What's up with jazz and blues

This weekend offers two can't-miss shows. On Friday night it's guitar-jazz duo John Rose and Steve Yankee at Joe Squared in Station North. On Saturday night, catch Baltimore-born saxophonist Craig Alston at Phaze 10 starting at 8 p.m.

Manouche jazz, which got its start in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s, blends Gypsy guitar rhythms with more traditional American jazz forms. Whereas traditional swing tends to set the tempo with the drums and bass, manouche jazz employs strumming on the guitar-"la pompe," which translates to "the pump"-for that repetitive, percussive feel. The Hot Club of Baltimore will perform manouche jazz reminiscent of the sounds of Paris' and New York City's 1930s jazz scene during two performances at An die Musik on July 18. Shows are at 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.; tickets are $10 in advance, and $15 at the door.

The summer jazz concert series at the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum in Catonsville continues on July 27 with a performance featuring trumpeter John Lamkin II. The concert begins at 6 p.m. and goes until the evening. Admission is $10.

Blue Notes won't be back for several weeks, so it occurs to us to make mention of this year's Hot August Blues and Roots Festival at Oregon Ridge Park in Cockeysville on Aug. 17. Highlights include Legendary Chicago bluesman Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater, GALACTIC, Greensky Bluegrass, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, and Antibalas. Advance tickets are on sale now for $49.

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