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Critic's Picks: The Mavericks and Los Lobos; Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill; Van Django

The Mavericks, led by singer Raul Malo, second from right, will be joined by Los Lobos for a performance at the Royal Theatre on Friday. DAVID MCCLISTER


Where: Royal Theatre

When: Friday, Sept. 30, 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: $98.75-$120.75 from the Royal McPherson box office (250-386-6121) or

Two genre-blurring Americana groups will thrill audiences at the Royal Theatre on Friday, with early reports pointing to a sold-out show. The Mavericks, the Miami-bred, Nashville-based group led by singer Raul Malo, and Los Lobos, the four-time Grammy Award winners from East Los Angeles, are among the most adventurous acts in music today, and blur the lines between Latin, country music and rock ‘n’ roll. Both acts have re-discovered their mojo of late, and continue to add challenging, enjoyable contributions to the annals of contemporary music. Do not miss what is sure to be an adventurous night of music — it’s one of the best double-bills in years.


Where: Hermann’s Jazz Club/Hermann’s Upstairs

When: Sept. 30- Oct. 8

Tickets: $37.50-$47.50 from or

Why: Four performances split between Hermann’s Jazz Club and Hermann’s Upstairs bring this Tony Award-winning play to the View Street venue, with Rosemary Elizabeth Jeffery in the role of Billie Holiday, Set in 1959, not long before the singer’s death, this combination of jazz and live theatre — rare for Hermann’s — takes place at Emerson’s bar in Philadelphia, with more than a dozen songs placed betwixt personal reflections by the singer. Crazy He Calls Me, God Bless the Child, and Strange Fruit are in the setlist, which will be sung by Jeffery with support from Attila Fias (piano) and Joey Smith (bass).


Where: Royal Theatre

When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, 2:30 p.m. (Oct. 1 and 2)

Tickets: $29-$98 from the Royal McPherson box office (250-386-6121) or

Why: Gypsy jazz goes down exceedingly well in Victoria, which has hosted its share of events paying tribute to the music of Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli over the past several decades. Van Django is the latest addition to that ever-growing list, but with a few twists and turns. The string ensemble of Cameron Wilson (violin), Budge Schachte (guitar), Finn Manniche (guitar, cello) and Brent Gubbels (bass) keep things interesting by enlivening the genre with everything from rock songs (Deep Purple, The Beatles) to humorous mash-ups. The band has described itself as a musical hodge-podge, which is the perfect way of saying no stone is left unturned.

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