ARTS AND MUSIC
AJ LEE & BLUE SUMMIT WITH THE PO’ RAMBLIN’ BOYS Singer-songwriter AJ Lee’s mandolin and vocal skills have been turning heads since she was a kid. The 2019 debut of her Santa Cruz band AJ Lee and Blue Summit, Like I Used To, and its follow-up, I’ll Come Back, are further evidence that Lee is one of the leading young talents of the Americana scene. Meanwhile, self-described as a “tattooed East Tennessee bluegrass outfit,” the Po’ Ramblin’ Boys are Smoky Mountain natives. They take as much pride in their 1965 GM tour bus as they do in their salt-of-the-earth “rural bluegrass.” (Read this week’s story). $20/$25. Friday, May 13, 9pm. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. Proof of vaccination or negative Covid test required. moesalley.com.
COMEDY AT TOP SPOT Born in Brooklyn and raised in Los Angeles, show headliner Tammy Tealove (Tammy E. Clarke) was “pushed” into comedy in 2007 by a fellow comedian friend who told her she was funny enough to be a comedian. 15 years later, Tammy has performed on nearly every Bay Area stage telling her life story, which is simultaneously relatable and unapologetic. Molly Steve, Tate Hughes and Alex Torres also appear. Free (donations appreciated). Saturday, May 14, 8pm. Top Spot Kitchen & Pub, 711 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. 831-332-1937.
PAMELA Z Composer/performer/media artist Pamela Z employs her voice, live electronic processing, sound samples and video. A “pioneer of live digital looping techniques,” she processes her voice in real-time to create complex sonic layers. Z’s solo works combine experimental extended vocal techniques, operatic bel canto, found objects, text and sampled concrete sounds. Her work has been included in exhibitions at the Whitney Museum, and she’s received commissions from renowned chamber ensembles, including Kronos Quartet, Eighth Blackbird, Bang On A Can All Stars and Empyrean Ensemble. Z has received the United States Artists Fellowship, the Guggenheim Fellowship and the Creative Capital Fund. Free (register at ias.ucsc.edu). Saturday, May 14, 7pm. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. Proof of vaccination or negative Covid test required. riotheatre.com.
VIEUX FARKA TOURÉ Known as “The Hendrix of the Sahara,” Touré, a native of Niafunké, Mali, gained massive recognition with his third album, The Secret, produced by Soulive guitarist Eric Krasno; it features Dave Matthews, slide guitar great Derek Trucks and acclaimed jazz guitarist John Scofield. Touré “expands his horizons, embraces new challenges, and further entrenches his reputation as one of the world’s most talented and innovative musicians” with each record he makes. His most recent album, Samba, was recorded live at Applehead Studio in Woodstock, New York, and is considered his best yet. $25/$30 plus fees. Sunday, May 15, 8pm. Felton Music Hall, 6275 Highway 9, Felton. Proof of vaccination or negative Covid test required. feltonmusichall.com.
BLACK UHURU WITH ANCESTREE Under the leadership of Derrick “Duckie” Simpson, the “Gong Gong Gullie,” Black Uhuru formed 50 years ago in Kingston, Jamaica, and has since become one of the most celebrated ambassadors of reggae. 14 full-length records, seven instrumental dub albums and four live releases have resulted in the genre’s second-highest record sales behind only Bob Marley—Red is on Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Albums of the 1980s” list. Uhuru has been nominated five times in addition to winning the first Grammy ever given in the reggae category. $30/$35. Sunday, May 15, 9pm. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. Proof of vaccination or negative Covid test required. moesalley.com.
JANE BUNNETT AND MAQUEQUE Nominated for three Grammys and winner of five Juno Awards, Jane Bunnett has transformed her bands and recordings into showcases for the best musical talent in North America and Cuba. What started five years ago as a project to record and mentor young dazzling Cuban female musicians has become one of North America’s top jazz groups. Over the last year, Bunnett with Maqueque has played major jazz festivals, including Newport and Monterey, been featured on NPR’s “Jazz Night in America” and nominated for a Grammy Award for Oddara, their acclaimed recent release. Additionally, DownBeat magazine voted the group as one of the “Top 10 Jazz Groups.” Bunnett will join pianist Danae Olano, bassist Tailin Marrero, drummer Yissy Garcia, percussionist Mary Paz Fernandez and vocalist Joanna Tendai Majoko. $36.75/$42; $21 students. Monday, May 16, 7pm. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. Proof of vaccination or negative Covid test required. kuumbwajazz.org.
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY HISTORY FAIR The special event is back! Celebrate local history by connecting with local historical organizations and groups and enjoy hands-on activities, artifacts, photographs, publications, etc. Some of the participating organizations include Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, Capitola Historical Museum, Castro Adobe State Historic Park, Davenport Jail, Evergreen Cemetery, Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, Friends of the Cowell Lime Works, the Genealogical Society of Santa Cruz County, Santa Cruz Surfing Club, Collections & Archives at UCSC and several others. Free. Saturday, May 14, noon-4pm. Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, 705 Front St., Santa Cruz. santacruzmah.org.
DOWNTOWN SANTA CRUZ MAKERS MARKET This market hosts an array of locally handmade goods. Find all the best Santa Cruz makers and some of the scene’s brand new makers. The variety of work is mind-blowing. Masks are recommended but not mandatory. Free. Sunday, May 15, 10am-5pm. Downtown Santa Cruz, Pacific Avenue between Cathcart and Lincoln Streets. scmmakersmarket.com.
EL MERCADO FARMERS MARKET The weekly farmers market aims to decrease food insecurity and improve access to health resources for Pajaro Valley families. The goal is to make shopping as easy as possible and offer healthy choices to everyone. Free. Tuesday, May 17, 2-6pm. Pinto Lake City Park, 451 Green Valley Road, Watsonville. pvhealthtrust.org/el-mercado.
WOMENCARE ARM-IN-ARM This cancer support group is for women with advanced, recurrent or metastatic cancer. Meets every Monday on Zoom. Free. Registration required. Monday, May 16, 12:30pm. 831-457-2273. womencaresantacruz.org.
WEST CLIFF OUTDOOR MARKET 2022 A beautiful view and stellar local food trucks equal an afternoon of bliss. Get outside and soak in the Vitamin D. The parking lot is close to several ideal picnic areas for Friday relaxation. Free. Friday, May 13, 4-8pm. Lighthouse Point, 701 West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz. brotherspromotions.com.
YOU PICK ROSES Birdsong Orchards grows over 500 roses—find just about every color of rose in existence. Reservations are required. Adults only. $40. Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15, 10am-4pm. Birdsong Orchards, Lakeview Road,