Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s Sweet Sounds at Byham; Improv Hosts Guy Torry (CPs Wed., 1/29/2014)
1) Enjoy an evening of South African culture and the sweet, raw sounds of Ladysmith Black Mambazo at the Byham Theater. For over 50 years, the group has been creating music and teaching audiences about South African music and customs. In 1986, their popularity in the Western hemisphere skyrocketed after collaborating with Paul Simon for the album Graceland. You may remember them best for “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes.” The group has received many honors, including three Grammy Awards and four South African Music Awards. In 2009, founder Joseph Shabalala created The Ladysmith Black Mambazo Foundation to educate South African children about their culture. If you can’t escape the Pittsburgh cold, take a virtual trip with LBM while you daydream of warmer climes. 7:30 p.m. 101 Sixth St., Cultural District.
2) No one is safe from satire with funny man Guy Torry’s stand up routine at Pittsburgh Improv. You may remember him from such films as American History X (Lamont), Pearl Harbor (Teeny Mayfield), and Slow Burn (Chet Price), however it’s his comedy that makes him a true diamond in the rough. A self-described gentleman “somewhere between Denzel and Flava Flav,” Torry leaves his internal filter at home for uncensored, biting comedy. Leaving no stone unturned, Torry makes cracks at just about every daily habit, reminding audiences to lighten up and not take life so seriously. 8 p.m. Performances through Feb. 1. 166 E. Bridge St., Homestead.
3) And now for something completely different! Electric violinist, beat-boxer, and vocalist Brian Fitzy brings us a new way to see live music at Club Café. Using his array of talents, the artist recreates popular songs with his own twist, like Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” or Eminem’s “Forgot About Dre.” His impressive skills break the mold of the traditional association of violins with classical music while his beat-boxing and improvisation make for a one-of-a-kind performance. Fellow beat-boxer Mike Why warms up the crowd tonight, so get there early. 8 p.m. 56-58 S. 12th St., South Side.
4) Hip hop artist Dom Kennedy brings his beat to Pittsburgh’s Altar Bar. Reminiscent of early ’90s rappers like Tupac and Notorious B.I.G., Kennedy uses old school rhythms that emphasize the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” After the mixtape From the Westside, With Love II debuted in the iTunes Top 10 Hip Hop charts, Kennedy toured the country to promote his forthcoming The Yellow Album. With any luck, he’ll give the audience a taste of the new record to show that the best is yet to come. Special guests include Skeme, OSFM, The Come Up, and Tutto Fresco. 7 p.m. 1620 Penn Ave., Strip District.