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XOXO...

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Crave diversity? The week ahead in music couldn't be more so. Let's indulge.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS...

Thursday, Jan 11: Tonight, the big brash sound of Hypnotic Brass Ensemble kicks off Tucson Jazz Festival at The Rialto Theater. This annual festival has become a destination event drawing enthusiasts from around the planet. The Jazz Fest runs Jan 11-21. See tucsonjazzfestival.org for complete line-up and more deets... During the mid-'80s, along with fellow Sidewinder David Slutes, Rich Hopkins became known as one of the progenitors of the desert rock sound. Today, Rich Hopkins and The Luminarios, like Mexican jumping cactus, will attach themselves to your skin at Tap and Bottle...

Friday, Jan 12: Fronted by musical shapeshifter Jacob Acosta, Mason cast their heavy blues-based rock 'n' roll thunder down upon the Saint Charles Tavern... In a push away from mainstream EDM towards the underground, Club Congress hosts an evening of left-field electronica. Featuring Lasso, Sunfucked and Fleece Deejays... From Africa's Ivory Coast, Solidarite Sympa will give out the good vibes at Monterey Court. Their sound merges traditional African music, reggae and pop. This is rich, percussive-driven music that will propel your body into movement. Wear your dancing shoes... Relive the heady days of the Sunset Strip when men wore makeup, dressed in spandex and sang songs about looking for "Nothing But A Good Time" and a penchant for "Cherry Pie." A night of big haired '80s metal awaits when MetalHead besiege Club XS. With The Jack and Drop D... Acclaimed as "One of today's preeminent violinists," by The New York Times, virtuoso Gil Shaham makes his debut performance with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra at the Tucson Convention Center. Tchaikovsky's breathtakingly beautiful Violin Concerto, Romeo and Juliet Overture and Rachmaninoff's Vocalise for Orchestra are featured on the program. With José Luis Gomez at the podium... Capturing the élan of a New York City speakeasy during Prohibition, The Hot Sardines (Universal Music Classics, 2014) debuted in the Top 10, alongside pop/jazz legend Tony Bennett, and spent over a year on the Billboard Jazz Charts. Impressive. Discover what the hot fuss is all about when The Hot Sardines waft into The Fox Theatre...

Saturday, Jan 13: Tucson favorites The Paladins, led by guitarist Dave Gonzalez and and double bassist Thomas Yearsley, pals since high school, deliver their sultry American roots/rockabilly to 191 Toole. With blues guitarist extraordinaire Mike Hebert Prison Band... Psychedelic dream-poppers Mute Swan float into Che's Lounge. With Phoenix's Citrus Clouds... Guitarist/banjo player/singer-songwriter Freddy Parrish performs original and classic country drawing inspiration from Hank Williams and Waylon Jennings at Exo Roast Co. This is the sound of loneliness... Composer/conductor/top-tier trumpeter Matt Holman brings his distinguished sound to Club Congress... Formed in Los Angeles circa 1965, The Sloths scored a radio hit with the single "Makin' Love" before their demise. Well, they're back. The Sloths will resurrect their tuneful '60s garage rock from the mausoleum at The Flycatcher for all to behold. With the psychedelic/British Invasion/'70s power pop splendor of The Resonars and the Delta bubblegum/punk of Whispering Wires...

Sunday, Jan 14: With music swimming in her family's gene pool; she made her first public performance at the age of 5. Fifty years later, Sheila E. is out touring in support of her latest album Iconic (Pledge Music). Singer-songwriter, world-class percussionist, author, humanitarian, actress and all-around badass Sheila E. will light up The Rialto Theater...

Monday, Jan 15: Known for marrying pop sensibilities with old school gypsy jazz, The Black Market Trust are holding a party, celebrating their latest album Folk Songs at Club Congress... Josh Ritter & The Royal City Band will paint vivid pictures with words and quaint Americana stylings at the Rialto Theater...

Tuesday, Jan 16: Mainstays on the indie pop scene for the past three decades, Pinback are out in support of Information Retrieved (Temporary Residence Ltd.) their fifth studio album. Five years in the making, this album finds Rob Crow and Zach Smith in top form. At 191 Toole. With the synth/joke rock of Major Entertainer...

Wednesday, Jan 17: Grammy Award winners Takács Quartet launch Arizona Friends of Chamber Music into its 2018 season at Leo Rich Theater. Mozart: String Quartet No. 21 ("The Violet"), with cello being the featured voice, Dohnányi: Quartet No. 2, Op. 15 and Brahms final string quartet No. 3, Op. 67 comprise the program... A native of Minsk, Belarus, praised for his technique and virtuosity, violinist Yevgeny Kutik performs at UA Centennial Hall. The program features the Tucson premiere of Music from the Suitcase: A Collection of Russian Miniatures (Marquis Classics, 2014) and Felix Mendelssohn's Violin Sonata in F...

Thursday, Jan 18: With 23 albums and a Grammy Award to her credit, Singer/pianist Diane Schuur Quartet will entertain at The Fox Theatre. Their repertoire—which mixes Latin, pop, country and gospel—showcases Schuur's formidable voice and perfect-pitch...

HOT WAX...

The chorus to "St. Peter" finds Austin Counts and Tom Walbank's whiskey and cigarette voices melding into sweetly pained harmony supplicating for divine intercession. Although, it appears that St. Peter has turned a deaf ear. "Woah Lord/Saint Peter can't you help me.../Can't you hear me calling your name?" The duo—performing on acoustic guitars, accented by Walbank's unyielding harmonica playing—were recorded during a broadcast of KXCI's Locals Only: Live in Studio 2A in August 2017, "Right after Tom and I got off the road playing some out-of-town gigs," says Counts. Available on iTunes, Soundcloud and Spotify. Counts and Walbank celebrate the release of Live at KXCI (Lonesome Desert Records) with a party, of course, on Thursday, Jan 18 at Tap & Bottle... Saturday, Jan 20 marks the release of The Exbats latest, I Got The Hots for Charlie Watts, on über-hip Burger Records, with an all-ages tape release soirée at D&D Pinball. Like Buddhist monks seeking equilibrium, Bisbee darlings The Exbats teeter between bubblegum pop and slashing garage rock riffage. With unabashed candor too often conditioned out by adulthood, "Mr. Bucky" explores adolescent lust. Singer/drummer Inez McClain has the moxie to deliver the knockout punch. "I wanna fuck Mr. Bucky/And you do too/Don't lie it wouldn't be yucky at all..." And, apparently grandma, the neighbors and the dog all wanna have a go at Mr. Bucky. Fiendishly rad... Often he can be found busking in the Fourth Avenue underpass, voice resonating gloriously throughout the tunnel. Poetically, he wears the mask and cape of Zorro. Nobody aka Willis Earl Beal's instrument—that magnificent, soulful voice—is a lethal weapon possessing the stopping power of a Colt 45. No joke. Nobody is releasing a special limited edition boxset. Turn, Circle, Sun & Moon is the artist's fifth full-length recording. Largely uncategorizable, his work spans from the lo-fi experimental to neo-soul. Between the messages of love and societal decay, this record captures something mystical and marks a cryptic metamorphosis. Says Nobody, "There is a brief space between dark & light, day & night; between micro-turns of the planet; when it's possible for a sensitive animal to be changed into something else entirely." Available on Spotify and Soundcloud... Raw and passionate, Gabi Montoya singer-guitarist of JuJu Fontaine is a force of nature. Their sound? Edgy alt-country/indie folk-rock. "Lost Your Hold" explores the addictiveness of love and the furrowed road to redemption. "So long I've lived in my loneliness,I made it my home.../I keep poking at the pain, I've had no hope to heal.../You're my chemical dependence/Tasty habit to kick/But now I can't find my friend/My face is bathed in gold/I think I'm living in the light/You may have lost your hold." JuJu Fontaine's self-titled debut EP is available on bandcamp. They perform with COVE at Bar Passé on Saturday, Jan 13...

ON THE HORIZON...

Exploding from the underground into the mainstream, devoted enthusiasts of EDM and jam be warned. Gem & Jam Festival returns for its 12th installment to the Pima County Fairgrounds on Jan 25-28.... Bun B—rapper (UGK), record producer and distinguished lecturer at Rice University—will headline Tucson Hip Hop Festival along with a who's who list of local artists. The badassery takes place on Saturday, Feb 24 at 191 Toole...

Until next week, XOXO... ■

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