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Grammy-winning rapper Nas will perform ‘Illmatic’ with San Diego Symphony

Rapper Nas performs his classic debut album, "Illmatic," in 2014
Rapper Nas is shown with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The performance was part of the “One Mic: Hip-Hop Culture Worldwide” festival. Nas will perform Tuesday with the San Diego Symphony and his band at downtown’s new $85 million Rady Shell at Jacobs Park.
(Kyle Gustafson / For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Humphreys hosts The English Beat and El Vez for food bank fundraiser, while Six String Society presents all-San Diego lineup at Belly Up (plus Lady Gaga’s keyboardist)

Nas, with the San Diego Symphony

In 2005, Jay-Z became the first hip-hop star to perform with a full orchestra. Since then, a number of rappers — including Kendrick Lamar, Common, Sir Mix-A-Lot and Roddy Ricch — have followed suit.

But Nas is the only hip-hop artist to have teamed with the National Symphony Orchestra for a joint 2014 concert that, in 2018, was televised as a PBS “Great Performances” episode and released as a live album (replete with an “explicit lyrics” warning label).

Together, Nas and the NSO performed his landmark 1994 debut album, “Illmatic,” in its entirety. Nas, 47, will reprise his orchestral “Illmatic” concert here Tuesday with his four-piece band and the San Diego Symphony, conducted by Enrico Lopez-Yañez. The concert’s second half will feature Nas and his band on their own.

7:30 p.m. Tuesday. The Shell at Jacobs Park, 200 Marina Park Way, downtown. $55-$200. (619) 235-0804; theshell.org

The English Beat, Creepxotica, El Vez and Tiki Tronic

How many designated drivers will attend tonight’s Cutwater Spirits’ annual Tiki Bash benefiting the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank?

Quite a lot, possibly, since designated drivers’ tickets are $15 less than for those who sample the San Diego-based distillery’s wares.

Tiki Bash’s musical lineup includes San Diego punk-rock pioneer Robert Lopez, who for the past three decades has thrived as El Vez, “the Mexican Elvis.” His repertoire includes “You Ain’t Nothing But a Chihuahua,” “G.I. Ay, Ay! Blues” and “Graciasland.”

6 tonight, Friday, Aug. 6. Humphreys Concerts by the Bay, 2241 Shelter Island Drive, Shelter Island. $40 and $25 (designated drivers); must be 21or older to attend. sandiegofoodbank.org

Six String Society presents “Rise and Shine,” hosted by Gregory Page, with Taryn Donath, The Sleepwalkers, Jimmy Patton & Enrique Platas, Brockett Parsons and special guest Whitney Shay

Six San Diego artists, all well worth seeing, will be featured at the first Six String Society-produced concert to be held since before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

The one non-local is Lady Gaga band member Brockett Peters. He will perform on a Brock 360 PianoArc, a circular electric keyboard created by La Jolla instrument-building wiz Dave Starkey. It has 288 keys — three 88-note sets of grand piano keys, each with eight extra keys. If all goes according to plan, Parsons will play it in the middle of the audience, not on the stage.

8 p.m. Wednesday. Belly Up, 143 South Cedros Ave., Solana Beach. $22 (general admission), $39 (reserved loft seating); must be 21 or older to attend. (858) 481-8140; bellyup.com.


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