Curtis Stigers at Boise Contemporary Theater 

Other than a couple of annual shows--two jazz nights at Boise Contemporary Theater and the Xtreme Holiday Xtravaganza--Boise audiences seldom have the opportunity to hear Curtis Stigers play live. To appease his local fans and celebrate the release of his 2009 album, Lost In Dreams, Stigers told his jazz bandmates to make arrangements to fly out from the East Coast and then scheduled a five-day run at Boise Contemporary Theater.

"[BCT] is such a great place to play. People love that intimacy and how close we all are. It's like playing a concert in my living room," Stigers said fondly.

His performances at BCT have been extended into a week-long residency, splitting the week into two no-jazz nights for fans of his pop/singer-songwriter stylings and three nights of straight-up jazz, because that's a big part of his repertoire.

Stigers has embraced his role as mayor of the No-man's Land Between Pop and Jazz for a long time. With each successive album he releases, a little more pop music--something Stigers' soulful, throaty voice is well-suited for--sneaks in. He's looking forward to the first two nights because he gets to really express his poppy side ... and he gets to play the new guitar he received as a Christmas gift from Nick Lowe ("Cruel to Be Kind," "Peace, Love, and Understanding"). Plus, he enjoys the particular thrill of being alone (Ned Evett will join him for a few songs) on a stage where he can talk, joke and relate with the audience. But the pop and jazz nights won't be entirely separate--it's inevitable that there will be some musical crossover during the week.

"I've become known for taking modern songs and turning them into jazz tunes," Stigers said, "like 'Jealous Guy' [John Lennon]." But Stigers has also proven himself capable of taking those songs, paring them down and strumming them as the lovely, simple pop tunes they are.

Even jazz snobs might enjoy the first two nights of shows.

8 p.m., $35. Boise Contemporary Theater, 854 Fulton St., 208-331-9224, curtisstigers.com.


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