ARTS AND MUSIC
DANIEL CHAMPAGNE When the Aussie prodigy first picked up his father’s guitar at the age of five, it simply made sense. By 12, Champagne was penning original songs and began training classically while performing wherever and whenever possible. Over the last decade, the musician has released five acclaimed records, averaged about 300 live dates annually and shared stages with Lucinda Williams, Ani DiFranco, Judy Collins and Rodrigo y Gabriela. $25. Wednesday, July 6, 7:30pm. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. kuumbwajazz.org.
THE WAYBACKS The San Francisco foursome has been perpetually evolving for more than two decades—and continues to experiment with an eclectic sound driven by guitarist James Nash, fiddle virtuoso Warren Hood, bassist Joe Kyle Jr. and drummer Chuck Hamilton. The outfit’s blend of improvisation, skill and animated irreverence equates to a musically satisfying experience in any setting. “The whole spirit of improvisation has always been the cornerstone of this band for me,” Nash says. “I can do whatever I feel like doing at any moment.” $25. Sunday, July 7, 7:30pm. Michael’s on Main, 2591 Main St., Soquel. michaelsonmain.info.
MAN IN BLACK From the crying weeping willows of “Big River” to the fiery ring “bound by wild desire” in “Ring of Fire,” the Santa Cruz quartet does all things Johnny Cash. Boardwalk shows are on the Colonnade Stage, located on the beachside of Neptune’s Kingdom—the dance area is in front of the stage. Free. Thursday, July 7, 8:30pm. The Colonnade at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, 400 Beach St., Santa Cruz. (Free Movie at the Beach features Little Shop of Horrors on Friday, July 8, 9pm). beachboardwalk.com.
HOUNDMOUTH WITH SAM FILIATREAU The hard work is starting to pay off for Indiana alt-rockers Houndmouth—SPIN and Esquire wrote that they’re one of Lollapalooza’s must-see acts. Garden & Gun said, “You’d be hard-pressed to find a more effortless, well-crafted mix of roots and rock this year than the debut album from this quartet.” Since then, the group has performed at Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo and the Newport Folk Festival. $29 plus fees. Friday, July 8, 8pm. Felton Music Hall, 6275 Highway 9, Felton. feltonmusichall.com.
JAKOB NOWELL WITH NOAH VONNE There’s no way to escape your last name. Jakob Nowell embraces it. Hell, it represents the musical talent embedded in his DNA. Jakob knows there will never be another Bradley Nowell—gone-too-soon Sublime frontman. So, he’s forging his own path. “I’ve always really liked the stage,” Jakob told Billboard. “Being an entertainer and a performer has always really resonated with me. I feel more comfortable up there in front of an audience than on the ground floor talking to people.” $15/$20. Saturday, July 9, 9pm. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. moesalley.com.
‘EMPTY CHAIR’ Two years ago, the inspiration for a short play about Calvary Church Founders Day was ignited after Scotts Valley historian Jay Topping discovered that Agnes Scott was one of Calvary Church’s original members in 1861. Topping stars as Agnes’ husband Hiram in a trip back in time, written by Dana Bagshaw and directed by Matt Matthews. The performance starts in the courtyard, moves into the church and ends outside where it began. A Q&A will follow both performances. Free (donations appreciated). Saturday, July 9 and Sunday, July 10, 4pm. Calvary Episcopal Church, 532 Center St., Santa Cruz. [email protected].
DOWNTOWN ANTIQUE FAIR Plunge deep into a world where Bakelite, Fire King milk glass and Couroc reign supreme. Free. Sunday, July 10, 8am-5pm. Lincoln Street between Pacific and Cedar, Santa Cruz. 831-476-6940.
TODDLER STORYTIME The weekly bilingual program—in-person—includes sing-alongs, nursery rhymes and books that foster early literacy. Free. Wednesday, July 6, 11:30am-12:30pm. Freedom Branch Library (Meeting Room), 2021 Freedom Blvd., Watsonville. cityofwatsonville.org.
BACKBEAT JAZZ JAM Players of all skill levels are invited to sit in with the house band, and all are invited to watch—dancing is encouraged if the vibe feels right. The focus: jazz from the Great American Songbook. Free (donations accepted). Sunday, July 10, 3-6pm. Santa Cruz Veterans Hall, 846 Front St., Santa Cruz. jazzsantacruz.org.
SANTA CRUZ SANDHILLS TOUR Experience Santa Cruz’s most sensitive ecosystem, the sandhills, during a two-mile guided walk. Learn about the habitat’s formation and the unique plants and animals adapted to the area. Meet at the campground amphitheater off Graham Hill Road and journey through a breathtaking setting in the mountains. Free ($10/daily use parking fee). Sunday, July 10, 9-11am. Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, 101 North Big Trees Park Road, Felton. thatsmypark.org.