The week's best concerts: May 4-10

Andrew Broder, seen here staring out a window, will celebrate his new Fog release Saturday.

Andrew Broder, seen here staring out a window, will celebrate his new Fog release Saturday.



When Duke Ellington heard the South African pianist and composer then known as Dollar Brand in Zürich, Switzerland, in 1963, he was so enthralled he immediately set up a recording session. Ellington then brought him to the U.S., where he played Newport and even subbed for Duke himself in the Ellington Orchestra. Brand — now Abdullah Ibrahim — was in exile from apartheid-era SA, where he was a member of the groundbreaking Jazz Epistles. Now Ibrahim, 81, who Nelson Mandela justifiably called South Africa’s Mozart, is a revered and towering jazz icon with an extensive, wonderfully rich body of work that vividly evokes his homeland and influences (Ellington, Monk, classical, gospel, more). His melodies are unique and unforgettable, encompassing tranquility, joy, turbulence, and wistfulness. It’s as though he’s reflecting on an entire continent’s history and landscape, painted with brushstrokes of breathtaking beauty. At the Dakota, Ibrahim will lead the latest incarnation of his horn-heavy sextet Ekaya, a doubly rare chance to catch a genuine jazz genius and his even more elusive band. $40-$50 at 7 p.m. $30-$40 at 9 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612-332-5299. —RICK MASON



He’s Paul fucking McCartney. Beatle. Really, that’s all you need to know. More than half a century after Beatlemania and the euphoric ringing guitar chords that opened “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” Macca’s still at it nearly a decade after when he was 64. He’s still singing pop-perfect silly love songs, telling you all you need is love, thinking about yesterday... and today. Maybe we’re amazed, maybe just delighted he remains relevant, charming, witty, and performing timeless songs from the Beatles catalog, Wings, and a lengthy solo career whose latest installment is tellingly titled New. What’ll also be new as Sir Paul brings his One On One tour to Minneapolis are “Love Me Do” as a nod to recently deceased “Fifth Beatle,” producer George Martin; “A Hard Day’s Night,” being performed live by McCartney for the first time in 51 years; tales about the origins of certain classic tunes; and “FourFiveSeconds,” the hit song Paul recorded last year with Rihanna and Kanye West. Let it be, indeed. $47-$252. 8 p.m. 600 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-673-0900. —RICK MASON



Despite only ever releasing one full-length album — 2011’s Fatou — Malian singer-songwriter Fatoumata Diawara has cemented herself as a visionary in the international music scene. Collaborating with musicians the likes of Oumou Sangaré, Herbie Hancock, and Bobby Womack, Diawara has proven herself to be both versatile and captivating with her blend of funk, soul, and jazz stylings. Her debut in the Midwest was hosted by the Cedar in 2013, and now the musical curators at that cultural haven have brought Diawara back in the midst of her world tour for a reprisal that’s well worth the three-year wait. If this time around is anything like 2013, Diawara’s rhythmic set should have the crowd up and dancing by the encore. All ages. $30-$35. 7 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-338-2674. —JERARD FAGERBERG



In 2007, Andrew Broder’s electro project Fog released the astounding album Ditherer. That LP, which scored critical love from BBC, Village Voice, and Filter for its whirring bedroom noise, was the group’s last before breaking up in 2008. In the eight intervening years, Broder focused on his rock band, the Cloak Ox. But that all changed on April 29 when Fog returned with the severely under-hyped For Good on Totally Gross National Product. The record is led by the almost confrontationally artistic “Trying,” which comes in fits of groans and synthesizers. Who knows what the future holds for Broder or the Fog moniker — could the album’s title be an omen of a permanent farewell? Don’t take any chances; Saturday’s release show at the Entry with Greg Grease and Psymun is not to be missed. 18+. $12-$15. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. — JERARD FAGERBERG



On Saturday, the Cedar will host two acts that come from vastly different places in the world, but are ultimately a harmonious match for a live setting. Two albums into their career, Dublin’s Little Green Cars are growing their transatlantic presence on the heels of their sophomore outing from March. Like their 2013 debut, Absolute Zero, the new album, Ephemera, shows the group pulling off a range of folk and folk-rock dynamics, from anthems in the vein of their Glassnote labelmates Mumford & Sons to more delicate numbers. The other act on the bill is Minneapolis wunderkind John Mark Nelson, the 22-year-old who’s shown more and more of a flair for straight-up pop-rock songwriting since the gorgeous drift of his debut, 2011’s Still Here. The prolific songwriter released his fourth album, last September’s I’m Not Afraid, on GNDWIRE, the label co-owned by Trampled by Turtles frontman Dave Simonett. It’s JMN’s catchiest album yet while still showcasing his knack for rich texturing, a record as lovingly produced as it is immediately grabbing. All ages. $20. 8 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-338-2674. —MICHAEL MADDEN



Alto saxophonist and composer Steve Lehman is on a heady trajectory of critical acclaim, artistic innovation, intellectual inquisitiveness, visceral excitement, and academic achievement. He’s likely bound for the pinnacle of the jazz and contemporary music worlds. In last year’s Downbeat Critics’ Poll, Lehman was first in both the rising star jazz artist and alto saxophone categories, and second in rising star composer voting. His Octet’s recordings have been lauded, including the latest, 2014’s Mise En Abîme, plus he recently received a doctorate in composition from Columbia. The Guardian called him “one of the transforming figures of early 21st century jazz.” Lehman is known for his groundbreaking use of spectral music in jazz improvisation, essentially building unorthodox harmonies based on mathematically determined timbres. On Abîme, that translates into multidimensional music that comes across as avant-garde post-bop with a subterraneous electronic core propelled by intricate, funkified rhythms. For such high-concept stuff, it’s also a thrill ride on the jazz equivalent of the Space Mountain rollercoaster. $22-$25. 8 p.m. 1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-375-7600. —RICK MASON