HIGH NOON We don’t write often about sports on Berkeleyside, but there’s a long-awaited game of national significance for the Golden Bears. No, not the whatsit bowl, or whatever the football team will be playing. We’re talking the real thing: a battle of two unbeaten teams, 14th ranked Cal versus top-ranked UConn on Saturday at Haas Pavilion. Cal goes into the game 9-0 and UConn is 10-0. Amazingly, it’s the first time in program history that Cal will face the national number one on its home court. The Bears are led by forward/center Kristine Anigwe, the only player in Division I to notch a double-double in every game this season. The Huskies have three players – Napheesa Collier, Crystal Dangerfield and Katie Lou Samuelson – reckoned to be in the frame for player of the year. UConn last lost a regular season game in November 2014 (at, ahem, Stanford). Saturday’s clash of the undefeated is the perfect way to kick off the holidays. Saturday, Dec. 22, 12 p.m., Haas Pavilion.
TAPESTRY REIMAGINED It’s a full moon tonight (lycanthropes take note), which means it’s time for a performance in BAMPFA’s Full series. Local recording artist and producer PC Muñoz (left) will present a reimagining of the hits from Carole King’s 1971 album Tapestry. Some great Bay Area musicians will be joining Muñoz, including vocalists Zoe Ellis and Francesca Lee, jazz bassist Aaron Germain, guitarist Michael Cavaseno, MC DEM ONE, clarinetist Ben Goldberg, percussionist Amelie Hinman and others. You’ll feel the earth move under your feet. Friday, Dec. 21, 7 p.m., BAMPFA, 2155 Center St.
ZIGABOO MODELISTE Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste is a master drummer, rhythm innovator and New Orleans legend. Zigaboo is the founding drummer, songwriter and singer of the legendary group the Meters. His work has been sampled many times over by artists such as Musiq Soulchild, Queen Latifah, Run DMC, NWA, Ice Cube, Salt N’ Pepa, Cypress Hill, EPMD, Public Enemy, A Tribe Called Quest, Beastie Boys, Naughty by Nature, and Eminem. On Friday next week, the Freight is loudly proclaiming its dance floor is open (with an exclamation mark) for Zigaboo Modeliste’s Birthday Extravaganza with Special Guest George Porter, Jr. Friday, Dec. 28, 8 p.m., Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison St.
MERRY CHRISTMAS OK, the full name for this event is actually Merry Christmas from a Jewish Atheist Pianist. If you’re familiar with the local music scene, you’ve already spotted the personality of Sam Rudin, pianist and creator of Berkeley’s Back Room. Here’s what “Hurricane” Sam has to say: “Clearly, in terms of heritage and beliefs, my connections to the holiday are slim. But as a sentient being in the USA, I am fully acculturated, and as a musician, I couldn’t help noticing that, if I chose carefully, and stayed far away from Rudolph and Frosty… hey, a lot of this music is really good… So, in spite of the somewhat flippant headline, this will be an entirely respectful, and musically sincere evening – and an evening that turns out to be the most Christmas-y offering on our calendar. So if you can’t be with your family tonight, or if your own heritage and belief systems have you heading out for Chinese food – please stop by and and indulge in our shared musical tradition. And no!, the night will NOT include an obligatory chorus of ‘Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel.'” Monday, Dec. 24, 8 p.m., The Back Room, 1984 Bonita Ave.
NEW YEAR’S EVE AT ASHKENAZ If you didn’t get enough dancing in with Zigaboo Modeliste, you have another chance at Ashkenaz on New Year’s Eve with three groups that have a Balkan tinge: True Life Trio with special guest Joe Finn, Fanfare Zambaleta, and Édessa with special guest Polly Tapia Ferber. True Life Trio performs vocal harmonies from Eastern Europe, the Americas and beyond. Fanfare Zambaleta emulates the great Balkan brass bands of the past and present, they play Romani, Serbian, Macedonian and Greek brass band music with passion and dedication. And Édessa uses both traditional and modern instruments to perform the music of the southern Balkans. Monday, Dec. 31, 8 p.m. (program runs to 3 a.m.), Ashkenaz, 1317 San Pablo Ave.