.Calendar Picks: Week of Feb. 15-21

THURSDAY

LECTURE

MARK MONTGOMERY FRENCH 

Mark Montgomery French’s upcoming lecture-experience title speaks for itself: “All Your Favorite Music Is (Probably) Black.” There’s no better event to celebrate Black History Month and no better person to deliver it than French, a composer and music historian. The highly immersive talk strikes a perfect balance of educational, humorous and engaging discussion, with expected and surprising visual and sonic connections. Lil Nas X, Talking Heads, BTS and Tina Bell are just a few artists who come up. No matter the band, French will deepen the listening experience. – ADDIE MAHMASSANI

INFO: 7pm, Rhythmix Cultural Works, 2513 Blanding Ave., Alameda. $20/adv, $30/door. 510.865.5060.

THURSDAY

JAZZ

SEIBERLICH QUINTET CD RELEASE

Anyone paying attention to the Bay Area music scene probably knows of Jonathan Seiberlich, even if they aren’t aware of it. He’s played with the Grateful Brass, the San Francisco Symphony and many more. If none of those ring a bell, then maybe his work with Sigur Ros, Veronica Swift or the California Honeydrops might sound familiar. This Thursday, he releases Isolation Suite, his latest album on Slow & Steady Records. It’s a study of sound, silence and emotion composed during the Covid lockdowns. Arranged for a New Orleans-style jazz band, the five compositions traverse from loud and explosive to soft and contemplative, showcasing the author’s experience processing a time when the world shut down. – MAT WEIR

INFO: 7:30pm, Sound Room, 3022 Broadway, Oakland. $20. 510.708.9691. 

FRIDAY

JAZZ

KAY KOSTOPOLOUS & JOHNNY LONELY

For those who appreciate a more ironic take on Valentine’s Day, the Back Room will host a roast of romance delivered via jazz comedy. Jazz vocalist, actor and director Kay Kostopolous joins forces with tragicomic “Maestro of Misery” Johnny Lonely for a night of original comic jazz, jazz standards and sad, sultry torch songs accompanied by J. Raoul Brody on piano, Andrew Higgins on bass and special-guest sax master Noel Jewkes. Tunes like “A Match Made in Hell,” “Lonelyville,” “Prisoner of Love” and “Contraception” will blend humor, heartbreak and harmony. – SONYA BENNETT-BRANDT

INFO: 7pm, The Back Room, 1984 Bonita Ave., Berkeley. $25. 510.381.1997.

FRIDAY

BLUES

MARK HUMMEL’S BLUES HARMONICA BLOWOUT

Mark Hummel’s Blues Harmonica Blowout is a Bay Area institution. The show started one fateful night in 1991 at Ashkenaz in Berkeley and ballooned into three decades of star-studded celebrations of the mouth harp across California, the country and the world. Grammy-nominated Blues Award-winning Mark Hummel is joined by other blues luminaries like Lee Oskar, Kenny Neal, Jason Ricci, Chris Cain and Andrew Alli. The evening will bring blues, funk and jazz flavors from Louisiana, Memphis, Virginia and more. – SB

INFO: 8pm, Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison St., Berkeley. $45/adv, $50/door. 510.644.2020.

SATURDAY

JAZZ

THE BAD PLUS

New York-based jazz-fusion virtuosos the Bad Plus have been around for more than two decades and are still releasing records that stop fans in their tracks. They started as a piano/bass/drums trio but have evolved into a quartet with the addition of Chris Speed on tenor sax and clarinet. Their most recent effort, Electric Face, has received high praise. Bassist Reid Anderson says, “If after more than 20 years you can put out a record that has the energy of a debut album, to me, that’s saying something. It’s what reinventing yourself is all about.” – AM

INFO: 8pm, The UC Theatre, 2036 University Ave., Berkeley. $40. 510.356.4000.

SATURDAY

EMD

WRECKNO

Though they might’ve been born in a small Michigan town, the queer DJ, artist and producer Wreckno has become one of EDM’s fastest-rising stars. They’ve played the festival circuit scene, and their wild outfits are always on point. The “Full Time Bussy Bopper” mixes elements of bass and hip-hop, collaborating with names like Steve Aoki, Griz and Liquid Stranger. Never one to be silenced, Wreckno has become a significant icon in the electronic world, a genre that is surprisingly lacking in queer visibility. Wreckno’s Party Girl Tour has Zen Selekta behind the decks. – MW

INFO: 9pm, New Parish, 1743 San Pablo Ave., Oakland. $25. 510.227.8177. 

SUNDAY

RECITAL

ERIN MORLEY & MALCOLM MARTINEAU

Lovers of all things opera in the Bay Area can always count on Cal Performances to land plum performers like coloratura soprano Erin Morley and pianist Malcolm Martineau. Morley’s crystalline vocal emissions have yet to find an impossible-to-cavort upper register passage in the classical music canon; Martineau excels in chameleon-like performances that offer grace, thunder, lightheartedness, pathos, sensitivity and bold expressions. The concert is a full-spectrum encounter with an aggressively diverse repertoire from among the finest composers for operatic voice: Bizet, Rachmaninoff, Strauss, Berg, John Woods Duke, Arthur Sullivan and more. – LOU FANCHER

INFO: 3pm, UC Berkeley, Hertz Hall, 101 Cross-Sproul Path, Berkeley. $67 – $72. 510.642.0212.

TUESDAY

FLAMENCO

OTTMAR LIEBERT & LUNA NEGRA

Since German-born guitarist Ottmar Liebert launched the first incarnation of his band Luna Negra in Santa Fe 35 years ago, he’s gained an international audience with his distinctive blend of flamenco, jazz and various Latin American idioms. With over a million copies sold, his 1990 debut album, Nuevo Flamenco, established a template that served him well. While the musicians in his band continue to change, Liebert remains rooted in Andalusian duende. His being an ordained Zen monk adds an intriguing dimension to the melancholy thread running through his music. – ANDREW GILBERT

INFO: 8pm, Yoshi’s, 510 Embarcadero West, Oakland. $35. 510.238.9200.

WEDNESDAY

FOLK

EMMA’S REVOLUTION

There’s no way to resist running pronto to get tickets for Emma’s Revolution (musicians and activists Pat Humphries and Sandy O). Why would anyone even try? And this show is being filmed for a documentary. Several guest artists are joining them, such as the incomparable electric guitarist Shelley Doty of Skip the Needle, the legendary Holly Near, million-dollar drummer David Rokeach, and fearless hot-lick fiddler and songwriter Gina Forsyth. It might be winter in the Bay Area, but this evening guarantees heat as folk-lovers stomp booted feet for peace, clap mittened hands for social justice and sing along to restore a strife-torn, worn soul. – LF

INFO: 8pm, Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison St., $25/adv, $30/door. 510.644.2020.

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