Jazz improv, sounds of strings and Dokken
by Bart Mendoza
Dec 06, 2012 | 4463 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The band has appeared on “The David Letterman Show” and had its songs covered by the likes of Nada Surf, yet The Soft Pack remains one of the area’s best-kept secrets. Catch it on Dec. 14 at The Griffin.                                                                     Courtesy photo
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Café-Bar Europa will be the site of a special concert on Dec. 11 featuring the San Diego City College Jazz AllStars. The performance will be improvisation-based, featuring students from the school in a two-hour gig. City College has built a serious rep as a home for jazz, and this show gives the general public a chance to appreciate the talent the school is currently nurturing, as well as an opportunity to check out a crop of future stars on the jazz scene.

• Jazz Improv Concert: 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 11 at Café-Bar Europa, 873 Tur-quoise St. 21 and up. www.thetur-quoise.com/wordpress

Music fans of all stripes will want to check out the Pacific Beach Library’s monthly free music series. Featuring a diverse selection of musical genres, the next event takes place Dec. 12 and features violin and cello duo Susan and Ronald Robboy. Best known for their work with the San Diego Symphony, Ronald also spent time as an assistant to legendary instrument inventor Harry Partch. Fans of classical chamber music won’t want to miss this concert, but anyone who enjoys the sound of strings will find much to appreciate at this intimate performance.

• Susan and Ronald Robboy perform at

7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 12 at Pacific Beach/Taylor Branch Library, 4275 Cass St. All ages. No cost. www.pblibrary-friends.org/concert.htm

The band has appeared on “The David Letterman Show” and had its songs covered by the likes of Nada Surf, yet The Soft Pack remains one of the area’s best-kept secrets. Appearing at The Griffin on Dec. 14, the quartet plays an intensely hook-filled brand of garage rock. Currently touring behind its latest album “Strapped,” it doesn’t matter which of its albums or singles you hear first — this is music meant to play loud, with every song sounding like a lost anthem. Hopefully, it’s only a matter of time before Soft Pack move from clubland to bigger stages. If you like rock ’n’ roll, this is a band well worth hearing.

• The Soft Pack performs at 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 14 at The Griffin, 1310 Morena Blvd. 21 and up. www.the-griffinsd.com

Lots of great musicians call San Diego home, but when you team up top-notch guitarist Peter Sprague with world-class pianist Irving Flores, you can expect the magic to be extra special. Performing at Dizzy’s on Dec. 15, Flores is a Latin music hero, perhaps best known locally for his work with Gilbert Castellanos, while Sprague is simply one of the best guitarists on the planet, playing with everyone from Dianne Reeves to Chick Corea. If you are a jazz aficionado, this concert promises to be one of the month’s highlights.

• Peter Sprague & Irving Flores perform at

8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15 at Dizzy’s, 4275 Mission Bay Drive. 15. www.dizzysjazz.com

Best known as the frontman for his namesake hard-rock band, Don Dok-ken will be making a solo appearance at Brick by Brick on Dec. 16. The first Dokken album was released in 1983, though by this time, Dokken had already established himself in the music world. For example, his vocals can be heard on the classic Scorpions album “Blackout.” Dokken will be playing music from throughout his career, including his recent album “Broken Bones,” but it’s safe to say the biggest cheers will be given for material from his 1980s heyday.

• Don Dokken performs at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16 at Brick by Brick, 1130 Buenos Ave. 21 and up. $25. www.brickbybrick.com

MUST HEAR

Anyone wanting to investigate rising talent will want to head to the 710 Beach Club on Dec. 12 for a performance from Los Angeles-based duo Blondfire. It’s been a slow rise to the top to be sure (their first disc hit shelves in 2004), but the pair has really come into its own in recent months. Blondfire’s current hit, “Where the Kids Are” has been scoring major airplay locally, so this gig at a relatively intimate venue will likely be a sell-out. Even with probable crowds, it will be well worth braving the masses to hear this indie group’s pop-tinged electronica.

• Blondfire performs at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 12 at the 710 Beach Club, 710 Garnet Ave. 21 and up. www.710bc.com
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