Lúnasa, one of the outstanding traditional bands from Ireland, will be performing at Don Quixote’s in Felton, CA on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 7:30pm. Presented by the Celtic Society of the Monterey Bay, the band includes Seán Smyth (fiddle and low whistles), Kevin Crawford (flute, low whistles and tin whistles), Cillian Vallely (uilleann pipes and low whistles), Trevor Hutchinson (double bass) and the group’s newest member Ed Boyd (guitar). As an all-instrumental band, they play a diverse array of their own compositions, as well as traditional melodies from Ireland and other Celtic regions including Brittany, Galicia, Asturias, and Scotland, often weaving tunes in medleys that build in rhythmic excitement with intricate harmonies. Nominees and winners of numerous awards including Best Traditional Album of the Year in Ireland, and Folk Album of the Year in the BBC Radio 2 Awards, they have also performed for President Obama in the White House and collaborated with Billy Bragg, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and Roseanne Cash in concert to much acclaim.
Master of the gaita (Spanish bagpipe), flute, and recorder, Galician multi-instrumentalist Carlos Núñez will be appearing with his band on Thursday, February 20, 2014, 7:30pm at Don Quixote’s in Felton, CA. Carlos blends the music of his native Galicia (the Celtic Northwest region of Spain) with the traditional music of Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, and other areas of the world including Cuba, Brazil and Argentina. His most recent double-album features numerous guest artists including Jackson Browne, Los Lobos, Sinéad O’Connor, Laurie Anderson, the Chieftains, the Buena Vista Social Club and many more, as examples of the diversity in his interests. Presented by the Celtic Society of the Monterey Bay.
They may slack their guitar strings, but don’t you slack off! Come honor the music and the heritage of Hawai’i at the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Masters show with three of the greats: George Kuo, Martin Pahinui and Aaron Mahi. George Kuo is a direct line to the Hawaiian Renaissance of the 1970s, as he brings the experience of playing alongside the guitar masters like Sonny Chillingworth and Raymond Kane. Aaron Mahi has been the longtime director of the famous Honolulu Royal Hawaiian Band. And most fans recognize the Pahinui family name in Hawaiian music. Martin makes you feel like you are at an old style front porch party with musicians trading riffs and vocals. Warm up your winter with three truly great performers at Don Quixote’s in Felton Tuesday, February 18th. Showtime is 7:30 pm.
There are many luthiers in the Santa Cruz area creating beautiful instruments, and handmade guitars are being exhibited during the month of February through March 15, 2014, as part of the very first Santa Cruz County Art of Guitar Exhibit and Festival. An assortment of instruments are on display at the R. Blitzer Gallery on the West Side of Santa Cruz, CA and you can hear these guitars being played at various venues in a series of concerts (check the main festival website for details). Performers include Jayme Kelly Curtis, founder of the festival, Kenny Hill, William Coulter, Muriel Anderson, Marty O’Reilly, and many more. The Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History‘s free First Friday of February event (2/7/14) will feature a Hill Guitar Company shop setup displaying how classical guitars are made, crafts activities for kids, a harmonics/physics demonstration and lecture by David Winters, guitar strap weaving, and many live performances by artists throughout the evening. A locally produced book by Jim MacKenzie and Renee Flower featuring photos and essays about local instrument builders has also been released in association with the exhibit.
Local boy makes good…always a great storyline. But when good things happen to good people, it’s even better. After attending Musicschool in Santa Cruz and plenty of wood shedding, James Durbin shot to nationwide fame during “American Idol” and has now released the CD “Memories of a Beautiful Disaster”. Always a great show on his home turf, James Durbin plays The Catalyst in downtown Santa Cruz Saturday, February 15th. Showtime is 9 pm.
All you garage fans will finally have something to Dwyer-yip about in the New Year. The Crepe Place is playing host to not one, not two, but three killer bands. Orange County western lo-fi outfit The Abigails top the bill as they gear up for the release of their album “Tundra” on Burger Records. San Francisco’s Cool Ghouls are quite familiar with the stage at Santa Cruz’s alternative pancake restaurant. Their debut album was the third most-played new release in 2013 at KZSC; they are sure to feature some tracks off their upcoming Sonny (Sonny and the Sunsets) produced second LP. Los Angeles’ Froth rounds out the bill with burning, organ-grinding psychedelic jams. So throw on your denim jacket, polish up the buttons and join the throngs at The Crepe Place, Soquel Avenue in Santa Cruz on Saturday, January 25th. The noise starts at 9 pm.