.Things to do in Santa Cruz

Week of March 13, 2024




Those seeking more spontaneous and refreshing music will find it in the Jennifer Hartswick Band. Jennifer Hartswick is a trumpeter and vocalist who shows passion through spontaneity and collaboration onstage. She brings on other musicians and works with them to combine her musical spirit with theirs. Each show fills the room with joy as she seamlessly switches between playing her trumpet and singing—a truly impressive feat. The music ranges from smooth jazz and rock to emotionally laden vocal solos and celebrates various musical traditions.  ISABELLA MARIE SANGALINE

INFO: 8pm, Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $20/adv, $25/door. 427 2227.

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Those having a lousy day, needing a little extra love or looking for that perfect soundtrack to fall in love with need look no further because Love, Dean is coming to Boulder Creek. Husband and wife duo Rachael and Luke Price are a newer neo-soul act bringing the good vibes wherever they go. As fate would have it, the two met on their first day at Berklee College of Music and never looked back. Their self-titled 2021 debut mixes blues, gospel and Motown for a vibrant collection of tracks that touch on the essence of love, community and being a human with complicated emotions, good and bad. MAT WEIR

INFO: 8pm, Lille Aeske Arthouse, 13160 Highway 9, Boulder Creek. $25/adv, $30/door. 703-4183.




Between the San Andreas Fault, volcanic eruptions and powerful swells, Santa Cruz is a wild smorgasbord of geological phenomena. Local naturalist, historian and writer Frank Perry has been exploring the region on land and at sea for decades; one could say it has all been preparation for the publication of his book, Geology of the Northern Monterey Bay Region: Rocks, Fossils, and Cultural Connections. With a style informed by his many years designing natural science exhibits for museums and parks, Perry makes the complex dynamism of this patch of the planet accessible to general audiences. ADDIE MAHMASSANI

INFO: 6:30pm, Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History, 1305 East Cliff Dr., Santa Cruz. $15. 420-6115.


Caleb Dillon Murray PHOTO: Iran Ramirez


An album release party is in the works for modern jazz saxophonist-composer-educator Caleb Dillon-Murray, considered one of the top saxophonists in the Bay Area. The new album is called The Place to Be. A University of South Florida graduate with a master’s in jazz composition, Dillon-Murray has played in several international venues and festivals, including the Umbria Jazz Fest, Wigan Jazz Fest and Vienne Jazz Fest. His quintet also features guitarist Kai Lyons, bassist Giulio Cetto, pianist Javier Santiago and drummer Thomas Pridgen. DAN EMERSON

INFO: 7:30pm, Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $40. 427-2227.




Hailing from the music hotbed of Austin, Texas, singer-songwriter Lynn Crossett scored a spot on the Top 10 Americana Country Album Chart with his 2023 release, In the Company of a Song. Crossett frequently brings his road show to venues in southern and central California. Two of his songs, “California Ride” and “Child Support Trips,” were nominated for 2024 Grammy awards in Best Americana Performance, Best American Roots Performance, and Best American Roots Song. He’s planning his next album for 2025, which Grammy award-winning producer Lloyd Maines will produce. Those aren’t the only impressive facts in his bio; Crossett is also a full-time law professor at Texas State University in San Marcos. DE

INFO: 5:30pm, Discretion Brewing, 2703 41st Ave., Suite A, Soquel. Free. 316-0662.



Bob Dylan’s Live 1966 (The “Royal Albert Hall” Concert)is one of those albums that spans generations. Not everyone who loves it was alive for the scandal of his “going electric,” but anyone who listens will certainly be moved by tracks like “Just Like a Woman” and “Like a Rolling Stone.” Chan Marshall, aka indie darling Cat Power, feels such a connection to it that she recorded a version of the album, which she will perform in full at the Rio this Saturday. If anyone has the range to span Dylan’s songbook, it’s Cat Power, whose voice is ruggedly beautiful and dripping with pathos. JESSICA IRISH

INFO: 8pm, Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $68.25. 423-1854.



Tessa Hulls’ graphic novel Feeding Ghosts is a multigenerational examination of the ghosts that linger within relationships, particularly between mother, daughter and granddaughter. Grandparents with opaque, trauma-filled pasts can seem unknowable, but Hulls uses the graphic novel form to explore—and ultimately, better understand—her own matrilineal line. Hulls’ grandmother was a Chinese journalist in Shanghai during the rise of Communism, and Feeding Ghosts confronts the legacy of all that she endured and what that endurance cost her family. The graphic novel form is particularly well-suited to telling this story; where family ties are indescribable, visual art takes the reins. JI

INFO: 3pm, Museum of Art and History, 705 Front St., Santa Cruz. Free. 429-1964.




Who’s feeling lucky this Saint Patrick’s Day? Local legend Alex Lucero is going full leprechaun for El Vaquero Winery, bringing his band and the Minertones from Donegal, Ireland. This mixture of musicians might create a whole new genre: soul-meets-funk-meets-Irish! (Or maybe that’s just a description of Van Morrison!?) Whatever the case, Lucero knows how to make a venue festive. El Vaq will have fish and chips, shepherd’s pie and, of course, great wine to go along with the shanties and jigs. Reservations required! AM

INFO: 5pm, El Vaquero Winery, 290 Freedom Blvd., Watsonville. $10. 607-8118. 



Wild Party PHOTO: Carly Palicz


When junior high friends Lucas Hughes and Lincoln Kreifels first formed Wild Party in 2009, they had no idea they would be touring the UK with Liverpool indie rockers the Wombats a year later. In a gust of “too much, too soon,” the duo took a hiatus after that tour, only to reform in 2012 with brother Jake on drums and Ethan Kaufmann on bass. Newly armed, Wild Party returned with their debut album, Phantom Pop, a collection of upbeat, indie rock tracks lovingly referred to as “face-melting pop music.” They’ve had a line-up change and dropped an EP recently, targeting Weezer and Bright Eyes fans or anyone who enjoys putting a positive spin on an ironic day. MW

INFO: 8pm, The Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $18/adv, $22/door. 713-5492.


  1. Sorry not sorry that the content and cost of the upcoming Cat Power show at the Rio holds zero attraction for this music lover.

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