So March comes in like a lion, prompting the Regattabar to push Friday’s Laszlo Gardony solo piano show to April 4, but other concerts are slated to go on as planned to launch the month’s busy first weekend. Since Hurricane Maria threw a wrench in Miguel Zenon’s January trip to Puerto Rico, the Grammy-nominated saxophonist and MacArthur “Genius Grant” fellow will instead stage a Friday benefit concert for his homeland’s recovery at MIT’s Kresge Audiorium with the MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble and clarinetist/composer Evan Ziporyn, slated to include the premiere of Zenon’s piece “En Pie De Lucha.” All proceeds go to the Puerto Rico Recovery Fund.
Dream-pop duo Damon & Naomi return home from a European tour with Thalia Zedek to play the cozy Lily Pad together on Friday, perhaps reprising this dusky, impressionistic Leonard Cohen cover. Friday also brings the lovingly eccentric road-running troubadour Jonathan Richman to the Somerville Theatre with his drumming sidekick Tommy Larkin, while indie pop-punk upstarts Diet Cig spark the Brighton Music Hall. You can jump here to my recent interview with Diet Cig frontwoman Alex Luciano. And the Cabot in Beverly keeps hopping this weekend with North Carolina folk-rockers Delta Rae on Friday and South Carolina reggae-folk singer Trevor Hall on Saturday, sharing songs and stories as part of his solo acoustic “A Night in the Village” tour.
Saturday rocks with other options, from the sensual Canadian electro-pop artist Lights at the Paradise Rock Club to angular local indie-rockers Vundabar at the Sinclair to pianist Fred Hersch’s Pocket Orchestra, featuring singer Jo Lawry (often seen backing up Sting), at Scullers Jazz Club. And metal-heads should flock to Worcester to see homestate heroes Killswitch Engage shake the Palladium.
But the weekend’s main event might be the return of the Zombies, this time in a club setting at City Winery, both Saturday and Sunday. Still bucking for a place in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, the British Invasion pioneers led by singer Colin Blunstone and keyboardist Rod Argent have plugged in another bassist following the January death of Jim Rodford (far left in photo above). So in addition to hits like “Time of the Season,” “She’s Not There” and “Tell Her No,” one might hear not only “Hold Your Head Up” but an extra tune from Argent’s self-titled ’70s band that also included Rodford before he went on to join the Kinks.
The Irish also rise on Sunday, with emotive singer/songwriter Dermot Kennedy riding hip-hop rhythms at the Paradise Rock Club while We Banjo 3 brings its spirited Celtgrass to the Rockwell in David Square.