The big weekend event: Over 120,000 motorcycle racing fans will come to Monterey County for the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, which begins Friday. This race will be extra exciting, as Valentino Rossi (pictured during last year's race at left) will compete, only a few weeks after he broke his leg. If you're planning to experience it for yourself, read our Insider's Guide to the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix for tips on the best viewing points, what to wear, what to bring, and more!
The Carmel Bach Festival continues in Carmel-by-the-Sea. Several concerts are sold out; see below for a detailed description of events on each day with tickets still available.
Start your weekend early as the Carmel Bach Festival presents an unusual modern ballad-opera at Wave Street Studios. "The Grumbling Hive," performed by a vocal quartet and string ensemble, is based on a poem by 18th-century poet Bernard Mandeville, and was considered scandalous when it was released. 11pm-noon, Wave Street Studios, 774 Wave Street (down the stairs on the bike path), Monterey. $28; tickets can be purchased online at the Bach Festival website.
Enjoy an avian-themed chamber music concert, "For the Birds," at Church of the Wayfarer in Carmel. Works include Mozart's Quartet in B-flat Major ("The Hunt"), Boccherini's Quintet in D Major ("The Aviary") and Haydn's Quartet in D Major ("The Lark"). 2:30-3:30pm, Church of the Wayfarer, Lincoln Street at 7th Street, Carmel-by-the-Sea. $28; tickets can be purchased at the Bach Festival website.
Jazz singer and keyboardist Scott Brown plays at Jazz on the Plaza at Carmel Plaza. Enjoy great wine alongside food from Bistro Beaujolais. 5pm-7pm, Carmel Plaza at Ocean Avenue and Mission Street, Carmel. $15.
The Pacific Grove Wine, Art and Music Walk offers just what the name says - wine, art and music in Pacific Grove. 6pm. Pick up a map of open venues at the Chamber of Commerce, 584 Central Avenue, Pacific Grove. Free.
Tonight's Carmel Bach Festival main concert at the Sunset Center is "Music of Destiny," featuring three works (Haydn's Symphony No. 22, Brahms' "Song of Destiny" and Beethoven's famous 5th Symphony) that explore the themes of idealism and destiny. The concert is preceded by a talk that explains the origins of the three works and a free, brief Tower Music concert at the Sunset Center terrace. Pre-concert talk (free) is from 6:45-7:15pm; Tower Music (free) is from 7:20-7:45pm; main concert is at 8pm. All take place at Sunset Center, San Carlos at 9th Street, Carmel. Tickets for main concert are $48 and $68 and can be purchased at the Carmel Bach Festival website.
Cuba expert Ann Louise Bardach gives a talk and signs books (including her latest, "Without Fidel: A Death Foretold in Miami, Havana and Washington") at the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur. 7:30pm, Highway One in Big Sur. Free.
Intense LA rockers Parents have a minimalist rock sound that is variously tinged with country and metal, and even a little bit of the Monkees. Sacramento singer Reggie Ginn sounds like what Vast would sound like if Amy Lee was their lead singer. If Green Day and Fall Out Boy had a love child, it would be northern Californian pop-punks Grenade Jumper. They play tonight at Jose's Lounge Underground alongside local psychedelic rockers The Trees. 9pm, 638 Wave Street, Monterey. $5.
You may have to occasionally cover your childrens' ears at this classical concert! The "Viennese Matinee Concertante" features Mozart's "A Musical Joke" and a section of the Concerto for Horn as well as his frequently risque commentary. Also featured is Symphony Number 8 by Mozart's close friend Haydn. 11am, Sunset Center Theater, San Carlos at 9th Street, Carmel. $28; tickets can be purchased at the Carmel Bach Festival website.
Enjoy a free concert from the best middle and high school musicians on the Central Coast at the Carmel Bach Festival's "Young Musician's Showcase." 4pm, Sunset Center Theater, San Carlos at 9th Street, Carmel. Free.
Thousands of top motorcycles pack Cannery Row tonight for "Race Night on the Row." Check out the scene and some spectacular motorcycles. 5pm-10pm, Cannery Row, Monterey. Free.
Jazz bassist Pete Lips performs at "Evenings by the Bay" at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. In addition to the live music, enjoy special programs, wine, and light food. 6-8pm, 886 Cannery Row, Monterey. Included in admission fee.
The main Carmel Bach Festival concert tonight at the Sunset Center is "The Spirit Triumphant," featuring Bach's Cantata BWV 130 and 19, Barber's Adagio for Strings, Brams' Alto Rhapsody and Beethoven's Choral Fantasy in C Minor. The concert is preceded by a talk that explains the philosophy behind these spiritually uplifting works and a free, brief concert by the Festival Brass at the Sunset Center terrace. Pre-concert talk (free) is from 6:45-7:15pm; free brass concert is from 7:20-7:45pm; main concert is at 8pm. All take place at Sunset Center, San Carlos at 9th Street, Carmel. Tickets for main concert are $48 and $68 and can be purchased at the Carmel Bach Festival website.
Pink Floyd tribute band House of Floyd blew people away last year when they played at the Henry Miller Library. They return tonight with two sets, more lasers, DJs between the sets, and that gigantic inflatable pig. 8pm, Highway One in Big Sur. Tickets can be purchased online for $30 + fees.
It's another headbanging evening at Jose's Lounge Underground as local death metal act Praetorian holds their demo CD release party. San Francisco's Ontogeny and Pacific Grove's Gorphyryac (who knew that quiet little town could turn out a band so loud?) support. 8pm, 638 Wave St. Monterey, $5.
Songs Hotbox Harry Taught Us play old-school country at Fernwood tonight. 9pm, Highway One in Big Sur, no cover.
Hold onto your hats and prepare for traffic on Highway One as one of California's biggest antiques festivals, the Moss Landing Antique Fair, increases the population of the tiny town by a factor of at least 10. There's over 200 antiques vendors, free antiques appraisals, food vendors, a pancake breakfast, and more. Pancake breakfast starts at 7am, antique fair starts at 8am. Throughout Moss Landing.
Bach's complex and soaring St. Matthew Passion is widely considered one of the pinnacles of Western sacred music, and it will be performed at the Sunset Center as today's main concert at the Carmel Bach Festival. Lecturer and Adams Vocal Master Class director David Gordon has focused on it for 40 years and will give the free pre-concert talk at 12:45pm. At 1:45pm, enjoy a free half-hour brass concert on the Sunset Center Terrace, and at 2:30pm, experience the wonder of St. Matthew Passion for yourself. Sunset Center, San Carlos at 9th Street, Carmel. Concert tickets are $48 and $68 and can be purchased at the Carmel Bach Festival website.
Straight-ahead jazz quintet Along Came Betty plays on the patio of the Big Sur River Inn. 1pm-5pm, Highway One in Big Sur. No cover.
Jazz saxophonist Gary Meek performs at "Evenings by the Bay" at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. In addition to the live music, enjoy special programs, wine, and light food. 6-8pm, 886 Cannery Row, Monterey. Included in admission fee.
Franz Schubert's Quintet in C Major was his final composition before his death. It's the only quintet he ever wrote, and it's unusual because it features two cellos instead of two violas. Tonight at the Carmel Bach Festival, one of those cello parts will be performed by internationally renowned cellist Raphael Wallfisch; his wife, concertmaster Elizabeth Wallfisch, will take the violin part. Plus, the entire concert will be candle-lit. How cool is that? 9pm, Sunset Center Theater, San Carlos at 9th Street, Carmel. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased at the Carmel Bach Festival website.