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.
You may have heard his music on the soundtrack to the TV series “Hawaii 5-0”, the movie “The Descendants” or from one of his many albums already, but now you’ll get the opportunity to hear him live. Santa Cruz is one of the only stops Makana will make as he visits the mainland from Hawaii. If you love Hawaiian music and acoustic guitar music, be sure to make it to the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in downtown Santa Cruz Tuesday, November 5th. Showtime is 7:30 pm.
Halloween has always been like New Years, Christmas and your birthday celebration all at once in Santa Cruz. Celebrated like no other event, the bonus in 2013 is there’s a weekend before AND after October 31st. Try this for starters: a night of undead rocking to DJ Frank Zummo and a performance by Street Drum Corps’ Blood Drums during “Zombie Bash” Saturday, October 26th. The pre-Halloween party includes creepy costume contests with cash prizes, photo booths, zombie drink specials and undead delicacies available until 1 AM. Needless to say, leave the under 21 zombies at home. The “Zombie Bash” starts at 8:30 pm at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk’s Cocoanut Grove Ballroom. More good news for zombies: it won’t cost and arm and a leg!
Imagine this: John Lennon would be 73 on his birthday October 9th. Drew Harrison, the gifted leader of the musically remarkable and very popular The Beatles tribute band The Sun Kings, will present an evening of John Lennon’s music as a belated birthday celebration at Don Quixote’s in Felton. His solo ‘In The Spirit of Lennon’ musical show takes place October 10th. Showtime is 7:30 pm.