July 27 2015 05:10 PM

Our top three picks of things to do in San Diego this week

BenFolds_official-Large
Ben Folds
Photo courtesy of San Diego Symphony

 MORE THAN A MAINSTREAM

When the name Ben Folds comes up, so do the lyrics from the late-'90s, alt-rock ballad, "Brick." Rather than rest on the laurels of one catchy old earworm, the musician has moved on from his time with Ben Folds Five, launching a successful, albeit somewhat strange and eclectic solo career. 

Folds has collaborated on albums with William Shatner, produced an album featuring collegiate a capella music groups, toured extensively, written a beautiful concerto for piano and orchestra and even made a few guest appearances on the TV show, Community.

At 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 30, he'll be gracing the Summer Pops stage, joining the San Diego Symphony and conductor Jacomo Bairos at Embarcadero Marina Park South (206 Marina Park Way) downtown for a concert featuring both old and new songs in a format and setting most people have likely never seen. 

"Those who are fans of Ben Folds or those who think they might like to discover Ben Folds, now they get to see him in a brand-new light," says Stephen Kougias, director of public relations at the symphony. "And that's seeing him play live with orchestraPlus, you get to see him at the Embarcadero, which is just a very beautiful outdoor venue—very picturesque." 

Folds is just one of several upcoming Summer Pops concerts that speaks to a younger, more adventurous audience. At the end of August, a series of female powerhouses will be performing back-toback, starting with Esperanza Spalding on Aug. 20, LeAnn Rimes on Aug. 21 and 22, and Natalie Cole on Aug. 23. 

"Part of the appeal of Summer Pops is that you can't just listen to this music on a CD," Kougias says. "You have to experience this live in order to see it, feel it, love it, enjoy it, et cetera. You just have to see this music live." 

Summer Pops tickets are $20-$79. 


A dish by Wicho's Taco

 POR EL MAR

Baja California is San Diego's next-door neighbor, but we sometimes take it for granted. Most of us are more likely to hit up a taco shop down the street than actually make the drive over the border to experience Baja culture first-hand. But Baja By the Sea is bringing the Baja California culture to San Diego, making the trek far less taxing than the customs queue. The event will feature food, craft beer, wine and specialty products from each of the five regions of Baja California, as well as live music and other entertainment. No passport required. Vendors include Wicho's, Café La Negrita, El Grano de Oro, Cien Años, Mr. Pampas and more. Baja By the Sea takes place from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1, at Embarcadero Marina Park North (400 Kettner Blvd.) downtown. Admission is free.    


Photo courtesy of Suzie's Farm

YOU SAY TOMATO

The summer sun is on a roll. Every day is bright and long, kids are playing outside and the season's most popular fruits and vegetables are healthy as ever. At 10 a.m. Saturday, August 1, Suzie's Farm (2570 Sunset Ave.) in Imperial Beach will host Pedal, Pick and Grin, an annual event that opens the farm's fields for free tomato and vegetable picking. A community bike ride to the farm will begin at 9 a.m. at Blind Lady Ale House and will morph into a bike parade at Suzie's. With face painting, live music, food and a ladybug release, the event is kid-friendly, so wheel those tandem bikes out of the garage and dust off your best fruit baskets.  

Does your event deserve to be featured here? Email Kinsee Morlan.

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