You need a Buddy Guy

Find a friend with April jazz

You won’t catch your breath this month because you’ll be running from downtown venues to the university and back again. On Thursday April 15 blues giant Buddy Guy will burn up the stage at the Jack Singer Concert Hall with special guest Johnny Lang. Does it get better? Guy born in Louisiana and influenced by the likes of Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters has in turn influenced players like Clapton Hendrix and Page. Grammy Award-winner Lang who started playing guitar when he was 12 has toured with heavies like the Rolling Stones Aerosmith and B.B. King. Seeing one or the other would be awesome enough but together they’re unstoppable.

Jazz trumpeter Chris Botti who has enjoyed enormous commercial success since his Grammy-winning 2004 release When I Fall in Love plays the Jack Singer two days before Guy and Lang. He’s played with the likes of Frank Sinatra Andrea Bocelli and major international symphonies and his music and popularity have pushed across genres — his 2007 album Italia spans jazz pop and classical. The CD has a personal connection — Botti’s father is from Florence and when Chris was a child he lived near Milan for two years.

If the sounds of southern climes like Italy or Spain appeal you should check University Theatre on Saturday April 10. Flamenco dancer Fiona Malena is back from Spain with her new ensemble of flamenco artists performing in the production “Inspiracíon.” Expect dynamic energetic and improvisational performances backed by flamenco guitar saxophone vocals and congas.

That same weekend you can ping back down to the Beat Niq and catch Calgary organ trio Sinistrio which will play three nights from April 8 to 10. Sinistrio is also adept at crossing genres and this B3 organ group deftly explores jazz groove pop latin and soul. Featuring Steve Fletcher (organ) Jeff Drummond (guitar) and John May (drums) the group formed in 2006 and is featured in the Chronograph Records roster. Catch them if you’re looking for a mix of original compositions jazz standards and pop.