Live music highlights for the week of March 7, 2018.
MASTERS OF HAWAIIAN MUSIC
The connection between Santa Cruz and Hawaii is strong, with surfing, a laidback lifestyle and a widespread appreciation of music. There’s also an underlying agricultural and rural vibe both places share. Santa Cruz County has no shortage of horses, ranches and farms, and one of the somewhat hidden elements of Hawaii is its rich cowboy (paniolo) culture. Slack key guitar masters George Kahumoku, Ledward Kaapana and Jeff Peterson all grew up in rural Hawaii, surrounded by the beauty and music of the Hawaiian countryside. They’re also all three world-renowned artists sharing slack key and other Hawaiian music traditions with audiences around the globe. CJ
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $30/gen, $36/gold. 423-8209.
Sublime gets a bad rap. OK, I get it. Any band that names their album 40oz. to Freedom might be due a little scorn, but they were actually a really good bad—you can thank them for the entire reggae-rock explosion. Yet at the same time, if you listen to Sublime’s three albums, it’s a chaotic, diverse hodgepodge of styles ranging from reggae, punk and ska to weirdo rock. And Bradley Nowell could sing. With his untimely passing, if you want the Sublime experience, the closest thing is on-the-nose tribute band Badfish. It’ll be like it’s the ’90s all over again—the good ’90s that is. AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $10-$18, 429-4135.
An Irish folk band out of County Donegal, Altan has been a force on the international music scene since the late 1980s, winning awards, representing a new generation of Irish musicians and furthering contemporary Celtic music. Possessing a sound that incorporates Irish folk songs, reels and jigs, Altan has a deep commitment to sharing traditional Irish music with music lovers around world—and the band has made quite a name for itself in doing so. Rooted in informal music gatherings and sessions in the pubs of the band’s hometown, Altan has worked with Bonnie Raitt, Ricky Skaggs, Dolly Parton, the Chieftains, Alison Krauss and more. CJ
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Flynn’s Cabaret, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $30. 335-2800.
In 2014, at the age of 19, San Diego rapper Rob $tone released his first single, “Chill Bill,” through soundcloud.com, taking the iconic whistle from the Kill Bill movies and transforming it into a club hit. The fact that he wrote the track while in the back of a police car definitely added to his hip-hop street cred. Four years later, $tone has two mixtapes under his belt and just dropped his debut album, Don’t Wait For It, last October with his debut video for “Uncle Ben” out last month. MAT WEIR
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $18. 429-4135.
An award-winning eight-piece out of Houston, the Suffers is a rocking soul band that’s credited with redefining Gulf Coast soul. Led by frontwoman Kam Franklin, whose soaring vocals take the band into otherworldly territory, the Suffers have caught fire on the roots, soul and retro rock scenes with a contagious mix of gospel, swamp rock, reggae, Latin and more. CJ
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $25/adv, $30/door. 427-2227.
Those who weren’t lucky enough to see the Jerry Garcia Band while Jer-Bear was alive, dry your tears—the Garcia Project is here. For eight years, the Project has toured the country, delighting Deadheads of all ages and even featuring special guest appearances by former JGB member Melvin Seals and ex-Grateful Dead keyboardist Tom Constanten. So bust out your best attire, roll away the dew and if you get confused, listen to the music play. MW
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Michael’s on Main, 2591 S Main St., Soquel. $22. 479-9777.
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away … oh wait, I saw the name Space Heater and I just assumed it was a science-fiction-themed tribute band. It turns out that is not the case. Local ensemble Space Heater is all about the funk. The band plays it loud and booty-shaking proud. They keep it loose on the dance floor, too, with extended jams and improvised sections—anything that makes it funkier. AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $7/adv, $10/door. 479-1854.
If slow, dreamy indie jams with the occasional violin solos are your thing, then be sure to get out of bed Saturday night and head over to the Crepe Place to check out San Francisco quartet See Night. It’s got music that is emotionally cathartic and surreal at once, with layers of moody guitars hitting you over the head with introspective finger-picking riffage and lush vocal harmonies. And if you watch the band’s video for “Chasm,” you’ll see the band rip an ethereal string solo. AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $10. 429-6994.
OMAR SOSA – SECKOU KEITA TRIO
The ever-exploratory Cuban pianist Omar Sosa returns to California with the North American premiere of “Transparent Water,” a cross-cultural summit featuring Senegalese griot and master of the harp-like kora Seckou Keita, whose album 22 Strings/22 Cordes (ARC Music) won the 2016 Best Album Award for African and Middle Eastern music from the world music magazine Songlines. Completing the liquious triangle is Venezuelan percussionist Gustavo Ovalles, who recorded a thrilling live duo album with Sosa, 2003’s Ayaguna, and the atmospheric 2016 trio session JOG with German trumpet player Joo Kraus (both on Otá Records). ANDREW GILBERT
INFO: 7 and 9 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $30/adv, $35/door. 427-2227.
IN THE QUEUE
Orchestral pop and electronica. Thursday at Crepe Place
ACHILLES WHEEL & CHINA CATS
Grateful Dead tribute and album release party. Thursday at Moe’s Alley
Tribute to James Brown. Saturday at Flynn’s Cabaret
Legendary post-punk band. Sunday at Catalyst
Metalcore out of Georgia. Tuesday at Catalyst