Allen Toussaint’s longtime band—Herman LeBeaux, Renard Poche, Roland Guerin, Reginald Toussaint and Joe Krown—and guest vocalists Irma Thomas and Cyril Neville pay tribute to the legendary New Orleans musician in two special events in New York City this weekend: an evening of music and dance at Damrosch Park, as part of Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing, on Saturday, and a Sunday brunch concert at Joe’s Pub, where Toussaint had regularly led such events.
Allen Toussaint’s final recording, American Tunes, was released on Nonesuch Records earlier this month to great critical acclaim, with the Los Angeles Times calling it “a rich pianistic tour de force of American music.” Uncut magazine calls it “the perfect eulogy for one of America’s true musical greats,” and the Times of London writes, “Swan songs don’t get any better.”
Laurie Anderson is guest artistic director of Metamorphosis, a free outdoor festival at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens this weekend. She takes part in three events on Saturday. She and Greek lyricist Lina Nicolacopoulou discuss the concept of metamorphosis in their work in a public conversation at the Lighthouse on Saturday, introduced by The Metropolitan Museum’s Limor Tomer, who is the festival’s performance curator. Anderson gives a performance on the Great Lawn later that night, joined by cellist Rubin Kodheli,” and, following a performance by Omar Souleyman, presents a midnight screening of her film, Heart of a Dog, on the Great Lawn as well.
“She retains a powerful love and belief in humanity, even after its stories are dismantled,” writes The Quietus, in a review of her performances as guest director of the Brighton Festival last month. “Anderson’s imagery and themes are lightly deployed, unobtrusive but perfectly chosen, as subtly telling as a series of haikus.”
The Black Keys‘ performance on Austin City Limits that first aired in January 2015 will be given an encore broadcast on PBS stations across the United States this weekend. The set includes songs from the band’s 2014 album, Turn Blue, plus “Your Touch,” from their 2006 Nonesuch debut album, Magic Potion. This was The Black Keys’ second appearance on Austin City Limits, following their ACL debut after the release of Brothers in 2010.
Kronos Quartet is artist-in-residence at the Holland Festival in Amsterdam this week, giving a series of performances starting with last night’s concert featuring the Dutch premiere of several works commissioned through Kronos’s Fifty for the Future program. The festival continues with “Kronos Sessions,” in which the Quartet coaches three groups from the Dutch String Quartet Academy, followed by a discussion with Kronos and its longtime manager Janet Cowperthwaite, at Tolhuistuin this afternoon. As part of Saturday’s “Holland Festival Proms,” a program of six concerts by various artists at Het Concertgebouw, Kronos performs Terry Riley’s “One Earth, One People, One Love” from Sun Rings, Clint Mansell’s “Lux Aeterna” from Requiem for a Dream, Vladimir Martynov’s “The Beatitudes,” as well as works by Omar Souleyman, Bryce Dessner, and a guest appearance by Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq, for the European premiere of her new composition written for Kronos. The quartet ends the weekend with “David Harrington’s Listening Party,” in which the group’s artistic director shares some favorite songs and stories at the Festival center Stadsschouwburg on Sunday.
The Globe and Mail gives Kronos’s concert at the Royal Conservatory’s 21C Music Festival in Toronto last month a rave review, writing that “Kronos Quartet elevated a concert of music to a spiritual trip through our common humanity—it was universal, all-encompassing, fabulously inclusive … It was brilliant, breathtaking …”
Lake Street Dive concludes the current leg of its US Side Pony tour with two shows in Texas this weekend: at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden tonight, and Stubb’s (Outdoor) in Austin on Saturday. The band hits the road again in early August.
Pat Metheny and his new quartet—drummer Antonio Sanchez, pianist Gwilym Simcock, and bassist Linda Oh—play the Alfa Jazz Fest in Lviv, Ukraine, tonight and gives a sold-out show at ICE Kraków in Kraków, Poland, as part of the Summer Jazz Festival, on Sunday.
Metheny released two critically acclaimed records on Nonesuch last month: The Unity Sessions, which the Guardian calls “polished and sophisticated” and “just plain elegant,” and Cuong Vuo Trio Meets Pat Metheny, which All About Jazz calls “a beautiful marriage of musical exactitude and punk attitude that knows few equals.”
Joshua Redman, currently on tour with his Quartet, featuring pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Reuben Rogers, and drummer Gregory Hutchinson, plays the Lerner Theatre, as part of the Elkhart Jazz Festival in Elkhart, Indiana, tonight, and the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, on Sunday.
Next week, Larry Grenadier swaps in for Rogers as the Quartet takes up a six-night residency at the Blue Note in New York City, to close out the Blue Note Jazz Festival.
The Staves conclude their current North American headlining tour with music from their new EP, Sleeping In A Car, and 2015 Nonesuch debut album, If I Was, with shows at a sold-out High Watt in Nashville tonight, Off Broadway in St. Louis on Saturday, and Riot Room in Kansas City on Sunday. The trio is scheduled for three North American summer festival dates: the Winnipeg Folk Festival, Newport Folk Festival, and Eaux Claires Festival.
DIY Magazine, reviewing a recent show at London’s Royal Festival Hall, praises the trio’s “power to reach out and entrance with their tumbling harmonies, leaving the crowd hanging on every word … There’s no showy stagecraft on show, yet the whole room is smitten.”
Chris Thile launched his four-day festival, American Acoustic with Chris Thile, at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, this week, sharing the stage with guitarist Michael Daves on Wednesday, and composer/singer-songwriter Gabriel Kahane, guitarist Julian Lage, and vocalist Merrill Garbus yesterday.
The festival continues with its marquee concert featuring an all-star lineup of some of Thile’s frequent collaborators, including his fellow Punch Brothers, banjo player Béla Fleck, bassist Edgar Meyer, and the trio I’m With Her (Sara Watkins, Aoife O’Donovan, and Sarah Jarosz), at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall tonight. American Acoustic culminates on Saturday with three events: a performance and QA session led by Thile and designed for younger audiences, in the Family Theater, and two workshops led by Thile in the Atrium: How to Play with Others, with Punch Brothers, focused on instrumental collaboration; and How to Sing with Others, with O’Donovan and Jarosz, on vocal and string performance.
Rokia Traoré performs at the famed Glatsonbury Festival, taking the Pyramid Stage this afternoon.
Traoré released her sixth album, Né So, on Nonesuch earlier this year. The Times says: “Traoré has made the album of her career.” Uncut exclaims: “Brave, challenging and arrestingly original, Traoré may just have gone and made the finest indie-rock album to emerge from arguably the world’s most musical continent.”