A tip for the weekend: Church Street Fair in Santa Cruz!

If you enjoyed the world music stories in Going Coastal, you may want to attend the Church Street Fair in Santa Cruz on August 8th and 9th. (The event is the free two-day festival held in conjunction with the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.) Two of the book’s interviewed artists are scheduled to perform.

Saturday will feature Aza, the Moroccan-born duo of Fattah Abbou and Mohamed Aoualou. When I interviewed Abbou for “The World At Your Ears,” I was fascinated to learn about the band’s diverse blend of native Imazighen music, devotional music of the sub-Sahara, and other Arabic genres. The Church Street setting should be an intriguing venue for their sound!

Sunday boasts the return of the legendary Watsonville Taiko to the fair. Since 1992, Ikuyo Conant has served as the group’s artistic director and main composer. She was one of my first-ever interview subjects, and remains one of the most inspiring. As “Watsonville Taiko: Echoes of Tradition” reveals, her compositions tend to break with more traditional taiko structures. The group itself is always entertaining to watch!

The Church Street Fair takes place in front of the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium (which will have its own ticketed performances during the festival) at 307 Church Street, Santa Cruz. Performance times are subject to change. For more information, visit the event website or call (831) 426-6966.

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