Last week was all about country music on Tucson’s live music scene.
This week, it’s all over the board.
We found four shows over the next four days — from Friday, March 2, through Monday, March 5 — that are about as diverse as you can get when it comes to live music.
- Southern blues with grit and grist: Blues and rock guitar great Tinsley Ellis just released his 19th studio album since launching his career in the early 1980s. And it’s apparently a good one: Critic Jon Sobel said the record is “the veteran bluesman at his finest as a songwriter and guitarist.” The Manawatu Guardian said that although it’s too early to pick the year’s best releases, Ellis’ “Winning Hand” will be a contender. Expect to hear snippets of the album, released in January, when he hits the stage at 191 Toole at 8 p.m. Friday, March 2. Tickets are $17 in advance at ticketfly.com or $20 day of show.
- Can I get an a capella: Who says barbershop quartets are for old folks in funky leisure suits and straw hats? The Tucson Barbershop Experience Annual Show on Saturday, March 3, will feature a pair of International Quartet Champions including the 5-year-old SoCal twenty/thirtysomethings group the Newfangled Four, which last year placed ninth in the International Quartet Contest. Also on the lineup: Colorado’s comedy-inclined Storm Front and Amphi High School’s the Perfect Fourth. Saturday’s show starts at 3 p.m. at the Sahuaro High School Auditorium, 545 N. Camino Seco, off East Speedway. Tickets are $20, free for children 12 and younger, through tucsonbarbershopharmony.org
- Pounding to a different beat: The Japanese Taiko drumming ensemble Yamato is edgy and dynamic, daring and mold-shattering, or, in the conclusion of the Times of the UK, a “genuine theatrical experience.” You can reach your own conclusions when this ensemble brings its heart-pounding “The Challengers” show to Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd., at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 4 — one of 30 American cities to get the show. Tickets start at $15 for youths and $20 to $40 for adults at ticketmaster.com
- Give a man a ukulele and stand back: Hawaiian ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro returns to the Rialto Theatre on Monday, March 5, for his first Tucson show since he filled the downtown venue back in summer 2015. Last year he released his first album of original works, “Nashville Sessions,” and he’s bringing along his longtime bassist, Nolan Verner, and guitarist Dave Preston to perform cuts off that album, along with classic Hawaiian ukulele tunes during his high-energy all-ages show beginning at 8 p.m. Monday at the Rialto, 318 E. Congress St. Reserved seat tickets are $28 in advance at ticketfly.com, $37 day of show.