music in the park san jose

.Calendar Picks: Week of Jan. 4-10

music in the park san jose

THURSDAY

AMERICANA

ASH POWELL

Born near Nashville, singer/songwriter Ash Powell journeyed westward to find herself. She found a home in the Bay Area, but the country music she grew up listening to continues to influence her indie Americana style. Powell’s debut EP, 2021’s Bound To Nowhere, takes listeners on an introspective journey through her life and moves with honest storytelling and hopeful sensibilities. Fans of ’70s folk-rock and modern queer country artists like Brandi Carlisle will delight in Powell’s dulcet tones and adept fingerpicking. Fellow musicians Elizabeth Lubin and Matt Jaffe support, guaranteeing an evening of rootsy beauty. – ADDIE MAHMASSANI

INFO: 8pm, Ivy Room, 860 San Pablo Ave., Albany. $12/adv, $15/door. 510.526.5888.

FRIDAY

FOLK ROCK

CRIS WILLIAMSON

“I didn’t set out to write women’s music, but apparently I did,” Cris Williamson said in a 2007 interview. Her 1975 album, The Changer and the Changed, recorded on the lesbian-owned label Olivia Records, became one of the bestselling independent records of all time. The first LP to be entirely produced by women, this legacy-defining album is just one triumph in Williamson’s prolific songwriting career, which spans from her first release in 1964 to the present day. Few artists have done more to advance music created by, performed by and marketed specifically to women. – AM

INFO: 7pm, Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison St., Berkeley. $45/adv, $50/door. 510.644.2020

COMEDY

EMILY CATALANO

San Francisco-based comedian Emily Catalano made her late-night stand-up debut on Conan in 2019. This year, Catalano was featured on The Drew Barrymore Show. Check out the video clip of “Hurricane Heartbreak” and witness her casual pacing, which acts as camouflage for the swift knife of humor cutting into life’s tragicomedy, carving out laughter alongside brutal truths. It’s kind of like Catalano waiting on the sofa to pat your shoulder, tell a joke and make your bitterness turn into a giggle-rama. Catalano performs at Alameda Comedy Club on Friday and Saturday. – LOU FANCHER

INFO: 7pm and 9:15pm, Alameda Comedy Club, 2431 Central Ave., Alameda. $25. 510.318.1538.

SATURDAY

PUNK

SWINGIN’ UTTERS

The Bay Area street-punk band slams into Ivy with 30-plus years of firepower. Paired with the incendiary garage-punk band Riverboat Gamblers, head-banging wonderment is on, guaranteed. Speed, speed, speed has the barrels rolling with both bands—forget your nine-to-five, drop the family reunion and run away with these tunes in your bones. The frosting on the cake is Enemy of My Enemy, setting up a triple-force experience with musicians whose angle is political, energy is nonstop and fierce pursuit of the next raging riff, relentless. Is the ride ringing with the echoes of 1/6/21? Only one way to find out. – LF

INFO: 9pm, Ivy Room, 860 San Pablo Ave., Albany, $25/adv, $27/door. 510.526.5888.

JAZZ

SINNE EEG & JOSH NELSON

What happens when two of the hottest names in contemporary jazz come together for one unbelievable night? Find out this Saturday when pianist Josh Nelson and singer Sinne Eeg take the stage. Coming from Denmark, Eeg is already an established European singer and is quickly making a name for herself in the American jazz scene. Composer and pianist Nelson dropped his self-released debut album, First Stories, in 1998 at the impressive age of 19. Since then, his name has been synonymous with original compositions and reinterpretations of jazz and rock standards. – MAT WEIR

INFO: 7:30pm, Sound Room, 3022 Broadway, Oakland. $35-$42.50. 510.708.9691. 

SUNDAY

JAZZ

THE HARVEY WAINAPEL QUARTET

If this gig marks the reemergence of Berkeley reed-master Harvey Wainapel, it’s a good omen for 2024. Health concerns have made him scarce on Bay Area bandstands since the start of the pandemic, but on his rare outings since then he sounds as beautiful as ever. Equally eloquent on the clarinet, soprano and tenor sax, he spent much of the past two decades immersed in Brazilian music, collaborating with leading Brazilian instrumentalists and the Berkeley Choro Ensemble. He’s also a commanding improviser in the straight-ahead jazz scene, bringing his luxuriant lyricism to post-bop material. – ANDREW GILBERT

INFO: 3pm, Back Room, 1984 Bonita Ave., Berkeley. $18/adv, $20/door. 510.654.3808.

MONDAY

JAZZ

MATT VON RODERICK

Hailed as “a top drawer who also sings like an angel obscured by a storm cloud” and the “post-Millennial Chet Baker,” Von Roderick has carved his name in the halls of jazz music. It’s easy to see why. His songs create a vibe and space that allow Matt Von Roderick and his band room to explore a sound easily loved by jazz aficionados, poets, rockers and Deadheads alike. He has spread his uplifting message throughout the country, including the famed walls of Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center For the Performing Arts. – MW

INFO: 8pm, Yoshi’s, 510 Embarcadero West, Oakland. $35-$59. 510.238.9200. 

TUESDAY

BLUEGRASS

EARL SCRUGGS 100TH BIRTHDAY ALL-STAR BLUEGRASS CELEBRATION

In the ’40s and ’50s, Earl Eugene Scruggs popularized a three-finger style that allowed for the tripping, quick and intricate picking pattern that built the bluegrass genre. Now, an all-star ensemble of Northern California bluegrass maestros is celebrating the centennial of the “Beethoven of the banjo.” The brilliant banjoists include Bill Evans, Jim Nunally, Chad Manning, Mike Witcher, Tom Bekeny, Steve Pottier and special guests Kathy Kallick and Evie Ladin. This bluegrass crew will lead a tour through Scruggs’ career, from his early days as a member of the original bluegrass band to the country-bluegrass-rock fusion he developed in the Earl Scruggs Revue. – SONYA BENNETT-BRANDT

INFO: 8pm, Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison St., Berkeley. $20/adv, $25/door. 510.644.2020.

THEATER

JUST FOR US

Stand-up comic Alex Edelman received a series of antisemitic threats online and decided to infiltrate a White Nationalist meeting in Queens. His one-person show, Just for Us, tells the story of what came next. Rooted in the rapid-fire style of stand-up but honed and polished into a tight, hilarious theatrical narrative, the show explores identity, collective empathy and absurdity. After runs in several big cities and rave reviews from The New York Times, The New Yorker and Variety, Edelman is stopping by Berkeley for two weeks on his tour across the U.S. – SB

INFO: 7pm, Peet’s Theater, 2025 Addison St., Berkeley. $55-$222. 510.647.2949.

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