.Things to do in Santa Cruz




Musical child prodigies typically make their mark in the classical arena. But Indonesian pianist Joey Alexander became a certified jazz prodigy in 2015 when he released his first album as an 11-year-old protege of Wynton Marsalis. In doing so, he became the first Indonesian musician to chart on the Billboard 200. Today, at 20, he’s a recording veteran, releasing his seventh album as a bandleader, “Continuance,” in 2023. It includes five original compositions, evidence of his early classical training and spellbinding technique. At Kuumbwa, Alexander will collaborate with bassist Kris Funn and drummer Jonathan Barber. DAN EMERSON

INFO: 7pm, Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $57.75/adv, $63/door 427-2227.

secure document shredding




It doesn’t get more fun than Hot Flash Heat Wave, a group of childhood best friends from Davis who have found their way to San Francisco rock ‘n’ roll heaven. With unquestionably catchy songs like “Gutter Girl” on their 2015 breakout Neopolitan, the band hit the scene with a shimmery surf-pop sound. Their 2022 album Sportswear finds them trading in some of their vintage rock romance for a more synthy cinematic vibe, punctuated by some psychedelia and goth. This band doesn’t sit still, and no matter what direction they go, they always seem to carry dreamy Day-Glo energy with them. ADDIE MAHMASSANI

INFO: 9pm, The Catalyst, 1101 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $22 adv/$25 door. 713-5492.



Micah Schnabel of Columbus, Ohio, is one of those artists who seems to have tapped into a secret, endless source of motivation. Indie to the core, the singer-songwriter is a prolific lyricist with an unflinching eye for the absurdities of modern life. Those who found Lana Del Rey’s Norman Fucking Rockwell a bit too glamorous to relate to will delight in the fact that Schnabel did it first with his 2017 album Your New Norman Rockwell. What’s more, Schnabel has just published his second novel, a pandemic-born story about a struggling entertainer who can’t give up on his calling, titled The Clown Watches the Clock. AM 

INFO: 8pm, The Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz. $10. 429-6994.




Phutureprimitive is the musical moniker of Rain, a combination cinematographer-photographer-DJ who lives his life searching for the Truth with a capital T. Rain’s music is trancelike, building slowly, infusing meaning into everything he does. Phutureprimitive focuses on the interplay of light and sound, influencing the body’s rhythms to create a potentially spiritual experience. Fans of Coachella’s Yuma tent and folks counting the hours until the next Burning Man will find everything they love at the Phutureprimitive show, where the beat will surely drop at just the right moment. JESSICA IRISH

INFO: 8pm, Felton Music Hall, 6275 Highway 9, Felton. $23/adv, $26/door. 704-7113.



In the Before Times of the early to mid-’00s, an explosion of bands hit the scene, all playing different types of fusion rock. The music quickly grew commercial via summer festivals and Hot Topic sales, and genres like metalcore and deathcore got a bum wrap. They were—often unfairly—lumped in with other genres like screamo and (shudders) emo. Thankfully, some groups are keeping the music alive and moshing. This Saturday, be prepared for a night of shredding riffs, blasting breakdowns and a wall of death (or several) with Kavalkade, Hellsgate, Severed One and Skin Stripper. And what better place than the cavernous Blue Lagoon with cheap PBR and whiskey? MAT WEIR

INFO: 9pm, Blue Lagoon, 923 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $10. 423-7117.




He strums the harp, sings from the gut and covers the unexpected (like, say, the Britney Spears classic “Toxic,” which Calvin Arsenia turns into a moody, almost creepy ballad). His music is sometimes quiet, occasionally plaintive, often emotional and always beautiful, with striking sonic layers and a voice resonating with a familiarity recalling the great soul singers of the past. There is playfulness in the lyrics, as well. The titular song from his 2018 record, Cantaloupe, refers to that classic pun about the fruit that simply can’t elope. It all combines for a performance that is modern, moving and memorable. JI

INFO: 8pm, Lille Aeske Arthouse, 13160 Highway 9, Boulder Creek. $30/adv, $35/door. 703-4183.



Wooten Brothers from left, Victor, Joseph, Roy “Futureman” and Regi Wooten. PHOTO: Steven-Parke

Over the last 30+ years, innovative funkmaster Victor Wooten has played a major role in elevating the electric bass from a mere rhythm section tool to a lead instrument, winning five Grammy awards in the process. The four Wooten brothers—who toured nationally as teenagers and recorded for Clive Davis’ Arista Records—are making their first tour together since 2010, when they were derailed by the unexpected death of their saxophonist brother, Rudy. The other remaining brothers are keyboardist/vocalist Joseph, guitarist Regi and percussionist Roy. They recently released a single and video from their upcoming album of impeccably tight funk originals, Sweat, and plan to unveil more slices as 2024 unfolds. DE

 INFO: 7:30pm, Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $42-63. 423-8209.




Cecile McLorin Salvant

Singer, composer, storyteller, visual artist . . . Floridian vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant is all these and more. At only 34 years old, she has taken the jazz world by storm with her unique vision and satin voice. In 2010, she won the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition and released her debut album. Between 2016 and 2019, not one, not two, but an astonishing three of her consecutive albums won the Grammy for Best Vocal Jazz Album. Last year, she dropped her seventh album, Mésuline, a concept album (sung mainly in French) about the medieval European folklore mermaid-like spirit of fresh water known by the same name. MW

INFO: 9pm, Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $47.25/adv, $52.50/door. 427-2227.




Okay, Y La Bamba might have started in Portland, Oregon, but lead singer and co founding member Luz Elena Mendoza originally hails from good ol’ San Francisco. Her childhood was filled with influence and appreciation for traditional music from Mexico, passed down from her Michoacan-born parents. Today, Y La Bamba’s music is a thoughtfully crafted blend of the traditional music of rancheros, boleros and more, including Tex-Mex and indie rock. Their seventh album, Lucha, was written during the isolation of the COVID-19 lockdowns and then recorded with layers of fine-tuned production to create a sound bigger than Y La Bamba has ever had before. MW

INFO: 8pm, Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $25/adv, $28/door. 479-1854.


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