Dance Collisions: Brought to you by the producers of BarnStorm, nine student choreographers come out swinging in an exposition of their finest tuned twists, stomps and jives, as embodied and performed by a handpicked ensemble of student dancers. Admission is free, donations are appreciated.
Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, doors at 7:30 p.m., shows at 8 p.m., the Second Stage at the UCSC Theatre Arts Center
Punch Brothers featuring Chris Thile: The five-piece string band of Brooklyn, N.Y. asks audiences around the country as they tour their third full-length album, Who’s Feeling Young Now? In a disciplined cross-pollination of genres, the buzzed-about band floats and stings round after round with a tireless reverence for composition, harmony and counterpoint. MacArthur “genius grant” recipient and mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile croons and warbles over skittering banjo and lamenting violins with dizzying precision, orchestrating a harmonically progressive bluegrass suite with a rock edge. $25/General Admission.
Listen: “Kid A” (Radiohead cover); “Movement and Location”
Nov. 30, doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m., the Rio Theatre
UCSC Jazz Ensembles & Big Band presents “Groovin’ Hard”: The students of the Big Band aim to daze and astound with captivating performances of works by Don Menza, John Clayton, Thad Jones, Duke Ellington and more. Relax and un-ball your fist to brand new twists on old favorites by the UCSC Jazz Ensembles. Who’s got the jazz? This UC’s got the jazz. $6/students with ID. Dec. 2, doors at 2:30 p.m., show at 3 p.m., UCSC Music Center Recital Hall
The Mighty Diamonds: Reggae heavy hitters of over four decades stop in Santa Cruz to pass the immortal torch to audiences in a sublime adaptation of roots reggae to the prevailing digital rhythms of modern day. Straight out of Trenchtown anthems informed by the original trio’s heyday at Channel One Records, glossed with the waxy sheen of smooth harmonies and Golden Age rocksteady sensibilities. $15 in advance, $20 at door.
Listen: “Pass the Kouchie”; “Have Mercy”
Dec. 5, doors at 8 p.m., show at 9 p.m., Moe’s Alley, 21+
World AIDS Day: The Santa Cruz AIDS Project presents its yearly opportunity for locals and students to refocus the scope of their worldview on a virus that often slides to the periphery, through a day-long remembrance celebration of HIV/AIDS patients, living and deceased. Live music, spoken word, fundraising and a candle-lighting ceremony will serve to remind and educate the community about HIV/AIDS and what it means to don the red ribbon. To learn more about the Santa Cruz AIDS Project and which businesses will donate a percentage of their profits to BizAID this year, go to http://www.scapsite.org/.
Dec. 1, ceremony commences at 4:30 p.m., the Pacific Cultural Center