Branford Marsalis Quartet with special guest Kurt Elling
Thursday-Sunday, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Snug Harbor, 626 Frenchmen St.
Saxophonist Branford Marsalis, the eldest of the Marsalis brothers, returns to his hometown for an unprecedented four-night stand at Snug Harbor. For these eight shows, his distinctly modern, ever-adventurous jazz quartet is augmented by Chicago-born scat singer Kurt Elling, a perennial favorite on jazz magazines’ best-of lists.
Thursday, 7 p.m.
Smoothie King Center, 1500 Sugar Bowl Drive.
Tickets: $32 to $75 plus service charges
TSO serves up a decidedly over-the-top take on the holidays, with screaming heavy metal guitars, pyrotechnics galore and a storyline that relies heavily on magical fantasy.
Clarence Johnson III’s Jazz Christmas Concert
Friday, 7 p.m.
Celebration Church, 2001 Airline Drive, Metairie
Tickets: $10 at the Celebration bookstore or www.celebrationchurch.org/jazzconcert
For his third annual Christmas concert, the local smooth jazz saxophonist has assembled a top-flight band: guitarist Steve Masakowski, bassist Chris Severin, drummer John Jones and keyboardists Kyle Roussell and Dwight Fitch Jr., the latter of whom is Celebration Church’s minister of music. They’ll stay true to the familiar versions of some carols but take liberties with others, including a funky “Little Drummer Boy” and a “different twist” on “Joy to the World.” “That’s the beauty of doing these Christmas standards,” Johnson said. “You can have some fun with the arrangements but still convey the overall idea.”
Susan Cowsill’s ‘Covered in Vinyl’
Friday, 8 p.m.
Chickie Wah Wah, 2828 Canal St.
Tickets: At the door.
Every month or so, the local singer-songwriter and her collaborators stage a “Covered In Vinyl” concert in which they perform a classic album in its entirety. This time around they take on Rod Stewart’s 1971 smash “Every Picture Tells a Story,” which features “Maggie May” and “Reason to Believe.”
Flow Tribe’s 7th Annual Christmas Crunktacular
Friday, 10 p.m.
Tipitina’s, 501 Napoleon Ave.
Flow Tribe is a distinctly Big Easy amalgamation of a rock band, a funk band, a Latin band and an utterly unselfconscious party band. Frontman K.C. O’Rorke and his crew spend much of their time on the road but always find their way home for their annual holiday throwdown. ROAR is also on the bill.
Monday, 7 p.m.
Southport Hall, 200 Monticello Ave., Jefferson
Tickets: $20 and up
Topping the bill for country radio station WNOE 101.FM’s Acoustic Christmas concert is Scotty McCreery, winner of the 10th season of “American Idol.” His three studio albums to date include 2012’s seasonally appropriate “Christmas With Scotty McCreery.” Monday’s show also includes fellow country music contenders Craig Campbell, Canaan Smith and Clare Dunn.