.That’s the Ticket: Buckle up for the busiest summer entertainment season since 2019

Axios calls 2023 “The Blockbuster Summer of Concerts.” The Wall Street Journal dubbed it “The Year of the $1000 Concert Ticket.” And Bloomberg trumpeted that “Fans Are Spending More Money at Concerts Than Ever Before.”

How much money? According to figures from PricewaterhouseCoopers, ticket sales for live music events will exceed $25 billion for the first time in 2023.

As the summer concert season begins to heat up in Silicon Valley, music fans will reap the benefits of these national trends. The SAP Center, Levi’s Stadium and Shoreline Amphitheater are pulling in the mega-stars, while adventurous bookings curated from all genres will draw fans to the Mountain Winery, Frost Amphitheater, Montalvo Arts Center and other performing arts centers from the Peninsula to South County.

Below, Metro highlights some choice picks from the concert calendar, along with other attractions: musicals, plays, museum exhibits, classical and opera dates, comedy shows and street fairs. And there are many more concerts, club nights and other cultural events listed in Metro’s online calendar. It’s time to buckle up and make the most of what could be the biggest summer of entertainment since 2019.

Picks by arts editor Mike Huguenor with additional items contributed by Sharan Street.

ROCK/POP

May 19 

The Album Leaf

The Ritz, San Jose

theritzsanjose.com

Atmospheric and emotive, the music of the Album Leaf is much bigger than the Fender Rhodes piano and lone musician often at its center. Composing delicate, expansive soundscapes, this noise band spinoff project of musician Jimmy LaValle returned on record this month in striking fashion and now he’s bringing the show live to the Ritz.

May 19

Echo & the Bunnymen

Mountain Winery, Saratoga

mountainwinery.com

A “Killing Moon” will rise over Saratoga this weekend as Echo & the Bunnymen take to the Mountain Winery. The seminal British post-punks were a vital influence on both American indie rock and the new wave movement, with hits ranging from the goth-tinged “Killing Moon” to the ’80s teeny bopper “Lips Like Sugar.” This weekend, they’re bringing their moody dance to the South Bay. 

May 20

Frost Music & Art Festival

Frost Amphitheatre, Stanford

Live.stanford.edu

Miami rapper Denzel Curry headlines this year’s Frost Music & Arts Festival at Stanford. With his singular flow and bold style, Curry presents a pastiche of images: westerns mix with hip-hop iconography and Nintendo 64 cartridges for something a world uniquely his own. Rounding out the bill at the fest are the soon-to-be-huge rapper 070 Shake and experimental pop artist Jean Dawson. 

May 27

The Cure

Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mt View

mountainviewamphitheater.com

We all have Robert Smith to thank for Ticketmaster’s recent public shaming. The Cure frontman and bona fide goth king forced the company into refunds and lowered service fees through just a few tweets. Talk about “Just Like Heaven.” Now in their 45th year as a band, the Cure’s mopey romanticism remains evergreen—despite the black clothes and smokey mascara. 

May 28

Roy Orbison Returns

San Jose Civic, San Jose

sanjosetheaters.org

Though the late, great Roy Orbison left this Earth decidedly too soon, his immortal rockabilly sound and style live on in the new show Roy Orbison Returns. Recreating Orbison’s much loved concerts from the 1960-80s, Roy Orbison Returns blends scripted theater with some truly eternal music for the kind of show one normally only sees “In Dreams.” 

June 2-4

Re:Set

LCD Soundsystem, Steve Lacy, Boygenius

Frost Amphitheatre, Stanford

live.stanford.edu/calendar

Three jam-packed shows comprise this mini-fest at Stanford’s Frost Amphitheatre. Boasting an eye-catching row of headliners with LCD Soundsystem, Steve Lacy and Boygenius, Re:Set’s openers also pack a punch and include Bartees Strange, Toro y Moi, Big Freedia and Idles. 

June 15

KT Tunstall

Guild Theatre, Menlo Park

guildtheatre.com/events

Though it’s been almost two decades since Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall made her debut album, Eye to the Telescope, she’s still shining as brightly as other stars in the musical cosmos. Tunstall’s seventh and most recent studio album, Nut, is the final album in her Soul, Body and Mind trilogy. 

June 15

Diana Ross

Mountain Winery, Saratoga

mountainwinery.com/events

What would American music be without Diana Ross? The Supremes frontwoman is, simply put, supremely singular, a voice synonymous with American youth, love, heartbreak and hope. From classic Supremes songs like “Where Did Our Love Go” and “Baby Love,” to 2021’s Grammy-nominated Thank You, Ms. Ross has soundtracked more romances than Lifetime TV’s music director.  

June 16 

Pablo Cruise 

Guild Theatre, Menlo Park

guildtheatre.com/events

When Pablo Cruise hits the stage at the Guild Theatre in Menlo Park, keyboard player Cory Lerios will be close to Palo Alto High School, where he formed his first band. On stage will be guitarist Dave Jenkins, who’s also been Cruising since 1973. No doubt they’ll both sing “Love Will Find a Way” with the newer members of the California smooth rock quintet. 

June 16

Janet Jackson + Ludacris 

Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mt View

mountainviewamphitheater.com/events

On her “Together Again” tour, pop superstar Janet Jackson is celebrating a trio of milestones. Thirty years ago, she released the chart-topping janet.; 25 years ago, she soundtracked an era with The Velvet Rope. And frankly, she’s still kinda celebrating from when Control turned 35 in 2021. At Shoreline, she brings both new music and Ludacris. 

June 17

San Jose Fountain Blues & Brews Festival

Plaza de Cesar Chavez

fountainblues.com

This annual tradition kicks off with the Devon Allman Project, which includes the talented offspring of Gregg Allman as well as guitarist Larry McCray and harmonica player Jimmy Hall. Also on the bill are the Chris Cain Band, Diunna Greenleaf and Blue Mercy and Andre Thierry. 

June 18

La Luz

St. James Park, San Jose

levittsanjose.org

It’s hard to predict what to expect from La Luz, a Los Angeles band with a decade of experience under their collective belt. But rest assured whatever singer-songwriter-guitarist Shana Cleveland, bassist Lena Simon, keyboardist Alice Sandahl and drummer Audrey Johnson cook up for the Levitt San Jose concert series, it will shed no small amount of light on the human condition.

June 22

Blink-182

SAP Center, San Jose

sapcenter.com/events

The rumors are true: erstwhile ufologist Tom Delonge has rejoined pop-punk kings Blink-182 and the band’s now-classic second lineup is back on tour. He’s already a voice inside our heads, and at SAP Center he’ll be singing pogo classics like “All the Small Things,” millennial hit “Feeling This” and the band’s breakout smash “Dammit.” 

June 29

Jason Isbell

Frost Amphitheatre, Stanford

live.stanford.edu/calendar

Alt-country star Jason Isbell brings us his first album of originals since 2020 this June with Weathervanes. To celebrate the album’s release, he’s bringing the band and tour to Stanford’s Frost Amphitheatre. From his days dropping blazing leads for the Drive By Truckers Fans to his modern-day persona as the frontman of the 400 Unit, Isbell remains a vital voice in Americana. 

July 5

Fall Out Boy

Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mt View

mountainviewamphitheater.com/events

The goggles may do nothing, but Fall Out Boy are still coming to Shoreline this July. The pop punkers released their eighth album this March, So Much (for) Stardust, which saw the band reunited with their original record label Fueled By Ramen. Lead single “Love From the Other Side” somehow sounds like the Offspring writing a song for Journey. They’re still number one—with a bullet. 

July 15

Ozomatli

Guild Theatre, Menlo Park

guildtheatre.com/events

A band as diverse and sprawling as its hometown of Los Angeles, Ozomatli formed in 1995 but picked up the pace in 1998 with a self-titled debut album and a slot as an opener on Santana’s Supernatural tour. Over the years they’ve explored salsa, jazz, funk, reggae, hip hop and more. Their latest album is Marching On—an apt title for a band known for supporting farm workers rights and immigration reform. 

July 21

Music in the Park Season Opener

Plaza de Cesar Chavez

caltix.com

Music in the Park’s summer concert series begins with a three-pronged, must-listen lineup. Guitarist Vernon Reid brings Living Colour to the stage, continuing a tradition of genre-bending sounds that he began in 1983. Also on the bill are alt-rock band Soul Asylum (“Runaway Train”) and original Replacements member Tommy Stinson, who has toured in recent years as a solo artist and as a member of Guns and Roses. 

July 23

Cavetown

Frost Amphitheatre, Stanford

live.stanford.edu/calendar

The child of a musicologist and a Baroque flutist, raised in Cambridge, Robin Skinner—the artist known as Cavetown—comes by his eclecticism naturally. The English singer-songwriter and ukulele advocate has released five studio albums and amassed more than 2 million subscribers on YouTube with Cavetown’s mix of folk, indie rock and indie pop. 

July 25

Tori Amos

Mountain Winery, Saratoga

mountainwinery.com/events

Anyone watching Yellowjackets has heard Tori Amos recently, as her “Cornflake Girl” soundtracked a crucial moment of season 2. But in truth, Amos had already soundtracked countless high-schoolers’ lives before then. The alt-rock queen has been consistently releasing powerful, galvanizing albums for three solid decades, all the way through 2021’s Ocean to Ocean

July 28-29

Taylor Swift

Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara

levisstadium.com

A “Lavender Haze” engulfs Levi’s Stadium this July when Taylor and her Swifties descend on the arena. Last year’s Midnights remains one of the biggest pop albums of recent memory with its singles are ricocheting through radio, from the sexy babies/monsters on the hill of “Anti-Hero” to the Lana Del Ray feature “Snow on the Beach.” The summer of Swift is on.  

Aug 2

Chris Isaak

Mountain Winery, Saratoga

mountainwinery.com/events

Chris Isaak is in town this August and that bendy guitar note from “Wicked Games” is already in our heads just thinking about it. The pompadoured singer, songwriter and David Lynch muse may have done a bad, bad thing, but he still stops by Mountain Winery for a warm August night of stolen glances and heartfelt crooning. 

Aug 3 

Smashing Pumpkins

Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mt View

mountainviewamphitheater.com/events

Much has changed in the world since 1995, when the Pumpkins unleashed their massive Melancholy and the Infinite Sadness on a nation of riff-hungry teens, but one thing never changes: the world is a vampire. Corgan and co. defined the shape of alt rock in the ’90s and have never stopped pursuing the vision of their truly singular frontman in the years since. It may not be 1979, but the shakedown’s at Shoreline. 

Aug 5

The Offspring

Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mt View

mountainviewamphitheater.com

I can’t remember, do you have to keep them separated? One band knows for sure: the Offspring. Propelled by their massive breakout hit “Come Out and Play,” the Offspring became one of the biggest punk bands in the world. By now, they’ve inspired generations to spike their hair with decades of darkly tinged punk singles, from the early ’90s, to “Coming For You,” from 2021’s Let the Bad Times Roll.  

Aug 11-12

San Jose Jazz Summer Fest

Multiple venues

summerfest.sanjosejazz.org

More than 30 sessions are lined up for San Jose’s fair-weather jazz festival. The kickoff show will feature a dose of “Zamrock” from W.I.T.C.H. (aka We Intend To Cause Havoc) on the Sobrato Organization Main Stage. Other highlights? Well, the whole three-day event is one long highlight, but here are a few enticing names: The Bad Plus, saxophonist Grace Kelly, Sunny War and Shayna Steele.

Aug 18

CeeLo Green at Music in the Park

caltix.com

What better way to indulge in a little TGIF relaxation than this Music in the Park concert, featuring Grammy-winning singer-songwriter CeeLo Green, also known as one half of Gnarls Barkley. He’ll appear al fresco at San Jose’s iconic downtown park, with gates opening at 5pm. 

Aug 30

Beyoncé

Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara

levisstadium.com

From Destiny’s Child to last year’s Renaissance, Beyoncé’s music career is truly unparalleled. Now local inhabitants of the BeyHive can experience it in all its live glory, when the one and only Sasha Fierce takes the show to Levi’s Stadium. With recent hit “CUFF IT” still ringing through the Bay’s stereos, and “Single Ladies” everywhere still glowing from 2016’s Lemonade, it’s a night sure to leave Levi’s feeling “Drunk in Love.” 

Sept 16

Ed Sheeren

Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara

levisstadium.com

The verdict is in, and Ed Shereen is not guilty of copyright infringement. Hip, hip, hooray! To celebrate, he’s bringing the big “Not Guilty” party to Levi’s Stadium. There, the acoustic songsmith turned pop behemoth will be celebrating all sorts of “Bad Habits” (not the least of which is his habit of naming albums after mathematical symbols) in between his fits of “Shivers.” Let’s call this one a “not guilty” pleasure. 

Sept 29

All-American Rejects

Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mt View

mountainviewamphitheater.com/events

This fall, Shoreline Amphitheatre is gonna “Swing, Swing” to the sound of emo punks All-American Rejects. The Rejects absolutely exploded off their debut album in 2002, and kept fans consistently entertained through 2012’s Kids in the Street. Though releases have been intermittent since, they’re ready to bring everyone back to those strangely innocent early 2000s nights this September. 

STAGE

June 7-July 2

Steel Magnolias

Center for the Performing Arts, Mt View

theatreworks.org

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley presents Robert Harling’s 1987 play about a tight-knit group of Southern women. Not only did this compelling array of characters fuel a 1989 Hollywood movie starring Sally Field and Julia Roberts in the lead roles as M’Lynn and daughter Shelby, it also reemerged on Lifetime Television Network in 2012 with Queen Latifah and Condola Rashad in the roles. This iteration marks Elizabeth Carter’s directorial debut with TheatreWorks, and Dawn L. Troupe stars as M’Lynn. 

June 16-July 2

Puffs

Lucie Stern Theatre, Palo Alto

paplayers.org

For those who love a certain British wizard but are really tired of the politics of his writer/creator, there is Puffs. Puffs is the story of a young boy who learns of his magical heritage and is whisked away to a spellcasting school—just not the one you’ve heard of. With no connection whatsoever to a certain young wizard, Puffs gives its own take on heroism and narrative with humor. 

June 24-July 22

Cinderella

West Valley Light Opera

app.arts-people.com

The music is classic Rodgers and Hammerstein, from the 1957 musical with the ineffable Julie Andrews in the title role, but the version opening June 24 at the Saratoga Civic Theater features a book rewritten by Douglas Carter Beane for the 2013 Broadway production. 

June 26

Monday Night Live (The Stage)

Blanco Urban Venue, San Jose

fundraise.givesmart.com

To celebrate its 40th year, downtown San Jose theater company The Stage is throwing a special gala event at Blanco Urban Venue. Hosted by Sal Pizarro, the night features drama, music, cocktail hour and some SNL (er, MNL) style sketch comedy of a highly localized variety. Raise a glass to drama. 

Opens June 30

Falsettos

The Pear, Mt View

thepear.org

The Pear’s Falsettos combines two off-Broadway musicals—1981’s March of the Falsettos and the 1990 Falsettoland—for an interwoven story of familial love and reunification. After a married man leaves his wife for a lover who leaves him, time brings many disconnected threads back together just at the start of the AIDS crisis. A complex tale with much to say about love. 

July 13-Aug 20

Kinky Boots

City Lights Theater, San Jose

cltc.org

The story of a humble shoe factory owner and the larger-than-life drag queen who keeps him in business, Kinky Boots is about friendship, life, music and love—and, of course, some big, bad boots. With music written by the girl who wants to have fun, Cyndi Lauper, Kinky Boots is sure to put some swing in San Jose’s step this July. 

July 22-Aug 20

Thanks for Playing

3Below, San Jose

sanjoseplayhouse.org

Attention, fans of The Price is Right, armchair Jeopardy! contestants and Steve Harvey devotees: the game show experience comes alive in San Jose Playhouse’s fast-paced show Thanks for Playing! An original musical from San Jose Playhouse, Thanks for Playing! gets the silly thrill of participatory TV, as well as the world’s odd underside and shadowy history. It’s all part of the fun in Thanks for Playing! 

COMEDY

May 24

The Second City Remix

Carriage House Theatre, Saratoga

my.montalvoarts.org

Chicago may be known as the Second City, but the improv troupe that takes that moniker for its own is first in comedy, known as the home of such alumni as John Belushi, Martin Short and Mike Meyers. As the Second City website asserts, “Come witness the next generation of comedy superstars put their spin on the legendary comedy company’s greatest hits, rebooted and reimagined for today.”

June 30-July 2

Chris Estrada

Improv, San Jose

improv.com/sanjose

One of the funniest TV shows of 2022 was the story of a gang rehabilitation coordinator and his cousin, each of whom thinks of the other as the show’s title: This Fool. Writer, creator and star Chris Estrada shines in the straight man role, full of everyday realism and sharp comedic timing. The rising comic star/showrunner/fool brings five sets to the Improv this summer. 

July 6-9

Kate Willett

Rooster T Feathers, Sunnyvale 

rooster-t-feathers.seatengine-sites.com

The very funny Kate Willett moved up a hill recently. She’s been trying to stop dating immature guys, and it’s harder to reach by skateboard. Willett’s brought her hilariously relatable humor to both Netflix (on Comedy Lineup), SF Sketchfest and The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, but this July, she’s bringing it to Sunnyvale. 

July 11

Josh Gondelman

The Improv, San Jose

improv.com/sanjose

Josh Gondelman has been funny in a lot of mediums. Whether on stage as a stand-up, behind the scenes producing Desus & Mero, writing for Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (a gig that landed him two Emmys) or on Twitter as @SeinfeldToday, Gondelman’s sharp wit always shines through. This July, he’s in town for one night only at the Improv. 

Aug 3-6

Dulcé Sloan

Rooster T Feathers, Sunnyvale

rooster-t-feathers.seatengine-sites.com

Dulcé Sloan would like to be a trophy wife. Can you blame her? Marrying someone in tech is like the only way you can afford to live here, anyway. In the meantime, the Daily Show correspondent and Comedy Central Presents alum supports herself on her hilarious observational wit, pointing out the hypocrisy of Egypt’s objection to a Black Cleopatra on Netflix. “Egypt is concerned about historical accuracy. I didn’t hear you complain when all those Mummy movies came out.” 

Aug 4-6

Tiffany Haddish

The Improv, San Jose

improv.com/sanjose

Tiffany Haddish has played a character named “Trina” at least three times on film, once alongside Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key in Keanu and another alongside Eric Andre and Lil Rel in Bad Trip. Whether named “Trina” or not, the inimitable Haddish is a joy in each of her roles, a comic voice known for impeccable timing and delivery, and always having a surprise up her sleeve. 

Aug 26

Willie Barcena

Hammer Theatre, San Jose

hammertheatre.com

A blue-collar Latino who grew up in Los Angeles, Willie Barcena has always followed his mom’s advice: “Just use common sense, dummy!” His down-to-earth approach has served him well. Barcena has hit the comedy trifecta, with specials on Comedy Central, Netflix and Amazon Prime. And he’ll be flexing his muscles for the next one on his “Perfectly Flawed” tour. 

ART

May 20-Aug 27

Don Fritz: Recuerdos

Triton Museum, Santa Clara

tritonmuseum.org

Pop art and pop culture made early, deep impressions on the mind of Bay Area artist Don Fritz. In the artist’s ceramics, prints, paintings and mixed media, bright, childlike pop images contrast against strange backdrops displaying state power and culturally enforced gender identities. In Triton’s exhibit Recuerdos, everyday objects take on odd significance, layered in hidden meanings and interpretations. 

June 2-Nov 5

(Un)familiar

Numu, Los Gatos

numulosgatos.org

Collecting works from three featured artists, (Un)familiar seeks to disorient the viewer, as it forms new connections in strange places. San Jose filmmaker Jezrael Gandara, Iranian born artist Kiana Honarmand and large-scale abstractionist Chelsea Stewart contribute across a variety of mediums for an exciting art show far beyond the familiar. 

July 7-Oct 29

Yolanda Lopez: Portrait of the Artist

San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose

sjmusart.org

Chicana artist and activist Yolanda Lopez passed away in 2021, but the art world is still only now waking up to her work. Born in San Diego and educated in San Francisco, Yolanda Lopez’s art spans the California experience—and Yolanda Lopez: Portrait of the Artist is the first to give her striking work the proper museum treatment. 

July 28-Feb 25

Lilian Porter: Actualidades

San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose

sjmusart.org

Liliana Porter’s artworks defy categorization. For her first solo West Coast show, Actualidades / Breaking News, Porter takes the news format under scrutiny, dividing her work into sections like “World News” and “Art and Leisure,” and incorporating toys and historical figures into dream-like tableaux. An experience of now unlike any other. 

Aug 8-Jan 28

Beyond Here: Latin American Photography

Cantor Arts Center, Stanford

museum.stanford.edu

Featuring the work of 35 Latin American photographers, Beyond Here creates an expansive and imaginative image of the 20th and 21st centuries. Full of vivid life and juxtaposed mise en scene, this a photo exhibit best experienced in person, missives from another place we might call here. 

CULTURE

May 20-21

Boogie Music Festival

Downtown Campbell

campbellboogie.com

Local bands will fill four stages for two days, from morning until early evening, and more than 100 booths will be open for business, showcasing the work of local artisans. And yes, there will be edible and potable treats. The younger set will find rock-climbing walls, giant slides, face painting and more in the KidsZone. 

May 26-29

Fanime

McEnery Convention Center, San Jose

fanime.com

It comes but once a year. This month, Fanime returns to downtown San Jose, and with it all the Dragonball, One Piece, NieR:Automata, My Hero Academia and Genshin Impact cosplaying the McEnery Convention Center can handle. As always, the Con boasts a dazzling Artist Alley overflowing with artwork, arcade gaming, J-fashion, anime panels and more. See you there, space cowboy. 

June 1

Abraham Verghese

Kepler’s, Menlo Park

keplers.org

Ever insightful, physician, author and Stanford Professor of Medicine Abraham Verghese comes to Kepler’s this June. Verghese’s first novel, Cutting for Stone, became a breakout hit in 2008. Earlier this May, he released his highly anticipated follow-up novel, The Covenant of Water, about three generations of a family united by the odd coincidence of drownings. 

June 2-4

San Jose Greek Festival

Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, San Jose

saintnicholas.org/festival

Enjoy savory delicacies like moussaka and souvlaki sweetened by Greek cocktails, wine and pastries and accompanied by Greek music and dancing at this popular annual event. Organizers boast that “just about everything served at the festival is homemade by local Greeks, using family recipes.”

​​June 3-4

Sunnyvale Art & Wine Festival

Murphy Avenue, Downtown Sunnyvale

eventbrite.com

For the 49th year, the Sunnyvale Chamber of Commerce steps up to organize this community-building event that offers something for all ages. Lining historic Murphy Street will be art exhibits, booths featuring vendors and local nonprofit groups, local performers, and plenty to eat and drink from local restaurants and food trucks. 

June 3

Proud of My Family

Children’s Discovery Museum, San Jose

cdm.org

The museum invites families to kick off Pride month with a colorful celebration featuring a parade, rainbow-themed craft activities, photos, face painting, and a scavenger hunt. 

June 15

Citydance San Jose

Circle of Palms, Downtown San Jose

tinyurl.com/citydances

Cosponsored by the San Jose Museum of Art and the city’s Office of Cultural Affairs, Citydance is not designed to be a spectator sport. When the music starts at 6pm, a dance instructor will be on hand to offer instruction on the evening’s dance style. Learn about salsa dancing on June 16, followed by Bollywood on July 21, cumbia on Aug 18 and K-pop on Sep 15. 

June 17

Juneteenth in the Street Festival

Downtown San Jose

sjaacsa.org

For the 42nd time, the African American Community Service Agency will mount its annual celebration of African American heritage. Program details are still to be announced, but expect lots of music, food, artwork and a variety of vendors. 

June 21

Make Music San Jose

makemusicday.org

A celebration taking place at the same time in more than a thousand cities, Make Music Day showcases professional and amateur musicians all throughout the city of San Jose at many different venues. Interested musicians can sign up, and a more complete schedule will be posted in June. 

July 1

Starlight Cinema

St. James Park, San Jose

sjdowntown.com

Though there’s not a lot of starlight in downtown San Jose’s urban sky, the night will be brightened with free outdoor movie screenings at St. James Park beginning July 1. The family-friendly event begins with Mean Girls, starring the pre-hot-mess Lindsay Lohan, and continues with screenings of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Moana and Back to the Future. 

July 23

Classic & Cool Car Show

Saratoga Village

eventbrite.com

Visitors can ogle hundreds of classic automobiles at this annual event hosted by the Saratoga Chamber of Commerce, with wheeled conveyances lining up along Big Basin Way from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. In addition to the cars, there will be live music, food trucks, and wares served up by local restaurants, breweries and wineries. 

Aug 5-6

Italian Family Festa

History Park San Jose

https://www.italianfamilyfestasj.org/

Now in its 41st year, the Italian Family Festa is a labor of love performed by volunteers from theItalian American Heritage Foundation. Many details aren’t set yet for the 2023 affair, but one can count on pasta, vino and other essential elements of la dolce vita.

Aug 26-27

Palo Alto Festival of the Arts

University Avenue, Palo Alto

paloaltochamber.com

Artists paint the town red—and every other color of the rainbow—during this annual festival hosted by the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce. In addition to the eye candy at the Italian Street Painting Expo, visitors will find work by scores of artists and artisans, live bands and street entertainers, as well as sweet and savory treats, boutique wines and microbrews. 

Sept 9-10

Mountain View Art & Wine Festival

Castro Street, Downtown Mt View

mountainview.miramarevents.com

Handcrafted wares and artwork is at the heart of this event, one of Silicon Valley’s favorite fiestas. But there’s more than visual stimulus; live music and curated food offerings and libations will please other senses. The younger set can play games in the Kids Fab Fanzine, and older sports fans can hang in the Xfinity Pigskin Party Lounge. 

Sept 16-17

Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival

Central Park, Santa Clara

santaclaraca.gov

On top of 150 arts and crafts vendors and myriad opportunities to chow down and drink up, the city Santa Clara’s biggest civic event also features two stages with continuous live entertainment and a Kids Kingdom for the younger set.

CLASSICAL/DANCE

May 20-21

Sleeping Beauty

Hammer Theatre Center

newballet.com/performances

New Ballet director Dalia Lawson has choreographed a two-act modern ballet based on the classic story of Sleeping Beauty, with Thomas Shoebotham conducting a live orchestra to bring the lush Tchaikovsky score to life. In addition to two matinee performances, there will be a shortened version suitable for the youngest fans at 11am on May 21. 

May 20-21

Fit for a Queen: Mozart & Majesty

peninsulacantare.org

Peninsula Cantare’s season finale kicks off with Mozart’s Regina Coeli and Coronation Mass, plus other royal compositions. (And, as the press release for the show notes, “We might even sing a little Queen and Freddie Mercury.”) 

May 25-28

Smuin Series 2

MV CPA, Mt View

tickets.mvcpa.com

Each year, Smuin’s signature dance series pushes against the boundaries of the dance form, imagining new possibilities for motion and movement. The highly respected San Francisco ballet school was founded in 1994, soon coming up on its 30th year of innovating, invigorating dance. It’s sure to be another dazzling season. 

June 3-4

Carmina Burana

California Theatre, San Jose

symphonysanjose.org

Symphony San Jose finishes off its season with a dramatic flourish, performing Carl Orff’s stirring vocal masterwork Carmina Burana with the participation of the Symphony San Jose Chorale, the Santa Clara Chorale and the Cantabile Youth Singers. But first, soprano Maria Valdes will shine in Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915

July 4

Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular

Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mt View

sfsymphony.org

Conductor Edwin Outwater, vocalist Capathia Jenkins and the San Francisco Symphony will add musical pyrotechnics to a patriotic program that includes works by John Williams, Aaron Copland and an arrangement of Ervin T. Rouse’s rousing “Orange Blossom Special.” 

July 14

SF Symphony: Elgar & Rachmaninoff

Frost Amphitheater, Stanford

sfsymphony.org

The San Francisco Symphony heads south this summer, giving four concerts at Stanford’s Frost Amphitheater. The July 14 program, featuring pianist Denis Kozhukhin in a program of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations, will be under the baton of conductor Anna Rakitina. 

Sept 9-24

Romeo & Juliet

California Theatre, San Jose

sanjosetheaters.orgOne of Shakespeare’s lesser known works (jk), Romeo & Juliet comes to life this fall in dramatic fashion, opening Opera San Jose’s 40th season. Gounod’s classic adaptation of the tale of the Capulets and the Montagues features melodies that will be familiar to even the most operatically averse. It’s a story for the ages, and a performance to match.

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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