Jared Mattson | Photo courtesy Embry Rucker Jared Mattson, who is one half of jazz duo Mattson 2 and is best known for his work with chillwave virtuoso Toro Y Moi, is coming to Last Exit Live in Phoenix on April 3 in support of his new solo project. The catch? He hasn’t released an album yet. “In a very 1980s fashion, I will be touring and grinding shows as a power trio before any...

1. Beatmaking Workshop at Paradise Valley Community College – June 5
Do you have a beat stuck in your head, and aren’t sure how to get it out of there? Attend one of PVCC’s four beatmaking workshops this month, where instructors will coach you on how to create beats using apps, iPads and control surfaces. Whether you know your way around a soundboard or you occasionally clap along to a rhythm, all skill sets are welcomed. Free. Every Monday in June, 6:30-8:30 p.m. PVCC Fine Arts – CPA 115 Music Room, 18401 N. 32nd St., Phoenix,

1. First Friday at Phoenix Art Museum – June 2
The first Friday of every month is dedicated to the arts in the Valley, so it’s no surprise that the Phoenix Art Museum joins in the fun. The museum offers free general admission and discounted special exhibition admission. There will be live music all night while guests explore the Samurai, Yeohlee, Photography of the American Road and other exhibits. Free. 6 – 10 p.m. Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix,

Sitting between two couples in the music hall at Valley Bar, I observed the polarity of stages of romance. The couple in front of me argued for ten minutes about spending more holidays with one person’s family than the other and talked about a lot of stuff – as in, “I can’t get to my Nordic Track because all your stuff is in the way” and “I’ll come get my stuff next week.” They were wearing wedding rings. Maybe not for much longer. The couple sitting behind me was much younger, and it sounded like they were on a first date from all their slightly awkward, get-to-know-you Q&A (“So, um, I like peas. Do you like peas?”).

This eavesdrop sandwich was a lot like the jazz music of Thelonious Monk, which we were there to hear Wednesday night. The late, great pianist’s compositions ranged from wobbly, borderline-raucous bebop and hard bop (infused with gospel and blues) to mellow, swooning cool jazz so cool you’d swear the C notes were winking at you from behind sunglasses. Monk’s jazz scale tipped two directions – percussive piano-pounding peppered with melodic pretzels, and then sudden slides into dramatic silences. His best-known songs to a casual jazz fan are probably “Round Midnight” and “Straight, No Chaser,” but Monk is the second-most recorded jazz composer, behind Duke Ellington. So it’s little wonder that a show at Valley Bar featuring the Will Goble Quartet (actually, a quintet that night) performing the music of Thelonious Monk was sold out.