A week on the scene
Kris Kimura is a rare jazz player with vocal ability to match his instrumental skills. Kimura, leader of the Austin-based Kris Kimura Quartet, is a saxophonist first and foremost, but his smooth, young-Chet-Baker-tenor — heard on pop standards such as “It Had To Be You” and “Let’s Fall In Love” — won him recognition from Downbeat magazine in 2004. Kimura’s group makes its San Antonio debut on Thursday, May 18, at Medusa Lounge (203 N. Presa) for the Rakugaki art opening, featuring new work by Wendi Kimura (Kris’s sister, and a former arts editor of the Current) and Matthew Rodriguez. The opening runs from 8 p.m. to midnight, and will also include music from DJ Scuba Gooding Sr. and an installation performance from DJ Puppet.
In 1987, a 12-year-old David Banner became entranced with the hip-hop sounds of Stetsasonic, Mantronix, and T La Rock, that traveled south from New York to his native Jackson, Mississippi. Within four years he was crafting beats of his own with a Casio keyboard, referencing a variety of acts including A Tribe Called Quest, NMA, UGK, and The Geto Boys. Banner made his official debut in 1999, as part of the duo Crooked Lettaz, with the Tommy-Boy-released Grey Skies. In 2003, his major-label solo debut Mississippi-The Album went gold, putting the Gulf Coast state on the hip-hop map.
Banner is currently on the road behind Certified, an album that blends racy rhymes and social commentary, accurately reflecting his contradictory personality. Throughout his musical career he has remained outspoken about societal ills affecting African-Americans, and no rapper was more productive in the post-Katrina relief effort. The same Banner who has awarded fans $10,000 college scholarships has also created sequels to raunchy tracks like Nelly’s “Tip Drill” and the Yin Yang Twins’ “Wait (The Whisper Song).” Certified includes guest turns from dead prez and Talib Kweli, which offers cautious optimism for his Sunday, May 21, appearance at the Alamodome for the Lowrider Magazine 2006 Tour, which kicks off at 11 a.m.
Gilbert Garcia and M. Solis