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10 concerts to see in Twin Cities area this week

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Thursday, June 22

1. Twin Cities Jazz Festival: While downtown Minneapolis will be packed this weekend with Swifties paying big bucks to see Taylor, downtown St. Paul has a plethora of free musical attractions at the 25th edition of this wonderful festival (and the final one organized by co-founder Steve Heckler). Once again, the lineup is strong and deep, with international stars and local favorites spread over 14 outdoor and indoor stages. Headlining on Friday is Cuban saxophonist/clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera, a 14-time Grammy winner, with the Dizzy Gillespie Afro-Latin Experience. Topping Saturday’s bill is Christian McBride, the monster jazz bassist and eight-time Grammy winner; there will be a tribute that evening at 8:30 to the late great Twin Cities piano man Butch Thompson. The fest starts on Thursday in a handful of venues with the likes of Nur-D, Lucia Sarmiento and Jon Weber. (Thu.-Sat. Mears Park and elsewhere, St. Paul, free, twincitiesjazzfestival.com)

2. Blue Ox Music Festival: With its dedicated crowd of revelers happy to come back every year, this ninth annual bluegrass/alt-twang camp-out along the Chippewa River could afford a more adventurous lineup like it has this year. Poppy alt-pickers the Avett Brothers are the big get as the Saturday headliners, when booming Texas countryman Charley Crockett, Sierra Hull and Charlie Parr also perform. Thursday night sees the return of the Infamous Stringdusters along with regulars Them Coulee Boys and the Lowest Pair. Friday features Phish bassist Mike Gordon and bluegrass stalwarts Sam Bush Band. Homegrown hosts Pert Near Sandstone and lots of other regional faves perform through the weekend. (4:45 p.m. Thu., 11:45 a.m. Fri. & Sat., Pines Music Park, 5024 Crescent Av., Eau Claire, Wis., sold-out except resale, blueoxmusicfestival.com)

Also: On their first tour since guitarist Jeff Cook died of Parkinson’s disease, cousins Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry carry on with Alabama‘s “Dixieland Delight” and other enduring country classics, with opener Eddie Montgomery (7 p.m. Xcel Energy Center, $39.50 and up); after turning some heads at Prince Celebration 2023 at Paisley Park, Nunnabove, the sibling quartet from Woodbury, spreads their message to a local audience (9 p.m. Icehouse, $15-$20); Rosemount-reared singer/rapper Nur-D, who also impressed at Prince Celebration 2023 at Paisley Park, takes it outside for the Lowertown Sounds series with Malamanya (6-9:30 p.m. Mears Park, free); Eddie Spaghetti and his hard-rocking, Arizona-reared gutter-twang band the Supersuckers are back on the road with the Delta Bombers (8 p.m. Uptown VFW, $20-$25); stylish British mod-rockers the Struts are making up for lost time touring their pandemic-issued album “Strange Days” (8 p.m. First Avenue, $35).

Friday, June 23

3. Outlaw Music Festival: This should be titled WillieFest as Willie Nelson leads an ever-changing bill of kindred spirits. We’re this annual trek’s kick-off date, featuring the must-see heavenly duo of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss (in their area debut), Duluth’s spirited bluegrassers Trampled by Turtles, gifted guitar picker Molly Tuttle and Particle Kid, the future folkie also known as Micah Nelson. As for Willie, he just turned 90 but he’s still pickin’ and grinnin’ like the legend he is. He just dropped his 73rd solo studio album, “I Don’t Know a Thing About Love: The Songs of Harlan Howard.” Definitely worth the drive to western Wisconsin. (4 p.m. Somerset Amphitheater, 495 Main St, Somerset, Wis., $39 and up, livenation.com)

4. Taylor Swift: It’s the year’s hottest — and most expensive — ticket. America’s most popular pop megastar is surveying her recording career, album by album, for the Eras Tour. Since she last toured in 2018, the ever prolific singer-songwriter has dropped four new studio albums. At every concert so far, she’s been playing 44 songs (including two surprise selections) over the course of more than three hours. Girl in Red and Gracie Abrams open Friday, Girl in Red and Owenn support Saturday’s show. (6:30 p.m., also Sat., U.S. Bank Stadium, Mpls., resale tickets only, ticketmaster.com)

5. Minnesota Orchestra: In what’s planned to be an annual tradition, the orchestra presents two Juneteenth concerts of music mostly by African American composers. Led by conductor Andre Raphel, they will feature works by Adolphus Hailstork, James P. Johnson and William Grant Still, as well as poetry from Grammy-winning spoken word artist Malcolm-Jamal Warner and a medley of songs from Jevetta Steele. And retired Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page will narrate Aaron Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait.” Friday’s concert will be broadcast on TPT-2 and streamed on the orchestra’s website. Saturday’s is a relaxed one-hour family affair sans Warner and Steele. (8 p.m. Fri., 2 p.m. Sat., Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., $12-$67, minnesotaorchestra.org)

6. Gov’t Mule: Nice-guy jam band guitarist Warren Haynes has made lots of friends over the years. That’s how he was able to enlist guests Billy Gibbons, Celisse, Ruthie Foster, Ivan Neville and Billy Bob Thornton to join him on Gov’t Mule‘s brand new album “Peace … Like a River.” With a series of complex arrangements, the record has a classic-rock vibe and thoughts about peace — both inner and global. (7:30 p.m. Vetter Stone Amphitheater, 309 W Rock St., Mankato, $47 and up, ticketmaster.com)

Also: The second and third concerts at the newly renovated Uptown Theater are homecoming gigs for South Side indie-rap star Prof, who recently topped the Billboard Heatseekers chart with his wild new album “Horse,” featuring cameos by Method Man, Kevin Gates and more (7 p.m. Fri. & Sat., all ages Sat., sold-out); beloved-in-Minnesota country hitmaker Jon Pardi of “Dirt on My Boots” and “Last Night Lonely” fame heads to Duluth (5:30 p.m. Bayfront Park, $45); lead singer Doug Gray keeps belting the 1973 Southern rock classic “Can’t You See” with the Marshall Tucker Band (7:30 p.m. Canterbury Park, $15-$45); jazzy soulful Nashville singer/pianist Kandace Springs, whom Prince took a shine to, returns (6:30 & 8:30 p.m. the Dakota, $30-$40); local Americana rocker Doug Collins and his band the Receptionists will be down on the corner of University and Snelling leading the tribute to Creedence Clearwater Revival with Mary Cutrufello, Terry Walsh and other guests (8 p.m. Turf Club, $18-$20); glam-metal vets Venus DeMars & All the Pretty Horses will be joined by drag performers and more at the Bryant Lake Bowl Pride Block Party (6-10 p.m., Bryant Av. at Lake St., free); the Grrrl Scout DJ crew leads another Summer Camp Pride Party inside both rooms at the Hook & Ladder (7 p.m.-1 a.m., $20-$40).

Saturday, June 24

7. Hippo Campus at Bayfront: They’ve packed Red Rocks in Denver and the Greek in Los Angeles, so it’s high time the earnest and experimental pop/rockers fill the best amphitheater in their home state. Their headlining debut at Duluth’s harbor-front venue follows an ultra-warm appearance there at the Water Is Life Festival in 2021 with Bon Iver, who is also returning Aug. 2. Come see why — less than a decade since they burst out of St. Paul’s Conservatory for Performing Arts — Hippo Campus is now one of Minnesota’s most in-demand touring acts. Their groovy homies Miloe and Papa Mbye open. (6:30 p.m. Sat., Bayfront Festival Park, 350 Harbor Drive, Duluth, all ages, $35, axs.com)

Also: Charming raconteurs Peter Asher and Jeremy Clyde share stories and songs from the 1960s British Invasion, including their own duos, Peter & Gordon and Chad & Jeremy (7 p.m., also Sun., the Dakota, $40-$60); All the Pretty Horses, Cindy Lawson, Closer to Indigo, Hildie Edwards and PowerBush are among the acts set to perform for the Twin Cities Pride Festival in Loring Park (10 a.m.-7 p.m., free); mixmaster Shannon Blowtorch heads up the Extra as F*** outdoor and indoor dance party for Pride weekend (9:30 p.m. Hook & Ladder, $20).

Sunday, June 25

8. Charlie Puth: Before he became a hitmaker with “See You Again” and “We Don’t Talk Anymore,” he earned a degree in engineering and studio production at the prestigious Berklee College of Music. So he knows his way around a recording studio, which he has been demonstrating on TikTok clips illustrating how he achieves special effects on his records like “Light Switch” (which samples an actual light switch). He’ll even demonstrate by creating songs on the spot in concert. Opening is Alexander Stewart. (7:30 p.m. the Armory, 500 S. 6th St., Mpls., $47 and up, ticketmaster.com)

9. Santa Fe Klan: One of the biggest young pop stars to come out of Mexico in recent years is this rapper from the Santa Fe neighborhood of Guanajuato, aka Ángel Quezada, age 23. He’s been making music since he was 12 and of late collaborated with such stateside stars as Snoop Dogg and Steve Aoki. The way he blends cumbia rhythms and reggaeton influences into hit songs such as “Tú y Tú” and “Así Soy” promises a lively live performance. Snow Tha Product and Tornillo open. (7:30 p.m. Target Center, 600 1st Av. N., Mpls., $40-$120, axs.com)

Also: Australian electro-pop strummer Ruel is a rising viral star at only 20 and is helping break in the newly reborn Uptown Theater (7 p.m., $35-$50); rap great Nur-D headlines the second day of the Twin Cities Pride Festival in Loring Park, preceded by the Prairie Fire Lady Choir, Roxxy Hall Band, Flowtus and more (10 a.m.-6 p.m., free); Honky-Tonk Jump, an all-star Twin Cities ensemble, will take you back to the Texas dance hall days of Bob Wills and Ernest Tubb (4 p.m. Crooners, $25-$35); the Apple Valley High School R&B Band, featuring vocalists Melina Solorzano-Cruz, Lucy Standafer and Sophia Todaro, gets a club showcase (4:30 p.m. Crooners’ tent, $15-$25).

Monday, June 26

Californian reggae-rock groovers the Dirty Heads seem tailor-made for outdoor gigs but are playing indoors here on their Island Glow Tour with Philly blues-rock openers G. Love & Special Sauce (7 p.m. Myth, $55-$130).

Tuesday, June 27

10. Malina Moye: Her mother sang backup for Tina Turner and her father is a Brooklyn Center-based bassist who’s played with Bernard Allison, among others. Growing up in a musical family, Moye started on guitar at age 6. She’s developed into a left-handed guitar star, inspired by — you guessed it — Jimi Hendrix. Moye’s versatile third album, this year’s “Dirty,” shows her to have a small, girlish voice paired with a big, brawny and often soulful guitar sound except on a Blondie-infused treatment of Led Zeppelin’s “D’yer Mak’er,” the pop bop “Obsexxed” and the dreamy R&B ballad “Courage.” (7 p.m. the Dakota, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., $25-$35, dakotacooks.com)

Also: Southern Cali pop/rock band Young the Giant of “Mind Over Matter” fame kicks off the summer series at Surly’s big field supporting “American Bollywood,” an album exploring the members’ Indian immigrant roots, with always-fun opener Milky Chance (6 p.m. Surly Brewing Festival Field, $50); British alt-rock band Jesus Jones will be “Right Here, Right Now” at the south Minneapolis theater that’s becoming a Gen X nostalgia haven (7 p.m. Parkway Theater, $39-$59);

Wednesday, June 28

With Waxahatchee collaborator Jake “MJ” Lenderman on guitar and its own torchy twang-rock singer in Karly Hartzman, the North Carolina indie-band Wednesday is developing a strong enough buzz for its new album, “Rat Saw God,” to get bumped up to the Mainroom from the Turf Club (8 p.m. First Avenue, $15-$18); from South Carolina comes hippie-ish folk-rocker Trevor Hall and his band the Great In-Between, touring with rootsy vets the California Honeydrops (6:45 p.m. Palace Theatre, $40-$75); local rockers Gully Boys headline the Rock Your Ride outdoor benefit for the Move Minnesota grassroots political org with young punky openers Why Not (7:30 p.m. Hook & Ladder, $15-$28); veteran swing revivalists Big Bad Voodoo Daddy still boast two original members, singer Scotty Morris and drummer Kurt Sodergren (7 p.m. the Dakota, $70-$90).

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