Ukelele master Jake Shimabukuro
Ukelele master Jake Shimabukuro plays the Rio on Friday.
City Life

BOLO Best Bets: Sea Dubs fan fest, Boardwalk campout and Jake Shimabukuro ring in changing seasons

Hi friends, and welcome to autumn. Students are showing up in town, people are buzzing about the 49ers, and the weather is finally summer-like. The Sea Dubs Fan Fest at the Kaiser Permanente Arena on Sunday is another reminder that the season is changing and basketball is nigh. Same goes for the Beach Boardwalk’s Fall Campout and The Downtown Association’s Downtown Day welcoming UCSC students. And on the music front, here’s your latest reminder to be grateful that we can see artists of the caliber of Jake Shimabukuro and Los Amigos Invisibles right here in our neighborhood. Who says “autumnal” has to mean “sad”? Not in these parts.

— 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.

SC Credit Union and Cinelux logos

Best Bets is presented by Santa Cruz Community Credit Union and CineLux Theatres.

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.)


Musician Jake Shimabukuro

Jake Shimabukuro: In a town as ukulele-mad as this one — there can’t be a town outside of Hawaii with higher per-capita uke ownership than Santa Cruz — a concert by the Jimi Hendrix of the ukulele is going to make news. Jake Shimabukuro is a monster on the uke. The Honolulu-born virtuoso always evokes a big-time wow factor, and he’s on the cusp of releasing a new recording that features collaborations with Willie Nelson, Ziggy Marley, Jack Johnson, Asleep at the Wheel, and many others. Dude can play anything. See him live at the Rio Theatre on Friday.

Los Amigos Invisibles: Moe’s Alley opens its doors for two big nights with this celebrated Venezuelan band, which first emerged on the international scene when they signed with David Byrne’s Luaka Bop label in the 1990s. Several Latin Grammys later, Los Amigos are now Venezuela’s most high-profile cultural export. They perform Friday and Saturday at Moe’s.

Vetiver: Singer/songwriter Andy Cabic has grown and stretched as an artist for years now under the name of his band Vetiver. The Bay Area group arose 20 years ago from the acoustic movement known as “freak folk.” But over the years, Cabic has built on his initial sound with elements of rock and electronica to produce an enduring and always interesting body of work. Vetiver plays Sunday at Felton Music Hall.

Shovels & Rope: This ominously named husband-wife duo hails from Charleston, South Carolina, and their shambling but soulful folk music reflects that native Southern-ness. Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent take their name from a lyric in their song “Birmingham”: ... dragging around our guitars like a shovel and a rope. Hearst and Trent bring their hill-country music and vocal harmonies to Felton Music Hall on Wednesday.

— Wallace Baine


TV personality Anderson Cooper and the cover of his book, "Vanderbilt"

Anderson Cooper: OK, let’s be clear. CNN’s Anderson Cooper, one of the most respected voices in TV news, will not be visiting Santa Cruz on Friday afternoon. BUT he will be available live to interact with local audiences in a virtual setting to discuss his new book, “Vanderbilt,” a portrait of one of America’s greatest dynastic families (which, of course, happens to be Cooper’s family as well). The online event is sponsored by Bookshop Santa Cruz. $33 gets you a ticket for the event, a copy of the book and maybe a chance to ask a question to Cornelius Vanderbilt’s great-great-great grandson. Things get started at 3 p.m. Friday.

Ruth Ozeki: Not too many novelists can also claim to be a Zen Buddhist priest, but writer Ruth Ozeki is part of that exclusive club. In this online event, sponsored by Bookshop Santa Cruz, she discusses her new novel, “The Book of Form and Emptiness.” Ozeki will be in conversation with writer Katie Kitamura. Tickets are $34, which includes a copy of the book. The event starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

— Wallace Baine


A flyer for Downtown Day

Downtown Day: UC Santa Cruz and the Downtown Association are partnering to help students returning to campus connect with the Santa Cruz community and check out downtown’s many small businesses. There will be a scavenger hunt starting at the information kiosk at Pacific Avenue, plus student performances by acts including Sabrosura Latin Dance Troupe and Cloud 9 A Capella, and a free showing of the Jordan Peele horror movie “Us,” set in Santa Cruz, at Santa Cruz Cinema at 4:15 p.m.

Joint Chiefs at Midtown Block Party: The weekly Midtown Friday event finishes September strong with Bay Area Funk and R&B band the Joint Chiefs headlining. Local artists and food vendors round out the scene that transforms the parking lot next to the fire station on Soquel Avenue.

Capitola Beach Festival: A sand sculpture contest, fishing derby, rowboat races, horseshoe tournament, children’s art and a lighted boat parade are all part of the action as the Capitola Beach Festival returns. The in-person Little Wharf 3-Miler kicks off the festivities Saturday morning, beginning at the East Cliff Village Shopping Center and ending on the Esplanade.

— Haneen Zain


Camping at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
(Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk via Twitter)

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Fall Campout: Bring a group to the Boardwalk on Friday for this year’s fall campout. The event comes with tons of perks, including food, ride access, a movie on the beach, and even free play in the arcade. Profits will go to the American Cancer Society’s Gold Together for Childhood Cancer. Bring your sleeping bags and snacks, pitch a tent, and spend the night at our most famous local landmark.

— Max Chun


Flyer for Sea Dubs Fan Fest 2021

Sea Dubs Fan Fest 2021: Basketball season is right around the corner, so don your Warriors gear and come out to Kaiser Permanente Arena. Fans can participate in games and activities and hit up the food and beverage section, and the Golden State Warriors’ top pick in the 2021 NBA draft, Jonathan Kuminga, will be on hand, too. Attendees must wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status, and must show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the event.

Santa Cruz Triathlon: Get ready for one serious workout. The Santa Cruz Triathlon returns with several different ways to compete. This is the area’s only nonprofit triathlon and the funds raised go toward the athletic programs of local schools. Tickets vary in price depending on which category you sign up for, so be sure to check out the different options before signing up.

— Max Chun


A scene from the Jewel Theatre's production of "Heisenberg."
(Via Jewel Theatre)

“Heisenberg”: So, where were we? Just as the COVID-19 shutdown hit back in March 2020, the actors and crew of Santa Cruz’s Jewel Theatre were getting ready to mount a new production of the intriguing two-person sorta-romance “Heisenberg” with Paul Whitworth and Erika Schindele. Fast forward 18 months and one pandemic later, and Jewel is set to pick up right where it left off, making “Heisenberg” its first show in an ambitious new season at the beautiful Colligan Theater. This lively drama will be staged Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m.

— Wallace Baine


"The Selfie in the Time of a Pandemic" by Russell Preston Brown
“The Selfie in the Time of a Pandemic” by Russell Preston Brown.

“The Selfie” by Santa Cruz Masters at Greater Purpose Brewing: An irreverent take on the self-portrait, “The Selfie” is the perfect show to take in while sipping a brew at Greater Purpose. Presented by a local artists group calling themselves the Santa Cruz Masters, the art is representative of Santa Cruz’s quintessentially quirky creative charm. On display through the end of September.

— Laurel Bushman


Comedian Todd Barry
(Via Instagram)

Todd Barry at the Catalyst: Known for his dry humor, Todd Barry has performed on shows including “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and many more. With the Catalyst now back open after its long pandemic layoff, Barry performs in the Atrium as part of his national tour.

Natasha Vinik & Alejandro Ochoa headline Greater Purpose Comedy Night: Friday’s edition of the weekly event at Greater Purpose hosted by DNA’s Comedy Lab features a pair of Bay Area comedians in the versatile Natasha Vinik, a veteran of stand-up, improv and various hosting gigs, and “charming goofball” Alejandro Ochoa. It’s a 21-and-up show, with proof of vaccination against COVID-19 required.

— Haneen Zain


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