When you think Celtic music, you naturally have to think Chieftains: Though many have tried and lots of them do it quite well, no other musical group more roundly embodies the ancient genre. Led by Uileann piper Paddy Maloney, the band--35 years old and counting--has been heard in recent times on the soundtrack for a PBS series, The Irish in America: The Long Journey Home. That lilting score, with performances by a who's who of Irish music that includes Van Morrison, Elvis Costello and Sinead O'Connor as well as Maloney and the Boys, has now also been released as an album. The Chieftains perform their share of the CD's music tonight at 8 at the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Pl.; for tickets, $23.50 to $33.50, call 830-TIXS.
Relax--Jazz Is Dead is nothing but a play on words. We think. The powerhouse combo, an odd quartet including Mahavishnu Orchestra veteran Billy Cobham on drums, Aquarium Rescue Unit guitarist Jimmy Herring, acclaimed bassist Alphonso Johnson and Dixie Dregs keyboard guy T Lavitz, is one of the weirdest--and probably one of the best--Grateful Dead tribute bands out there, playing an all-Dead repertoire with a blazing, jaw-dropping degree of virtuosity that we're not used to hearing in any context. They'll truck into the Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder, tonight at 9; for tickets, $18, call 443-3399 or 830-TIXS. Or you can catch them at 10 p.m. tomorrow at the Aggie Theater, 204 College Ave., Fort Collins. Tickets to the Fort Collins show are $18 to $20; call 1-970-407-1322.
Here are the only tap dancers in town who put on work boots to shine the floor--they're the cast of Tap Dogs, a six-man sensation that first made sparks on its gritty blue-collar/industrial set three years ago in Australia. If you missed it during its first explosive clattering through Denver in 1996, here's your chance: The chiseled construction-worker cast noisily returns to the Buell Theatre, 14th and Curtis in the Plex, tonight at 8 for the first night of a two-week run. Admission ranges from $15 to $32; call 893-4100 or 830-TIXS to reserve tickets.
Tango is big. Really big. And it's no wonder: No form of music or dance packs a romantic double whammy more potent than the hot-blooded Latin genre. DU's Lamont School of Music is setting some faculty members and guest artists--including classical guitarists Ricardo Iznaola and Masakazu Ito, pianist Alice Rybak, cellist Richard Slavich, the Da Vinci Quartet and accordionist Robert Davine--loose with it tonight: In addition to performances of compositions by the late Argentinian tango master Astor Piazzolla, they'll present Tango, a comic mini-opera with a rose between its teeth. A hot night that's all in fun, the concert takes place at 8 at the Houston Fine Arts Center, 7111 Montview Blvd.; admission is $7 in advance ($8 at the door). Call 871-6412.