Never miss local events! Sign up for Berkeleyside’s arts and culture newsletter, The Scene. And check out our new roundup of affordable things to do anytime in Berkeley.

Around Berkeley

Band in formalwear — seven men and a woman in fancy hat and fur-lined robe
Lavay Smith and her Red Hot Skillet Lickers will play a free concert on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023 at Fourth Street. Courtesy: Fourth Street

📚 The Arts Research Center presents the season’s first Poetry & the Senses reading with Latinx poets and multimedia artists J. Michael Martinez, who won the Academy of American Poets’ Walt Whitman Award for 2009’s Heredities, and aracelis girmay, editor of So We Can Know: Writers of Color on Pregnancy, Loss, Abortion, and Birth and a finalist for the Neustadt International Prize for Literature. A conversation with professor John Alba Cutler follows their readings. Thursday, Sept. 28, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Maude Fife Room, 315 Wheeler Hall. FREE

💀 Making their Berkeley debut, the Latin Dead are an exciting new entry into the expansive world of Grateful Dead explorers featuring Grammy Award-winning Spanish Harlem Orchestra pianist and arranger Oscar Hernandez and guitarist/vocalist John Kadlecik (whose Dead credentials include tours with Furthur, Dark Star Orchestra and Melvin Seals & JGB). Friday, Sept. 29, 8 p.m.-midnight. Cornerstone. $25-$29

💃🏾 An award-winning dancer, musician, composer, choreographer and Bay Area institution, Mahealani Uchiyama presents an evening of Hawaiian and Polynesian dance and music as she starts celebrating the 30th year of directing the Mahea Uchiyama Center for International Dance (see below). Friday, Sept. 29, 8 p.m. Ashkenaz. $20-$25

🎶 Featuring Mohsen Amini on concertina, Graeme Armstrong on guitar, and Benedict Morris on fiddle, the great Scottish trio Talisk profoundly reimagines traditional Celtic idioms through a cosmopolitan perspective and intricate arrangements. Friday, Sept. 29, 8 p.m. Freight & Salvage. $24

🕺 Closing down Delaware at Fourth Street to turn the intersection into a jump blues joint, “Dancing in the Street” features San Francisco’s stylish queen of swing dance revelry Lavay Smith and her Red Hot Skillet Lickers. Saturday, Sept. 30, 2-4 p.m. FREE

📽️ Cambodian director Kavich Neang’s White Building (2021), which tells the story of Samnang, a 20-year-old facing the demolition of his lifelong home, will have its Bay Area premiere at BAMPFA. The film showing is the latest installment of BAMPFA’s series on Cambodian cinema in partnership with the Bophana Audiovisual Resource Center. Saturday, Sept. 30, 5 p.m. $14

🎶 Incandescent jazz vocalist Jackie Ryan celebrates her Mexican heritage on her latest album Recuerdos De Mi Madre, a gorgeous set of Latin American Songbook standards featuring a stellar band with pianist Marco Diaz, bassist Saúl Sierra, percussionists John Santos and Louie Romero, violinist Jeremy Cohen, and trumpeter Steffen Kuehn. Saturday, Sept. 30, 8 p.m. California Jazz Conservatory. $30

📽️ The final presentation in the Rec Department’s Movies In the Park series features the 2013 Disney nature documentary Wings of Life. Saturday, Sept. 30, 7 p.m. Shorebird Park. FREE (no alcohol, limited parking)

💃🏾 The Mahea Uchiyama Center for International Dance kicks off an extended 30th anniversary celebration with an open house at the Dwight Way studio, offering free dance and music classes. Saturday, Sept. 30, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. FREE (registration required, space limited)

🌲 Where the Wild Things Grow is an autumn foraging discussion and short walk around the natural areas surrounding Tilden’s visitor center that’s focused on identifying the vast array of edible and useful plants all around us and how they were and are still used today by Indigenous peoples. Sunday, Oct. 1, 11a.m. FREE

🤣 Looking for a laugh? Berkeley Improv is having its student showcase at 2727 California St. It’ll feature performances by students from its advanced level comedy improv class and three duos. Sunday, Oct. 1, 7 p.m. FREE (donations welcome)

🐺 Shotgun Players’ Wolf Play is based on actual incidents where adopted parents posted online about their desire to “re-home” their unwanted adopted children. Read our story. Through Oct. 1. Ashby Stage. $26-$46

📻 Celebrate hip-hop’s 50th birthday by making collage art while listening to hip-hop at the library (all materials will be provided). Recommended for ages 12 and older. Saturday, Sept. 30, 2 p.m. Tarea Hall Pittman South Branch. FREE 

📚San Francisco cartoonist Lawrence Lindell will discuss his new graphic novel, Blackward, at Pegasus Books’ downtown Berkeley store. The story, set in a bookstore inspired by Oakland’s Marcus Books, centers around a group of four queer and nonbinary Black friends who find community through zines. The conversation will be moderated by visual storyteller Fred Noland and be followed by a book signing. Tuesday, Oct. 3, 7 p.m. FREE

🧑‍🦽Learn about the history of the Disability Rights Movement and its links to the UC Berkeley campus at a Doe Library exhibit on view through February 2024. To kick off Disability Awareness Month, UC Berkeley plans to host two guided tours this week of the exhibit, titled “A Camp, a Campus, and a Disability Revolution.” Tuesday-Wednesday, Oct. 3-4, 4 p.m. Doe Library (North Entrance). FREE (RSVP required)

⚙️ The city’s office of economic development is hosting Berkeley Manufacturing Week, with tours of the Boichik Bagels, TCHO and Takara Sake factories and more. In case art is more down your alley: You’ll also be able to see the Artworks Foundry, tour the Adams & Chittenden Scientific Glass Coop and go behind-the-scenes at the Berkeley Potters’ Guild. Oct. 2-6. FREE 

🎭 Aurora Theater’s comedic Born With Teeth, which imagines the relationship when Shakespeare and Marlowe meet, closes Sunday. Read our story. Through Oct. 1. $20-$65

🎤 New York Times columnist and Vox founder Ezra Klein will give a talk at UC Berkeley exploring California’s deepest problems — from skyrocketing housing costs to traffic and lagging developments in clean energy. Thursday, Oct. 5, 4 p.m. Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley. $26-$58

Beyond Berkeley

Two steins of beer coming together in a cheers.
Commemorative steins from Oaktoberfest in the Dimond. Courtesy Oaktoberfest in the Dimond Credit: Oaktoberfest in the Dimond

🥁 Berkeley native James “StickNasty” Small, a drummer who’s been touring internationally with Fantastic Negrito, celebrates the release of his debut album A Universal Love Language with his full band and special guest Honey Knuckles. Friday, Sept. 29, 7 p.m. Minna Gallery, San Francisco. $35

📚 Booksmith and Berkeley Arts & Letters present historian and podcast star Heather Cox Richardson discussing her book Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America with Rebecca Solnit, author most recently of Orwell’s Roses and editor of Not Too Late: Changing the Climate Story from Despair to Possibility. Wednesday, Oct. 4, First Presbyterian Church of Oakland. $36-$46 (Sold out, but tickets may open up via

🍺 Over 200 local craft brews from more than 50 breweries, five stages with live music, hundreds of vendors, German music and dance (including a traditional performance by Deutscher Musikverein of San Francisco), and lots of activities for the entire family are just some of what you can expect at this year’s Oaktoberfest in Oakland’s Dimond District. While the fest is free to attend, drinks and food are not. Proceeds go to support improvement projects, community development programs, and future events in Oakland’s Dimond District. Saturday, Sept. 30, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 1, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Fruitvale Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard, Oakland.

If there’s an event you’d like us to consider for this roundup, email us at 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.

"*" indicates required fields

See an error that needs correcting? Have a tip, question or suggestion? Drop us a line.

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....