Orchestra Hall on Sunday 10.2

Arguably the world's premier contemporary jazz orchestra, led by one of the most significant current figures in jazz, Marsalis and the JLCO will be celebrating the imminent 50th birthday of the New Orleans-born trumpet maestro and music director. The repertoire reportedly will be a retrospective of Marsalis's big-band work, which draws strongly on classic jazz, Ellingtoniana, and Crescent City tradition, as well as innovative projects such as the Pulitzer-winning Blood on the Fields. Besides Marsalis, JLCO features some of the premier jazz artists of our time, including clarinetist Victor Goines and trumpeter Marcus Printup, who are also among the JLCO folks backing Marsalis and Eric Clapton on their brand new Play the Blues, a spectacular, joyous collaboration of the blues in the context of New Orleans jazz. Clapton's unlikely to be lurking in the wings, but standards like "Just a Closer Walk with Thee" just might work their way into the set. $35-$70. 7 p.m. 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.371.5656. —Rick Mason

Esparanza Spalding

O'Shaughnessy Auditorium on Tuesday 10.4

Brace yourselves 
for the Rapture
Ruvan Wijesooriya
Brace yourselves for the Rapture

Location Info

Map

The Varsity Theater

1308 4th St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414

Category: Movie Theaters

Region: University

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For best new artist at this year's Grammy Awards, the academy was widely expected to leave it to Bieber. But confounding widespread cynicism and the group's clueless reputation, the award—shockingly but deservedly—went to jazz bassist, singer, and composer Esperanza Spalding. With three albums, sessions with the likes of Joe Lovano and McCoy Tyner, and even a White House performance in 2009, she's not exactly a new artist. But why quibble? With her now considerably higher profile, including a recent fashion spread in the New York Times, Spalding is playing the larger O'Shaughnessy for this last installment of her Chamber Music Society tour. That album, with a chamber string trio augmenting her jazz group, explores the jazz-classical nexus while showcasing both her instrumental and vocal prowess, particularly as a supple scat singer, in addition to her impressive Brazilian inclinations. Spalding will be back (in Hopkins) later in October as a member of Lovano's Us Five ensemble. All ages. $37-$67. 7:30 p.m. 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul; 651.690.6700. —Rick Mason

Megafaun

With the release of their eponymous fourth studio album, the North Carolina-based, Eau Claire-bred trio Megafaun have only complicated efforts to categorize their ambling, freely roaming, sometimes experimental sound. But at the same time, and in logically contradictory fashion, the band has solidified its identity with the new disc (recorded at former bandmate Bon Iver's Wisconsin studio), its disparate threads shooting wildly from a rootsy, Americana freak-folk core to the fringes of jazz and avant-garde. "Real Slow" could be American Beauty-era Grateful Dead. "Get Right" is a jangly rocker with a growing undercurrent of noisy insurrection. The swirling instrumental "Isadora" sprouts horns that shift from stately to raucous territory somewhere between the Balkans and Caribbean while vibes and banjo negotiate multiple time-signature changes. "Scorned," a cover of a gospel standard recorded by the Staple Singers, is spare blues haunted by a ghostly harmonica's wail. "Serene Return" is a scrum of bubbling electronics, industrial drone, and murmuring vocal choruses. Opener Doug Paisley is a well-regarded Canadian singer-songwriter with equal debts to country and folk masters like Hank, Woody, and Townes. The songs on his Constant Companion, mostly about fractured love, are remarkable for their richness of expression despite a prevailing spare, arid, plainspoken quality. Paisley sings with a confiding warmth, fitting nicely with his understated but expressive guitar, Garth Hudson's (of the Band) striking keyboard work, and vocal duet partners, including Leslie Feist on "Don't Make Me Wait." All ages. $15. 7 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Rick Mason

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