San Jose Taiko

1. Robert Cray—Golden State Theatre, Friday

The great Bonnie Raitt once called Cray “a passionate badass who puts on one of the best shows you’ll ever see.” It’s an expressive mix of blues, funk, soul and R&B with silky smooth vocals dancing above gutsy, earthy blues music.

2. International Education Week—CSU Monterey Bay, Friday-Monday

There are events everyone can engage in, like salsa dancing in the quad, a diversity march lead by African drummers, storytelling sessions of trips overseas, a discussion on global sustainability practices and more. 

3. Monterey Plays—Carl Cherry Center, Friday-Saturday

Five playwrights, six plays and two days. David Norum, Nina Solomita, Janice Blaze Rocke, Joe Nance and Erick Roycraft perform six individual plays ranging in style and crafted by each writer in a series simply called Monterey Plays.

4. Evita—Western Stage, Friday-Sunday

However accurate the depiction of Evita is in her namesake musical, elements of the work—like its narration of by revolutionary Ché Guevara, plus memorable songs like "Don't Cry for Me Argentina," have endeared the production to many an audience.

5. Moonalice—Fernwood Tavern, Friday

Even a cursory listen to one of their free-form, psychedelic jams is like a trip (literally!) down memory lane back to the Heyday of The Haight. Moonalice is a ’60s era, uniquely SF-sounding group.

6. Monterey County Lenscape—The Lab, Saturday

Besides being local, early career filmmakers, what seems to unite the five creators featured in the Monterey County Lenscape festival is that they have all been influenced by time spent in a faraway place or context. 

7. San Jose Taiko—World Theater, Saturday

They’re best known, in their neck of the woods and down here too, for their percussive, animated, exacting and powerful performances at Obon festivals, cultural showcases and Golden State Warriors halftime shows.

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8. Monterey Symphony—Sunset Center, Saturday-Sunday

The world-renowned pianist Kun Woo Paik sits in with the orchestra, to play Mozart’s Piano Concerto N. 27, KV 595—Mozart’s last concerto ever written—and Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 15.

9. Six String Pharmacy—Cooper’s Pub, Saturday

Think rich vocal harmonies and tight instrumental play that draws from many genres and blends together in a way that is unique to the acoustic duo. The Pharmacy is inventive and eclectic and really good for you. Take your meds.

10. Levi Jack—Barmel, Saturday

Serving up a cocktail of genre-hopping jam rock combining singer-songwriter lyrics, three-part harmonies, and a heavy rhythm section. With doses of ambient rock, jazz and classic rock as well as a dash of country, folk and grunge, Levi Jack eludes definition.

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