Runners surge from the start of the Berkeley Half Marathon in 2014. Organizers expect more than 9,000 runners for the fourth annual edition of the race on Sunday. Photo William Newton

BERKELEY HALF MARATHON The Berkeley Half Marathon has rapidly established itself as a fixture in the city’s annual calendar. The organizers expect more than 9,000 runners on Sunday for the half marathon, 10K and 5K races. The feature event starts at 8 a.m. on Milvia Street next to Berkeley High, wends through the Southside neighborhood, heads north on Shattuck Avenue through the Gourmet Ghetto to the Marin Circle before heading west to Fourth Street and a waterfront loop before climbing east to the finish back on Milvia. Community members are encouraged to cheer on the runners, and to join them for the Finish Line Festival in Civic Center Park. 

ALVIN CURRAN Visiting from his home in Rome, American composer Alvin Curran will be speaking at the David Brower Center on Sunday as part of The Nature of Music series in conjunction with the center’s current exhibition Art/Act: The Canary Project. Curran will be in conversation with Charles Amirkhanian, executive and artistic director of new music organization Other Minds, about his work capturing and arranging the sounds of our everyday lives into original compositions. The event will also host Curran and Black Truffle Records’ re-release of his 1983 album, Natural History, which is renowned for its array of natural and man-made sounds, recorded over the course of nearly 20 years. The sounds include construction sites, insects, children’s toys, a piano being tuned, foghorns, lovemaking and a singing neighbor as an attempt to “put the sound of the entire world” in the record. Tickets available through Eventbrite. Sunday, Nov. 20, 7 p.m., David Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way.

LEONARD COHEN TRIBUTE A concert in memory of Leonard Cohen will be held at the Jewish Community Center of the East Bay on Sunday afternoon. Headlining the afternoon is Conspiracy of Beards, the San Francisco-based 30-member male choir that performs original a cappella arrangements of Cohen’s songs while dressed in suits, ties, and the occasional fedora. The evening will also feature performances by local Bay Area talent, including the all-female a capella group Conspiracy of Venus, Jeremiah Lockwood & Jewlia Eisenberg, plus Sylvie Simmons, author of I’m Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen. Sunday, Nov. 20, 2 p.m., JCC East Bay, 1414 Walnut St.

BLACK LIBERATION AND THE FOOD MOVEMENT An afternoon forum addressing how structural racism and violence against Black communities extends into and across the food system will be held at the Ed Roberts Campus on Saturday. The event includes a keynote address by former Black Panther poet and playwright Judy Juanita, a panel of Bay Area community leaders, and audience participatory breakout sessions on topics including: food sovereignty, economic development, Black farmers and agricultural production, police and community violence, food-related disease, trauma and healing. The forum events with a local dinner prepared by Sarah Kirnon of Miss Ollie’s and Dig Deep Farms (meal is guaranteed for those who pre-register for the free event). Saturday, Nov. 19, 2 p.m., Ed Roberts Campus, 3075 Adeline St.

MYRA MELFORD & SNOWY EGRET Pianist Myra Melford combines a passion for groove and lyricism with an experimentalist’s spirit of invention in her works. On Saturday at Zellerbach Hall, Melford will be performing her Language of Dreams (a recommended gig this week from Berkeleyside music writer Andy Gilbert). It features Melford’s all-star ensemble Snowy Egret – along with video, narration, and movement – and is inspired by the writings of Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano. Snowy Egret includes Ron Miles on cornet, Liberty Ellman on guitar, Stomu Takeishi on acoustic bass guitar, and Tyshawn Sorey on drums. They’ll be performing with dancer/choreographer Oguri, video artist David Szlasa, and vocalist Sofia Rei, reciting Galeano’s texts in English and Spanish. Tickets from Cal Performances. Saturday, Nov. 19, 8 p.m., Zellerbach Hall.

Don’t miss these other events featured on Berkeleyside:

‘Safe House’: Stirring tale of free brothers of color in 1843
Big Screen Berkeley: ‘National Bird’
Drummer Ruthie Price’s ‘Sounds of Life’

Ever wonder how Berkeleyside compiles its weekly It List? We rely on event organizers to tell us about their events (email editors@berkeleyside.com) and we also select events listed by organizers on the Berkeleyside Events Calendar — submissions are self-serve and free, so be sure to use it!

Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...