.Summer Sampler

More than 50 ways to have fun, from arena concerts to family-friendly festivals

What’s different about the summer of 2022? For the first time since COVID entered the picture, all the harbingers of summer are here. Bands are touring. Concert venues are reopening. Dancers are dancing; actors are acting. Even festivals are up and running. To whet appetites, here are just some of the standout cultural events coming soon (with the standard caveat that things can change), chosen by writers Elliott Sky Case, Chris Corona, Mike Huguenor, Sharan Street and Eric Johnson.


Brett Weston

Opening July 22 | San Jose Museum of Art


Widely regarded as one of America’s greatest photographers, Brett Weston is known for striking, dream-like images of nature and the Southwest that evoke the Abstract Expressionists. Hypnotic and eerie, Weston’s images seem to exist outside of time and will happily satisfy the modern internet user’s love for the liminal space. (MH)

Clay and Glass Festival

Jul 9-10 | Palo Alto Art Center


It’s free to look at the Clay and Glass Festival, where more than 100 influential clay and glass artists will offer works for sale at this two-day event sponsored by the Association of Clay and Glass Artists of California. (SS)

Forward Shifts: CJU Next Generation

July 17 | San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles


Cupertino-based fabric artist Consuelo Jimenez Underwood, whose complex and political work channels her indigenous Huichol heritage and Chicana upbringing, has sewn a legacy of textile artists through her work at SJSU. Victoria May, Erica Diazoni, Wura-Natasha Ogunji, and Jinny Ly feature in this exhibition celebrating Jimenez Underwood’s influence on the medium. (ESC)


Mariachi Women Warriors

May 26 | Hammer Theatre | San Jose


Two-time Grammy winners (and official mariachi of Disneyland Resort) Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea have broken ground in the traditionally male-dominated art since their formation in 1999. Badass neo-traditional trio ELLAS joins the Mariachi Divas for this Memorial Weekend banger, presented by the Mariachi Women’s Foundation. (ESC)

Rhythm Spirit 2022

May 28-29 | San Jose Taiko | School of Arts & Culture


San Jose Taiko brings its booming rhythms to the Mexican Heritage Plaza, with two shows under the stars. The hometown troupe will be joined on Saturday by UC Davis ensemble Bakuhatsu Taiko Dan and UC Berkeley’s Cal Raijin Taiko. On Sunday the program will include Stanford Taiko and San Jose Junior Taiko Performing Ensemble. (SS)

Jack White

Jun 4 | Shoreline Amphitheatre | Mountain View


The founder, guitarist and singer of the White Stripes continues his successful solo career with the Supply Chain Issues Tour, featuring newly released song “What’s the Trick” from the album Fear of the Dawn. (CC)

Thana Alexa

Jun 5 | The Art Boutiki | San Jose


This Croatian American musician’s ONA, from 2021, resulted in two Grammy nominations, including Best Jazz Vocal Album. Look for the title track, and the song “Pachamama,” and you will find two powerful and sophisticated anthems to femininity and the mother earth. (EJ)

Stephen Marley

Jun 9 | Mountain Winery | Saratoga


Concerts at the historic hillside venue are a mixed bag in the best sense of the word. For fans of reggae, however, the choice is clear: Stephen Marley’s Babylon By Bus Summer Tour 2022 is making a stop, with guests Hirie and Skip Marley. (SS)

Mild Monk

Jun 12 | San Jose Jazz | San Jose Museum of Art


Bay area local Mild Monk started his musical journey with nothing but a phone and a guitar. Starting out with Love in 2018, he’s gone on to produce other albums and tracks, including two in 2020: Sunsmile and Pocket Comfort. But this is no “Midnight Disco”—the show begins at 2pm. (CC)

Legendary Wailers + Third World + Skatalites

Jun 17 | Plaza de Cesar Chavez | San Jose


A local fair-weather tradition, Music in the Park returns to downtown San Jose with five hours of reggae and ska kicking off at 5pm. Headlining the bill are the Legendary Wailers, featuring guitarist Junior Marvin, who toured and recorded with Bob Marley. Jamaican reggae fusion band Third World and the Bay Area’s DJ Nappy keep the beat going, with the Skatalites adding in a dash of ska. (SS)

Primus Play Rush

Jun 19 | San Jose Civic Auditorium


Rush is simultaneously the awesomest and most ridiculous rock band in history, wedding mindblowing virtuosity with a fantastical persona and lyrics clearly written for 14-year-old boys. Les Claypool of Primus was exactly that boy when he saw Rush at the Cow Palace in 1978. On this tour, Primus plays the entirety of Rush’s A Farewell to Kings, before playing a set of their own brilliant alt-funk-prog-rock. (EJ)

Santana + Earth, Wind, and Fire

Jun 21 | Shoreline Amphitheatre | Mountain View


Oye como va? One thing’s certain. The rhythms will be hot—like seven inches from the midday sun. With Santana and Earth, Wind, and Fire both on stage, expect to groove all night like a shining star. (CC)

Femi Kuti & The Positive Force

Jun 30 | Guild Theatre | Menlo Park


Afrobeat heir Femi Kuti started his 40-plus-year career playing sax and keyboard in history-making father Fela’s band Egypt 80, and came full circle in 2021 when he released Stop The Hate, part of double album Legacy+ with son Mádé Kuti. Madé joins Positive Force for a generation- and genre-transcending evening. (ESC)

A Flock of Seagulls + ABC

Jul 15 | Plaza de Cesar Chavez | San Jose


In the good news department, a second Music in the Park concert has been booked this summer—truly a sign that the world is getting back to normal. A Flock of Seagulls—which recently reformed with its original lineup and has recorded two albums with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra—will headline, along with ABC, with lead singer Martin Fry no doubt belting out “When Smokey Sings.” (SS)

Bebel Gilberto

Jul 19 | Guild Theatre | Menlo Park


On 2000’s Tanto Tempo, Bebel Gilberto created a kind of loungey psychedelia that fused the bossa nova of her father (Joao Gilberto)’s era with dub and glitch-hop. Since then, she’s continued to evolve her take on bossa, most recently on 2020’s Agora, which adds a syrupy drip of trip hop and some Madlib style samples to the Brazilian legend’s mix. (MH)

Mon Laferte

Jul 24 | Frost Amphitheater | Stanford


This Chilean singer and songwriter can really light up a torch song. Now living in Mexico, she mixes the traditions of her native pais and her adopted home. Her most recent album, 1940 Carmen, was inspired by a sojourn in Los Angeles and marks her first time writing songs in English. (SS)

Kamasi Washington

Jul 27 | Guild Theatre | Menlo Park


Jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington has played on everything—on top of crucial collaborations with Kendrick Lamar and labelmate Thundercat, his album features range from Snoop Dogg to St. Vincent. Recent releases from Washington include a Grammy-nominated film soundtrack; an EP with supergroup Dinner Party; and his newest single, “Garden Path,” in February. (ESC)

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Jul 29 | Levi’s Stadium


Three reasons to buy your tickets now:
1. The Peppers have a brand-new album called Unlimited Love. 2. It was produced by Rick Rubin, and guitarist John Frusciante is back. 3. That makes this the lineup that released Blood Sugar Sex Magik, a massively successful stylistic breakthrough and the band‘s best album. (EJ)

The Chicks, Plus Jenny Lewis

Jul 30 | Shoreline Amphitheater | Mountain View


A lot of people who go to Shoreline to see the artists formerly known as the Dixie Chicks are going to be pleasantly surprised to hear from indie-rock icon Jenny Lewis, whose “Just One of the Guys” still delivers a satisfying punch. And a lot of people who go to see Lewis might be surprised to find out that the superstar country girl-group is actually damn good. (EJ)

Agent Orange

Aug 4 | The Ritz | San Jose


Agent Orange is partnering with Decent Criminal to kick off their new tour. This radical trio, known for hits like “A Cry for Help in a World Gone Mad,” combines their California surf heritage with that classic punk sound we all need. Every surfer and skater on the West Coast knows Agent Orange is the muse of the scene. (CC)

Steve Von Till

Aug 10 | The Ritz | San Jose


Steve Von Till might be most known as the co-frontman of East Bay experimental metal band Neurosis, but he is equally compelling as a solo artist. On 2020’s No Wilderness Deep Enough, Von Till blends ambient and Americana to create a haunting atmosphere somehow both feral and familiar. Presented by the proud purveyors of all things strange: the great KFJC. (MH)

Here and There Festival

Aug 19 | Frost Amphitheater | Stanford


Courtney Barnett, the Australian folk rocker who hit these shores with the 2016 hit “Avant Gardener,” says she arranged this tour in the way she made mix tapes as a girl—creating a different show for each of the 15 cities she’s playing. For the Stanford show, she presents Japanese Breakfast, Chicano Batman and Julia Jacklin. (EJ)

George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic

Aug 19 | Mountain Winery | Saratoga


Free your wine and your ass will follow! That’s not quite correct—and the wine isn’t free—but all will be getting drunk off the funk with George Clinton and his stage-crowding array of some of the coolest freaks in history. P-Funk descends upon Saratoga for their One Nation Under a Groove Tour. (ESC)

The Weeknd and Doja Cat

Aug 27 | Levi’s Stadium | Santa Clara


What happens when two of the biggest names in pop pair up? All will be revealed when The Weeknd hits Levi’s Stadium with Doja Cat. Don’t get blinded by the lights of these two stars, who have produced such hits as “Say So” and “Save Your Tears.” (CC)

Elvis Costello & The Imposters, plus Nick Lowe & Los Straitjackets

Aug 27 | Mountain Winery | Saratoga


Among the best of the mid-’70s new wave rockers, Elvis was like Tom Petty with a sharper edge. He’s never slowed down, and with his new band is worth the price of admission alone. And yet, opening is Nick Lowe, who wrote Elvis’s hit “(What’s So Funny ’Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding,” and is himself a great songwriter and performer. (EJ)

Shawn Mendes

Sep 12 | SAP Center | San Jose


It will be the “Summer of Love” when heartthrob Shawn Mendes plays in San Jose. Mendes’ Wonder World Tour visits the SAP Center, where fans can hear his new hit, “When You’re Gone.” There has been nothing holding back Mendes from dominating the music industry with hits like “Senorita” and “Stiches.” (CC)

Rodrigo y Gabriela

Sep 16 | Mountain Winery | Saratoga


Mexico City acoustic duo Rodrigo y Gabriela shred their fretboards with a speed and precision that would make most metal guitarists hang their heads in shame. After winning a Grammy for 2020’s Mettavolution, the duo contributed arguably the best song to the Metallica covers compilation The Blacklist in 2021. This summer, they bring the excitement back to Mountain Winery. (MH)


Irene Dalis Vocal Competition

May 18 & 21 | Opera San José


Opera San José looks ahead to the future with its Irene Dalis Vocal Competition, a two-part event that showcases up-and-coming singers. The first part, on May 18, will be livestreamed, with the public voting for the audience favorite. The May 21 finals will be live at the California Theatre.

Ein Deutsches Requiem

May 21 | San Jose Symphonic Choir | Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph


Joined by the San Jose Baroque Orchestra, SJSC kicks off its 98th season—dubbed “Resilient”—on a somber but beautiful note, dedicating this performance of Johannes Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem) to choir members “who are with us no more but whose voices we still hear.” (SS)

Phoebe Chou

Jun 3 | San Jose Museum of Art


Union City percussionist Phoebe Chou calls herself “just a normal person who turned to percussion because other sources of expression are difficult.” However, all notions of normal seem to fade away when this Berklee grad begins to glide fluidly over the marimba or drum set. In a free event for San Jose Jazz, Chou live soundtracks the Museum of Art. (MH)

Always Time for More Beethoven

Jun 4-5 | Symphony San Jose | California Theatre


Soloist Michelle Cann will perform Florence Price’s Piano Concerto in One Movement, giving music lovers a chance to hear a composition by the African American composer, whose works are enjoying a resurgence. Conductor Tito Muñoz will open the season’s final program with works by Buxtehude and Quinn Mason and close with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7. (SS)

Alessandro Deljavan

Jun 4 | Montgomery Theatre | San Jose


Billie Eilish may have been a young star, but few start as early as Alessandro Deljavan. The Italian pianist played his first concert at the hardened age of 3. Renowned for his Chopin (who he has recorded extensively), Deljavan plays with a dramatic flair heightened by his highly expressive, Giamatti-esque face and notably physical performances. (MH)


Pete Lee

May 27-29 | The Improv | San Jose


Profoundly milquetoast and “surprisingly straight,” comedian Pete Lee is all too happy to make himself the butt of his own jokes. “If I was strangling one of you right now, you’d be like, your hands are so soft!” he told his audience on Last Comic Standing. The former cast member on VH1’s Best Week Ever brings nearly a week of non-threatening live comedy to the Improv. (MH)

Jimmy O. Yang

Jun 24-25 | The Improv | San Jose


Jimmy O. Yang has perfected both acting and comedy. Best known for his roles in Love Hard, Silicon Valley, and film appearance in Crazy Rich Asians, Yang always brings laughter to any audience. It is impossible not to laugh listening to Yang try to explain what a “Lamborghini mercy” is to his father. (CC)

Steve Martin & Martin Short

Jun 30 | Frost Amphitheater | Stanford


Multiple decades separate 1986’s Three Amigos from 2021’s Only Murders in the Building, so these comedy masters make fun of themselves with the name of this tour: “You Won’t Believe What They Look Like Today!” (SS)

Filipino Comedy Night

Jul 28 | The Improv | San Jose


The Improv mixes it up with an evening of comedy curated by Myx, a multimedia platform for Filipino comedians, musicians and artists. Headliner Keith Pedro delivers what Now magazine describes as a “cocky, in-your-face style of comedy.” (SS)


Frost Music and Art Festival

May 21 | Frost Amphitheatre | Stanford

Wavy comes to Palo Alto with rapper-singers Aminé and Tkay Maidza and R&B songstress Victoria Monét, surrounded by a myriad of works by the Stanford community’s most vibrant young artists. Definitely worth showing up early for opener Maidza, whose album trilogy Last Year Was Weird Vol. 1-3 runs from freaky to funny to smooth. (ESC)

Morgan Hill Mushroom: Mardi Gras Festival

May 28-29 | Morgan Hill Amphitheater


Those mourning the loss of the Gilroy Garlic Festival can still celebrate a South County agricultural product at this event. All weekend, downtown Morgan Hill will be filled with food booths, live entertainment, beer and wine—and a MunchkinLand for the underaged. (SS)

SubZERO Festival

Jun 3-4 | SoFA District | San Jose


Now in its spookiest year (the 13th), the art and music festival SubZERO returns to South First Street for a weekend of subcultural entertainment. Announced bands so far include atmospheric Oakland indie rockers The Acharis, SF darkwave duo Godgifu and gritty San Jose proto-punks Casual Vibes. (MH)

Proud of My Family

Jun 4 | Children’s Discovery Museum |
San Jose


The Children’s Discovery Museum is restoring many of its in-person programs, including its eighth annual Proud of My Family—a Pride festival designed for young children that celebrates all types of families. Activities include making rainbow streamers, face painting, a scavenger hunt, a parade and visits to the Rainbow Dance Zone. (SS)

Sunnyvale Art & Wine Festival

Jun 4-5 | Downtown Sunnyvale


Sunnyvale gathers on Murphy Avenue for the 48th Annual Art & Wine Festival. The festival will host over 200 artisan vendors, live music, booths preparing all forms of drinks, and a children’s activity center. (CC)

San Jose Fountain Blues & Brews Festival

Jun 18 | Plaza de Cesar Chavez | San Jose


A highlight of downtown San Jose summer life for four decades, Fountain Blues Festival 2022 brings a typically killer lineup to two stages. Bay Area chanteuse Tia Carol kicks things off, followed by Gary Smith and the Houserockers, Marcia Ball and Mighty Mike Shermer, longtime local favorite Tommy Castro, and blues innovator Black Joe Lewis. (EJ)

Juneteenth Community Celebration

Jun 19 | Children’s Discovery Museum |
San Jose


The Silicon Valley African Film Festival and the Children’s Discovery Museum collaborate on this celebration of African American culture with a variety of animated short films and a workshop led by master drummer Pope Flyne, a Ghanaian-born composer and educator. Plus, kids will get a chance to create their own percussion instrument. (SS)

Ladies’ Night Out

Jul 5 | Clos LaChance Winery | San Martin


A sip-and-stroll shopportunity, sealed with live music by Soul Kiss. A variety of vendors will be vending from 6 to 9:30pm to accompany the wine slushies, with food also available for purchase. (SS)

Los Altos Arts + Wine Festival

Jul 9-10 | Downtown Los Altos


Culture and comestibles on the pleasant streets of downtown Los Altos. Participating wineries include Byington Vineyard, Fernwood Cellars and Fogarty Winery. And more than 185 artisans will line the streets, hawking ceramics, jewelry, paintings, photography, sculpture—you name it. Plus, there will be live music and a Kidzone where one can park the offspring. (SS)

Back to the Bayou

Aug 5 | Clos LaChance Winery | San Martin


Fans of John Fogerty can get a warmup for his Aug 18 concert at the Mountain Winery—or console themselves if the show sells out—at this tribute to Fogerty and the music of Creedence Clearwater Revival performed by Steve Siacotos and Friends. (SS)

San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 

Aug 13-15 | Various Locations


After a smaller Fest in 2021, San Jose Jazz Summer Fest returns to full swing in 2022. Musicians, both international and local, gather in San Jose for the organization’s 32nd festival, which this year will feature more than a hundred acts, eight stages and headliner Ledisi. (CC)

Italian Family Festa

Aug 20-21 | History San Jose at
Kelley Park | San Jose


Organized by the Italian American Heritage Foundation, this two-day celebration of culture and cuisine has a long history in San Jose—and it’s finally back after two years of pandemic-related postponements. The event, which has drawn up to 30,000 attendees in the past, features food and wine with an Italian focus, live entertainment, and arts and crafts. (SS)

Palo Alto Festival of the Arts

Aug 27-28 | Downtown Palo Alto


If you already know that Italian street painting is a thing, then you may already be planning to attend this event. If not, the 60 practitioners of this art form would be worth the trip. They will be joined by 260 artists of every stripe from throughout the region and around the nation. And, of course, food, wine, and beer, Palo Alto style. (EJ)

SV Pride

Aug 27-28 | San Jose


Pride returns to the South Bay for a full weekend this August with a night festival taking place on Saturday, and both a parade and daytime festival on Sunday (aka my fun day). While the festival is still waiting to announce performers and entertainment, it’s never too early to get involved and volunteer. (MH)


A Muse Ball

May 21 | Fox Theatre | Redwood City


This year, TheaterWorks’ annual fundraising gala will feature fine dining, fine art, and pomp and circumstance with a high-tech twist as Firestorm Entertainment bathes the live-auction area in a mesmerizing LED display. The evening will wrap up with an old-fashioned live-music dance party featuring horn-section-packing the Paybacks. (EJ)


May 20-Jun 4 | South Bay Musical Theatre | Saratoga


Three sailors on leave for just one day in NYC. For those who haven’t seen this Leonard Bernstein/Jerome Robbins musical, South Bay Musical Theatre Executive Artistic Director Sara K. Dean explains: “The show has everything: glorious music, sweeping dance segments, a taxi, a dinosaur, the subway, a trip to Coney Island and a fiercely talented company.”

Rupi Kaur

May 31 | California Theatre | San Jose


Fans will no doubt flock to this stop on the Canadian Instapoet’s world tour, and if her Amazon Prime-streaming special is predictive, they’ll be rewarded with heartfelt poetry, visual panache and feel-good camaraderie. Her appeal is summed up by a reviewer of Home Body, her 2020 book: “When you finish any of Kaur’s books you look at yourself in the mirror and say ‘I did not realize how amazing I am.’” (SS)

The Tooth of Crime

Jun 1-26 | San Jose Stage Company


San Jose Stage presents a three-week run of Sam Shepard’s The Tooth of Crime, one of the late playwriting legend’s rare musical pieces. Set in a post-apocalyptic society driven by “The Game,” a surreal and violent power play around rock music, aging rock star Hoss must fight against young upstart Crow. (ESC)

Sleeping Beauty

Jun 4-5 | San Jose Dance Theatre | Hammer Theatre Center


San Jose Dance Theatre kicks off its 2022-2023 “Relaunch” season with three performances of Sleeping Beauty. Audiences of all ages can enjoy fancy footwork from Princess Aurora, the evil Carabosse and the Lilac Fairy. (SS)

Twelfth Night

Jun 10-26 | Palo Alto Players | Lucie Stern Theater


This classic Shakespearean romantic comedy is as relevant to the modern day as it was in the 17th century. It focuses on a love triangle between Orison, Olivia and Viola, who fall victim to that common trope in Shakespeare’s work: mistaken identity. (CC)

Fun Home

Jul 14-Aug 21 | City Lights Theater Company | San Jose


City Lights presents the Tony Award–winning Fun Home, based on Alison Bechdel’s funny and startlingly vulnerable graphic memoir of the same name. After coming out to her family as a lesbian—and her funeral home–owning father’s sudden passing—Alison learns he spent his own life in the closet, and reflects on her complicated upbringing. (ESC)

The Lifespan of a Fact 

July 27 | Montalvo Arts Center | Saratoga

Adapted from John D’Agata’s book of the same name, The Lifespan of a Fact explores the nonfiction writer’s dilemma between effectively conveying an emotional truth to an audience and sticking to narrative facts. Montalvo Arts Center’s “Play on the Grounds” staged readings are a stripped-down theatrical experience amidst the majestic architecture of Villa Montalvo. (ESC)

STAR DUST: From Bach to Bowie

Aug 3 | Complexions Contemporary Ballet | Frost Amphitheater | Stanford


In this program inspired by David Bowie, dancers perform to hits like “Heroes,” “Space Oddity” and “Young Americans”—with costumes, makeup and lighting designed to resurrect the late pop icon’s inimitable style. (SS)

Hershey Felder as Monsieur Chopin

Aug 19-Sep 11 | TheatreWorks | Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts


Since 1999, Canadian actor and pianist Hershey Felder has been bringing famous musicians to life, including Gershwin, Beethoven and Bernstein. In this production, rescheduled from January, he portrays “poet of the piano” Fryderyk Chopin.

Chris Corona
Chris Corona is the Assistant Editor for Metro Silicon Valley. Born and raised in California, he has called the greater Bay Area home for the last five years. Chris has covered news in Santa Cruz and San Jose since 2018.
Mike Huguenor
Mike Huguenor
Arts and Entertainment Editor for Metro Silicon Valley. Musician and writer, born and raised in San Jose.


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