The Top 21 Event Santa Cruz Music Moments 2013-2020


 | July 23, 2020

Watch the video ⬇︎

Over the last seven years music has played a huge part of Event Santa Cruz. From the second event (back in 2013) on, we have always had live music. At our annual NEXTies Awards Show there have been special performances of live music and of course we celebrate the Musician and Band of the Year at that event. We have even decided not to have our radio show now during Shelter in Place / COVID-19 because it would not feel right to have our show without the live music segment. More recently we started the campaign – Save Out Music to help support local musicians. So yes, we are big Santa Cruz local musician fans.

With that in mind I thought it would be fun to go through all of our music that we have captured on video and put on YouTube (Yes, I’ll say it, Please Subscribe, we are trying to get to 1000 subscribers) and do a Top 20 list of the best Event Santa Cruz Music Moments. I asked a panel who will remain anonymous and asked them to rate what music moments they thought were worthy and then put them in order. This was a super hard task. So hard that we ended up with a Top 21 not Top 20. We even included a bonus song.

Please watch the video first then come back and read my short commentary of each music moment.


Coffee Zombie Collective closing out the 2015 NEXTies. What an amazing / fun performance. The Crowd spontaneously jumped out of their seats and started to dance. Definitely one of the NEXTies top 10 moments.


Fernly Mueller-Tuescher sure had a fan club at the Event Santa Cruz Live event at Verve Coffee Roasters. The location is by far one of our favorite locations to have small events. Even to this day I catch myself humming to this song.


Back to the 2015 NEXTies with James Durbin playing a then unreleased song “Lost in The Shadows”. I remember James coming off stage after this song and had he definetly had an emotional response. I wonder if he remembers that. I’ll have to do a video interview with him soon and ask him about it. Stay tuned…


Here is Nick Gallant at I am pretty sure the third Event Santa Cruz event at The Nick opening the night. Such a great performance. We have used this recording in many other videos. It’s just a song that makes you feel good 😊.


Here is a video we did with Lindsey Wall just in the last few months right after sunrise. We did a few takes of this song (Kacey Musgraves Cover – “Slow Burn”) but this was the only one that survived since some of our equipment including an iPhone ended up in the ocean 🌊🤦🏻‍♂️.


On June 8th, 2016 we had an event with Visit Santa Cruz County at The Rio to celebrate Santa Cruz. Here was a great song performed by Jackie from the sister act – Maddie & Jackie. Love this song!


We were blown away when we had Adrea Castiano and Paul Chronopoulos on the radio show. It was the first time we have heard her sing and it was nothing short than amazing.


In 2013 I stumbled upon a video from Marty O’Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra, The Humboldt Live Sessions playing their song “Cold Canary Gaslight”. I instantly fell in love with the song and soon learned that they were from Santa Cruz. In 2015 we invited Marty to play at our Non Starving Artist Night at Cosmic Design and Marty was nice enough to play us that song.


We always enjoy listening to Tevsch (Akeera Teuscher). Such a beautiful voice. Here is her back in 2019 on the radio show. You really need to listen to the whole show. Watch it here.


AJ Lee and Blue Summit. Wow, we knew it was going to be a good show but we did not know it was going to be that good! The energy in the studio was pure electrifying.


Ian Janco at the first Event Santa Cruz Live. Ian was also the first musician to play at an Event Santa Cruz (event #2). I always thought of Ian as the Frank Sinatra of Santa Cruz young musicians. Not in his style of music but in his leadership of the group / brat pack.


Katie Ekin. To be honest I can’t remember what event this was but I remember how much I loved the performance and how I thought it was such a great song when she sent me the demo. I am pretty sure the song is still an unreleased song, officially that is. I should ask her if we can release that demo.


Cement Ship, 2018 Band of the Year. This song is an instant classic. Such a great vibe and a song that Santa Cruz County really embraced. I really can’t hear this song enough. 


Here is Chris Rene playing “Young Homie”. This was a Facebook Live show during the Shelter In Place at The Felton Music Hall. Playing to an audience of two and a camera in the actual room might have its challenges and be hard to muster up energy for a live performance but that was no problem for Chris. He was on fire the whole hour. He also mentioned that this would be the last time he would play “Young Homie” live. Glad we got it on video 👍🏼.


Here is Nick Gallant again with full band at Event Santa Cruz Live. Nick always delivers a great performance. It was the end of the night and he kept the energy going. It was a great way to close out the night.


This was unexpected. Danielle Crook who was hosting the NEXTies with DNA broke out in song. And not just any song but Opera! Wow, that was amazing!


Henry Chadwick, everyones favorite local musician played a set during Shelter In Place,  Live on the MAH’s Rooftop Sculpture Garden on Facebook Live. The whole hour plus was so good. Watch the whole show here.


Oh my goodness, Mira Goto is so talented. What a great song. I am pretty sure this was the 2018 NEXTies opener. Every time I see this video I think about her jean jacket she is wearing. I told her before the event that the NEXTies is real dress up kinda event. Well that year for some reason people did not dress up as much and she felt over dressed so she added a jacket when she got there to dress down a bit. It was a perfect look for the NEXTies. Mira also came back at the end of the night with a huge ensemble of musicians and was amazing as always. Watch it here.


Rumor has it that this was the first time James Durbin played the song “Santa Cruz” to an audience. I think I remember though James mentioning that he did play it once before to a few people. I’ll have to ask him to get the full story. Whatever the case the song is just awesome! And it does not hurt that it is all about our home town. Event Santa Cruz later was able to help James make an official video for the song. Check it out here.


This is probably my most favorite piece of video that I have ever captured for Event Santa Cruz. It was filmed Nov 29, 2018 in the Felton Covered Bridge. It was raining ridiculously hard that morning and we had to wait to film since this guy was 4wheeling / mudding it right next to the bridge and being super loud. Jesse Daniel and Taylor Rae covered the classic Johnny Cash song “Jackson” to promote a show we were doing later that week – Taylor Rae and Friends. Watch the full show here.


I must admit, as an event planner / promoter / or whatever else I say I do 🤔😆😉(I still have not worked that out yet, I need figure out a good description) … having a moment like this at one of our events is just pretty darn rad. This 2017 NEXTies opener by The Coffis Brothers could not have been pulled off any better. I dare say it was perfect.

Bonus Song

We just could not resist adding this to the list. Yes, this is Nick Gallant’s 3rd time of the list but it is not really on the official “Top 21” so I feel it was ok. Anyway, it’s not a full song… Just a special moment and the end of Event Santa Cruz Live Part 2, Dec 2016. It was a small intimate performance with a group of 8 or so local musicians. It really was a special night.

One video that is not on the list  or video but 100% should be is the whole Taylor Rae & Friends Show. It was way too hard to pick just one song from that night. Watch it here.

Well that is the list. Thanks for reading this far. Hopefully you were able to watch the whole video and Subscribe to our YouTube channel (I would really appreciate it).

We look forward to the next show (Hopefully sooner than later). See you next time!

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  1. I’m very surprised not to see Anthony Arya on this list. Most who did make the list are unfamiliar to me.

    1. Yeah Tom we agree, Anthony Arya would have been great on the list. There are a couple of videos in the commentary that were linked with him in them like the Taylor Rae & Friends Show and the end of the 2018 NEXTies. I bet he would have been on the list if it was top 20 musicians in Santa Cruz or something like that but this list was just the top videos that we captured at our events on video. It was more on us that we just might have not captured Anthony as much as we should have.

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