I was enthralled by this a cappella group's recent concert of Byzantine choral music, which is at once austere and radiant but most importantly, leagues away from those crap Chant discs (remember the ones with the monks on the cover?) that now infest used record stores. On the program: 14th- and 15th-century works that "bear witness to the coexistence and conflict between Greek and Western Christian cultures in the Eastern Mediterranean during the twilight years of Byzantium." In other words, the gorgeous music of a dying civilization. First Free Methodist Church, 3200 Third Ave W, 281-2240, 7 pm, $8/$20.
FRIDAY MARCH 4
UW student composers present recent compositions, mostly for "computer-realized sound." Some pieces might be good (or great) while others might be ear-curdlingly goddawful. Brechemin Auditorium in the Music Building, UW campus, 685-8384, 7:30 pm, free.
The Tacoma Opera concludes their season with a classic by Puccini. Also Sun Mar 6 at 2 pm. Pantages Theater, 901 Broadway, Tacoma, 253-627-7789, 8 pm, $22-$55.
SEATTLE PRO MUSICA
A choice choral concert: James MacMillan's Cantos Sagrados (based on poetry inspired by liberation theology) and excerpts from Michael Tippett's classic A Child of Our Time. Also Sat Mar 5 at 8 pm. St. James Cathedral, 804 Ninth Ave, 781-2766, 8:15 pm, $10-$21.
SATURDAY MARCH 5
JACK GOLD QUARTET
Free Jazz with a capital F and a capital J. Last October this group burned it up at the Blue Moon, during which I wrote, "Trumpeter Jim Knodle solos as if Al 'Honey in the Horn' Hirt got blitzed with Albert Ayler. They're loud but not noisy; an attentive ear can extract frenetic, blues-based polyphony." Also Sat Mar 12. The Wonder Bar, 1723 N 45th St, 633-4500, 6 pm, free.
Pianist Jovino Santos Neto and company play the music of Hermeto Pascoal and other South American composers. Kerry Hall at Cornish College, 710 E Roy St, 325-6500, 8 pm, $7.50/$15.
SEATTLE REPERTORY JAZZ ORCHESTRA
Commemorating Duke Ellington's 1956 triumph at the Newport Jazz Festival, the SRJO swing with the original "Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue," "Mood Indigo," and "Jeep's Blues" along with tunes by Woody Herman, Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Gerry Mulligan, and Dave Brubeck. Also Sun Mar 6 at the Kirkland Performance Center at 3 pm. Recital Hall at Benaroya, Third Ave and Union St, 523-6159, 7:30 pm, $16-$32.
TUESDAY MARCH 8
Here's my vote for opera on the cheap. Students sing scenes from operas by Mozart and Verdi. Meany Studio Theater, UW campus, 543-4880, 7:30 pm, $5.
WEDNESDAY MARCH 9
This trio--violinist Tom Swafford, accordionist Annie Lewandowski, and clarinetist Adam Diller--coagulate into a vastly decelerated, minimal music that evokes the High Lonesome humming across the empty Siberian tundra. In addition to a short live performance, they discuss developing a collective approach to composition. Jack Straw Productions, 4261 Roosevelt Way NE, 634-0919, 7:30 pm, free.