POP

Paul Simon and Sting

Hailing from different sides of the pond, Paul Simon and Sting have enjoyed two of the most successful careers in popular music, with countless albums and awards under their belts. Both are members of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and both have written Broadway musicals (Simon with 1998’s The Capeman, Sting with the upcoming The Last Ship). Come to think of it, why has it taken them so long to tour together?

Feb 8 at 8. $40–250. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk St. 713-758-7200. houstontoyotacenter.com

READINGS

The Answer to the Riddle is Me: A Memoir of Amnesia

On October 17, 2002, David Stuart MacLean woke up in an Indian train station with no idea who he was or why he was in India. MacLean, who earned a Ph.D. from the University of Houston Creative Writing Program, was eventually told that he was suffering from the side effects of a malarial medication called mefloquine hydrochloride (brand name Lariam). In his new memoir, MacLean recounts the harrowing tale of how he pieced together his life using e-mails, notes scribbled in books, and stories from his former friends. 

Feb 7 at 7. Free. 2421 Bissonnet St. 713-523-0701. brazosbookstore.com

FILM

The Strange Demise of Jim Crow

Houstonians sometimes like to congratulate themselves on getting through the civil rights movement without widespread police brutality, as in Birmingham and Montgomery, or race riots, as in Detroit and Los Angeles. That didn’t happen by accident—civic leaders in Houston and other Southern cities, fearing that racial hostility would be bad for business, quietly went about the work of desegregation through backroom deals, news blackouts, and hushed-up negotiations. David Berman’s critically acclaimed 1998 documentary uncovers how cities like Houston managed to dismantle Jim Crow without causing a public furor. Following the screening is a panel discussion with coproducer Tom Cole and other guests. 

Feb 9 at 5. Free. 1001 Bissonnet St. 713-639-7515. mfah.org

Jazz

The Cookers

This jazz super-group, now celebrating its sixth year, is composed of musicians who have played alongside Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett, Max Roach, and Art Pepper. But instead of resting on their laurels, the septet has released three albums of their own, earning the praise of jazz critics across the country, including one from the Boston Globe who raved that “Player for player, there’s no better working band in jazz.” Pre-concert talk at 7:15.

Feb 7 at 8. $35–65. Cullen Theater, Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas Ave. 713-524-5050. dacamera.com

CLASSICAL

La Sposa Dei Cantici

In keeping with its mission of reviving forgotten or rarely performed works, Ars Lyrica presents the modern world premiere of La Sposa Dei Cantici, an oratorio by Italian baroque composer Alessandro Scarlatti that hasn’t been performed since 1710 in Naples. A recording of this performance, featuring soprano Meghan Lindsay and countertenors John Holiday, Jay Carter, and Ryland Angel, will be released later this year on the Sono Luminus label. 

Feb 8 at 8. $35–55. Zilkha Hall, The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby St. 713-622-7443. arslyricahouston.org