17 FRI • MUSIC Ali Jackson — "Much of the power of the freedom movement in the United States has come from this music," the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said of the jazz that "strengthened us with its powerful rhythms when courage began to fail us." Likewise, the freedom movement stirred jazz artists such as John Coltrane, Archie Shepp and drummer Max Roach, the latter of whose 1960 "We Insist! … Freedom Now!" remains a classic of engaged art. To celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, former Detroit drummer Ali Jackson returns from New York to re-create the suite, whose themes encompass slavery's humiliations, emancipation's promise, pride in Africa and more. Bassist Rodney Whitaker, pianist Rick Roe and vocalist Maya Orr (reprising Abbey Lincoln's role) are among the participants at Kerrytown Concert House (415 N. Fourth Ave., Ann Arbor). Call 734-769-2999 for reservations.
17 FRI • MUSIC The Mood Elevator — One of the most aptly named bands in Detroit, the Mood Elevator breaks the fun barometer. Replete with songs about catching love with a butterfly net and being the guy who never hits the home runs, songwriter Chris Plum has harnessed pop and put a feather in its cap. Playing good-time rock ’n’ roll that sings out about innocence and crushes, juxtaposed with five lovable mugs, this band has everything that evokes tingles and squeals and a battery of good old-fashioned frenzy. Besides, it’s reassuring to know that the nice guys can win. At the Magic Bag (22920 Woodward, Ferndale) with the Waxwings and the Singles; call 248-544-3030 for further details.
17 FRI • THEATER Chicago — Forever an American favorite, this Fosse-esque musical, that has recently been codifed into silver screen famedom makes its way to the hometown Baldwin Theatre. This classic story of the Machiavellian chorus girl Roxie Hart and her unfaithful husband has titillated audiences for years; sexy musical numbers such as "All That Jazz" and "Razzle Dazzle" have offered foot-stomping raucous times. See it on stage at the Baldwin Theatre (415 S. Lafayette, Royal Oak). Call 248-541-6430 for tickets.
18 SAT • MUSIC Acid Sonic Research — Local label Acid Sonic Research is dedicated to the sounds of the underground. Focusing on techno, ambience and electro, this elusive organization has a history of catering to a very select audience — but this weekend they will be bringing their cool sounds to John Q. Public for an evening of groovy listening and nonstop dancing. DJs include Denmark’s Christian Bloch (Tresor/LL/Restructured), and Detroiters Kataconda and Wraith, both of Acid Sonic Research. At detroit contemporary (5141 Rosa Parks Boulevard, Detroit.). Call 313-898-4ART for more information.
20 MON • ISSUES & LEARNING Rajmohan Gandhi — In a time when world peace seems distant and forgotten, the words of pacifism can be a beacon of hope. Rajmohan Gandhi, biographer and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, will lecture in honor of civil rights activist the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. From a lineage that spawned nonviolent principles and renowned leadership qualities, Gandhi is much more than a public speaker, having served in the Indian Upper House of Parliament and as the leader of the Indian delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva in 1990. This free lecture will be one of hope and grace under pressure. At Schorling Auditorium, U-M School of Education Building, 610 E. University Ave., Ann Arbor; call 734-936-6510 for further information.