.Silicon Valley 2023 Winter Arts Guide

Music, comedy, theater, dance and more crowd local stages

When the champagne corks popped on Jan. 1, 2023, it marked the beginning of what could really be a happy new year. Judging from our survey of what lies ahead on the South Bay’s cultural calendar, it’s time to get off the couch and leave streaming entertainment behind. Theater fans can look forward to several world premieres, touring soloists will be playing with classical ensembles, big-name pop, rock and rap acts are lined up at the SAP Center and the San Jose Civic. Plus local nightclubs and universities will feature up-and-coming bands and artists. We also list some standout dance productions, comedy acts and literary events. And these are just the highlights. More events can be found on our online calendar at metrosiliconvalley.com.


Fred Armisen

Guild Theatre | Feb 1, 8pm


Attention, Crisis of Conformity fans: drummer, comedian, SNL veteran and sometimes hardcore vocalist Fred Armisen will be opening up the pit at the Guild Theatre this February. Known for his iconic roles in everything from Portlandia and Los Espookys, to the Smurfs and Documentary Now, the very funny Mr. Armisen will be entertaining audiences with humor and maybe even a drum fill or two. Try not to get in a “Fist Fight in the Parking Lot.”

Paula Poundstone

Fox Theatre | Feb 4, 7:30pm


After more than four decades in show biz, Paula Poundstone has done it all. On top of performing in clubs and concert halls, she’s done acting gigs, is a regular panelist on Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me, and does the weekly podcast Nobody Listens to Paula Poundstone. To really understand Poundstone’s observational humor, however, one has to see her interact with a live audience. Her lightning-fast, quirky wit ensures everybody will be listening.

Emily Wilson

Bing Studio | Feb 10, 7 and 9pm


When she was 15, comedian Emily Wilson was publicly humiliated on Fox’s musical challenge show The X Factor. For years, she tried to bury the painful memories, but now she’s unearthed them for the multimedia comedy show Fixed. Combining song, footage and standup, Fixed lays bare the sting of Simon Cowell’s withering comments—and even received a nomination for Best Newcomer at Edinburgh Fringe Fest.

Stand-up Comedy Night

Pruneyard Cinemas | 875 S Bascom Ave, Suite 100, Campbell | Feb 24-25


The Campbell movie theater turns into a comedy club for a two-night stand, in coordination with Alameda Comedy Works. Jason Toupes hosts both nights, which each feature five funny folks. Jose Anolin headlines on Feb 24; Ellis Rodriguez takes the top slot on the 25th.

Chris Distefano

California Theatre | Feb 25, 7pm


A quintessential New York comic, Chris Distefano built a national rep on the Guy Code/Girl Code franchise on MTV2. He’s since gone on to do a comedy special and a regular series on Comedy Central, and is an active podcaster. His new standup show, Speshy Weshy, is streaming on Netflix.

Laurie Kilmartin

Rooster T. Feathers | Mar 2-5


Born in Santa Clara County, comedian Laurie Kilmartin is best known as a staff writer on the late-night show Conan. She returns to her birthplace for five shows with Mark Christopher and Shane Rogers also on the bill. Shows are 21 and over.

Melissa Villasenor

Improv San Jose | Mar 10-11


She was the first Latina comedian on Saturday Night Live, but Melissa Villasenor is much more than that. A razor-sharp impressionist, a singer, even a visual artist—she has time for all these pursuits since leaving SNL in September. Her four-show stand at the San Jose Improv is part of a mini-tour in California and Hawaii.

Jerry Seinfeld

Center for the Performing Arts | Apr 13, 7pm


Is it possible to say something new about Jerry Seinfeld? Even the mega-famous funnyman’s own website has a 19-word “About” page. But fans will no doubt hear something new from him this winter and spring on a multi-city tour running from January to May.

Kenny Sebastian

San Jose Civic | Apr 15, 7pm


Kenny Sebastian made his way to the spotlight through YouTube, broadcasting clips from his stand-up shows, song covers and skits. Born in India, he performs in English but sometimes does bits in Hindi. In addition to doing standup shows, he’s acted in TV series and movies, and is a judge on the show Comicstaan, which features aspiring comedians from all around India.

Jo Koy World Tour

SAP Center | May 13, 8pm


A veteran of more than 140 episodes of Chelsea Lately along with appearances on pretty much any late-night show you could name, Jo Koy tours nationally and hosts a weekly podcast, The Koy Pond. He has done successful comedy specials on both Comedy Central and Netflix, and he starred in the 2022 feature film Easter Sunday.


Miss You Like Hell

City Lights Theater Company | Jan 26-Feb 26


In this joint production with Teatro Vision, Beatriz, an undocumented immigrant about to be deported to Mexico, takes her 16-year-old daughter on a journey from Philadelphia to California. Quiara Alegría Hudes, who collaborated with Lin-Manuel Miranda on In the Heights, wrote the book, with music and lyrics by Erin McKeown. Shows are at City Lights Theater the first five weeks, with a closing weekend at the Mexican Heritage Plaza.

Spitfire Grill

South Bay Musical Theatre | Saratoga Civic Theatre | Jan 28-Feb 17


South Bay Musical Theatre opens its 60th season with a hidden gem musical in The Spitfire Grill, about one little restaurant’s role in revitalizing a community. New to the small town of Gilead, Wis., Percy Talbott finds herself working at the down-and-out Spitfire Grill, a small change that brings about big changes in those around her. Originally premiered in 2001, the musical has won over audiences for more than two decades now.

Funny Money

Naatak | Cubberley Theater | Jan 28–Feb 11


On his birthday, Himesh Parikh takes the train and gets off at Bandra Station, in the suburbs of Mumbai. But he’s got someone else’s briefcase—and it’s stuffed with cash. Based on a comedy by British playwright Ray Cooney. Naatak’s version is in Hindi, with supertitles in English.

Satchmo at the Waldorf

San Jose Stage Company | Feb 1-26


In the dwindling hours of his life, backstage at the Waldorf, Louis Armstrong reflects on his career. In particular, he reflects on his manager, Joe Glaser, a white man who may have been taking advantage of him. In this powerful play by Terry Teachout, Armstrong, Glaser and Miles Davis (all played by L. Peter Callender) explore the boundaries of art and exploitation.

Barbra, Diana, Liza, Bette, Chita and Carol: A Laugh Out Loud Benefit

San Jose Playhouse | 3Below Theaters | Feb 26, 7pm

At this fundraiser for San Jose Playhouse, Bay Area vocalists will offer up songs and comic routines inspired by America’s greatest divas: Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, Liza Minnelli, Bette Midler, Chita Rivera and Carol Burnett. Plus, a live auction will raise additional funds.

Head Over Heels: The Musical

Children’s Musical Theatre | Montgomery Theater | Mar 3-12


The hit songs of ’80s band The Go-Go’s are interspersed with the tale of a royal family on a quest to save their kingdom from extinction in this 2015 jukebox musical comedy, featuring CMT performers ages 14 to 20.

Giants Have Us in Their Books

Santa Clara University | Fess Parker Studio Theatre | Mar 3-12


SCU Assistant Profession Karina Gutiérrez directs this collection of “children’s plays for adults.” Author Jose Rivera’s fairy tales are about humans, narrated as if they were told by giants.

Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer

TheatreWorks SIlicon Valley | Lucie Stern Theatre | Mar 8-Apr 2


TheatreWorks artistic director Tim Bond helms this production of Cheryl L. West’s tribute to civil rights firebrand Fannie Lou Hamer, featuring an inspirational gospel soundtrack performed by a live band. Taking on the central role is Greta Oglesby, star of the critically acclaimed Gem of the Ocean.


Tabard Theatre Company | Mar 10-Apr 2


This musical based on John Carney’s 2007 film of the same name follows the story of two lonely people whose intimate connection leads them not to love but to artistic fulfillment. Jonathan Rhys Williams directs; songs are by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, including Oscar winner “Falling Slowly.”

A Statue for Ballybunion

San Jose Playhouse | 3Below Theaters | Mar 16-26

Former San Jose Mayor Tom McEnery wrote this comedy, finally making its US premiere after multiple postponements—right before St. Patrick’s Day. Based on a true story, it’s centered on a group of civic boosters who plan to erect a statue of U.S. President William Jefferson Clinton in Ballybunion, a coastal resort town in Ireland.  But then l’affaire Lewinsky comes to light.

Pretty Woman: The Musical

Broadway San Jose | San Jose Center for the Performing Arts | Mar 21-26


The movie that has inspired generations of young girls to dream of finding their own sugardaddy was made into a peppy musical in 2018, with Roy Orbison’s eponymous hit song front and center.

Blithe Spirit

City Lights Theater Company | Mar 23-Apr 23


Popular since before World War II ended, Noel Coward’s play opens the portals between the corporeal and spirit worlds. City Lights promises lavish period sets and a rollicking séance that conjures up the protagonist’s late wife—with dead-certain comedic results.

Grand Horizons

San Jose Stage Company | Apr 5-30


With her first Broadway production, Grand Horizons, playwright Bess Wohl scored a Tony for Best Play. The Stage’s Allison F. Rich directs the drama about two people, married for 50 years, who decide to divorce. But it’s their two sons who are most deeply affected by the split.

A Distinct Society

NEW DIRECTION Giovanna Sardelli helms the premiere of ‘A Distinct Society’ for TheatreWorks.

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley | Lucie Stern Theatre | Apr 5-30


A new play by Canadian-born, New York-based playwright Kareem Fahmy, A Distinct Society debuts with a joint production by Pioneer Theatre Company and TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, running first in Salt Lake City and then Palo Alto. Directed by Giovanna Sardelli, the story is set in a library on the U.S./Canada border, which becomes a meeting place for five people from around the world, all separated from their families by the “Muslim ban.”

Harold and Maude

Los Altos Stage Company | Bus Barn Theater | Apr 13-May 7


UCLA film student Colin Higgins originally wrote Harold and Maude as his master’s thesis; since then it’s gone on to become a cult classic (Hal Ashby’s 1971 filmed version), a stage production and a musical. Gary Landis directs the Los Altos Stage Company production.

Something Rotten!

Children’s Musical Theater | Montgomery Theater | Apr 14-23


Real-life brothers Wayne and Karen Kirkpatrick and screenwriter John O’Farrell came up with this musical farce set in the 1590s and focused on fictional brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom—two Renaissance men stuck in the shadow of “The Bard.” A CMT Marquee presentation, Something Rotten will feature CMT alumni and emerging artists from around the country.

Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812

San Jose Playhouse | 3Below Theaters | Apr 20-May 28

Composer Dave Malloy has written an “electropop opera inspired by a scandalous slice of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace.” This Tony Award–winning musical makes its South Bay premiere, directed by Scott Evan Guggenheim and choreographed by Shannon Guggenheim, with musical direction by Stephen Guggenheim.


Tabard Theatre Company | Apr 21-May 7


One of Shakespeare’s most enduring dramas of love, jealousy, power and betrayal is given a fresh setting in Ken Kelleher’s new adaptation, which sets the story in the 1950s New York jazz scene.

The Spongebob Musical

Palo Alto Players | Lucie Stern Theater | Apr 28-May 14


In addition to the world’s most lovable sponge and his friends from Bikini Bottom, this play based on the Nickelodeon animated series also features a stellar soundtrack with original songs by more than a dozen rock acts.

The River Bride

City Lights Theater Company | May 18-Jun 11


As her sister Belmira prepares to marry a man Helena wishes was her own intended, another suitor turns up. But this mysterious stranger, fished out of the river, has no past and offers an alluring but possibly dangerous future. John R. Lewis directs this work written by American playwright Marisela Treviño Orta.

Pop, Jazz & More

Black Cab Jazz: Melissa Aldana

Hammer4 Studio | Feb 3, 7pm


Chilean tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana plays with a kind of confident vulnerability rarely heard in jazz music. On compositions like “12 Stars,” the title track from her 2022 Blue Note debut, Aldana’s sax flutters like an uncatalogued species of bird, each dip and bend a mournful call from some lost wilderness. Her 2019 album Visions (Motema) received a Grammy nom for Best Jazz Solo, and it seems she still has plenty of surprises in store.

Black/Pacific: The Geography of Freedom

San Jose Museum of Art | Feb 3, 6-9pm


To mark Black History Month, the San Jose Museum of Art turns over its First Friday event to Rightstarter, composed of writer/musician PC Muñoz and rapper/electronic musician DEM ONE. Their multimedia project, Black/Pacific: Sounds of the Noble Savage, “examines the call of the West, the lure of the Pacific, and the distorted historical views of indigenous Black and Brown humanity.”

Blind Boys of Alabama 

Guild Theatre | Feb 9, 8pm


For seven decades, some configuration of the Blind Boys of Alabama has favored audiences with jubilee singing—a livelier style of gospel music. The group has deep, deep roots; its senior member, octogenarian Jimmy Carter, has been around since 1982, but he was attending the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind back when the group was originally formed in 1939.

Kalani Pe’a

Montalvo Arts Center | Carriage House Theatre | Feb 10, 7:30pm


A leading proponent of Hawaii’s music, culture and language, Kalani Pe’a has won three  Grammy Awards and four Na Hoku Hanohano Awards (an honor bestowed by the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts). He is known as a fluent speaker of Hawaiian and a versatile performer whose styles range from traditional chant and Hawaiian classics to R&B and his own originals.

International Anime Music Festival

San Jose Civic | Feb 11, 8pm


In case anyone wasn’t aware we’re living in the 21st century, the headliner of the International Anime Music Festival is virtual musician Gumi, aka Megpoid Gumi, the green-haired, animated Vocaloid software avatar voiced by singer and actress Megumi Nakajima. Along with Gumi, the Fest also features AI singer #kzn, Vtuber duos HimeHina and Lilypse, and virtual dance group MaRiNaSu.

San Jose Jazz Winterfest: Counterpoint with Ukraine

Various Locations | Feb 16-Mar 3


San Jose Jazz has exciting things in store for the South Bay this Winter. A dozen shows make up this year’’s Winterfest, kicking off with a show featuring singer and Thelonius Monk Institute International Jazz Competition winner Jazzmeia Horn and the Marcus Shelby Orchestra on Feb 16 at Santa Clara University’s Mayer Theater. With performances from stars like drummer Mark Guiliana (St. Vincent), trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, Vietnamese zither magician Van Anh Vo and influential pianist Orrin Evens, there’s something for everyone at Winterfest.

Cartoon Hearts, August Lee Stevens and Velvet Lune

Art Boutiki | Feb 18, 8pm


Taking influence from razor sharp pop-rock like the Stokes and the 1975, Cartoon Hearts are the newest project from local musician Jay Chiorean (Rove, Careful Brother). The band releases “Legs,” their first single this week, following it up with a debut performance at Art Boutiki this Feb alongside Velvet Lune and August Lee Stevens. If early clips serve as any indicator, the band will be bringing some highly danceable energy.

Mardi Gras With Andre Thierry

Mama Kin | 374 S 1st St, San Jose | Feb 21, 6pm


Great music is on the menu many nights at Mama Kin, but this Mardi Gras Party also serves up a buffet by Chef Gator. What pairs well with gumbo, jambalaya and red rice? Live zydeco music, of course—courtesy of Andre Thierry, master of “accordion soul music.” Born in Richmond, California but raised by Louisiana natives, Thierrry leads the band Zydeco Magic.)

The Eagles

SAP Center | Feb 21, 7pm


Last fall, a stop was added to the Hotel California Tour, giving fans a chance to see the quintessential LA rock band live in its current touring incarnation: founding member Don Henley, longtime members Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmidt, and a relative newbie, country star Vincent Gill.

Air Supply

San Jose Civic Auditorium | Feb 22, 8pm


The Aussie pop rock duo hits the road to promote their most recent live album, Lost in Love Experience, a compendium of their most romantic hits released in 2019 and recorded with the Prague Symphony Orchestra.

Yasmin Williams

Bing Studio | Feb 25, 7pm


Easily one of the most unique fingerpicking guitarists currently playing, Yasmin Williams plucks ethereal melodies out of thin air, breathing new life into the range of acoustic guitar music in the process. Those who don’t believe this humble writer need only watch her Tiny Desk concert—one of the best in the whole series. Williams went from playing Guitar Hero to becoming a real life guitar hero for a new generation.

International Guitar Night

Montalvo Arts Center | Carriage House Theatre | Feb 25, 7:30pm


For each International Guitar Night tour, founder Brian Gore brings together a new grouping of guitar luminaries to work on solos, duets, and quartets. Nations represented this year are Finland (jazz guitarist Oili Soikkeli), Spain (flanenco master Jesus Guerrero ), Canada (guitarist-vocalist Jocelyn Gould) and Australia (chamber musician Stephanie Jones).

Our Planet Live in Concert

Broadway San Jose | San Jose Center for the Performing Arts | Mar 3, 8pm


For those who love chilling to David Attenborough’s Netflix nature series, here’s a reason to get off the couch: Our Planet Live in Concert features highlights from the series on a big screen, with narration by Attenborough and William Shatner (now an actual spaceman), augmented by a live 18-piece orchestra playing compositions by Emmy-winning composer Steven Price. Feel-good bonus: Some of the proceeds will go to the World Wildlife Fund.

The HillBenders

Montalvo Arts Center | Carriage House Theatre | Mar 5, 7pm


Hailing from Missouri, the Hillbenders formed in 2008 and are still touring with the original lineup. In addition to bluegrass-tinged originals, the band became known for its “wood and wire” tribute to the Who: “Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry.” Now they’re touring with “WhoGrass,” a set list that includes everything from the Who’s early hits to material from Pete Townshend’s solo career.

The Garcia Project

Club Fox Redwood City | Mar 16, 8pm


Billed as “the only nationally touring tribute that performs classic Jerry Garcia Band set lists from 1976-1995,” the Garcia Project gets a two-night run with a lineup that includes one-time band members Maria Muldaur and Jacklyn LaBranch and Buzz Buchanan.

Depeche Mode

SAP Center | Mar 25


From the dawn of the ’80s to the present day, Depeche Mode founding members Dave Gahan and Martin Gore have been in fashion—whether they played as a quartet, trio or duo. After founding keyboardist Andy Fletcher passed away last year, Gahan and Gore recorded the aptly titled Memento Mori, which is set to release on Mar 17.

Old 97’s 

The Ritz | Mar 30, 8pm


It’s hard to believe but Old 97’s, America’s quintessential alt-country band, are on their 30th anniversary tour. Last heard on 2020’s satisfying Twelfth, the shuffling rockers still sound as lovelorn and lost as they did on now-classic albums like 1997’s Too Far to Care. They’re still causing hearts to throb and glasses to slam down empty, and this March the Ritz is the “Niteclub” they just might burn down.

An Evening With Y&T

Fox Theatre | Redwood City | Apr 1, 8:30pm


Formed in the early 1970s in Oakland, Y&T continues to tour the world. Original frontman Dave Meniketti still takes the lead on guitar and vocals, joined by guitarist John Nyman, bassist Aaron Leigh and drummer Mike Vanderhule.


Stanford Live | Frost Amphitheater | Apr 5, 7:15pm


Houston artist Casey Luong wears a lot of hats but he keeps it simple. Just call him keshi. A hit for his sensitively stoned love longs, the singer/songwriter/producer seamlessly stitches together hip hop, R&B and guitar pop, all with a K-pop sensibility. In fact, his 2018 EP the Reaper became a favorite among the members of a little band called BTS. The rising star musician comes to Stanford on his second ever tour this April.

Banda Cuisillos

San Jose Civic | Apr 14, 8pm


Known for its style of wearing native American costumes while performing romantic Mexican music (“Te Quiero,” “Te Amo,” “Acuérdate De Mi”), Banda Cuisillos was formed in 1987 by Arturo Macias in Cuisillos, Jalisco. Since then they’ve recorded three dozen albums, including the Latin Grammy-winning Pura Rancheras.

Regina Carter

Stanford Live | Bing Concert Hall | Apr 21, 7:30pm


Detroit-based jazz violinist and composer Regina King presents her newest work at an event in the Stanford Live series. “Gone in a Phrase of Air” combines music, spoken word and other media to tell the story of how African American neighborhoods and other communities have been decimated across the United States. King explores ideas about urban renewal and gentrification, and the role of the arts in creating sustainable societies.

Vân-Ánh Vanessa Võ

Stanford Live | Bing Concert Hall | Apr 23, 4pm


Multi-instrumentalist Van-Anh Vo brings classical instruments into modernity with striking ease. Primarily known for her ethereal mastery of the dan thanh—the 16 string Vietnamese zither—she also creates profound sonic portraits on the single-sting dan bau, the bamboo xylophone and the trong com (rice drum). A modern practitioner of near-ancient instruments, Vo’s music is instantly evocative.

Rauw Alejandro

SAP Center | Apr 26


San Jose will be favored by a visit from reggaeton royalty when the genre’s reigning king, Rauw Alejandro, stops by on his Saturno World Tour. The Puerto Rican singer kicks off the tour in support of his third studio album, Saturno, in February on his home turf, and will do 57 shows before his final stop Oct. 3 in Munich, Germany.

Kane Brown

SAP Center | Apr 27


Raised by a single mother in Tennessee and Georgia, Kane Brown grew up listening to hard-luck country songs. Brown’s own luck changed in 2014, when he posted his versions of some of those songs on social media. In 2015, he released a teaser for his own single, “Used to Love You Sober,” and hit one million views in less than three hours. Also on the Drunk and Dreaming Tour are Dustin Lynch and Locash.

Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles

Montalvo Arts Center | Carriage House Theatre | May 5, 7:30pm


Established in 1994, this all-female mariachi group developed under the guidance of Mexican ranchera star Lola Bertran. Since then they’ve gone on to record three albums and have continued to celebrate the beauty and warmth of Mexico’s musical heritage.

LatinXoxo: Migguel Anggelo

Stanford Live | The Studio | May 5, 8pm


Cabaret artist Migguel Anggelo, Venezuela-born and Brooklyn-based, pulls together disparate decades, genres, and cultures to create work that explores his Latinx and queer identities through costume, musical composition, and movement.


Images 2023

Santa Clara University | Louis B. Mayer Theatre | Feb 2-5


SCU dancers step it up in a showcase that crosses musical styles and genres, from jazz and contemporary to modern and ballet.


Hammer Theatre Center | Feb 16-17 


The Philadelphia Dance Company presents work from four choreographers: Francisco Gella’s Seasons, a six-part ballet set to Max Richter’s reinterpretation of Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons”; Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie’s Out-Side-In, a meditation on life during the pandemic; Ray Mercer’s This Place, a high-energy, physical work; and Anthony Burrell’s Conglomerate, an homage to Philly’s history of Black dance.

Fast Forward

ON THE MOVE New Ballet presents ‘Fast Forward’ at the Hammer Theatre in March.

New Ballet | Hammer Theatre Center | Mar 18, 7:30pm


A delightful rite of spring, this annual program by New Ballet showcases the work of emerging choreographers, both local and from around the country. By performing contemporary work that is still being shaped, the company’s dancers get the chance to be part of the creative process.

SCU Spring Dance Festival 2023

Santa Clara University | Fess Parker Studio Theatre | Apr 15-16


SCU’s dance department mounts a performance of original student choreography, celebrating Claire Long and Sarah Sporn’s love for dance.

SJDanceCo Spring Dance Festival

Eastridge Center | Apr 29-30


sjDANCEco celebrates its 21st anniversary with two days of free performances that bring together more than 70 choreographers from around the Bay Area to share their love  of dance.

Riverdance 25th Anniversary Show

Broadway San Jose | San Jose Center for the Performing Arts | May 12-14


For the quarter-century anniversary of this showcase of Irish and international dance, composer Bill Whelan has rerecorded his Grammy-winning soundtrack while producer Moya Doherty and director John McColgan have revamped the show with innovative lighting, projection, stage and costume designs.

Sleeping Beauty

New Ballet | Hammer Theatre Center | May 20-21


Following up its March showcase of contemporary dance, San Jose’s preeminent dance troupe offers up a lavish production of this traditional delight, featuring Tchaikovsky’s romantic score and a story with all the fairytale trimmings. In addition to two full-length performances, New Ballet offers a shorter show suitable for children at 11am on May 21.

Classical & Opera

Van Kuijk Quartet with Sean Shibe

San Jose Chamber Music Society | St. Francis Episcopal Church | Feb 11


Scottish guitarist Sean Shibe—“one of the most discriminating ears in the business,” according to Gramophone magazine—is showcased in a program that includes guitar solos by Adès, de Falla and Poulenc, and works by Mendelssohn, Boccherini and Castelnuovo-Tedesco.


Opera San Jose | California Theatre | Feb 11-26


Before starting on his penultimate opera—written after he finished Othello—Verdi said, “I have at last the right to laugh a little.” So he focused on the lighter side of Shakespeare for this three-act entertainment that focuses on Sir John Falstaff.

Albert Cano Smit

Steinway Society | Historic Hoover Theatre | Feb 11, 7:30pm


Spanish/Dutch pianist Albert Cano Smit will fill in for pianist Rustem Hayroudinoff, whose appearance with the Steinway Society has been postponed.

Movies in Concert: CInema Paradiso

Symphony San Jose | Center for the Performing Arts | Feb 11-12


The symphony performs Ennio Morricone’s score for Cinema Paradiso, filmmaker Giuseppe Tornatore’s Oscar-winning 1990 movie that captures the magic of cinema.

Julius String Quartet

San Jose Chamber Orchestra | St. Francis Episcopal Church | Feb 12, 7pm


The SJCO string quartet and the Julius String Quartet perform Mendelssohn’s Octet.

Steve Hackman: Fusion, Re-imagination, and Revelation

Stanford Live | The Studio | Feb 24, 7pm


Steve Hackman is the creative force behind FUSE, a production that synthesizes classical and popular masterworks—for example, Brahms X Radiohead. For his Stanford Live visit, Hackman brings Beethoven X Coldplay and Tchaikovsky X Drake and will also discuss his recent work on the Beatles.

Telegraph Quartet

Stanford Live | Bing Concert Hall | Feb 26, 2:30pm


Embracing both traditional chamber music and fresh contemporary compositions, the Telegraph Quartet returns to Stanford Live with a program that includes Grażyna Bacewicz’s String Quartet No. 4, John Harbison’s String Quartet No. 6, and Ludwig van Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132.

Inspirations From Nature & Travel

Mission Chamber Orchestra of San Jose | Hammer Theatre Center | Feb 25, 7:30pm


Pianist Sandra Wright Shen joins the orchestra for a program that includes favorites by Rachmaninoff and Dvorak plus works by contemporary composers Joseph Curiale and Andrienne Albert.

Esmé String Quartet

San Jose Chamber Music Society | St. Francis Episcopal Church | Mar 11


Esmé String Quartet, formed in 2016 at the Hochschule für Musik in Germany, is composed of four Korean musicians who shared friendship and a passion for music. They will perform quartets by Borodin, Ligeti and Tchaikovsky.

Nakamatsu Plays Grieg

Symphony San Jose | California Theatre | Mar 18, 8pm; Mar 19, 2:30pm


Cliburn gold medal winner Jon Nakamatsu reprises the first work he ever played with Symphony San Jose: Grieg’s Piano Concerto. The program ends with Florence Price’s Symphony No. 1, which melds spirituals and African American dance rhythms into a classical structure.

Benjamin Grosvenor

Steinway Society | Louis B. Mayer Theatre, Santa Clara University | Mar 25, 7:30pm steinwaysociety.com

At age 11, pianist Benjamin Grosvenor became the youngest winner of the BBC Young Musician Competition—and he’s continued impressing critics and audiences since then. He’ll perform works by Bach, Schumann, Ravel and Prokofiev.

New Sounds

San Jose Chamber Orchestra | St. Francis Episcopal Church | Apr 2, 7pm


Barbara Day Turner conducts a program featuring trumpet soloist Mary Elizabeth Bowden and the orchestra playing three new works by American composers Elizabeth Jonasson, Vivian Fung and Durwynne Hsieh.

Two Tales of Love and Bravery

Mission Chamber Orchestra of San Jose | De Anza College Visual and Performing Arts Center | Apr 15, 7:30pm


Rufus Olivier, bassoonist takes the spotlight on Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate’s Ghost of the White Deer for Bassoon and Orchestra. Also on the program are works by Beethoven, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Peter Boyer.


Opera San Jose | California Theatre | Apr 15-30


The company wraps up its season with Puccini’s beloved tragic opera. The composer penned some of his most enduring arias for this drama about an opera singer caught in a web of violent political intrigue during the Napoleonic era.

Delphi Piano Trio

San Jose Chamber Music Society | St. Francis Episcopal Church | Apr 23


Bay Area-based Delphi Piano Trio celebrates female composers, performing works by Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Clara Wieck Schumann, Lili Boulanger and Gabriela Lena Frank.

Dream House Quartet

Stanford Live | Bing Concert Hall | Apr 27, 7:30pm


The Dream House Quartet—pianists Katia and Marielle Labèque and composer-guitarists Bryce Dessner and David Chalmin—perform new commissions from diverse artists that range from Thom Yorke and Brian Eno to Philip Glass and Caroline Shaw.

Martín García García

Steinway Society | Cubberley Community Center Theatre |  Apr 30, 2:30pm


Up-and-coming Spanish pianist Martín García García performs sonatas by Mozart and Chopin, compositions by Lizst, and waltzes by Rachmaninoff, Schubert and Chopin.

Juho Pohjonen

Steinway Society | Cubberley Community Center Theatre | May 6, 7:30pm


Finnish pianist Juho Pohjonen, who has toured the globe and performed with top orchestras, is showcased in a program of works by Grieg, Ravel and Chopin.

Brahms & Fandango

Symphony San Jose | May 6, 8pm and May 7, 2:30pm


Violin virtuoso Anne Akiko Meyers plays Mexican composer Arturo Marquez’s Fandango, Gerard Finzi’s Finzi’s lyrical Prelude for String Orchestra in F minor, and the Symphony No. 4 by  Brahms.

Concerto Night

San Jose Chamber Orchestra | St. Francis Episcopal Church | May 14, 7pm


The evening will feature the world premiere of Zofo Encajonado, a concertino for piano four hands, cajon and strings written by Pablo Ortiz for pianists Eva-Maria Zimmermann and Keisuke Nakagoshi. Also on the program: Jaewon Woo, playing the Bach Violin Concerto in A minor.


con.Text by Bryan Ida

deSaisset Museum | Jan 24-Jun 17


In con.Text, artist Bryan Ida constructs life-size portraits out of written textual record. In Protestor, a young woman in sunglasses and a sweater with the words “the future is female” steps forward, her mouth opening to shout. However, she herself is constructed of words: the words of government documents detailing her existence. Ida says the exhibit shows regular people “as the embodiment of strength and pride standing defiantly in the face of oppression.”

Spaces of Belonging

Euphrat Gallery | Jan 26-Mar 25


Hand-cut paper “poems,” abstract ceramics, woven sculptures, silkscreen prints and a nature haiku installation inspired by a local school garden are on view at this exhibit showcasing four artists—Frances Paragon Arias, Ellen Bepp, Ted Fullwood and Flo Oy Wong—who create “spaces of belonging” through their community-based work.

Being. Jennifer DeChenne

Kaleid Gallery | Feb 3-24

Not all art is representational. In her new show Being., San Jose artist Jennifer DeChenne avoids representation altogether, instead depicting the images she imagines when suffering from anxiety. Here, impossible juxtapositions happen peacefully, dreamlike blends of natural life, outer space and inner light.

Sadie Barnette: Family Business

San Jose Museum of Art | Mar 10-Oct 15


Oakland-based artist Sadie Barnette drew from her own roots to create Family Business, a multi-sited exhibition showing Mar 10-Oct 15 at the San Jose Museum of Art and Apr 28-Sep 3 at the Institute of the Arts and Sciences at UC Santa Cruz. A ;mix of photographs, drawings, sculptures and a newly commissioned video, the work is part of Visualizing Abolition, an initiative exploring art, prisons, and justice.

Queer Threads

San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles | Opens May 10; runs through Aug 20


Life’s a stitch. Originally scheduled for 2022, Queer Threads weaves together the work of more than 30 West Coast LGBTQIA+ artists redefining the fabric arts. To borrow a phrase, these are likely not “your grandmother’s quilts”—though they may incorporate swatches of it. This exhibit shows the fluidity and vibrancy of both the medium and the community.


Hanif Abdurraqib

Center for Literary Arts | Hammer Theatre | Feb 23, 7pm


The Center for Literary Arts hosts an evening with Hanif Abdurraqib, a critically acclaimed poet, essayist, and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio, who will be interviewed by Dr. Khalid White, a professor of African American studies at San Jose City College.

Poetry Live!

Stanford Live | The Studio | Feb 23, 7pm


Co-presented by Stanford Live and the Stanford Creative Writing Program, the program features South Asian American poet and screenwriter Fatimah Asghar, non-binary poet/performer Danez Smith and the Stanford Spoken Word Collective.

Jean Guerrero

San José State University Student Union Theatre | Mar 23, 7pm


Los Angeles Times columnist Jean Guerrero—author of Hatemonger: Stephen Miller, Donald Trump and the White Nationalist Agenda (2020) will be interviewed by poet J. Michael Martinez at this free event hosted by the Center for Literary Arts at SJSU’s Student Union.

Joy Williams

Center for Literary Arts | San José State University Student Union Theatre | Apr 27, 7pm


​Regarded as one of the greatest short story writers of the English language, Joy Williams’s words and worlds are frequently mystifying. In her most recent novel, 2021’s Harrow, teens search for meaning in the post-apocalypse while adults plot revenge against those they think are responsible. However, the heart of Williams’s tales can never be accurately summarized, new meanings emerging with every unexpected sentence. The living legend reads for Center for the Literary Arts this April.

Anthony Doerr

Center for Literary Arts | San José State University Student Union Theatre | May 4, 7pm


Anthony Doerr’s three short story collections and three novels have garnered him a solid list of accolades, topped by a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his second novel, All the Light We Cannot See (2014), set in occupied France during World War II. Born in Ohio, Doerr now lives in Idaho—and he has frequently noted that he is no relation to American author Harriet Doerr.


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