This week, author Roxane Gay comes to Kepler's, Juanito Pascual Trio performs a free concert at CSMA, The Wallflowers play The Guild, plus Todd Sickafoose's new chamber-jazz piece, Palo Alto Philharmonic and "Unraveling Prisms" at Pamela Walsh Gallery.
Bestselling author (“Bad Feminist,” “Hunger,” and “Difficult Women,” among other books), cultural critic and New York Times columnist Roxane Gay is returning to Kepler’s for the first time since a sold-out appearance in 2015, in support of her new anthology, “Opinions: A Decade of Arguments, Criticism, and Minding Other People’s Business.” Known for her insight and humor, according to Kepler’s, this new collection contains a selection of Gay’s essays on feminism, civil rights, politics and more. Masks are required for attendees age 2 and up.
Oct. 23, 7 p.m., Kepler’s Books, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Admission is $10-25, or $45 including a copy of “Opinions.” keplers.org.
Juanito Pascual Trio
When acclaimed guitarist Juanito Pascual is joined by bassist Brad Barrett and percussionist/vocalist Jose Moreno at their free concert in Mountain View, audiences can expect an intriguing blend of traditional flamenco rhythms with contemporary flair, and even some jazz and rock influences. The trio plans to play new compositions from their forthcoming album (due in 2024) as well as new arrangements of old favorites from Pascual’s first record, “Cosas en Común,” which is celebrating its 20th anniversary. According to the Community School of Music and Arts’ blog, Minnesota native Pascual says no two shows are the same, thanks to the group’s penchant for improvising.
Oct. 21, 7:30 p.m., Community School of Music and Arts, Tateuchi Hall, 230 San Antonio Circle, Mountain View. Free. Best suited for ages 7 and up. arts4all.org.
'Unraveling Prisms' reception
Brooklyn-based artist Myles Bennett takes deconstruction to a new level with works that subtract the lengthwise, or warp, strands of a canvas and leave the widthwise, or weft, strands, resulting in paintings, drawings and sculptures with soft, subtle gradients of color and undulating shapes. Pamela Walsh Gallery is featuring "Unraveling Prisms," a solo show of Bennett's work that will be on display through Nov. 23. Bennett will be on hand for a reception and talk on Oct. 21, where he discusses his creative practice.
Oct. 21, 5-7 p.m. at Pamela Walsh Gallery, 540 Ramona St., Palo Alto. Admission is free. pamelawalshgallery.com.
Palo Alto Philharmonic
Violinist, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra concertmaster and Stanford University music faculty member Robin Sharp will be the featured soloist in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3, K.216, part of the Palo Alto Philharmonic’s “Melodic Impressions” concert. The performance will also include Lili Boulanger’s “D’un Matin de Printemps” and Robert Schumann’s Symphony No. 4, Op. 120, and a pre-concert talk will take place at 7:30 p.m. The Philharmonic, currently led by Music Director Lara Webber, was founded in 1988 and presents a series of local concerts each year.
Oct. 21, 8 p.m., Cubberley Theatre, 4120 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. Tickets are $10-$20. paphil.org.
Long-running alt-rock project The Wallflowers, led by Jakob Dylan (son of Bob), is probably best known for the 1996 hit “One Headlight” from the “Bringing Down the Horse” album (“Me and Cinderella …” – admit it, it’s in your head now). The group, which has undergone lineup changes and a hiatus over the years, released its most recent album, “Exit Wounds,” in 2021 on New West Records. According to the record label’s site, the album is an ode to people “that have, to put it mildly, been through some stuff.” The band is coming to the Peninsula for a multi-date engagement at the Guild, with a third night recently added. Ragged Glory will be the opening act.
Oct. 19, 20, and 21, 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.), The Guild Theatre, 949 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Tickets are $68. guildtheatre.com.
Todd Sickafoose’s ‘Bear Proof’
Genre-defying double bassist/composer (among other things) Todd Sickafoose won both Grammy and Tony Awards (as orchestrator and music producer of the 2019 Broadway hit “Hadestown” and its original cast recording), is a longtime collaborator of Ani DiFranco, and has led his band Tiny Resistors on all sorts of musical adventures. “Bear Proof,” his roughly hour-long “chamber jazz hybrid piece” written for eight musicians and split into nine sections, was recorded live in the studio in one continuous take (with a few slight edits). The piece was released in September and is being celebrated with a series of West Coast concerts this month, including in Palo Alto, hosted by Earthwise Productions — the piece's only outing in the Bay Area.
Oct. 21, 8 p.m., Palo Alto Art Center, 1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto. Tickets are $16.75. eventbrite.com.