The 15th annual edition of the Dave Koz and Friends Christmas tour will play 26 shows when it ends Dec. 23 in San Francisco.
Only two of those will be without drummer Sheila E., including Koz's Dec. 13 stop at El Paso's Plaza Theatre.
She'll also miss the tour's other Texas show Dec. 12 in Fort Worth.
"That's her birthday, the 12th," Koz noted in a recent telephone interview. "It's a big birthday for her, 12-12-12."
The former Prince drummer, daughter of famed Latin jazz percussionist Pete Escovedo, will celebrate her 55th birthday on that unusual date.
She just won't be doing it here. Instead, Koz said, she's planning a private birthday bash somewhere in the San Francisco Bay Area.
"That was part of the deal we had with her. She'll miss those two dates, unfortunately, our Texas dates," the R&B sax man said, adding that she "adds another dimension" to this year's holiday shows.
The rest of the touring lineup will be the same for the EP and Fort Worth dates, with pianist David Benoit, a charter member of Koz's first Christmas tour in 1997, plus the first winner of TV's "The Voice," singer Javier Colon, and newcomer, singer Margo Rey.
Koz is selling a new live album, his first, on this tour. Called "Live From the Blue Note Tokyo," it was culled from a handful of dates performed there last year.
Tickets for Koz's El Paso show range from $40 to $105 at Ticketmaster.
In other A&E news:
• Those mute percussionists, the Blue Man Group, return to the Plaza Theatre for shows at 8 p.m. Jan. 4-5.
They'll mark the third time the trio has performed here in a little under three years.
Tickets are $45 and $70, plus service charges, on sale at 10 a.m. Dec. 7 at the box office, Ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com and 800.745.3000.
Presales starts Dec. 3.
• Las Cruces artist, and former El Pasoan, Wayne Hilton will preview his "Hermosos Huesos (Beautiful Bones)" project during a free lecture at 6 p.m. Nov. 30 at UTEP's Rubin Center for the Visual Arts.
His life-sized catrinas, or clothed female skeletons, are made from recycled materials and inspired by Mexican artist Jose Guadalupe Posada, who died in 1913 and is credited with creating the familiar figures.
When done, Hilton will have created and dressed 15 of the catrinas by November 2013, with plans to show them at the Mexican Consulate in El Paso. A companion book also is planned.
He launched a Kickstarter campaign on Nov. 2, with hopes of raising $45,000 by 8:35 p.m. Dec. 4. As of this writing, a little more than $12,000 has been raised. If he doesn't come up with the dough by the deadline, all those pledges will be voided.
• Neon Desert Music Festival organizers will have a press conference Monday morning to officially announce the date of next year's festival (it's May 25) and sales of early bird tickets.
The festival is put on by Austin's Splendid Sun Productions, whose principals are from El Paso.
Splendid Sun also books the Lowbrow Palace, which this week added a Dec. 22 show by Mexican hip-hop DJ Toy Selectah and a Feb. 18 stop by psychedelic rockers Unknown Mortal Orchestra, whose second album is due next year.
Tickets for Toy Selectah are $10 and $15 in advance ($3 more for 18- to 20-year-olds). Tickets for UMO are $13 in advance, $15 at the door ($3 more for those 18- to 20-years-old).
They're on sale at All That Music & Video, the Headstand, Hommework, Le Trendy and holdmyticket.com.
Splendid Sun's Zach Paul, btw, recently won a Lone Star Emmy Award for a 30-minute documentary he coproduced for the Longhorn Network called "Longhorn Legends Basketball," which featured a roundtable interview with Kevin Durant and others.
It won in the Interview/Discussion — Feature/Segment category.
• El Paso Times photographer Rudy Gutierrez tells me that the paper has agreed to sponsor the $500 first prize award in the El Paso Art Association's first "International Eye of the Camera" exhibit opening Nov. 30 at Crossland Gallery.
Gutierrez juried the show. Awards, which were judged by commercial photographer Marty Snortum, will be announced during a reception from 6-9 p.m. Nov. 30 at the gallery. The show, which features more than 70 works by 28 area photogs, will be up through Dec. 15.
• Dance students from UTEP's theater and dance department will stage a show called "The Raw and the Cooked" at noon and 6:30 p.m. Nov. 30 and 6:30 p.m. Dec. 1 in Room A452 of UTEP's Fox Fine Arts Center.
It's free, but donations will be accepted.