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On the fast track

GHOST TRAIN ORCHESTRA This band, led by trumpeter Brian Carpenter, won acclaim for its 2011 debut disc, “Hothouse Stomp,” spotlighting pieces first performed in Prohibition-era Harlem and Chicago. Its latest, “Book of Rhapsodies,” unearths an even more esoteric vein of jazz: swinging explorations of classical music themes and ideas, circa 1940. April 9, 8 p.m. Tickets: $25. Scullers. 866-777-8932, www.scullersjazz.com


Rock & Pop

YOUNG@HEART The story of this ever-evolving chorus out of western Massachusetts, active since 1982, is a heartwarming tale. As chronicled in a 2008 self-titled documentary, Young@Heart features singers in their twilight years (the current lineup includes ages 73 to 91) giving spirited and heartfelt renditions of pop and rock songs, with a repertoire stretching from the Ramones and James Brown to Talking Heads and Arcade Fire. April 3, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $25-$35. Wilbur Theatre. 800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com


WHEN THINGS GO WRONG: ROBIN LANE’S STORY Known for her 1980s fame fronting Robin Lane & the Chartbusters, this charismatic singer and songwriter is the subject of a new documentary. Directed by Tim Jackson, “When Things Go Wrong,” named after Lane’s biggest hit, will get its first public screening at this benefit, followed by a Q&A and performances by Lane and the Chartbusters, Barrence Whitfield, Tanya Donelly, and Linda Veins, among others. Steve Morse, the Globe’s former rock critic, will host the event. April 4, 7 p.m. Tickets: $27, $22 in advance. Regent Theatre, Arlington. 781-646-4849, www.regenttheatre.com

GLENN JONES & NINA VIOLET As part of the series Journeys in Sound and billed as “One Sings, the Other Doesn’t,” this inspired bill pairs two local artists known for their highly expressive music. Jones is a celebrated acoustic guitarist often credited with carrying the torch passed down by John Fahey and Robbie Basho. From Martha’s Vineyard, Violet lends a subtle touch to her indie-folk illuminated by the various instruments she plays, from viola and guitar to banjo and mandolin. April 4, 8 p.m. Tickets: $14 suggested donation. Arts at the Armory Café, Somerville. 617-276-4536, www.onesingsonedoesnt.eventbrite.com


CHER She said it would never happen again. At least the last stretch of her farewell tour in 2005 implied Cher wouldn’t be on the road again. But here she is, performing in Boston for the first time in more than a decade and bringing with her 50 years of pop hits, from “I Got You Babe” to “Believe.” She’s also got new music to peddle, “Closer to the Truth,” last year’s further adventures in thumping dance pop. Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo will open. April 9, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $25.50-$156. TD Garden. 800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com



SAM BAKER On the tour page of his website, Sam Baker offers this guiding principle, via a quote from Glenn Gould: “The purpose of art [is] the gradual, lifelong construction of a state of wonder and serenity.” Baker has now been constructing his own iteration of such a state over the course of four records, making music that is spare, roughhewn, purposefully laconic, and often mesmerizing. April 3, 8 p.m. Tickets: $20. Club Passim, Cambridge. 617-492-7679, www.passim.org

MEHMET ALI SANLIKOL Sanlikol has had long, sustained involvement as musician, composer, and ethnomusicologist in American jazz and in the musical traditions of his native Turkey. He brings both of those streams together on his new CD, “whatsnext,” the release of which he celebrates tonight. April 3, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $20. Regattabar. 617-395-7757, www.regattabarjazz.com


LAURA CANTRELL If you like your country music unhyphenated, elegant and unadorned, thoughtful, and rooted in tradition, then Laura Cantrell is the woman for you. The New York-based country singer will be showcasing her recent release, “No Way There From Here.” April 7, 9:30 p.m. Tickets: $10. Atwood's Tavern, Cambridge. 800-838-3006. www.brownpapertickets.com

SOUTHERN SOUL ASSEMBLY When the four principals of this “evening of Southern songwriters in the round” — JJ Grey, Anders Osborne, Marc Broussard, and Luther Dickinson — headed out on this tour, they weren’t sure exactly what would happen onstage. But according to reports, they’ve been taking ample advantage of the sorts of impromptu collaborations that the in-the-round format makes possible. April 8, 8 p.m. Tickets: $25, $45. House of Blues. 800-745-3000, www.livenation.com



JASON MORAN: FATS WALLER DANCE PARTY The provocative pianist sets his sights on the music of Fats Waller, something of a provocateur himself. For this concert, Moran re-thinks Waller’s material for both jazz piano trio and contemporary dance music group. One never knows, do one? April 4, 8 p.m. Tickets: $44-$60. Berklee Performance Center. 617-747-2261, www.berklee.edu/BPC

LEE KONITZ QUARTET A foundational post-bop instrumentalist, alto saxophonist Konitz contributed greatly to the music of Stan Kenton, Lennie Tristano, and Miles Davis’s “Birth of the Cool” nonet. Since then, he has performed in everything from duos to string ensembles to big bands, as well as leading his own quartets featuring dynamic young musicians. April 5, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $20. Regattabar. 617-395-7757, www.regattabarjazz.com


SHEPLEY METCALF & RON ROY An especially thoughtful cabaret/jazz singer, Metcalf and pianistic partner Roy specialize in the Great American Songbook, re-interpreting standards and bringing to light worthy obscurities from the 1920s through the ’50s, and sometimes beyond. April 5, 8 p.m. Tickets: $15. Third Life Studio, 33 Somerville Ave., Somerville. www.thirdlifestudio.com


BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Bernard Rands’s Piano Concerto receives its premiere under the baton of Robert Spano, with Jonathan Biss as soloist. Also on the program will be works by Rachmaninoff and Debussy. April 3-8, Symphony Hall. 617-266-1200, www.bso.org

SUSANNA Ryan Turner and Emmanuel Music perform the Boston premiere of Handel’s “Susanna,” with soprano Kendra Colton singing the title role alongside vocal soloists Deborah Rentz-Moore, Mark McSweeney, Teresa Wakim, Frank Kelley, Donald Wilkinson, Pamela Dellal, and Bradford Gleim. April 5, 7:30 p.m., Emmanuel Church. 617-536-3356, emmanuelmusic.org

HANDEL AND HAYDN SOCIETY H&H concertmaster Aisslinn Nosky leads a program titled “Mendelssohn’s Library,” with works by composers who influenced Mendelssohn, including J.S. Bach (the famous Double Concerto) and C.P.E. Bach (the Sinfonia in B-flat major) alongside Mendelssohn’s own seldom performed Violin Concerto in D minor. April 4 at Jordan Hall, April 6 at Sanders Theatre. 617-266-3605, www.handelandhaydn.org

AKADEMIE FÜR ALTE MUSIK BERLIN The estimable early music ensemble makes a rare Boston appearance with a program of works by Handel, Bach, Vivaldi, and Telemann. April 6, 3 p.m., Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 617-278-5156, www.gardnermuseum.org