If the blues make you happy, check out the second annual free Redwood City PAL Blues Festival today at the new Courthouse Square, 2200 Broadway, downtown; the music’s onstage from noon to 8 p.m.
The event, presented by the San Mateo Credit Union, benefits Redwood City Police Activities League programs, including services for youths in the community.
Blues music, a truly American creation, was born in the North Mississippi Delta; the sound was influenced by African roots, field hollers, ballads, church music and rhythmic dance tunes.
Artists on the today’s bill are guitarist-singers-songwriters J.C. Smith and headliner Joe Louis Walker; Nitecry, a band playing original songs; guitarist Daniel Castro; the duo of Steve Edmundson and Jackie Payne; and Steve Freund, guitarist, producer and bandleader.
A second stage will highlight the talentsof local teens and kids; the festival also features activities for the whole family, refreshments from local restaurants, vendors selling merchandise and a car show.
For details, call (415) 285-7719 or visit www.palbluesfestival.com.
"Bridging the Ages" is the title of Music@Menlo’s fifth season at Menlo College in Menlo Park, beginning Sunday and running through Aug. 10. Featuring compositions from Baroque to modern times, "Bridging the Ages" not only celebrates music that has sprung from the universal human experience, but also recognizes and honors the connections music makes between people, say artistic directors David Finckel and Wu Han.
Themes explored this summer will include "Homage," "Sounds of Nature," Instrumental Inspirations," "Death and Transfiguration" and "Borrowed Cultures."
Besides the full schedule of chamber concerts, the popular program also includes "Carte Blanche" concerts that connect festivalgoers with individual artists; "Encounters," multimedia lectures by musical authorities; Café Conversations, informal discussions by festival artists and guests and a chamber music open house featuring a full day of programs, including sessions for young musicians.
Concerts and programs are at Menlo School, Stent Family Hall, and Martin Family Hall, 50 Valparaiso Ave., Atherton; St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 600 Colorado Ave., Palo Alto; and Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, 950 Santa Cruz Ave.
For information and the full schedule, call (650) 330-2030 or visit www.musicatmenlo.org.
"Hip Hop, Don’t Stop" is a new summer program at Nesbit School in Belmont presented by PS Performances and directed by Priscilla Stanford.
Aragon HighSchool junior Hannah Balagot of San Mateo teaches dance to 5- to 9-year-old children.
"This is the first time many of our students have been taught basic dancing. We want them to have fun as well as learn techniques. I find it is important to have variety in the basic steps. One of the most popular activities is the freeze dance where they can create their own movements," Balagot says.
Serra High School graduate Adam Ferreira, who teaches young boys to dance, calls the program "awesome."
He says, "I love the physical activity. These students show great enthusiasm, and it is easy to encourage them."
Dance classes for boys ages 8 and older are at the King Center, 725 Monte Diablo Ave., San Mateo. For information, call (650) 522-7470.