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Harry Allen

With over 20 albums under his own name, and a contract with the respected major record label BMG, this New York City-based tenor saxman has no shortage of platitudes to his credit.

Born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Los Angeles, he dazzles listeners with an exciting mixture of bold musical ideas and precise timing. 3 of his albums have won awards in jazz-obsessed Japan, and many others regularly land in the annual Top Ten lists of a variety of jazz-themed magazines.

He divides his time between festivals and club dates in the U.S. and abroad, and has played with (among others) Rosemary Clooney, Hank Jones, Harry 'Sweets' Edison, Kenny Burrell, and Bucky Pizzarelli. He’s recorded with everyone from Tony Bennett and Al Foster to Sheryl Crow and James Taylor. Noted critic Leonard Feather describes his talent as “outstanding,” and Martin Richards of Jazz Journal remarked of Allen, “(He’s) rich and satisfying when he's balladeering, mind blowing when he's cooking."

For this rare area engagement, “the Frank Sinatra of The Saxophone” will be joined by a regional combo featuring pianist Bob Alberti, bassist Phil Flanigan, and drummer Jon Wacker. Call ahead for reservations. Fri. - Sat., 7:30 pm, The Jazz Corner (Hilton Head).

Kylesa

After trudging and toiling through the metal dive and punk house party scene, this increasingly popular hometown band has moved on to bigger and better things.

Not that they’ve forsaken their roots – they can still be found throwing down at all manner of venues, from small holes-in-the-wall to impressively-sized clubs and theatres. However, with an big-budget release on California-based Prosthetic Records, and a recently-completed tour of Europe under their belts, Kylesa’s stock seems to be going straight up.

Their brutal brand of modern metal and post-hardcore is rooted in the sound of the defunct Savannah group Damad (whose breakup led to this band’s formation), and the love that many worldwide still have for that doom-ridden, challenging outfit has bled over into something of an instant fanbase for the similarly-themed Kylesa. Still, it’s one thing to inherit a crowd and another to keep it. This band is holding their own and moving beyond their shared history.

Catch them while you can before they take off again for parts unknown... Torche and Coliseum open. Sat., 10 pm, The Jinx.

Frank Vignola and Joe Ascione

This phenomenal fusion group is known for a hypnotic blend of gypsy swing, island grooves, the “high lonesome sound” of American acoustic roots music, and driving, soulful Latin rhythms straight from the golden ages of such pioneering rock groups as Santana and War.

Their setlist is just as eclectic, and allows these masterful musicians to show off both their diverse taste and their considerable chops. They tear through inspired and inventive arrangements of everything from Hoagy Carmichael and Cole Porter standards to works by Mozart and The Doobie Brothers.

The Frank & Joe Show (as it’s sometimes billed) centers around the interplay between guitarist Vignola and percussionist Ascione – both former child prodigies on their respective instruments. The two have played together regularly since 1989, and it shows. They are known for having an almost telepathic sense of each other’s musical intuition.

Once more, with this no-cover performance, The Mansion is defining itself as a premiere venue for top-shelf, adult-oriented live music. Fri., 9 pm, The Mansion on Forsyth Park.

Kenny & Amanda Smith

This great group was named Emerging Artist of 2003 by the International Bluegrass Music Association, but they’ve paid their dues individually through years of steady work. Kenny spent 6 years with The Lonesome River Band, and his wife Amanda came to bluegrass through her love of vocalists like Emmylou Harris and Alison Krauss. They’re joined by famed banjoist (and legendary banjo maker) Steve Huber. Simply put, this is an All-star lineup and should not be missed by even casual fans of bluegrass. For advance tickets, call 748-1930. Sat., 8 pm, Randy Wood’s Pickin’ Parlor (Bloomingdale).

Seneca

With so many indie acts these days mining the whole “fragile, dreamy, lush, ambient rock” thing, we should all be forgiven for keeping our eyes at half-mast when confronted with yet another one. However, I’m tempted to say this Boston-area group stands out. They seem more in control of their chaotic aural washes than most, and while they obviously dig the dynamic shifts and bombast that are part and parcel of math-rock, they’re definitely in the pre-algebra class.

The melodramatic, mildly tortured vocals avoid the screamo trappings that lesser bands would stoop to for cheap catharsis, and above all, their prevailing mood seems to be one of regretful release. This should be a loud show for such a live room, so come prepared. Daniel Shinall (a solo emo/folk songwriter) opens. Wed., 8 pm, The Sentient Bean.

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Jim Reed

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Connect Today 12.08.2016

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