.Things to Do in Santa Cruz: Dec. 7-13

Little Feat with Nicki Bluhm, Charlie Hunter and Scott Amendola Duo, ‘The Nutcracker’ and More


STRAWBERRY GIRLS WITH THE COLOR 8 AND INTHEBACKGROUND “[Strawberry Girls] go to the far extreme in every direction,” frontman Ben Rosett says. The primarily instrumental group organically achieves a “darkness” through irregular chord progressions, among other tricks. While the outfit constantly expands their influential soundscape, their definitive style remains intact. Inspiration is sourced from unexpected places, including Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly. “Betelgeuse” sustains an understated hip-hop backbeat alongside psychedelic dissonance—think Janelle Monáe meets Pink Floyd’s “Echoes.” “We want to take [the sound] far from the ordinary,” bassist Ian Jennings says. The Salinas trio continues on that “far-from-ordinary” path with Prussian Gloom, which marks their first independent release in a decade. Modern R&B melds sleekly with ’70s-era prog rock more than any of their previous records. The title track’s hefty dose of math rock guitar shredding is worth experiencing live. $21/$24 plus fees. Thursday, Dec. 8, 7:30pm. Felton Music Hall, 6275 Hwy 9, Felton. feltonmusichall.com.

LITTLE FEAT WITH NICKI BLUHM Nicki Bluhm has collaborated with everyone from the Infamous Stringdusters to several of Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh’s projects—she’s equally dynamic doing her own thing, solo. “It’s eye-opening to work with so many different musicians and see how other people do their thing,” Bluhm said before performing with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band at the 50th anniversary of the Monterey Pop Festival. As Little Feat glides into their fifth decade, they called on Bluhm to join them on their current tour, celebrating the 45th anniversary of Waiting for Columbus, now considered a jam band playbook. The group’s first live album was recorded during a span of seven performances in 1977 and released as a double-live record in 1978. Backed by Tower of Power’s horn section, the shows included legendary special guests, with former Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor’s sweet slide guitar at the top of the list. Little Feat has always been regarded as kindred spirits to the Grateful Dead, and their impact on like-minded groups is still regularly felt. One example: Phish performed Waiting for Columbus in its entirety in 2010. $69.50-99.50 plus fees. Saturday, Dec. 10, 8pm. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. riotheatre.com.

CHARLIE HUNTER AND SCOTT AMENDOLA DUO Charlie Hunter’s custom-made seven—and eight-string—guitars allow him to rock a bassline and rhythm and lead guitar simultaneously. Each of his 20-plus releases is touted by jazz critics worldwide, and he’s widely considered the most technically fluent of all modern-day jazz guitarists. “Persevering is important for the small guys like us,” Hunter said before a set at the Monterey Jazz Festival. “Some years are going to be better than others, and you just always work at your craft, no matter what.” Meanwhile, Grammy Award-winning drummer Scott Amendola is one of the Bay Area’s most acclaimed jazz musicians. Together, the pair elevates one another without bringing ego into the equation. “Ultimately, I’m working with [Hunter] because I want his voice and interpretation of my music,” Amendola explained. “That’s how the music is going to be the best it could be.” The duo’s 2021 tour featured nine sold-out shows throughout California and delivered mostly improvised interactive jams that allowed each musician to shine while simultaneously complementing one another. $31.50/$36.75; 15.75/Students. Monday, Dec. 12, 9pm (6pm show sold out). Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. kuumbwajazz.org.

TOMMY EMMANUEL WITH MIKE DAWES “The world’s greatest acoustic guitarist.” This title has been ascribed to 67-year-old Tommy Emmanuel more than a few times, but he’d never take ownership of the sentiment. He’s too damn humble. Emmanuel’s busy guitar-picking style, which sounds like a full band—rhythm and lead guitar alongside vocal melodies—wows audiences worldwide with that same kind of awe of those experiencing the magic of David Copperfield. The guitarist’s record Accomplice Two features collabs with Raul Malo of the Mavericks, Michael McDonald, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Jerry Douglas. Mike Dawes is an ideal touring buddy for Emmanuel: Also considered one of the world’s elite acoustic guitarists, Dawes was voted “Best Acoustic Guitarist in the World” twice by Total Guitar Magazine and MusicRadar. The guitarist also has a lofty fanbase, including Metallica’s James Hetfield and the 1975’s Matty Healy. $39.50-59.50 plus fees. Tuesday, Dec. 13, 8pm. Rio Theatre, 1 205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. riotheatre.com.

ERIC LINDELL AND ANSON FUNDERBURGH Multi-instrumental guitarist Eric Lindell’s Revolution in Your Heart might be the New Orleans singer-songwriter’s opus. Revolution in Your Heart is one of those records that could be from any era; stories of love lost, love gained, family and friends are down-to-earth and accessible to a fault—in a good way. Recorded at the renowned Studio in the Country in Bogalusa, Louisiana, Lindell’s neo-soul is a low-key eruption with his indelible mark on every second of the 12 tracks on the record—he performs all the instruments except drums (Willie McMains). “Don’t let a mindless fool get a hold of you,” Lindell croons in “Revolution.” “You got to keep pushing and let love rule. Start a revolution in your heart.” “I’m just a simple country boy,” Anson Funderburgh says. The longtime performer is unassuming until he plugs in his Strat and lets his trademark fusion of Chicago and Texas blues ring. Funderburgh and Lindell have collaborated regularly for years and performed together six times at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. $35/$40 plus fees. Tuesday, Dec. 13, 8pm. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. moesalley.com.

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TITANS OF TECH 2022 With past nominees including bigwigs like Joby CEO JoeBen Bevirt and Netflix co-founder Marc Randolf, Santa Cruz Works honors those who have contributed to the growth of the local tech and entrepreneurial community. This year is a tad different; the annual event will also incorporate MVPs and those who deserve recognition for their efforts—not necessarily limited to the tech field. The mission of this year’s event is to give credit to the essential piece needed for any business that aims to succeed: the employees. Any company that wants to thrive needs intelligent people to help make it happen. Cruz Control will provide the musical soundtrack to the event. $20-50. Wednesday, Dec. 7, 6-8pm. Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. kuumbwajazz.org.

THE TANNERY’S WINTER ART MARKET If you’re looking for holiday gifts that aren’t run-of-the-mill, this year’s Winter Art Market is your answer. There will be a dozen open artist studios for you to shop. Once you’re done shopping, stick around for live music from Anna May and Isla Byrne & Jamie Schnetzler. Also, grab a bite from Honey B Market or Epoch Eats Areperia 831 and an adult beverage from Woodhouse Blending & Brewing. There will be things to see, too, including the Small Works exhibit in Radius Gallery and new public art installations. Artists Gazelle Walker, Suzy Radonsky and Linda Cover will offer free all-ages activities for those with kids in tow. Free. Saturday, Dec. 10, 10am-5pm. Tannery Arts Center, 1050-1070 River St., Santa Cruz. tanneryartscenter.org/winter-art-market.

SANTA CRUZ BALLET THEATRE PRESENTS THE NUTCRACKER In its 20th year at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, this holiday favorite is the only Nutcracker production in Santa Cruz County featuring a live orchestra. With 52 professional musicians led by conductor Maestro Pamela Martin, the show will feature 50 local dancers and SCBT alums and Houston Ballet Principal dancer Melody Mennite as the Sugar Plum Fairy. The holidays simply wouldn’t be the same without the Nutcracker. $20.50-71.50 plus fees. Saturday, Dec. 10, 4:30pm, Sunday, Dec. 11, 1pm and 4:30pm. Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, 307 Church St., Santa Cruz. scbt.org.

SIP ‘N SHOP FOR FARM DISCOVERY Home/Work “caters to the mindful shopper with its thoughtful selection of stylish and functional design pieces that consider fair labor, affordability and sustainability.” It’s the ideal location for Sip ‘N Shop for Farm Discovery. Enjoy farm-fresh apps, drinks and live music from the Banana Slug String Band. Sales and raffle proceeds will support Farm Discovery’s Santa Cruz Gives campaign. Join the giving revolution. Free. Sunday, Dec. 11, 4-6pm. HOME/WORK, 1100 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. farmdiscovery.org; santacruzgives.org.

Email upcoming events to aj*****@we*****.com" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Adam Joseph at least two weeks beforehand

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