Mavis Staples


A TRIBUTE TO RAY CHARLES (With no fewer than 18 featured artists including Judith Hill — back-up singer for Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson, Nick Waterhouse — highly respected modern R&B blues soul singer-songwriter, and India Carney — outstanding performer and semi-finalist on The Voice, plus a 15-piece band with full rhythm, horn and string sections, all coming together to honor the late great Genius of Soul, this is going to be a special show) — Sat 9 p.m., Teragram Ballroom, DTLA, $24.


MAVIS STAPLES, Sun Little (I’ve seen this great lady perform half a dozen times and each show is etched in memory, she is an essential American performer from her days with her Staple Singers family at age 11 through crucial involvement in the Civil Rights movement, Pops Staples was a close friend of MLK Jr., to White House performances, she’s in the Blues and the RnR Hall of Fame 20 yrs ago, turned down Bob Dyan’s marriage proposal as a youngster, first tried skateboarding on her 80th birthday, works with some of the hippest young producers, probably doing this show because of long close friendship with local Carolyn Clark Powers who feted her at Kennedy Center honors and donated $20M to MOCA for free admissions, Mavis has done it all, touched so many, and still feels she’s got lots to do, this show also a fundraiser for my favorite radio station, 88.5, so how many reasons do you need to go?) — next Thurs 8 p.m., The Soraya, CSUN Northridge, $36-$200.


TONIGHT! — WESTERNER, MANUEL THE BAND (both these bands are excellent, Westerner rocks out, great songs, trip hop space rock, charismatic tall singer Cooper Bombadil jumps and kicks a lot, his three mates all shred, Manuel is an addictive six-piece more complex in sounds and tempos, wide-ranging with pedal steel and horn section, another stand-out lead singer-guitar man in Manuel Grajeda, a great double bill) — Thurs 8:30 p.m., Harvelle’s, $10.

TONIGHT! — BOB SHEPPARD QUARTET (may I call them that, just for consistency, but this is really Sheppard, Escreet, Ferber & Robaire and that’s a helluva jazz combo, see more about him in the Fri listing below for his gig at Trip, right here in SM, but this is a rare opportunity to see him two nights in a row, you’d be silly not to) — Thurs 8, 930 p.m., Sam First, LAX, $15-$20.

BOB SHEPPARD QUARTET with Maria Puga Lareo (what a booking for Trip! Sheppard cut his jazz teeth with Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, now plays often with Billy Childs, the great SM-based drummer Peter Erskine, but in four decades has also played with Joni, Stevie, Steely, Elvis C, Rickie Lee, Boz, Randy Newman, and this night he’s backing celebrated Argentinian vocalist Maria Puga Lareo) — Fri 9 p.m., Trip, $10

WEIMAR VARIATIONS, Workers Chorus – LOS ROBLES MASTER CHORALE (passionate labor movement supporter Hanns Eisler uniquely positioned himself in the musical avant-garde of the 1920s and ‘30s by combining formal innovation with political ideology, his compositions for workers choruses intended to mobilize the masses for demonstrations, with lyrics often by famous writers such as Bertolt Brecht, and march-like melodies memorable enough to be performed by amateur singers) — Fri 7 p.m., Sun 1 p.m., on the Grand Avenue sidewalk outside Disney Hall, DTLA, free…

then march inside, pay your dues and hear WEILL’s VIOLIN CONCERTO with ESA-PEKKA SALONEN (with the unusual accompaniment of a wind section, also Bach, and Hindemith, including his acclaimed Mathis der Maler Symphony) — Fri, Sat 8 p.m., Sun 2 p.m., Disney Hall, $20-$187…

— and you can start your evening Fri with Drinks in the Garden at 6:30, music and complimentary drinks, Disney Hall’s Blue Ribbon Garden, free — I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.

ONE LOVE CALI REGGAE FESTIVAL 2020 (Steel Pulse, Black Uhuru, Mighty Diamonds, Yellowman, Wailing Souls, Don Carlos, The Gladiators, Pato Banton, Sister Nancy, Horace Andy, Israel Vibration, wow, and a bunch of others, Sublime, Long Beach Dub Allstars, “The Original Wailers” and, yuck, Matisyahu) — Fri, Sat, Sun, noon, Queen Mary, Long Beach, $85-$4600.

LIBRARY GIRL – Of Love and Other Demons, A Valentine’s Tribute to GABRIEL GARCIA-MARQUEZ (LG Susan Hayden promises this is a LG not to miss and I believe her so tape your Oscars because — this is the spoken word that Oscars are indebted to) — Sun 7 P.M., Ruskin Theatre, SM, $15 includes cupcake.

SUNDAY MATINEE AMERICANA SHOW (5 bands, quality BBQ by Highland Hickory) — Sun noon – 6 p.m., Harvelle’s, SM, free.

THE WORLD IS MY HOME — THE LIFE OF PAUL ROBESON (I saw this show last time through and it’s a little long but breathtakingly moving, one-man show written and performed by Stogie Kenyatta) — Sun 7 p.m., Santa Monica Playhouse, $30.

LA OPERA – EURYDICE (classical music and opera both recognize the need to groom the next generation and we are fortunate in LA to have several credible organizations doing just that, with high-quality modern productions, now LA Opera goes after the old Eurydice tale, young bride dies of snakebite on her wedding night, descends to underworld, meets up with Pop but gets a chance to rejoin Land of the Living and husband Orpheus but this time it’s told from the woman’s POV, the NY Times said, “If contemporary opera has a rising wunderkind, then [composer Matthew] Aucoin has to be it,” partnering with librettist-playwright Sarah Ruhl, a world premier) Sat 7:30 p.m., Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, DTLA, $49-$284.

NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALLSTARS (life doesn’t usually give you a second chance, I missed them recently at McCabe’s so now I have to trek downtown, but gladly, for their unique brand of Americana incorporating roots music as a framework for improvisation and blending experimental/psychedelic excursions into Hill Country anthems) — next Thurs 8 p.m., Teragram Ballroom, DTLA, $20-$25.

COMING ATTRACTIONS: ANN HAMPTON CALLAWAY 2/14, Jazz Bakery, SM; DWEEZIL ZAPPA “Hot Rats Live!” 2/14, The Rose, Pasadena, 2/15, The Canyon Agoura Hills, 2/16, The Canyon Montclair; LA OPERA – EURYDICE 2/14-23, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, DTLA; ENGLISH BEAT 2/15, The Canyon Santa Clarita; L.A. CAFE PLAYS 2/16, Ruskin Group Theatre, SM; Electric HOT TUNA with David Bromverg Quintet 2/18, El Rey Theatre, LA; DVORAK 7, IVES 1 – DUDAMEL 2/20, 21, DVORAK 8, IVES 2 2/22, 23, DVORAK 9, IVES 3 2/27, DVORAK 9, IVES 4 2/28, Disney Hall, DTLA; SARAH SILVERMAN & Friends 2/22, Largo, LA; LONNIE LISTON SMITH 2/23, Lodge Room, Highland Park; Mardi Gras with THE DAMN WELL PLEASE ORGAN TRIO, Starving Darling 2/25, Harvelle’s, SM; GERALD CLAYTON 2/26, Mr. Musichead Gallery, LA; LEO KOTTKE 2/26, Largo, LA; MARIA MULDAUR 2/28, TOM PAXTON 2/29, McCabe’s, SM; CHIEFTAIN’S IRISH GOODBYE TOUR 3/1, Disney Hall, DTLA.

Charles Andrews has listened to a lot of music of all kinds, including more than 2,000 live shows. He has lived in Santa Monica for 34 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at

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