by Meghann Finn

 Flavors of food and flavors of music parallel each other quite well.  When I prepare my meals, I use a variety of spices because I enjoy spicy vegetarian food. I am aware, however, that this flavor may not agree with everyone’s taste.  The same holds true for our taste for music. Why do we love music so much?  A new study suggests it is because listening to music releases dopamine, the same chemical associated with food, drugs and sex. The results suggest why music, which has no obvious survival value, is so significant across human society. The study is from The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital — The Neuro at McGill University. It was published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.  I hope that my local music highlights make you want to get out there and shake a leg.  We live in a musically vibrant town and every month I am so excited to share the diverse and wide variety of groups we will get to experience. I hope you get out there and add to your music mission in life.  Until next time, you stay classy Santa Cruz.  J

Some music scene highlights:

Shoreline Amphitheatre:  Bridge School Benefit, Saturday October 22, Sunday October 23 at Shoreline Amphitheatre. Neil Young + Promise of the Real, Metallica, Roger Water, Dave Matthews, Willie Nelson, My Morning Jacket, Norah Jones, and many more.

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco:  Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2016, FREE Friday September 30-Sunday October 2. Line-up:  Cake, Cydi Lauper, KT Tunstall, Dropkick Murphys, Chris Isaak, Jackson Browne, Emmylou Harris and more… Please visit for more info.

Catalyst Club: Nahko and Medicine for the People Hoka:  A call to Action Tour w/ Hirie, Sat. October 22 and Sun. October 23.  Nahko and Medicine for the People don’t call themselves a band. Instead, they are a music collective. The band’s music sends messages of tolerance, love and mindfulness. The group’s mission is to become part of what they call a “global tribe”… to fix the environment, end world hunger and to live more peacefully and collective lives.

Moes Alley: Monophonics + 7 Come 11, Saturday October 1st. Psychedelic Soul music who were raised amid the rich musical culture and history of San Francisco Bay Area. The Coffis Brothers, Saturday October 15th.  The Coffis Brothers & The Mountain Men are a rootsy rock n’ roll band born and raised in the Santa Cruz Mountains who blend folk, blues, R&B and straight ahead rock. New Riders of the Purple Sage, Saturday October 22nd.  Psychedelic rock&roll.  Led by David Nelson and Buddy CageSambadá Monday October 31st. Moe’s Alley welcomes back Sambadá for their annual Halloween Costume Ball. Their music is based in rich musical traditions of Brazil, Sambadá also references salsa, cumbia, funk and reggae

Kuumbwa Jazz:  Jazz at the Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, October 2 at 7:30pm, Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium.  This orchestra is made up of 15 of the finest jazz soloists and ensemble players today, and has been the Jazz at Lincoln Center resident orchestra since 1988. Led by charismatic and distinguished trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis, the award-winning Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra returns to Santa Cruz celebrating America’s music—JAZZ! Tickets may be purchased online (24/7) at:  Amendola vs. Blades duo, Thursday October 6 at 7:00pm.  Blades is a master of the Hammond B-3, with its liquid vibrato, percussive attach and gospel overtones. Drummer Scott Amendola is known to many for his lengthy collaboration with Charlie Hunter.


Meghann Finn

Meg Finn is a Santa Cruz based live music enthusiast, photographer, bilingual educator, activist, Phish loving-dancing machine.  She spends her weekdays teaching a full time Kindergarten class at Gault Elementary School in Santa Cruz. On her weekends she is running her small business, Show of Life Photo Booth, collecting jade in Big Sur or getting lost in the redwoods with her American Bulldog, mini cow, named Bamboo.


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