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Thursday | 4
It’s been a long time since slack-key master Keola Beamer has graced our town with his breezy island tunes. He’s also bringing with him Henry Kapono Ka'aihue, a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, also from Hawaii. Plus, Moanalani Beamer will be there doing a little bit of dancing. AARON CARNES
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $32. 423-8209.
RYAN MONTBLEAU BAND
A Massachusetts-born, Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter, Ryan Montbleau has a knack for crafting slice-of-life experiences into catchy tunes that range from heart-on-sleeve weepers such as “Ghost” to gritty dance numbers like the funky “Pacing Like Prince.” Blending folk, Americana, rock, funk, groove and soul into a colorful tapestry of sound and emotion, Montbleau creates music that catches the heart and the feet. CAT JOHNSON
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $12/adv, $15/door. 479-1854.
Percussionist Kahil El’Zabar, a second-generation member of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, inhabits a singular spot in American culture. He embodies the search for freedom pursued by jazz’s wild and wooly 1960s Black Arts Movement, and spearheaded the infiltration of African percussion into mainstream U.S. forums via his work on Hollywood film scores and Julie Taymor’s landmark Broadway hit The Lion King. He returns to Northern California for a series of gigs with two equally renowned masters, the baritone saxophonist/clarinetist Hamiet Bluiett, a founding member of the World Saxophone Quartet, and trombonist Craig Harris, who came of age as an improviser during this three-year tenure with Sun Ra in the late 1970s. This is music for soil-tilling and planet-gazing, rent parties, sacred rituals, and rebellion. ANDREW GILBERT
INFO: 7 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $25/adv, $30/door. 427-2227.
FRANK VIGNOLA & VINNY RANIOLO
Two guitar legends for the price of one? OK, maybe legend is a bit of a stretch, but these guys can show Eddie Van Halen a few tricks. And while they do shred, it isn’t ear-bleeding metal shredding. Jazz is their foundation, but it’s also really fun. You’ll be dazzled trying to figure out how they play so fast, but delighted by their renditions of “Eye of the Tiger” and Beethoven’s Fifth. AC
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $20. 335-2800.
Friday | 5
Founded in 1988, the Los Angeles-based band the Young Dubliners is a long-running staple of the international Celtic rock scene, with 10 albums to its name and an impressive list of tour mates, including Jethro Tull, Chris Isaak, John Hiatt, and Jonny Lang. Taking Celtic music where few other acts have, the Young Dubliners tread deep into jam territory and have as much in common with Phish and the Dave Matthews Band as they do with the Pogues and the Waterboys. CJ
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $13/adv, $16/door. 423-1338.
BOOKER T. JONES
From his time with the MGs to being a leading member of the Stax Records house band, Booker T. Jones helped shape the soul/funk/R&B sound in the ’60s. Everyone knows his 1962 instrumental “Green Onions,” which is about as groovy as a song can get. But Jones isn’t just coasting on his past achievements. He’s released three albums in less than a decade, most notably 2013’s Sound the Alarm, which is his long-awaited return to Stax. It’s got a great R&B groove that doesn’t sound dated, and he teams up with a lot of new names like Mayor Hawthorne, Gary Clark Jr., and Vintage Trouble. AC
INFO: 7 p.m. & 9 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St. #2, Santa Cruz. $30/adv, $35/door. 427-2227.
Saturday | 6
This six piece, electro-funk, dance phenomenon has been serving their infectious tunes to the Bay Area since their Oakland inception in 2009. As the name suggests, Planet Booty plays straight-to-the-point party songs that wash away life’s troubles. Their live show features lights, dancers, over-the-top outfits, and an armory of energy. But don’t let them fool you. They might be freaks inside, but Planet Booty is serious about their music and proved it by pushing their own musical limits on their third release, 2014’s Future Sweat. This Saturday is also rumored to be a special double birthday party, so show up early and beat the crowd. MAT WEIR
INFO: 9 p.m. Blue Lagoon, 923 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $5. 423-7117.
Monday | 8
AARON NEVILLE QUINTET
As part of New Orleans’ royal family the Neville Brothers, Aaron Neville established himself as one of Crescent City’s great R&B vocalists. In his ensuing solo career, the smooth crooner topped the charts with a string of hits, including “Tell It Like It Is,” “Don’t Know Much,” “All My Life,” and “Everybody Plays the Fool,” and reached triple-platinum status with the 1989 album Cry Like A Rainstorm, Howl Like The Wind, a collaboration with Linda Ronstadt. Neville’s latest album, My True Story, is a collection of doo-wop cover songs made famous by some of the genre’s greats such as Hank Ballard, Leiber & Stoller, Curtis Mayfield, and the Ronettes. Neville is joined on Monday by his quintet, featuring his brother Charles Neville. CJ
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $40/adv, $60/door. 423-8209.
Tuesday | 9
For almost a quarter-century, Lettuce has delivered its smoothed-down, jazzy version of funk for hungry ears and impatient feet. By combining influences like Earth Wind and Fire and Tower of Power with John Coltrane and Herbie Hancock, Lettuce has grown an international following well beyond their origins at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Surprisingly, they’ve released only four studio albums in their career, beginning with 2002’s Outta Here, through last year’s Crush. The band expands into more psychedelic and hip-hop influences on their latest release, and this Tuesday, they team up at the Catalyst with Chicago R&B/glitch-hop natives ProbCause for a Mardi Gras party that’s sure to deliver some sinfully tasty grooves. MW
INFO: 8 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $20/adv, $25/door. 429-4135.
IN THE QUEUE
Folk-rock outfit out of Columbus, Ohio. Wednesday at Crepe Place
VAN MORRISON TRIBUTE
Former Van Morrison collaborator Kevin Brennan and his band pay tribute to the legend. Friday at Don Quixote’s
Rapper, actor and Long Beach legend. Friday at Catalyst
San Jose-born blues rocker. Saturday at Moe’s Alley
Americana singer-songwriter. Saturday at Catalyst