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Thursday, Feb. 22

1. Jon Batiste: He showed his versatility during his eight years as bandleader on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert." He showed his funky New Orleans soulfulness on "We Are," which earned the Grammy for album of the year, and he picked up an Oscar for co-composing the score of "Soul." In 2023, Batiste bounced back with the wildly eclectic "World Music Radio" and the documentary "American Symphony" (which has earned him another Oscar nom, with co-writer Dan Wilson of Semisonic fame). Batiste, who appeared in St. Paul as a guest host on radio's "Live From Here," will make his local headline debut — and he requested to do it at Minneapolis' landmark music venue. (8 p.m. First Avenue, 710 1st Av. N., Mpls., $49.50 and up,

2. BeauSoleil: No band is as synonymous with their genre as this one is to Cajun music. That's been true for many of the 50 years that the group is celebrating this year. After a big golden anniversary bash with current and past members earlier this month in their hometown of (where else?) Lafayette, La., leader/fiddler Michael Doucet and his swinging dance band are taking the party on the road to many of their favorite destinations before their usual return home for Jazz Fest. Their long Twin Cities ties include frequent "A Prairie Home Companion" appearances. (7:30 p.m. Parkway Theater, 4814 Chicago Av. S., Mpls., $30-$50,

3. Minnesota Orchestra: Osmo Vänskä returns to the podium he occupied for 19 years to conduct two new pieces and two concertos for an instrument too seldom in the spotlight. In addition to a U.S. premiere by Sweden's Anders Hillborg and a 2023 work by American composer Kevin Puts, the young and virtuosic bassist, Nina Bernat, will solo on concertos from Italian romantic Giovanni Bottesini and 20th century Estonian composer Eduard Tubin. (11 a.m. Thu., 8 p.m. Fri., 7 p.m. Sat. Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., $10-$106, ages 6 to 18 free,

Also: One of Minneapolis' most promising new singer/songwriters, Geoffrey Wilson aka Laamar heads up the Songs & Conversations show with Haley, Peter Miller and the Nunnery (7:30 p.m. Hook & Ladder Mission Room, $15-$25); the Wisconsin Brass Quintet, made up of University of Wisconsin faculty members, is making a special interstate trek (7:30 Cedar Cultural Center, $25-$30); Twin Cities vets Gary Rue and Leslie Ball revive their hooky '80s Twin Cities favorites Rue Nouveau (6:30 p.m. Dunsmore Room at Crooners, $20-$30); the Southside Aces, the Twin Cities ensemble that embraces New Orleans trad jazz, salutes the Hall Brothers, Minnesota purveyors of NOLA jazz back in the day, with guest pianist Mike Polad (7:30 p.m. Crooners, $20-$30).

Friday, Feb. 23

4. Jamecia Bennett: She has lit up the Ordway as lead singer of the Grammy-winning Sounds of Blackness and as Mrs. Potts in a production of "Beauty and the Beast." Now Bennett will be front and center at downtown St. Paul's posh concert hall for her jazz, blues and R&B revue. Expect the sparkling singer to put her touch on standards, maybe offer a little Sister Rosetta Tharpe as well as some originals. Bennett is one of the Twin Cities' most electrifying live performers — a wondrous, showy force with a big voice, big presence, big personality and always lots of bling. (7:30 p.m. Ordway Concert Hall, 345 Washington St., St. Paul, $32-$61,

Also: Country singer Lee Greenwood has made a career out of singing his 1984 rouser "God Bless the U.S.A.," (7:45 p.m. Medina Entertainment Center, $37-$59); Gao Hong, the adventurous Chinese pipa virtuoso who teaches at Carleton College, continues her cross-cultural ways by teaming with Argentina-born, London-based flamenco guitarist Ignacio Lusardi Monteverde (8 p.m. Cedar Cultural Center, $22-$27); rootsy vocal powerhouse Joyann Parker with her "Sconnie Girl" campaign brings her band back to downtown Minneapolis (7 p.m. the Dakota, $35-$40); bluegrass revelers Pert Near Sandstone play another winter gig promoting their new album "Waiting Days" (8:30 p.m. Turf Club, $25); local jazz aces Joe Strachan and Adam Linz pair up for the early show at the new North Loop venue Berlin (5-7 p.m., free), followed by sonic experimentalist Lakefront (8 p.m., $10); original Stiff Little Fingers guitarist Henry Cluney plays another gig in his adopted home state (8:30 p.m. Hook & Ladder Mission Room, $10-$15).

Saturday, Feb. 24

5. Maddie Zahm: After forgetting the words to a Pink song to get voted off "American Idol" in 2018, this Idaho-raised singer/songwriter has made other "Idol" finalists green with envy. She has earned 3 billion TikTok views and lots of press with her heart-tugging song "Fat Funny Friend," which chronicled her personal experience with weight loss. That led to a record deal and October's release of her dramatic debut album, "Now That I've Been Honest." Oh, and Pink invited her to open for her in London's Hyde Park last summer. (8 p.m. Varsity Theater, 1308 4th St. SE, Mpls., $45,

6. Winter Jazz Festival: This year, the Twin Cities Jazz Festival folks have found a new approach for their winter mini-fest — a one-day event in three adjacent spaces in downtown St. Paul. Spirited Cuban pianist Jorge Luis Pacheco, whose 2020 effort, "The Lockdown Album," finds him playing fast and furious, headlines in Park Square Theater while local luminaries Lila Ammons and the Steve Kenny Quintet hold court in KJ's Hideaway. The third space, Park Square's smaller stage, will showcase emerging Minnesota combos Callum Schultz Quartet, Hannah Harder Quintet and the Blue Ox Jazz Orchestra. (3:30 p.m. KJ's Hideaway, 408 St. Peter St., and Park Square Theatre, 20 W. 7th Place, St. Paul, $50 for all three stages,

7. Kenny Garrett: In recognition of his illustrious talents, the alto saxophonist was named an NEA jazz master last year. That prestigious prize follows a standout career in which Garrett has played with Miles Davis and the Duke Ellington Orchestra, among others, and released albums under his own name for 30 years. The Detroit native saluted his roots on "Sounds from the Ancestors," one of the top jazz albums of 2021. The record is a captivating collection that embraces everything from Afro-Latin rhythms to gospel and Motown soul sounds. This week Garrett announced a new album, "Who Killed AI," with electronic producer Svoy, due April 12. The saxophonist's ensemble for his current tour features pianist Keith Brown, percussionist Rudy Bird, bassist Corcoran Holt, drummer Ronald Bruner and keyboardist/vocalist Melvis Santa. (6:30 and 8:30 p.m. the Dakota, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., $30-$45,

8. Dropkick Murphys: After stripping down to an acoustic act on their recent pair of Woody Guthrie-inspired albums, Boston's rowdiest act since the tea party is cranking back up to full volume on tour this spring leading up to St. Patrick's Day and are returning to the demise-exaggerated suburban Twin Cities venue they've played many times before. A sure sign that the Celtic punk vets are raising hell again: Their openers on this tour are Southern Cali blasters Pennywise, who've reunited with singer Jim Lindberg after a spell without him. Young Dubliners the Scratch also perform. (7 p.m. Myth Live, 3090 Southlawn Dr., Maplewood, all ages, $50,

Also: "Hang Me Up to Dry" alt-rockers Cold War Kids are out marking their 20th anniversary (8 p.m. First Ave, $35); lite-FM duo Air Supply reminds us that you can be "Lost in Love" and "All Out of Love" (8 p.m. Mystic Lake Casino, $39 and up); Barely Brothers Records' 10th anniversary bash with the Batson brothers' three bands the Mighty Mofos, Hypsterz and King Kustom & the Cruisers, which was erroneously mentioned in last week's Big Gigs, is actually happening this Saturday (1-4 p.m., free); Lita Ford, the lead guitarist of the pioneering Runaways who went on to solo stardom with "Kiss Me Deadly" and "Close My Eyes Forever," keeps on rockin' (8 p.m. Medina Entertainment Center, $39-$56); newly inducted into the Metal Hall of Fame, ex-Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach heads up the Rock from the Heart benefit (8 p.m. Palace Theatre, $59 and up); Grammy-winning country singer Suzy Bogguss, one of Nashville's prettiest voices in the '90s, returns to revisit "Drive South" and "Outbound Plane" (8 p.m. Hopkins Center for the Arts, $33-$43); veteran Twin Cities rockers including John Eller, Noah Levy and Randy Casey pay tribute to George Harrison in the Dark Horse Revue (8 p.m. Parkway Theater, $25); with their band Poliça on hiatus, Channy Leaneagh and Drew Christopherson are teaming up for a DJ set to help christen Berlin (8 p.m., $10); Products Band leads a noisy night with Che Arthur at Cloudland Theater (7:30 p.m., $12-$15).

Sunday, Feb. 25

9. Silversun Pickups: Eighteen years since their scorching breakout hit, "Lazy Eye," Brian Aubert and his Los Angeles-based bandmates have maintained a faithful fanbase by following a similar mold of catchy, smart songs and intense performances. They put out their best record in years last year, "Physical Thrills," produced by Butch "Nevermind" Vig and fueled by quarantine-era nerves and inspiration. Their First Ave shows are special occasions to them, and this time through they're also playing an acoustic in-store set at our other 50-plus-year-old local music institution. (8 p.m. First Avenue, 701 1st Av. N., Mpls., $35,; in-store: noon Sun., Electric Fetus, 2000 S. 4th St., free with RSVP)

10. Cantus and the Canadian Brass: Sunday might be the Twin Cities' best day for classical concerts since before the pre-pandemic, so there are plenty of other options if you have trouble snaring a ticket to this inspired pairing of our foremost low-voiced singing group and the world's most popular brass quintet. The Canadian Brass has been around for 54 years and released 96 albums, several hitting the top of the classical charts. Hearing them tackling centuries of repertoire in combination with Cantus should be ear-opening. (3 p.m. Ordway Concert Hall, 345 Washington St., St. Paul, $38-$113,

Also: Victoria Victoria, a beguilingly jazzy alt-folk singer, pairs with adventurous guitarist Charlie Hunter, who produced her latest effort, "To the Wayside" (7 p.m. the Dakota, $30-$40); Adi Yeshaya, the esteemed Twin Cities arranger, pianist and bandleader, has invited the stellar and versatile Jennifer Grimm to sing with his 12-piece jazz orchestra (6:30 p.m. Crooners, $25-$35); acoustic guitar ace Dakota Dave Hull is playing an afternoon set (3-5 p.m. 331 Club, free); the Steel Wheels, the Americana band from Virginia, is promoting its new album, the introspective "Sideways" (7:30 p.m. Parkway Theater, $25-$35).

Monday, Feb. 26

Purple Funk Metropolis, a septet that formed via music classes at the University of Minnesota, brings their soulful jazz to downtown Minneapolis, with Room 3, a local trio that favors improvisation (7 p.m. the Dakota, $15-$20); unconventional one-man band That 1 Guy, aka Las Vegas showman Mark Sherman, is back in town with his wild act (8 p.m. Turf Club, $20).

Tuesday, Feb. 27

Canada's Ukrainian-rooted guerrilla-folk duo Balaklava Blues is an offshoot of the Lemon Bucket Orkestra that's become more high-profile amid the war in its homeland (7:30 p.m. Cedar Cultural Center, $20); the latest incarnation of Master of Hawaiian Music tour features three Grammy winners — slack key guitarist George Kahumoku Jr., ukulele ace Daniel Ho and vocalist Tia Carrere, who is also known for her acting roles especially in "Wayne's World" (7 p.m. the Dakota, $40-$45); Valet frontman Robin Kyle continues to host the February Conspiracy Series at the 331 Club with this week's guests Lonesome Dan Kase and Kiernan Tollefson (9:30 p.m., free)

Wednesday, Feb. 28

New York trio Bandits on the Run are gaining some attention with a fun multi-genre format made up by a cellist, guitarist and poet, and they're playing with Tony Award winner Tony Gallagher Jr. (7 p.m. Bryant-Lake Bowl, $20); alt-twanger Molly Dean and vintage picker Jack Klatt make for a strong twofer of local Americana talent (8:30 p.m. Icehouse, $15-$25).