Zaorski is a fantastic old-time, 1930s-style jazz vocalist and torch singer in the vein of greats like Mildred Bailey, Billie Holiday and even the posthumously adored Karen Dalton. Her bandmates have a wonderful feel for the subtle nuances of acoustic swing and AmericaOld-Time na, and her vampy persona and Betty Boop-ish stage demeanor are spot-on. This singer and her cohorts are like a rare, crackly 78 acetate come to glorious life. Despite the fact that it can often be difficult to hear and see the performers at this swanky subterranean eatery once it fills up, this is definitely a place to be this weekend. Sat., 9 pm & Sun., 7 pm, Jazz’d Tapas Bar.
The Dan Baraszu Trio
The latest in an ongoing series of live jazz concerts designed to both entertain and expose music lovers to the wonders of this lauded modern art museum features a Detroit-born, Atlanta-based guitarist and composer who’s been playing for a quarter century. Smitten by the fretwork of the late, great Wes Montgomery, Baraszu devoted himself to his instrument and studied professionally, earning a degree in Jazz Composition and Arranging from Berklee College of Music and a Masters in Jazz Pedagogy from the University of Miami.
Nightfall, his debut CD as band leader is earning quite a bit of airplay, and critics are taking note of his percussive approach to single-note leads and refreshing blend of jazz and funk (which he has termed “modern bop). $10 admission for ALL-AGES. All museum exhibits will be open during the show, and refreshments will be available. Fri., 6 pm, Jepson Center for The Arts.
The Groove Eclectic
After what seemed like an extended absence (due in part to the hectic live schedule they were maintaining for a while), vocalist Leslie Gadson is back gigging around town with her popular Savannah-based funk/R & B/gospel/soul/jam quintet A Nickel Bag of Funk. That group’s upbeat blend of sultry slow jams and steamy dance numbers made them a favorite at area nightspots, but as is often the case in this market, sometimes it’s more practical to keep things simple and bare. Enter The Groove Eclectic, a three-piece lineup. Thurs., 10 pm, Mercury Lounge.
Pianist Hong Xu
The Savannah Concert Association welcomes this 24-year-old native of China who moved to the U.S. to study music and has played with major orchestras for almost a decade — and given solo recitals in five countries. Last fall he made his debut in Carnegie Hall. This program includes works by Mozart, Stravinsky and Prokofiev. $12.50 - $35 tickets at www.lucastheatre.com or call 525-5050. Sat., 8 pm, Lucas Theatre.
This atmospheric Atlanta post-rock quintet is surely one to watch. Alternately dreamy and anthemic, they feature former members of the underrated Sovus Radio, but seem to have hit upon a great combination of players. Openers Element Unseen, a little-known (but rising) local power trio featuring one former member of The Skullies, trades in fuzzed-out, pummelling, mid-’90s-style angst-rock (a la Smashing Pumpkins) mixed with strident emo-pop (a la Dashboard Confessional). Wed., 9 pm, Metro Coffee House - ALL-AGES.
While our own city government seems perplexed by the notion of anyone under 21 taking up space in a restaurant where alcohol is being served while live entertainment occurs, down the road in Pooler —where our laws do not apply— the members of this young melodic pop-rock band (not a one over 18) are free as birds to play a completely ALL-AGES show in a bar/restaurant combo! Unlike most venues that charge underage patrons a higher cover to offset their inability to buy alcohol, for this gig, anyone under 15 gets in free, while those 15 and up pay $7. Who would have ever thought Pooler would take a more visionary approach to nightlife than Savannah? Mind Over Matter and No Comply open the show. Sat., 9:45 pm, Bahama Bob’s (Pooler)
The powerful voice and warm, spiritually-aware persona of this passionate, internationally-acclaimed singer/percussionist/composer/producer combine to create musical art that’s captivated everyone from Sting (who prominently featured him on the Soul Cages CD and tour) to Herbie Hancock, Taj Mahal, Sheryl Crow, Cassandra Wilson, Stevie Wonder and Branford Marsalis — all of whom have sought him out for collaborations. Truly a unique talent, this should be an intimate show not to miss. Local acoustic reggae/soul guitarist/singer Tubby Love opens. $10 cover. Sat., 8 pm, Kokopelli’s Jazz Club.