LIVE MUSIC – Showcase concerts ahead of San Diego Music Awards
by BART MENDOZA
Published - 03/07/20 - 08:00 AM | 2889 views | 4 4 comments | 62 62 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Violinist and conductor André Rieu to perform at Pechanga Arena on March 18.
Violinist and conductor André Rieu to perform at Pechanga Arena on March 18.
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The San Diego Music Awards take place on March 23 at the House of Blues. However, in advance of the ceremony, there will be a series of showcase concerts at venues around town, spotlighting some of the great talent nominated this year. All are local headliners at the top of their game, making these events a great show for long time fans as well as anyone wanting to dip their toes into San Diego’s music community. Proceeds from all these events go to the San Diego Music Foundations “Guitars In Schools” Program, helping keep music education in San Diego County Schools.

- On March 18, Tio Leo’s will feature a four-band showcase featuring guitarist Anthony "Fallbrook Kid" Cullins (Best Blues), surf rock combo The Tourmaliners (Best Rock Album), rock-a-billy quartet The Sea Monks and soul/rock inspired combo The Larry Grano Trip (Best Pop Album). The common thread here is that all the groups here are known for their ability to get crowds up and dancing, giving this night a bit of a party feel.

SDMA Showcase: Wednesday at Tio Leo’s, 5302 Napa St. 9 p.m. 21 and up. $12. tioleos.com.

- Meanwhile, the next evening Humphrey’s Backstage Live hosts a pre-San Diego Music Awards Showcase on March 19. On hand will be a wonderfully diverse bill featuring singer-songwriter Gaby Aparicio (Best World Music Album), alternative folk-rock group Trouble in the Wind (Best Country or Americana Album), acoustic duo Berkley Hart and bluegrass favorites MohaviSoul (both Best Country or Americana Artist), as well as R&B/Funk from The Jonny Tarr Quintet and pop pair The Spiritual Motels (both Best Pop Artist). A great way to take in a cross-section of local talent in one night.

SDMA Showcase: Thursday, March 19 at Humphrey’s Backstage Live, 2241 Shelter Island Drive. 6 p.m. $10. humphreysbackstagelive.com.

Rock-a-billy comes to the 710 Beach Club on March 12 with a performance from Rip Carson. For anyone who likes classic, 1950s Sun Records styled tunes, Carson is as good as it gets. It’s been almost 70 years since the genre first emerged but in the hands of new practitioners such as Carson, it’s clear there is plenty of life left. Songs such as “I Win You Lose” and “All The Girls Say” sound like vintage classics, down to the reverb. Perfect for swing dancing, Carson’s tunes are instantly memorable and a lot of fun.

Rip Carson: Thursday, March 12 at the 710 Beach Club, 710 Garnet Ave. 9 p.m. 21 and up. Cover TBD. 710bc.com.

Trombonist Matt Hall presents a special tribute show at Dizzy’s on March 13, For Art's Sake: The Music of Bill Watrous & Art Pepper. Watrous was an acclaimed trombonist, while Pepper was known for saxophone playing, with the latter’s part played by Charlie Arbelaez (alto saxophone) and an all-star group that also includes Mikan Zlatkovitch (piano), Rob Thorsen (bass) and Duncan Moore (drums). All are amazing musicians, but Zlatkovich, in particular, is a standout, with wonderfully lyrical playing that will add spice to the night’s music.

The Matt Hall Quintet: Friday, March 13 at Dizzy’s at Arias Hall, 1717 Morena Blvd. 8 p.m. $20. dizzysjazz.com.

Classic rock fans will want to hear Vinyl Pirates, performing at Campland on the Bay on March 14. There are plenty of cover bands out there playing the tunes of yesteryear, but where Vinyl Pirates excel is in playing deep cuts and less heard classics such as Edgar Winter’s “Frankenstein,” complete with wild synthesizer songs, alongside evergreens such as Elvis Costello’s “Pump It Up” and The Byrds “I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better.” Vinyl Pirates features Scott Samuel on guitar, well known for his own power-pop originals. Here he gets to have fun with the songs of many of his influences.

Vinyl Pirates: Saturday, March 14 at Campland on the Bay. 7 p.m. All ages. campland.com.

Violinist and conductor André Rieu to perform at Pechanga Arena on March 18. Due to his PBS specials, Rieu is one of the most visible classical musicians on the planet, the closest thing the genre has to a rock star. Currently touring with his Johann Strauss Orchestra in support of their latest album, “Happy Days,” Rieu is a gifted musician and just as importantly, a master showman. Mixing in a bit of spectacle and humor to the experience, even someone who thinks they don’t like classical music will find much to enjoy at this concert.

André Rieu: Wednesday, March 18 at Pechanga Arena, 3500 Sports Arena Blvd. 8 p.m. All ages. $74 - $144. pechangaarenasd.com.
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