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Extended play 1.17.07

by Jordan Green

The most interesting musical event of the week from Jan. 17 to 23 may be a lecture by UNC-Chapel Hill musicologist David Garcia on the history of mambo music. Garcia holds forth on his subject at the Collins Lecture Hall at UNCG’s School of Music on Thursday at 4 p.m.

With roots in the Afro-Caribbean cultures of Cuba and Puerto Rico, “mambo music and its accompanying sensual dance style quickly gained popularity throughout the United States in the decades after World War II,” a dispatch from the School of Music states, firing the passions of musicians from Tito Puente to Ricky Martin. Call 336.334.5789 or visit uncg.edu/mus for more information.

Also on the highbrow tip, the Greensboro Symphony, conducted by Dmitry Sitkovetsky, plays at War Memorial Auditorium on Thursday and Saturday.

It’s a generally light week in Triad musicland, with a calendar seemingly designed by the gods without rhyme or reason. On Friday the organic hip-hop sensation the Urban Sophisticates can be caught at Greene Street in the Gate City. On the same night country-flavored swing diva Martha Bassett shows up at the Garage in Winston-Salem with Americana rockers the Moe Greens.

As of this writing, tickets are still available for George Strait and Ronnie Milsap at the Greensboro Coliseum on Saturday. If skinny ties and pork-pie hats are more your style than big belt buckles and denim, you might head over to Greene Street to catch ’80s cover band the Plaids. And speaking of covers, Chuck Folds Five and the Rubberband (of which Chuck Folds is also a member), will be playing Ziggy’s in Winston-Salem.

Chuck Folds Five’s onstage shtick poking fun at the band’s coattails exploitation of the front man’s talented and more famous brother, Ben, is reportedly getting burnished to fine comedic form. Though primarily a cover band, Chuck Folds Five is making some cautious forays into original tunage. Visit myspace.com/chuckfoldsfive to give the songs a listen, and let the band know what you think.

In other news, the Eastern Music Festival announces that Robert Moody, currently music director of the Winston-Salem Symphony, will join the Greensboro festival for the 2007 season this summer. Moody joins Gerard Schwarz, the festival’s principal conductor, to lead “gifted young student musicians from across the United States, who will participate in the festival’s nationally recognized five-week summer orchestral training program.” No word yet on who will be booked for the EMF Fringe Festival, which programs alt country, blues, jazz and gospel concurrently with the more classically inclined concert series and training program.

We also pass along an announcement from Kristy Jackson, who keeps house in Greensboro but plies the songwriting trade in Nashville, that her 2006 album Best Seat In the House is now available by digital distribution through iTunes. Previous releases, Body & Soul, Blue Shades and the single “Little Did She Know (She’d Kissed a Hero)” are also on offer. We don’t know exactly how many people are making the switch, but the digital file is priced at roughly half the cost of the typical shrink-wrapped silver disc.

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