San Diego has had many jazz legends call San Diego home, but few have been as vital to San Diego’s music community as Gilbert Castellanos, who appears at Tango Del Rey on Saturday, April 17. Despite an increasing international profile that finds him backing the likes of Diana Krall, Castellanos continues to be a tireless champion for local jazz, hosting concerts and jam sessions locally for nearly a decade. For his own concert appearances, Castellanos uses a rotating line up of top musicians. However, whether he’s encouraging up-and-coming players or coaxing local notables into a jam session, his combos never fail to conjure up some of the best jazz San Diego has ever produced.
Allegra Sings: Tuesday, April 20, 9 p.m. at The Tiki House, 1152 Garnet Ave. Cover TBD. 21 and up. www.myspace.com/allegrasings
It’s not easy standing out in today’s overwhelmed acoustic music scene, but singer-songwriter Allegra Barley, who performs at the Tiki House on April 20, manages to do so, using a tried and true gimmick; ace songwriting. Winner of the 2009 San Diego Songwriters Guild competition, she is at home in a solo or group setting, her hook-filled tunes and dry wit an excellent choice for a night out. While Barley is not adverse to throw in the occasional crowd pleasing cover, it’s her original material that resonates most with audiences.
Marcy Playground: Wednesday, April 21, 8:30 p.m. at Brick by Brick, 1130 Buenos Ave. 21 and up. $ 16. www.myspace.com/officialmarcy
Formed in 1996, Marcy Playground, who appear at Brick by Brick on April 21 managed to hit the top 10 with their first single, 1997’s “Sex and Candy.” Unfortunately, despite four albums, a dozen singles and soundtrack appearances, that chart placing would prove to be the trio’s peak. The epitome of the phrase “one-hit-wonder,” the band’s music deserves a much wider hearing, as frontman John Wozniak is a wonderfully eccentric writer adept at folk, rock or psychedelia. Though the loudest cheers will be for their hit’s obligatory airing, Marcy Playground’s other material is well worth investigating.
Stick Figure: Saturday April 24,
9 p.m. at the 710 Beach Club, 710 Garnet Ave. 21 and up. Cover TBD. www.myspace.com/stickfiguremusic
Originally based in Massachusetts, reggae-influenced quartet Stick Figure recently relocated to the West Coast, with San Diego as its focus. Currently touring to promote their third album, “Smoke Stack,” the band appears at the 710 Beach Club on April 24. While much current reggae is of the cookie-cutter variety, Stick Figure stands out from the throng by eschewing ska elements and instead focusing on reggae’s reverb-laden side, for a set that’s pure groove.
Mother Mary Mood: Sunday, April 25, 9 p.m. at O’Connell’s, 1310 Morena Blvd. 21 and up. Cover TBD. www.myspace.com/mothermarymood
San Diego continues to attract bands from around the world to its music scene. The latest temporary transplant is Ireland’s Mother Mary Mood, who perform at O’Connell’s on April 25. The band wears its influences on its sleeve, with dashes of Pearl Jam, The Cult and the Who to be found amidst their power chords. Anyone who enjoys melody, anthemic passages or stadium rock in general will find much to enjoy here.