Picks of the week: Music legends, local comedy and more

Composer Hans Zimmer plays guitar at one of his live performances.
Hans Zimmer Live/Courtesy

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You might already have your tickets to see a few of the household names on this list. Legends such as Hans Zimmer and Kendrick Lamar are certain to draw massive crowds, but they aren’t the only artists taking over the Bay next week. There’s a local improv comedy group, a youth orchestra and a jazz quintet; with so much to choose from, there’s no reason not to gather your friends for a spectacular evening in the Bay.

Friday, August 4 | jericho! Improv Comedy Show at The Musical Offering

jericho! Improv & Sketch Comedy is a student-run performance group at UC Berkeley. The comedy group was voted Best On-Campus Performance Group for this year’s Best of Berkeley. jericho! was formed in 2005, and although they’re famous for their live improv performances, they have also made popular digital shorts as well. This Friday’s performance at The Musical Offering on Bancroft Way will begin at 7:30 p.m. and is free of charge. Their formats are a blend of “Saturday Night Live” and “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” — so if you’re a fan of improv (and humor in general), you’re sure to have a good time at a jericho! show!

Friday, August 4 | Kendrick Lamar: The DAMN. Tour with Travis Scott and D.R.A.M.

DAMN. is one of the undisputed heavyweight albums of this year, and now Kendrick Lamar is bringing his hard-hitting masterpiece to Oracle Arena. In a published review, The Daily Californian hailed DAMN. as “one of Lamar’s most personal works” and “a highly circular, cyclical album.” Since its release, DAMN. has gone on to become Lamar’s third No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 — the strongest opening week since 2016’s Views by Drake.

Oracle Arena will be hosting Lamar supported by Travis Scott and D.R.A.M, and tickets are still available on Ticketmaster’s website.

Saturday, August 5 | Asian Youth Orchestra with Sarah Chang at Zellerbach Hall

Violinist Sarah Chang will join Asia’s premier pre-professional orchestra at Zellerbach Hall on August 5 at 8 p.m. The Asian Youth Orchestra features 107 young musicians from a dozen countries across Asia. Alumni of the orchestra have performed with the foremost orchestras all over the world. Guest soloist Sarah Chang debuted with the New York Philharmonic at the age of eight and has gone on to perform internationally; she was named an artistic ambassador by the U.S. Department of State in 2011.

The performance at Zellerbach will be conducted by co-founder and artistic director Richard Pontzious for performances of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, Strauss’ “Don Juan” and Sibelius’ Violin Concerto. Tickets start at $18 for children and $36 for adults, and they can be purchased on the Cal Performances website. Keep an eye out for The Daily Californian Arts & Entertainment’s coverage of the event next week!

Saturday, August 5 | Experience Jazz at Lesher Center

Presented by the Diablo Regional Arts Association, the Experience Jazz at Lesher Center will return this weekend with a sixth season of jazz performances. This year features several artists: the Terell Stafford Quintet, Cyrille Aimée, the Monty Alexander Trio, and Warren Wolf with the Edward Simon Quintet and special guest Tia Fuller, each playing a Saturday from August 5 to August 26, with two performances per night — one at 5 p.m. and one at 8 p.m.

This week is the opening of the season, and it features the Terell Stafford Quintet — led by jazz trumpeter Terell Stafford. Stafford is director of jazz studies at the Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University, and has also worked with the Juilliard School’s jazz program in the past. Known for his love of melody and spirited, adventurous lyricism, Stafford has been playing since the age of 13, earning a degree in classical trumpet performance from Rutgers University in 1993 as well as studying jazz with the University of Maryland jazz band.

The performances will be held at the Margaret Lesher Theatre at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek. New subscriptions and tickets for single concerts are for sale. New subscriptions are $130 for all four performances and single tickets are $40 each.

Wednesday, August 9 | Hans Zimmer at Hearst Greek Theatre

If there’s any local stage grand enough and scenic enough to host the bombastic, iconic scores of composer Hans Zimmer, it’s the Hearst Greek Theatre. Known for his contributions to some of the biggest films of the last three decades — “The Dark Knight,” “Inception,” “The Lion King,” “Interstellar,” “Gladiator,” “Rain Man,” “Pearl Harbor,” “Sherlock Holmes,” “Dunkirk” and the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise to name a few — Zimmer has renewed his tour after a year of sold-out shows last year. He brings with him lighting designer Marc Brickman, who has worked with Pink Floyd and Barbra Streisand — and is responsible for the lighting of the Empire State Building in New York City.

Tickets are on sale at Ticketmaster, and currently, the cheapest options are $85.

Imad Pasha is the arts & entertainment editor. Contact him at [email protected]. Tweet him at @prappleizer. Contact Sophie-Marie Prime at [email protected].

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