Jazz is in this buzzworthy trumpeter’s blood. The grandson of horn legend Doc Cheatham, he found his own bag early on, and while still in college (he graduates from Oberlin Conservatory in May), he’s already attracted attention as both a player and composer/arranger. He’s been featured at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall alongside such luminaries as Clark Terry, Jimmy Heath and Benny Powell, and guested with Nicholas Payton at the 2005 New Orleans Jazz Fest. No less than the great Donald Byrd calls him a “phenomenal instrumentalist who will redirect the flow of today’s New Jazz.” Wynton Marsalis adds, “The future looks bright for Croker.” I’d agree. For this 2-night stand, he’ll showcase original material from his soon-to-be-released debut CD. Fri. - Sat., 9 pm, Kokopelli’s Jazz Club.
Unhinged Asian-inspired punk chaos masquerading as NYC noise-jazz experimentalism or merely an excuse for a whacked-out nutjob to run around in his underwear wrestling members his bandmate (and any audience members who stray too close to the BVD fiasco? Who cares? Their sets are rather short, but then again, they expend more energy in a half-hour than most bands do in a whole night. Sat., 11 pm, The Jinx.
A bizarre mix of mountain music, silent movie kitsch and the “old, weird America,” this slyly anachronistic songwriter and self-proclaimed “angriest yodelling banjo player in NYC,” started in the biz as an acrobat and juggler, but now writes tunes about such untapped subjects as snake handling, performing elephants and Jesus. This return to Savannah features his compatriots Al Duvall and Singing Sadie. Fri., 8 pm, The Sentient Bean - ALL-AGES.
Musical Salute to Dr. King
This is the 9th year that the Coastal Jazz Association has celebrated the life and enduring legacy of this civil rights leader through music. The bill includes the Savannah Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Teddy Adams and Randall Reese, as well as the Savannah Arts Academy’s Skyelite Jazz Band under the direction of Michael Hutchinson. It’s a great opportunity to see and hear some of the finest veteran and up-and-coming musicians our city has to offer, courtesy of the JEA, the Savannah Jewish Federation, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Observation Day Association and the City of Savannah Leisure Services’ Department. A dessert reception will be held during intermission, and best of all, the whole thing is completely free! Tues., 7 pm, The Jewish Education Alliance (5111 Abercorn St.) -ALL-AGES.
A shining star on the underground hip-hop scene, this Atlanta trio (4 turntables and a microphone) describes themselves as “head change” agents and call their lyrical flow is “2 parts Native Tongue/1 part Carl Sagan.” Their instantly accessible jazz-infused conscious raps have won them coveted opening slots for obvious choices like Talib Kweli and the not-so-obvious indie-rock gods They Might Be Giants. They’ve also provided background music for Cartoon Network’s popular Adult Swim block. Pick up on it. Tues., 11 pm, The Jinx.
Shrimp City Slim
This Charleston singer/guitarist and his band have been playing smooth, danceable “Coastal Blues” for years now to great acclaim in the region. His take on the genre includes elements of Southern boogie, beach and shag grooves and Delta blues. Fri. - Sat., 9 pm, Jazz’d Tapas Bar.
Wright & Van Etten
Good, good, good. Corbi Wright offers hushed, contemplative acoustic guitar-based “anti-folk” (whatever the hell that means anymore) that’s both naive and extremely nuanced at the same time. The beyond intimate nature of the emotions displayed and the manner in which it is dispatched practically begs for rapt attention and silent contemplation on the part of the audience. Close your eyes and meet her halfway. Plus, if you’re on your best behavior, she just might lull you with a Loren Mazzacane Connors tune. Friend and collaborator Sharon Van Etten’s dreamy, Brit-folk-infused (think solo Syd or Nick Drake) oblique odes to warm impermanence, a la just-left-Roxy-era Eno or PJ Harvey on Tuinals. Local acoustic artists Joe Nelson and the duo of Jeff & Martha open. Sat., 8 pm, The Sentient Bean.