.Music Picks Dec 28—Jan 3





What do Steve Miller, the Grateful Dead, Bob Marley and Santana have in common? Don’t think about it too long. The answer is simple: local ensemble Troubadour and Friends, who mix up tunes by these artists in their set. They also play tunes by other like-minded bands—if you can deem anything by this hodgepodge of sources “like-minded.” Troubadour and Friends have been at it for more than 20 years, and leave virtually no genre unturned. All proceeds from this show will go to support the Dakota Access Line cause, with the intent of making sure the government honors their end of the peace treaty. AARON CARNES

INFO: 7:30 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $10. 335-2800.



Years ago, Santa Cruz was introduced to Tess Dunn, a talented youngster whose musical abilities helped bring awareness to cystic fibrosis—a fatal disease which Dunn has lived with since birth—and earned her the moniker “the young and the fearless.” Now Dunn is all grown up—she’s a seven-year veteran of the West Coast Vans Warped Tour, and she has four albums to her name, including her latest, Polarity, which she recorded under the moniker T3TRA. Described as a “creative wunderkind, a dynamic performer, and a compelling example of gritty girl power,” Dunn/T3TRA brings an electronic flair to her music for this one as she fearlessly forges her rocking, beautiful path. Proceeds benefit Cystic Fibrosis Research, Inc. CAT JOHNSON

INFO: 7:30 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $15/adv, $20/door. 479-1854.

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Remember when jazz was fun? This isn’t to disparage anyone that likes crazy no-rules-apply free jazz. But there was a time when jazz was top 40 music. The clarinet was the electric guitar, and people danced! Admit it, the second you hear some old-timey swing, you instantly crack a smile and tap your toes. Santa Cruz has an act that channels this era in the best way possible: Hot Club Pacific. It’s a little bit swing, but also a bit of that equally good-time-evoking gypsy jazz sound that was popular in Europe. AC

INFO: 7:30 p.m. Crow’s Nest, 2218 E. Cliff, Santa Cruz. $3. 476-4560.





Sicilian-born fingerstyle guitarist Peppino D’Agostino has spent decades honing a highly personal sound redolent of his Mediterranean roots, but also deeply informed by his love of European classical music, rock and jazz. While still unplugged, he’ll likely be drawing more on his rock roots than usual in this duo show with drummer Jeff Campitelli, a trap set powerhouse best known for his three-decade musical relationship with hi-octane guitar wiz Joe Satriani. A gifted composer and arranger, D’Agostino has also become a muse for other composers, and his latest album, Penumbra, features two pieces written for him by celebrated Brazilian guitarist Sergio Assad. ANDREW GILBERT

INFO: 7:30 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $15/adv, $17/door. 335-2526.



Orgone means “universal life force, a cosmic unit of energy”—a fitting name for L.A.’s resident powerhouse funk collective. The group’s organic blend of dirty soul combines funk and afro-disco with a rock edge. Fearless lead singer Adryon de León lights up the stage with her magnetic presence and captivating energy. Band members have collaborated and performed with the Roots, Al Green, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Thievery Corporation and more. Orgone’s founding guitarist Sergio Rios says, “We intend our music to have an inhibition-canceling effect,” the goal is to entice listeners to the dance floor to “own the freakiness that lives inside them.” Santa Cruz locals 7 Come 11 open. KATIE SMALL

INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $20/adv, $25/door. 479-1854.



Del the Funky Homosapien is best known as the founder of Oakland’s Hieroglyphics crew. But he’s done so much more it’s hard to know even where to begin. Personally, I like Deltron 3030, his collaboration with Dan the Automator and Kid Koala. It’s a mind-warping, sci-fi hip-hop classic. Del is only one of the impressive names of the mostly West Coast rappers taking the stage at Snow Sessions. Others include Bay Area favorite Andre Nickatina, Jurassic 5’s Chali 2na, Yukmouth—famous for weed anthem “I Got 5 On It”—with group Luniz, and Hieroglyphics’ A-Plus. AC

INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $25/adv, $29/door. 429-4135.


FRIDAY 12/30, SATURDAY 12/31



Reggae great Don Carlos grew up in a time and place—1970s Western Kingston, Jamaica—that birthed some of the finest reggae sounds and artists, including King Tubby, Junior Reid, King Jammy and Carlos’ own group, Black Uhuru. Now an elder statesman of the genre, Carlos is at it still, spreading his message of love, unity and justice around the world. On Friday and Saturday, he brings the show to Santa Cruz with back-to-back performances to ring in the new year. Also on the bill: Sol Horizon (Friday), Soulwise (Saturday) and DJ Spleece. CJ

INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $25-$40. 479-1854.





Santa Cruz locals Extra Large will be ushering in the New Year at the Crow’s Nest; the six-piece collective blends funk, Latin, rap, reggae and rock with contagious energy. Extra Large was founded in 1996 by frontman Russ Leal, with the remaining five members contributing keys, accordion, bass, guitar and percussion. The upbeat collective typically showcases a mix of covers and originals throughout their set. KS

INFO: 9:30 p.m. Crow’s Nest, 2218 East Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz. $15. 476-4560.



The Grateful Dead had a rich tradition of playing New Year’s Eve shows that ran well into the next day and ushered in the new with music, celebration, community, love and, yes, lots of twirly dancers. China Cats keeps the Dead tradition alive with outstanding tribute shows that blend the classic Dead sound with new grooves and a unique collective sound. Comprising veterans of the Bay Area jam band scene, the band is nicely situated to pull off an unforgettable performance to put 2016 behind us and move forward into the great unknown. CJ

INFO: 8 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $30/adv, $35/door. 335-2800.



Alternative rock out of Salinas. Thursday at Catalyst


High-energy Michael Jackson tribute. Friday at Don Quixote’s


Santa Cruz-based reggae, ska and punk band. Friday at Catalyst


Singalong with ukuleles, jugs, kazoos and more. Tuesday at Ugly Mug


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