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Thursday, January 25

SBIFF starts – Hollywood moves 100 miles up the 101 to visit Santa Barbara along with more than 100 assorted features, independents, documentaries, foreign films, local entries, shorts and more as the Santa Barbara International Film Festival takes over the town for the next 11 day. Sienna Miller and Guy Pearce help kick off the extravaganza appearing in person for their new film, the opening night entry, “Factory Girl.” See “Festival in Focus” on page 30 for more in-depth coverage, and log on to www.sbfilmfestival.org for the complete lineup.

Grave concern – It’s not exactly whistling through the graveyard, but it’s hard not to smile when local historian David Petry, author of last year’s “The Best Last Place: a History of the Santa Barbara Cemetery,” takes visitors on a tour of the hillside grounds by the sea where famous actors, industrialists, authors, musicians, sports stars and many of the town's founders and leaders are buried. Petry is conducting tours on the last Thursday and Sunday of each month through October in celebration of the cemetery’s 140th anniversary. WHEN: 10 am to 12:30 pm today, 1 pm to 3:30 pm Sunday, WHERE: Cemetery Chapel, 901 Channel Drive, COST: $15, children 10-16, $5, INFO: 689-3423.

Window on the world luncheon – Pauline Baker, PhD., discusses “Weak and Failing States” at the next Channel City Club luncheon. Baker, the president of The Fund for Peace, will address questions about how we recognize weak, failing nations, what they signify and how the U.S. should respond. WHEN: 11:30 am, WHERE: Fess Parker DoubleTree Resort, 633 E. Cabrillo Blvd., COST: $35 ($10 discount for members), INFO: 884-6636 or www.channelcityclub.org.

Friday, January 26

Smokin’ singer – Here’s hoping they bring Al Jarreau into the Samala Showroom at the Chumash Casino Resort directly from an outside door – we wouldn’t want the innovative five-time Grammy-winning jazz-pop-R&B singer who has been described as having “an orchestra in his throat” to encounter the casino’s smoke-filled passageways on his walk to the stage, as concert-goers do. WHEN: 8 pm tonight and tomorrow, WHERE: 3400 Hwy. 246 in Santa Ynez, COST: $25-$75, INFO: (800) CHUMASH.

Saturday, January 27

Violin virtuoso – Fifteen-time Grammy Award winner Itzhak Perlman needs little introduction, but you should be aware that general public tickets are sold out, so the only way into this concert – where Perlman will perform with pianist Rohan De Silva – is through the purchase of the benefit dinner. VIP seating and a special post-concert dinner with Perlman at a private home are part of the package. Perlman’s masterclass with UCSB students at 11 am today is free and open to the public. WHEN: 8 pm, WHERE: UCSB’s Campbell Hall, COST: call, INFO: 893-3535.

Poetry reading – Due to local connections, Santa Barbara stands out among dozens of other communities across the country honoring William Stafford, the late former poet laureate of the United States. Perie Longo, who teaches psychology and poetry therapy at Antioch, and Jackson Wheeler, poet and author of “Swimming Past Iceland,” will read, and the pubic is invited to share their favorite Stafford poems as well. WHEN: 2 pm, WHERE: First Crossing Day Use Area on Paradise Road off of Highway 154, COST: free, INFO: willis@westmont.edu.

Summer Solstice art preview – Each year the organization that puts on Santa Barbara’s zaniest parade has a design competition to select the artwork that will be on the poster and the tee shirts for the festival. Entries for this year’s design, which were due yesterday, will hang at the Sojourner Café where you can vote for your favorite, although the final decision is determined by the Solstice Board of Directors. WHEN: Artists’ reception 3 pm to 5 pm today, exhibit on display through February 16, WHERE: 104 E. Canon Perdido St., COST: Art entry fee is $15, children $10; exhibit free, INFO: 965-3396.

Music Club matinee – Santa Barbara Music Club sponsors another fine free concert featuring Brahms’ Sonata in E-flat major performed by clarinetist Susie Groves and pianist Viva Knight; Kreisler’s Rondino on a Theme by Beethoven, Dvorak’s Sonatina, and Monti’s Csardas with violinist Randy Garacci and pianist Marian Gilbert; and a Mozart Sonata and Saygun’s “Sketches on Aksak Rhythms” with pianist Zeynep Ucbasaran. WHEN: 3 pm, WHERE: Faulkner Gallery, SB Public Library, 40 E. Anapamu St., COST: free, INFO: 683-0811 or www.sbmusicclub.org.

Members only – Tonight’s Santa Barbara Blues Society concert with country blues man John Long is a member appreciation show, so you can’t go if you don’t belong. The good news is that you can join the Blues Society right up until show time and get all the benefits of the oldest continuously running blues society in the United States. The event includes an auction featuring such items as the Epiphone B.B. King Lucille guitar donated by the Gibson Foundation and signed by many blues luminaries, including B.B. King, Dr. John, Bo Diddley, Koko Taylor and others. All proceeds go to support the society’s Blues For Youth program. WHEN: 7:30 pm, WHERE: Earl Warren Showgrounds, 3400 Calle Real at Las Positas, COST: Membership is $20 annually, or $60 lifetime, INFO: 897-0060.

Monday, January 29

Millman at Mind & Supermind – Dan Millman’s books – including “Way of the Peaceful Warrior,” “The Life You Were Born to Live” and “No Ordinary Moments” – have sold millions of copies in nearly 30 languages. A former champion gymnast, Stanford coach, college professor and martial arts instructor, Millman continues to present practical ways of combining a warrior spirit with a peaceful heart. Tonight’s lecture, “Mentors, Masters and the Search for Spirit,” chronicles his latest endeavors. WHEN: 7:30 pm, WHERE: Marjorie Luke Theatre at SB Jr. Hi, 721 E. Cota St., COST: free, INFO: 687-0812.

Royal address – His Royal Highness Prince Moulay Hicham of Morocco offers a free public lecture titled “The Arc of Crisis After Iraq: Confusion and Turmoil from the Mediterranean to the Subcontinent.” Prince Hicham, third in line to the throne and an ardent supporter of democracy, has pursued several independent initiatives around global humanitarian and social issues. He currently serves as a Regents’ Lecturer in the Law & Society Program at UCSB. WHEN: 8 pm, WHERE: UCSB’s Corwin Pavilion, INFO: 893-3535.

Tuesday, January 30

Interactive ensemble – Ten-time Grammy winner Bobby McFerrin leads his interactive singing group Voicestra in an entirely improvised program celebrating musical spontaneity. Considering what McFerrin did with untrained audience members at his last UCSB appearance, one can only imagine what a group of practiced associates can come up with. WHEN: 8 pm, WHERE: UCSB’s Campbell Hall, COST: $60, INFO: 893-3535.

Slacking off for a good cause – Makana, one of the new generation of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitarists – a seductive form of playing a loosely tuned guitar, often with a slide – headlines a Surfrider Benefit concert at SOhO. At 28, Makana already has 20 years of experience in integrating elements of folk, rock, classical, bluegrass, jazz and more into a world music pastiche, and has opened for the likes of Sting, Santana, Elvis Costello, No Doubt and Jack Johnson. His self-titled debut album was voted "Best CD" by the readers of the Honolulu Weekly, and "Best World Music Album" at the Hawaii Music Awards. WHEN: 8 pm, WHERE: 1221 State St., upstairs in Victoria Court, COST: $12, INFO: 962-7776.

Wednesday, January 31

History of metaphysics – UCSB religious studies professor Catherine Albanese, who traces the history of metaphysical religious beliefs dating back to the 17th century through modern-day “alternative health” gurus in her new book, "A Republic of Mind and Spirit: A Cultural History of American Metaphysical Religion," will lecture on the subject this afternoon. Albanese will also sign copies of the book at a program sponsored by the Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion and Public Life at UCSB. WHEN: 4 pm, WHERE: UCSB’s Humanities and Social Sciences Bldg., COST: free, INFO: 893-2317.

Athol’s ‘Island’ – The internationally recognized Market Theatre of Johannesburg presents “The Island,” the Athol Fugard play that is regarded as one of Apartheid South Africa’s greatest works of art. Applauded for their powerful acting and evocative storytelling, the Market Theatre has been renowned as the “Theatre of the Struggle,” introducing the world to many of South Africa’s leading playwrights and directors. “The Island,” which is the story of two political prisoners incarcerated in the notorious Robben Island prison as they prepare a performance of Sophocles’ Antigone for other inmates and prison staff, is considered to have been instrumental in changing international attitudes towards South Africa in the 1970s. WHEN: 8 pm, WHERE: UCSB’s Campbell Hall, COST: $40, INFO: 893-3535.