The Rock and Roll Rumble is back, with preliminaries continuing through this weekend and next at Once Ballroom, a perfect setting for the community feel of that local band competition. It leads a crazy stretch for music, with a lot of other concerts this weekend. The charismatic Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara (pictured) leads her ridiculously energized band in a World Music/CRASHarts show at City Winery on Friday, while 16-year-old guitar hotshot Brandon “Taz” Neiderauer (who’s faced off with stars from the Allman Brothers Band to Lady Gaga) rocks Café 939. The spirited Americana-soul jammers Hayley Jane and the Primates (one of our 10 local acts on the rise last year) stir up Brighton Music Hall on Friday as well, likely their last Boston show before going on hiatus after summer festivals.
Friday also brings the Suitcase Junket – aka crafty junkyard troubadour Matt Lorenz – to the Sinclair behind his more expansive album Mean Dog, Trampoline, on a sweet bill with also-local soul singer Ali McGuirk. Soulful folk-rocker Amos Lee settles in at the Orpheum Theatre the same night, while Black Violin grooves by merging hip-hop and classical music at the Wilbur.
Saturday brings Jeff Tweedy to the Berklee Performance Center behind his starkly personal and reflective solo album Warm, ahead of fests like his band Wilco’s Solid Sound and the Newport Folk Festival. Japanese Breakfast – led by indie-rocker/memoirist/videogame scorer Michelle Zauner – makes an encore stop at Royale the same night. Arizona chamber-folk outfit Tow’rs plays Café 939 on Saturday as well, while the New Orleans-based singer/songwriter Carsie Blanton rings her frisky blend of folk, jazz, rock and sexuality-spiced perspective to Club Passim the same night.
Sunday close the weekend with a wide range of shows. Silky yet spunky R&B singer Emily King torches the Sinclair. French singer/actress Charlotte Gainsbourgh rides percolating undercurrents at Royale. The Gloaming broadens and modernizes traditional Irish music at Berklee, a show presented by World Music/CRASHarts, which hosts pianist Jason Moran’s experimental Bangs trio with Brookline-raised guitarist Mary Halvorson and trumpeter/cornetist Ron Miles at Sanders Theatre. Wynton Marsalis leads the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with ex-Charles Mingus sideman Charles McPherson on saxophone in a Celebrity Series concert at Symphony Hall. Other fans of the avant-garde who aren’t down in New Haven for Wadada Leo Smith’s Create Festival (which even includes bassist Bill Laswell from Material/Last Exit) can actually see elusive guitar maverick Elliott Sharp perform a rare solo show at Blackstrap BBQ in Winthrop on Sunday night.