Picks of the week: September kicks off with highlights from music, comedy

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If you missed out on making Labor Day plans, fear not — the first week of September is packed with music and comedy events, from late weeknight shows in the city to on-campus afternoon and evening performances. And if you’re worried about this weekend’s heat wave bleeding into next week, worry not — most of these events are indoors.

Wednesday, Sept. 6 | Harold Night at Endgames Improv

The Harold is improv’s most well-known longform format — it involves creating three sets of three scenes, with interrelated narratives or “games,” which are the frameworks for jokes that are routinely repeated. It’s also one of improv’s most challenging structures, and many teams, including Paint Dept. and JACKSON at Endgames Improv, are dedicated to perfecting it. Endgames Improv is a popular venue for improvisers of all different skill levels, offering not only shows from house teams, but also jam sessions and improv training classes. This Wednesday at 9 p.m., Paint Dept. and JACKSON will each be performing Harolds; tickets will be $5 at the door and the show will take place in the Stage Werx Theatre in San Francisco.

Thursday, Sept. 7 | CelliPOP

[email protected] — UC Berkeley’s cello ensemble — returns this fall semester with concerts Thursday and Friday afternoons on Sproul Plaza. They’ll be performing a mixture of both classical and pop music, including songs from their repertoire as well as new pieces. If you’re interested in auditioning for the group, they will be holding auditions Saturday and Sunday; signups can be found here. The group, which is composed of members from a huge variety of social and academic backgrounds, was founded in 2012 in an effort to highlight the contemporary applications of the cello and create a community for cellists. Their Thursday performance, which begins at 12:45 p.m., will be one you won’t want to miss.

Friday, Sept. 8 | ASUC SUPERB Presents: An Evening with Joe Mande

Joe Mande has certainly made his way around the comedy scene — his name is tied to television sensations “Parks and Recreation,” “Modern Family” and “Master of None.”  Following an opening act from Annie Lederman of “Girl Code” starting at 9 p.m., Mande will take the stage at Pauley Ballroom and perform what is slated to be a phenomenal stand-up set. Mande’s stand-up has been featured on “Conan” and Comedy Central, as well as on his own Netflix special. Admission is free with a UC Berkeley ID, but it’s best to get there right when the doors open, as seating is first come, first served.

Saturday, Sept. 9 | Mary J. Blige at Paramount Theatre – Oakland

R&B legend Mary J. Blige will be arriving at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland on Saturday as part of her “Strength of a Woman” tour. Blige has nine Grammy Awards under her belt, and no less than 30 nominations — a testament to her incredible work as a hip-hop and soul singer. Often considered one of the greatest performers of the last three decades, Blige brings a powerful, gritty presence to her previous albums, including What’s the 411? and My Life. The show will begin at 8 p.m., and it will certainly be a concert to remember.

Sunday, Sept. 10 | Pascuala Ilabaca y Fauna and LoCura at Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center

Pascuala Ilabaca is a beloved Chilean singer and accordionist who blends several musical genres — pop, rock and even jazz, to name a few — together with traditional Chilean, Indian and Mexican styles. The show at the Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center will be Ilabaca and her group Fauna’s first Bay Area concert, preceding their U.S. tour, which is kicking off this fall. Pascuala Ilabaca y Fauna will share the evening with LoCura, a native Bay Area band that exists at the intersection of Latin American music (including rumba and flamenco), rap and reggae. The Sunday night show will begin at 8 p.m., and tickets will be available for $20 or $15 with a student ID.

Shannon O’Hara is the arts & entertainment editor. Contact her at [email protected].