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Thursday | 1/14


In short order, Robin McKelle has established herself as one of the foremost jazz vocalists of our time. With her second album of big-band jazz, Modern Antique, McKelle swings through the American songbook, bringing to mind the likes of Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald. She's a product of her times—she cut her teeth on contemporary pop and '60s R&B—but you'd be hard-pressed to find any pandering to current trends in her authentic yet passionate takes on jazz standards. Kuumbwa; $18 advance/$21 door; 7pm. (Paul M. Davis)

Friday | 1/15


Hailing from Clarks Town, Jamaica, Anthony B is a righteous reggae up-and-comer on a political mission. Unlike many of his peers, Anthony B has always avoided talk of violence and gunplay, instead couching his revolutionary sentiments in terms of positivity and awareness. Since the mid-'90s, he has proven to be one of the leading lights of the genre, specializing in mind-expanding dancehall that eschews electronic ostentation for live-band instrumentation. Vets Hall; $23 advance/$26 door; 8:30pm. (PMD)


It says something about a band when even after its frontman and namesake dies, the remaining members close ranks and play on, not in spite of, but in tribute to, the man that started it all. Such is the case with JGB, short for the Jerry Garcia Band. Melvin Seals, the famed keyboardist from the original Jerry Garcia Band—probably Garcia's best known project aside from the Grateful Dead—leads this six-member ensemble that gives a true-to-form take on Garcia's massive body of work. JGB's roster, besides Seals, includes five other veteran jammers that utilize the same epic and highly improvisational style that drove flocks of Deadheads to the church of Jerry. Don Quixote's; $20; 9pm. (Curtis Cartier)

Saturday | 1/16


Sacramento's Jackie Greene is undoubtedly a singer/songwriter, but beyond that, he defies pigeonholing. Greene has a fluid vocabulary of much of American music, from folk to country to blues and R&B, and can credibly write and perform in any of those genres. This chameleonlike ability to subsume numerous traditions has garnered Greene a few comparisons to Bob Dylan, though he's a bit too slick for the comparison to stick. Instead, it's more accurate to think of Greene as a thoroughly modern traditionalist, a precocious artist with the entirety of American music at his fingertips. Catalyst; $16 advance/$19 door; 9pm. (PMD)

Sunday | 1/17


Between 2002 and 2005, the five members of the Builders and the Butchers trickled out of the never-ending darkness of Alaskan winters to light up the music scene in Portland. With punk rock backgrounds and a love for American roots, the quintet gravitated together to become one of Willamette Week's anointed best new bands of 2008. The Builders and the Butchers write their songs during rehearsal or live shows, resulting in an organic mixture of punk and folk from which resonating story-songs spring. With a sound akin to our own The Devil Makes Three, the Builders and the Butchers are sure to be a hit with Santa Cruz audiences. Crepe Place; $7; 8pm. (Brian Harker)


When Sophie B. Hawkins burst onto the scene in 1992, the curly blonde singer wowed critics with her debut album Tongues and Tails, lit up charts with tracks like "Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover" and earned herself a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. And though she's never quite reprised that sensational rookie year, she's managed to put out solid, well-received work ever since. A common fixture at women's rights events and benefits, she's also dipped her toes into the political shark tank, rerecording two of her most famous tracks and gifting them to the Hillary Clinton campaign of 2008. And though she keeps a lower profile these days, her onstage charm and skill haven't lost a step. Don Quixote's; $12; 2pm. (CC)

Monday | 1/18


Loftily nicknamed the "William Faulkner of jazz," storytelling pianist Mose Allison stacks the style just as high as he stacks the substance. Seamlessly mixing quick and delicate jazz notes with front-porch Mississippi blues, Allison ices the cake with smooth vocals and witty lyrics that always complement the music and never intrude on it. His 50-year career has influenced monolithic artists from the Yardbirds to the Pixies. With accompaniment by Peter Magadini on drums and Bill Douglass on standup bass. Kuumbwa; $23 advance/$26 door; 7 and 9pm. (CC)

Tuesday | 1/19


Led by Ivan Neville, heir to a legendary musical heritage, Dumpstaphunk is composed of musicologists who know how to get a house bouncing to their own brand of deep-fried funk. And don't let the name fool you. Ivan Neville didn't dumpster dive for the band's members; he got them from outfits like Dave Matthews & Friends, Jewel and the Spin Doctors. With its two bassists, funky beats and soulful singing, Dumpstaphunk should have no trouble turning Moe's Alley into the phunkiest of venues. Moe's Alley; $27 advance/$30 door; 8:30pm. (BH)


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