In and around Berkeley: Scottish fiddling, Green Home Tour, cooking demo

Don't miss: Himalayan Fair celebrates 40 years

The fair at Live Oak Park, held annually since 1983, will showcase vendors, crafts, music, dance and food from Himalayan regions. Saturday-Sunday, May 20-21.

Around Berkeley

The San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers. Credit: Caroline Testard

➤ Six dozen Scottish fiddlers are coming to Freight & Salvage. Led by maestro Alasdair Fraser, the pied-piper of traditional Scottish music, the multi-generational throng of musicians includes a Berkeley heart doctor who became hooked on the fiddle after attending a camp in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Friday, May 19. 8 p.m. $24

➤ Today is Bike to Work Day across the East Bay, with free tote bags being given out at multiple locations in and around Berkeley. The festivities culminate in an evening happy hour hosted by Walk Oakland Bike Oakland at 900 Washington St. Thursday, May 18. RSVP for the happy hour 

➤ Guitarist Simon Lunche — whose Berkeley band The Blondies formed when he was 9 and later put out a coming-of-age album addressing heavy themes like sexual assault — is now 24. He’s returning to Berkeley to play a show with old friends at Cornerstone featuring new music about life growing up in the city. Saturday, May 20. 7:30 p.m. Billy Bob Thornton and the Boxmasters. $25

Shotgun Players’ Yerma, a lyrical play set in ’30s Southern California that explores infertility and feminism, will run through mid-June. Pay-what-you-can previews start Saturday, May 20. $8-$40

➤ During the virtual East Bay Green Home Tour, East Bay residents will share what actions they’re taking to be more sustainable and combat climate change at home. Saturday, May 20. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. FREE 

➤ Chef Helga Alessio will be giving a cooking demonstration in partnership with the Ecology Center using farmers market ingredients. Saturday, May 20, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Downtown Berkeley Farmers Market. FREE

➤ The Berkeley Garden Club and ACCI Gallery are co-hosting an Art in the Garden Tour, which includes six home gardens in Berkeley. Saturday, May 20. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. $35

➤ Author Shanthi Sekaran reads from her new pandemic-inspired book Boomi's Boombox at Mrs. Dalloway’s. Tuesday, May 23. 5 p.m. FREE (registration encouraged) 

Want to sing with Bobby McFerrin?

Credit: Petra Hajska

Ever dream of singing with a winner of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award? For the past two years Bobby McFerrin has been leading Circlesongs at Freight & Salvage intermittently on Monday afternoons in a hybrid gathering that’s part performance, part open mic, and all play. 

Seated on stage flanked by his recently formed a cappella quintet Motion with David Worm, Bryan Dyer, Tammi Brown, and Berkeley’s Destani Wolf, the maestro of spontaneous invention maintains a Buddha-like calm (if Siddhartha Gautama was given to making side-of-the-mouth wise cracks in an Oxford accent while while sipping from an ever-present mug of tea). 

At some point in the proceedings, participants are invited to join the fray with vocals or an instrument to shape the sonic flow emanating from McFerrin and Motion. 

In frail health as he contends with Parkinson’s, McFerrin has experienced a creative rebirth at the venue after a period of depression partly brought on by struggles with his voice. His longtime manager, producer and creative co-conspirator Linda Goldstein encouraged him to take on a regular situation, assuring him that like late-career Billie Holiday he retained the deepest musicality. 

“I might not be as accurate intonation wise,” McFerrin said. “But I still have the creative chops.”

Next Circlesong event: Monday, May 22. 12 p.m. $35
Motion's evening concerts: Thursday-Friday, June 1-2. 8 p.m. $35

Beyond Berkeley

Mistah F.A.B., from the documentary We Were Hyphy. Credit: Larry Madrigal

➤ Oakland rap icon Mistah F.A.B. will take the stage with other artists who, like him, played an instrumental role in bringing hyphy music to the masses. Thursday, May 18. 8 p.m. The New Parish, Oakland. $35

➤ Berkeley pianist Sarah Cahill joins the California Symphony for the world premiere of Viet Cuong’s “Stargazer” at Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center For the Arts. Saturday-Sunday, May 20-21. $20-$79 

➤ The Friends of the Kensington Library is holding a book sale. Pick up hardcovers for $1 and paperbacks for 50 cents. Sunday, May 21. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 61 Arlington Ave.

Sinbad the Sail inspired new Berkeley mural

Credit: Mokhtar Paki

Berkeley artist Mokhtar Paki’s new mural at the corner of Dwight Way and Sacramento Street is named after the sailor in the folk classic One Thousand and One Nights who travels throughout the Middle East, North Africa and South Asian territories in search of happiness. 

Paki said he sees parallels in the story of Sinbad to the mass migration from North Africa and the Middle East that started in 2016, and the violent response toward refugees and asylum seekers.

The mural depicts around 400 people packed tightly into a boat, including the faces of roughly a dozen real immigrants from Berkeley. One of the faces in the mural is that of his own niece, Sanaz, who had tried to escape Iran through the Persian Gulf and drowned at age 5. 

“This is a story of me and what I see and so my Sinbad Voyage is [a] mythological move, but at the same time, it’s very real,” Paki said.

Cameras rolling in Strawberry Creek Park

Credit: Zac Farber

If you were walking through the park on Mother’s Day, you may have come across a cop with his gun drawn, a man face down on the pavement and a camera crew filming it all. 

Walk a Mile in My Shoes, a short movie from local production company Town Media, wrapped up filming in Berkeley Sunday. The crew spent two days filming in Berkeley — inside and outside Berkeley Youth Alternatives and along Bonar Street.

“We take innate racism and show it in a reverse way to hopefully facilitate discussion and healing,” said Al Attles, the film’s writer. “A young man on his way to a job interview to be able to provide for his expectant wife is wrongly accused of doing something he didn’t do — and there’s an awful conclusion.”

See you next week

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Illustration: Richy Sánchez Ayala.

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