The 28th Annual Santa Cruz Bluegrass Fair is a FREE event on Saturday afternoon, May 3, 2014, outdoors on the Duck Pond Stage in San Lorenzo Park. The Santa Cruz Bluegrass Society (aka Northern California Bluegrass Society) sponsors this event, and invited five bands to play this year: The Lampel Brothers with Jim Lewin (noon), The Eddie DuCommun Band with Luke Abbott (1:15), The Naked Bootleggers (2:30), Bean Creek (3:45) and The Harmony Grits (5:00). Bring a blanket or low back chair for lawn seating, along with sunscreen and a hat. There’ll be food and drink available to purchase or bring your own, but this city park requests that you leave alcohol and your dogs at home.
The 3rd annual Seabright Stringfest is a cavalcade of continuous acoustic music. This FREE event features 10 bands: Earl, Adrienne, Myles (oldtime rags); The Wakerobins (Americana/oldtimey); Theo and Dave (traditional Irish); Happy Chappies (traditional world music); The Percolators (Quebecois, oldtimey and traditional world music); Ragged But Right (oldtimey); Suzanne and Jim (traditional Americana roots); Redwood Ramblers (oldtimey); Earl White Stringband (oldtimey) and Bean Creek (bluegrass). The Seabright Stringfest takes place his Saturday, April 19th from 11 am-10 pm on the Seabright Brewery/Java Junction Patio in Santa Cruz.
Masters of traditional Celtic fiddling converge for a performance at Don Quixote’s in Felton, CA on Sunday, April 13, 2014 at 7:00pm. The Celtic Fiddle Festival band features Irish fiddler Kevin Burke (Bothy Band, Patrick Street), Breton fiddler Christian Lemaitre (Kornog) and Quebecois fiddler André Brunet (De Temps Antan, La Bottine Souriante) backed by acclaimed Breton guitarist Nicholas Quemener. They’re celebrating the release of their 6th album, “Live in Brittany.” Presented by the Celtic Society of the Monterey Bay.
Acclaimed Irish-American band Solas will be presenting traditional and original Irish tunes and songs at Don Quixote’s in Felton, CA on Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 2pm. This matinee show will feature the story of “Shamrock City,” about a mining town in Butte, Montana through the eyes of an Irish immigrant (Michael Conway, the great-great uncle of Seamus Egan, one of the founders of Solas) at the turn of the 20th century in a multimedia presentation. Solas has been performing together for some 18 years, releasing 11 albums and winning the award for Best Celtic Recording from the Association for Independent Music three times. They’re known for their fresh arrangements of old traditional tunes plus compelling topical original songs. Seamus Egan (flute, tenor banjo, mandolin, whistles, guitars, bodhran) and Winifred Horan (fiddle, vocals) anchor the band and are joined by Mick McAuley (accordions, low whistle, concertina, vocals), Eamon McElholm (guitars, keyboards, vocals), and newest member and lead singer, Niamh Varian-Barry. Presented by the Celtic Society of the Monterey Bay.
The weekend-long Spring Brookdale Bluegrass Festival has moved 25 miles up the coast from Santa Cruz to Pescadero, CA, north of Año Nuevo State Park on Highway 1 to the Costanoa Lodge. Concerts start at 5:00pm on Friday evening March 7, 2014 followed by all-night jamming. Pete Wernick and Jean Butterfield will lead workshops Saturday morning, followed by more concerts and non-stop jamming. The festival will conclude with an open mic on Sunday morning. Performers include Pete & Joan Wernick, David Thom and Jim Lewin, the Naked Bootleggers, Bill Evans, Cactus Bob & Prairie Flower, Regina Bartlett and Friends, The Stoney Mountain Ramblers, The Tuttles with A.J. Lee (sans Molly Tuttle who is away at college), and many others. Tickets are available for all or part of the weekend, as is lodging. No worries about the weather, as performances will be indoors as needed.
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.