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    The week ahead: Music

    Jay Z.
    Kevin Winter/Getty Images
    Jay Z.

    Jay Z’s Garden party

    JAY Z After a pair of triumphant shows at Fenway Park with Justin Timberlake this past summer, Jay Z comes back to town in support of last year’s “Magna Carta Holy Grail.” Recent set lists suggest the hip-hop heavyweight is culling from a wide swath of his career, too. Jan. 18, 8 p.m. Tickets: $30-$147.50. TD Garden. 800-745-3000,


    Rock & Pop

    CATE LE BON This Welsh singer-songwriter, who’s living in Los Angeles now, has a knack for turning familiar sounds inside out. “Mug Museum,” her latest album, conjures the impressionistic beauty and sprawl of early Velvet Underground while maintaining a contemporary vibe. Jan. 18, 7 p.m. Tickets: $10. Middle East Upstairs, Cambridge. 617-864-3278,


    PIXIES For a band that hasn’t put out a full-length studio album since 1991’s “Trompe le Monde,” the Pixies have generated a lot of buzz lately. In September, the seminal alt-rock group, which took root in Boston, released “EP1,” followed by “EP2” earlier this year, both of which prove the Pixies still rock harder and heavier than bands half their age. They’re also performing without bassist Kim Deal, who departed the lineup last year. Jan. 18, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $43.50-$63.50. Orpheum Theatre. 800-745-3000,

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    DIANE BIRCH On last year’s overlooked “Speak a Little Louder,” this New York-based singer did exactly that. Her sophomore album built on the ’70s soul and singer-songwriter fare of her 2009 debut, “Bible Belt,” for a tougher, more nuanced set of songs. Her live shows are particularly intimate, centered on Birch at the piano as she sings like it’s last call at the supper club. Jan. 21, 9 p.m. Tickets: $15. The Sinclair, Cambridge. 800-745-3000,



    JEN CHAPIN Harry Chapin's daughter is now several albums into her own musical career (with a new one, “Reckoning,” recently out), practicing a hybrid she’s labeled “urban folk soul,” by which she means “story songs that search for community and shared meaning, powered by the funk and improvisation of the city.” Jan. 18, 8:30 p.m. Tickets: $12. Old Ship Coffeehouse Off the Square, Hingham. 781-749-1767.

    DIKKI DU AND THE ZYDECO KREWE A member of a family with deep roots in the zydeco world, Troy “Dikki Du” Carrier and his band head up from Louisiana to make some hips shake at Boston Zydeco’s monthly dance event. Get there early, and you can take advantage of beginner’s dance lessons. Jan. 19, 4 p.m. Tickets: $18. VFW Hall, Watertown. 508-932-6499.


    JUNIOR BROWN Some folks like Junior Brown for his resonating, bottom-of-the-barrel voice, some for his way-gone guitar antics and pyrotechnics (conveyed by means of his custom-built, double-necked “guit-steel”), some for the way his music combines vintage honky-tonk and hillbilly rock ’n’roll. And some like him for all three. Jan. 21, 7 p.m. Tickets: $22. Johnny D's, Somerville. 888-777-8932.

    SCOTT MILLER Literate, edgy singer-songwriter Miller tours less now that he’s taken over the Virginia family farm (“like many with elderly parents I heard the call: Now is the time for all sons to return to the land of their raising, smother their parents with a pillow and collect their social security,” he cracks). But he’s in Cambridge Wednesday, with a new record, “Big Big World,” that lives up to its name in ways both musical and non. Jan. 22, 8 p.m. Tickets: $15. Club Passim, Cambridge. 617-492-7679.



    JOE LOUIS WALKER The Blues Foundation Hall of Famer’s passionate singing and a ferocious yet precise fretwork make him among the most stimulating and satisfying of contemporary blues masters. Jan. 17, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $20. Regattabar. 617-395-7757,

    GREGORY PORTER With widespread critical acclaim, Grammy nominations, and magazine cover features near and far, the California-born, Brooklyn-based jazz singer-songwriter with the rich, soulful baritone has clearly merited the predictions of stardom made for him when his debut album was released only a few years ago. Jan. 17, 8 and 10 p.m. $25. Scullers. 617-562-4111,


    DUKE ROBILLARD BAND The perennial nominee and frequent winner of the Blues Music Awards best guitarist title was a cofounder of Roomful of Blues, has played with the likes of Bob Dylan and Tom Waits, and remains a master of swinging, jump blues. Jan 18, 8 p.m. Tickets: $22-$26. The Center for the Arts, 14 Summer St., Natick. 508-647-0097,

    THE GEORGE RUSSELL JR. QUINTET: REMEMBERING DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING A musical tribute to the great civil rights leader, with gospel-steeped jazz pianist and Berklee professor Russell Jr.’s inspirational ivory tickling supported by bassist Winston Maccow and drummer Sean Skeete, joined by vocalists Emily Russell and Angel Gittens.Jan. 21, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $5. Jocko’s Jazz at the Sahara Club, 34 Bates St., Methuen. 603-898-1591,



    BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Christoph Eschenbach returns to the BSO, leading Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 12 from the keyboard and, from the podium, Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony. Jan. 16-18, Symphony Hall. 617-266-1200,

    ‘A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC’ Emmanuel Music presents two performances of Sondheim’s popular operetta, with Ryan Turner conducting and Lynn Torgove directing. The cast includes Torgove as Désirée Armfeldt, Bobbie Steinbach, David Kravitz, Krista River, Dana Whiteside, Kristen Watson, and Jonas Budris. Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. and Jan. 19 at 3 p.m., Boston Conservatory Theater, 31 Hemenway St. 617-536-3356,

    BOSTON MODERN ORCHESTRA PROJECT Gil Rose leads his versatile ensemble in premieres of works by Elena Ruehr, Ken Ueno, and David Rakowski. Jan. 17, 8 p.m., Jordan Hall. 781-324-0396,

    LONDON HAYDN QUARTET This period-instrument string quartet makes its Boston Early Music Festival debut with a program devoted to works by Haydn and Beethoven alongside Mozart’s celebrated Clarinet Quintet, performed with clarinetist Eric Hoeprich . Jan. 18, 8 p.m., First Church in Cambridge, 617-661-1812,