Weekend Music Ideas: March 8, 2019

Kelly Clarkson, Ella Mai, Mother Mother, Cass McCombs, Habib Koite and more.


A bustling March concert weekend begins on Friday with Kelly Clarkson singing her heart out at TD Garden — with an opening set from 15-year-old Longmeadow protégé Brynn Cartelli, who won Season 14 of “The Voice” with Clarkson as her coach. Jazz and world music fans can enjoy their own discovery with the ebullient Cuban pianist Omar Sosa and Sengalese kora master Seckou Keita at Scullers Jazz Club. And Canadian indie-rockers Tokyo Police Club get arresting at the Sinclair while blues guitar ace Tab Benoit rocks the Cabot in Beverly on Friday as well.

Saturday’s hot show is a long-awaited Royale date with breakthrough English singer Ella Mai, who just won a Grammy for R&B song with “Boo’d Up.” On the jazz front, expect to be charmed by scat-savvy French vocalist Cyrille Aimee at Scullers. The same night at Once Ballroom (moved there from Brighton Music Hall), Vancouver indie-rockers Mother Mother (pictured) conjure a striking symmetry with lead singer/songwriter Ryan Guldemond flanked by two female vocalists, one being his design-minded sister Molly. And Saturday brings the veteran Northwest singer/songwriter Cass McCombs — whose earthy, oft-haunting music blends rock, folk, alt-country and Grateful Dead-ish psychedelia – to the Sinclair.

Sunday ranges from the glammy, arena-ready pop of James Bay at the Orpheum to a World Music/CRASHarts date at the Somerville Theater with kinetic Malian troubadour Habib Koite, fellow guitarist Derek Gripper and African Strings. Across the street in Davis Square, bluegrass banjo master Danny Barnes gets a hand from Boston flat-picker Joe Kenneally in the Burren Backroom Series. And R&B chanteuse Alice Smith performs at the Sinclair on Sunday as well.

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