7 p.m. Thursday
Joy Theater, 1200 Canal St.
Umphrey’s McGee tops a short list of successful rock bands that formed at the University of Notre Dame. Though often lumped into the jam band category for their extensive improvisations, no-two-shows-alike credo and commitment to making audio of all performances available to fans, the bandmembers take more cues from prog-rock and hard rock bands; they’re more likely to cover Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin than the Grateful Dead. Umphrey’s McGee comes to New Orleans while touring in support of its ninth studio album, “The London Session,” which was released in 2015. TAUK opens the show.
8 and 10 p.m. Saturday
Snug Harbor, 626 Frenchmen St.
Since the 1970s, the Headhunters have struck a balance between art and commerce with an ambitious brand of jazz fusion. The group’s 1973 debut album, “Head Hunters,” the first of three collaborations with keyboardist Herbie Hancock, was the first gold-certified jazz album; the single “God Make Me Funky” later found fresh life as source material for rappers. The single “Chameleon” was also a huge cross-over hit, even as the bandmembers experimented with African-Caribbean influences, electronic instruments and high-flying improvisation. The current incarnation of the Headhunters includes founding percussionist and New Orleans resident Bill Summers, longtime drummer Mike Clark, and local jazz saxophonist Donald Harrison Jr., who joined in the mid-2000s. They’ll play two sets at Snug Harbor on Saturday.
8:30 p.m. Sunday
Tipitina’s, 501 Napoleon Ave.
More than just about any other contemporary band, Dawes has embraced the Laurel Canyon folk-rock aesthetic once personified by the likes of Crosby, Stills & Nash, Joni Mitchell and the Eagles.
Acoustic guitars, harmonies, flecks of country music, and literate, heart-on-sleeve lyrics abound; the Jayhawks are an obvious point of reference. Guitarist/vocalist and primary songwriter Taylor Goldsmith is joined by his brother Griffin Goldsmith on drums, bassist Wylie Gelber, and guitarist Duane Betts, who signed on as a touring member last year. “All Your Favorite Bands,” Dawes’ 2015 fourth studio album, featured a ballad with the same title; in wishing his ex- well, the protagonist expresses his hope that “all your favorite bands stay together.” Opening the show is Hiss Golden Messenger, whose members subscribe to a similarly pastoral Southern California ethos despite their North Carolina pedigree.
Ben Folds & yMusic
Monday, 7:30 p.m.
Joy Theater, 1200 Canal St.
Tickets: $32.50-$49.50; VIP package is $179
As the pianist, singer, namesake and primary songwriter for the Ben Folds Five, Ben Folds enjoyed a brief bout of alternative pop near-stardom in the late 1990s; the singles “Brick,” “Song for the Dumped,” “Battle of Who Could Care Less” and “Amy” showed his knack for melody and vulnerable lyrics. Since then, his creative output has included solo albums, songs for films, photography and a stint as a judge on the NBC a cappella singing contest “The Sing-Off.” More recently, he’s collaborated extensively with the New York chamber ensemble yMusic, which consists of a string trio, flute, clarinet and trumpet. He has described “So There,” his 2015 album with the group, as “chamber rock”; it includes his ambitious “Concerto for Piano and Orchestra.” yMusic is on the road with Folds. Dotan is also on the bill at the Joy Theater.
9 p.m. Tuesday
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St.
The New Orleans rapper Curren$y, born Shante Scott Franklin, has showcased his gauzy, THC-informed flow at various record labels. Early on, he was a contributor at Master P’s No Limit Records, then signed with Lil Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment. But he’s gotten the most notice for his own mixtapes, especially the “Pilot Talk” series, the latest of which came out in 2015 via the rapper’s own Jet Life Recordings. Last year also saw the release of his “Canal Street Confidential” album via Atlantic Records. The first single, “Bottom of the Bottle,” featured Lil Wayne and August Alsina; Whiz Khalifa and Future also turn up on the album, which received mixed reviews. Curren$y headlines a hometown show Tuesday at the House of Blues.
Other notable shows this week:
On Thursday, jazz guitarist Dave Stryker leads a quartet for two sets at Snug Harbor.
On Friday, local funk/jam band Gravity A teams with guitarist Billy Iuso for “Gravity DeAd,” an exploration of the Grateful Dead catalog at Tipitina’s. The ever-popular cover band the Bucktown Allstars is at Rock ‘n’ Bowl. Hear Boyfriend at One Eyed Jacks. Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers play an 11 p.m. show at the Blue Nile on Frenchmen St. The Mardi Gras Indian funk band Cha Wa hits the Maple Leaf Bar. Escondido and Renshaw Davies are at Gasa Gasa.
On Saturday, keyboardist Chick Corea and banjoist Bela Fleck team up at the Orpheum Theater. The Lost Bayou Ramblers team up with Rory Danger & the Danger Dangers at One Eyed Jacks. The Iguanas return to Rock ‘n’ Bowl. Big Sam’s Funky Nation does trombone-powered funk-rock party music at d.b.a. The death metal band Amon Amarth tops a grim bill at the House of Blues.
On Monday, the Saenger Theatre hosts “A Night with Janis Joplin,” a theatrical recreation of the late rock icon’s catalog.
On Wednesday, the Honey Island Swamp Band teams up with Alexis & the Samurai for the free Wednesday at the Square show downtown at Lafayette Square. Pianist Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88s are featured for Swing Night at Rock ‘n’ Bowl.