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Around Berkeley

Jinx Jones’ trio will be performing at Jupiter on Saturday, July 22. Courtesy of Jinx Jones

➤ In a welcome development that will hopefully take root, Zut! has started to present occasional jazz gigs, like Berkeley bassist/composer Kurt Ribak, who plays outdoors with his trio featuring Greg Sankovich on keys and Lincoln Adler on saxophone. Thursday, July 20, 5-7 p.m. FREE (no cover)

➤ Pegasus Books Downtown is hosting a book talk and signing with Pulitzer-winner Jane Smiley, who recently released The Questions that Matter Most, which compiles her writings for the New Yorker, the Atlantic, the Los Angeles Times and places them alongside reflections on the power of written word. Thursday, July 20, 7 p.m. FREE

Malian superstar Oumou Sangaré’s Freight & Salvage performance last October was one of the year’s musical highlights, and the fact that she’s back so soon is good news. Expect a guest appearance by Berkeley n’goni master Mamadou Sidibe, who played a crucial role on her recent album Timbuktu. Thursday, July 20, 8 p.m. Freight & Salvage. $60-$65 

➤ Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, which will be released on Friday, was partially filmed on the UC Berkeley campus. Consider seeing it at Rialto Cinemas Elmwood (assuming it reopens after a car was driven into the building). It’s Berkeley’s last commercial movie theater, and you’re likely going to hear students and alums yell “go Bears” when the campus’s soccer stadium makes an appearance. And look through our photo and history tour of J. Robert Oppenheimer’s life in Berkeley.

Learn how to make a comic zine with cartoonist and writer Sumiko Saulson. All supplies are provided. Friday, July 21, 4 p.m. Central Library. 

➤ BAMPFA’s latest film series, The Enchanted World of Yulia Solnetseva, kicks off Friday with a screening of the Soviet filmmaker’s war film The Story of the Flaming Years, which shows the Russian campaign to expel Nazi invaders. In 1961, Solnetseva became the first woman director to ever receive the Best Director Award at the Cannes Film Festival for this film. Friday, July 21, 7 p.m. $5-$14

➤ Grammy award-winning accordion master, vocalist and bandleader Terrence Simien and the Zydeco Experience turn Ashkenaz into a bayou juke joint Friday. Andre Nigoghossian gives a zydeco dance lesson half an hour before show time. Friday July 21, 8:30 p.m. Ashkenaz. $25-$30

➤ Survivors from San Francisco’s acid jazz age of the 1990s, the Broun Fellinis continue to bend time and space with their Afrofuturist excursions. A proton-power trio featuring David Boyce on saxophones and vocals, Kevin Carnes on drums and samples, and bassist Kirk Peterson, the Fellinis play two nights at the Ivy Room, with Skip the Needle opening Friday and MC Radio Active spinning Saturday. Friday-Saturday, July 21-22, 8 p.m. $20

➤ Friends of Five Creeks is hosting a Codornices Creek work party. Saturday’s event will focus on pulling invasive bindweed, so wear close-toed shoes and long pants. The group will meet at the north end of Fifth Street, on the Berkeley-Albany border. Saturday, July 22, 10 a.m. FREE

➤ The Downtown Berkeley Association is putting on the Front Row Arts Festival this Saturday. There will be vendor booths, food trucks and live music performances by ensembles including the SF Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble and the Berkeley Symphony’s brass quintet. Shattuck between Center and Allston will be closed to traffic. Saturday, July 22, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Downtown Berkeley Plaza 

Head West, an outdoor marketplace of 75 booths of makers, merchants, crafters and designers, is open on Fourth Street. Saturday, July 22, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 1717 Fourth St.   

➤ The city’s latest Music in the Park offering will feature reggae artist Rankin Scroo, who was born and raised in Jamaica. Saturday, July 22, 2-5 p.m. Willard Park. FREE

➤ A guitar maestro comfortable in just about any setting but best known as a rockabilly renegade, Jinx Jones brings his jazz trio with bassist Kenan O’Brien and Ken Own on drums and bongos back to Jupiter, where he’s been in the regular rotation of acts since 1996. Saturday, July 22, 7-10 p.m. FREE 

➤ Bay Area guitarist Scott O’Day leads his unorthodox tango trio with pianist Elyse Weakley and the deservedly ubiquitous bassist Daniel Fabricant at the Back Room, joined by special guest vocalist Verónica Freidkes from Buenos Aires. Saturday, July 22, 8 p.m. $20

➤ Pole and dance company Flux Vertical Theatre is hosting a live taping of its A Midsummer Night’s Dream show, which recreates the classic love story through the art of dance and aerial arts and adds a “sexy twist.” Ages 21+. Sunday, July 23, 7 p.m. 811 University Ave. $10-$50+

➤ Kala Art Institute is hosting a community figure drawing session. An unclothed model will be there for three hours so participants can practice figure drawing at their own pace. Ages 18+. Monday, July 24, 6 p.m. Kala Gallery. $20-$35

Big Bounce America, which claims to be the world’s “largest touring inflatable event,” is at Golden Gate Fields through July 30. $22-$45

➤ The Berkeley Shakespeare Company’s musical adaptation of Midsummer Night’s Dream runs on weekends through July.

➤ Central Works’ The Dignity Circle, a play that explores what makes people fall for Ponzi schemes, has been extended through July 30. Here’s our theater critic’s review. Berkeley City Club. $15-$40

Beyond Berkeley

Beast Crawl Literary Festival. Credit: Beast Crawl

➤ Universal Chan, a Berkeley-based Chan/Zen meditation center, is hosting a tea tasting centered on Tieguanyin tea at its Kensington location. Saturday, July 22, 3 p.m. $25 (RSVP)

➤ The Beast Crawl Literary Festival, launched in 2012, will take over 19 venues in downtown and Old Oakland this weekend. Bibliophiles will get to mingle with authors and other book lovers, discover recently released books, enjoy live spoken word and open mic performances, and get the chance to support local businesses in the area. The literary journey will begin at Latham Square, where attendees can pick up a print version of the festival map that lists all of the events taking place throughout the day. For those who prefer, there’s also an online map. Saturday, July 22, 3:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., see maps for specific events, Latham Square, 1611 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. 

➤ Oakland-based nonprofit ARTogether is hosting a public reading featuring Ingrid Rojas Contreras, the bestselling author of Fruit of the Drunken Tree, and Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, author of Children of the Land: a Memoir—two authors of immigrant backgrounds who have garnered accolades for their literary contributions. Sunday, July 30, 6 p.m. ARTogether Center, 1200 Harrison St., Oakland. FREE

If there’s an event you’d like us to consider for this roundup, email us at the-scene@berkeleyside.org. 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.

The Oaklandside’s Arts and Community reporter Azucena Rasilla contributed reporting to this story.

Iris Kwok covers the environment for Berkeleyside through a partnership with Report for America. A former music journalist, her work has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, KQED, San Francisco Examiner...

Freelancer Andrew Gilbert writes a weekly music column for Berkeleyside. Andy, who was born and raised in Los Angeles, covers a wide range of musical cultures, from Brazil and Mali to India and Ireland....