Silicon Valley Wanderings
By Robert Haugh
Aside from Levi’s Stadium events and California’s Great America, Santa Clara doesn’t offer much in terms of entertainment and nightlife.
But with a little effort, we find some interesting and exciting things in and around the Mission City. Last week, I ventured to several happenings in the area – many, however, were overshadowed by Silicon Valley Comic Con:
Presented by Santa Clara’s Cultural Commission, I commend the efforts of the Commission for bringing this great event to the Mission City.
The April 21 event featured Caminos Flamencos’ “Noche de Flamenco” featuring Emmy award-winning choreographer Yaelisa. The event highlighted passion and expression and it brought to life the energetic Spanish dance. The event, held at the S.E.S. Hall on Lafayette, was free.
Roller Derby Finds Home in Mission City
The exciting, family-friendly action of roller derby has landed in Santa Clara.
The non-profit Silicon Valley Roller Girls have found a new home venue at City Beach Sports Santa Clara and hosted their first home event of the season on April 22. These women provide a high-octane, fun and exciting event for all ages. They also hosted an after party at Golden State Brewery in Santa Clara. Double win for Santa Clara.
Their next home event is Saturday, May 13.
Rising Country Star Devin Dawson Performs Acoustic Set
Presented by 95.3 KRTY at Mama Mia’s Restaurant Campbell, this singer, songwriter and entertainer delighted an intimate crowd on April 19 with strong vocals, close-to-home lyrics and charming persona. The artist says he loves writing his own songs, saying, “sometimes I hide behind my songs.”
He has a diverse and eclectic palette of songs, ranging from my favorite, Dark Horse, to break-up song Second Hand Hurt, Asking For a Friend (a man trying to sorry without actually saying it), romantic melody All on Me and I Don’t Care Who Sees.
Although he doesn’t fit the typical cookie-cutter country musician profile, Dawson will be the next big breakout star in country music, KRTY’s Nate and Julie believe. Dawson says he loves telling stories, and it’s evident when he and his band mates, who met while attending Belmont University, simply strum out the music and have a good time. KRTY staff has a long history of finding the next big stars – Luke Bryan, Thomas Rhett and Taylor Swift are among those they have hosted listener appreciation events of in the past, prior to becoming major stars. Mark my words, you’ll know the name Devin Dawson …
He is the opening act for Tim McGraw & Faith Hill’s “Soul 2 Soul” World tour, which comes to SAP Center in San Jose on July 29. He is also slated to open for American Idol alum Lauren Alaina at San Jose’s Club Rodeo sometime in July.
VinoPaint Campbell with Sonya Paz Coming on May 2
Local Artist Sonya Paz hosts VinoPaint on May 2 at Tessora’s Barra di Vino in Campbell.
I’ll be there and attempt to create a whimsical “Spring Tulip” masterpiece. We’ve heard amazing things about the wine and paint nights. It’ll be a fun and interesting evening. You can register for the event here.
Paz has worked alongside many Bay Area non-profits by hosting fundraiser events through her artwork sales and VinoPaint events. One of her first galleries was located in Santa Clara. Her art is considered whimsical and engaging, yet simple, motivating and energized, utilizing bright colors that pull in the viewer like a vortex.
Here is an article on a recent event Paz hosted to benefit the Lupus Foundation of Northern California.
Chamber Biz XPO
The Silicon Valley Chamber Business XPO is April 27 at the Santa Clara Convention Center (5:30p.m. to 8 p.m.) It’s a collaboration between 10 Silicon Valley chambers to “showcase the breadth and depth of the region’s businesses in technology, healthcare, food and beverage, retail and more that are driving innovation and growth.”
It would be really nice to have a local coffee house or bar (or both!) that regularly hosted local musicians – maybe a mix, so not all rock or pop or rap or classical or opera, but a real mix. Maybe there will be art on the walls done by local artists, too. Sometimes a person just wants to relax with friends at a place where there is reliable local entertainment. For this sort of thing, it’s necessary to travel to Mountain View or Redwood City or San Jose. Why? (Why? Again, why?) Let’s fix the real problem, which is a sense of place. Hardly anybody wants to spend every weekend watching roller derby or a play or monster trucks at Levi’s Stadium.