In by 3, Out by 9!

Making it an early night? These performances (nearly 50) all conclude before 9 PM. Enjoy the celebration and be home by 9:30! (Categorized by Genre)

Performance Time Grid

Rock/Blues/Jazz Bands

THE COFFIS BROTHERS & THE MOUNTAIN MEN are five young men from the Santa Cruz Mountains that have been playing around the Bay Area and beyond since 2010.

The Coffis Brothers & The Mountain Men play a style of music that is rock and roll in the most classic sense, melodic, rootsy and heartfelt. The band consists of Jamie Coffis (Vocals, Keyboard, ) Kellen Coffis (Vocals, guitar,) Kyle Poppen (Guitar,) Aidan Collins (Bass,) and Henry Chadwick (Drums.) The songwriting duo of Jamie and Kellen show an obvious love for a bygone era of music and for groups like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Neil Young and The Beatles as well as a sense of maturity and experience beyond their years.
Site 20: Golden State Theater 8:30- 9:00 PM

Photo of the Coffis Brothers

New to FNM, THE PROUDEST MONKEYS is a musical collective operating out of Monterey.

In 2016, band leader Trevor Lucier released the album, "Destruction of the Species" to a welcoming and supportive local music scene. Following a successful first show, declared one of the area's best shows of the year by The Monterey County Weekly, the rest of the group came together around a mutual conviction that music is a potent resource in the movement to bring humanity closer together. With this ideal in mind, The Proudest Monkeys have set out to perform all over the Central California Area in an effort to bring together the many local scenes that exist in the region.
Site 18: Alvarado St/Rabobank Stage 6:30- 7:15; 7:30–8:15 PM

Photo of The Proudest Monkeys

ACAN LATIN JAZZ ENSEMBLE is a community music class specializing in Afro-Cuban Music.

The ACAN Latin Jazz Ensemble is a community music class featuring young music students from Salinas specializing in Afro-Cuban music. They may be joined by the AUSD Marching Drum Line, a performing group composed of standout students from the AUSD after school drumline teams. Both groups are sponsored by the Alisal Community Arts Network, which holds classes for over 1500 youth in East Salinas, Greenfield and Gonzales.
Site 23: Alvarado St./Wells Fargo Stage 7:45- 8:15; 8:30–9:00 PM

Photo of ACAN Jazz Orchestra


Perennial FNM favorite BLACK IRISH BAND opens the night at the Golden State Theater with their highly entertaining and very up-beat and progressive Folk, Americana, and Celtic Pub-Rock music.

Hailing from the historic Gold Rush Country of America, the Black Irish Band of 28 years have a musical style that is as timeless as the rugged landscape of the west, a tribute to the people whose lives were spent building the world we now take for granted. The band has a large complement of traditional maritime and railroad music, as well as ethnic tunes in their repertoire. They excel at Irish & Scottish, and American folk music with an assortment of original songs and traditional western ballads. The band's musical style captures the spirit of the immigrants of this land, the men and women who tamed the Wild West.
Site 20: Golden State Theater 6:15- 6:45; 7:00–7:30; 7:45- 8:15 PM

Photo of Black Irish Band

FNM newcomer AMY WARREN is an American Roots journey, embodying the down home spirit of acoustic traditions, from blues to bluegrass and folk to rock.

Amy Warren is a story teller at heart, and her original music touches the soul and stirs the senses, with “deep folk” influences spanning Celtic to bluegrass to gypsy jazz. She brings a rich musical mix that is warm and familiar. Her heartfelt storytelling and expressive flat-picking pair with Harry Thomas’ powerful harmonica and Derek Bodkin’s imaginative banjo make for a fresh take on American classics. With a growing catalog of original music and covers ranging from the Carter Family to Johnny Cash and Gillian Welch to Jack White, this band is a must-see for roots music fans.
Site 15: AJ Davi Stage 458 Alvarado St 7:00- 7:30; 7:45–8:15 PM

Photo of Amy Warren

GRUMBLING GINGER brings the atmosphere of a British Folk Club to Monterey!

Original acoustic folk-rock with a Celtic twist. Grumbling Ginger bring the atmosphere of a British folk club to Monterey with songs, storytelling, and a variety of acoustic instruments. They've played everywhere from coffee houses and pubs to house parties and festival stages in front of 10,000-plus people. The band has also made many radio and TV appearances. A long-time First Night favorite!
Site 7: City Council Chambers 6:15- 6:45; 7:00–7:30 PM

Photo of Grumbling Ginger

Hear the thunder of the drums! SHINSHO MUGEN DAIKO opens First Night Monterey with traditional Japanese drumming.

Experience the exquisite physicality of these Taiko Drummers as they perform traditional Japanese drumming, incorporating elements of martial arts. Shinsho Mugen Daiko was founded in 1999 by Ikuyo Conant, as a group of drummers interested in studying the art of Japanese drumming. Taiko is a traditional form of Japanese drumming that incorporates those elements of martial art which focuses on centering oneself in the grounded position, and the concentration, direction and controlling of energy and breathing.
Site 2: Pacific Street Stage 3:15- 3:45; 4:30–5:00 PM

Photo of Shinsho Mugen Daiko

New to FNM this year, DIRTY CELLO is cello like you’ve never heard before!

From China to Italy, and all over the U.S., Dirty Cello, led by vivacious cross-over cellist, Rebecca Roudman, brings the world a high energy and unique spin on blues and bluegrass. Good Times Santa Cruz says "...what is most spectacular about them is hearing the depth of soul in Roudman’s playing — it goes beyond what most people would expect from the instrument. She plays it with so much heart, you’ll wonder why more bands don’t have a cellist." From down home blues with a wailing cello to virtuosic stompin’ bluegrass, Dirty Cello is a band that gets your heart thumping and your toes tapping!
Site 10: MIIS/Irvine Auditorium 6:30- 7:00; 7:15–7:45; 8:00–8:30 PM

Photo of Dirty Cello

For over 20 years, HEARTSTRINGS has brought their fresh and unique sound to traditional acoustic string music from all over the world.

Begin your New Year celebration toe-tappin' to local acoustic string band Heartstrings, again bringing their versatile smorgasbord style of string music to First Night Monterey. The band plays all kinds of string music from around the world including Celtic, Eastern European, and good ol' toe-tappin' Appalachian string music. Band members are Laura Burian (fiddle), FNM founder Paulette Lynch (hammered dulcimer), Marj Ingram Viales (guitar), Rick Chelew (double bass), and Mike Osgood (mandolin). From beautiful traditional and contemporary waltzes to driving jigs and reels, a high energy performance with top players.
Site 9: City Council Chambers 3:30- 4:00; 4:15–5:00 PM

Photo of Heartstrings

Enjoy a joyful evening of song! I CANTORI DI CARMEL opens the night in the beautiful sanctuary of Carleton Hall.

I Cantori has been performing great choral masterpieces for Monterey Peninsula audiences for over 35 years, frequently touring internationally. Our repertoire for First Night will span the ages: sacred motets to contemporary compositions and songs from around the world. The group is united by a desire to cherish and preserve the heritage of great choral music.
Site 25: Carleton Hall/Church of Religious Science 6:30- 7:00; 7:15–7:45; 8:00- 8:30 PM

Photo of I Cantori di Carmel

Lyrically refreshing and musically diverse, DAN FRECHETTE & LAUREL THOMSEN take to the stage with exuberance!

Meeting via a chance YouTube sighting, eclectic Roots-Folk songwriters Dan Frechette, guitar/harmonica/vocals, and Laurel Thomsen, violin/vocals, prove that musical magic is not only possible, but “a match made in heaven". With broad influences ranging from Folk, Classical, Old Time and Celtic, to Gospel, Jazz, Vintage Country, Rock N' Roll, Blues, and Bluegrass, Dan and Laurel flow seamlessly through genres, tempos, stories, and moods, embodying each style with virtuosic command and keeping music fans on the edge of their seats. Enjoyment is palpable.
Site 7: City Council Chambers 8:00- 8:30 PM

Photo of Dan Frechette and Laurel Thomsen

Experience four-part harmony with the MONTEREY BAY BELLES women’s a cappella barbershop-style chorus.

The Bay Belles Women’s Barbershop Chorus sings favorite popular songs in the barbershop style. They are a non-profit organization engaged in member education, local school outreach and they perform several times throughout the year in Monterey County, hosting a cappella concerts featuring local and out of town talent. The Bay Belles love experiencing the thrill of singing four-part music and are excited to be performing at 'this great community event.'
Site 8: Monterey Museum of Art 3:30- 4:00; 4:30–5:00 PM

Photo of Monterey Bay Belles

Celebrate our cultural diversity with JAYSON FANN featuring artists from around the globe!

This event will include drumming performances on one of the worlds largest drums, musicians from across the globe, interactive singing and dance and spoken word. Don't miss this performance pulsing with powerful rhythms, acts of truth and imagination, celebrating the infinite creative spirit within us all. The event will feature an extraordinary group of artists, musicians, and dancers brought together by a common vision to celebrate our culturally diverse community and to affirm our commitment to a future of solidarity with each other.
Site 16: Alvarado St/Spirit Nest Ongoing, 6:15- 10:00 PM

GUITARS NOT GUNS gives young people free guitars and lessons to encourage their creativity and help divert them from the negative influences of drugs, alcohol and gangs.

Guitars Not Guns is a non-profit program that provides instruments and instruction free of charge to foster kids, at risk youth and other children in a classroom setting with qualified teachers. Each student is assigned a beginner guitar when they come to the first class. They are allowed to take their guitars home with them and are asked to practice 30 minutes each day.The instructors volunteer their time. The Guitars Not Guns Band is made up of students , age 7-17, who meet at the Marina Teen Center. They will perform a selection of music ranging from children's classics to contemporary rock and blues.
Site 23: Alvarado St./Wells Fargo Stage 4:45- 5:15; 6:15–6:45 PM

Photo of Guitars Not Guns class

Be delighted and intrigued by the unique sounds of WILLIAM FAULKNER's handcrafted Jalisco Harp.

He may share a name with the iconic American writer, but harpist William Faulkner has made a name for himself with his gorgeous musicianship and deep love for the classic Jalisco form. You've probably heard the Jalisco harp played in mariachi music, and Faulkner is among the world's leading players of this challenging instrument. His harp is a virtual orchestra of timbral colors enriched by a wealth of overtones. He has played the Jalisco harp for 25 years, performing throughout California and the Southwestern U.S. as well as various parts of Mexico.
Site 15: AJ Davi Stage 458 Alvarado 8:15–8:45 PM

Photo of William Faulkner

World Dance

YAOCUAUHTLI CULTURAL DANCE opens the First Night celebration with stunning costumes and traditional Aztec dances.

Yaocuauhtli Cultural Dance is a calpulli (social unit) dedicated to the cultural enrichment of the community of Salinas thru Aztec dance, music, song and culture. Since its founding in 2003, Yaocuauhtli is dedicated in strengthening the identity of the Mexican community by teaching indigenous traditions of their ancestors to future generations. They handcraft their regalia utilizing exotic skins, natural stones and beads, genuine leather and naturally molted exotic feathers for their headdresses.
Site  1: Colton Lawn 3:00-3:15; 3:45- 4:15; 4:45- 5:00 PM
Site 15: Alvarado Street Art Space ongoing from 7:00 PM

Photo of Yaocuauhtli Cultural Dance

Local Youth Company from SPECTOR DANCE will perform several short pieces to celebrate the season.

Since 1997, SpectorDance Company has presented multidisciplinary performances using a signature style that blends music, spoken word, and visual media with dance. Fran Spector Atkins, the lead artist and creative director, creates performance works that highlight themes relevant to the community. The SpectorDance Youth Company is a group of dedicated young dancers who bring their talent and love of dance to the community. The SpectorDance vision is to utilize dance as a vehicle to open doors, ignite creativity and fuel the human spirit.
Site 9: Masonic Lodge 6:15 – 6:45; 7:00 – 7:30 PM

Photo of Spector Dancer Russell

Welcome the New Year with MONTEREY BAY LION DANCE TEAM symbolizing the arrival of prosperity and good luck.

Celebrate the New Year and lift your spirits with traditional Chinese lion dancing, a challenging art form complete with martial art postures and exciting rhythms of drums, cymbals and gongs. Elaborate costumes characterize the Lucky Lion and Happy Buddha. This dreamlike lion mimics human-like emotions and intelligence, symbolizing life and humanity. The lion dance is customarily performed during the Chinese Lunar New Year Celebrations, for the lion brings prosperity and good luck for the upcoming year. In conjunction with the lion dance team program, Monterey Bay Healing Tao Tai Chi members perform traditional Tai Chi martial hand & weapons forms for self-defense application as well as health and wellness.
Site 12: Alvarado Street/Galleria 8:30–9:00 PM

Photo of Lion Dance Team

Local dance troupe DI FRANCO DANCE PROJECT will partner with their RAGAMUFFIN THEATER COMPANY.

The DiFranco DanceProject, Dianne Lyle's company of dancers, ranging in age from 8 through 17 years, will offer a fun-filled, eclectic and exciting program of dances, inspired by cultures from around the globe. Ragamuffin Musical Theatre Company, the summer musical theatre youth camp lead by Dianne Lyle and Michael Blackburn, will perform numbers from their latest production, the famous movie musical, "Singin' In The Rain."
Site 13: Alvarado St/Galleria; 6:15 – 6:45; 7:00 – 7:30; 7:45 - 8:15 PM

Photo of Di Franco Dance Project

The dance team from THE DANCE CENTER in Carmel will present a program of dances.

Students ages 2 yrs. to adult are warmly welcomed into a creative atmosphere of passionate mentorship at The Dance Center - owned by Tia Brown and Laura Jeselnick. Classes include ballet, pointe, hip-hop, tap, jazz, contemporary, acrobatics, and musical theater. Thirteen competitive teams in different genres and 5 musical theater performance companies complement a curriculum that includes both recreational and pre-professional offerings taught by an exceptionally-talented faculty. TDC is proud to recognize and host the new affiliated nonprofit organization, Monterey Peninsula Ballet Theatre. MPBT promotes arts outreach and dance education with performance opportunities to the youth on the Monterey Peninsula.
Site 9: Masonic Lodge 3:45–4:15; 4:30–5:00 PM

Photo of Dance Center


The lively and vibrant Greek Village Dancers will perform vigorous, intricate, graceful folk dances of Greece, wearing authentic costumes. Audience participation is welcome: simple dance steps will be taught. Opa!
Site 13: Alvarado Street/Galleria 4:15–4:45 PM

Photo of Greek Village Dancers

Crowd favorite PARK AVENUE BELLYDANCERS will put smiles on your faces! Join in the fun!

Classic belly dance with an American flair! Stylized synchronized dances of both traditional and modern styles. Middle-Eastern Bellydance, which can be traced back to pre biblical times, has been used by both men and women for expression and healing, entertainment and exercise. This beautiful dance form consists of combinations of isolations of the body moved to the exact rhythms and melodies of the music, developed as specific expressions of life, each based on an aspect of our own humanity. They are always a crowd favorite - the audience is encouraged to join in the fun, so don't be shy!
Site 9: Masonic Lodge 7:45- 8:15; 8:30–9:00 PM

Photo of Park Ave Bellydancers

FLASHPOINT ENTERTAINMENT will entertain you with their LED light shows incorporating dance and juggling!

This power trio has a Modern Circus type act focusing on dance with LED illuminated prop manipulation, juggling and eye popping colors. You will be wondering how did they do that! These light artists and street performers juggle to music, dance to lights and have a circus type fun act! A show stopper in the street! Look for their STEGATRON Art Car! The Art Car (is it a car?) is a post-historic pre-apocalyptic robot dinosaur from the future! Music, lights, this car has it all!
Site 13a: Alvarado Street/Roving Artists 6:15- throughout the night!

Photo of Flashpoint