.Things to Do in Santa Cruz: Feb. 15-21

Jungle Brothers, Pimps of Joytime with Black Joe Lewis, MLK March for the Dream and More

ARTS AND MUSIC

JUNGLE BROTHERS WITH WATZREAL AND KHAN Mike Gee (Michael Small), DJ Sammy B (Sammy Burwell) and Baby Bam (Nathaniel Hall) formed the Jungle Brothers in the mid-1980s in New York City. The result of one of their earliest sessions, Straight Out the Jungle, was released in early 1988. The album’s far-out cut “I’ll House You” is a collaboration with producer Todd Terry and an early experiment in what later became “hip-house.” The album’s Afrocentric slant propelled the Jungle Brothers’ entry into the Native Tongue Posse, a loose collective formed by hip-hop legend Afrikaa Bambaataa, which included Queen Latifah (and, later, De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest). Although they predated De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest and Digable Planets, the Jungle Brothers didn’t score mainstream notoriety—some believe they were ahead of their time. The trio implemented a rich combination of house music, Afrocentric philosophy, funk and jazz. While the group’s 1989 Done by the Forces of Nature didn’t quite blow up on the pop charts, many still regard it as a hip-hop classic. $22.50/$25 plus fees. Wednesday, Feb. 15, 9pm. The Catalyst Atrium, 1101 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. catalystclub.com

PIMPS OF JOYTIME WITH BLACK JOE LEWIS Brian J has produced albums for New Orleans heavyweights, including Cyril Neville (the Neville Brothers), James Andrews and Corey Henry (Galactic), plus Bernard “Pretty” Purdie and Cedric Burnside. Brian J’s band, the Pimps of Joytime, has released five studio albums and toured expansively, building a worldwide following. On the production of “La Vida,” Brian J plays all the instruments, flexing his skills as a multi-instrumentalist and producer. Meanwhile, when Joe Lewis and his band, the Honeybears, popped onto the national stage more than 10 years ago, many critics embraced him, but still, some maintained that the group needed more experience. “The dues of hard work, the delirious heights of the industry, disappointments and low-hanging fruit. Through this all, Lewis has only honed his mastery over gutbucket blues guitar” and his authentic voice. $27/$32 plus fees. Friday, Feb. 17, 9pm. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. moesalley.com

KANDACE SPRINGS “My father used to play me records when I was young, and I fell in love right away with all these great singers,” says Kandace Springs. “I learned to do what I do by singing along with them. Ever since, I’ve wanted to pay that forward by reminding people of how great these ladies are; we all owe them so much.” The world-renowned Blue Note/Capitol recording artist’s latest album, released in March 2020, is her most personal work yet. Entitled The Women Who Raised Me, it is her loving tribute to the great female singers who inspired her to begin her journey toward becoming one of our time’s premier jazz and soul vocalists. The album will feature interpretations of songs she first heard in Tennessee, including classics by icons such as Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Carmen McRae to ’60s legends Nina Simone and Dusty Springfield and modern masters such as Sade and Lauryn Hill. Springs will be joined by bassist/vocalist Aneesa Strings and drummer/vocalist Taylor Moore. $47.25/$52.50; $26.25/students. Friday, Feb. 17, 7pm. Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. kuumbwajazz.org

CASS MCCOMBS + BAND WITH WEAK SIGNAL, Cass McCombs’ shades of frustration have fueled his music since he started. The approach has earned McCombs quiet acclaim over the years—in 2009, Catacombs was voted onto Pitchfork’s “50 Top Albums of the Year,” and the California native has toured with Arcade Fire, Band of Horses, Thurston Moore and the Meat Puppets. As an outsider voice for the marginalized, McCombs’ anti-establishment, indie rock roots extend back to 2003 when he first launched his website without mentioning his name or music. “We were very punk,” McCombs explains. “We wanted to destroy the music business —we didn’t want to have any promotional activity whatsoever. Everything was to be subversive.” The second song on McCombs’ 2022 Heartmind, his tenth record, “Karaoke,” is a “god-level burst of power-pop perfection,” as captivating as anything the musician has ever written. $22/$28 plus fees. Tuesday, Feb. 21, 8pm. Felton Music Hall, 6275 Hwy 9, Felton. folkyeah.com

BASS DRUM OF DEATH WITH H.A.R.D. Say I Won’t is the first Bass Drum of Death album written, demoed and recorded with a touring band. Previously, frontman John Barrett had been doing everything on his own. But Barrett found freedom in working with collaborators that weren’t available to him before, opening a diverse world of songwriting. There’s an energy and vitality to the music driven by an added boost from new bandmates and a new perspective. The live recording process features layers of multiple parts and overdubs, then stripping it back to the song’s bones, keeping the raw wild heart of the music intact. “My first two records were made entirely by me alone with my gear, my laptop and a Snowball USB mic,” Barrett says. “They were just made quickly, cheaply, as an excuse to tour. I wanted to take my time with this record. Make something good that I was proud of in itself.” $20/$25 plus fees. Tuesday, Feb. 21, 8pm. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. moesalley.com

secure document shredding

COMMUNITY

(RESCHEDULED FROM JAN. 28) MLK MARCH FOR THE DREAM This year marks the 60th anniversary of the 1963 march on Washington for jobs and justice; it’s also the anniversary of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Now, more than ever, we seek to uphold the dream of Dr. King in establishing a community that will ensure political, educational, social and economic equality of rights for all people and eliminate racial hatred and discrimination. Dr. King said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Following the march, the 11am presentation will feature a variety of speakers, including NAACP Santa Cruz County Branch President Elaine Johnson, Rev. Curtis Blue, Santa Cruz Mayor Fred Keeley, renowned local gospel and jazz singer Tammi Brown, Santa Cruz County Supervisor Justin Cummings, Assemblywoman Gail Pellerin, Rabbi Paula Marcus of Temple Beth El and more. Keisha Browder, CEO of United Way of Santa Cruz County, will MC. All are invited to march and support the dream of Dr. King. Free. Monday, Feb. 20, 10am. Begins at Pacific Avenue and Cathcart Street to the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. naacpsantacruz.com


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