If Peter Cetera had liked his first instrument, he could be an accordion player today. He received it from his parents when he was 11 but bought himself a guitar four years later. Then he switched to electric bass. Good thing. And a Big Thing, too, because that was the name of the band he joined in 1967, a band that was soon to change its name to Chicago Transit Authority and then simply to Chicago.
Cetera, who plays Friday night at Thunder Valley, stayed with Chicago for 17 albums, wrote many of the band's biggest hits (including "If You Leave Me Now"), tried to leave once by recording an eponymous solo album in 1981 (which did not sell because the label did not promote it), and finally left in 1985.
On his own, Cetera has released eight solo albums and given us the monster hit, "The Glory of Love," which was included in "The Karate Kid Part II." His latest album is a "Very Best of …" from 2017.
The man sharing Cetera's stage is no slouch either. Richard Marx has sold over 30 million albums and has the distinction of holding a record, the first solo artist to have all seven of his first recordings hit the Top Five. His hits include "Right Here Waiting" and "Satisfied." (7 p.m.; $39.95-$159.95; thundervalleyresort.com)
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The tone changes at Thunder Valley Saturday when comedian Paul Rodrigues presents his "Latin Legends" show, including El Chicano ("Tell Her She's Lovely") and Malo ("Suavecito"), among others. (6:30 p.m.; $25-$100)
Who is the favorite to win this year's American Century Championship at Edgewood Tahoe? Could be three-time champ Mark Mulder or it could be a unique competitor, Natalie Gulbis, who is pulling odds around 10-1 (following in the footsteps of Annika Sorenstam who finished second in 2014). Regardless, the golf tournament always provides its audience lots of star-gazing and autograph-hunting with pro-am celebrities like Tony Romo, Steph Curry, Aaron Rodgers, Charles Barkley and even Larry the Cable Guy on the tee-off schedule. Major competition is Friday through Sunday. (americancenturychampionship.com)
There is a very rare opportunity for budding musicians in Reno next week. Jake Shimabukuro, who brought the ukulele to prominence performing George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," and can seemingly play anything from Bach to rock, will give free lessons next Thursday from noon to 1 p.m., followed by a jam, at the California Building in Idlewild Park (I-80 West to Keystone, right to Riverside, left on Booth, right on Idlewild). It's part of Reno's July Artown and Shimabukuro will also perform a concert that evening (Bartley Ranch Hawkins Amphitheater; 7:30 p.m.; $25 lawn, $40 reserved; renoisartown.com).
Caramel malt ice cream with almond toffee pieces, and little fudge fish-shaped bits? That's "It's Ice … Cream," the second flavor Ben & Jerry's has put out honoring Phish, the touring band that performs Tuesday and Wednesday at Harveys Outdoor Lake Tahoe Summer Concert Series (6:30 p.m.; $80 General Admission; Ticketmaster or apeconcerts.com). The venue hosts "An Evening with Pitbull" Friday night (8 p.m.; $69.50-$149.50).
Finally, the original Jersey Boy, Frankie Valli, plays Wednesday at Reno's Grand Sierra (9 p.m.; $49-$216; grandsierraresort.com).