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Friday | 20
The ’70s roots reggae era was a fertile time in Kingston, Jamaica that produced thousands of brilliant records. Second only to Bob Marley is Michael Rose, or at least his group Black Uhuru, which he joined in 1977. But check out his pre-Black Uhuru “Key of Keys,” which is a roots classic. Black Uhuru became the dominating name in reggae internationally throughout the ’80s, and they scored the genre’s first Grammy in ’85. Rose returned to the solo spotlight in the ’90s, where he’s stayed ever since, producing brilliant roots-reggae records, one after another. AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $25/adv, $30/door. 479-1854.
Saturday | 21
THE STORY SO FAR
It’s always nice to see local boys do good, and the Bay Area’s The Story So Far have taken the pop-punk world by storm since their 2007 inception. With melodic chords and catchy vocals, TSSF earned themselves a mention on the Alternative Press “100 Bands to Know” list. In May, the band released their self-titled third full-length, which hit No. 23 in American charts. They will be playing the main stage with fellow punks Basement and Turnover for a night that promises to pull at the heart strings while keeping the audience dancing in their Vans. MW
INFO: 8 p.m. The Catalyst Club, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $20.50/adv, $25/door. 429-4135.
CAROLYN SILLS COMBO
Santa Cruz has long had a thriving roots music scene, but lately, we’ve taken a pleasant twist into classic country, thanks in part to the growing Western Wednesdays scene at the Crepe Place. On Saturday, two of the finest local country bands take the stage at Moe’s Alley, as the Carolyn Sills Combo, a rising star of the national Western swing scene, teams up with local favorite Sharon Allen & the Dusty Boots for a night of classic country picking and singing. CJ
INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $10/adv, $14/door. 479-1854.
Sunday | 22
Singer-songwriter Tish Hinojosa embodies the spirit of her native San Antonio, playing a lively blend of Tex-Mex and contemporary folk music. But Hinojosa, who is the youngest of 13 children, doesn’t stop there. Her stylistic range includes bluegrass, rock, country, pop, children’s music, and more. Whether singing a Mexican love ballad or border song, or kicking up some dust with a good old Texas boot-stomping country tune, Hinojosa remains one of the most original and gifted artists on the roots scene. CJ
INFO: 7 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $15. 603-2294.
American Latin groups are nothing new, but L.A.’s Ozomatli has always taken the genre to new and dizzying places. For one thing, they’ve always mixed a bunch of sounds from both sides of the border (salsa, cumbia, reggae, rock, rap) and readily switch between Spanish and English the way many second-generation Latinos do in casual conversation. They’ve even done kids music (some of the best kids songs out there). Really, with all the fusion and cross-pollination of styles, language and culture, it doesn’t get more American than Ozomatli. AC
INFO: 8 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $23. 429-4135.
Monday | 23
RAY BROWN’S GREAT BIG BAND
It’s not bragging if you can back it up, and Ray Brown’s Great Big Band walks the walk, brimming with 20 musicians who constitute the cream of the Northern California jazz scene. An arranger/composer who spent formative years in Stan Kenton’s brass-laden orchestra (and a beloved educator who has nurtured several generations of exceptional musicians), Brown is a tremendously resourceful writer who gives his stellar cast plenty of room to shine. Celebrating its 26th year, the band will be joined by a string quartet for one piece. ANDREW GILBERT
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Cabrillo College Crocker Theatre, 6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos. $23. 479-6154.
IN THE QUEUE
Acclaimed New Orleans jazz clarinetist. Thursday at Kuumbwa
GRATEFUL BLUEGRASS BOYS
Top-notch bluegrass pickers play classic rock hits. Thursday at Moe’s Alley
Local psychedelic, stoner rock favorite. Friday at Blue Lagoon
LARA PRICE BLUES BAND
Bay Area blues vocalist and her ace band. Saturday at the Pocket
New York-based rapper and social activist. Sunday at Catalyst