The options for live music in New Orleans this week include a young modern jazz duo with local ties, a mini-guitar festival and a rescheduled date for a popular Americana/contemporary bluegrass band.
Nick Sanders and Logan Strosahl
8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Thursday, Snug Harbor, $15
Award-winning jazz pianist Nick Sanders is a New Orleans native who now lives in Brooklyn. Saxophonist Logan Strosahl hails from Seattle; his jazz improvisational skills are informed by an interest in 16th and 17th century polyphonic composition. They met as students at the prestigious New England Conservatory in Boston and discovered a compatibility despite their disparate backgrounds. After releasing two solo albums for the international jazz label Sunnyside Records, Sanders teamed with Strosahl for the 2016 release “Janus.” On “Janus,” they touch on everything from medieval, Baroque and 20th-century French composers to bebop and standards, with some original material thrown in for good measure. Sanders and Strosahl will showcase music from “Janus” and beyond during a duo performance Thursday at Snug Harbor.
7:30 p.m. Friday, Saenger Theatre, $59-$80
Fronted by brothers Scott and Seth Avett, the Avett Brothers broke out of North Carolina with a sound that was simultaneously classic and contemporary. Armed with banjos, guitars, fiddles, pianos, kazoos, tambourines, drums, trumpet and cello, the Avett Brothers made Americana folk music with an irreverent, youthful spirit. The band released its ninth studio album, “True Sadness,” in 2016. The Avetts were initially scheduled to perform at the Saenger Theatre in New Orleans on March 30. But Scott caught the flu, forcing the band to postpone several dates, including New Orleans. The band was also slated to perform on July 1 at the Shrine on Airline as part of Willie Nelson’s Outlaw Music Festival, but the entire festival was canceled. Barring any other complications, the Avett Brothers will perform their rescheduled Saenger show on Friday. At press time, only a smattering of single tickets remained.
Big Sam’s Christmas Jam
9:30 p.m. Friday, Tipitina’s, $16 advance, $18 at the door
Trombonist “Big” Sam Williams cut his teeth in the Dirty Dozen Brass Band before founding his own brassy ensemble, Big Sam’s Funky Nation. With Williams out front singing, dancing, playing trombone and enticing even the most reluctant audience member to join the party, the Funky Nation exports its own brand of “Nola-delic power-funk,” a hybrid of funk, rock, jazz and brass band music. Trumpeter Andrew Baham serves as Big Sam’s primary onstage foil, but electric guitar solos also abound as they cover modern rock, hip-hop and brass standards, in addition to showcasing their own compositions. In the world of Big Sam, the first day of December is not too soon for a Christmas Jam. Special guests scheduled to join in the celebration at Tipitina’s include Myron Thomas and Big Freedia, the Queen of Bounce.
Big Easy Guitar Festival
7:30 p.m. Friday, Old U.S. Mint (400 Esplanade Ave.), $15.75 (cash only at the door)
For more than 40 years, Jimmy Robinson has ranked as one of New Orleans’ most progressive and adventurous guitarists. His primary outlet has been the rock-fusion band Woodenhead, in which he often unspools long, fully amplified, intricately constructed solos. But he has also released recordings that show off his nimble skills on the acoustic guitar, and he’s collaborated with a wide cross-section of fellow guitarists. He’s assembled several of them for Friday's Big Easy Guitar Festival at the Old U.S. Mint. In addition to Robinson, the roster features Tommy Malone, Phil DeGruy, Chip Wilson, John Rankin, Cranston Clements, Tyler Clements and Paul Clement, along with Robinson’s Twangorama and New Orleans Guitar Masters ensembles. They’ll showcase their six-string skills in the Mint’s sonically pristine third-floor performance space as part of the “Music at the Mint” series.
OTHER NOTEWORTHY SHOWS
Nathan & the Zydeco Cha-chas fill the dance floor at Rock ‘N’ Bowl.
Funk Monkey does the late set at d.b.a.
Drummer Herlin Riley powers a quartet at Snug Harbor.
New Found Glory rocks the House of Blues.
The John “Papa” Gros Band grooves at d.b.a.
Hammond B3 organ master Ike Stubblefield fires up at Snug Harbor.
The Fleur de Tease burlesque troupe presents “The Naughty Nutcracker” for the first of two consecutive nights at One Eyed Jacks, with shows at 8 and 10:30 p.m.
Blues guitarist Little Freddie King plugs in at d.b.a.
Jason Marsalis will be on vibraphones as he leads his 21st Century Trad Band at Snug Harbor.
Guitarist Detroit Brooks hosts a benefit at Snug Harbor for Puerto Rican hurricane relief.
Pianist Ronald Markham, formerly of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, performs a solo show at Snug Harbor.
The Legendary Shack Shakers play The Parish of the House of Blues.