We look be­yond the head­lin­ers for the best live clas­si­cal, jazz, folk, pop and rock mu­sic.

Look be­yond the house­hold names for an in­cred­i­ble month of mu­sic.

Where Boston - - CONTENTS - By Mike Hodgkin­son

AU­GUST is a month of leviathans. While the bar­na­cled gi­ants of the sea roll in clouds of krill for the whale watch­ers off Stell­wa­gen Bank, the fame-pocked heavy­weights of coun­try, rock and pop churn up their hits for le­gions of fans at the re­gion’s ma­jor venues. Chicago, Keith Ur­ban and Brad Pais­ley are booked at the Xfin­ity Cen­ter in Mans­field; Billy Joel, Jour­ney and Def Lep­pard will be rat­tling the stands at Fen­way Park; Jay-Z & Bey­once and Kenny Ch­es­ney are fill­ing the void un­til Brady re­turns for an­other sea­son at Gil­lette Sta­dium.

Many peo­ple tend to go big or stay home when it comes to live sum­mer sounds, but be­yond the su­per­mas­sive head­lin­ers is a clus­ter of artists, across all gen­res of mu­sic, who should not be missed at any cost. We’ve picked out a se­lec­tion of the best among them. Some of these artists you may al­ready know, oth­ers will be­come your fa­vorite sum­mer dis­cov­ery since North Shore fried clams.


If asked to pick the Led Zep­pelin of string quar­tets—based not on their ex­ces­sive rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, which we pre­sume to be min­i­mal, but on their qual­ity and stand­ing among peers—many ex­perts would choose the Emer­son Quar­tet. If you think clas­si­cal mu­sic isn’t re­ally your thing, wait un­til you hear the EQ nail Beethoven’s String Quar­tets Op. 130 and 131. Cape Cod Cham­ber Mu­sic Fes­ti­val, The Si­mon Cen­ter for the Arts at Fal­mouth Acad­emy, Aug. 2


He’s worked with Madonna and Zac Brown, opened for the Red Hot Chili Pep­pers, pro­vided voiceovers for “The Peanuts Movie,” played five gigs at the White House and

re­leased an epony­mous chil­dren’s book about his life—wel­come to the in­cred­i­ble, eclec­tic uni­verse of New Or­leans phe­nom, Trom­bone Shorty, who takes the in­stru­ment that named him into in­sanely groovy pock­ets of jazz, funk and soul. Blue Hills Bank Pav­il­ion, Aug. 4


This killer four-piece rock out­fit from Van­cou­ver is fronted by the Finn Wolfhard, best known so far as Mike, the kid be­set by De­mogor­gon has­sles in “Stranger Things.” Don’t be fooled by the band’s ten­der years—Calpur­nia rock like they’ve been round the block more than once, whether crank­ing out orig­i­nals like “City Boy” or cov­er­ing The Vel­vet Un­der­ground and The Pix­ies. Par­adise Rock Club Aug. 18


Prac­ti­cally a de­ity in Brazil, Seu Jorge found global fame af­ter cov­er­ing a se­lec­tion of Bowie clas­sics in Wes An­der­son’s movie, “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zis­sou,” each tune wrapped in a blan­ket of folky, world­weary, samba-dusted soul. His ap­pren­tice­ship in mu­sic was served, while home­less, on the favela streets of Rio, be­fore 2001’s solo de­but “Samba Es­porte Fino” aka “Carolina.” Mark this gig un­der “must-see.” City Win­ery, Aug. 20


Em­braced as one of their own by Bos­ton alt rock afi­ciona­dos, Belly was the prod­uct of a thriv­ing and in­ven­tive mu­sic cul­ture in New­port, Rhode Is­land, dur­ing the early 1990s. Fronted by Tanya Donelly, the band of­fered a brace of ex­cel­lent al­bums be­fore call­ing it quits for more than two decades. Re­united in 2016, Belly picked right up where they had left a solid core of devo­tees and de­liv­ered third al­bum “Dove” this year. Get your ears around tow­er­ing cuts like “Mine” and “Shiny One.” The Royale, Aug. 23 BEACH HOUSE Any­one fa­mil­iar with cult TV com­edy “Toast of Lon­don” may know that its star, Matt Berry, a con­nois­seur of mu­sic’s most in­ter­est­ing niches, rates Beach House among his all-time fa­vorite bands. Which is quite a com­pli­ment, be­cause the Bal­ti­more dream­pop out­fit made their de­but fairly re­cently, in the mid-‘00s. Their third al­bum, 2010s “Teen Dream” was greeted with al­most univer­sal crit­i­cal ac­claim, as was their most re­cent of­fer­ing, 2018’s “7.” Im­merse your­self in a sound that’s lush, bliss­ful and a lit­tle dis­ori­ent­ing. House of Blues, Aug. 24


Steeped in blue­grass tra­di­tion, but not shack­led to it, The Slo­can Ramblers (known to their fans as The Slo­cans) have a ta­lent for rein­ven­tion and a solid rep­u­ta­tion for hi-oc­tane live shows—and hi-oc­tane is a phrase not of­ten used to de­scribe acous­tic mu­sic played on man­dolin, gui­tar, bass and banjo. This is Ap­palachian moon­shine fil­tered through a Cana­dian sen­si­bil­ity— they’re from Toronto—which means just the right bal­ance of grit and fi­nesse. These fel­las will have you jig­ging around like a hooch-crazed moun­tain her­mit in no time. Club Pas­sim, Aug. 30


When Jazzmeia Horn per­formed “Moanin” at the 2018 GRAM­MYs, she soul­fully scat­sang her way into hearts out­side of the purely jaz­zhead com­mu­nity. She now looks poised to make a last­ing mark in main­stream mu­sic. The win­ner of mul­ti­ple awards, in­clud­ing the 2015 Th­elo­nius Monk In­ter­na­tional Vo­cal Jazz Com­pe­ti­tion, Horn has more range than a Mon­tana ranch, and more sass than a Louisiana gumbo. Born and raised in Dal­las, she at­tended the New School for Jazz and Con­tem­po­rary Mu­sic in New York. Martha’s Vine­yard Jazz and Blues Sum­merfest, Aug. 30

The hi-oc­tane Slo­can Ramblers will have you jig­ging around like a hooch-crazed moun­tain her­mit in no time.

(From top) New Or­leans brass mas­ter Trom­bone Shorty; the mar­velous Emer­son Quar­tet; teen rock­ers Calpur­nia. (Pre­vi­ous) Jazzmeia Horn. AU­DIO FANTASTICO

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