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Live music picks: March 2-8

Genre-bending pianist Robert Glasper comes to the Variety Playhouse on Sunday, March 4, in support of his recent album, "Black Radio." Chrisette Michele, who appears on the album, is alos on the bill. Photo: Mike Schreiber

Genre-bending pianist Robert Glasper comes to the Variety Playhouse on Sunday, March 4, in support of his recent album, "Black Radio." Chrisette Michele, who appears on the album, is also on the bill. Photo: Mike Schreiber

FRIDAY
Christopher O’Riley

Hey kids, classical is cool. That’s the message pianist Christopher O’Riley tries to impart as host of the National Public Radio show “From the Top,” which focuses on pre-college-age musicians. That’s not the only way he’s trying to win converts to the classical cause. He also explored the Radiohead oeuvre in a classically inclined solo piano setting on “True Love Waits” and “Hold Me to This,” the music of Elliot Smith on “Home to Oblivion” and the songs of Nick Drake on “Second Grace.” Expect to hear selections from those albums, along with classical works and tunes by other rock and pop artists, at this performance.
8 p.m. March 2. $46. Emerson Concert Hall, 1700 N. Decatur Road, Atlanta. 404-727-5050.

FRIDAY
Gretchen Wilson

It was just a few years ago that Wilson was headlining nearby at Gwinnett Arena, but in the fickle world of contemporary country music, you’re only as big as your last hit. She caused a sensation when she hit No. 1 with “Redneck Woman” in 2004, but Wilson’s last Top 10 single was “All Jacked Up” in 2005. Nothing she’s released since then has broken the Top 20. She still has a loyal following and she can put on a rowdy, rocking show at the arena. She’ll be even better in a joint with a bona fide bar.
9:30 p.m. March 2. $20-$100. Wild Bill’s, 2075 Market St., Duluth. 678-473-1000.

SATURDAY
Earl Klugh

This long-serving jazz guitarist has been nominated for a Grammy 12 times, including for his two most recent albums, 2005’s “Naked Guitar” and 2008’s “The Spice of Life.” Those were just the latest of his 12 nominations. He’s won only once, back in 1980 for “One on One,” which he recorded with Bob James. Klugh, who was inspired to pick up a guitar after seeing guitar legend Chet Atkins on television, has been an Atlanta resident for about a decade now.
8 p.m. March 3. $36-$61. Ferst Center for the Arts, 349 Ferst Drive N.W., Atlanta. 404-894-2787.

SATURDAY
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and, arguably, jazz’s best known living trumpeter returns to Atlanta for a performance with the venerable ensemble, for which he serves as artistic director. Since this year marks Marsalis’ 50th birthday, the show that comes to Symphony Hall will feature a retrospective of his past big band compositions and the orchestra’s modern take on some classic jazz favorites.
8 p.m. March 3. $30-$90. Atlanta Symphony Hall, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 404-733-5000.

SUNDAY
Robert Glasper Experiment

Texas-born pianist Glasper is at the forefront when it comes to merging jazz with hip-hop and contemporary R&B. As many jazz fusionists and experimentalists of the past can attest, it can be tricky territory, blending popular forms with jazz traditions. Glasper is navigating just fine, creating challenging and engaging music that can reference Herbie Hancock, Radiohead and Duke Ellington within the space of a single piece. His latest album, “Black Radio,” was released Tuesday and features appearances by Erykah Badu, Bilal, Lupe Fiasco, Lalah Hathaway and many more, including Chrisette Michele, who will join him for this show.
8 p.m. March 4. $35; $29.50 in advance. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.

SUNDAY
Romeo Santos

Santos is known as the King of Bachata, a musical subgenre with origins in the Dominican Republic. Like similar styles that emerged in other countries — think Mexico’s ranchera or Portugal’s fado — bachata is mostly about love, romance and heartbreak. The current popular form, of course, incorporates more modern sounds than those thematically similar styles. Santos, like his music, is a blend of Caribbean influences. He was born in the Bronx, N.Y., to a Dominican father and a Puerto Rican mother. His career began with the quartet Aventura, which helped bring bachata to a wider audience by flavoring the music with elements of R&B and hip-hop.
8 p.m. March 4. $19.50-$89.50. Philips Arena, 1 Philips Drive, Atlanta. 404-878-3000.

MONDAY
Aretha Franklin

What can you say about the Queen of Soul that hasn’t already been said? She has a voice like no other. It’s immediately recognizable, heart-stoppingly powerful and one of our nation’s great treasures. Franklin can invest even the most banal lyric with righteous anger or unparalleled joy.
8 p.m. March 5. $59.50-$150. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 404-881-2100.

THURSDAY
Trey Songz

His fourth album, “Passion, Pain and Pleasure,” was released in 2010, but R&B singer Songz could have made a career being the name after “featuring” on many hit singles and popular tracks. Ludacris, Drake, Rick Ross, Mary J. Blige and Yung Joc are among those who have employed Songz on a track. Drake returned the favor on “I Invented Sex,” a No. 1 R&B hit from his third album, “Ready.”  The first single from Songz’s latest album, “Bottoms Up,” featured Nicki Minaj and brought the singer his second Top 10 pop hit. The follow-up to “Passion, Pain and Pleasure” is titled “Chapter 5,” and though there’s no solid release date yet, it’s expected to be released in the next few months. With Big Sean.
7:30 p.m. March 8. $47-$102. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 404-881-2100.

Shane Harrison / sharrison@ajc.com

2 comments Add your comment

Divine Weeks | nedigh.waw.pl

March 1st, 2012
7:16 pm

[...] and the songs of Nick Drake on “Second Grace.” Expect to hear selections from … Read more… ← Give Your Electric Guitar A Performance Upgrade Oliver Sack’s Musicophilia [...]

David Nooney

March 5th, 2012
8:50 am

You should’ve mentioned that on Yhursday March 8th, the “Best Damn Band in America You’ve Never Heard”. The Devil Makes Three plays at The Masquerade. Their music is a genre-busting confluence of Bluegrass, Americana. Blues, with a heavy metal & punk influence.