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Santa Cruz County

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Santa Cruz County, located on the central coast of California, boasts a vibrant and diverse music scene that encompasses various genres including jazz, classical, and ambient. With a rich cultural heritage and historical significance in relation to sophisticated music, the county has nurtured a thriving community of musicians and venues that cater to all musical tastes.

Jazz enthusiasts will find themselves immersed in a lively jazz scene in Santa Cruz County. The region has been home to several notable jazz musicians and has played host to numerous jazz festivals and events over the years. The Kuumbwa Jazz Center, located in downtown Santa Cruz, stands as a testament to the city's commitment to promoting this genre. This intimate venue regularly hosts world-class jazz performances, attracting both local talent and renowned artists from around the globe.

Classical music lovers are also well-catered for in Santa Cruz County. The Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music is an annual event that showcases groundbreaking works by contemporary composers. Founded in 1963, this festival has gained international recognition for its commitment to pushing the boundaries of classical music. Additionally, the Santa Cruz Symphony offers a regular season of classical concerts featuring both established and emerging talents.

For those seeking more ambient or experimental sounds, Santa Cruz County provides an array of options. The region's natural beauty often serves as inspiration for many ambient musicians who incorporate environmental sounds into their compositions. Local venues such as The Catalyst and Moe's Alley frequently host performances by ambient artists, providing a platform for this genre to thrive within the county.

Santa Cruz County's cultural significance in relation to sophisticated music can be traced back to its history as a hub for counterculture movements during the 1960s.

Upcoming Concerts

Jan. 22, 2024

Cécile McLorin Salvant
Kuumbwa Jazz Center

Feb. 12, 2024

Brad Mehldau
Kuumbwa Jazz Center

Nov. 30, 2024

Harold López-Nussa
Kuumbwa Jazz Center