Jan. 23 2013 12:53 PM

Our top three picks of San Diego events this week

Daniel Jackson

1 The Jackson live

Next week is Daniel Jackson Week in San Diego, named for the acclaimed tenor saxophone player whom CityBeat’s D.A. Kolodenko once described as a “legend among West Coast jazz musicians.” The special week will be filled with performances by Jackson and his friends at various locations.

How does the 76-year-old jazz man prepare for such a busy week of playing?

“I pray a lot,” he says. “I’m trying to pray for something that’s good. We need something good. As a matter of fact, I wrote a song, and that’s the name of the song: “Something Good.” That’s what we need.”

Try to talk to Jackson about music, and the conversation will veer toward politics and public policy. Or maybe he’s just still floating on air in the wake of progressive gains at the ballot box in San Diego and beyond. He’s particularly pleased that there’s a Democrat in the Mayor’s office and that California’s Three Strikes law was amended. And he’s happy that former City Councilmember Donna Frye is on the mayor’s payroll. Frye was largely responsible for Daniel Jackson Week.

“This Daniel Jackson Week came about one day when I was at my job, working,” Jackson says. “And in the door came Donna Frye, and she had the proclamation. And I understand she’s still helping the city of San Diego. We need more people like her. So, that’s good stuff, so maybe the prayers are helping.”

Jackson will play sax with Gilbert Castellanos and his band at 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, at Croce’s (802 Fifth Ave., Downtown, $5); solo piano from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, at Croce’s (free); and solo piano from noon to 12:45 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, at the Encinitas Library (540 Cornish Drive, free). But the highlight will be a show at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, at Dizzy’s (4275 Mission Bay Drive) with George Bohanon, Marshall Hawkins, Joshua White, Brett Sanders and Dorothy Annette ($15).

“I might have some special guests, and their names are not on the poster,” Jackson says, “so you’ll have to be there to see who that is.”

2 Making a difference

We’re in a golden age of documentaries. Filmmakers are telling important stories, and six of those stories will be told at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, which will run Thursday, Jan. 24, through Monday, Jan. 28, at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park. Leading the way is the opening-night film Call Me Kucha, about Ugandan gay-rights activist David Kato. Director Katherine Fairfax Wright will be on hand for questions. Also making an appearance is Sergio Call Me Kuchu Haro, the subject of Reportero, an examination of the Tijuana weekly Zeta, and the dangers its reporters face. Kirby Dick’s The Invisible War is also playing, along with three more films. Find schedule, pass and ticket details at mopa.org.

So type-ical

Anyone who’s noticed the hidden arrow in the FedEx logo knows that typography isn’t just about picking a cool font. It can subtly be artistic while also conveying relevant information. See some examples of cool typographic art at Not Your Typical Type, presented by Thumbprint Gallery at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29, at Basic Urban Kitchen & Bar (410 10th Ave. in East Village). A large group of local artists, including Alli Bautista, Persue, Neko and Iriko Ginabe, will show interesting, artsy experiments in typeface. There’ll also be live art, DJs and a pop-up boutique courtesy of Vixen. If you’re into people like Paula Scher or Saul Bass, this is a show for you. thumbprintgallerysd.com