Positively State Street

Luis Mu±oz

SHADOWBOXER: Latin jazz star Luis Mu±oz brings his culturally inspired Costa Rican grooves to SOhO (1221 State Street, Suite 205) in honor of the release of his latest full-length, Of Soul and Shadow. The follow up to 2006’s critically lauded and publicly praised Vida (the album won Mu±oz an ACAM award for Jazz Composer/Producer of the Year), Of Soul and Shadow mixes classical compositions, contemporary jazz, and Costa Rican folklore to create a sound unlike any other. Catch Mu±oz at this very special, all-ages show on Thursday, September 6 at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $15. Visit sohosb.com or call 962-7776 for reservations. -Aly Comingore

Alice Peacock

A PERFECT PAIR: Alice Peacock crafts folksy acoustic rock that’s peppered with a hint of upscale, symphonic elegance on her newest album, Who I Am. Her voice transitions easily from ethereal to powerful, and her lyrics run the gamut from relationships lost and gained to lessons learned. Meanwhile, Nashville’s Garrison Starr turns traditional singer/songwriter conventions on their proverbial head with a healthy dose of complete and total irreverence. Sure, she sings about life and love matched by some seriously hardcore strumming skills, but this country tomboy also released a music video directed by Margaret Cho and featuring Chewbacca cavorting with strippers. Her candor and wit make her edgier than the average female folk-rocker, and that makes her the perfect counterpart to Peacock’s sweet and soulful sounds. Check them both out on Tuesday, September 4 at SOhO at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10. -Mollie Vandor

SPICED-UP SAMBA: Every month, The Independent hand-selects an emerging artist to play during the 1st Thursday festivities downtown. And this month, that honor goes to Beleza Pura. Founded on the samba-infused stylings of SOhO regulars Pyata and Bruno, Beleza Pura is one band that lives up to its moniker (“Pure Beauty” in Portuguese). They boast influences that include dub, roots music, experimental, trance, reggae, hip-hop, choro, bossa, funk, rock, and-of course-samba, and are already well on their way to fame, thanks to a series of shows at SOhO where they combined their more mellow, acoustic-driven tunes with an after-dinner set of pure dance music performed with the Beleza Pura Band. With their infectious rhythms and innovative genre-mixing style, it is no surprise that Beleza Pura is the Indy‘s pick for this month’s First Thursday event. Check them out in the courtyard of Casa De la Guerra, 9 East De la Guerra Street, between 5 and 8 p.m. on Thursday, September 6. -MV

Francisco Aguabella

FEEL THE RHYTHM: If ever there were a time to heed Gloria Estefan’s advice, this would be it, because no one will make you want to shake your body and do the conga like Francisco Aguabella. A legend in the Latin jazz milieu (Dizzy Gillespie called him the John Coltrane of the conga drums), the immensely accomplished percussionist has not only established himself as a staple of the Afro-Cuban scene-recording with Latin greats like Tito Puente and Mongo Santamaria-but has also compiled a dizzying roster of cross-genre colleagues that include Ray Charles and Frank Sinatra. Recipient of the National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and the subject of two documentary films, the master conguero isn’t retiring from the skins any time soon. He teaches Afro-Cuban drumming in UCLA’s ethnomusicology department, and continues to tour the world. The next stop for him and his Latin Jazz Ensemble is SOhO this Friday, August 31 at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $25. -Kiersten Tarr

COOL COURTENAY: David Courtenay got his BFA in theater at UCSB before moving to Los Angeles and launching his music career with the album Eloquent Cool. His songs are beautifully crafted contemporary pop that reveal layers of classic influences like the Beach Boys and the Beatles on repeated listening. Courtenay will return to Santa Barbara for a combination CD release party and benefit for the Surfrider Foundation on Sunday, September 2 at SOhO at 7:30 p.m. The show is all-ages, with tickets starting at $10. -Charles Donelan

HERE KITTY, KITTY: Don’t be fooled by the contemporary grunge work of Cat OK when they take to the stage at Muddy Waters on August 31. Rob Taylor’s trio may sound like it’s straight out of Seattle, but he and his band call Santa Barbara home just like the rest of us. Buellton-based piano rock gurus Kinothek will open the show with new material from their forthcoming debut release, The Long, All Along. Rounding out the bill is Emile Millar, adding up to a night at Muddy Waters (508 E. Haley Street) that shouldn’t be missed. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $3. -Levi Michaels


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