Your place to go for things to do in Santa Cruz County.
If you’re like me, you’ve got a face mask in the pocket of every jacket these days. The latest COVID-19 surge is worrying, but the vaccinated and boostered are figuring out safe ways to live their lives, which includes such joys as seeing the Santa Cruz Symphony perform live, taking an ersatz tropical vacation at Mentone, or catching a new exhibit at the Museum of Art & History. Be smart (check with the venue or presenter for any event you plan to attend), be safe, but be good to yourself and feed the soul as well.
— Wallace Baine
See our full BOLO calendar listings for events in Santa Cruz here. And as if that isn’t enough, we have you covered for all the MAJOR events coming up into the next year with Down The Line, a listing assembled by Wallace Baine that’s your key to getting tickets before they sell out.
Now, here’s what Team BOLO thinks you should know for the weekend and beyond:
(Click category headers for full BOLO listings in that category.)
Joey DeFrancesco: So exactly what does Joey DeFrancesco not do on stage? The veteran keyboardist is a highly sought-after sideman and soloist on everything from the piano to the Hammond B-3. But he’s also an accomplished trumpet player, and he’s a fine jazz singer on top of that. On his latest album, fittingly titled “More Music,” DeFrancesco also tackles the tenor sax, all done in a swinging soul-jazz idiom that’s two steps beyond cool. DeFrancesco visits the Kuumbwa Jazz Center on Thursday for a 7 p.m. show.
Laurence Juber/Nina Gerber: Two professional guitarists whom Santa Cruz audiences know quite well welcome in 2022 at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center on Friday. Laurence Juber had a gig once as lead guitarist for Paul McCartney and Wings, but the past couple of decades he has wowed local audiences with his stellar fingerstyle guitar playing. Nina Gerber has been a familiar name in Northern California for decades, after she first surfaced as accompanist for the late, great Kate Wolf. Between them, Juber and Gerber can just about play anything under the sun on the guitar. A special treat for guitar fans. Concert starts at 7:30 p.m.
SATURDAY AND SUNDAY
Santa Cruz Symphony: It’s a new year, and the Santa Cruz Symphony is kicking it off with a program titled “Rites of Passage” that contains two well-known and beloved pieces of music, Brahms’ “Symphony No. 4” and Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man.” On top of those, the symphony also presents the monumental “Unburied, Unmourned, Unmarked,” a meditation on the enslaved people of the South before the Civil War by Monterey Bay composer John Wineglass, as well as Caroline Shaw’s “Entr’acte.” Saturday evening at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, and repeated Sunday afternoon at the Mello Center in Watsonville.
Jamestown Revival: Texans Zach Chance and Jonathan Clay make up the country/Americana duo Jamestown Revival, mixing country-Western instrumentation with irresistible two-part vocal harmonies. Though they hail from the Lone Star State, JR are perhaps best known for their beautiful ode to the seductions of the Golden State called “California (Cast Iron Soul).” Fresh off the release of their latest album, “Young Man,” Jamestown Revival rolls into the Catalyst next Wednesday with a couple of other fine Americana artists, Mipso and Robert Ellis. Big show begins at 8 p.m.
— Wallace Baine
OPENING THIS WEEK
“Atmosphere”: Monterey Bay artist Enid Baxter Ryce taps into the familiar winter weather patterns for anyone who lives in Northern California in her new interactive, multimedia exhibit “Atmosphere,” opening Friday at the Museum of Art & 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” on hand as well). The exhibit runs through the winter/early spring months, until May.
RREVV Gallery: Downtown Santa Cruz’s newest art gallery, RREVV, opens its second month with a show of several local artists including master potter Mattie Leeds, glass artist Susan Wagner, painter Andrea Borsuk, printer Anthony Thomas and metalist Maha Taitano, along with the work of RREVV’s proprietor artists, Rigel and Rachel Hunter. The show is up for the month of January, at 1349 Pacific Ave., downtown.
“Indicators”: Surfing and art slam together for an exhibit at the R. Blitzer Gallery on the Westside of Santa Cruz, featuring the artistic creations of well-known figures in the Santa Cruz surf 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 up at the Blitzer through Jan. 28, at 2801 Mission St., in the old Wrigley Building.
— Wallace Baine
FOOD & DRINK
Tiki Weekend at Mentone: Take some of the chill out of our January evenings with a tropical hang at David Kinch’s acclaimed Aptos restaurant. Tiki-themed drinks include Hell in the Pacific (mezcal, 151, beet, maraschino and lime) and Jungle Bird (rums, Campari, pineapple and lime), with spam musubi, pulled pork sliders and other island faves to nibble on. The bar (open until 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays) doesn’t take reservations, but they’re highly recommended for the dining room.
Flight Dreams beer release at Discretion Brewing: Noon Saturday brings a new beer to Discretion Brewing’s award-winning lineup, with Flight Dreams IPA brewed to support Wings Homeless Advocacy, a local nonprofit dedicated to helping individuals who are transitioning out of homelessness. Wings will have an information table on hand for folks wanting to learn more and support the mission.
NEXT WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY
Mentone farm dinner with Spade & Plow: Chef David Kinch’s team at Mentone pairs with San Martin’s Spade & Plow Organics for a four-course, prix fixe menu that will also include some gems from Mentone’s wine cellar. Reservations required.
— Will McCahill
River Health Day: Get on your gardening clothing, pack some snacks and water, and make your way to the San Lorenzo River banks for a few hours of boosting local biodiversity under the guidance of the Coastal Watershed Council. You will have the opportunity to plant seeds and maintain existing native plants around the area while learning about the ecosystem and what needs to happen to keep it and its inhabitants healthy.
Downtown Makers Market: The first makers market of the year is happening Sunday on Pacific Avenue, 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 independent businesses and vendors throughout the year.
Aikido Basics Workshop: Come to Aikido of 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 enrollment. All experience levels are welcome, so feel free to bring friends, family and kids if they’re looking for a new, fun way to stay active.
— Max Chun
Leonard Mlodinow: Physicist and author Leonard Mlodinow has made his name explaining human behavior in such luminous books as “The Drunkard’s Walk” and “Subliminal.” He’s back in bookstores again with “Emotional: How Feelings Shape Our Thinking,” an examination of the conscious and subconscious influence that 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 begin at 6 p.m.
David Allen Sullivan: Santa Cruz County’s official poet laureate and Cabrillo College teacher David Allen Sullivan celebrates the publication of his new book of poetry centered on the yearslong 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.
— Wallace Baine
KIDS & FAMILY
Family Farm Walk at Farm Discovery at Live Earth: If your family (or one that you know) has been looking for ways to keep kids active while maintaining social distancing, Watsonville’s Live Earth Farm could be the ticket. At Farm Discovery, you can roam the grounds freely at a safe distance, explore the wide plot of land and interact with local vegetation and livestock while taking in the scenery.
— Max Chun
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 be performing in Abbott Square — for free, though you’re welcome to make a donation that goes straight to the comedians.
Greater Purpose Comedy — Paul Conyers: Riding the wave of his first streaming comedy special, “Above the Fray,” Paul Conyers brings an act honed around the Bay Area — and one he took to victory in the 2020 World Series of Comedy Main Event — to Greater Purpose Brewing for its weekly showcase.
— Will McCahill
HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF BOLO
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