music in the park san jose

.Calendar Picks: Week of Feb. 1-7

music in the park san jose

THURSDAY

COMEDY

COMEDIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

Michael Beers, a member of the comedy troupe Comedians with Disabilities Act, has said that laughter “is the shortest distance between two people.” And Hayden Kristal, another member, is an expert at closing that distance. Born deaf to a hearing family, Kristal refined their communication by infusing it with humor, eventually raising awareness of the Deaf community by appearing at TEDx and nailing their stand-up comedy on America’s Got Talent in 2022. The club has a full bar and a fantastic menu—way above the usual comedy club fare—so come hungry and be ready to chuckle, guffaw, applaud and cheer the talented troupe. – LOU FANCHER

INFO: 8:15pm, Alameda Comedy Club, 2431 Central Ave., Alameda. $25. 510.318.1538.

FRIDAY

PUNK

VALENTINE’S GAY

Ah, yes, February. The month with a corporate holiday catering to cishet individuals that somehow manages to make all single people anxious about their relationship status. Isn’t it time someone took that power back? That’s just what Valentine’s Gay is all about. This year, the fourth annual concert features Middle-Aged Queers, with members of Fang, the Shondes, the Insaints and the Cost; Trap Girl, feminist punk intent on burning down the patriarchy; and country-punk crooner Austin Lucas. As this is Gilman, the nonprofit Punk Rock Saves Lives will also attend the show. – MAT WEIR

INFO: 7pm, Gilman, 924 Gilman St., Berkeley. $12. 510.524.8180.

BLUES

THE AKI KUMAR BLUES BAND

Aki Kumar came to San Jose from Mumbai, India, to be a software engineer, then traded tech for a career in the blues. The resulting multicultural fusion of Bollywood-inflected blues vocals and brilliant harmonica playing has led to appearances at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, features on Public Radio International’s The World and international tours in Russia, Scandinavia and South America. Shifting between blues and Bollywood-dominant sounds, Kumar reveals the core microtonal similarities between two superficially opposite genres. Here, he’s joining forces with the powerful vocal stylings of classically trained Chicana blues singer Marina Crouse. – SONYA BENNETT-BRANDT

INFO: 8pm, Back Room, 1984 Bonita Ave., Berkeley. $30. 510.381.1997.

BLUES

GREG KOCH

For guitar aficionados, Greg Koch is a household name. Merging rock, funk, jazz, country and blues—all the good stuff, basically—the Milwaukee native blows audiences away without ever opening his mouth. He brings his Koch Marshall Trio on tour this month, featuring Koch’s son, Dylan, on drums, and the face-melting organist extraordinaire Toby Lee Marshall. These three can improvise as though they share a brain, grooving until the sun comes up, so audience members would be wise to wear some dancing shoes. As Rock ’n’ Load magazine says, “Koch Marshall Trio is a sublime collaboration.” – ADDIE MAHMASSANI

INFO: 8pm, Cornerstone, 2367 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. $21/adv, $25/door. 510.214.8600.

SATURDAY

JAZZ

BLUE NOTE RECORDS 85TH ANNIVERSARY 

Founded in 1939, Blue Note Records remains the longest-running jazz label in the world. The iconic label is celebrating its 85th anniversary with a series of live shows by the Blue Note Quintet, a supergroup that has come together to highlight milestone moments from Blue Note’s many decades of production. At the helm is Gerald Clayton, a heavyweight in American jazz piano and a six-time Grammy nominee. Among those joining him is vibraphonist and composer Joel Ross, a new member of the label’s ongoing story, whose debut album came out on Blue Note in 2019. – AM

INFO: 8pm, Cornerstone, 2367 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. $31/adv, $36/door. 510.214.8600.

LATIN

ORQUESTA TAINO

Orquesta Taino (Tah-ee-no) is an eight-piece Latin dance band that packs the punch of any big band, playing various styles and rhythms drawn from across the Caribbean and South America. Led by percussionist and lead vocalist Aaron Routtenberg, who’s toured with salsa stars such as Jerry Rivera, Tito Nieves and La India, the band is stacked with well-traveled players versed in Latin jazz and salsa. Inspired by classic ’60s and ’70s visionaries like Ray Barretto and Eddie Palmieri, Taino can keep a dance floor bouncing and jazz fans riveted to their seats. – ANDREW GILBERT

INFO: 9:30pm Saturday, Yoshi’s, 510 Embarcadero West, Oakland. $25. 510.238.9200.

CHAMBER

ECO ENSEMBLE: THE MUSIC OF CINDY COX

Composer, professor and pianist Cindy Cox explores atmospheric, provocative and dramatic compositions springing from the natural world. In a riveting concert performed by UC Berkeley’s dexterous, fearless and infinitely astute Eco Ensemble, selected work from over three decades of compositions stretch sonic frames and juxtapose dialogue, spoken text, instrumentation and electronics that include surprising bird or animalistic percussive noises. An evening of Cox’s work is always a physical, visceral encounter with sound. The two-hour show includes soprano Amy Foote, alto Sara Couden, tenor Michael Jankosky and baritone Nikolas Nackley. – LF

INFO: 8pm, Hertz Hall, 101 Cross-Sproul Path, Berkeley, $31-$36. 510.642.0212.

SUNDAY

ROCK

KATE VARGAS & ERIC MCFADDEN

One of the best things the internet did for music was usher in the age of the genreless artist. Today’s musicians no longer want to be pigeonholed into only one area; instead, they opt to spread their creative wings and go wherever a whim takes them. Few artists exemplify this more than Kate Vargas and Eric McFadden, both as individuals and within their group, Sgt. Splendor. Song by song, these two switch with ease and familiarity from folk to rock, funk, jazzy blues and everything in between. Last year Sgt. Splendor released its sophomore album, Death of the Hoochie Koo, which is just as fun and gritty as the name implies. – MW

INFO: 8pm, Ivy Room, 860 San Pablo Ave., Albany. $15. 510.526.5888.

R&B

RAD MUSEUM

As a relatively young genre, the boundaries of Korean R&B (KRNB) are blurry. The cousin of K-pop weaves together everything from soul and reggae to hip-hop and Afrobeats. Rad Museum, a South Korean producer, singer and graphic artist, emerged in 2017 with the critically acclaimed debut EP, Scene. His most recent album, GIRL, is both catchy and dreamy. Rad Museum has his own unique approach to the blended sound of KRNB, mixing laidback, flowy neo-R&B sound with lo-fi pop-rock vibes, bouncy beats and layered sound effects. – SB

INFO: 8pm, The UC Theatre, 2036 University Ave., Berkeley. $62.50. 510.356.4000.

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