PICK OF THE DAY
Trading one jam for another
In 1998, Club Passim was in a bit of a jam with a weak booking weekend. So, the Cambridge venue had a bunch of local talent sit around and jam, and the rest is campfire. history. Start your Memorial Day weekend Friday with in-the-round acts including the Second Hands; return Saturday for Hayley Reardon and others; continue on Sunday with Linda Draper and more; and finish up Monday with the Suitcase Junket (above) and others. 6 p.m. (May 25-27 at noon). $10, $30 (weekend pass). Club Passim, 47 Palmer St., Harvard Square, Cambridge. 617-492-7679.www.passim.org
Falutin’ fun How can you resist this band’s name and credo? According to Gracie Curran & the High Falutin’ Band: “We are not your average blues band . . . oh no. . . . We play the blues like we are actually upset about something. And faster blues like we were upset, but have triumphed and now want to dance.” Join the Boston blues band for some highfalutin’ fun. 9 p.m. $5 cover. Smoken Joe’s BBQ, 351 Washington St., Brighton. 617-254-5227. www.smokenjoesbbq.com
Global guitaring And speaking of credos, Robert Fripp & the Orchestra of Crafty Guitarists assert that solutions to our global challenges will be found in creative groups and networks. To that end, up to 100 acoustic guitarists from all over the world prepare and perform one-of-a-kind concerts reflecting the talent at each gig. 8 p.m. $25. First Church in Cambridge, 11 Garden St., Cambridge. 800-838-3006. www.ocgusa.bpt.me
Crawley comedy How much funnier can Maggie Smith’s character get? How will the ImprovBoston
troupe deal with the crises, wardrobes, class issues, and other “Downton Abbey” drama at its parody of the PBS blockbuster? The improvised “Downton IB” depends on you for inspiration. Please take your job as seriously as Mr. Carson takes his. 10 p.m. (Fridays through June 14). $18, $14 students.
ImprovBoston, 40 Prospect St., Cambridge. 617-576-1253.
Chamber sharing This Boston chamber orchestra is democracy in action. Rather than being led by a conductor on the podium and folks behind the scenes, this group of Boston-area string players rotates leadership on and off the stage. A Far Cry presents its “Vienna Postcards” program of Mozart, Bruckner, and Schubert accompanied by wind and brass. 8 p.m. $28-$35, $20 seniors, $10 students. Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough St., Boston. 617-585-1100.www.necmusic.edu
Gospel greats A career of more than 70 years, White House performances for three presidents, and five Grammys qualify the Blind Boys of Alabama as ambassadors of traditional gospel and contemporary spirituals. May 25 at 8 p.m. $35-$100. Wellfleet Congregational Church, 200 Main St., Wellfleet. 508-487-5400. www.payomet.org
On the avenue From landfill came one of Boston’s elegant neighborhoods of town houses, mansions, private social clubs, and churches. Stroll along “Commonwealth Avenue: Boston’s Grand Boulevard” and learn about the 19th-century creation of the Back Bay that developed a residential neighborhood within walking distance of downtown businesses. May 26 at 2 p.m., rain or shine. $15. Meet your guide at the George Washington statue in the Public Garden
(Arlington Street and Commonwealth Avenue), Boston. 617-367-2345. www.bostonbyfoot.org