Phoenix Symphony: Outgoing maestro James Sedares takes his final bows with the orchestra on Thursday, May 9; Friday, May 10; and Saturday, May 11, at Symphony Hall, 225 East Adams. At 7:30 p.m. Thursday and 8 p.m. Friday, guest violinist Corey Cerovsek joins the ensemble for a program that includes Smetana's "The Moldau" from Ma Vlast; Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Opus 26; and Dvorak's Symphony No. 8 in G major, Opus 88. Tickets range from $12 to $36. At 8 p.m. Saturday, Sedares leads the symphony in performances of Mozart's "Toy Symphony," Tchaikovsky's "Peter and the Wolf," Copland's "Lincoln Portrait" and other works, which are augmented with narration by KTAR-AM personalities Pat McMahon, Pat Murphy, Ned Foster, Bruce Kirk, Tom Dillon, Jeff Munn and Michael Dixon. Tickets for the concert range from $15 to $30, and admission to a postshow reception costs an additional $10; proceeds benefit the Musicians' Pension Fund. Call the symphony box office at 264-6363 or Dillard's at 678-2222.
Southwest Film and Video Festival: The 16th annual competition includes experimental and commercial films and music videos submitted by college students from Arizona and surrounding states. Works shot in the 16mm format screen at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 9, at Harkins Camelview 5, located on Goldwater Boulevard north of Camelback in Scottsdale. Video and Super 8 entries are shown at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 10, in the Performing Arts Center at Scottsdale Community College, 9000 East Chaparral. An awards ceremony and a screening of the winning works are slated for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 11, at the Performing Arts Center. Admission is $1 on Thursday, $2 on Friday and Saturday. For details call 423-6323.
Cracker: David Lowery was the most beetle-browed of rockers while fronting Camper Van Beethoven, whose inspired album titles (like Vampire Can Mating Oven and Telephone Free Landslide Victory) are destined to outlive their bizarro, somewhat dated content. Some of that Camper otherness has seeped into the Cracker well, but Lowery's second band, anchored by hot guitarist Johnny Hickman, is a fairly straightforward roots band with a reservoir of bone-dry bons mots. Touring in support of its third Virgin album, The Golden Age (see the review on page 93), Cracker performs on Thursday, May 9, at Electric Ballroom, 1216 East Apache in Tempe. Sparklehorse shares the all-ages bill. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $18, available at the club and Ticketmaster. Call 894-0707 or 784-4444.
Conversations With My Father: Actors Theatre of Phoenix concludes its season with the work by Herb Gardner (I'm Not Rappaport). It's a wide-ranging dramedy about a Jewish immigrant, Eddie (Joseph Costa), who's torn between two cultures; see the review on page 67. This week's performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 9; 8 p.m. Friday, May 10; 8 p.m. Saturday, May 11; and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 12, in Stage West at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. The production continues through Sunday, May 26. Tickets range from $10 to $23.50, available at Herberger and Dillard's. For details call 252-8497 or 678-2222.
Jimmy Rogers Blues Band: Rogers played with Muddy Waters and Little Walter in the Headhunters--Chicago's first electric blues band--and was Muddy's right-hand man during Waters' '50s heyday. But Rogers is a giant in his own right, a great guitarist and writer of blues perennials like "Chicago Bound," "Sloppy Drunk" and "Rock This House." The 71-year-old is on a rare tour, and the $5 cover is a stone bargain. Showtime is 9 p.m. Friday, May 10, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. For details call 265-4842.
The Movement Source Dance Company: The troupe and Valley guitarist Joe Myers link up for a multimedia production titled "In Balance." Final performances are at 8 p.m. Friday, May 10; and the same time Saturday, May 11, at Tempe Performing Arts Center, 132 East Sixth Street. Admission is $10, $8 for students and seniors. Call 957-6561.
Reggae Fest World Party '96: The second annual celebration of Jamaican and African arts features concerts by the late Bob Marley's Wailers, Culture, soca master Arrow and lots of local and regional acts, plus a marketplace of ethnic goods and foods. The scene is Symphony Hall Terrace, Second Street and Adams. Hours are 4 to 11:30 p.m. Friday, May 10; noon to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, May 11; and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, May 12 (see the Music listing for the daily lineups). Tickets are $10 on Friday and Saturday, $5 on Sunday; a three-day pass costs $20. Kids age 10 and under get in free. For details call 872-1813.
Peter Kater, R. Carlos Nakai, and Joanne Shenandoah: Germany-born, Virginia-based jazz pianist Kater, Navajo-Ute flutist Nakai and Iroquois songsmith Shenandoah merge cultures and genres in a performance at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 10, at Scottsdale Center for the Arts Amphitheater, 75th Street and Main. Tickets are $16 in advance, $20 the day of the show, available at the center and Ticketmaster. Call 994-2787 or 784-4444.
U.S. Olympic Softball Tour: The women's fast-pitch squad is playing its way to Atlanta, and it's scheduled twin double-headers against the Phoenix Sunbirds on Friday, May 10; and Saturday, May 11, at Cave Creek Softball Complex, 9833 North 25th Avenue in Phoenix. The first pitch is at 6 p.m. Friday and at 1 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $8, available at the gate and Dillard's. For details call 951-4152 or 678-2222.
The Stylistics, the Dramatics, the Chi-Lites, the Moments, Peaches and Herb, Eddie Holman, and Billy Paul: The "Super Love Jam," as this worthy package of vintage soul acts is called, starts at 8 p.m. Friday, May 10, at Desert Sky Pavilion, 2121 North 83rd Avenue. Tickets range from $17 to $21, available at Ticketmaster. For details call 254-7599 or 784-4444.