Santa Cruz street music

Yesterday, after buying a sunflower at the downtown farmers’ market, I parked my bike to hang out and listen to the Zimbabwean marimba band. (Add “bouncing dorkily to traditional African rhythms” to the list of stuff white people like!) Normally I’d pass them by, finding the repetitive tunes extremely boring. Yesterday was different. I was tired and stressed. The music was medicine. The ringing harmonies resonated in my chest and got me breathing more deeply and smiling.

Even though I’m obsessed with my collection of recorded music and hardly ever go to concerts, I try to stay open to street musicians. Not the ones belting out cliched covers—the ones who “play real good for free.” If they’re good enough to get me to stop my bike, I usually make a donation.

Some other kinds of good music I’ve heard in downtown Santa Cruz in fairly recent memory:

Bluegrass fiddle
Spanish classical guitar
Loud folk punk singers
Soulful singer-songwriters
Jolly Galician accordion tunes

How about you? Any additions to the list? Anyone have photos of Santa Cruz street musicians? Maybe I should start carrying my camera with me (though I’d have to learn to use it).

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