Blues 'n' Buffett Chili Challenge

A tropical heat wave is about to breeze through Cedar Rapids as the Linn County Blues Society and The Isle of Iowa Parrothead Club go nose to beak in Sunday’s 18th annual Blues ’n’ Buffett Chili Challenge. This friendly competition between two nonprofit clubs has quickly become a premiere fundraiser for each group, raising more than $100,000 for local charities since 2001. This year’s proceeds will benefit the H.D. Youth Center and the Community Free Health Clinic. In addition to sampling various chili concoctions, guests can bid on silent auction items. Both host groups promote musical styles, from blues to tropical rock, including the signature sounds of Jimmy Buffett.

Blues ’n’ Buffett Chili Challenge

1 to 4 p.m. Sunday (2/11), Cedar Rapids Marriott, 1200 Collins Rd. NE, Cedar Rapids; $5 to $8 advance, $10 door, kids under 7 free, Blues-buffett.com

Amir ElSaffar and Rivers of Sound

A trumpeter, santur player, vocalist and composer, Amir ElSaffar is steeped in classical and jazz traditions while also bringing the microtones and ornaments of Arabic music into play. He also is a practitioner of the endangered Iraqi maqam music, which influences both his playing and composing. His band, Rivers of Sound, features 17 musicians who blend Eastern and Western music, using fluid rhythm and pitches to create a transcultural soundscape. Tonight’s concert is part of Hancher’s Embracing Complexity initiative, designed to build understanding of contemporary Islamic cultures and Muslim identity.

Amir ElSaffar and Rivers of Sound

7:30 p.m. today (2/8), Hancher Auditorium, 141 E. Park Rd., Iowa City; $10 to $35, Hancher Box Office, (319) 335-1160, 1-(800) HANCHER or Hancher.uiowa.edu/tickets

Tommy Emmanuel

Listen to “Old Photographs,” the closing track on Tommy Emmanuel’s “It’s Never Too Late” collection, and you’ll hear finger noise as he runs his hands across the frets of his guitar. It’s an imperfection players try to eliminate in practice, but for all of the masterful technique and flashy ability that’s brought Emmanuel recognition among the world’s greatest guitarists, that finger noise demonstrates an honesty in the sound. An accomplished fingerstyle player, Emmanuel received his first guitar at age 4 and after graduating high school, became one of Australia’s most in-demand rock musicians before blazing his own trail.

Tommy Emmanuel

7:30 p.m. Tuesday (2/13), Englert Theatre, 221 E. Washington St., Iowa City; $44.50, Englert Box Office, (319) 688-2653 or Englert.org