Live music highlights for the week of March 6, 2019
Los Angeles singer-songwriter Jamie Drake is happiest when she’s on stage, plucking an acoustic guitar for an attentive audience. But for a decade, she was primarily hidden in plain site as a collaborator of artists like Moby, Willie Watson and Sean Watkins. She’s also dabbled in film and television; she co-wrote the theme for the CW’s Life Sentence. Her career as a folk-oriented singer-songwriter was there, but she’s really taking steps to put that front and center these days. And judging by the couple of heartfelt ’70s Laurel Canyon-esque songs she’s already released from her upcoming 2019 album, this could be the year people start to learn her name. AARON CARNES
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $12. 429-6994.
Clive Carroll is what’s known in the industry as a “musician’s musician.” Over the years, this extraordinary virtuoso has earned his place as one of the world’s top acoustic guitarists. With a wealth of styles in his repertoire, from blues to jazz to 500-year-old lute ballads, it’s easy to see why Carroll caught the attention of stars such as Madonna and Guy Ritchie. MAT WEIR
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Michael’s on Main, 2591 Main St., Soquel. $15. 479-9777.
Though he was a founding member of Jefferson Airplane, Jorma Kaukonen has always been more about the blues than psychedelia. But there is something distinctly peppy about the blues in Kaukonen’s hands. Bright and jaunty, his acoustic finger-pickings shimmer like morning dew, bending blues progressions toward the San Francisco folk style he defined in Hot Tuna. And though he won’t be joined by his frequent collaborator Jack Casady, a night with Kaukonen is a tour through half a century of Bay Area rock history. MIKE HUGUENOR
INFO: 8 p.m. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz. $30. 423-8209.
REBIRTH BRASS BAND
If you looked up the word “celebratory” in the dictionary, and it was a weird dictionary with pictures instead of definitions, you would find a picture of the Rebirth Brass Band. One of the truest institutions of the Big Easy, the Rebirth Brass Band have gone from locals-only Tuesday night gigs in the French Quarter to Grammy-winning, HBO-featured, Beyonce-entrance-music-playing superstars. It’s all due to their incredible musicianship and absolutely infectious spirit. Funk, hip-hop, jazz, and soul all go into the stew, coming out in ecstatic blasts of brass. You will feel the rhythm and be reborn. MH
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $25 adv/$30 door. 479-1854.
Dante Elephante is the kind of band you play on your vintage stereo system in your obsessively clean and orderly bedroom. You invite all your friends over after your parents leave for their wedding anniversary steaks. And you all sing along gleefully to the catchy ’70s AM radio pop melodies, to which you’ve worked out some synchronized dance moves. Is it embarrassing? A little bit, but you feel it strong, and it’s just so much fun to get lost in earnest vocals and the smooth WKRP in Cincinnati grooves. AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $7. 429-6994.
Sister Sparrow has spiked its neo-soul sound with a hefty dose of sparkly pop and a pinch of good old-fashioned whimsy. This newer, stronger concoction is a heady overdose of everything great about Sister Sparrow—the funkiness, the passionate hell-yeah vocals, the gritty brass—mixed with the charisma of singer Arleigh Kincheloe as she slow burns from one song to the next on the band’s new album Gold. Contemporary pop seems to have been Sister Sparrow’s missing ingredient, spinning old notions of soul and rock into irresistible ear candy gold. AMY BEE
INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $20 adv/$25 door. 479-1854.
Sacramento technical death group Alterbeast took their name, and some song titles, from video games, but don’t confused these guys for a bunch of nerds. Over the span of two albums, the band has delivered nosebleed-inducing, high-pitched riffs and screeching gutter cries. Alterbeast will be joined by locals Continuum, who will be celebrating a new CD release, as well as Aethere and Lost to the Void. MW
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Blue Lagoon, 923 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $10. 423-7117.
Is TWRP the Weird Al of ‘80s synth-rock? My guess is most of you would say no, but c’mon, think about it! It’s feelgood synth jams that sound like parodies of feelgood synth jams. The members of Tupper Ware Remix Party (TWRP) claim they found each other through space and time and formed a band to disseminate synth-rock to the clock-stuck human lifeforms living in the new millennium. TWRP has no major message they’ve carried from the past or future, except they prefer that way you dance when you dance with no pants on. So go forth, have fun and fill your audio ears with digital TWRP. AB
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $14 adv/$16 door. 423-1338.
At 66, tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano is one of the pivotal figures in contemporary jazz, a composer and bandleader with a vast web of creative connections spanning the world. After some two dozen albums for Blue Note, he recently released his first project as a leader for ECM: Trio Tapestry, a gorgeous session that moves from spacious, almost ambient soundscapes to fierce, tempestuous passages. The new ensemble makes its West Coast debut at Kuumbwa. A combustible combination of old and new, Trio Tapestry features the texturally inventive drummer Carmen Castaldi and piano master Marilyn Crispell. ANDREW GILBERT
INFO: 7 and 9 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $31.50 adv/$36.75 door. 427-2227.