Cat Johnson

Staff Writer

New Orleans in Santa Cruz


New Orleans music is heavy on jazz, funk, Southern soul and second line brass bands. But the city’s rich musical heritage touches on just about every type of American music including folk, country, rock, gospel, R&B and blues. The Deslondes, an emerging Crescent City roots band, embrace all the styles to create a tasty musical…

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Taste of Santa Cruz


An annual fundraising event presented by the Santa Cruz County Association of REALTORS® Housing Foundation, a Taste of Santa Cruz brings local restaurants, wineries and breweries together to share their offerings with the public. The event consistently raises more than $30,000 to provide assistance to low-income, first-time home buyers in Santa Cruz County. In a…

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Shawn Mullins


After serving eight years in the U.S. Army Airborne Infantry Division, singer-songwriter Shawn Mullins left in 1991 to pursue music full-time. Possessing a warm, earthy voice and an everyman perspective, the Georgia-born artist has since released nearly 20 albums, many of them independently. Best known for the 1998 hit song “Lullaby,” Mullins has a deep…

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Yelle is a French-pop group that earned international attention with catchy tunes and great artistic sensibilities. But beyond the polished exterior there’s plenty to grab onto, with layers of beats, electronic flourishes and fist-pump-inducing grooves. Band members Yelle, GrandMarnier and Tepr have all cited a diverse batch of influences including Rage Against the Machine, Snoop…

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Santa Cruz Music Festival Pre-Party


After the great success of last year’s inaugural Santa Cruz Music Festival, event organizers promise a second festival next April jam-packed with a diverse and stellar roster of acts. But in advance of the main event, organizers are priming the pump with an official pre-party at the Catalyst. Featuring Far East Movement, the Gaslamp Killer,…

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FashionART Santa Cruz


The best way to describe FashionART is to look to past events where lively ensembles including a Joan of Arc-inspired club get-up, a floor-length dress made from the folded pages of Vogue magazine, formal wear crafted from candy wrappers and more have made appearances on our local runway. Founded in 2006 by Angelo Grova, of…

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Radical Reels


A highlight of the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival, Radical Reels gathers the best high-adrenaline climbing, paddling, mountain biking, BASE jumping, skiing and snowboarding films entered into the festival competition into one event. After the festival, the Radical Reels tour hits the road, visiting more than 65 locations across North America. On Saturday, Sept.…

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Black Label Society


A hard rocking, outlaw badass whose musical pedigree includes a lead guitarist and co-songwriter spot with Ozzy Osbourne, Zakk Wylde has been frontman for his own rock band, Black Label Society, since 1998. Capable of bringing houses down with explosive, relentless numbers driven by Wylde’s blistering guitar work and vocal swagger, Black Label Society also…

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Combining live instrumentation with electronics, Afrolicious has quite a few boasting rights. Vocalist and percussionist Baba Duru was an original member of the groundbreaking jazz fusion group the Headhunters and the band has had songs remixed by Thievery Corporation co-founder Rob Garza, legendary dub producer Scientist, Brazilian producer Trotter, Bay Area sensation J Boogie and…

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