Live Music
Published - 07/09/14 - 03:55 PM | 4653 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A lot of folks have played the blues in San Diego’s nightclubs for decades, but few could keep up with Tom Cat Courtney. Now in his 80s, Courtney maintains a schedule that would strain many younger musicians. Generations of players have passed through the ranks of his bands, but these days he prefers to play solo, as he does at his home away from home, Café-Bar Europa. Blues aficionados can hear him on Wednesdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 5 p.m. and Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. After decades of performing, in recent years Courtney has begun to find major acclaim in Europe. These sets are the perfect way to hear what the fuss is about.

• TOM CAT COURTNEY: Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at CAFE-BAR EUROPA, 873 Turquoise St. 21 and up. Free.

Bradley Leighton is a funky, smooth jazz-and-soul flute player, which admittedly sounds a little like an oxymoron. But much of Leighton’s music is very danceable, and yes, funky. Appearing at Humphreys Backstage Live on July 10, Leighton is a gifted player and showman, turning out classy instrumental R&B-tinged takes on standards and originals. His eclectic choice of cover tunes is particularly fun, with stellar versions of “Ode to Billy Joe” and a Hammond-backed “Sunny” in his repertoire. If you enjoy music by the likes of Steely Dan, George Benson or Larry Carlton, you’ll want to check out a set from Leighton and his band.

• BRADLEY LEIGHTON: Thursday, July 10 at HUMPHREYS BACKSTAGE LIVE, 2241 Shelter Island Drive at 7 p.m.

On July 14, Dizzy’s will be the site of a musical celebration honoring the memory of homegrown San Diego tenor saxophone legend Gary LeFebvre. San Diego has been home to many world-class musicians, but few could boast a resume like Gary LeFebvre, who passed away in 2013 at the age of 74. While still a teenager, he was already performing with the San Diego Symphony, helping sow the seeds of today’s jazz scene and kicking off an incredible career that saw him working with everyone from Ella Fitzgerald to the Supremes. The concert will feature the West City Big Band under the direction of another local music legend, Rey Vinole, making this a great way to pay tribute to one of San Diego’s music pioneers.

• GARY LeFEBVRE TRIBUTE CONCERT: Monday, July 14 at DIZZY’S, 4275 Mission Bay Drive at 8 p.m. $15.

Hard rock will reign supreme at the 710 Beach Club on July 19, with appearances from tribute bands Back to Black and Deeper Purple, dedicated to 1970s rockers AC/DC and Deep Purple. The nod here has to go to Back to Black, which has the benefit of playing tunes by a band that made great, timeless singles. With an arsenal of tunes like “Problem Child” and “You Shook Me All Night Long,” it won’t take long for the band to get the audience on its feet and reliving the days when classic rock ruled the airwaves.

• BACK TO BLACK: Saturday, July 19 at the 710 BEACH CLUB, 710 Garnet Ave. 9 p.m. 21 and up.

Fans of classic 1970s-style confessional singer-songwriter tunes in the Carole King or Melissa Manchester range will want to hear Patti Zlaket, who performs at the Kona Kai Resort on July 19. Originally from Arizona, Zlaket has been an area mainstay for years, with several albums to her credit. A solid pianist and a capable songwriter, it’s her beautiful voice that draws the ear with its soulful tones and confident delivery. The singer-songwriter market these days is, indeed, overcrowded, but Zlaket is well worth hearing.

• PATTI ZLAKET: Saturday, July 19 at the KONA KAI RESORT, 1551 Shelter Island Drive at

7 p.m. Free.
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