Heart's rise began with the release of "Dreamboat Annie" in 1976, and nearly 40 years later, the Wilson sisters are still
going strong. Heart's familial alchemy - Ann's steamroller vocals and Nancy's Zeppelin-esque guitar shredding - has led to more than 35 million records sold and a 2013 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. So dig out your leather and get ready to relive the magic of such hard-hitting classics as "Crazy on You" and "Barracuda," as well as some of the band's shinier material from the more recent past. At the Filene Center.
No question about it, Wynton Marsalis is the face of the Jazz at the Lincoln Center Orchestra. But in concert, when not serving as host or soloist, he's happy to be seated up in the brass section, amid fellow trumpeters well-versed in the rich vocabulary of traditional and contemporary jazz. From his perch, Marsalis has a terrific view of the action below - the reeds conjuring lush Ellingtonia, the trombones riffing in counterpoint, the nimbly swinging rhythm section creating moods and interludes. And if he takes special pride in the choice of tunes and the colorfully evocative arrangements, well, who can blame him. At the Filene Center.
Sure, he's won 20 Grammys, but guitarist Pat Metheny has seldom received the kind of acclaim accorded his Unity ensembles. The group's new album, "Zin," boasts a more expansive scope and vibrantly textured Unity sound. In fact, Metheny has described the transition from quartet to quintet as sonically moving from black-and-white to Technicolor. Fair enough, but whatever the band's configuration, Unity excels at creating music that possesses exceptional energy, beauty and soul. By the way, don't be surprised if at Wolf Trap, Metheny goes out of his way to showcase his wonderfully gifted Washington-bred bassist
Ben Williams. At the Filene Center.
It was 25 years ago at That Pizza Place in Carlsbad, Calif., that an 8-year-old Chris Thile, an 8-year-old Sara Watkins and a 12-year-old Sean Watkins first performed as the string-band trio Nickel Creek. It was seven years ago that they wound up their "Farewell (For Now) Tour." That parenthetical hedge proved prescient, for this year they reunited to record "A Dotted Line," their first studio album in nine years, and to tour. The record's eight original tunes and two borrowed compositions sound much more like the last few Nickel Creek albums than the trio's early bluegrass recordings or the music of their more recent bands: Thile's Punch Brothers or the Watkins siblings' Works Progress Administration. So it's safe to expect that their show at Wolf Trap will deliver that blend of British folk music and hipster chamber-pop, a mix redeemed by its chiming melodies and superlative picking. At the Filene Center.
Discovered at 13, Swedish dance-pop diva Robyn Carlsson was groomed for maximum appeal. But she soon took control of her career, and her music, and founded her own label. "Don't care what they say," she avows in "Do It Again," the title track from her new mini-album. Robyn originally worked with Max Martin, who crafted Britney Spears's first hits, but her current collaborator is Norway's Royksopp, the experimental electro duo joining her on this tour. With her reviews better than her sales, Robyn has usually toured as an opening act (notably for Katy Perry and Coldplay). Royksopp has helped give her an edgier sound, and may bring out bigger crowds as well. At the Filene Center.
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