Summer arts preview: Top 5 music picks
The world’s most acclaimed mandolinist in multiple styles — including bluegrass, classical, jazz and points in between — San Diego native Chris Thile shines whether performing solo or with his genre-leaping band, Punch Brothers. Happily, he’ll be doing both here this summer. Chris Thile: 7:30 p.m. June 17. California Center for the Arts, Escondido, 340 North Escondido Blvd., Escondido. $25-$49.50. (858) 988-2453. artscenter.org. Punch Brothers, with Madison Cunningham: 8 p.m. Aug. 27. Observatory North Park, 2891 University Ave., North Park. $37-$39. (619) 239-8836. ticketweb.com
2018 A Ship in the Woods Music & Art Festival
In 2016, the Escondido arts collective A Ship in the Woods staged the first San Diego concert in years by the 41-year-old English indie-rock band The Mekons, which took place at Felicita County Park in Escondido. Now comes an expanded two-day festival at the same location. The lineup mixes such alluring national acts as Built To Spill, Bill Callahan and No Age with San Diego’s Spooky Cigarette and works by an array of local visual artists. 11:30 a.m. June 16 and 17. Felicita County Park, 3007 Felicita Road, Escondido. $60 (daily ticket), $100 (two-day pass), $180 (two-day VIP pass). (858) 349-2636. www.shipfest.org/
Janelle Monáe, with St. Beauty
Neo-R&B vocal dynamo and cultural provocateur Janelle Monáe has evolved dramatically since her local debut here in 2010, when she delivered a tentative (and mostly pre-recorded) opening set for Erykah Badu at Humphreys Concerts by the Bay. Now on tour to promote “Dirty Computer,” her first album in five years, the charismatic singer and actress (“Hidden Figures”) is poised to shake things up anew. 7:30 p.m. June 20. Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre at SDSU, 5500 Campanile Drive, SDSU. $29.50-$69.50. (800) 645-3000. ticketmaster.com
Remembering Butch Lacy
Before he moved to Denmark in 1982, former Sarah Vaughan pianist and musical director Butch Lacy was a mainstay of the San Diego jazz scene. He died in April, at the age of 70 in Denmark, where he had a prolific career as a performer, recording artist and music professor whose students included future Prince bassist Ida Nielsen. Lacy’s rich legacy will be saluted at Dizzy’s by some of the area’s leading jazz artists, including guitarist Peter Sprague, drummer Duncan Moore, bassist Gunnar Biggs, saxophonist Mark Lessman and keyboardist Barnaby Finch. 8 p.m. June 29. Dizzy’s, Arias Hall (behind the Musician’s Association building), 1717 Morena Blvd., Bay Park. $20. (858) 270-7467 dizzysjazz.com
Lyle Lovett & His Large Band
Concerts by esteemed Texas troubadour Lyle Lovett and his finely calibrated band have become an almost annual tradition at Humphreys. His vibrant songs expertly draw from country, blues, gospel, swing and more to create a scintillating blend that is as accomplished as it is thoroughly enjoyable. 8 p.m. Sept. 11. Humphreys Concerts by the Bay, 2241 Shelter Island Drive, Shelter Island. $65. (800) 745-3000. ticketmaster.com.
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