Mayor Tom Dubois, whose music bona fides include being the “Band Dad” for the Gunn High orchestra during his son’s formative years and now being engaged to a jazz singer, asked me to help out his “Together Again Palo Alto” project — he described this to me in between “Octopus’ Garden” and “Day Tripper” at the annual Beatles Tribute at Twilight show at Rinconada Park.
I quickly reached Ben Goldberg and Scott Amendola of Plays Monk, who agreed to perform late afternoon on Wednesday, September 15; part of the rationale for this show is to celebrate Danny Scher’s recording of Thelonious Monk himself at Paly High way back in 1968, which came out recently.
Other musicians of various stripes and persuasions also agreed to throw down, loosely speaking on behalf of Mayor Tom, TAPA, the Chamber of Commerce, National Service Day/Week, Mother Earth, Palo Alto Parks, the restaurants, essential workers, landlords who only collected property taxes but not full rent during the shutdown, or Brother Moon, which will be waxing if not vaxing during this series. Moon is, as Gertrude Stein might say, a-moon. (immune).
Saturday , September 11, 7 p.m.California Avenue (between Zombie Runner and Joanies): Steve Poltz (folk)
Monday, September 13, noon, Lytton Plaza: Dayna Stephens Jazz Group (jazz)
Monday, September 13, 5 p.m. California Avenue (between Zombie Runner and Joanies): Inspector Gadje Sextet (jazz/world music) —
Tuesday, September 14, Lytton Plaza, noon: Mads Tolling (make-up date for hard-ticket show scheduled in 2020)
Tuesday, September 14, 5 p.m. Lytton Plaza: Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88’s featuring Nancy Wright (blues & boogie)
Wednesday, September 15, 12 noon, Lytton Plaza: Beth Custer, clarinet, Will Bernard, guitar (jazz)
Wednesday, September 15, 4:30, Lytton Plaza: Ben Goldberg Scott Amendola Duo (perform music of Thelonious Monk) (jazz)
Thursday, September 16, 7:30 pm, Lytton Plaza: Eden Edell (folk)
Friday, September 17, noon, Lytton Plaza: Zach Moses Duo Featuring Adam Nash (jazz)
Saturday, September 18 Amendola vs Blades vs Skerik vs Parker (nooner Lytton)
Saturday, September 18, Jeremiah Lockwood (5 pm-ish Lytton Plaza — blues, Judaica, tribute to Jewlia Eisenberg z’l of Charming Hostess) (Note: this show might happen somewhat closer to the Amendola Vs Blades Vs Skerik Vs Parker show earlier that day, like around 2 — check your local listings; interestingly although Scott Amendola and Jeremiah Lockwood don’t know each other, they each knew Jewlia — Scott played her wedding, he says);
Wednesday, September 22, Amendola Vs Blades (5 pm Lytton Plaza, which will coincidentally be renamed Amendola Plaza);
Maybe more to come. Stay tuned. And immuned. Or as Elvis Costello might say, I use to be adjusted, now I try to stay immune.
PS — thank you Charlie Weidanz of Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce for its financial support. Concerts donated by Earthwise Productions of Palo Alto (since 1994).
Not to jinx it but it looks like I might have shows somewhere in town coming up with Mary Gauthier(October 17), and Hawktail, which features Menlo Park fiddler Brittany Haas, October 2. I have two shows confirmed or rescheduled (from the 10 cancelled in 2020) for indoors at the Mitch in November, but with the Covid data and the public policy response all over the map, keep your mask on. Although it is still true that Santa Clara County is at 150 cases per million whereas the CDC only said they advise masks in places with 500 new cases or more. I believe that outdoors groups of less than 1,000 who are mostly vaxed and not also moshing are safe for live events. The shows I book, like those above, are rated to draw a couple hundred people, plus passers-by aware of the tunes as they zip away with takeout falafel or waiting for ice cream. Not that music is the soundtrack to your stomach…
edit to add: I am onsale for November 20 at The Mitch with Barbara Manning SF Seals, Corner Laughers and Clean Girl — if public health policy makes this show unsafe, we will try our hardest to move it outdoors and play on.