Utah Arts Fest Must-Sees 

Musical acts your ears can't miss

click to enlarge Chicago Afrobeat
  • Chicago Afrobeat

Rest your eyes from the visual smorgasbord at the 36th-annual Utah Arts Festival (Library Square, June 21-24, UAF.org), and let your ears do the artistic appreciation for a while. The robust lineup offers 13 national headliners and 66 local acts. Here are a few of my faves. For continuing coverage, visit CityWeekly.net/UAF.

James McMurtry
This cranky troubadour often sells out SLC shows, because his Texas swagger-filled country-rock is something you won’t soon forget. @ Amphitheater Stage, Thursday, 8:30 p.m.

Stooges Brass Band Parade
When a Second Line drums up a funky fuss, it’s party time! NOLA’s current “it” brass band will take over the festival grounds three times, and the last parade ends with a full set Friday, at the Amphitheater Stage. Thursday, 9:15 p.m.; Friday, 5 p.m. & 8:30 p.m.

Mike Farris & the Roseland Rhythm Revue
After recovering from addiction, former rocker Mike Farris went the way of gospel. His best, 2007’s Salvation in Lights, is rootsy and evocative with his signature big-band and soul flares. @ Festival Stage, Thursday, 9:45 p.m.

RawXtract with DJ Electronic Battleship
Recipe for one unique visual-sonic collab: RawXtract’s mashup of vintage cinema and projected eye candy woven with the sounds of keys, spoken word and DJ Electronic Battleship’s heavy-bass/hip-hop/downbeat sound. @ Big Mouth Stage, Friday, 5:30 p.m. & Sunday, 5:30 p.m.

The Orbit Group
SLC’s finest experimental-jazz ensemble recently relocated to Los Angeles, but they’re back for one show. @ Park Stage, Saturday, 6:15 p.m.

Joe Jordan’s Experiment
The band name nods either to Jordan’s musical range—from heavy-metal to blues and hip-hop to folk—or to his bantering big-gray-afro-ed mom, who’s his drummer. @ Park Stage, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

The Jingoes
They’d be a punk-rock band, but they’re too good of players. Their wall-of-guitar sound will be heard festival-wide, so just go deaf in front of the speakers. @ Park Stage, Sunday, 3:45 p.m.

Chicago Afrobeat Project
The minor-key driven, syncopated grooviness of Afrobeat received a resurgence with FELA! the Musical’s 2010 Tony Awards nominations, but these Midwestern genre stalwarts have been doin’ it big for a decade. @ Amphitheater Stage, Sunday, 8:30 p.m.

The best local indie-electro band ends the weekend by donning face paint, dousing the audience with glitter and turning the hot summer night into a steamy dance party. @ Park Stage, Sunday, 9 p.m.

Twitter: @AustenDiamond

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