Spring arts 2018: 10 things to watch in music this season
If spring extended until the end of the year, there would still be far more concerts in San Diego than would be humanly — or financially — possible to attend.
With that in mind, it may help a bit that some alluring options are already sold out, including Kate Nash’s April show at Observatory North Park, GoGo Penguin’s May gig at The Loft at UC San Diego and Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite’s three May dates at the Belly Up. Here, in chronological order, are our top picks.
Mark Dresser Quintet
Expect a night of dazzling aural adventure when San Diego contrabass great Mark Dresser is joined by a stellar band featuring the superb flutist Nicole Mitchell, rising piano phenom Joshua White and trombonist Michael Dessen. 8 p.m. Friday. Dizzy’s, Arias Hall (behind the Musician’s Association building), 1717 Morena Blvd., Bay Park. $20. (858) 270-7467. dizzysjazz.com
Etienne Charles & Creole Soul
Etienne Charles is an acclaimed Trinidadian trumpeter and a professor at Michigan State University. With his vibrant band, he explores the musical links between the Caribbean and Latin and North America. 7:30 p.m. April 4. Athenaeum Jazz at TSRI Auditorium, 10620 John Jay Hopkins Drive, La Jolla. $30 and $35. (858) 454-5872. ljathenaeum.org/jazz-at-tsri
Miguel, with SiR and Nonchalant Savant
Born Miguel Jontel Pimentel, this charismatic Los Angeles singer shines whether performing electro-funk, rock, pop, hip-hop or psychedelic soul, or expertly mixing them together. 7 p.m. April 17. Humphreys Concerts by the Bay, 2241 Shelter Island Drive, Shelter Island. $47.50. (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com
Flaco & Friends
Texas-born accordion legend Leonardo “Flaco” Jiménez counts Bob Dylan, Ry Cooder and Freddy Fender among his many past collaborators. His propulsive Tex-Mex music is a dancer’s delight. 8 p.m. April 21. Sycuan Casino — Live & Up Close, 5469 Casino Way, El Cajon. $39-$49; must be 21 or older to attend. (619) 445-6002. sycuan.com
Anthony Davis and Mark Dresser
Pianist Anthony Davis and contrabassist Mark Dresser have been making envelope-pushing music together since the late 1970s in everything from small bands to operas. Their joint concert will feature composed and improvised duets and solo pieces. 7 p.m. May 2. Conrad Prebys Concert Hall, UC San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla. $10.50-$15.50. (858) 534-3448. musicweb.ucsd.edu
On her terrific new album, “Ventriloquism,” veteran singer and bassist Meshell Ndegeocello puts her very distinctive spin on timeless chestnuts by everyone from Prince, Sade and Tina Turner to TLC, George Clinton and Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam. 8 p.m. May 8. Music Box, 1337 India St., downtown. $37; must be 21 or older to attend. (619) 795-1337. musicboxsd.frontgatetickets.com
Slayer, with Lamb of God, Anthrax, Behemoth and Testament
The exact reasons Slayer is retiring after its farewell tour — which opens here — are unclear. But its leader, Tom Araya did tell an interviewer: “I had neck surgery, so I can’t headbang anymore.” Even with that impediment, expect a marathon show of visceral heavy metal by five bands with proven mettle. 5 p.m. May 10. Valley View Casino Center, 3500 Sports Arena Blvd., Midway District. $59.50-$64.50. (888) 929-7849. axs.com
Armed with a ferocious new album, “Jericho Sirens” — which is the first new release by Hot Snakes in almost 14 years — this legendary San Diego punk-rock band is still co-led by Rick Froberg and Rocket From The Crypt mastermind John Reis. Their full-throttle songs have a velocity bands far younger can only dream of duplicating, coupled with a command of musical craft that only comes with experience. 9 p.m. May 11. Observatory North Park, 2891 University Ave., North Park. $25. (619) 239-8836. ticketweb.com
“Top Dawg Entertainment: The Championship Tour,” featuring Kendrick Lamar and SZA
Fresh from his four most recent Grammy Award victories in February and his chart-topping “Black Panther” film soundtrack album, hip-hop maverick Kendrick Lamar is on a major roll. The presence of SZA gives this seven-act lineup extra punch. 7:30 p.m. May 13. Mattress Firm Amphitheatre, 2050 Entertainment Circle, Chula Vista. $39.50-$149.50. (800) 745-3000. livenation.com
Anyone who doubts that the highly enteraining Chris Thile is the world’s most virtuosic and versatile mandolinist should attend this Grammy Award-winning San Diego native’s solo concert. Then, be prepared to count the number of times your jaw hits the floor. 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
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