Picks of the Week: Sultans of String (1/31), Jackie Ryan (2/1)

After a brief respite from winter at the beginning of this week, temps are predicted to plummet again by Thursday. Perfect time to take in Sultans of String, who will be bringing their fusion of Flamenco, gypsy jazz, Latin and various Euro café sounds (by way of Canada) to Nighttown on Thursday night. Heavy on guitars, violin and pulsating acoustic rhythms, the Sultans should be able to simmer the chill from your bones. Just nominated for World Group of the Year by the SiriusXM Canadian Indie Awards, a category they won in November at the Canadian Folk Music Awards, the group is touring in support of their latest release Move (2011).

On Friday at Nighttown, vocalist Jackie Ryan makes her (long overdue) Cleveland debut. Too many contemporary jazz singers seem schooled in (or for) Broadway musicals, singing with a polished sterility that has little to do with the club or the street, let alone life. Ryan is an exception. She’s that rare thing: a traditionalist who also happens to be genuine. Following the lead of the greatest jazz singer of them all, the divine Ms. Sarah Vaughan, Ryan has a penchant (and the skill) to play with a melody, with individual notes, to lend a song her own unique accent. It’s the mark of any great jazz musician. Ryan is touring in support of her just-released Listen Here (OpenArt, 2013).


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