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Davis, California

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

The connecting power of music

Davis has a vibrant musical community — go out and see a show

 

By YASMEEN O’BRIEN — yjobrien@ucdavis.edu

 

One Thursday evening a couple months ago, I biked past Central Park in Davis and couldn’t control the smile that came to my face at the sight of it. It was full of people — families, friends, couples and individuals, some sitting on blankets, some standing and watching a performance and some dancing in front of a stage. Although it was blocked from my vision, the sounds of live music drifted over, compelling me to get off my bike and see what was going on.

I was pleasantly surprised to find people of all ages enjoying the music. Young children danced barefoot in circles in front of me, their parents a few feet away dancing as well. College students sat in the grass laughing with their friends, and local vendors sold their goods. I talked to several fellow Davis residents that night, trying to find out more about the event. I learned bits and pieces, but many of the participants didn’t even know what it was and were just there enjoying themselves. 

A quick Google search, however, told me everything I needed to know. This was a recurring event called “Thursdays in the Davisphere” put on by the Davis Downtown Business Association. I learned it was open to the public, free of charge. They brought live music, food, drinks, local retail, arts and crafts and more to the Davis community every Thursday from 5 to 9:30 p.m. While the event series has ended for 2022, it will be returning in Spring 2023, as it runs from May through October every year.

I didn’t realize until recently how large of a role live music plays in Davis culture, something that wasn’t possible for the community for a long time due to the pandemic. I felt lucky that I was able to witness the pure joy that came from people of all ages who were able to share the music together. 

The Davis community’s love for music doesn’t stop at this event. There are a variety of other live music events that local businesses put on throughout the year, including in-store performances at Armadillo Music, small shows performed by various bands at the E St. Plaza, performances at Ruhstaller Farm in Dixon and student band performances.

Something that I love about the music scene in Davis is that it’s open to everyone. This speaks to the community’s genuine love for music and the connection that music provides. You can also meet new people and discover new parts of your community at live performances. I have met some of my closest friends through student shows over the years I have spent in Davis.

Not only do music shows connect the local community, they also connect our community to other communities. People from all over come to music events — I know I have definitely ventured outside my local area for them. Furthermore, I have met and befriended students from all over California at local shows hosted by other UC Davis students or organizations like KDVS, our local student-run radio station. Events like these make me feel like we are one step closer to connecting the world.

All of this is to say going to see a show is bound to be a worthwhile experience. Music is a powerful tool for connection, and you never know what you might learn about yourself in the process.

 

Written by: Yasmeen O’Brien — yjobrien@ucdavis.edu

 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by individual columnists belong to the columnists alone and do not necessarily indicate the views and opinions held by The California Aggie.