Cracked Actor: David Bowie on Screen
The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts presents a month-long film tribute to rock legend David Bowie. Jim Henson's classic Labyrinth (1986), starring Bowie as Jareth the Goblin King, plays alongside lesser known films such as The Hunger (1983) and Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1982). Bowie's music is front in center in Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars (1973), the D.A. Pennebaker-directed concert film, and Christiane F. (1981), a German drama with an all-Bowie soundtrack.
Details and ticket information here.
Acclaimed jazz vocalist and Bay Area favorite Paula West returns to Feinstein’s at the Nikko for a six-week engagement. West has a way of making beloved classics her own but hardly limits herself to the standards. Known for mixing things up with obscure and contemporary tracks, the songstress has a well-earned reputation for taking chances with her choices. Though not a household name, many aficionados count West among the finest cabaret vocalists around, in the tradition of Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Mavis Staples. Show time is 8pm on Thursdays and Fridays and 7pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Details and ticket information here.
San Jose Jazz Winter Fest
San Jose Jazz's annual Winter Fest returns this year with a promising lineup. This year's festival includes young musicians, local groups, and stalwarts working across jazz, R&B, and hip-hop. Prominent artists Taylor McFerrin, Les Yeux Noirs, Diane Schuur, and the Marc Cary Focus Trio play at venues across San Jose. Local ensembles include San Jose State University Jazz Orchestra, San Jose Jazz High School All Stars, Jaranon y Bochinche, and Edgardo Cambon y LaTiDo, among many others. Details and ticket information here.
At this point, it’s a wonder that the New Pornographers find time in their busy schedules to make music together: six of the seven band members are involved in other successful musical acts, including Dan Bejar’s Destroyer and Neko Case’s increasingly popular solo career. And that seventh member? He’s a successful indie filmmaker. But lucky for us, they do: 2014’s album Brill Bruisers was one of their best, filled with their signature razor-sharp pop songs that combine soaring melodies and ebullient lyrics. Details and ticket information here.
Charnett Moffett's NeTTwork, with Stanley Jordan
Cafe Stritch is hosting jazz bassist Charnett Moffett's band NeTTwork. Moffett plays electric and acoustic bass like no one else. He makes it rock and sing, and he's playing with the equally adept guitarist Stanley Jordan, who picks and taps his guitar up on the frets. It's well worth the drive to see these virtuosos. Details and ticket information here.
Mr. Burns, a Post Electric Play
Talk about meta: a family tries to build a new society after a global nuclear power holocaust, and takes as its fundamental text its fractured memories of the 1993 “Cape Feare” episode from The Simpsons, that very long running Fox animated comedy series. That’s the gist of Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play at the American Conservatory Theater. Playwright Anne Washburn developed Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play with The Civilians, an investigative theater troupe. The New York Times called the play’s 2013 production “downright brilliant.” Attendance at the A.C.T. performances will bring other rewards: a chance to buy a “D’oh! Nut” (with raspberry and beer glaze) from Dynamo Donuts and an on stage talk with Jon Vitti, former head writer of The Simpsons, after the March 7 matinee. Details and ticket information here.