The week ahead: Music

Diane Bondareff/Invision for Starkey Hearing Foundation/AP Images

Legend continues

JOHN LEGEND A musical valentine to his then-fiancee (and now wife), last year’s “Love in the Future” found Legend in silky-smooth loverman mode. Centered on Legend’s voice and piano prowess, the album was sophisticated R&B for adults crazy in love, attuned to the joys of being in a relationship. Aug. 9, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $35-$75. Blue Hills Bank Pavilion. 800-745-3000,



STRAND OF OAKS The songs on Strand of Oaks’ new album, “Heal,” are brought to you by bourbon and enough despair and alienation to give Leonard Cohen the shivers. Frontman Timothy Showalter moved away from his humble folk beginnings for a fuller, more vibrant aesthetic that sometimes recalls early Springsteen. Or as he describes the album: “It’s sad, but it sounds like a celebration, like I’m crying and laughing and sticking both middle fingers in the air all at the same time.” Aug. 7,
10 p.m. Tickets: $12. Great Scott. 800-745-3000,


KINGS OF LEON On last year’s “Mechanical Bull,” these Southern rockers kept the choruses stadium-sized, but they also loosened the grip on the melodies, giving their sixth studio album a softness they’re not known for. They come to town with Young the Giant and Kongos. Aug. 9, 7 p.m. Tickets: $29.50-$69.50. Xfinity Center, Mansfield. 800-745-3000,

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MAD DECENT BLOCK PARTY What began in 2008 as a block-party celebration of the electronic-dance music on the Mad Decent label has morphed into a traveling revue. This year’s edition has been plagued by bad news, including two deaths and numerous hospitalizations related to drug use at a recent Maryland stop. The tour soldiers on with this Boston installment, featuring Diplo, DJ Snake, Flosstradamus, Lunice, Vic Mensa, and more. Aug. 10, 3 p.m. Tickets: $49.50-$80. Blue Hills Bank Pavilion. 800-745-3000,


Folk, world & country

CHRISTOPHER DENNY It’s taken Denny (who opens for Strand of Oaks tonight) seven years to put out his sophomore disc, “If the Roses Don’t Kill Us.” It’s an absolute beauty, shot through with a swelling emotional force generated by the combination of his idiosyncratic voice (Roy Orbison and Jimmy Dale Gilmore come to mind) and his off-kilter, rootsy songs. Aug. 7, 9 p.m. Tickets: $12. Great Scott. 800-745-3000.

SHARON SHANNON She’s rooted in Irish tradition, but Sharon Shannon has always had expansive tendencies, collaborating with the likes of the Waterboys, Steve Earle, and Jackson Browne, and incorporating country, reggae, French-Canadian, and other strands into her music. She’ll be accompanied by Jim Murray on guitar and Alan Connor on keys. Aug. 7, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Tickets: $28. The Burren Backroom, Somerville.


KINKY FRIEDMAN The Kinkster is calling this a “victory tour,” although it’s not exactly clear what he’s celebrating; perhaps he’s counting his recent close loss in a primary runoff for Texas agriculture commissioner as such. No matter; there’ll be plenty of vintage Kinky songs and commentary, and he’ll have plenty of swag to sell you. Aug. 8, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $30. 888-777-8932. Johnny D’s, Somerville.

PASSENGER/THE ONCE/STU LARSEN Contemporary folk music from three corners of the Commonwealth: England’s Mike Rosenberg, a.k.a. Passenger, provides his dolorous folk pop, Newfoundland’s the Once represents Canada, and young troubadour (and Passenger pal) Stu Larsen comes all the way from the land down under. Aug. 13,
8 p.m. Tickets: $25-$45. House of Blues. 800-745-3000.


Jazz, blues & cabaret

THE CLAUDETTES This Chicago-based duo — pianist Johnny Iguana and drummer Michael Caskey — plays gonzo blues/jazz/soul numbers influenced by the likes of Otis Spann, Ray Charles, and Raymond Scott. The pair’s recent “Infernal Piano Plot . . . HATCHED!” won best instrumental album in the Independent Music Awards. Aug. 8, 9 p.m. Tickets: $10. Ryles, 212 Hampshire St., Cambridge, 617-876-9330,

SPRINGFIELD JAZZ & ROOTS FESTIVAL Nonprofit arts organization Blues to Green presents headliner Phil Woods, bebop alto saxophone legend and Springfield native, and a host of others, including Charles Neville, of the famed New Orleans family, 22-year old Korean-American saxophonist Grace Kelly, and Cuban pianist Chuchito Valdés, son of Chucho and grandson of Bebo. Aug. 9, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Free. Court Square, Downtown Springfield.


GREG HOPKINS NONET The 30th and final season of Marblehead Summer Jazz continues with an artist who played its opening year: trumpeter, composer, and educator Hopkins. His seasoned ensemble includes area luminaries Jeff Galindo (trombone), Allan Chase (saxophones), Tim Ray (piano), Bob Gullotti, (drums), and ubiquitous bassist John Lockwood. Aug. 25, 8 p.m. Tickets: $27-$42. Unitarian-Universalist Church, 28 Mugford St., Marblehead. 781-631-6366,

ALI JACKSON QUARTET The Rockport Jazz Festival kicks off with drum virtuoso and composer Ali Jackson — for eight years the dynamo driving the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra — leading his unique quartet with pianist Emmet Cohen, bassist Yasushi Nakamura, and trombonist/vocalist Vincent Gardner. Aug. 13, 8 p.m. Tickets: $28-$46. Shalin Liu Performance Center, 37 Main St., Rockport. 978-546-7391,



TANGLEWOOD On Thursday, pianist Emanuel Ax, violinist Leonidas Kavakos, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma team up for an evening of Brahms’s chamber music. Then Friday the BSO and violinist Gil Shaham perform Bolcom, Barber, and Elgar under the baton of Leonard Slatkin; Saturday it’s Stéphane Denève (joined by Kavakos) leading Debussy and Tchaikovsky; and Sunday David Zinman (joined by Ma) conducts an all-Tchaikovsky program. Lenox. 617-266-1200,

MARLBORO MUSIC The storied Vermont festival offers three programs for its penultimate weekend, beginning Friday night with Beethoven, Bartok, and Tchaikovsky; continuing on Saturday with Schubert’s B-flat major Piano Trio and Strauss’s “Metamorphosen”; and concluding Sunday with works by Haydn, Bartok, Dvorak, and Adolf Busch. Aug. 8-10. Marlboro, Vt., 802-254-2394,

MONADNOCK MUSIC The Monadnock Quartet pairs music of Bartok and George Chadwick with works by Ives and Schubert. Aug. 10, 3 p.m., Wilton Center Unitarian Church (Isaac Frye Highway, Wilton Center, NH). 603-924-7610,

CAPE COD CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL The Cypress String Quartet performs works by Schubert, Dvorak, and Elena Ruehr. Aug. 11, 7:30 p.m., Provincetown Art Association Museum, Provincetown. 508-247-9400,


Stuart Munro can be reached at