Rock ’n’ roll is dead, says Ian Moore’s bio. “It’s a toothless old woman. It’s really embarrassing.” It’s a Bowie quote, actually. This inherent irony is to be expected from Ziggy Stardust, but it’s a little weirder coming from Moore, who got his start in the early ’90s. When all the young guitar-slingers were playing moody alt-rock, he was giving the people blues-rock. Nothing fancy, just plain ol’ rock ’n’ roll coming back from the grave for the umpteenth time. We can look back now 25 years later and see how much of a thing blues-rock has become for indie kids, so maybe Moore was right to kick the corpse when it was down. AARON CARNES
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $10. 429-6994.
Since before his 2004 debut album, Sub Conscious, dropped on Waveform Records, Phutureprimitive has been exploring the darker sides of electronic music. His songs are introspective and inquisitive, leaving the listener with a sense of deeper connection and understanding through this strange language called music. He even called his 2013 and 2015 EPs Searching For Beauty in the Darkest Places, Parts 1 & 2, respectively. But that’s not to say he doesn’t also know how to bring the party. Phutureprimitive feeds the dance floor with creatively constructed melodies, breaks and time changes to get everybody sweating to his primitive sounds from the phuture. MAT WEIR
INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $15/adv, $20/door. 479-1854.
Since 1959, legendary singer-songwriter Judy Collins—who inspired the Crosby, Stills & Nash hit “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes”—has been crafting heartfelt songs spanning genres from folk, rock and standards to show tunes and pop. Collins is also a lifelong social activist who has championed a diverse array of causes, including UNICEF and the abolition of landmines. Her recording of Stephen Sondheim’s “Send in the Clowns” garnered her a Grammy nomination. Last time Collins was in Santa Cruz, the show sold out, so get your tickets early. CAT JOHNSON
INFO: 8 p.m. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $36/gen, $51/gold. 423-8209.
In 2005, Matisyahu made a splash as a reggae-singing, beat-boxing Hasidic Jew. His breakout hit, “King Without a Crown,” made the U.S. charts and Matisyahu became a cultural phenomenon. Over the next two decades, he grew a global fanbase, releasing four studio albums and two live records. A multi-faceted artist whose spirituality is never far from his music, Matisyahu has since redefined himself as simply an artist. In 2011, he posted a beardless photo of himself along with the following note to his fans: “No more Chassidic reggae superstar. Sorry folks, all you get is me … no alias.” However he self-identifies, Matisyahu is one of the most extraordinary and thoughtful artists around. CJ
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $25/adv, $28/door. 423-1338.
There will never be a day when Santa Cruz doesn’t love James Durbin with all its heart. Fortunately, Durbin wields his power for good. The group he fronts, the Lost Boys, is playing a benefit show on Saturday, with proceeds going to Jacob’s Heart, which funds children’s cancer support services. The Lost Boys is the perfect project for rock-loving Durbin. The group does rock covers from the ’60s to present. It’s all local Santa Cruz musicians. Durbin, of course, will bring the house down with an earnest passion for this music, and a voice that can cause an armadillo to melt. AC
INFO: 8 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $30/adv, $35/door. 429-4135.
SATURDAY 3/11 & SUNDAY 3/12
Before starting his own band in 1989, Walter Trout spent nearly two decades playing with some blues heavyweights, including Canned Heat, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, and John Lee Hooker. Since then, he’s been solo, with various bands backing him. His take on the blues has a particularly desperate quality to it. It’s the combination of an almost-falling-apart-at-the seams voice, and his spastic rip roaring guitar fills. It’s the kind of blues that reminds you why there’s different sections in the record store for blues and rock. AC
INFO: 4 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $20/adv, $25/door. 479-1854.
Gypsy Soul blends roots music, blues and jazz into a mesmerizing musical fusion. Twenty years into a celebrated career that includes a Top 40 hit with “Silent Tears” and over 1,000 performances, the duo—comprised of Roman Morykit from the U.K. and Cilette Swann from the U.S. and Canada—traverses styles and human experiences, from heartache and love to struggle and joy. The members of Gypsy Soul met and honed their sound in Scotland, where they made a commitment to “make both their living and their lives from their art.” CJ
INFO: 7 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $15. 335-2800.
Since graduating from Juilliard a decade ago, Aaron Diehl has cut a brilliant path as a composer, arranger, bandleader and most visibly, accompanist and music director for the nonpareil vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant. For this show, he brings his new project exploring the music of George Gershwin and Jelly Roll Morton, composers who defined the rise of jazz and America’s popular music in the 1920s. He’ll play piano duets with Adam Birnbaum (who finished his Juilliard studies a few years before Diehl), and feature Salvant’s supremely imaginative interpretations of standards and his sextet arrangements for bassist Paul Sikivie, drummer Lawrence Leathers, trombonist Corey Wilcox (son of trombone great Wycliffe Gordon), rising trumpeter Bruce Harris, and clarinetist Evan Christopher, a master of classic New Orleans jazz. ANDREW GILBERT
INFO: 7 and 9 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $40/adv, $45/door. 427-2227.
IN THE QUEUE
Jerry Garcia tribute band from Saratoga Springs, New York. Wednesday at Don Quixote’s
Electronic/live world music fusion. Friday at Catalyst
Afro-Latin-Reggae-Cumbia-Funk band. Saturday at Moe’s Alley
MASTERS OF HAWAIIAN MUSIC
Beloved island musicians George Kahumoku Jr., Nathan Aweau and Kawika Kahiapo. Sunday at Kuumbwa
DREAD MAR I
Argentina’s “king of reggae music.” Tuesday at Moe’s Alley