XOXO: Mark Your Calendars

click to enlarge Miss Olivia and The Interlopers
Miss Olivia and The Interlopers
Mark Your Calendars...

THURSDAY, MARCH 3


Virtuoso pianist and vocalist Jon Batiste has spent his career “bringing music back to where it started, with the people.” Born into a legendary Louisiana musical family, his pedigree may have predestined his path. He’s a graduate of The Juilliard School of Music, where he founded Stay Human, a jazz, soul, R&B ensemble. Drawing inspiration from the belief that human interaction during a live musical performance can uplift humanity, the ensemble gained notoriety by leading impromptu street performances, which Batiste calls “love riots,” in New York City subways as a reaction to the “plug in, tune out” nature of modern society. Since then, his collaborations with a growing list of luminaries—from Wynton Marsalis to Prince—have garnered him the title of “crown prince of jazz.” Distilling the tumult of the times through his art, in early 2021, Batiste released his fifth solo studio album, We Are (2021), to critical acclaim. Arizona Arts Live and Tucson Jazz Festival present Jon Batiste. At Centennial Hall...

Asking for piano lessons at age 2, then French horn and trumpet, before taking interest in her father’s battered Martin acoustic guitar at age 10, Janis Ian was a child prodigy. Success came early, as did controversy. On an episode of BBC’s Songwriters’ Circle (2011), Ian stated that she wrote “Society’s Child” when she was 13, published it at 14, hit the Billboard Hot 100 at 15 and was a has-been by 16. Released into a climate of social unrest that marked the Civil Rights Movement, “Society’s Child” rocked the nation. Her ode to a white woman who brings home a Black boyfriend (a subject very much taboo in 1966) proved problematic, as America was ill-prepared for a white teenager calling out swathes of society for its racism and hypocrisy. The song was banned from numerous radio playlists, an Atlanta radio station was burned to the ground, and a writer at the Boston Herald was fi red for writing about it. In a press release, Ian reflects, “My parents never punished me for telling the truth, no matter how awful it was. I was only punished for lying.” To which the Associated Press opined, “That honesty, its eloquence and depth, may be her chief legacy to contemporary music.” On the heels of releasing The Light at the End of the Line (2022), her 23rd studio album, Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter Janis Ian has announced that this will be her last concert tour. Celebrating Our Years Together. At Rialto Theater...

“Trap Queen.” Tek Savvy is a Denver-based trap/dubstep DJ/audio engineer. With a deep focus on hip-hop, her brand is intense, high-energy party music that summits to a heavy drop. Sharing a taste of “Trappuccino,” Tek Savvy will have the room twerking and headbanging. At The Rock...

FRIDAY, MARCH 4

In a rare interview (published in The New York Times), following the release of his 39 studio album Rough and Rowdy Ways (2020), Bob Dylan reveals to historian Douglas Brinkley the mysteries of his songwriting process. “The songs seem to know themselves and they know that I can sing them, vocally and rhythmically. They write themselves and count on me to sing them.” When asked what role improvisation plays in his performances, Dylan answers, “None at all. There’s no way you can change the nature of a song once you’ve invented it. You basically play the same thing time after time in the most perfect way you can.” I
n the song “I Contain Multitudes,” Dylan sings, “I sleep with life and death in the same bed.” When queried about mortality, he zooms out taking a larger field of view. “I think about the death of the human race. The long strange trip of the naked ape.” Dylan points out, “...everybody’s life is so transient. Every human being, no matter how strong or mighty, is frail when it comes to death.” Elder statesman of American music Bob Dylan draws from a lifetime of work. At Tucson Music Hall...

Exploring the diverse universe of sound that emanates from the underground, Loud Village presents Electric Feels Indie Rock + Indie Dance Party. At Rialto Theater...

Performing songs that will either leave you flailing awkwardly on the dance floor, crying bittersweet tears, or in a mosh pit with a bloody nose. Annie Jump Cannon celebrate the release of their new album. At Club Congress...

A night of red dirt and Texas rock awaits. The Cole Trains and The Wight Lighters. At The Rock...

One zealot says of Tucson’s The Bird Lords, “It’s like smellin’ the biscuits.” At Saint Charles Tavern...

Zona Libre deliver a piquant mezcla de salsa, merengue, and bachata. At Brother John’s Beer Bourbon & BBQ...

SATURDAY, MARCH 5

Metalachi started humbly. “We used to do funerals,” frontman Vega De La Rockha told TW. It was in fulfilling a request for Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” that the zygote attached to the uterine wall. The crowd response was extraordinary. Playing any Los Angeles club that would have them, they began to incorporate leopard print, Alice Cooper-esque dripping eyeliner, leather motorcycle jackets, tight AF mariachi pants and a touch of Dia de los Muertos into their look. Not to mention, more exposed flesh than is permissible by law. Bam. The glorious deformity that is Metalachi was born. But beyond the theatricality, equal to Kiss and Gwar, these blue-agave tequila swilling banditos have mad musical chops that only come from performing Vicente Fernandez songs at backyard quinceañeras for long years. You get the picture. “The world’s first and only heavy metal mariachi band” do unholy things to metal classics. Metalachi. Bring your holy water aspergillum. With Spice Pistols. “Five hot, nasty bitches in their 40s and 50s with big bellies” playing Spice Girls covers the way the Sex Pistols might have. At Hotel Congress Plaza...

One Giant Leap Showcase, an all-ages extravaganza, finds the Noah Martin Band, Woke Up New, Coppernicus, Demon Tongue, Alliance, Orchadia, Verry Cherry and The Sintrics taking great strides. At 191 Toole...

Jazz pianist Jonathan Hines Quartet. Late Night. At The Century Room...

In a lucha libre tag team match not to be missed, Golden Boots and The Exbats grapple for the win. At Che’s Lounge (patio)...

The lovely and fabulous, Miss Olivia and the Interlopers. At MotoSonora Brewing Company...

The Tucson Symphony Orchestra present a program featuring the works of Mozart and Prokofiev. At Berger Performing Arts Center...

SUNDAY, MARCH 6

Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s grandmother gifted him his first toy guitar at age 3, purchased with S&H Green Stamps. At 7, the whiz kid got serious about playing—lifting riffs note by note o cassettes—after meeting Stevie Ray Vaughn. Later, a video of his first performance at The Revel Arts Festival so impressed Giant Records executives that they signed Shepherd to a multi-album deal. He was 13. Now 44, Shepherd’s career has been a “Long Time Running,” but not free from controversy. Following the murder of George Floyd, as a wave of unrest precipitated cultural reckoning, the Blues 
Foundation revoked Shepherd’s 2021 nomination for Best Blues/Rock Artist. The decision was made over imagery of the Confederate flag emblazoned on Shepherd’s The Dukes of Hazzard car replica. In an interview, Sheppard told Rolling Stone, “Years ago I put that car in permanent storage and some time ago, I made the decision to permanently cover the flag because it was completely against my values and offensive to the African American community which created the music I love so much...”

The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band motor into town with their ninth studio album, The Traveler, in tow. At Rialto Theater...

Fleeing from the 9-to-5 grind, having spent the last dozen years living out of a van or a backpack, Canadian folk troubadour Scott Cook has toured almost incessantly across Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia and the United States, distilling his adventures into straight-talking prose. In a statement Cook adds, “So whenever I can, I take a few days to get off to the woods and be quiet for a while. That’s where my art came from, and it withers without regular contact with that soil.” All the hard miles notwithstanding, he still believes that songs can change your life, and your life can change the world. Scott Cook. At Monterey Court...

MONDAY, MARCH 7

From being raised by a 15-year-old mother in a North Carolina trailer park to living in a well-manicured home in Beverly Hills, buzzworthy Gen Z rapper Cordae Amari Dunston is far removed from being “Broke As Fuck.” In an interview with XXL, Dunston reflects, “You’ll never hear me rap about missing a meal. We may have not had cable or WiFi, but our lights weren’t ever cut off . We never got evicted. [Mom] just made it happen.” Two albums (and just as many Grammy nominations) into his career, Dunston tells British GQ, “I still work on my pen every day.” Featuring collabs with Stevie Wonder, Eminem and Gunna, his bassline-heavy sophomore release From a Bird’s Eye View (2022) is “really taking everything to whole ’nother level,” Dunston enthuses. Wary of herd mentality, Dunston is a freethinker. “People get their morals— what they believe is right or wrong— from whatever is popular opinion on social media.” Sidestepping the echo chamber, Dunston proclaims, “It’s the polar opposite of what an artist is meant to be, we’re meant to be free and as spontaneous as possible.” Cordae is no longer The Lost Boy. At Rialto Theater...

Propelled by Ella Williams “burning comet of a voice,” Squirrel Flower (William’s nom de guerre) has been tapped as an “Artist to Watch” by Rolling Stone. Buoyed by her steadfast vision, William’s sophomore album, Planet (2021), is a “love letter to disaster in every form imaginable.” Indie folk rocker Squirrel Flower. At Hotel Congress Plaza...

TUESDAY, MARCH 8

A Maid of Constant Sorrow, Judy Collins impressive musical career began at 13 as a piano prodigy. But the hard luck tales spun by Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger seduced her away from a life as a concert pianist. Her path pointed to a lifelong love affair with the guitar, folk music and the pursuit of emotional truths. But the road to success has been riddled with anguish. “I’ve had major illnesses, I’ve had tuberculosis, I’ve had polio, I’ve had mono. I’ve been a recovering alcoholic for 44 years now.” She told People, “I went straight from cigarettes into an eating disorder.” Yet, time and again, Collins has overcome adversity. After having spent the past six decades interpreting works by iconic songwriters—Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Stephen Sondheim and others—at the grand old age of 82, legendary folkie Judy Collins sets a new milestone. Making use of the downtime during the pandemic, Collins sat down at the piano and turned her trove of poems into song. The end product is Spellbound (2022), her first-ever collection of entirely original compositions. An Evening With Judy Collins. At Fox Tucson Theatre...

After appearing on various talk shows performing Whitney Houston’s “I Believe in You and Me,” at age 6, Joanna Noëlle Levesque (aka JoJo) was offered a record deal. Her mother turned it down. In 2003, after signing with Blackground Records, JoJo’s debut single “Leave (Get Out)” was certified gold. She was 12 years old. Chart topping pop/R&B singer/actress JoJo brings Trying Not to Think About It (2021), her latest EP. At Rialto Theater...

Set in picaresque vignettes, Saskatchewan multi-instrumentalist Andy Shauf pens songs that explore universal truths. What he calls “a glimpse into the window of how chaotic things were.” Andy Shauf travels beyond The Neon Skyline. At 191 Toole...

Bluegrass Jamboree features Freddy Parish Trio and Cadillac Mountain. At The Gaslight Music Hall (Oro Valley)...

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 9

From London’s West End, this highly polished tribute band pays homage to a ’70s Swedish disco-pop phenomenon. Faithfully recreating the look and sound, ABBA Mania travels through time. At Rialto Theater...

THURSDAY, MARCH 10

Since their formation at the University of North Texas in 2000—where Mike Eli and James Young were dorm roommates their freshman year—the Eli Young Band has landed 14 singles on the Billboard charts, including four No. 1 hits. “Love Talking,” their brand new single, finds the song’s protagonist professing his love. Unlike most country songs, this one isn’t an alcohol-fueled confession. Nope. This guy has “never been more sober” and simply “can’t blame a liquor buzz” for being head over heels. Go figure. Eli Young Band bring Always The Love Songs (2022), their latest EP. At Rial- to Theater...

On their latest single—a reimagined/remixed cover of George Michael’s “Father Figure”—Marta De- Leon and crew deviate from their usual poppy-punky snarling wistfulness to deliver an infectious 4-on-the-floor dance groove. Weekend Lovers offer something fresh. At Hotel Congress Plaza...

Reawakening nostalgic memo- ries of old-school dirty punk, this SoCal three-piece powerhouse offer a unique take on reggae rock. The Resinators. At Chicago Bar...

Until next week, XOXO...


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