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.
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.
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.
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.
Her mother bravely resisted an arranged marriage in Korea and married a man who wrote joke books – in Korean. Going up in San Francisco during the 1970s with parents like this, it’s no wonder Margaret Cho chose comedy as a profession. She’s had a television sit-com, done Broadway and has toured to sold-out crowds for decades; find out what’s so funny for yourself on Saturday, November 30th when Margaret Cho appears at The Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz. Jim Short opens the show at 7 pm.
The last stop of the 2nd Annual California Banjo Extravaganza tour will be at Don Quixote’s in Felton, CA for a 2pm matinee show on Sunday, November 17, 2013, led by Tony Trischka, Sammy Shelor, and Bill Evans, who are well known in the world of bluegrass. Tony Trischka’s banjo playing has pushed the envelope beyond bluegrass into “new acoustic music” territory with elements of jazz and blues, and he’s released more than 30 albums, has developed music for films and documentaries, published books, and been nominated for a Grammy. Sammy Shelor currently leads the Lonesome River Band, has won the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass, and previously performed with the Virginia Squires and Sonny Osborne. Bill Evans is currently living in the Bay Area, playing with a number of different bands, and is the author of the best-selling “Banjo for Dummies” instructional book. They’ll be backed by a band of bluegrass all-stars, including John Reischman on mandolin, Jim Nunally on guitar, Chad Manning on fiddle, and Sharon Gilchrist on bass.