XOXO: Mark Your Calendars

Thursday, Feb. 3

Guitarist Jesse Cook grew up between France, Barcelona and Canada, so it’s no surprise his music merges worlds. He’s come to love flamenco, world music, jazz, pop, Brazilian samba, and Persian music. His style is unique, a reflection of his many travels. He composed his first album, Tempest, in 1995. Part of the album’s initial buzz built up after the title track was looped for many months, by an Ontario cable TV operator, as background music for their channel listing, prompting viewers to call in and inquire. Recorded during the pandemic, Libre (2021), his latest release, was born of yearning for freedom. A drum machine — whose diverse sounds have come to define hip hop, reggaeton, pop, and trap — reinvigorated his imagination. Jesse Cook travels Beyond Borders. At Fox Tucson Theatre…

In a tribute to the leading ladies of country music — Loretta Lynn, Shania Twain, Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, Trisha Yearwood, and more — Mamma Coal tells the stories of love, life, drinkin’, and hard-lessons-learned by these Queens of Country. At The Gaslight Music Hall (Oro Valley)…

As a youth, in Cananea, Sonora, discontent with the socio-economic and political circumstances in his country this artist/musician found a way to vent in art. “I sing my paintings and I paint my music.” With a guitar in hand, a harmonica around his neck and stomping box under foot, Mexican gypsy troubadour Salvador Duran serenades. At Hotel Congress (plaza)...

Followed by Blue Haven and Commoner. At Club Congress. With Mattsta Graham

Obstinately crafting acoustic music for the sophisticated urban hillbilly, The Determined Luddites drag their hairy knuckles across washboards. At Tap & Bottle…


Friday, Feb. 4 

During a recording session, in 2005, Mexican producer Mario Domm met Samo (aka Samuel Parra Cruz), a classically trained opera singer moonlighting as a session vocalist. After the session wrapped, during a rehearsal accompanied by only a piano, the timbre of their distinct voices melding together in delicious harmony, they found kismet. Now, they needed a guitarist to bring their shared vision to light. The first to audition, Pablo Hurtado, was tapped on the spot and a new band was formed. Before forming Camila, Domm had built a successful career producing and writing hits for Latin popstars: Alejandra Guzmán, Thalía, Sin Bandera, and others. Based on Domm’s winning track record, Camila was signed to Sony/BMG without hesitation. Their ascent was meteoric. Camila’s airtight vocal harmonies, edgy guitars, and highly buffed and polished production style resonated with audiences in Latin America and the U.S. Todo Cambió (2006), their debut album, yielded six singles, was certified triple platinum in Mexico and hit No.1 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart. In effect, everything changed (todo cambió). Despite Samo’s departure (in 2013) to pursue a solo career, accolades and achievements aside, Domm and Hurtado continue to defend the romanticism of the power-pop ballad with Hacia Adentro (2019), their fourth LP. In keeping with their name—translated from Latin, loosely meaning “servant close to God”—Camila emanate Luz. At Rialto Theater…

click to enlarge Jimkata is among the performers at Gem & Jam this weekend - COURTESY JIMKATA
Courtesy Jimkata
Jimkata is among the performers at Gem & Jam this weekend

STS9, Liquid Stranger, Claude VonStroke, Shpongle, Lotus,
and Lab Group are the sparkling diamonds in a field of resplendent gemstones that cool and solidify to form a trippy and diverse lineup at Gem & Jam 2022. Runs Feb. 4–6. At Pima County Fairgrounds…

Over the course of his musical career, Homero Cerón has played drums, vibes, timpani and orchestral percussion with Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Tucson Pops, True Concorde and numerous touring shows. Accompanied by pianist Amilcar Guevara, bassist Mike Levy, and drummer Danny Brito, the
Homero Cerón Latin Jazz Quartet perform originals and classics. At Hotel Congress (The Century Room)…

DJ Humblelianess presides over Tucson’s hottest Latin dance party, El Tambó. At Hotel Congress (plaza)…

From Flathead, Montana,
Kevin Van Dort effuses mountain soul. At Monterey Court. With Kevin Pakulis Band

The Alligators emerged from the swamps of Southern California, performing a time-tested repertoire of “high-octane, whiskey-soaked versions of the often-neglected Pigpen songs that are the bedrock foundation of the Grateful Dead,” according to their website. They say after their first show, audiences wanted to know where they would be playing next. “So, we rolled with it. The gas pedal has been pinned to the floor ever since.”
The Alligators. With Legions of Mario. At The Hut…

Saturday, Feb. 5 

Las Vegas-based horror rockers Vampires Everywhere—whose name came from a comic book used as a prop in Joel Schumacher’s The Lost Boys (1987)—emerge from their sunless crypt after a five-year hiatus with a new EP, The Awakening (2021). Their sound has previously been described as a blend of “goth, metalcore and pop.” The new album is a departure from their usual style. All of the songs are based on electronic beats. Frontman Michael Orlando (aka Michael Vampire, who founded the band in 2009) says, “We wanted to stray far away from our last musical endeavor. Me and guitarist Craig Pirtle set out to write an album based on our love for the Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer, the emerging shift in rock culture and goth rock.” Reflecting on the first single, “Sudden Death,” Orlando says, “I wanted to tackle my love for the occult and relationship demons. This song is a hybrid of those elements.” On the second date of a headlining tour, From Hell With Love, Vampires Everywhere start their rampage. At The Rock. With special guests Young Medicine and City Of The Weak

Set in Seville around the year 1830, with themes of love and jealousy running throughout, the opera Carmen features a score composed by Frenchman Georges Bizet that includes some of the most beloved works in all of opera. Arizona Opera and Tucson Desert Song Festival presents
Carmen, featuring soprano Vanessa Vasquez and mezzo soprano Mahya Lahyani in the title role. At Tucson Music Hall…

Tucson Symphony Orchestra concertmaster and violinist
Lauren Roth is featured in a program that highlights Igor Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto. “Working with Lauren Roth will be one of the highlights of my year” says conductor José Luis Gomez. “To start the concert I’ve chosen music of the first known classical composer of African descent, Chevalier de Saint-Georges. And, we’ll close with Robert Schumann’s First Symphony, which he called ‘a longing for Spring.’” In the first of three performances, Lauren Roth Plays Stravinsky. At Catalina Foothills High School…

Struggling to choke down the “Last Gulp of Real?” Indie folksters
Lucky Baby Daddy will help you catch a breath that feels a tad fresher. With Fat Tony. At Club Congress… Only in a deterministic universe where free will is a mere illusion is such a pairing possible. Sugar Stains and Control Freaks uphold the far-from-equilibrium chaos. At Saint Charles Tavern…

DJs Bex & Halsero spin EDM. At Hotel Congress (plaza)…

This quartet’s sound, although ever evolving, is rooted in Chicago blues—a style popularized by Muddy Waters, who fused the rural Mississippi Delta blues with the electric guitar to create a hard-charging sound developed in clubs out of necessity in order to cut through noisy crowds.
Whose Blues. At Westward Look Resort…

Gregory Morton & Donny Russell present a Bluegrass Extravaganza. At MotoSonora Brewing Company…

Sunday, Feb. 6   

Forty-three years after Orange County punks formed the band Agent Orange, they’ve endured numerous lineup changes, the fickleness of music industry, the unforeseen vicissitudes of real life, and the deaths of founding member Steve Soto, former bassist James Levesque, and drummer Charlie Quintana. But American surf punks Agent Orange are still dispersing deadly toxins. At 191 Toole. With Gutter Town

Fronted by powerhouse vocalist Anna Warr,
Giant Blue put forth jazz-rock and blues propelled by a monster horn and rhythm section. Congress Cookout. At Hotel Congress (plaza)…

Conjunto Nopal perform Mexican folk music from the northern Sonoran borderlands. Tradiciones. At The Coronet…

Monday, Feb. 7 

“I’ve Got A Plan,” sings Keaton Prescott (aka Sullivan King). And, apparently, it’s working. Equal parts disc jockey and heavy metal axe-wielding maniac, Prescott was first inspired by the wonky, bass-heavy wallop of EDM after spending countless hours online engaged in hardcore gameplay, where the music of Skrillex, Avicii, Rusko and Wolfgang Gartner comprised the soundtrack on global gaming platforms. Rock Sound (British music mag) has this to say about Prescott. “Raised on a diet of as much post-hardcore as dubstep, he’s setting out to bring the rock and EDM communities together in a way that no-one has done before.” His latest effort, Loud (2021)—a relentless salvo of diabolic guitar riffs, screeching solos, pounding double-bass drums rhythms and shrieking vocals—is a head-on collision of balls-out death metal and dubstep (deathstep). Ultimately, Prescott doesn’t care what you call his music. Just as long as it’s played “loud as fuck.” Sullivan King. Loud & Reckless Tour. At Rialto Theater…

Travel in time to Paris of the 1930s with Dutch gypsy jazz violin legend
Tim Kliphuis and rising star guitarist Jimmy Grant as they celebrate the music of famed musical duo Stéphane Grappelli & Django Reinhardt. Gypsy Jazz Duets. At Hotel Congress (The Century Room)…

Tuesday, Feb. 8 

Taco Techno Tuesdays. DJ Hart and friends spin. At Batch…

Wednesday, Feb. 9   

For those who feed off of the night. Last Night’s Makeup presents Crush: An evening of house and disco. At The Jackrabbit Lounge…

Thursday, Feb. 10 

Recognized as one of the best steel drum programs in the nation. Inspiring and captivating audiences with the vibrant sound of the Caribbean. As part of the Oro Valley Second Thursdays Concert Series, the award-winning Jovert Steel Drum Band from Tucson High Magnet School will keep you dancing all night long. At Oro Valley Marketplace…

On the horizon 

Vox Urbana, Naïm Amor, and Freddy Parish perform on Friday, Feb. 11. Tucson Folk Festival Fundraiser. At Monterey Court…

Until next week, XOXO… 

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