Scottish fiddling master Alasdair Fraser hosts a week-long Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School every year, culminating with an annual concert which this year falls on Friday, Aug 30, 2013 at 8pm at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. Performances showcase the exceptional instructors, along with over a hundred of their students on the stage, who occasionally add an accompanying wall of sound. Traditional and original fiddle tunes and songs from Scotland, Ireland and Quebec will be featured by Alasdair (Scottish), along with Andre Brunet and Eric Beaudry (Quebec), Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh (Irish, from the group Altan), singer and fiddler Laura Cortese (Boston), amazing step dancer Nic Gareiss, cellist Natalie Haas plus another 11 all-star fiddlers.
From New York, Donna the Buffalo brings their energetic spin on alt-country to Moe’s Alley in Santa Cruz, CA on Sunday, Aug 4, 2013 at 8:30pm. Their first studio-produced CD in five years was released less than two months ago, and has already risen to number 8 on the national Americana Radio Chart. The band has been together for 25 years and has released 11 albums to critical acclaim, presenting a unique mix of music that includes elements from country, rock, folk, cajun/zydeco, and reggae that’s tastefully done. More than just a thumping jam band, their work is driven by the strong and thoughtful songwriting of Tara Nevins and Jeb Puryear, who both have strong roots in traditional old-time string band music.
Dance to the Creole and Zydeco music of Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys tonight, Wed July 31, 2013 at Don Quixote’s in Felton, CA at 7:30pm. Jeffery is a master of traditional style Creole and Zydeco music as learned from the legendary Canray Fontenot and Jeffery’s famed accordion-playing dad, Delton Broussard, that few performers highlight today. At the age of 8, Jeffery played drums in his dad’s band. Now fronting his own band, Jeffery sings and plays old-style button accordion, newer piano-key accordion and acoustic fiddle and enthusiastically works to pass the joy of traditional music on to younger generations. The band also puts its own spin on contemporary Zydeco style music, so there’ll be plenty of rhythm for dancing.
Outstanding Ethiopian-Pop Debo Band makes an appearance in Santa Cruz tonight, Tuesday July 16, 2013 at Moe’s Alley. This large 11-member group includes musicians and dancers from Addis and Boston, plus local fiddler Kaethe Hostetter formerly of Bonny Doon. They’ve received raves for pushing the envelope of traditional Ethiopian music by incorporating funk, soul, jazz and Eastern European influences into their dance music using a varied assortment of instruments that includes sousaphone, accordion, and electric and acoustic violins. Debo’s most recent CD release was on NPR Music’s 50 Favorite Albums of 2012 and is available streamed in its entirety here. Sun Hop Fat, another group playing Ethiopian dance music opens.
An all-star string extravaganza led by fiddle master Darol Anger will be performing at Don Quixote’s in Felton, CA on Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 7:30pm. Darol has taken acoustic string music into territory which fuses elements of jazz, bluegrass, and other traditions from around the world. He’ll be joined by The Furies, comprised of bluegrass mandolinist Sharon Gilchrist, vocalist Emy Phelps, and Tristan Clarridge, a five-time Grand National Fiddle Champion and cellist who has toured with the neo-acoustic band Crooked Still. Their innovative music will bring something new to your ears.
The annual Santa Cruz Bluegrass Fair will be held in San Lorenzo Park at the Duck Pond Stage in Santa Cruz on Saturday, May 4, 2013 from noon-5:00pm. A cavalcade of local bands will be featured: Homefire, The Earl White Stringband, Bean Creek, and The Harmony Grits. This free event is presented by the Santa Cruz Bluegrass Society. They suggest that you bring blankets, low-backed chairs, hats and sunscreen in order to comfortably hang out on the grassy hill next to the pond. This year’s event honors the memory of Doc Watson and Earl Scruggs.
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