This week Berkeleyside launched a brand new arts and culture newsletter, The Scene, rounding up the best of local events.
Sign up to receive the newsletter in your inbox every Thursday morning for tips on can’t-miss happenings in and around town, Q&As with artists and news and tidbits you won’t find anywhere else. Even if you already get our Daily Briefing, you still need to sign up to receive the newsletter.
Newsletter subscribers will be the first to be in the know, but we’ll also share a list of events on the site. If you have an event you’d like us to highlight, email us at email@example.com. If there’s an event that you’d like to promote on our calendar, you can use the self-submission form on our events page.
➤ Fifty-nine Berkeley artists — including jeweler Susan Brooks, painter and printmaker Juliet Mevi and glass sculptor Fuff Tabachnikoff — will be opening their work spaces to the public this month as part of East Bay Open Studios. A kick-off event will be held Friday at Oakland’s Uptown Studios, but check out the list of more than 185 participating artists across the East Bay.
Saturday-Sunday, May 13-14 and 20-21 | FREE (ticket required for kick-off event)
➤ A master of the ukulele-like Puerto Rican cuatro, Pedro José Pastrana is a San Francisco-based Puerto Rican roots musician who is teaming up with powerhouse vocalist Christelle Durandy, whose verdant Caribbean repertoire encompasses Cuban popular music, Guadeloupe’s Gwo Ka, salsa, and Latin jazz.
Saturday, May 13 | 8 p.m. | The Back Room | $20
➤ The Friends of the Berkeley Public Library’s annual book sale returns to the Central Library on Kittredge Street after a three-year hiatus.
Friday-Saturday, May 12-13 | 10 a.m-4 p.m. | Central Library | FREE
➤ Kairos Music Academy presents a Ukrainian-centric production of Fiddler on the Roof.
May 13, 14, 20 | Hillside Club | $15-$20
➤ A wildly creative electro-acoustic combo featuring some of the Bay Area’s most expansive improvisers, the Klaxon Mutant All-Stars find inspiration in everything from 1980s hip hop and the writings of David Sedaris to indie rock heros Deerhoof and California politics.
Friday, May 12 | 7-10 p.m. | Jupiter | FREE
➤ Oakland-born Justin Jones — who made headlines last month when he was ousted from the Republican-controlled Tennessee House along with another young Black Democratic lawmaker for leading a gun control protest — will be speaking on the Cal campus this weekend about activism, gun violence, race and democracy.
Friday, May 12 | 7-8 p.m. | Hertz Hall | FREE (tickets required)
➤ Vocalist Sarah Gronquist serves as the architect for a Burt Bacharach sing-along celebrating the late composer’s birthday (and his partnership with lyricist Hal David).
Friday, May 12 | 7:30-9 p.m. | The Monkey House | $10-$14 (RSVP required)
➤ The Berkeley chapter of School of Rock celebrates various rock ‘n’ roll idioms, including the Rolling Stones, prog rock, and alt/indie rock, at “Rock In 4 Ways.”
Saturday-Sunday, May 13-14 | Ashkenaz | $10
➤ Honor mom by wearing your fanciest sunhat and daintily toasting with a non-alcoholic beverage at a Mother’s Day “hats and high tea” hosted by the city and featuring live music and activities for kids.
Saturday, May 13 | 2-5 p.m. | Berkeley Rose Garden | FREE
➤ The Berkeley Potters Guild is holding its annual “seconds” sale this month — offering not-quite-perfect ceramics for a reduced price along with new kiln-fired works.
Saturdays and Sundays | 11 a.m.-5 p.m. | 731 Jones St.
➤ Launched a decade ago by children’s librarian Michael Kwende (aka Mr. Michael), the musical story time series has evolved into a beloved family event held most weeks with guitarist Tim DeWolf and musicians and library specialists Juan Castille and Donovan Russell.
Thursday, May 18 | 10:30-11:30 a.m. | Virginia-McGee Totland | FREE
See an extended roundup of events in Oakland on The Oaklandside.
➤ A 24-member contemporary vocal ensemble founded and directed by Cava Menzies, Oakland-based CO-LLAB Choir Cava presents a soul-steeped program of new works with special guests such as soul star Martin Luther McCoy and piano master Kev Choice.
Saturday, May 13 | 1:30-3 p.m. | Yerba Buena Gardens, S.F. | FREE
➤ The Montclair Village Restaurant Walk features more than 20 local restaurants and businesses offering sample bites and drinks (including craft beers, artisan wines, and mocktails) to patrons who purchase a “passport” to visit the participating businesses.
Tuesday, May 16 | 5 – 8 p.m. | Montclair Village | $20-$150
➤ Featuring more than half a dozen acts, including Smoke, Yukmouth, D-Lo, Lil Kayla, Grand Nationxl, and Jane Handcock, Urban Peace Movement’s Town Up Tuesday is a free live musical event hosted by educator Leon (DNas) Sykes and Grammy-nominated hip-hop artist Mystic supporting the campaign to end youth incarceration.
Tuesday, May 16 | 4-8 p.m. | Edoff Memorial Bandstand, Lake Merritt | (FREE, tickets required)
The Oaklandside’s Arts and Community reporter Azucena Rasilla contributed reporting to this story.
Every Thursday morning, The Scene gives you the lowdown on arts, culture and events in and around Berkeley. Sign up for free.