5:00 p.m. ~ WMS Jazz Quartet and String Ensemble Every year, Seattle Weekly donates five percent of the proceeds from REVERB to a music-related nonprofit. This year, it's Friends of Washington Music, which helps fund the music program at South Seattle's Washington Middle School. Tonight's performance will showcase just a few of those music students; you can find more information at their booth, should you be inspired to donate. SARA BRICKNER6:00 p.m. ~ Greta Matassa Easily Seattle's favorite female jazz vocalist, Matassa is rooted in the tradition of Ella, Sarah, and all the giants of swing and balladry. She delivers standards and lesser-known charts with a pure tone, a knowing heart, and unaffected elegance. If you want to hear what love songs can be like when distilled to the essence of a lost age, come hear Matassa. MARK D. FEFER7:00 p.m. ~ Matt Jorgensen + 451 One of the city's most reliably exciting jazz quintets, this band explores the outer reaches of the electro-acoustic landscape with dual saxes, the deft Ryan Burns on Fender Rhodes, and bass anchor man Phil Sparks. Drummer and leader Matt Jorgensen creatively powers the unit. MARK D. FEFER8:00 p.m. ~ Leif Totusek and Freestyle Candela In spite of Seattle's large East African community, live afropop bands tend to be hard to find even when you're looking for them. Leif Totusek and Freestyle Candela are a needle in Seattle's indie-rock haystack. Totusek, who's been in the band for 15 years, plays an African guitar style called soukous that originated in the 1950s in Zaire (currently the Democratic Republic of the Congo)—a shimmery, arpeggiated guitar sound similar to the one Vampire Weekend used on its critically acclaimed 2008 album. Totusek, however, has gone further than lifting a few soukous riffs and adding them to pop songs. In a past interview, he described traveling to London to study soukous from expat African masters; and in his own songs, he's gone so far as to write lyrics in English and have them translated into the Congolese language Lingala. At live shows, his playing seems to flow in all directions simultaneously: rising and falling, melting from one chord to the next, like miniature fireworks displays constantly exploding with color. ERIK NEUMANN9:00 p.m. ~ Lushy Lounge act Lushy employs elements of funk, soul, and pop to create a perfectly pleasant cocktail of uplifting, quirky little jams. The lyrics don't always make sense—not really sure I want to know what they mean by "sunshine in your pants"—but the music makes a smooth, classy backdrop to a nice meal and a bottle of expensive wine. Normally, lounge music is better suited for decked-out old farts wooing women 40 years their junior at stuffy, overpriced restaurants, but Lushy comes off less like our grandparents' music and more like modern lounge-pop act Morcheeba; instead of feeling dated and stodgy, it makes you feel classy and timeless. SARA BRICKNER10:00 p.m. ~ Los Volcanes See feature.
For all things REVERB—including art profiles, ticket info, and reviews—check out SeattleWeekly.com/reverbfestival