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Teens wow the crowd with rock and soul at AHA! event

 Students perform at Saturday's AHA! event at Deckers Corporate Rotunda in Goleta. HELENA DAY BREESE/NEWS-PRESS


Students perform at Saturday’s AHA! event at Deckers Corporate Rotunda in Goleta.
HELENA DAY BREESE/NEWS-PRESS

Parents, friends and donors gathered at the Deckers Goleta headquarters Saturday night for an empowering evening of rock music where teens, some of whom had never sung in front of an audience before, performed hits from classic rhythm and blues to the latest by Katy Perry.

The evening, the 12th annual “Sing It Out!” from AHA!, is the culmination of workshops meant to give confidence to kids who may come from a variety of backgrounds that might include economic hardship, deaths in the family, or suffer from bullying, or just feel crushingly shy.

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Cristina Pato Quartet brings the sound of ‘Latina’ to UCSB Campbell Hall

Galician bagpiper Cristina Pato and her band will perform music from her new album, "Latina." Xan Padron photo

Galician bagpiper Cristina Pato and her band will perform music from her new album, “Latina.”
Xan Padron photo

Music fans who attended Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble appearance at Campbell Hall in 2013 may remember Cristina Pato, the musician who stole the show with the gaita, a very particular kind of Spanish bagpipe that sounds less like the Scottish variety and more like an oboe. The artist returns two years later with her own band this Wednesday night, and brings a selection of tunes that explores the Galician region of Spain, her home country, and then moves out in ever increasing circles to encompass a world of influences.

Her new album is called “Latina” (released Thursday on Sunnyside Records), a musing on the history and the multiple meanings of the word by way of musical genres. (Don’t worry, the CD will be available at the show.)

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Dorrance Dance’s ‘The Blues Project’ combines blues and tap

 The marriage of blues and tap seems natural to tap dancer Michelle Dorrance, who is bringing "The Blues Project" to the Granada Theatre. Christopher Duggan


The marriage of blues and tap seems natural to tap dancer Michelle Dorrance, who is bringing “The Blues Project” to the Granada Theatre.
Christopher Duggan

In “The Blues Project,” tap dancer Michelle Dorrance and her company have teamed up with blues singer Toshi Reagon and a talented four-piece band to bring an evening to the Granada that expands the boundaries of tap dancing. This isn’t exactly a hybrid of two genres, but an extension of Ms. Dorrance’s long history of boundary-pushing within the realm of tap, and the musicians provide the background that places the numbers in a context of African-American history, from work songs to songs of the Civil Rights movement and beyond.

At first it may seem that blues is not as suited to tap as jazz is. But not so, Ms. Dorrance says. Tap and blues evolved around the same time.

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New Boy Band Zero Gravity features one member from Santa Barbara

Zero Gravity is, from left, Peet Montzingo, Fredrick Rose, Adam Wilhelmsson, Michael Kean and Trevor Dow. Courtesy photo

Zero Gravity is, from left, Peet Montzingo, Fredrick Rose, Adam Wilhelmsson, Michael Kean and Trevor Dow.
Courtesy photo

How do you make a boy band? In the case of LA-based Zero Gravity, you hold auditions. You find five young men —two Swedes and three Americans, one from Santa Barbara —and you put them through boot camp. The result is a group that’s hitting the ground running, singing in tight five-part harmony, and playing a mix of social media and old school touring. When they headline the Santa Barbara Fair and Expo, they’ll be performing for a full hour, and plan to leave the stage having made a ton of new fans.

The group consists of Peet Montzingo from Seattle, who has already gained a following having been on “X-Factor”; Santa Barbara’s Trevor Dow; Fredrick Rose from Stockholm, Sweden, the one who takes lots of selfies; Adam Wilhelmsson, also from Stockholm; and Michael Kean from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

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Why hearing a Buster Keaton silent is just as important as seeing it

 Rick Benjamin, far right, brings the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra to the Granada Theatre. Courtesy photo


Rick Benjamin, far right, brings the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra to the Granada Theatre.
Courtesy photo

When Rick Benjamin and his Paragon Ragtime Orchestra play music in front of classic silent films, like they will do on Monday night when they accompany a screening of Buster Keaton’s “Steamboat Bill, Jr.,” audiences not get something to listen to, but a re-creation of a time and place, a look into a sound industry that was disrupted by new technology like ours is now, and a rediscovery of early 20th-century composers whose fame and popularity dissipated when the sound era erupted.

In 1985, Mr. Benjamin discovered a treasure trove of lost scores, music written for the silent movie era that was thought to have been gone. It wasn’t like modern scores in the sense of a singular work for a film. It was closer to scores for soap operas, where cue sheets outlined the emotional outline of a film, sending a conductor to that cinema’s library to put together a score. “Like Legos,” says Mr. Benjamin.

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