Weekend Music Ideas: August 4, 2017

Alabama Shakes, Coldplay, Newport Jazz Festival, and more.


You won’t find more dynamic female vocalists than the ones performing locally this weekend, including a few at the Newport Jazz Festival. For starters, don’t expect less than a force of nature when Brittany Howard (pictured) leads Alabama Shakes on Friday at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, another victory lap for the Southern soul-rockers who levitated Boston Calling and Newport Folk behind their luminous, sparsely experimental 2015 album Sound & Color. Also on Friday, British pop-rockers Coldplay burst into Gillette Stadium with their brightly colored songs, lighting and confetti explosions, while the popular soul-folk singer Amos Lee holds court at Lowell Summer Music’s Boarding House Park. Saturday brings a soulful blast of Earth, Wind & Fire to TD Garden with Chic featuring Nile Rodgers.

Most of the action, however, goes down at Rhode Island’s Newport Jazz Festival, which serves as impressive a schedule as its folk counterpart did the week before. Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue plays Friday night at the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino with Rhiannon Giddens, who also performs on Saturday at Fort Adams State Park, where most of the fest keeps hopping for three days. Friday afternoon includes banjoist Bela Fleck’s original Flecktones (with Howard Levy rejoining the virtuoso crew on harmonica and keyboards) plus the sublime jazz vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant, jazz-funk saxman Maceo Parker and the cutting-edge duo of pianist Vijay Iyer and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith. Saturday packs traditional and experimental options with slick fusionists Snarky Puppy, Iyer’s Sextet, the Brandford Marsalis Quartet, Henry Threadgill’s Zooid, a tribute to recently passed pianist Geri Allen (with Iyer, Jason Moran and Christian Sand joining Esperanza Spalding) and DJ Logic’s Project Logic with Living Colour’s Vernon Reid, who adds a solo set on Sunday. That last day proves most broadly promising with hip-hop crew the Roots (perhaps best known these days as Jimmy Fallon’s late-night sidekicks), the marvelous R&B singer Andra Day, the all-star quartet Hudson (including Jack DeJohnette, John Scofield and John Medeski, who also provides an earlier solo piano set), pianist Moran’s Fats Waller Dance Party, the Grammy-winning Maria Schneider Orchestra and Tim Berne’s Snakeoil. Here’s a link to the Newport Jazz website with Fort Adams set times.

If you’re on Cape Cod for Saturday night, jamming chameleon Keller Williams will be charming the Beachcomber in Wellfleet, while folk-rockers Dawes stir it up at Lowell’s Boarding House Park on Sunday. Also on Sunday, if you didn’t catch her at Newport, Cecile McLorin Salvant sings at the Shalin Liu Performance Center to kick off the Rockport Jazz Festival’s handful of musical treats. Here’s that site.

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