If there’s a more well-known instrumental from the 1960s than “Green Onions” we haven’t heard it. Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Booker T. Jones and his band, Booker T. & The M.G.s were a staple of radio with hit instrumentals. They also helped define the Stax record label sound by serving as a backup band for many important soul singers including Otis Redding. When the M.G.s went their separate ways, Jones went on to producing, composing, and collaborating with new groups. Don’t expect only the oldies at this show; his latest album Sound The Alarm (with Gary Clark Jr) features Jones at his most soulful in years. It’s a Hammond B-3 sound fest as the Kuumbwa Jazz Center proudly presents Booker T. for two shows, 7 and 9 pm, Monday, January 20th. Don’t miss an opportunity to see a musical legend in such an intimate venue.
Nina Storey is as powerful as she is provocative, delivering honest and hypnotic songs steeped in classic soul pop. Her Santa Cruz fans will be among the first to hear songs from her new album Think Twice, which will have its Northern California release at Moe’s Alley Saturday, January 12th. Doors open at 7:30 pm.
The end of December is full of music events in the Santa Cruz area that you won’t want to miss. “Winter Solstice” which includes Barbara Higbie, Liz Story, Lisa Lynne, George Tortorelli and Aryeh Frankfurter is a holiday music event at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center Friday, December 21st that will surely make you feel festive. Sunday, December 23rd, check out the sophisticated modern jazz duo The Le Boeuf Brothers at Don Quixote’s in Felton, followed by the guitar stylings of Peppino D’Agostino on Thursday December 27th. Finally, head down to the Rio Theatre on December 29th or 30th to see the White Album Ensemble perform The Beatles’ “Revolver” and “Let it Be” albums note-for-note. More Beatles for New Years Eve with The Sun Kings at Don Quixote’s starting at 9 pm.
As 2012 flips into Lucky 13, what better way to celebrate than with the music of The Beatles? For over a decade the Sun Kings have been thrilling audiences with their uncanny channeling of the Beatles’ music. With a repertoire of over 100 songs, the Sun Kings shine with spot-on arrangements and vocal harmonies, delivered with a driving energy that recalls the earliest Beatle shows yet covers the entire history of the band. You can expect to hear your favorite Beatles songs performed brilliantly on New Year’s Eve at Don Quixote’s in Felton. The evening begins with a special dinner, followed by champagne and party favors for the midnight hour. Doors open for dinner at 6 m.
Because Elvis is an international institution that can communicate across national and cultural boundaries, it comes as no surprise that El Vez - the self proclaimed “Mexican Elvis” – has come along. El Vez, aka Robert Lopez, has been kicking around the L.A. underground music scene for nearly 20 years. While his records are excellent documents of the El Vez phenomenon, the only way to get the full El Vez experience is to see his live shows, which feature his band The Spiders from Memphis and the lovely El Vettes. Toss in the holiday season and you have a “Merry Mex-mas” celebration as only El Vez can produce. The El Vez Christmas Show comes to the Kuumbwa in Santa Cruz Wednesday, July 19th. Showtime is 7 pm.
Last year I fell head over heels for Two Door Cinema Club’s album, Tourist History. Loaded with the electro-pop dance grooves I was looking for in a band, Tourist History was high energy and infectious, making it impossible to not want to groove along. Needless to say it set the bar pretty high for a followup album. Now available, Beacon expands our expectations of the musical range of TDCC. Find out for yourself when Two Door Cinema Club plays The Catalyst in downtown Santa Cruz Wednesday, December 5th. Showtime is 8 pm.
They’re also part of “Not So Silent Night” with Jack Black, Metric, The Shins, Of Monsters and Men, The Gaslight Anthem Friday, December 7th at the Oracle Arena in Oakland. Bursting with music, this show begins at 6 pm and will sell out soon.
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