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Mark Growden 

When: May 20-22, 8 p.m. 2010
Price: $20, $50

Local singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Mark Growdenhas been making idiosyncratic music since the mid-Nineties, moving from avant-jazz to his current penchant for dark, cabaret-style tunes. His music has deep roots in the African-American songs of the South, and several tunes on his current tour de force, Saint Judas, are based on folk songs that were well-known to both black and white audiences in the days before folk and blues became separate categories. His music is dense, theatrical, and a bit ominous, and his strong vocals are full of dramatic poetry. Growden and his band play Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, May 20-22, at Porto Franco Art Parlor (953 Valencia St., San Francisco). 8 p.m., $20, $50. PortoFrancoArt.com

— j.poet

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