Our guide to pop and rock shows and the best of live jazz happening this weekend and in the week ahead.
Pop & Rock
AWESOME TAPES FROM AFRICA at Elsewhere (Nov. 2, 11 p.m.). Under this self-explanatory appellation, Brian Shimkovitz has done his part to help African music achieve the worldwide recognition it now enjoys. In 2006, the designation served as the title of his blog, which he used to share the music he had heard while studying ethnomusicology in Ghana. Then it became the name of his record label, which in the United States distributes music by artists from across Africa. Shimkovitz spins the treasures from his vast collection for sets such as this one. He will be joined behind the turntables by the Los Angeles-based funk artist Dam-Funk and Miranda Maxwell, a local D.J.
THE BLOW at Le Poisson Rouge (Nov. 8, 8 p.m.). This electro-pop project started in 2001 as a solo effort by Khaela Maricich, but it became a duo first with Yacht’s Jona Bechtolt, then, in 2007, with Melissa Dyne. A glimpse of mainstream success came with the critically acclaimed album, “Paper Television,” a collection of catchy, quietly subversive synth-and-drum-machine-driven songs. Maricich and Dyne have stayed the course with releases that remain both listenable and against the grain — if a little weirder than songs like “True Affection,” which have since found a second life on soundtracks.
KANE BROWN at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden (Nov. 7, 7:30 p.m.). In 2018, a country star citing hip-hop and R&B among his or her influences is not unusual; it is slightly more so, though, when that star is also Randy Travis’s vocal doppelgänger. This 25-year-old rose to fame through a distinctly 21st-century mode — video covers of country songs posted on social media — but what makes Brown distinctive is that he still has the chops to tackle the classics. His own music skews romantic, with many heartfelt ballads that fit easily within the glossy, bombastic sound of contemporary country radio.
KWEKU COLLINS at S.O.B.’s (Nov. 3, 8 p.m.). This Chicago-based rapper came up in one of the country’s most exciting hip-hop scenes, where experimenting with R&B, jazz and gospel is all part of the local vernacular. More so than some of his Windy City peers, Collins leans toward melancholic, crooning AutoTune, giving his music an occasional pop sheen. He’s joined at S.O.B.’s by his fellow Chicagoan Joseph Chilliams, whose rap experiments are somehow simultaneously psychedelic and humorous — the spaced-out track “You Think You’re Pretty” is based on a reference to the movie “Mean Girls.”
SOULECTION at Terminal 5 (Nov. 3, 8 p.m.). “Future beats and eclectic soul” is the stated mission of this record label and collective that will be bringing a slew of its D.J.s and producers to Hell’s Kitchen on Saturday. Those curious about what exactly that motto means can listen to any of the 382 episodes of Soulection’s radio show, available on SoundCloud and Apple Music’s Beats 1 radio. There — as well as at the show — one might hear a dancehall remix of a song by the R&B singer Aaliyah, a jazz sample from the producer J Dilla or a mellow remix of BlocBoy JB’s “Look Alive.”
CHRIS STAPLETON at Madison Square Garden (Nov. 2, 7 p.m.). After a decade of writing songs for other people, Stapleton, country music’s newest superstar, struck gold with “Traveller,” his Grammy-winning, triple-platinum 2015 solo debut. Stapleton’s gruff, rich voice proved to be the perfect finish for songs that wear their vintage influences on their suede-fringe sleeves. The album has earned him the kind of combined commercial and critical success the genre rarely sees. With help from one of his musical forebears, Marty Stuart, and one of his peers, Brent Cobb, Stapleton has sold out his first solo show at the Garden, though tickets are still available through resellers.
JON BATISTE AND FRIENDS at the Village Vanguard (through Nov. 4, 8:30 and 10:30 p.m.). This pianist and bandleader on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” has a new album out, “Hollywood Africans,” a solo effort with a radio-ready finish and plenty of historical affinities. He reaches into the New Orleanian past with both his choices of repertoire and his own hoary-sounding compositions. At the Vanguard he appears with a full band (featuring some members of Stay Human, his late-night-TV ensemble): Giveton Gelin on trumpet, Patrick Bartley on alto saxophone, Tivon Pennicott on tenor saxophone, Phil Kuehn on bass and Joe Saylor on drums. All shows have sold out, but there will be a standby line at the box office each night.
MICHEL CAMILO at the Blue Note (through Nov. 4, 8 and 10:30 p.m.). Camilo, a famed Dominican pianist, stuffs his notes with a lot of weight and force, especially considering how quickly he dashes them off. Classically trained, influenced by both flamenco and Afro-Caribbean styles, it’s no surprise that he was first drawn to jazz by hearing the virtuosic stride pianist Art Tatum. He appears here in a trio featuring the bassist Ricky Rodriguez and the drummer Mark Walker.
STEVE CARDENAS AND KRIS DAVIS at Mezzrow (Nov. 4, 8 and 9:30 p.m.). Versatile and keenly aware of the sonic space that he moves through, Cardenas uses the guitar to negotiate between audacity and restraint. Something similar could be said of Davis, a pianist, though she’s of a quite different, slightly rougher temperament. This kind of rare pairing of two contemporary greats is what makes Mezzrow — the narrow basement club in Greenwich Village — such a valuable little part of New York’s music world.
MAMADOU DIABATE at Littlefield (Nov. 4, 7 p.m.). Last year, Diabate, an esteemed composer and player of the balafon (a wooden, xylophone-like instrument with about a millennium of history), was named a knight of the national order in his home country of Burkina Faso. His United States appearances are infrequent, but at this show he performs with Percussion Mania, a group of growing renown in West Africa, featuring a double-balafon front line that also includes Yacouba Konate.
DARIUS JONES’S ‘FOR THE PEOPLE’ at Roulette (Nov. 5, 8 p.m.). An alto saxophonist and composer with a blistering attack and no time for formalities, Jones has assembled a crew that includes the writer Onnesha Roychoudhuri and 17 other musicians (roughly united under the Wet Ink Large Ensemble moniker) for this midterm-election-themed show. Together they will play three recent pieces by Jones: “Being Caged in ICE,” “America the Joke” and “LawNOrder.” The last is a creatively improvised game piece charged with frustration and chaos.
THIEFS AND BIG YUKI at Nublu 151 (Nov. 2, 10 p.m.). On their new album, “Graft (La Greffe),” the shape-shifting Thiefs join up with both French- and English-speaking vocalists, who deliver ruminations on political uncertainty, anxiety and the inevitable arrival of history on today’s shores. Electronics, drums and tenor saxophone all take on a dark hue, pulling you in but offering no promise of deliverance. At this show, presented in a partnership between WBGO and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, the trio — Christophe Panzani on saxophone, Keith Witty on bass and David Frazier Jr. on drums — welcomes the vocalist Keith Middleton as a special guest. Big Yuki, a young keyboardist with equal debts to hip-hop, postbop and post-1970 R&B, will play an opening set with his band.
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