Music roundup for Aug. 14, 2014

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By Kareesa Wilson, Special to The Gazette
Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Ana Popovic at 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 14, Shank Hall, 1434 N. Farwell Ave., Milwaukee. Tickets: $25. Call 414-276-7288.

Ana Popovic is a one-of-a-kind blues musician. The 38-year-old native of Belgrade plays Serbian blues guitar. Now working out of Memphis, Tennessee, Popovic definitely has cornered an unusual niche market.

She started playing blues as a teenager, formed a band and became a club fixture in her hometown. Her 2001 debut solo album, “Hush!,” was a critical success and prompted Popovic to become a full-time musician.

Her 2003 follow-up, “Comfort to the Soul,” was recorded in Memphis and cemented her place on the blues scene. Popovic landed twice at the top of Billboard's blues chart with her 2007 album, “Still Making History,” and 2011's “Unconditional.” Her ninth album, last year's “Can You Stand the Heat,” won her a Blues Music Award nomination for contemporary blues female artist of the year.

For her efforts, Popovic has earned numerous awards and nominations worldwide—from Memphis' Blues Music Awards to honors in Paris and London. Her talent and worldview enrich and expand the vibrant blues sound.

Streetlife at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 15, Harry C. Moore Pavilion, Riverside Park, 1160 Riverside Drive, Beloit.

The Milwaukee Bucks' house band, Street-life, knows how to take it to the street. The funky jazz outfit feeds off audience participation and energy.

Led by saxophonist Warren Wiegratz, the band improvises and plays a mashup of contemporary jazz and R&B. There's no snooze factor here; band members keep basketball games hopping and audiences moving.

In the off season, Streetlife stays busy offering jazz clinics, touring, recording—the band has three albums—and performing at Milwaukee's Jazz in the Park and Summerfest.

Streetlife has won several Wisconsin Area Music Industry Awards, including awards for best adult contemporary group and best contemporary jazz group.

Several band members have been honored, too, including Wiegratz, who won WAMI's Milestone Award this year for outstanding achievement in music. Other band members are singer/WAMI winner Joe Jordan, singer Rhonda Begos, drummer Ryan Schiedermayer, bassist Eric Hervey and guitarist Peter Mac.

Dirty Dozen Brass Band at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 15, Shank Hall, 1434 N. Farwell Ave., Milwaukee. Tickets: $20. Call 414-276-7288.

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band will take you on a stroll down Bourbon Street. After all, it's celebrating 37 years of playing classic New Orleans jazz.

Dirty Dozen grew out of a Baptist church marching band started by Danny Barker to give young musicians a creative outlet. The band's popularity prompted Barker to bring in professional trumpeter Leroy Jones and take it to the next level. He and Jones formed the Tornado Brass Band, which soon disbanded but reformed in 1977 with the lineup of Gregory Davis, Kirk Joseph, Charles Joseph, Kevin Harris, Efrem Townes, Roger Lewis, Benny Jones and Jenell Marshall.

The group took its name from the Dirty Dozen Social and Pleasure Club, a fixture in its Sixth Ward neighborhood, which is more famously known as Treme.

The band started recording in the 1980s. Under various lineups, it has released more than 15 studio albums and collaborated with many other musicians and groups, including Elvis Costello, Norah Jones and Modest Mouse.

Dirty Dozen is hailed as one of the best—if not the best—New Orleans jazz band playing today.

Ladies for Liberty at 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 17, Ferro Pavilion, George Williams College, 350 Constance Blvd., Williams Bay. Tickets: $25-$55. Call 262-245-8501 or visit musicbythelake.com.

Get ready to swing and sing along with Ladies for Liberty, a World War II-era tribute show.

Ladies for Liberty features several singers dressed and singing like the popular Andrews Sisters, who were known for their many performances for troops at home and overseas.

The show has a nostalgic feel and highlights the swing era's most popular music and styles. From “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” to “God Bless America,” the ladies re-enact the patriotism and musical strengths of a quickly disappearing generation.

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