Two free performances on the green at the Steam Pump Village shopping center in Oro Valley begin the 2009-'10 Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance Cultural Concert Series.
This Friday, Oct. 30, the Sweet Willie D Blues Band takes the stage at 6:30 p.m.
The four-man outfit has a sound rooted in the West Memphis blues. When he was 12 years old, front man Willie D played the drums in a Memphis blues club owned by the great blues guitarist Albert King. He draws musical inspiration from other blues greats, including B.B. King, Lucky Peterson and Luther Allison.
In the decades since, Willie D learned the guitar and traveled throughout the South with various blues acts. In 2005, the Missouri native moved to Tucson and resumed his playing career.
A second performance at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20 features The Rafael Moreno Quartet and its classic Latin sound.
Moreno has made an indelible mark on Tucson's Latin music scene during his nearly 20-year career. He has assembled a top-notch group of players — Amilcar Guevara (piano), Ian Stapp (bass), Eric Hines (percussion) — to back him for the Nov. 20 concert at Steam Pump Village. The quartet will play boleros, bossa nova, Latin jazz and American Songbook standards with a Latin twist.
The 2009-10 SAACA Cultural Concert Series at Steam Pump features a variety of ethnic, regional and world musical styles. The goal of each free performance is "to broaden attendees' appreciation of various musical traditions and the cultures from which they originate," a release said.
Sweet Willie D Blues Band
6:30 pm. Friday, Oct. 30
Steam Pump Village, Oro Valley