.Things to Do in Santa Cruz

Week of September 20



ANDRE THIERRY The children’s music program, “Are You Ready To Learn,” brings the soulful world of Zydeco to kids and their families with an assortment of exciting instruments: vest rub boards[1] , accordions, and drums. The hour-long interactive experience is the brainchild of Grammy-nominated accordion extraordinaire Andre Thierry, a luminary of the West Coast Zydeco scene. Legend has it that when Thierry was only 3 years old, Clifton Chenier (known as the “King of Zydeco”) grabbed him and said he was destined to be an accordion player. Maybe Thierry will make a similar prediction this Saturday. ADDIE MAHMASSANI

INFO: 11am, Garfield Park Branch Library, 705 Woodrow Ave., Santa Cruz. Free. 427-7709.


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JOSHUA REDMAN The son of the late free jazz pioneer Dewey Redman may have seemed destined to become a musician, but Joshua Redman had other plans. However, after graduating from Harvard in 1991, he deferred his acceptance to Yale Law School and moved to New York with the goal of playing saxophone there for a year. In no time, he was earning international jazz awards and signed with Warner Brothers. Four storied decades later, the multiple-Grammy-nominee is releasing Where We Are, an album that references one American location per track and features Gabrielle Cavassa, the first vocalist Redman has ever included on a record. AM

INFO: 7pm & 9pm, Kuumbwa Jazz, 320 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $57.75+ (SOLD OUT). 427-2227.



DENGUE FEVER Dengue Fever formed over 20 years ago, when keyboardist Ethan Holtzman traveled through Cambodia and discovered the 1960’s and 70’s rock and pop of that country. He brought in a slew of musicians, including famous Khmer pop star Chhom Nimol, and Dengue Fever was formed. Expect a 1960’s sound with influences from Cambodia, Ethiopia, and beyond; It’ll be very groovy. This show is Dengue Fever’s album release celebration for their latest, Ting MongJESSICA IRISH

INFO: 8pm, Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $25/adv, $30/door. 479-1854.


FREQUENCY Out of the ashes of the Museum of Art & History’s “Glow: A Festival of Fire & Light,” “Frequency: A Festival of Light, Sound & Digital Culture” rises. After the devastating Lightning Complex Fire of 2020, the MAH decided to drop the fire for the much safer digital culture. This year attendees will be able to see interactive art installations by Visual Endeavors Inc., as well as Liminal Space Collective and Belgium artists Tom & Lien Dekyvere and even a silent disco in the MAH’s sculpture garden. Frequency will also give participants a sneak peek to 2024 exhibit, The Last Chinatown. Frequency will go until Sunday, September 24. MAT WEIR

INFO: 5pm, Museum of Art And History, 705 Front St., Santa Cruz. Mostly Free. 429-1964.



JERROD NIEMANN The Chaminade’s Nashville Nights series ends with a bang (and a twang!) this weekend with a finale concert featuring country crooner Jerrod Niemann. Originally from Kansas, the songwriter and guitarist made waves in 2010 with his instantly memorable breakup bop “Lover, Lover,” which became his first Top 40 single on Billboard’s country music charts. There was no turning back after that moment; Niemann’s follow-up releases like “Old Glory,” a patriotic nod to his past military service, the party anthem “Drink to That All Night,” and 2020’s haunting jam “Ghost Rider” have kept countless crowds dancing and swaying late into the sunset. AM

INFO: 8pm, Chaminade Resort and Spa, 1 Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz. $50. 475-5600.


BEYOND THE LAMPLIGHT Santa Cruzans might remember Larry and His Flask–a ragtag self-described “Post-American” band from Bend, Oregon. The eclectic bluegrass and punk inspired Americana group with banjo, mandolin, group harmonies and songs of hope, hard times and drinking played town multiple times. Fast-forward a dozen years and LAHF alumni–singers Ian Cook and Andrew Carew and mandolin player Kirk Skatvold–are returning with their new project, Beyond the Lamplight. Just as the name implies–a play on the LAHF song “By The Lamplight”–the band picks up where Larry left off with an added spice of more rock ‘n roll licks sprinkled throughout. MW

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



ENGLISH BEAT England had a huge ska revival in the late 70s. What’s ska you ask? It’s the bouncy—and highly fun—Jamaican predecessor to reggae. The UK’s ska revival took Jamaican ska and mixed it with British punk and created something totally new. One of the main bands reviving ska in the ’70s was The English Beat. And good news—they are still reviving ska! Lead singer Dave Wakeling and his backing band bring all the hits, like “Mirror in the Bathroom,” “Save It For Later” and their incredible cover of Smokey Robinson’s “Tears of a Clown.” This will be an absolute dance-fest of an evening. AARON CARNES

INFO: 8pm, Felton Music Hall, 6275 Hwy 9, Felton. $40. 704-7113.


40th ANNIVERSARY OF THE GRATEFUL DEAD’S ONLY SANTA CRUZ SHOW All over the U.S. there are Grateful Dead cover bands packing houses. But no place is more special than Santa Cruz, where the band was part of the first Acid Tests in 1965 and is home to the only Grateful Dead Archive. Surprisingly, the band only played here once at the Watsonville Fairground, a show presented by “Sleepy” John Sandidge, who is the opposite of a Deadhead (he’s no fan, as he’ll probably say at the show). Deadheads will gather to commemorate that show at the Felton Music Hall with one of our top cover bands led by Matt Hartle (subject of a future Good Times cover). They will be playing songs from the show, with a historic display from the GD archive and a brief program featuring those who were there. Why are the Dead still popular? “There is nothing else like it except local symphonies playing the work of Beethoven, Bach and Mozart,” says former County Supervisor John Leopold, a Deadhead and music aficionado. BRAD KAVA



SANTA CRUZ COMMUNITY HARVEST MUSIC FESTIVAL Jill Troderman is known locally for her expertise on holistic nutrition and wellness curriculum. But on Saturday, she is throwing an amazing community building event that will feature some of the best local acts, including Painted Mandolin, Jessica Malone, Superblume and Anthony Arya. Paul Rubio will be providing a Native American drum performance and a prayer. Dave Shaw from Santa Cruz Permaculture will be there, and there will be a dance performance from the one and only Worldance of Santa Cruz. There will also be vendors, beer, wine, coffee, treats and food trucks. And rumor has it India Joze will be present. AC

INFO: 11am, Happy Valley, 421 Happy Valley Road, Santa Cruz. $40.



PROF In hip hop there’s people who can rap, and then there’s hip hop artists. Minneapolis’ alt-hip hop lyricist, Prof, falls in the second category.  For two decades the underground lyricist has spun his talent across eight full-lengths. Along with his funky party beats and spit-fire social commentary lyrics wrapped in humor, Prof’s videos are just as wild as expected. Often blending  humor and style for reality-twisting results to anyone who thinks hip hop has to be exclusively about selling the next car or liquor brand. His latest album, Horse, dropped this past April landing on the Billboard 200 chart. MW

INFO: 7pm, Catalyst Club, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $25/adv,$30/door. 713-5492.


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