LOCAL MOTION: If you’re in tune with the Latin jazz scene, chances are you know Luis Muñoz. The Costa Rica native and bonafide composition master is a longtime Santa Barbara staple, capable of dishing out one stunningly romantic album after the next, it seems. Just take LUZ, Muñoz’s latest studio offering, which gets a proper send-up this Thursday, March 14, at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club (1221 State St.). The album, which draws comparison to both Miles Davis and Gilberto Gil at points, is a lush and melodic survey in Latin jazz that finds Muñoz at the top of his game, both in fluidity and style. On Thursday, Muñoz will be joined by Tom Etchart on bass, Jonathan Dane on trumpet, George Friedenthal on keyboards, and Narciso Sotomayor on guitar. For tickets and info, call (805) 962-7776 or visit sohosb.com.
Also this week, Isla Vista alums Rebelution make a weekend of it when they head to the Majestic Ventura Theatre (26 S. Chestnut St., Ventura) for a two-night-long homecoming party this Thursday-Friday, March 14-15. The reggae rockers roll through town with positive vibes aplenty, as well as openers J Boog and Hot Rain. Both shows start at 8 p.m.
SOMETHING SPECIAL: Speaking of Ventura, next week the Majestic’s marquee lights up for one of ska music’s greatest, The Specials. Formed in England in 1977, the band helped usher in the long-running second wave of ska music with their high-energy stage shows and upbeat mix of dancehall rhythms and punk rock power. While the band has been through plenty of members — and two lengthy “official splits” — since reuniting in 2008 they’ve been going strong, making appearances at festival gigs around the world. They play the Majestic Ventura Theater on Friday, March 22, at 8 p.m. Call (805) 653-0118 or visit venturatheater.net for tickets and info.
HEADED SOUTHBY: This week also marks the musical leg of this year’s South by Southwest Music Festival and Conference in Austin, Texas. Aside from hosting pretty much all of the music industry, the 10-day celebration of film, interactive media, and live tunes is boasting some of the biggest names in rock ‘n’ roll (Stevie Nicks, Dave Grohl, Thurston Moore, and Nick Cave are all slated to make appearances), as well as more up-and-comers than we can wrap our heads around. On the local tip, Santa Barbara’s own Sonos will be teaming up with the likes of Hulu, KCRW, and Deadmau5 at their very own SXSW headquarters, where they’ll host live sets by Surfer Blood, Poolside, and Chelsea Light Moving, among others. Other locs to make the trek: Kenny Loggins’ new group, Blue Sky Riders, and longtime S.B. music maker Kyle Nicolaides’ Beware of Darkness, which makes its South By debut on Friday, March 15. For full coverage of the event, stayed tuned to independent.com/sxsw2013 throughout the weekend, where we’ll provide for snippets, pics, and daily round-ups of the fun.