Music lovers are spoiled for choice, with many venues and bars providing a wide variety of music and live bands. The nightlife in Santa Cruz is friendly with The Beach Boardwalk having free summer concerts on the beach. Check out some of the local acts at these fine venues.

The Catalyst 1011 Pacific Ave
Santa Cruz, CA • (831) 423-1336
Monterey Bay’s premier nightclub, featuring acts from around the world. Artists such as Neil Young, Papa Roach, Emmylou Harris, Ice T, Nirvana, Alanis Morissette, No Doubt, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Pearl Jam have graced the Catalyst stage in years past. The main dance hall is 5000 square feet, not including balconies, and can hold 800 people. The bar downstairs is 100 feet long, starting in the front room and extending into the concert area. Upstairs is the game room with another bar, 6 pool tables a jukebox and arcade games, as well as a lounge.

320 Cedar St # 2 Santa Cruz, CA • (831) 427-2227
Kuumbwa” (pronounced koo-um-ba, silent “w”), a Swahili word meaning “act of spontaneous creation.” Kuumbwa Jazz is an internationally recognized nonprofit jazz venue. We are one of the longest weekly nonprofit jazz presenters on the West Coast, established in 1975. When we aren’t presenting our own weekly jazz series, the venue is available for outside promoters to bring in acts such as bluegrass, folk, Celtic and world music. The venue is also available for special occasions such as receptions, private parties, and community events. Café Kuumbwa is open during all Kuumbwa presented shows and serves healthy and organic (if available) fare, meat & vegetarian chili, salad and dessert. Our bar offers microbrewed beer (bottled & draft) wine, and non-alcoholic beverages. Kuumbwa Jazz is all ages venue, is 100% smoke-free and is wheelchair accessible.

Moeʼs Alley
1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz CA • (831)479-1854
Moe’s Alley features the best in live entertainment 6 nights a week. From Blues to Salsa, Rhumba to Reggae, we have something for everyone to enjoy. Our spacious music hall, friendly staff, full bar, outdoor patio, and best of all great live music, create an unforgetable experience.

Rio Theatre
1205 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz, CA • (831) 429-1812
The Rio Theatre can accommodate a wide variety of events, including concerts, lectures, video presentations, movies and theatre. Our multi-purpose venue has 680 seats and a thrust stage 24 feet wide by 16 feet deep. Such acts as Paula Poundstone, Tommy Emmanuel, Duncan Sheik and Arlo Guthrie are all scheduled on the upcoming roster.