April 30, 2017
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Music Matters: From jazz to Thoughts For Food




Did you give up anything for Lent? Did you know it’s Lent? Sure, Mardi Gras was a couple of days ago. (Remember? You ate a paczki, had some gumbo, woke up trying to remember why you were wearing so many beads and you listened to some great jazz and Creole music?)

Wait, you mean you didn’t go out Tuesday night for some great music? Well, you can make up for that by catching Yves Francois & Rocambu Jazz Saturday night at tg’s.

The band usually performs retro African, Latin and Caribbean grooves. With this show, expect a lot more French, Cajun and Acadian flavors in the mix. It’s basically great party music and the real deal when it comes to Fat Tuesday (or Saturday) partying.

Yves Francois performs starting at 8:30 Saturday night (March 4) at tg’s, 4120 Seventh Ave.

St. Baldrick’s event

Let’s face it, bald is beautiful. Don’t believe me? Head over to the Brat Stop Saturday for a St. Baldrick’s Head Shaving Event to combat childhood cancer.

The idea is simple. People raise money from friends — or kindhearted people at the event — to shave their heads, with the proceeds going to fight childhood cancer. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity that funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. government.

And, as always, bands step up and donate their time and talents for a good cause. Live music will be provided by Royal Bliss (heartland rock), Saddlebrook (country, rock) and Rafael Mendez & the Fabulous House Rockers (blues, rock, Latin, funk). C’mon, it’s for the kids. Find more information at bratstopentertainment.com.

The St. Baldrick’s Head Shaving Event with Royal Bliss starts 2 p.m. Saturday (March 4) at the Brat Stop, 12304 75th St. Consider also donating to the Shaymus Guinn Foundation and Pablove Foundation.

Jazz quartet in town

This is a “save the date” and “get tickets now” notice for a show at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside on March 9.

As part of Jazz Week at UW-Parkside, the Donny McCaslin BLACKSTAR Quartet will perform a free 4 p.m. Master Class for area musicians, music students and the public, followed by a 7:30 concert — also open to the public — in the university’s Frances Bedford Concert Hall.

Recognize that word BLACKSTAR? In 2015, saxophonist McCaslin and his quartet performed with David Bowie on his final album, “Blackstar,” which won multiple 2017 Grammy Awards. McCaslin referred to Bowie as “a visionary artist whose generosity, creative spirit and fearlessness will stay with me the rest of my days.”

McCaslin’s band is comprised of core personnel who performed on ”Blackstar,” among them, bassist Jonathan Maron, drummer Jason Lindner and guitarist Nate Wood — all of whom are scheduled to perform at the UW-Parkside master class and concert.

In case you aren’t a jazz aficionado, McCaslin has been known to go outside the box, too. The quartet’s repertoire is comprised of two Bowie songs; covers of Deadmau5, Mutemath and the Chainsmokers; as well as some McCaslin original tunes.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students with ID, and are available at uwparksidetickets.com (select the music tab) or at the UW-Parkside box office, 262-595-2564. The Jazz Week workshops and performances all take place in Bedford Concert Hall, from March 6 through March 10.

The Donny McCaslin BLACKSTAR Quartet performs at 7:30 p.m. March 9 at UW-Parkside.

Thoughts For Food

Come on, now. There are good reasons to make the quick drive up to Racine. There’s a world-class beach, the Johnson Wax Research Tower, the Racine Zoo, the Sixth Street Theatre — and Thoughts For Food.

Thoughts For Food is a multi-venue benefit concert for the Racine County Food Bank held the first Saturday in March (with an all-ages event the night before).

This is a big year for the event — which was originally internally referred to as “a beer party with music for food” — and is now celebrating its 25th year.

Thoughts For Food has raised more than $400,000 and more than 100,000 pounds of food for the Racine County Food Bank.

This year’s main event on Saturday has about 50 acts performing at 14 venues in the downtown and river north areas of Racine.

Kenosha acts you might recognize include Lyden Moon; Diamond; the Ecolimes; Pierce, Vendetta & Rick; Mark Paffrath — and more.

All of the usual genres are represented, along with Sinatra/Broadway tunes, reggae, Latin, hip hop and something called “cinematic indie.”

Admission for the main event is $15 at the venues, plus two or more non-perishable food items. The all-ages show Friday night features eight top high school-aged acts for $5 and two or more non-perishable food items, held at the Eagles Club just off downtown.

Thoughts For Food is Friday (March 3) and Saturday (March 4) at multiple downtown area locations in Racine. For more details, log on at www.thoughtsforfood.org.

Email me at pjfineran@gmail.com or drop off information at the Kenosha News marked to my attention.


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