She may be grand in her own right, but the rites of jazz genealogy require we note that Dianne Reeves is the artist of today with the greatest claim to Sarah Vaughan's crown. Like Vaughan, she can sweep to a high-note crescendo that leaves listeners feeling like they're being pulled by an updraft. Like Vaughan, Reeves puts all that power into a song without losing its story. And also like Vaughan, Reeves can have an infectious good time doing what she does. The native-born Detroiter and multi-Grammy winner performs at 8 p.m. at Music Hall, 350 Madison Ave., Detroit; 313-887-8501. Tickets $28.50-$55.
ASHEN: Beili Liu and Nightfire Dance Theater
The brainchild of installation artist Beili Liu, ASHEN is a piece of performance art plucked directly from nature. Combining visual media, music, poetry and dance theater, Liu's installation is an homage to our imperiled ash trees. With the accompaniment of steaming video projected onto translucent screens, the Nightfire Dance Theater will use movement, costuming and spirit to create a fitting tribute to Mother Nature. Doors at 6:30 p.m. at the Vitosha Guest Haus Concert Hall, 1917 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor; 734-996-1772. Suggested donations are $3-$15; children free.
It hurts to love a band like Clutch. No, really, it actually hurts to have your brains rattled and your sternum compromised by the thundering bass and "I WILL KILL YOU NOW!" vox. But to be fair, despite their best efforts to blow faces from skulls, their infusion of Minutemen-does-Zep (or is it the other way around?) saves them (and their audiences) in the end. With Five Horse Johnson and Dub Trio at the State Theatre, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-961-5450.
Natalie Y. Moore, Natalie Hopkinson and Eddie B. Allen Jr.
Wayne State University grads-turned-authors kick off a new books-and-wine series by the WSU Organization of Black Alumni and the wine connoisseurs group Tastemakers Detroit. WSU grad Natalie Y. Moore and her writing partner Natalie Hopkinson explore black male identity in the hip-hop era in their book Deconstructing Tyrone. (Among the objects of deconstruction is Detroit's hip-hop mayor, portrayed as both flashy, fresh and "arrogant ... undisciplined.") Also appearing is Metro Times contributor Eddie B. Allen Jr. to discuss his book Low Road: The Life and Legacy of Donald Goines. At 6 p.m. at Barnes and Noble, 82 W. Warren Ave., Detroit; call 313-577-2279 for info.
Wednesday & Sunday 14 & 18
Athens, Ga., has a knack for birthing rock 'n' roll bands. And while most pop wonks think R.E.M. and the B-52s when citing the peach-y Southern town, today's music fan is reminded of, ahem, Of Montreal. Their sublimely catchy brand of indie rock harnesses all the goodness of computer-generated blips and sputters; their performance-art bent gives them an appropriate seriousness. Think of the Shins at a sock hop where the boys are still shorter than the girls. Wednesday's show has sold out, but they've added a date on Sunday, March 18, at the Majestic Theatre, 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700.
Quebecois artist Jacques Clément delves deeply into emotions in his latest installation at Windsor's Artcite Gallery. Clément's enormous works consist of sketches, collages and drawings, which are attached to large, screen-like panels to create a multilayered, almost organic look. Opening reception is 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 16, at Artcite, 109 University Ave. W., Windsor, Ontario; 519-977-6564. Ends April 14.
New works from Detroit-based Arab-American artist Adnan Charara will be featured in his one-man show, Juxtaposed. Charara says he drew inspiration from his experiences as an immigrant artist to create his latest installation, saying that this exhibit "reflects upon the ways that people retain their traditions while assimilating into a new culture." His colorful, bold pieces recall an oddly symbiotic amalgam of Renaissance, cubist and futurist traditions. At the Arab American National Museum, 13624 Michigan Ave., Dearborn; 313-582-AANM. Ends May 31.
Oakland University professor Mark Rogers will join Imaginary Homeland for an evening of American jazz infused with Western African sounds and rhythms. While the homogenization of such genres is nothing new, like chocolate and peanut butter, it's still delightful every time. Viva musical integration! At 8 p.m. at Varner Recital Hall on the campus of Oakland University, 2200 N. Squirrel Rd., Rochester Hills. Call 248-370-2032 for information. Tickets are $16.
Beats and Pieces
Some say Plan B has the best sound system in the city, and have said so since the bank building-turned-dance club on Congress was still called Panacea. The space should definitely have enough power for Stacey Pullen to destroy on the decks; he's sounded energized and even adventurous at a few recent local gigs, and will have his house set out for the second installment of Beats and Pieces, which gets better before we even mention the sneakers. While Pullen, John Arnold (performing live), and Errol hold it down in Plan B, you can catch Roots drummer Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson downstairs in Confidential Lounge doing a DJ set with with Yameen (part of Square Biz in Philly with Thompson) and Dez from Slum Village. That's a pretty sick lineup for sounds. But what about the kicks? Beats and Pieces will also feature a slew of rare and vintage sneaks for all the shoe-head street culture kids in the D. At Plan B and Confidential Lounge, 211 W. Congress, Detroit; 1-888-257-4992.
It's ballet 101 nobody's denying it. But Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake should be given a chance every performance has its own signature. This classic tale of love and woe is presented by American Ballet Theatre and is augmented by a special appearance (Saturday, March 17 and Sunday, March 18) from Angelina Ballerina, a fictitious children's book and TV character. Angelina Ballerina teaches kids through her love of dance that hard work and courage can help them reach great heights. At the Detroit Opera House, 1526 Broadway, Detroit; 313-961-3500. Tickets are $28-$100.
The Elephant Man
In this heartbreaking retelling of the life of John Merrick also known as the Elephant Man audiences are exposed to the truly evil and the truly beautiful sides of the human condition. The malformed Merrick is saved from the freak show by the complicated Dr. Treves, but will his misfortune be exploited yet again, this time in the name of science? Runs various dates until May 3, at the Hilberry Theatre, 4743 Cass Ave., Detroit. Visit hilberry.com or call 313-577-2972 for specific dates and times.
Eve Doster is the listings editor of Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org