Wayne Shorter Quartet
Last year marked the 80th birthday of legendary saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter, who was born in Newark in 1933, caught the jazz bug by watching Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker perform in New York, then took up the saxophone, soon earning the nickname “The Newark Flash” for his virtuosic playing. After touring for many years with other bands, in 1970 Shorter founded Weather Report, one of the era’s leading fusion groups, with whom he recorded 16 albums. Since 2001, he’s been performing with his own quartet, alongside pianist Danilo Perez, bassist John Patitucci, and drummer Brian Blade.
April 4 at 8. $35–65. Cullen Theater, Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas Ave. 713-524-7601. dacamera.com
Arab Worlds Film Series
To coincide with FotoFest's focus on contemporary Arab art, the MFAH hosts a program of films by Arab filmmakers and/or about the Arab world, including Wadjda, the first Saudi Arabian feature film directed by a woman; The Square, an Oscar-nominated documentary about the Tahrir Square protests in Egypt; and The Attack, a thriller set amidst the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
April 4–13. Check website for showtimes. $9; students & seniors $7. 1001 Bissonnet St. 713-639-7515. mfah.org
WorldFest Houston International Film Festival
Founded in 1968 by Hunter Todd, who's still holding the reins, WorldFest claims to have "discovered" the Coen Brothers, Spike Lee, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Oliver Stone, and nearly every other brand-name director you can think of. While that's debatable, with over 50 movies and 100 short films from around the world on the program, including a special focus on Italian cinema, WorldFest remains an indispensable part of Houston's film calendar.
April 4–13. Check website for showtimes, locations, and ticket prices. worldfest.org
ROCO Celebrates France
The River Oaks Chamber Orchestra pays homage to France by performing the world premiere of their commission from composer Carter Pann, Le Tombeau d’Henri Cartier-Bresson, inspired by the legendary Parisian photographer, as well as Jacques Ibert’s Divertissement and Debussy’s Petite Suite. But the program’s most intriguing piece is a little-known bassoon concerto by Classical composer François Devienne, the partial score to which was discovered by orchestra principal bassoonist Kristin Wolfe Jensen and reconstructed by ROCO’s dedicated librarian, Jason Stephens.
April 5 at 5. $10–25. St. John the Divine Episcopal Church, 2450 River Oaks Blvd.
April 6 at 5. $10–20. Grace Presbyterian Church, 10221 Ella Lee Ln.
Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan
The 24 members of Taiwan’s premier contemporary dance group receive rigorous training in ballet, modern dance, martial arts, meditation, and even calligraphy. The results of this unorthodox regimen can be seen in the company’s stunning performances, which have won rave reviews around the world. Here, they perform the full-length work Songs of the Wanderers, choreographed by company founder Lin Hwai-min and featuring three and a half tons of golden rice raining down on the stage.
April 5 at 8. $23–83. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana St. 713-227-4772. spahouston.org