Mark your calendars

Thursday, Jan. 17

Nine-time Grammy Award-winning country outfit Asleep at the Wheel holds court at The Fox Tucson Theatre... Loser's Lounge #8 showcases country bluesman Chris Hall, electric witch Hannah Yeun and, of course, the power country of the Hank Topless Band. At Owls Club... Music, poetry and shadow puppets. Poet GennaRose Nethercott is on a book tour in support of The Lumberjack's Doves (Ecco/HarperCollins, 2018). With Vasectomy, Roberto Alejandro and Joseph Parker Okay. At 286 E. Jacinto St... On furlough from the "Pima County Jail," bluesman Austin Counts works out his "Jealous Feelings" at Harbottle Brewing... Nashville music mogul Virginia Cannon presents a Thursday night singer-songwriter showcase. Six performers, four original songs, taking turns round robin. This week features: Freddy Parish & Friends, Lauren Lawson, Harry Leal, Sophia Rankin, Michael Dues, Denise Lane and Joshua McCormack. At Monterey Court... Proffering a mélange of standards, contemporary musical theater and opera, Elliot Jones presides at Piano Bar Thursdays at The Dusty Monk Pub... From her early work on Broadway with You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown to her latest album, The Art of Elegance, star of stage and screen Kristin Chenoweth, backed by the illustrious Tucson Symphony Orchestra, present a program that spans her career. At the Tucson Convention Center... Fine though perhaps not so young cannibals The Flesh Eaters pounce hungrily into 191 Toole. With local support from The Mission Creeps. DJ Kid Congo Powers spins...

Friday, Jan. 18

Psych Circus—featuring The Desert Beats, Silver Cloud Express, Birds and Arrows and Grand Voodoo Band—interrupts your regularly scheduled programming, using surreality and the power of rock 'n' roll to twist your mind and ultimately free your soul. At 191 Toole. "Take the ride..." New Orleans sensation Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue dazzles at UA Centennial Hall... And before the show, whet your appetite with the aromas and sounds of The French Quarter. The Muffulettas dish up at Main Gate Square... "This is a band who refuse to merely glide on past glories," says Classic Rock Magazine. Winger perdures at The Rialto Theater. With Hands & Feet and Push... Ambient alt-rockers Moontrax boldly go where no man has gone before at The District Tavern. DJ bluedream spins... Vocalist Liz Cerepanya and guitarist T. Greg Squires confederate to form a homegrown union of Southwest indie-folk. Big Grin at Sand-Reckoner... Folk harp and viola delicately commingle to arrive at a mysterious landing. Mariah McCammond and Deanna Cross are The Hatpin Duo. At The Dusty Monk Pub... Tracing back the roots of country music, from the Appalachian Mountains to the flats of Bakersfield, Freddy Parish's monthly residency continues. Dry 'n' Dusty at Exo Roast Co... Jazz vocalist Sheila Jordan and double bassist Cameron Brown perform at the Temple of Music and Art... From the honkytonk to roadhouse, The Last Call Girls promise a good time. At Monterey Court...

Saturday, Jan. 19

click to enlarge Chrome Sparks - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Chrome Sparks

Self-described as "United Nations house band of 1962 meets Lawrence Welk on acid," Pink Martini is in cahoots with the mighty Tucson Symphony Orchestra in a program that effortlessly straddles the border wall between jazz, Latin, pop and classical music. José Luis Gomez is at the podium. At the Tucson Convention Center... From vastly divergent backgrounds, each of these acclaimed artists have been baptized in the melting pot that is American music. The American Crossroads Trio featuring David Bromberg, Larry Campbell and David Hidalgo arrive at The Rialto Theater. With Jordan Tice... Inspired by soul, folk and rock, singer-songwriter Adam Michael Townsend performs in the tasting room at Sand-Reckoner... Brooklynite Jeremy Malvin's indie electronic project is equally suited to moving on the dancefloor and to chilling out. Chrome Sparks get lit at 191 Toole. Flanked by Teen Daze and Max Jaffe... Looking for the best jazz the Old Pueblo has to offer? The Jazz Guild of Tucson presents the Foothills Jazz Fest. On the menu: Tucson Jazz Institute, Naim Amor Trio, Glen Gross Group and Paul Green & Bryan Dean Blues Machine perform at Caffe Torino... Help Old Paint Records blow out five candles on their birthday cake while DJ Buttafly spins... '80s Night at Sky Bar sees Phoenix's Paper Foxes dishing their Pop Confessions. With Double Deputy and Liquid Summer. DJ A Claire Slattery spins... Masters Of Puppets pays tribute to Metallica in an evening of reverence that includes Faceless worshipping the music of Godsmack and Wild Side reliving the heady days of Motley Crüe. The "Sanitarium" gates open at Club XS... With technical precision, this esteemed collective transform alternative/pop/rock into classical ensemble compositions. The Portland Cello Project perform at Crowder Hall...

Sunday, Jan. 20

Transforming a concert hall into a playground, Bobby McFerrin will take the stage with members of his groundbreaking a cappella group Voicestra. Together they will lead circlesongs and choral pieces based on irresistible grooves, spontaneously composed each night—it's rumored that sometimes they pull in the entire audience to sing along. At The Fox Theatre... The Foothills Jazz Fest continues with Robin Bessier Quartet, The Einweck Experience, Amphi Funky Panthers and The Brito Project. With a special guest you've seen on SNL, David Letterman and in The Blues Brothers. Trombonist Tom "Bones" Malone. At Caffe Torino... Inducted in 2000, Arizona Blues Hall of Famer Heather "Lil' Mama" Hardy holds sway at Public Brewhouse... Hungry? Like a side of funk with your scrambled eggs? Mik & The Funky Brunch are at La Cocina... Alternate Frequencies presents One Last Dance at the Galactic Center. A night of ecstatic dance. DJs Smashed Barry and Moxee spin...

Monday, Jan. 21

DownBeat Magazine says pianist Cynthia Hilts' album Lyric Fury is "one of the more outrageous releases of 2017. Designed to challenge and entertain, start to finish." Cynthia Hilts & No Fiction—featuring saxophonist Mike Moynihan, trombonist Rob Boone, violinist Michael Fan, bassist Lee Gardner and trapsman Pete Swan—perform as part of Downtown Jazz Fiesta on the Connect Stage... Downtown Jazz Fiesta is a free event held on multiple stages, indoors and out, throughout downtown on MLK Day. The MLK Stage features performances by trumpeter Jason Carder, pianist Larry Redhouse, legendary conguero Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Band and saxophonist Brice Winston. The Connect Stage showcases Mariachi Aztlan de Pueblo, Purple Spectre and saxophonist Jeff Grubic & Haboob. Described by jazz vocalist Jon Hendricks as "one of the baddest pianists out there today," Lenore Raphael tickles the ivories on the Playground Stage... The bedroom pop of Lonely Hunting, the psyche-tropic lullaby that is westOasis and the emo of Fentanvl Donut will take you into altered states at Owls Club... During the late 1960s and early '70s, this guitarist honed his chops on the rough and tumble side of San Jose, California. A place where the street-tough Mexican Americans, with their soul music, and the counterculture hippies, with their blues and rock, came together to party and listen to tunes. Soul shaking blues-rockers Tommy Castro and The Painkillers bring their raw sound to 191 Toole. With Neil Gregory Johnson... And closing out Tucson Jazz Festival 2019, Hotel Congress plaza is the place for Jazz Fest MLK Day Afterparty. Featuring Street Blues Family and members of Mesquite...

Tuesday, Jan. 22

Like the legendary flower, known as "Mexico's love potion numero uno," the Latin Grammy-winning all-female mariachi Flor De Toloache casts spells at 191 Toole... Spanning four decades, their career has taken them from "being paid with half a crate of beer" to performing at the Rewind Festival in 2018 with "35,000 people going wild," reminisced Andy McCluskey. Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark sashay into the Rialto Theater with Tucson transplants Birds and Arrows... Have a song that's gone unsung? The Acoustic Showcase at Public Brewhouse offers a platform. This installment features sets by Kristen Garvin, J.P. Schreiber, Norman Kibble and Max Mileage... This folk/Americana singer-songwriter has been described as an "androgynous, free spirit, visionary, survivor." With wings on his back, Adam Smith gives us "Something To Believe In" at Monterey Court. With Mark Browning Milner... Singer-songwriter Juliana Warkentin shines brightly at The Royal Sun...

Wednesday, Jan. 23

Arizona Friends of Chamber Music presents celebrated artists from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, including pianist Wu Han and cellist David Finckel. The program offers an evening of Romantic Era piano quartets by Johannes Brahms, Antonín Dvorak and Josef Suk. Sure to foster pipe dream fantasy. At Leo Rich Theater... Out on his No Rest For The West Tour, Canadian country and western singer Corb Lund is coming to "Run This Town." At 191 Toole. With honky-tonker Jason Eady... Gary Mackender, Karl Hoffmann and Billy Yates, otherwise known as The Carnivaleros Trio, add a few secret herbs and spices (use your imagination) into a savory stockpot of zydeco, polka y Tex-Mex and bring it to a roiling boil at Public Brewhouse... Metallists Sweat, Warmonger and Dayak rage at Club Congress... Indie bluegrass/country combo October Intuition perform "eclectic covers" at The Royal Sun... And, Timeless Minstrel, singer-songwriter Mike Wozniak captures the grit of growing up around the steel mills of Chicago in song. At Monterey Court...

Thursday, Jan. 24

During the 1970s, with chart toppers "Me and Bobby McGee," "Help Me Make It Through the Night," "Sunday Morning Coming Down" and "For the Good Times," this outlaw songwriter helped redefine country music. Kris Kristofferson & The Strangers are at The Fox Theatre... Propelled by sound, featuring the entertainers of Tucson Libertine League, Reveal: A Debut of Burlesque Performances tantalizes the senses at 191 Toole... His songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Doug Sahm, Nanci Griffith, K.D. Lang, Joe Ely and numerous others. In a rare performance, singer-songwriter/essayist/painter Tom Russell is in the Copper Room at Hotel Congress... Theirs is a decidedly metropolitan sound. A soul-drenched reflection of life in the urban jungle of NYC. On The Sun "Get Focused" at Sky Bar. With Jillian Bessett and Keli Carpenter...

click to enlarge Edgar Loudermilk - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Edgar Loudermilk

On The Horizon

Saturday, Jan. 26, and Sunday, Jan. 27, bluegrass fans should plan on taking a day trip to Casa Grande for the Agri-Country Bluegrass Festival. This forgathering showcases some of the top bluegrass acts in the nation: Edgar Loudermilk featuring guitarist Jeff Autry, Cedar Hill, The Titan Valley Warheads, Jam Pak, Dusty River and James Reams & The Barnstormers. At the Pinal Fairgrounds & Events Center... Part of the Tucson Desert Song Festival, Arizona Friends of Chamber Music presents Te Amo, Argentina. Utilizing song, film, dance and spoken word, Antonio Lysy's tango imbued work for solo cello and small ensemble extracts the essence of Argentina. On Thursday, Jan 31. At Leo Rich Theater... Finally, revitalized after a six-year creative dormancy between albums, Reel Big Fish's Life Sucks...Let's Dance Tour flails into The Rock on Saturday, Feb. 2...

Until next week, XOXO...


More by Xavier Omar Otero


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