‘May The Forth Be With You’: Friday, May 4, at Dizzy’s at Arias Hall, 1717 Morena Blvd. 8 p.m. $15. dizzysjazz.com.
How does he do it? At 89 years of age, bluesman Tomcat Courtney remains one of the hardest working musicians in town. Born Jan. 22, 1929, the man is a living legend, giving countless musicians a boost through his bands and mentoring. Courtney has found a new burst of activity over the past decade, including shows in Europe, new recordings and a SDMA Lifetime Achievement Award. Currently, he has several residencies around town including 7 p.m. on Wednesdays at The Turquoise.
Courtney has made several acclaimed recordings, but he is best experienced in live performance, where his percussive guitar playing shines through. Local music fans should make it a point to experience this man’s music in person, soon.
Tomcat Courtney: Wednesdays at Café-Bar Europa, 873 Turqouise St. 7 p.m. 21 and up. theturquoise.com.
Although officially categorized as a singer-songwriter, that description hardly does Jonny Tarr justice. A gifted multi-instrumentalist, he is a virtuoso guitarist, keyboardist and saxophonist, as well as a master of looping pedals, giving his quartet a huge sound. However, the key to his music is his skill at penning soulful, funky tunes such as recent single “Sky High,” dance-floor fillers that will please fans of both the Talking Heads and Stevie Wonder. Appearing at the 710 Beach Club on May 3, Tarr is a dynamic performer with a catalog of excellent, radio-friendly tunes, deserving of wider national attention.
Jonny Tarr: Friday, May 3, at the 710 Beach Club, 710 Garnet Ave. 9 p.m. 21 and up. 710bc.com.
Anyone who enjoys the roots of rock ‘n’ roll will want to check out Gino Meregillano and the Lone Gunmen, who perform at Tio Leo’s on May 10. The band performs originals, as well as rockabilly and blues classics, by the likes of Chuck Berry and Nat King Cole, but what sets them apart from other trios, is their inclusion of rocked up versions of modern-era tunes by artists such as the Beatles or Queen. Lots of fun to listen to, the band is also perfect for swing dancing, but the star attraction is Meregillano’s fiery guitar playing.
Gino & The Lone Gunmen: Thursday, May 10 at Tio Leo’s, 5302 Napa St. 9 p.m. 21 and up. Cover TBD. tioleos.com.
Their description is right there in the name: The Country Rockin’ Rebels. Appearing aboard the Bahia Belle on May 11, the band will set sail around Mission Bay performing a mix of Bakersfield country boogie, classic rock and blues. The band has several albums out, but for this gig they will concentrate on tunes by the likes of Freddie King, Jimi Hendrix and the Doors. Led by singer Tristan Luhrs and guitarist / producer Michael Head, the band is the perfect soundtrack to a rowdy party, with plenty of crowd pleasers in their set list to keep the dance floor hopping.
The Country Rockin’ Rebels: Friday, May 11, 998 West Mission Bay Drive. 9:30 p.m. 21 and up. $10. bahiabelle.com.
San Diego’s music community is burgeoning with great young players and Mission Bay High School’s acclaimed music program is one of the reasons why. On May 17, the school will host the annual Jazz on the Green. All ticket sales go to support their music program. This outdoor event will feature the school’s award-winning jazz ensembles, including the MBHS Swing Choir, with guest vocalist Leonard Patton, The Preservationists with guest trumpeter Derek Cannon and the Mambo Orchestra with guest percussionists Charlie Chavez.
Jazz on the Green: Thursday, May 17 at Mission Bay High School, 2475 Grand Ave. 6 p.m. All ages. $10. $5 students/kids. missionbaymusic.com.