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MUSIC

Arturo O'Farrill Quartet & Yosvany Terry Quintet
7:30 p.m. Wed., April 12
University of New Orleans, University Center, Flambeau Room, 280-6381

8 p.m. & 10 p.m. Thu.-Fri, April 13-14
Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro, 626 Frenchmen St., 949-0696

CubaNola Collective presents "Latin Roots: A Celebration in the Afro-Cuban Roots of New Orleans Jazz," a season of concerts opening with ensemble performances led by Arturo O'Farrill and Yosvany Terry. O'Farrill is director of the Lincoln Center's Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra in New York City. Terry, who also resides in New York, is one of the most important emerging musicians in Latin jazz. These gifted artists and their bands will perform two nights at Snug Harbor. O'Farrill will also perform in collaboration with UNO students as part of the university's Jazz at the Sandbar series. In addition to the public concerts, O'Farrill and Terry will conduct workshops for students at Gretna Middle School and McDonogh 35 Senior High School that explore the cultural and musical ties that bind Cuba and New Orleans. The CubaNola Collective works to bring musicians, artists and scholars together to explore these ties through performances, educational programs, heritage tours and artistic collaborations throughout Louisiana. For more information call 858-1730 or visit www.cubanola.org. — Katie Walenter



STAGE

The Comedy of Errors
8 p.m. Thu.-Sat., April 13-15; through April 22
University of New Orleans, Performing Arts Center, Thrust Theatre, 280-SHOW

If ever there was a work that trafficked in the notion of willing suspension of disbelief, it was Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors, whose plot seems alternately overly complex and simplified all at once. We have two sets of twins — not one, but two — and yet through its Byzantine story structure, the Bard's favorite theme of mistaken identity leads to as predictable a conclusion as his other comedies. Much ado about nothing? Perhaps, but not only is this Shakespeare's shortest, breeziest work, but it also either coined or popularized one of the most-used phrases ever — and one might say it could have described the governmental response to Katrina perfectly. At UNO, David Hoover directs a cast that features Derrick Deal and Mandi Turner (pictured) along with Jai Hodge and Jared Gore; set design by Tricia Vitrano; costumes by Tony French; lighting by Scott Cally and stage managing by Jennifer Sacks. Tickets $12 general admission, $10 UNO faculty/staff and seniors, and $8 UNO students with ID. — David Lee Simmons


MUSIC

Dwight Yoakam
8 p.m. Fri., April 14
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 529-BLUE; www.hob.com

Dwight Yoakam has always kept the country-music world guessing. It all started ironically enough 20 years ago with the release of Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc., which set such an unapologetic honky-tonk tone that Nashville purists were wondering if he was more than a mere stylist. Critics rightly blessed him almost immediately, though, and by the mid-1990s Yoakam was on a roll that featured the haunting If There Was a Way (1990), the masterful This Time (1993) and the adventuresome Gone (1995). His creativity meandered thereafter, whether due to his modestly successful acting career or the pressure to match his peak efforts. So it's only fitting that fans were still guessing in anticipation of last year's Blame the Vain (New West), his first work without longtime producer, guitarist and general collaborator Pete Anderson. The result is almost stunning in its sense of liberation even while exploring the tried-and-true theme of heartbreak. "She'll Remember" features a psychedelic nod to the Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" (and two tempo changes), yet he still finds time to honor legends such as Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison. Tickets $39.50. — Simmons



MUSIC

Rent Party benefit
6 p.m. Mon., April 17
The Howlin' Wolf, 907 S. Peters St., 522-WOLF; www.howlin-wolf.com

Bring It On Home, an organization dedicated to supporting local musicians, presents a "Rent Party" with proceeds benefiting the creation of new venues and performance opportunities. The organization is under the umbrella of the St. Tammany Art Association located in Covington (www.sttammantart.org). The event harks back to the rent parties of 1920s and '30s Harlem (and other major northern cities), when living quarters were filled with African Americans who had left the Deep South, including many musicians and artists. The residents would charge friends and discrete strangers a small fee to dance and party in their cramped apartments (ever wonder where the term "shin-dig" came from?) to help pay their steep rents. Ingenious, right? Not only did these parties offer inexpensive entertainment and help pay the rent, they also furthered the development of improvisational jazz as musicians jammed together into the wee hours. This rent party will be fashioned after the original ones: there is no set list or order to the bands. Performers include Leroy Jones, Ed Petersen, David Torkanowsky, Don Vappie, Gerald Adams, Leah Chase, the Maryland Jazz Band (pictured) from Cologne, Germany, and who knows who else may decide to sit in on the "cutting contest." For an additional fee, the celebration also features red beans and rice, shrimp etouffee, gumbo, collard greens, and mac and cheese provided by Cafe Reconcile. Director Glen Pitre will film the event for inclusion in his forthcoming PBS/Louisiana Public Broadcasting documentary, American Creole: New Orleans Reunion. General admission tickets $10, food tickets $10. — Walenter

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