Live music highlights for the week of October 4, 2017.
Hans-Joachim Roedelius had a band called Kluster, then later another called Cluster, then later still one called Qluster. It’s probably no secret that we’re talking about an experimental artist here. The most famous incarnation of the group was Cluster, a ’70s Krautrock band that ranged from massive prog rock anthems to teeny tiny electronic ambient noise orchestrations. And that’s only scratching the surface of Roedelius’ projects. As a solo artist, the sheer amount of music he’s released is approaching critical mass. His fame has also risen steadily since the ’90s, as his pioneering work in modern electronic music has gained attention. AARON CARNES
INFO: 8 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $15. 429-6994.
Quickly now: a band that calls themselves “Rising Appalachia” plays what kind of music? If your answer was “Americana,” you get partial credit. Of course, when you think of Appalachian music, you imagine mountain folk with string ensembles. Sisters Leah and Chloe Smith grew up in the South, hearing this music as kids, but they also heard hip-hop, jazz, soul and world beat. So they decided to start a band that would allow them to explore their own interpretation of the music from their youth. The duo has remained fiercely independent since its formation in 2005. AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $23-$75. 429-4135.
Put on your dancing shoes, smoke a fat spliff and get ready to praise Jah with the uplifting sounds of Prezident Brown. For decades, he has been a leader in Jamaican dancehall, first mentoring under U Brown’s wing, and later branching out on his own with songs like anti-drug anthem “Blow Your Nose.” This year, Prezident Brown released his 12th album, Journeyman Pilgrimage, the follow-up to his 2015 EP The Journeyman. He doesn’t tour the U.S. very often, so this Friday at Moe’s Alley will surely be a treat for all the natty dreads. MAT WEIR
INFO: 9 p.m, Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $14/adv, $18/door. 479-1854.
Murs is the underground hip-hop equivalent to Jay-Z. He started building his empire as one of the founders of the L.A.-based group Living Legends, then went on to make a string of iconic, collaborative albums as Felt. If that wasn’t enough, he founded the Paid Dues Festival in 2007, which lasted for six years, all while continuing to record and release his own solo projects. Earlier this year, Murs released his 23rd album (outside of his Living Legends recordings), Captain California, once again proving that if you want to be the king, you can’t stop hustling. MW
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $18/adv, $23/door. 429-4135.
MARTIN HAYES & DENNIS CAHILL
Longtime collaborators Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill are Celtic music royalty. The duo’s one-two punch of Irish fiddle virtuoso Hayes and American guitarist Cahill have spent two decades fine-tuning their sound, while working with an impressive list of artists ranging from jazz guitarist Bill Frisell, jazz vocalist Cassandra Wilson and Sting. With a tendency to strip traditional jigs and reels down to their essence to make room for new interpretations of them, Hayes and Cahill are musical visionaries. CJ
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $22/adv, $25/door. 427-2227.
Gavin DeGraw is liberal with his influences, whether it’s rock ’n’ roll, soul, pop or roots rock. It doesn’t matter. What he’s all about is huge choruses, heart-on-the-sleeve lyrics and belting out the words with every ounce of his being. That last one might have gotten missed by some listeners, since he’s also fond of high production value and large backing bands. This current tour could turn a few heads as he embarks on his first ever “stripped down” tour. He’ll be performing songs with an intimate trio, from his smash hit “I Don’t Want to Be” to tracks from his subsequent half-dozen records. AC
INFO: 8 p.m. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $42/gen, $63/gold. 423-8209.
CHRISTIAN McBRIDE’S TIP CITY
More than a virtuosic bassist, Christian McBride is one of jazz’s great public figures, an avuncular intellectual who’s embraced leadership roles as programmer (including the Newport Jazz Festival), broadcaster, and tireless bandleader. His latest ensemble is Tip City, a trio designed to showcase the brilliant young pianist Emmet Cohen, a McBride mentee since his teenage years in New Jersey. For this tour, they’re joined by versatile guitar great Rodney Jones, a longtime Juilliard faculty member whose resume includes recordings with Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, Maceo Parker, James Brown, and James Carter. ANDREW GILBERT
INFO: 7 and 9 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $30/adv, $35/door. 427-2227.
Junior Brown’s classic country look and sound have established him as a favorite of the roots faithful, but Brown is no wannabe. He makes a point of being current and relevant with his song topics, with one of the best examples being his “Hang Up and Drive” anthem. Brown masterfully brings that classic sound and songwriting approach into modern times, and advises other artists to do the same. As he told GT in 2015, “Don’t sing about the boogie-woogie bugle boy of company B. That’s World War II. Stick with your own era.” On Monday, Brown makes his Moe’s Alley debut. CJ
INFO: 8 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $25/adv, $30/door. 479-1854.
A 25-year-old guitar virtuoso, Joe Robinson has head-turning technical chops and a songwriting ability that keeps audiences singing and swaying along. Hailing from Temagog, New South Wales, Robinson moves easily between rock, the blues, jazz and R&B to create a sound of his own. As the story goes, the self-taught Robinson started taking guitar lessons at the age of nine, but he “quickly outpaced” his instructor and started teaching himself by watching videos. The strategy paid off—Robinson won the 2008 season of the hit TV show Australia’s Got Talent and has a fanbase that stretches around the world. CJ
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $10. 335-2800.
IN THE QUEUE
Irish and Americana group led by fiddle champion John Wheeler. Wednesday at Don Quixote’s
Hawaiian reggae favorites. Wednesday at Catalyst
MICHAEL FEINBERG QUARTET
Jazz bassist and his band, featuring Berkeley trumpeter Billy Buss. Thursday at Kuumbwa
Ace Afro-Latin band celebrates new album, California Brown. Saturday at Moe’s Alley
MAPACHE AND ENTRANCE
California country and psychedelic rock. Saturday at Crepe Place