On a high note

Marvin Hamlisch is most known for what he’s done off stage. The award-winning Jewish music prodigy composed the score for “A Chorus Line,” “The Sting,” “The Way We Were” and much more. Hamlisch will take center stage this weekend to tell stories about his career and perform many of his hits on the piano with vocal accompaniment by Mark McVeigh.

4 p.m. Sunday, May 6 at JCC of San Francisco, 3200 California St., S.F. $72-$85.


The origins of hope

“Hatikvah” is familiar around the world as the Israeli national anthem. Fittingly, the song, like Zionism and the Jewish people, has a long history that spans centuries and continents, evolving through Romanian folk songs, the first settlements in Israel and modern hip-hop music. Israeli pianist and musicologist Astrith Baltsan will take audience members through the history of “Hatikvah” (“The Hope”) with an electrifying combination of performance, lecture and video.

7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 10 at Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. $30-$40.



Fred Lifsitz and Friends. Violinist in the Alexander String Quartet plays Bach, Bloch (“Baal Shem Suite”), Bartok and Vieuxtemps. At Congregation B’nai Emunah, 3595 Taraval St., S.F. 3:30 p.m. $20.


“The Musical Genius of Leonard Cohen.” Listen to Cohen’s songs and learn about the Jewish texts that inspired them. Also May 16. At Congregation Beth Chaim, 1800 Holbrook Drive, Danville. 7 p.m. Free. RSVP to (925) 736-7146.


Yiddish album release concert. Heather Klein’s Inextinguishable Trio performs Holocaust poetry set to music by composer Steven Greenman. At JCC East Bay, 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley. 7:30 p.m. $10.


“The Jewish Fiddler.” Cookie Segelstein, founder of the klezmer group Veretski Pass, explores the tradition of Jewish violin music. At BJE Jewish Community Library, 1835 Ellis St., S.F. 7 p.m. Free.