A person forms their hands to look like a heart as the sun sets in the background
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City Life

BOLO Best Bets: Show some love for Beethoven, iconic art and sweet treats

If you want to use Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to get out of the house and enjoy some performances or other cultural activities, we’re not going to hold you back. But remember, all the great things Santa Cruz County has to offer are not for just special occasions. This weekend is a great time to check on the latest offerings at the Museum of Art & History or to get swept up in the majesty of Beethoven with the Santa Cruz Symphony. You can also check out the breathtaking icons of California in a new art show at Curated By the Sea, then go check out the actual icons all around you in Santa Cruz. Also, all the above go well with wine and chocolate. Happy Valentine’s Day!

— 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.)


Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas: It’s a musical partnership that’s been going on for more than 15 years. Scottish-born Alasdair Fraser is a master of the Scottish fiddle, a member of the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame, and the impresario of the popular Valley of the Moon music camp in the Santa Cruz Mountains every summer. Bay Area native Natalie Haas is a celebrated cellist in classical and folk idioms, and together the pair have performed around the world and created recordings of haunting and inspiring music. As they’ve done countless times over the years, Fraser and Haas will perform live at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center on Friday in a show presented by the Celtic Society of Monterey Bay.

Maria Muldaur: It’s been an extraordinary career for New York-born Maria D’Amato. After her marriage to musician Geoff Muldaur, she emerged into the musical mainstream as Maria Muldaur, a central figure in the Greenwich Village folk music revival of the 1960s, and then, of course, a hitmaker in the 1970s with the sexy, swinging “Midnight at the Oasis.” Since then, she’s been exploring a number of musical avenues, from playing a role in the Grateful Dead diaspora to resurrecting the sound of vintage blues and folk performers. Maria Muldaur is a familiar presence on the Santa Cruz scene, and she plays live at Michael’s on Main in Soquel on Friday.

Taylor Rae/Anthony Arya: She’s a resident of Austin now, but locals still hold Taylor Rae close to their hearts. The singer-songwriter was born and raised in Santa Cruz County and has turned the musical influences she was raised with into a promising career. With a stellar new album of original songs infused with soulful country/folk called “Mad Twenties,” Rae comes to Michael’s on Main in Soquel to share the stage with Santa Cruz sensation Anthony Arya, the young man who rose like a comet thanks to his appearance on “The Voice” in 2018. One ticket for two brilliant rising stars from Santa Cruz. The show starts at 7:30 p.m.

“The Hill We Climb”: The Santa Cruz Symphony is busting out with Beethoven this weekend for its dual concerts in Santa Cruz and Watsonville. Under the direction of Daniel Stewart, the symphony will perform no fewer than four Beethoven pieces, including “Moonlight Sonata” and the “Pastoral” from Symphony No. 6. The program’s title comes from Amanda Gorman’s poem of the same name, which will be part of the “Moonlight” performance. Also on hand will be harpist and composer Destiny Muhammad leading the performance of a couple of her compositions, as well as pianist Matt Wong, the Esperanza del Valle folklorico dance troupe, pieces by composers Unsuk Chin and Jose Pablo Moncayo, and an original arrangement from the symphony’s own conductor, Stewart. Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, and again Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Mello Center in Watsonville.

Suzanne Santo: Los Angeles singer and musician Suzanne Santo is getting attention for her lean, bluesy sound, a potent mix of atmospheric Southern-gothic soul and noir-ish, swampy rock ’n’ roll. Emerging from the L.A. band HoneyHoney, Santo, now based in Austin, is pushing forward as a solo artist, coming to Felton Music Hall to showcase her new album, “Yard Sale,” which was recorded with backing help from Americana stalwarts Gary Clark Jr. and Shakey Graves. Opening is singer-songwriter Izzi Ray.

Nicki Bluhm & The Band of Heathens: Bay Area-born singer-songwriter Nicki Bluhm is known for her various collaborations, from her band the Gramblers to her husband, Tim Bluhm of the Mother Hips. Now, she’s jamming with the popular Austin quartet Band of Heathens, a partnership that began with a series of livestream shows at the beginning of the pandemic. Since then Bluhm and BOH have been performing and recording together, most notably a spirited roadhouse cover of the Stones’ “Tumbling Dice.” They bring their whole show to Felton Music Hall on Thursday, Feb. 17.

— Wallace Baine


“Iconic California”: Downtown gallery Curated By the Sea presents a new show in collaboration with the Bay Area and Monterey Bay chapters of the California Art Club, with more than 50 pieces devoted to the iconic images of California, from the Golden Gate Bridge to cypress and eucalyptus trees to the peaks of the high Sierra. “Iconic California” runs at Curated through Feb. 26.

“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. 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 be a “fog collector” on hand as well.) The exhibit runs through the winter/early spring months, until May.

Landscape & Life Speaker Series: Landscape Thinking Group, “Relational Landscapes”: Indexical on River Street has hosted many lectures, exhibits, and discussion events for local artists and enthusiasts alike. This weekend, there will be an interactive discussion and presentation about landscapes from Ph.D candidates in UC Santa Cruz’s Visual Studies program whose work ponders and analyzes the role of landscape in politics, race, and power around the world.

— Wallace Baine & Max Chun

Presented by Santa Cruz Symphony

Join the Santa Cruz Symphony for the third program of their 2021-2022 concert season, “Beethoven & The Hill We Climb”,...


Furry Valentine Celebration at Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter: A new pet is more than just a flash in the pandemic pan, and you can help animals of all kinds find a forever home Friday at the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter. Meet adoptable dogs with a “speed petting” session, take advantage of a $14 adoption fee for all animals — and get some grub from Areperia 831 in your belly so you’re not making any big decisions on an empty stomach.

— Will McCahill


A poster for the play "The Weir"

“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


Kai Harris: Detroit-born writer Kai Harris now teaches creative writing at Santa Clara University. She’s also celebrating the publication of her debut novel, a coming-of-age story over the course of one summer in the life of a Black girl growing up in Michigan titled “What the Fireflies Knew.” In a live online talk on Wednesday, Harris will be in conversation with novelist Mateo Askaripour in a free event presented by Bookshop Santa Cruz.

— Wallace Baine


Sammy Obeid at Hotel Paradox Comedy Night: You might have seen Sammy Obeid hosting Netflix’s acclaimed show “100 Humans,” where a test group is his canvas for a variety of social experiments. The comedian who identifies as Lebanese-Syrian-Palestinian-Italian American takes the stage downtown at Hotel Paradox in another installment of the second- and fourth-Thursdays shows presented by DNA of DNA’s Comedy Lab.

Zach Chapaloni at Greater Purpose Brewing Comedy Night: The immigrant experience informs Zack Chapaloni’s standup act as he mines his Moroccan family for stories that resonate across backgrounds while bringing the laughs. You can also catch him on “Hesby Street,” a podcast he hosts with fellow comedian Torio Van Grol.

— Lucille Tepperman


Yoga on the Bluff: Get up and moving with a one-hour yoga session overlooking the beauty of Monterey Bay at Seascape Beach Resort. Yoga mats will be provided and the entire session will be held outdoors. The weekend forecast is for warm weather, but bring layers in case the ocean breeze turns chilly.

Westside Farmers Market: Our local farmers markets continue to add great food, produce, and beverage options from pop-ups, home chefs and other artisans. Whether you’re looking for a grab-and-go meal, a new go-to coffee or just fresh fruits and veggies, you can find it Saturday on the Westside.

— Max Chun


Valentine’s Day Outdoor Market: Whether you need to finish up your Valentine’s Day gift shopping or are just looking for some locally made goods for the whole family, the Valentine’s Day Market on West Cliff Drive has you covered. From artisans to food trucks to the great view, take advantage of the warm weekend forecast on West Cliff.

— Max Chun


Valentine’s Day Weekend at Regale Winery: Looking for a Valentine’s getaway treat that won’t take you too far? Summit Road’s Regale Winery has Valentine-themed boxes from Charcuterie Chicks to enjoy at the winery or take home (the larger box is perfect for two and the smaller box is just the right size to nibble on as you sip wine), and Scotts Valley’s Ashby Confections will also be on hand to cater to your sweet tooth.

Valentine’s Brunch at Shanty Shack Brewing: Enjoy brunch-inspired beer creations featuring Shanty Shack’s fruit-forward sour beers, like the Shanty Sunrise, an olallieberry kettle sour layered with pilsner, and Return of the Ginger Sun, a saison with ginger beer, as well as live music and delicious eats from the Shanty Shack kitchen. The event that coincides with local SF Beer Week festivities is free, but sign up ahead of time and receive half off a pitcher of beermosas.

— Lucille Tepperman and Lily Belli


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