BOLO Best Bets: Get all jazzed up as the calendar heads to February
Next Tuesday, much like the monarch butterflies at Natural Bridges, the population of top-flight jazz players in Santa Cruz will swell dramatically, at least for one night. That’s when legendary bandleader Wynton Marsalis leads his Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra into the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium in a red-letter date on 2022’s jazz calendar. Well before that, however, the weekend promises a variety of delights in live music, comedy, art and theater, as well as the Niners’ inevitable victory over the Rams. Let’s wrap up January in style.
— Wallace Baine
Lookout Santa Cruz’s BOLO (Be On the Lookout) calendar is “your place to go for things to do” in Santa Cruz County.
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.)
Dayan Kai: He was born in Hawaii and lives on the island of Maui, but there’s no way that singer-songwriter Dayan Kai does not qualify as a Santa Cruz local. He spent his growing-up years in neighboring San Juan Bautista and was a deeply embedded part of the Santa Cruz folk music scene for decades. Kai is known largely for his astounding musical versatility. His Hawaii background has given him solid grounding in Hawaiian folk, while his San Juan upbringing has put a folklorico vibe to his sound. On top of that, he’s fluent in jazz idioms, as well as country, reggae, bluegrass, even gamelan. On Friday, Kai visits his old stomping grounds for a show at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center.
Donavon Frankenreiter: Southern California singer-songwriter Donavon Frankenreiter no doubt feels right at home in Santa Cruz, given that he spent a huge chunk of his early life on the professional surfing circuit. Since then, he’s been working the lanes that he and his buddy Jack Johnson have pioneered in the music world. For more than 15 years, he’s been making music informed by laid-back melodies and reflective lyrics, exactly what you expect from a man who’s had more peak experiences on a surfboard than he can count. Frankereiter visits Felton Music Hall on Friday. You might even see him out in the water at some point. Showtime is 8 p.m.
Jesse Cook: Canadian-born guitarist Jesse Cook has been mesmerizing audiences with his supple style inspired by Spanish flamenco and jazz. Cook is greeting 2022 in a big way with a bold new album titled “Libre” and a tour he’s calling “Tempest II,” a reference to the postponed 2020 tour that was supposed to mark the 25th anniversary of his first album, “Tempest.” The tour brings Cook’s sultry, magical sound to the Rio Theatre on Saturday. Showtime is 8 p.m.
Snail: Any music fans who grew up in Santa Cruz in the 1970s will remember Snail, the local band that almost broke through to stardom back in the FM radio era. The heart of the band — singer/songwriters/guitarists Bob O’Neill and Ken Kraft — have, a lifetime later, reconstituted the band and recorded a new album just released this month titled “Snail Rocks.” Kraft, O’Neill, bassist Craig Owens and drummer Jimmy Norris will be mixing the old and the new in a new Snail show and album release party Saturday night at Michael’s on Main in Soquel.
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra: For jazz fans, Tuesday’s show at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium is a special opportunity to see the finest in American jazz blown up to big proportions. Under the direction of the legendary trumpeter and bandleader Wynton Marsalis, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra features 15 of the finest musicians to walk the face of the planet, brought together to explore both original compositions and the songbooks of names such as Ellington, Monk, Basie, Mingus and many others. Sponsored by the Kuumbwa Jazz Center, the show will be presented at the Civic, filled to half capacity, making these tickets even more premium. The first downbeat drops at 7:30 p.m.
— Wallace Baine
OPENING THIS WEEK
“Natural Habitats”: The Cabrillo Gallery was all set to open its latest exhibit, a group show meditating on natural and manmade spaces. That was before the Omicron variant. With the Cabrillo College campus now closed, this new exhibit opened this week online only. Local artists participating in this ambitious project include Andrea Borsuk, Glenn Carter, Myra Eastman, Janet Fine, Sara Friedlander, Anne Green, Lidia Hasenauer, Melissa Kreisa, Stephanie Martin, Ed Penniman and Robynn Smith. Jurors Donna Seager and Suzanne Gray present a jurors’ talk on Saturday, Feb. 5, at 4 p.m. Please register to join. The exhibit runs through Feb. 25.
Rydell Visual Arts Fellowship: The legacy of the late Santa Cruz artists and philanthropists Roy and Frances Rydell is a biannual fellowship providing grants to four local visual artists with national reputations. Over the years, the Rydell fund has contributed more than $600,000 to local artists, and the Museum of Art & History in Santa Cruz is ready to showcase the 2020-21 winners: printmaker and illustrator Ann Altstatt, designer and artist Marc D’Estout, dancer and choreographer Cid Pearlman and photographer and printmaker Edward Ramirez. The Rydell fellows will be the focus of a broad new display at the MAH’s second-floor Solari Gallery. The show runs through March 20.
Take Aways: Art to Go!: Pajaro Valley Arts in Watsonville is ushering in 2022 in a big way with a new exhibit featuring the work of (this is not a typo) 73 local artists. This gigantic all-star team of Santa Cruz County visual artists are presenting pieces to fit every budget to raise money for PVA in sculpture, photography, glasswork, fiber, encaustic and several other mediums. The show opens this weekend at the PVA gallery, 37 Sudden St. in Watsonville, and the gallery is open Wednesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. A reception is planned for the closing of the show March 6.
“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 example phenomena such as “atmospheric rivers” and winter fog. (There will also 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.
— Wallace Baine
KIDS & FAMILY
Hello 2022 Community Ride: Bring your bikes and your family on a group ride Saturday that winds from East Cliff Drive to Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing. Spend the afternoon outdoors with fellow bike enthusiasts for a fun, leisurely ride — the forecast calls for mainly sunny skies — and finish up with a beer and some free memorabilia.
— Max Chun
UC Santa Cruz student Tommy Alejandrez was living on the streets when he met former NFL player Zack Follett on a busy...
Anna Friz — “Media Landscapes”: A sound and media artist from the Pacific Northwest and assistant professor in the Film and Digital Media Department at UC Santa Cruz, Anna Friz will be speaking at Indexical at the Tannery this Sunday. She uses multichannel radio transmission systems for installation, performance and broadcast and composes works for theater, film, dance and more. Those interested in experimental or audio-visual artwork should stop by.
— Max Chun
“The Weir”: Jewel Theatre in Santa Cruz jumps headlong into 2022 with its latest production, presenting Conor McPherson’s “The Weir,” which won the Laurence Olivier Award for best new play following its 1997 debut. The play is set in a small pub in rural Ireland, where three men attempt to impress a young woman who has just moved to the area from Dublin with scary stories. When the woman tells her story, however, the exercise moves into the realm of the personal and the poignant. Directed by local theater pro Susan Myer Silton, “The Weir” runs through Feb. 20 at the Colligan Theater at the Tannery Arts Center in Santa Cruz. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday.
— Wallace Baine
BOOKS & LECTURES
Karen Tei Yamashita & Eric C. Wat: Longtime UC Santa Cruz professor of literature Karen Tei Yamashita added a major garland to her storied career in 2021 when she was awarded the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contributions to American Letters, an honor previously bestowed upon giants such as Ursula K. LeGuin, Joan Didion and Toni Morrison. Over the past 30 years, she has forged a unique viewpoint, celebrating multiculturalism and insisting that America is never one thing but a polyglot of different voices. Her latest book, “Sansei & Sensibility,” is a playful connection between Japanese American identity and the books of Jane Austen. On Thursday, Yamashita and novelist Eric Wat (“Love Your Asian Body”) will appear in a free virtual event sponsored by UCSC’s Creative Writing Program and Literature Department as part of the university’s Living Writers Series. Things get started at 5:15 p.m.
— Wallace Baine
Greater Purpose Comedy – Jalisa Robinson: The transition from the Midwest to Bay Area life is a theme for standup Jalisa Robinson, who headlines Greater Purpose Brewing’s weekly comedy night. Proof of vaccination is required for this event, which will also feature performers from the San Francisco Comedy Competition.
Blue Lagoon comedy night: The Blue Lagoon cocktail lounge brings the laughs downtown every Tuesday for a free stand-up event, which overlaps with its 4-9 p.m. happy hour. Proof of vaccination required.
— Will McCahill
Live Oak Farmers Market: Come out to the Live Oak Farmers Market for another chance to stock up on produce, food and crafts from local farms and merchants. Sunday’s market will have brunch offerings like traditional Michoacan dishes, dumplings, crepes and more. This is the place to start your Sunday and end your weekend.
— Max Chun
FOOD & DRINK
Ales for Tails at Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing: Meet adoptable dogs and help out the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter the last Thursday evening of each month at SCMB, which donates $1 from each pint to the shelter. Bring your own pooch and take advantage of mobile grooming by Pawsitive Styles.
Hillside Brewing Co. and Buena Vista Brewing Co. tap takeover at Slice Project: Maybe you’re already a fan of Slice Project, or you’ve been meaning to hit downtown Watsonville to try its New York-style pizza. Saturday brings the chance to acquaint yourself with a pair of newcomers to the Santa Cruz County beer scene as Hillside Brewing and Buena Vista Brewing take over the taps and serve up some freshies.
— Will McCahill
HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF BOLO
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