FREIGHT & SALVAGE FESTIVAL The culmination of the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse’s 50th anniversary celebration is a free music festival (and more!) on Saturday. Addison Street will be closed so festivalgoers can enjoy multiple stages, dancing, food trucks and family-friendly activities. Performances on the three stages will include Bay Area funk super group Zigaboo Modeliste and Linda Tillery, BKO Quintet from Mali, Cajun and Zydeco favorites Beausoleil, Bang Data (Latin cumbia, hip-hop and rock) with the Non-Stop Bhangra dance troupe (as seen at last year’s Berkeleyside Uncharted Festival), and the Alphabet Rockets (hip-hop and social justice for families). Whew! And that’s just outside. On the Freight’s main stage, Suzy Thompson will be curating a line-up of singer-songwriters. Saturday, Sept. 22, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison St.
EAST BAY POETS & WRITERS If you’re wondering how to kick off the weekend, why don’t you stroll over to BAMPFA for an evening of readings from local writers? Hosted by Audrey T. Williams, a multi-racial, multi-cultural storyteller, writer and poet based in Oakland, the evening will include Barbara Jane Reyes, the Manila-born author of Invocation to Daughters; Ingrid Rojas Contreras, originally from Bogotá, author of Fruit of the Drunken Tree; Maw Shein Win, first poet laureate of El Cerrito and author of Invisible Gifts, Poems; and Vanessa Hua, California Book Award nominee and author of A River of Stars. Friday, Sept. 21, 6 p.m., BAMPFA, 2155 Center St.
AL DI MEOLA Al Di Meola is a pioneer of blending world music and jazz, with a steady fascination for complex rhythmic syncopation combined with lyrical melodies and sophisticated harmony. Over a four decade career, Di Meloa has won numerous critical accolades and had three gold albums. You can see this “bona fide guitar hero” on Sunday at the UC Theatre. Here’s what they say: “While his dazzling technique on both acoustic and electric guitars has afforded him regal status among the hordes of fretboard fanatics who regularly flock to his concerts, the depth of Di Meola’s writing along with the soulfulness and the inherent lyricism of his guitaristic expression have won him legions of fans worldwide beyond the guitar aficionado set.” Sunday, Sept. 23, 8 p.m., UC Theatre, 2036 University Ave.
SHARKS You’re going to need a bigger boat to take in the wondrous photos by National Geographic’s Brian Skerry that form Art/Act: Brian Skerry – Sharks, the Brower Center’s fall exhibition. It opens with a free public reception on Friday evening and then runs through Feb. 14, 2019. Skerry spent more than 10,000 hours underwater exploring the world’s oceans with a camera to show why sharks need to be protected and appreciated as an integral species within the ecosystem. “Sharks represent an endless well of inspiration, a blend of grace and power that lures me into the sea time and time again in hopes of producing a new rendering that truly captures their essence,” says Skerry. “As a journalist, I’m driven by a sense of responsibility and a sense of urgent need to broadcast that sharks are in trouble and need our help.” Opens Friday, Sept. 21, 6 p.m., Hazel Wolf Gallery, Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way.
ARCADE FIRE Do you really need me to tell you about Arcade Fire (two BRITS, two Grammys, for starters)? Originally from Montreal, the group will be playing the Greek on both Friday and Saturday nights. Their 2004 album Funeral was chosen by Rolling Stone as the #1 album of the ’00s. But you knew that, didn’t you? Friday and Saturday, Sept. 21-22, 7 p.m., Greek Theatre, Gayley Road.
Don’t miss these other events covered on Berkeleyside:
Freight & Salvage celebrates its 50th: Invites the city to musical block party
A legendary question answered in ‘A Doll’s House, Part 2’ at Berkeley Rep
Big Screen Berkeley: ‘Lizzie’
In a final TV show, Anthony Bourdain takes W. Kamau Bell on a journey of discovery