Hot Picks 11.11.21

Monterey Pops! regularly delivers toe-tapping, memorable tunes that perfectly accompany patriotic holidays. Veterans Day is no exception, with a performance in Oldtown Salinas.

Veterans Day to a Beat

If there is a soundtrack to Veterans Day, Monterey County Pops! has it down to a science. Starting at 1:30pm their 37-piece John Philip Sousa-style band will set the tone for a 2pm parade with high-energy, patriotic tunes. The parade – including eight local marching bands and a Pops! float with a brass quintet – begins at Salinas High School and follows Main Street to the National Steinbeck Center, where another concert program begins at 3pm, featuring the professional Pops! orchestra alongside all six marching bands. There will be American classics – think “Stars and Stripes Forever” and the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” – and there will be hits by the Monterrey, Mexico-based band Grupo Límite. Their vocalist, Ingrid Lozano, solos on hits like “El Príncipe” and “Yo Sin Tu Amor.” At 1:15pm, an opening ceremony kicks off at Salinas High School, with remarks by U.S. Rep. Jimmy Panetta (also a Navy combat veteran) and Salinas Mayor Kimbley Craig. [SR]

1:15pm (opening ceremony begins) Thursday, Nov. 11. Main Street, Salinas. Free. 214-9781,

Reduce, Reuse, Rewear

Monterey’s brand-new coworking space, The Pearl Works, is teaming up with beloved local sewing, knitting and mending store slowfiber to screen The True Cost, a 2015 documentary film about the fast fashion industry and its impacts on people and the environment. “We all know parts of the story of the textile industry, however the common dialogue around the fashion industry omits key components,” organizers say. “This is an opportunity to learn more and talk about it.” The evening will include a group discussion after the movie, and proceeds from tickets will go to Fashion Revolution, a global fashion activism movement, founded in 2013 in the wake of the Rana Plaza garment factory collapse in Bangladesh. [TCL]

5:20-8pm Friday, Nov. 12. The Pearl Works, 288 Pearl St., Monterey. $5-10. 645-1165,

The Ol’ Pals Take You To Church

Starting around the 1930s, the Central Valley experienced an extended influx of Dust Bowl refugees from areas like Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas. These middle-America migrants brought their music with them and helped form the famous “Bakersfield Sound” – a country, bluegrass, folk and rock movement that produced icons such as Merle Haggard and Wynn Stewart. Bluegrass outfit the Ol’ Pals found their roots in this movement during the 1960s and the folk string quintet is bringing their sound to the Monterey United Methodist Church, where music like theirs is meant to be heard. The evening begins with a public jam session, an outdoor dinner and then a full concert. [CN]

4pm public jam session; 5:30pm outdoor dinner; 7pm concert, Saturday, Nov. 13. United Methodist Church, 1 Soledad Drive, Monterey. $15. 375-8285,

In Chambers

Franz Schubert wasn’t fishing for inspiration when he visited friends in the Austrian countryside in 1819. But when one of them asked him to turn a recent hit, Die Forelle, into something more suitable for the chamber music crowd, Schubert was hooked. If you haven’t caught on by now, Die Forelle translates as The Trout. And the lively, melodic composition is part of this upcoming Manhattan Chamber Players concert. Also on the bill is an early piece by Ralph Vaughn Williams – a piano quintet in C minor written in 1903 and pushed aside by the composer himself (he wasn’t so fond of his early work). While it gives a glimpse of Williams’ emerging style, the Schubert piece, in A minor, is a celebrated masterpiece. The Manhattan Chamber Players are a collective of young musicians on a scale (that pun plays two ways!) that is worthy of the greatest works. No casting for a new angle, no rocking the boat, just technical brilliance and beautiful balance. Presented by Chamber Music Monterey Bay. [DF]

7:30pm Saturday, Nov. 13. Sunset Center, San Carlos between 8th and 9th, Carmel. $51-$69; free children 12 and under; proof of vaccination and masks required. 652-2212,

Christmas Fable

Befana belongs to Italian folklore; she is an old woman who delivers gifts to children on the Epiphany Eve (the night from Jan. 5 to Jan. 6). According to a Christian tradition, Befana was approached by the Three Wise Men before the birth of baby Jesus. She provided them with shelter for a night and they invited her to join their holy journey. Befana said she had too much housework and later regretted skipping out on what turned out to be a once-in-a-lifetime occasion to meet a future celebrity. Her story is told by Ensemble Monterey Chamber Orchestra which, in partnership with the Cabrillo College Music and Theater Arts Departments, presents a world premiere of Befana – A Christmas Fable, composed by Northern California resident Kirke Mechem. The fully staged production will be presented early next year (Jan. 6-9) at the Crocker Theater in Santa Cruz. [AP]

3pm Sunday, Nov. 14. First Presbyterian Church, 501 El Dorado St., Monterey. $42; $10/children. 373-3031,

Painting Party

Creating a work of art isn’t just for pro artists, anyone can learn. That’s been at the core of Jessica Ansberry’s business, Progress Not Perfection Painting Parties, since she launched it in 2017. She invites people to pick up a paintbrush and not worry about getting it just right; participants surprise themselves with what masterpieces they can create. She’s offering a watercolor workshop designed for people of all skill levels, whether they’ve used watercolors or not. The first part of the workshop leads students through techniques to create a floral design. Then she’ll demonstrate how to add in some detail work “to really make your flowers pop.” Bringing picnic baskets and wine (for those 21 and up) for snacking and sipping is highly encouraged. Bringing an open spirit toward learning, creating and having fun while doing it is mandatory. [PM]

3-5:15pm Sunday, Nov. 14. Locally Lit, 269 Bonifacio Place, Monterey. $45.

Big Love For Veterans

An evening of healing, storytelling and music, all focused on empowering those who have served in the military. Add in Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen, vocalists Tammi Brown and Lauren Monroe, and a group of singers known as the Big Love Choir, you have one of the area’s largest Veterans Day weekend celebrations. The Big Love Benefit Concert happens in conjunction with the Veterans Transition Center, Veterans Healing Veterans and Raven Drum. Be prepared to show a negative Covid test or proof of vaccination, and to wear a mask. [CN]

4-8:45pm Sunday, Nov. 14. Folktale Winery & Vineyards, 8940 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel Valley. $50-$1,000.

Hot Picks by Tajha Chappellet-Lanier, Dave Faries, Celia Jiménez, Pam Marino, Christopher Neely, Agata Popęda, Sara Rubin and David Schmalz.

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