A funky good time and several tasty options are in store for us starting Thursday night. Let's jump right into 2012 and see what it has to offer up first.

For once I'll be looking forward to spending my Sunday night away from home when I try to get to the State Room to catch a dose of old-school funk courtesy of saxman Maceo Parker. Parker, a 68-year-old North Carolina native, used to play solos for the Godfather of Soul himself, James Brown. If you're a discerning fan of great funk, that last sentence should be all the motivation you need to see this show. However, Parker's had a long solo career and is a regular on the touring circuit and also spent some time playing behind a Salt Lake favorite, Ani DiFranco. He's also appeared on releases by Prince, George Clinton and Boosty Collins. Good. Grief. Now, that is a resumé, boys and girls. See you Sunday night. Tickets are still on sale and start at $30.

Check out some old-school Maceo right here:


What's more in the wintry spirit than some Russian classical music? Tough to imagine a better way to spend a brisk evening indoors than with the Utah Symphony as they roll through Shostakovich's 5th Symphony and Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1. Leading the way will be Guest Conductor Andrey Boreyko and guest pianist Conrad Tao. Tickets start at $26 and are still available.

Also, down at WiseGuys Comedy Club in Trolley Square, Utah native and comedian Bengt Washburn will perform five shows in three nights beginning Thursday and continuing through Saturday. Tickets remain on sale and are $10 in advance. Here's Washburn's take on his LDS mission in Seattle.