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The weekend's 8 best concerts: Nov. 16-18

Maria Isa

Maria Isa Drastic, Adam Stanzak, and Michael Parades

Best third weekend in November for live music since at least 2017.

Friday 11.16

Smino @ Coffman Union
Originally from St. Louis, rapper Smino found his footing after moving to Chicago and linking up with the members of the Zero Fatigue collective. With help from producer Monte Booker, whose woozy, aqueous beats bridge the Dungeon Family '90s and the present trap era, Smino has found a sound that affords him space for playful flows with a trace of Andre 3000 trickiness. It's a low-key style overall, but Smino's consistent rise has extended with his new, sophomore album, Noir. With TOBi and Bari. 18+. 7:30 p.m. $10/$15. 300 Washington Ave. SE., Minneapolis. More info here.—Michael Madden

Maria Isa @ La Doña Cervecería
With a top-shelf support lineup (Lady Midnight, DJ Sophia Eris, Destiny Roberts, Dua, and New Black City), the release show for Maria Isa’s terrific new album, Sasa, is a great excuse to get to the recently opened northside brewery if you haven’t already. Sometimes hot, sometimes smooth, Sasa is a true international affair, produced by Minneapolis’ John "J.Hard" Hardy and featuring guest spots from New York ensemble Redobles de Cultura, Cuban rapper Yrak Vitalicio Saenz, Nigerian violinist Ernest Bisong, and Peruvian percussionist Chico Chavez. And it's all held together by the skills and presence of the MC/singer/activist herself. 18+. 9 p.m. $10. 241 Fremont Ave. N., Minneapolis. More info here.—Keith Harris

Joe Henry @ Dakota
Joe Henry has excelled at producing veteran artists like Allen Toussaint and Solomon Burke, often overshadowing his own music. By his 14th album, 2017’s Thrum, Henry said his chief influences had shifted from singer-songwriters to mystic poets Rilke, Rimbaud, Whitman, and Rumi. Indeed, Henry’s lyrics are full of striking imagery and metaphors touching darkness, light, water, desire, death, and hope as he explores existential matters. The music hovers, shapeshifts, ebbs and flows, defying genres with earthy grace. This will be a solo performance. Clarence Bucaro opens . 7 p.m. $30—$40. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis. More info here.—Rick Mason

Michelle Kinney’s What We Have Here @ Jazz Central
Cellist-composer Kinney is the Rubik’s Cube of the local music scene, leading and joining ensembles each with myriad sides and colors, spinning out possibilities that are as much fun when supposed genres are slightly out of whack as when it all locks into place. What We Have Here is typically rich, a sextet with voice, drums, violin, cornet, reeds, and cello. 8:30 p.m. $10. 407 Central Ave. SE, Minneapolis. More info here.—Britt Robson

Complete Friday music listings here.

Saturday 11.17

Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus @ First Avenue
Boygenius—the satirically named trio of Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus, and Phoebe Bridgers—is indie rock's most buzzed-about new supergroup, and rightfully so. All three singer-songwriters are coming off exceptional solo albums (Turn Out the Lights, Historian, and Stranger in the Alps, respectively), recently finding five days to collaborate on a new six-song EP. While their solo output shows Baker, Dacus, and Bridgers don't need each other to write vulnerable-yet-resilient songs, the stunning EP is some of the best work they've done in their young careers. 18+. 6:30 p.m. $23/$25. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis. More info here.—Michael Madden

 

Knutson/Anton/Magraw @ The Parkway Theater
Drummer Gordy Knudtson is a polished pro with hair-splitting technique and a reservoir of imagination. He’ll preview a brand new trio with former Blue Man Group/Greazy Meal bassist Jim Anton and sterling guitarist-about-town Dean Magraw, then hold a drum clinic after the gig. Open to non-musicians as well, it’s a nifty way to spend a Saturday afternoon. 1 p.m. $10. 4814 Chicago Ave. S., Minneapolis. More info here.—Britt Robson

Joe Gorka @ Cedar Cultural Center
Temporal matters melt like Dali’s clocks on John Gorka’s 14th album, True In Time. The Jersey expat and longtime Minnesotan contemplates the past’s persistent presence and enduring influence via songs tracing lost love, fate, blues icon Son House, and glimmering hope in a “world gone wrong.” Gorka is a true folkie; a storyteller, observer, wit, and deft guitar picker whose warm baritone and alluring melodies ride a rootsy Americana vibe thanks to the sublime work of a band of Twin Cities studio vets. 8 p.m. $25—$28. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis. More info here.—Rick Mason

Complete Saturday music listings here.

Sunday 11.18

Twin Cities Jazz Composers’ Workshop @ Studio Z
Jazz composers’ workshops are a wonderful invention that enable composers who also play to create a critical mass for the transition of their work from the page to the stage. The arrival of JC Sanford and his wife Asuka Kakitani from New York a few years ago was the catalyst for the formation of the TCJCW, who can now put a full big band together from their ranks. They staged their first public workshop gig this summer. For the fall affair, they are bringing in special guest Nathan Parker Smith, who has been accused/lauded for composing “heavy metal horn music” for large orchestra. 7:30 p.m. $15. 275 E. Fourth St., Suite 200, St. Paul. More info here.—Britt Robson

Complete Sunday music listings here.