women’s films and to raise money for charity. Kala Art Gallery, 2990 San Pablo Ave., tickets from $20.
AT LAST Jazz and blues vocalist Pamela Rose presents the music and life of R&B great Etta James, Friday, Feb. 6 at the California Jazz Conservatory. Rose’s performances combine music with vivid storytelling about the artists she sings as well as about the lyrics, aided by audio and video clips. Rose will be accompanied by Tammy Hall on piano, Ruth Davies on bass, and Kent Bryson on drums. California Jazz Conservatory, 2087 Addison St., 8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 6. Tickets $18 from the CJC.
BLOOMING ‘ECK There are at least two great reasons to see Following in the Bartrams’ Footsteps, an exhibition of 44 original botanical artworks. There’s the art itself, by 39 different artists, responding to the native plant discoveries by John and William Bartram in their journeys in the Eastern wilderness between the 1730s and 1790s. Then there’s the venue: the show is the first chance to see Julia Morgan’s transplanted and immaculately restored Girton Hall, now dubbed Julia Morgan Hall. The exhibition runs through Feb. 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and entrance is free with garden admission. UC Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Dr.
FORRO Ashkenaz is kicking off a series of forró parties on the first Saturday of each month with the band Dona Francisca and the Rob Curto & Rebecca K quartet playing, singing, and dancing to Northeast Brazil’s most infectious music. Accordionist Rob Curto is widely regarded as one of forró’s foremost ambassadors in the U.S. Dona Francisca plays forró music as it was invented by the master Luiz Gonzaga, then adds its own twists and spins. The group features two founders of Forró Brazuca: singer and triangle player Paulo Presotto from São Paulo and zabumba player and singer Chris Thomas from Rio. Chris Thomas will morph into DJ Carioca to spin music for the dance lesson by Paulo Presotto after the live music. Ashkenaz, 1317 San Pablo Ave., tickets from $12. Check with Ashkenaz about start time, (510) 525-5054.
Don’t miss these other events featured on Berkeleyside:
Interview: Jonathan Spector on his Aurora winning play
The 88 keys: Tammy Hall plays Berkeley Sunday
She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry/Before and After Films
Check out Berkeleyside’s event calendar for many more events, and make sure to post your own community happenings.