If you’re anything like me, you have a face mask in every jacket pocket these days. The latest surge of COVID-19 is disturbing, but the vaccinated and vaccinated are finding safe ways to live their lives, which includes such joys as seeing the Santa Cruz Symphony perform live, take an ersatz tropical vacation at mentone, or attend a new exhibition at Art and History Museum. Be smart (check with the venue or presenter for any event you plan to attend), be careful, but be kind to yourself and feed your soul as well.
See our complete BOLO calendar listings for events in Santa Cruz here. And as if that weren’t enough, we’ve got you covered for all the MAJOR events coming next year with all along the line, a list put together by Wallace Baine that’s your key to getting tickets before they sell out.
Now, here’s what the BOLO team thinks you should know for the weekend and beyond:
(Click on the category headers for complete BOLO listings in that category.)
Joey DeFrancesco: So what exactly isn’t Joey DeFrancesco doing on stage? The veteran keyboardist is a sought-after accompanist and soloist on everything from piano to the Hammond B-3. But he’s also an accomplished trumpeter, and he’s also an excellent jazz singer. On his latest album, aptly titled “More Music,” DeFrancesco also tackles tenor sax, all in a soul-jazz swing idiom that’s a stone’s throw from cool. DeFrancesco visits the Kuumbwa Jazz Center on Thursday for a show at 7 p.m.
Laurence Juber/Nina Gerber: Two professional guitarists familiar to Santa Cruz audiences welcome Friday 2022 to the Kuumbwa Jazz Center. Laurence Juber once had a gig as lead guitarist for Paul McCartney and Wings, but for the past two decades he’s wowed local audiences with his stellar fingerstyle guitar playing. Nina Gerber has been a household name in Northern California for decades, having first surfaced as the sidekick to the late great Kate Wolf. Between them, Juber and Gerber can play just about anything under the sun on guitar. A special treat for guitar fans. Beginning of the concert at 7:30 p.m.
SATURDAY AND SUNDAY
Santa Cruz Symphony: It’s a new year, and the Santa Cruz Symphony Orchestra kicks off with a program called “Rites of Passage” which features two well-known and beloved pieces of music, Brahms’ “Symphony No. 4” and “Fanfare for the Common by Copland. Male.” In addition to this, the symphony also features the monumental “Unburied, Unmourned, Unmarked,” a meditation on pre-Civil War Southern slavery by Monterey Bay composer John Wineglass, as well as “Entr’acte” by Caroline Shaw Saturday night at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, and rehearsed Sunday afternoon at the Mello Center in Watsonville.
Jamestown Revival: Texans Zach Chance and Jonathan Clay form the country/Americana duo Jamestown Revival, mixing country-western instrumentation and irresistible two-part vocal harmonies. Although they hail from the Lone Star State, JR is perhaps best known for his beautiful ode to Golden State seductions called “California (Cast Iron Soul)”. Fresh off the release of their latest album, “Young Man”, Jamestown Revival enters the Catalyst next Wednesday along with some other great American artists, Mipso and Robert Ellis. The big show starts at 8 p.m.
OPENING THIS WEEK
“Atmosphere”: Monterey Bay artist Enid Baxter Ryce taps into winter weather patterns familiar to anyone living in Northern California in her new interactive multimedia exhibit “Atmosphere,” which opens Friday at the Museum of Art and of history in downtown Santa Cruz. Using paintings, photographs, film and even an interactive soundscape sculpture, Ryce brings together collaborators, musician Lanier Sammons, historian William Cowan, sculptor Natalie Jenkins and scientist Dan Fernandez to examine phenomena such as “atmospheric rivers” and winter fog (there will be a “fog collector” handy too). The exhibit runs through the winter and early spring months, through May.
RREVV Gallery: Santa Cruz’s new downtown art gallery, RREVV, opens its second month with an exhibition by several local artists, including master potter Mattie Leeds, glass artist Susan Wagner, painter Andrea Borsuk, printer Anthony Thomas and metallist Maha Taitano, plus the work of RREVV’s owner. artists, Rigel and Rachel Hunter. The show is in place for the month of January, at 1349 Pacific Ave., downtown.
“Indicators”: Surfing and art come together for an exhibition at the R. Blitzer Gallery on the Westside of Santa Cruz, showcasing the artistic creations of well-known personalities from the Santa Cruz surfing world, including Stan Welsh, Margitta Dietrick-Welsh, Vince Broglio, Nancy Broglio, Ed Dickie, Tessa Hope Hasty, Dave Anderson, Boogie Bill, Gary Hughes and more. It’s all happening at the Blitzer until January 28, at 2801 Mission St., in the old Wrigley Building.
Tiki weekend in Mentone: Get away from the chill of our January evenings with a tropical ambiance at David Kinch’s famous Aptos restaurant. Tiki-themed drinks include Hell in the Pacific (mezcal, 151, beetroot, maraschino, and lime) and Jungle Bird (rums, Campari, pineapple, and lime), featuring spam musubi, pulled pork sliders, and d other island favorites to snack on. The bar (open until 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays) does not take reservations, but they are highly recommended for the dining room.
Launch of Flight Dreams beer at Discretion Brewing: Saturday Lunchtime brings a new beer to Discretion Brewing’s award-winning range, with Flight Dreams IPA brewed to support Wings Homeless Advocacy, a local non-profit organization dedicated to helping people emerging from homelessness. Wings will have an information table handy for people who want to learn more and support the mission.
NEXT WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY
Dinner at the Mentone farm with Spade & Plow: Chef David Kinch’s team in Mentone is teaming up with Spade & Plow Organics of San Martin for a four-course prix fixe menu that will also include some gems from Mentone’s wine cellar. Reservations required.
River Health Day: Put on your gardening clothes, pack some snacks and water, and head to the banks of the San Lorenzo River for a few hours of local biodiversity boosting under the guidance of the Coastal Watershed Council. You will have the opportunity to plant seeds and nurture existing native plants in the area while learning about the ecosystem and what needs to happen to keep it and its inhabitants healthy.
Downtown Creators Market: The first Makers Market of the year takes place on Pacific Avenue on Sunday, and as usual there will be plenty of locally made crafts and goods ranging from art to food. Local artisans need all the help they can get, so consider continuing to support businesses and independent sellers throughout the year.
Workshop on the basics of aikido: Come to Aikido de Santa Cruz at Mission Street and Highway 1 for a two-hour workshop where participants will learn the basics of aikido. Masks and proof of vaccination will be required for entry and registration. All levels of experience are welcome, so be sure to bring your friends, family and kids if they’re looking for a fun new way to stay active.
BOOKS & LECTURES
Leonard Mlodinow: Physicist and author Leonard Mlodinow has made a name for himself explaining human behavior in such enlightening books as “The Drunkard’s Walk” and “Subliminal.” It’s back in bookstores with “Emotional: How Feelings Shape Our Thinking,” an examination of the conscious and subconscious influence emotion has on decision-making. Mlodinow will participate in a free live virtual event, sponsored by Bookshop Santa Cruz, on Thursday, two days after the book’s release. The event will start at 6 p.m.
David Allen Sullivan: Santa Cruz County Poet Laureate and Cabrillo College Instructor David Allen Sullivan celebrates the release of his new book of poetry centered on the long war in Iraq, “Black Butterflies Over Baghdad” in this live online event hosted by Bookshop Santa Cruz. Iraqi artist Hasan Alnawar will be on hand to introduce the poet and read one of his poems in Arabic. Joining Sullivan in the reading will be fellow Santa Cruz poet Farnaz Fatemi.
CHILDREN & FAMILY
Family Farm Walk at Farm Discovery at Live Earth: If your family (or one you know) has been looking for ways to keep the kids active while maintaining social distancing, Watsonville’s Live Earth Farm might be the ticket. At Farm Discovery, you can freely roam the grounds from a safe distance, explore the vast terrain, and interact with local vegetation and livestock while taking in the scenery.
Stand-up comedy at Abbott Square: In an event produced by Dope Show, comedians from across the Bay Area featured on late night TV, Comedy Central, SF Sketchfest and more will perform in Abbott Square – for free, though you’re invited to make a donation that will go directly to the actors.
Bigger Purpose Comedy – Paul Conyers: Riding the wave of his first streaming comedy special, “Above the Fray,” Paul Conyers is bringing a honed number to the Bay Area — and one he won in the 2020 World Series of Comedy Main Event. – to Greater Purpose Brewing for its weekly showcase.
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