.Things to do in Santa Cruz

Week of June 5, 2024




The Rodriguez Brothers are pianist/composer Robert and trumpeter/composer Michael, New York natives who play a mix of mainstream and Latin jazz, following the path of their father, jazz drummer Robert Rodriguez. Mike Rodriguez helped the late Chick Corea win a Grammy award as part of Corea’s Spanish Heart Band. He’s also worked with Charlie Haden, Joe Lovano, Quincy Jones and Wynton Marsalis. Former teen prodigy Robert’s credits include work with Arturo Sandoval, Ray Barretto and Christian McBride. The brothers have recorded four albums since they teamed up in 2002, including one nominated for a Latin Grammy. DAN EMERSON

INFO: 7pm, Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $31.50/adv, $36.75/door. 427-2227.

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Prepare to drift away with the smooth jam band Boostive. Close your eyes and let go as your head, arms and hips swing to the music collective. Their music emanates with the brisk glow of summer nights at the beach; minds will disembody to float in the ether while percussion and horns rattle the bones to the beat, urging the body to dance, move and sway. There is no stillness in the music or the audience at a Boostive show. ISABELLA MARIE SANGALINE

INFO: 8pm, Felton Music Hall, 6275 Highway 9, Felton. $24/adv, $26/door. 704-7113.




It’s arguably the most challenging era in human history to grow up. The Santa Cruz Queer Trans Youth Council is one of many resources in town to help kids navigate the boundless questions of identity they face. Teen poet and speaker Madeline Aliah occupies a seat on the council and has recently published her debut chapbook, This Is My Body. A piercingly honest rendering of her inner journey from boy to young woman, the book takes on everything from queer history to accusations of gender abandonment. Bob Gómez, Watsonville Poet Laureate, attests, “Madeline is a dragon spirit who sees what the rest of us cannot see.” ADDIE MAHMASSANI

INFO: 5pm, Aptos Branch Library, 7695 Soquel Dr., Aptos. Free. 427-7702.




A jazz saxophonist who has played with everyone from Snoop Dogg to Lauryn Hill and St. Vincent, Kamasi Washington is one of the greats of our era. Any fans of Kendrick Lamar’s masterpiece To Pimp a Butterfly should thank Washington for the sax in that album, too. Washington collaborated with other current greats to found West Coast Get Down, a collective based out of LA that has been called “the Wu-Tang Clan of jazz.” Lisa Simpson and Bill Clinton might have tried to make sax cool, but Washington has achieved it; his music is vibrant, soulful, elegant and exciting. JESSICA IRISH

INFO: 9pm, Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $47/adv, $52/door. 713-5492.




Since 2011, Habibi has blended their love of psych rock and girl group harmonies for a dreamy, mesmerizing sound that explores the inner space of sound without losing control. Yet, despite making a name for themselves in the surf and garage rock world, Habibi only had two albums under their belt, until now. Their album Dreamachine just dropped, and it’s their most adventurous yet. Along with drawing from their Detroit-rock roots, Habibi steps it up with funk and even disco for a fresh sound that displays the band’s versatility. Just get plenty of rest the night before because a Habibi show demands nonstop dancing from start to finish. MAT WEIR

INFO: 9pm, Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $22/adv, $26/door. 479-1854.




Enjoyed by generations of music lovers, mariachi is probably the most recognized type of Mexican musician, and it has permeated pop culture. A mariachi band varies in size and instruments but must always have a guitar, acoustic bass and horns. This Sunday Cabrillo College is hosting the inaugural Mariachi Festival to honor and celebrate this unique style of musician and its rich heritage. Attendees will be able to enjoy afternoon performances by six different groups including Mariachi Santa Cruz, Mariachi Libertad, and Mariachi Osos de Pájaro High School. MAT WEIR

INFO: 2pm, Cabrillo College Samper Recital Hall, 6500 Soquel Dr., Aptos, $25. 479-6336.




Actor, writer and comedian Ryan O’Flanagan provides some much-needed laughter this weekend as he brings his quirky, character-driven sketches to the Crepe Place stage. Known for appearing as an actor in Netflix’s American Vandal and Comedy Central’s Corporate, O’Flanagan partnered extensively with Funny or Die to create his Overly Excited Tourist web series. In 2018, he released a half-hour stand-up special with Comedy Central in which he capitalizes on his endearingly awkward personality. In it, he jokes about trying to hit on his deaf neighbor and then realizes he had mistaken her for a different girl. AM

INFO: 8pm, Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $15. 429-6994.




Fans of author Marie Lu are in for a treat when the Chinese American author comes to Santa Cruz ahead of the release of Icon and Inferno—one day ahead, in fact—to discuss the sequel to her hit thriller/romance YA novel, Stars and Smoke, with another New York Times bestselling author, Abigail Hing Wen, author of the Loveboat series. While the event is free, Bookshop Santa Cruz asks that participants register online at their website to keep a headcount. Patrons with a little extra cash can also preorder the hardcover version on the website and opt to get it signed by Lu at the event. MW

INFO: 6pm, Bookshop Santa Cruz, 1520 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. Free. 423-0900.




Over the past decade, London-based multi-instrumentalist and composer Shabaka Hutchings has become one of the most auspicious newcomers on the jazz scene. Growing up in Barbados, his first instrument was the clarinet, and he divided his time between classical studies and playing in calypso bands. From 2004 to 2008, he toured and recorded with a wide range of European improvisational bands. Since switching to sax and flute, Hutchings has developed a style that mixes Afro-Caribbean, South African jazz and London club dance music. In April, Impulse Records released his debut solo album, Perceive Its Beauty, Acknowledge Its Grace. DE

 INFO: 7pm, Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $42/adv, $47.25/door. 427-2227.


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