Martin Luther King Jr. Jazz & Sacred Songs Festival
7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20
Grant Union High Auditorium (1400 Grand Ave., Sacramento)
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This inaugural MLK Jazz Festival features a headlining performance from soul songstress Dorothy Morrison, now an Elk Grove resident and the voice behind late ’60s hit “O Happy Day.” Local stalwart Harley White Jr. Orchestra will back her in a sprawling program also featuring Ross Hammond, saxophonist Garrett Perkins, brass band JUN, Blurts Trade Band, Karen Westbrooke & the New Hope Baptist Choir, the Grant High School Band and several more. Doors 6 p.m. $20 (students free with ID).www.swell-productions.com.
La Mera Candelaria
9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19
Helmed by captivating frontwoman Stephani Candelaria (niece of “La Bamba” writer/producer Luis Alvarez), this scintillating six-piece serves up “Colombian-inspired cumbia with a son cubano twist,” a festive and refreshingly modest offering they like to call “kitchen cumbia.” It’s the kind of homey, warming Latin groove that inspires a Sunday afternoon family feast – such a feast, of course, begins in the kitchen. Local singer Carlos Kandia opens. $10. www.facebook.com/events/167104647228582.
9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20
So, I had to explain to my mom (a rabid fan of Dave Alvin’s country blues solo work) that this show is unequivocally not the Dave Alvin she’s used to. The white-hot axeman and former Blaster reassumes his post with legendary Southern California punk forebears and “voodoo blues” hellcats the Flesheaters and the rest of its star-powered lineup: John Doe and DJ Bonebreak of X, Bill Bateman (also of the Blasters), Chris “Chris D.” Desjardins and Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin. Tom Heyman opens. Doors 8 p.m. $30 adv./$35 door. www.harlows.com.
Looking ahead: Chali 2NA & House of Vibe. Feb. 14 at Harlow’s
Happy Valentine’s Day from enigmatic emcee Chali 2NA, one of the wizards behind Latin rock powerhouse Ozomatli and hip-hop legends Jurassic 5. $15. www.harlows.com.