.Metroactive: Jun 22-27 | Music in the Park, JMSN, Electric Six, 'Motown the Musical'

It’s a great time for enjoying music in the open air. Los Lobos kick off the 2016 Music in the Park series this Friday at Plaza de Cesar Chavez. Jazz on the Plazz will be helping locals unwind mid-week with their Wednesday series of free jazz concerts in Los Gatos Town Plaza. And Tapped Brew Fest merges your favorite college drinking games, craft beer and live DJs at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds. Also this week: ‘Motown The Musical brings the story of Motown Records founder Barry Gordy to life on stage and explosive, disco-punk powerhouse The Electric Six kick it in to high gear at The Ritz.

Motown The Musical
Wed, Various Times, $35
SJ Center for the Performing Arts

At 18, Berry Gordy was a featherweight boxer with a 29 percent knockout rate. At 28, he was cashing in on the all-too-catchy “Reet Petite.” Soulful crooner Jackie Wilson was just the first in a long list of talented performers the songwriter, producer and music industry magnate discovered and signed to his legendary Motown Records. Broadway San Jose’s Motown The Musical will transport audiences to a time when the Detroit label ruled the pop charts with hits like “My Girl,” by The Temptations and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. Runs through Jun. 26, (Mike Huguenor)

Jazz on the Plazz
Wed, 6:30pm, Free
Los Gatos Town Plaza

The work week sucks. Perhaps that’s why the organizers of Jazz on the Plazz decided to schedule their event on hump day. Jazz fans are invited to celebrate America’s music at this free concert series, held every Wednesday evening in downtown Los Gatos. This week featuring a performance by vocal trio DUCHESS. The festival continues through Aug. 24, when Alexis Cole closes out the summer with her deep, smooth voice. Local artists like Paula West, as well as stars, like Mark Winkler, will take the stage this summer. This year’s theme, “An Ellington Summer,” honors composer, pianist and bandleader Duke Ellington. (Mike Huguenor)


August Osage County
Thu, 8pm, $10-$35
The Pear Theater, Mountain View

The dysfunctional Weston family takes center stage in Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play August Osage County. This dark comedy set in Oklahoma centers around Beverly Weston—a once-famous poet who has succumbed to alcoholism—and his wife, Violet, who is undergoing treatment for mouth cancer and suffers a nasty drug addiction. When Beverly disappears, the three Weston sisters and their mother must come together and work through their strained, often hilarious relationships. The play previews on Thursday and runs through July 10. (Stacy Torres)

Los Lobos
Fri, 5:30pm, $11.75
Plaza de Cesar Chavez, San Jose

Known for their killer cover of “La Bamba,” which topped the charts in 1987, Los Lobos is a big name with an even bigger follow-through. Emerging from the multi-cultural melting pot that was 1970s East L.A., they’ve been cooking up hot Chicano rock tunes for the more than 40 years. Their country and blues influences shine on tracks like “We Belong Together,” while they demonstrate their Mexican heritage with songs like “La Pistola Y El Corazon.” They headline the first installment of Music in the Park along with South Bay native Maxx Cabello Jr. (Mike Huguenor)

Fri, 8:30pm, $12-$15
The Catalyst, Santa Cruz

Born Christian Berishaj, JMSN (pronounced Jameson) was once known as Christian TV, Love Arcade and Snowhite. As a teenager he began writing his own songs and recording music using equipment bought by his dad. By 18 he produced, wrote and played all the instruments on the album Love Arcade. In 2012 he started his own record label, White Room Records, and released his debut album, Priscilla, which drew comparisons to R&B artist The Weeknd and accolades from Usher. His latest effort, It Is., expands on his versatility as an artist, musician and producer. (Stacy Torres)

Freddy Benz
Fri, 7pm, $11-$14
BackBar SoFa, San Jose

Up and coming hip-hop artist Freddy Benz has been grinding hard on the local circuit of late—playing everywhere from Homestead Lanes in Cupertino to Concord’s G and K Lounge. The Oakland-based rapper has a penchant for delivering succinct and witty wordplay over hyphy production, as evidenced on “Watz Hattanin,” his collaboration with fellow veteran East Bay spitter Turf Talk. Benz will be celebrating the June release of his latest EP, DayDream Theory, with fellow Bay Area emcee Green Mischief. (Tad Malone)

Tapped Brew Fest
Sat, 7pm, $30-$55
Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, San Jose

The 2006 bro-comedy Beerfest was centered around a fantastical beer-drinking competition. In this veritable Olympiad of chugging, teams from all over the world gathered in Germany each year to face off in a tournament of college-style drinking games. By contrast, real beer festivals tend to be populated by a bunch of boring beardos—all bent on brewing up beer with as much hoppy bite as possible. Tapped Brew Fest is different. Sure, there’ll be plenty of high qual suds, but this carnival for quaffing will also feature live DJs, giant beer pong, corn hole, glow-in-the-dark Jenga and something called “energy flip cup.” Game on. (Nick Veronin)

SV Jewish Music Festival
Sun, 2pm, $4-$20
Addison-Penzak JCC, Los Gatos

Branching off from the successful East Bay Jewish Musical Festival, the fifth annual Silicon Valley Jewish Musical Festival is back for another star-studded summer day. The fest is becoming known for its big gets. Last year’s headliner was Matisyahu. This year it’s the actress and singer Molly Ringwald—star of The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink. The Roseville resident will sing jazz standards and hits by 20th century Jewish composers. Other musical guests include Jewish revival band Mostly Kosher, and children’s musician, Mister G. In addition to music, the festival will also feature activities for kids, multiple food vendors and local artisans. (Tad Malone)

Electric Six
Tue, 8pm, $13-$15
The Ritz, San Jose

It’s rumored that the Electric Six’s breakout hit, “Danger! (High Voltage),” features a backing vocal by none other than White Stripes leader Jack White. Listening to the song, it’s easy to understand why. With his explosive delivery, Dick Valentine could easily serve as a stand-in for White—in a pinch. Whatever the case, one thing is for sure: the Electric Six frontman is rather adept at deploying his gravelly vocal attack. His spastic style helps to propel his group’s amalgamation of disco, funk and punk into the stratosphere. The group is currently touring behind their latest effort, 2015’s Bitch, Don’t Let Me Die! (Mike Huguenor)


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