Top 5 Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: The Wayne Shorter Quartet, John Wiese, Jo Koy and More

The Wayne Shorter Quartet
The Wayne Shorter Quartet
Photo by Dorsay Alavi

For those who want to see a genuine giant of jazz's golden era in live performance, time isn't on your side. Sure Sonny Rollins, Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor and Jimmy Heath still perform occasionally, but seeing them on stage is probably going to require a trip to New York or a pricey ticket to a major music festival. Luckily, Da Camera of Houston gives us an opportunity to see Wayne Shorter perform in Houston when the Wayne Shorter Quartet celebrates the legendary saxophonist's 80th birthday on Friday.

Shorter, who led groups under his own hard-bop leanings, was a leading light in jazz fusion, co-founding the ensemble Weather Report. He often played in other men's bands (Art Blakely's Jazz Messengers, Miles Davis's Second Great Quintet). He also penned classics like "Nefertiti," "E.S.P." and "Footprints" (all for Davis). "Wayne is a real composer," the famously skinflinty-with-compliments Davis wrote in his autobiography. "He knew that freedom in music was the ability to know the rules in order to bend them to your satisfaction and taste." Shorter's current quartet -- which features Danilo Perez on piano, John Patitucci on bass, and Brian Blade on drums -- released the well-received Without a Net last year.

See the Wayne Shorter Quartet at 8 p.m. Wortham Theater Center, 500 Texas. For information, call 713-524-5050 or visit $40 to $65.

From "The 36th Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition"
From "The 36th Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition"
Photo by Jeremy Underwood

Is the image in the photograph above A) a wooden sculpture in the shape of a whooping crane's head, B) a mock-up of a canon used on the set of a movie about an intergalactic war, C) none of the above, D) all of the above, or E) art, so it's up for interpretation? If you answered E, congratulations, you understand contemporary art. (Technically, if you answered A, B, C, D or E, you understand contemporary art.) The photo is one of the works seen in the "36th Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition" at the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston, which has its opening reception on Friday. Some 18 upperclassmen and grad students have work in the show, a showcase for work created by visual artists that are in the university's MFA program.

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Maria Granato Sharon, a Master of Arts candidate in art history and coordinator of the exhibition, calls the show an important part of the students' education. Via press materials, Sharon says, "The art presented in the "MFA Exhibition" is the culmination of their three years as graduate students. They share what they've learned over this time, and audiences can get a preview of what to expect from these artists in the future."

There's an opening reception 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday. Regular viewing hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays. Through April 19. Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston, 3800 Calhoun. For information, call 713-743-9521 or visit Free.

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