.Things to do in Santa Cruz

Week of February 7

THURSDAY

AMERICANA

NEFESH MOUNTAIN

Since Nefesh Mountain formed nearly a decade ago, the band has been exploring and expanding the conventional boundaries of Americana music. Comprised of singer Doni Zasloff and multi-instrumentalist Eric Lindberg, the duo is known for fusing Jewish traditions with bluegrass and other folk aesthetics. Out of many high-profile festival and concert appearances worldwide, their 2021 debut at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville was a recent stand-out. The audience can expect a hearty mix of originals and covers from a band that can take on everything from the Allman Brothers to Coltrane and make it theirs. ADDIE MAHMASSANI

INFO: 8pm, Felton Music Hall, 6275 Hwy 9, Felton. $22/adv, $27/door. 704-7113.

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FRIDAY

R&B

CORINNE BAILEY RAE

Corinne Bailey Rae was launched to fame in 2006 when her breezy single “Put Your Records On” topped the UK R&B chart and earned a Grammy nomination for Song of the Year. Since then, Bailey Rae has collaborated with artists like Bill Withers and Esperanza Spalding and heard her songs in blockbuster films like Venus. Her song “Green Aphrodisiac” was on one of Obama’s iconic playlists. In 2023, she released Black Rainbows, her first album in seven years. Jordan Bassett of NME wrote, “. . . it swings from crunching glam-punk to skronking experimental jazz that wouldn’t sound out of place on David Bowie’s Blackstar. There are left turns, and then there’s this.” AM

INFO: 8pm, Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $52.50. 423-8209.

FRIDAY

FOLK

IRA WOLF

Lille Aeske has become the spot in the Santa Cruz Mountains (and the rest of the county) for authentic folk music, the kind steeped in growth and heartache, the kind Ira Wolf plays. Although she now resides in Nashville, Tennessee, Wolf is a Montana soul raised on the road. She released her debut album, Fickle Heart, in 2014 and began touring the same year. Since then, she’s toured across six continents, performing her emotionally heartfelt lyrics with beautiful melodies. Wolf stepped away from music for several years to take care of her mental health, but last year, she returned to the studio and dropped her fourth album, Rock Bottom. MAT WEIR

INFO: 8pm, Lille Aeske, 13160 Highway 9, Boulder Creek. $25/adv, $30/door. 703-4183.

FRIDAY

COMEDY

JOE SIB

What’s cooler than being a successful comedian? How about being the frontman for a successful ’90s punk band and the current singer for a punk rock supergroup? What if that’s also on top of being the cofounder of one of the coolest independent record labels—SideOneDummy—that signed bands like Flogging Molly, AJJ, Title Fight, PUP and more? And maybe include recently completing a comedy tour opening for . . . (checks notes) . . . Metallica?! That’s the level of coolness Joe Sib brings to the table. The Santa Cruz comedian returns for one night at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center to share some stories and plenty of laughs. MW

INFO: 7:30pm, Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $20. 427-2227.

SATURDAY

CLASSICAL

SOUNDSCAPE SALON WITH VICTORIA THEODORE

Victoria Theodore is a classically trained musician who has played with legends, including Stevie Wonder and Beyoncé. She brings her insights and talents to the Soundscape Salon, where she will participate in musical performances and discussions with fellow musicians Kate Saphir Alm and Shannon D’Antonio and guests from the Suzuki Piano Studio. The topic for the discussion portion of the afternoon is the influence of Black American composers on their White European counterparts. It’s not hard to imagine how such influences were overlooked by history; it is hard, however, to imagine missing such a joyful event. JESSICA IRISH

INFO: 1pm, Peace United Church, 900 High St., Santa Cruz. $25. 426-2010.

SATURDAY

EXHIBIT

THE SANTA CRUZ ITALIAN FISHING COLONY: 150 YEARS OF AMORE

Italy and California have a lot in common: they’re around the same size, have long coastlines, and are known for their excellent cuisines—especially their seafood dishes. The two places also share familial names (Stagnaro and Locatelli come to mind). Historian Geoffrey Dunn is here to answer the big question: why do those names appear all over Santa Cruz? As the great-grandson of Italian immigrants Cottardo and Maria Stagnaro, Dunn is uniquely qualified to tell the story of the 60 Italian families who moved from Riva Trigoso, Italy, to Santa Cruz and Capitola. (Hint: it involves fishing.) JI

INFO: 3pm, Museum of Art and History, 705 Front St., Santa Cruz. Free. 429-1964.

SATURDAY

MALIAN

VIEUX FARKA TOURÉ

Legendary Malian musician Ali Farka Touré defied his parents’ wishes to be a soldier. In a strange twist, when Vieux decided he would follow in Ali’s footsteps, the elder Farka Touré disapproved—ironically wanting his son to become a soldier. Thankfully, Vieux chased his passion to become one of the most famous West African guitar players alive today. He has performed alongside artists like Shakira and Alicia Keys and has recorded with Dave Matthews, Derek Trucks and more. His latest album covers his father’s work with Houston instrumental trio Khruangbin and captures the soul of Ali’s work with a fresh twist. MW

INFO: 9pm, Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $32/adv, $36/door. 479-1854.

SUNDAY

FOLK

RICHARD MARCH

Sacramento singer-songwriter Richard March has been compared to progressive country troubadours like Kris Kristofferson, Glen Campbell and Mickey Newbury—pretty high praise for any musician. He’s opened for several luminaries, including Johnny Cash’s old backing band, the Tennessee Three, legendary folkie Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, bluesman John Hammond, and Stray Cat Lee Rocker. He has also been a guest artist on NPR’s Blue Dog Jams and heard on the Air America radio network. DAN EMERSON

INFO: 3pm, Discretion Brewing, 2703 41st Ave., Ste A, Soquel. Free. 316-0662.

MONDAY

JAZZ

BRAD MEHLDAU

Since he came onto the New York jazz scene in the early ’90s, pianist Brad Mehldau has been one of his generation’s most influential and prolific players, recording more than 40 albums as a leader (or coleader). Mehldau is also a master of a specific performing format—solo piano—which requires a higher level of technique and improv ability than the more common trio and quartet settings. Throughout his career, Mehldau has released seven high-quality recordings of solo performances. He will perform solo when he makes another visit to Kuumbwa on Monday night. DE

INFO: 7pm, Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320-2 Cedar St., $63/adv, $68.25/door. 427-2227

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