The Flyer's music writers tell you where you can go.

by Jim Hanas & Mark Jordan

My partner, Jim Hanas, (you may know him better as TV boy) decided to slack off this week – the bum. Fortunately, there are plenty of good shows this week for me to recommend all by my lonesome.

On Friday, Overton Square will play host to Fat Friday, a benefit for Bridges Inc., an education, leadership training, and workforce development organization. The price of admission is a hefty $50, but for that you get beer, wine, and some good Louisiana cooking, not to mention live entertainment from the Icebreakers, the North Mississippi All-Stars, Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, Cornelius “Boo” Comequx and the Boneshak-ers, and Tony Thomas and James Austin. There will be five venues, including a specially set-up martini-and-cigar bar, and entry to each is included with admission.

Saturday, meanwhile, will be a great night for jazz at Automatic Slim’s. If you’re one of those people who don’t like jazz because you think it’s just a bunch of nonsensical horn-blowing, you need to go just to have your horizons broadened. Slim’s is presenting an all-star lineup of Memphis jazz musicians in two shows Saturday, including pianists James Williams, Mulgrew Miller, and drummer Tony Reedus, each of whom is a respected player in New York’s legendary jazz scene. The revelation won’t be in the personnel, however, but in the sheer accessibility of the music. This group probably won’t be playing some far-out, indecipherable be-bop, but deeply soulful, swinging music injected with healthy doses of the blues and gospel. A must-see for music fans, not just jazz fans. Shows are at 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $20, $22, and $25, and calling ahead for reservations is suggested.

And after a weekend of jazz, blues, zydeco, and cajun, what better than a little classical music? On Monday at 8 p.m. in the University of Memphis Harris Auditorium, the University Symphony Orchestra will present a special free program with featured soloist Lily Afshar. Afshar, as you should know, is head of the classical guitar program at the U of M and a world-class performer in her own right. (Making master guitarist Andre Segovia’s prediction “that she will be a beautiful celebrity come true.”) For this concert Afshar will be playing Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquin Rodrigo, a stark, romantic piece perhaps better known as a theme in Miles Davis’ Sketches of Spain. The night’s program will be filled out by Percy Grainger’s The Sussex Mummer’s Christmas Carol and Ottorino Respighi’s The Pines of Rome. For more information, call 678-2541. n – Mark Jordan

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