Live music highlights for the week of March 21, 2018.
Rumble Steelskin is here to “kick your ass,” as guitarist Jimmy Cardarelli likes to say. Since 2014, the band has delivered gimmick-free, straight-down-the-barrel heavy metal and hard rock ’n’ roll in the vein of AC/DC, Metallica, Black Sabbath and more. This Thursday, they join local metal peers Hammerdown and Bon-Scott-era AC/DC tribute band Touch’d Too Much. Just beware of the morning after bangover. MAT WEIR
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $7. 429-4135.
The New York Times called Dumpstaphunk “the best funk band from New Orleans right now.” That’s saying a lot, obviously, but whether or not anyone can make a definitive statement about the top New Orleans funk band, you have to admit that Dumpstaphunk brings it in a way that will make you wonder if Doc Brown sent you back in time in his DeLorean. Conceived and led by Ivan Neville, son of Aaron Neville, you won’t regret dancing your ass off to this band. AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $26/adv, $30/door. 479-1854.
LOS AMIGOS INVISIBLES
Los Amigos Invisibles’ high-energy live shows are the stuff of legend in countries all over the planet, from Australia to Zimbabwe. The Venezuelan group’s sound isn’t solely bouncy beats—with influences from acid jazz and psych-rock cluttering up the dance back beats, you’ll find yourself “tripping out” a little on the dance floor. AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $30/adv, $35/door. 479-1854.
One of 12 kids, singer-songwriter Martin Sexton picked up the guitar at 14. Now, 30-plus years later, Sexton is an award-winning artist known for his down-to-earth demeanor and real-deal approach to life and music. With a smooth, soulful voice that blends rock and folk, a fiercely independent spirit, and a reputation for being a musician’s musician, Sexton has built a base of loyal fans who, like him, are in it for the long haul. CJ
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $25/adv, $28/door. 423-1338.
Singer-songwriter Natalie Carol left the security and familiarity of Little Rock, Arkansas a decade ago for the Upside Down—or as it’s better known, Los Angeles. Once there, she formed Valley Queen, combining her earnest, sort of alt-country songwriting chops with her bandmates’ music to create a sound that takes elements of ’70s Laurel Canyon folk-rock and ’80s arena rock. AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $10/adv, $12/door. 429-6994.
When Kalani Pe’a was diagnosed with a speech disorder at the age of 4, his parents turned to music, teaching the youngster songs to help him pronounce his words. Apparently the strategy worked—and then some. Pe’a is now a Grammy-winning artist, considered one of Hawaii’s brightest new stars. The Hilo-born, Maui-based singer-songwriter draws from the rich traditions of Hawaiian music and adds his own flair and tastes to keep traditional songs and styles alive and relevant to new generations of listeners. CJ
INFO: 7 p.m. Flynn’s Cabaret, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $23/adv, $25/door. 335-2800.
Ever wanted to play a harp? You’ll get your chance this Sunday at the 13th annual Santa Cruz Harp Festival. A collaboration between the Community Music School and the MAH, the festival is an exploration of “modern and historic music from all over the world on harps of all kinds.” There will be featured artists and a harp “petting zoo.” Come early to catch the MAH’s free, interactive harp art project, “Harp Strings and Harmony,” which begins at 11 a.m. CJ
INFO: 2 p.m. Museum of Art and History, 705 Front St., Santa Cruz. Free. 429-1964.
Jazzmeia Horn may not have been destined to become a jazz singer, but she admits that her given name pointed her in that direction as a musically inspired young teen. At 26, the Dallas native has quickly earned a stellar reputation in New York City as a disarmingly confident young improviser with a big, gorgeous voice and surfeit of ideas. She won a series of prestigious competitions, culminating in her 2015 triumph at the Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Competition (with Veronica Swift and South Africa’s Vuyolwethu Sotashe taking second and third, respectively). Her debut album, 2017’s A Social Call, earned a Grammy nomination and confirmed her status as a rising star. She hits California for a series of gigs with a blazing young band featuring drummer Henry Conerway III, bassist Barry Stephenson, and pianist Keith Brown (son of piano great Donald Brown). ANDREW GILBERT
INFO: 7 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $25/adv, $30/door. 427-2227.
For more than half of the last decade Russian punks Pussy Riot have taken the world by storm with their pro-women message of revolution. Through music, performance art and progressive ideology Pussy Riot has challenged everything from gender norms to the Russian government and even Vladimir Putin himself. This year, they come to Santa Cruz with a punk rock show unlike any other in the midst of an international political climate that makes them seem more needed now than ever. MW
INFO: 8 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $25. 429-4135.
IN THE QUEUE
SARAH ELIZABETH CHARLES
New York-based vocalist/composer. Thursday at Kuumbwa
Jamband supergroup. Friday at Flynn’s Cabaret
Indie rocker out of Richmond, Virginia. Friday at Crepe Place
James Durbin and company’s final show. Friday at Catalyst
PATRICK MCGUIRE & RYE DAWN
Folk-blues duo. Saturday at Michael’s on Main