Last year anthropology professor George Miller, director of Cal State Hayward's C.E. Smith Museum, created a virtual tour of the Peruvian "lost city" of Machu Picchu at the museum, with intricate 360-degree views of the sacred site high in the Andes Mountains that made it feel like an Indy Jones or Lara Croft video game. How, exactly, did he do that? Miller has been waiting for you to ask. This afternoon at CSUH's Concord campus, he discusses his research and working methods as well as the production of the multimedia show Machu Picchu: Unveiling the Mystery of the Incas as part of the SCHOLAR-OLLI Lecture Series. The Virtual Machu Picchu talk begins at 4 p.m. in the Oak Room of the CSUH-Concord library building, 4700 Ygnacio Valley Rd. Admission is $3. Info: 925-602-6776.
Got the winter blahs already? Want to feel the warm sea breeze of the islands, at least in your ears? Ease on down to the San Leandro Library (300 Estudillo Ave.) this evening for your own private Hawaiian minivacation with ukulele master Herb Ohta Jr. and slack-key guitar legend Patrick Landeza. Ohta follows in his father's footsteps as a uke virtuoso: The thirtysomething Hawaiian native not only channels the elder Ohta-san's sound, but also that of island traditional musicians Ledward Kaapana and Eddie Kamae. Landeza is the leading exponent of new-style slack-key guitar, or ki ho'alu. Together they'll serve up a boatload of "Mele Kalikimaka" holiday tunes with the true Hawaiian cowboy touch. If you miss them this evening (7:30), you can catch Ohta and Landeza at Berkeley's Freight & Salvage on Sunday. Call 510-452-4266 for info on tonight's show.
"They're so good, they scare me," Dave Brubeck once said of the Brubeck Institute Jazz Sextet. For the legendary jazz pianist ("Take Five," "Blue Rondo à la Turk") to say that, the group -- pianist Tobin Chodos, drummer Justin Brown, bassist Joe Sanders, trumpeter Anthony Coleman, tenor sax player Scott McGinty, and alto sax Mark Zaleski -- must be on some sort of separate plane of existence. Tonight at 8 p.m. at the Jazzschool in Berkeley (2087 Addison St., 510-845-5373), the straight-ahead sextet from University of the Pacific's Brubeck Institute in Stockton are joined onstage by New York bassist Rufus Reid, who has recorded all over the place (Dexter Gordon, Art Farmer, Eddie Harris, Kenny Burrell) and lately has emerged as a composer. They'll tour the Gershwin, Berlin, and Porter songbooks, i.e., the 20th-century pop classics. Info: Jazzschool.com
'Tis the season for holiday celebrations, religious and otherwise. The Black Repertory Theatre production of Born to Be King fits into the former category -- a gospel-music-tinged Nativity pageant starring Black Repertory Group's resident ball of fire, actor, playwright, and producer Mary Ann Tidwell. The play is written and directed by Sister Herberta Clark, a member of Bethlehem Temple Church of God in Berkeley, and before this afternoon was performed only in church. Now it's on the BRG stage, featuring veteran performer Clarence Ray Johnson Jr., TV actors Hakeem and Devon Dunn, Janice Tidwell Bowers, and American Idol contestant Shyrain Burns, as well as Ms. Tidwell Broussard -- in a one-time-only show at 5:30 p.m., at the Black Rep, 3201 Adeline St. in South Berkeley. Donation is $13 in advance (510-486-1320), $15 at the door, as a fund-raiser to benefit programs for seniors. Info: Black RepertoryGroup.org
Victoria Boutenko, her husband Igor, and their children Valya and Sergei used to be in bad shape, suffering variously from such maladies as diabetes, a hyperthyroid condition, asthma, and arthritis. Then they started eating raw food. They got healthy and stayed that way, Boutenko says, and now after ten years without cooking, the Ashland, Oregon, author and raw-food evangelist and her brood preside over a Web site (RawFamily.com), a series of how-to books, CDs, and related products (blenders, etc.); and culinary events like this afternoon's Miracles of Raw Food at Café Muse in the Berkeley Art Museum, 2621 Durant Ave., Berkeley. From 1 to 3 p.m., the Boutenkos will discuss the benefits of uncooked foodstuffs, with samples to try out. That session costs $5 at the door. Then from 3 to 5 p.m., there's a raw-food-prep class ($20), where you can learn to make veggie burgers, cakes, velvet chocolate, and other goodies.
Ever admire the architecture of the Curran Theater in SF? It was designed by Alfred Henry Jacobs, the architect responsible for the San Francisco Press Club building as well as two unfortunately defunct movie palaces, the Paramount and the State on Market Street. Jacobs (1882-1954) and his career are celebrated in an exhibition at Berkeley's Magnes Museum, Case Study: Alfred Henry Jacobs, Architect -- featuring photos and documents from the Bay Area resident's life and times. Now through January 16 at 2911 Russell St., 510-549-6950 or Magnes.org
TUE 14 "
Every time I see him, I keep looking around to see where the other musicians are," says one longtime Charlie Hunter fan about the Brooklyn, NY-based guitarist's ability to wring guitar, bass, and a wide variety of synthesized sounds from his custom-built eight-string axe. Some observers have even compared his guitar tone to a Hammond B-3 organ, an apt comparison because in the manner of the classic B-3 trios, Hunter doesn't need a lot of personnel to produce a fat, multilevel wall of sound. He could take his new band to work in a tuk-tuk. The Ropeadope CD Friends Seen and Unseen was a typically groovecentric Hunter romp, the first trio recording he's ever done -- and that same band, with John Ellis on sax and Derrek Phillips on drums, checks into Yoshi's this evening (8 and 10 p.m.) for the opening sets of a six-night return to his Berkeley-Oakland roots. Info: Yoshis.com and CharlieHunter.com
Culture Spy - April 20, 9:52 AM
Culture Spy - April 13, 12:18 PM