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John McCutcheon, Fri Jan 17th

John McCutcheon makes his annual visit to Santa Cruz, in a benefit concert for the Resource Center for Nonviolence in their concert hall on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 7:30pm. John is a well-regarded folk musician who is a songwriter, storyteller, singer, and multi-instrumentalist (fiddle, banjo, guitar, hammered dulcimer) and has recorded over 30 albums for adults and kids, receiving multiple Grammy nominations. His tunes and songs range from the traditional to poignant stories that relate to political and socially conscious issues. Folk music is featured on KZSC’s Backroads show, every Sunday from noon-2pm.

Hillbillies from Mars

Hillbillies from Mars, Sun Jan 5th

The Hillbillies from Mars will be landing at the Felton Community Hall for the first Sunday of the month Contra Dance sponsored by the non-profit Santa Cruz Traditional Dancers on January 5, 2014 at 7:00pm. The Hillbillies are a favorite dance band from the San Francisco Bay Area that’s been together since 1982, combining elements of Celtic and American traditional fiddle music blended with some swing, Latin and African rhythms to keep your feet moving. The band includes interstellar musicians Kevin Carr (fiddle, bagpipes, accordion, banjo), Ray Bierl (fiddle, guitar), Paul Kotapish (mandolin, guitar, percussion), and Daniel Steinberg (keyboards, flute, percussion). Susan Petrick will be prompting the dances. While you can pick up the dance moves on the fly, you’re welcome to attend a newcomers orientation session at 6:40pm for a head start. The tradition of contra dancing involves frequent changes of partners and movements with everyone in the room, so you’re welcome to come alone or bring a friend.

pharoah sanders

Pharoah Sanders Jan. 6th

Pharaoh Sanders got his start playing with Sun Ra and rose to fame in John Coltrane’s group. With that company, it’s only natural that he would rise to cultural significance. Possessing one of the most distinctive tenor saxophone tones in jazz, Sanders’ intense phrasing has become a touchstone of free-jazz. His classic 1960’s and 70’s albums have cultivated legions of followers worldwide. Making a rare stop in Santa Cruz with his current quartet, Pharaoh Sanders visits the intimate Kuumbwa Jazz Center for two shows Monday, January 6th. Showtimes are 7 & 9 pm.

Banana Slugs Holiday

Banana Slugs Holiday Show Dec. 22nd

The Banana Slug String Band has been playing music for children of all ages for decades. The Slugs will present their annual Rollicking Family Holiday Show, full of favorite “Eco-Rock” songs, Professor Banana Slug, Crab Louie and special surprises. Kids, bring your parents for this special matinee show Sunday, December 22nd at Don Quixote’s in Felton and you may find them doing the reindeer dance with you. Join the holiday fun starting at 2 pm.

Dave Mason

Dave Mason Dec. 14th

His first recognition was as a founding member of the band Traffic. When they later switched to a trio, Dave Mason was already recording with The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison and playing with Delaney & Bonnie Bramlet. Mason was also (briefly) a member of Clapton’s “Derek and the Dominoes” line-up. Decades of being a solo artist have given Dave Mason a wealth of material. Hear his originals along with his unmistakeable covers (Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” for example) in person as Dave Mason appears Saturday, December 14th at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz. Showtime is 8 pm.

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Peter Rowan Fri Dec 6th

Grammy award winning singer-songwriter Peter Rowan will be performing at Don Quixote’s in Felton, CA on Friday evening, December 6, 2013 at 8pm. Peter has had a long history as a bluegrass performer, starting out professionally as a singer, rhythm guitarist, and songwriter in Bill Monroe’s band. In the late 60’s and early 70’s, Peter’s musical sphere expanded to include participation in other rock, folk and bluegrass projects, including stints with the Earth Opera, Sea Train, Muleskinner and a band with his siblings as The Rowan Brothers. One of his better known songs “Panama Red” gained notoriety while playing in the Old & In the Way band, which included David Grisman, Jerry Garcia, Vassar Clements and others. He has more recently embarked on a successful solo career, but also still performs in several other bands, including the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band, Peter Rowan’s Big Twang Theory, and The Free Mexican Airforce.