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Continued: Big Gigs, Feb. 15-21: DeVotchKa, Minnesota Sinfonia, more

  • Article by: , Star Tribune
  • Last update: February 14, 2013 - 3:52 PM


Country brooder Gary Allan rocks a little harder on his brand new “Set You Free,” his ninth album, but the emotions cut deep, especially on the pretty hit ballad “Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain),” the organ- and pedal-steel drenched “It Ain’t the Whiskey” and the sweet and lonely “You Without Me.” He shows a change of pace on the unexpected reggae-lite “No Worries.” The big payoff here might be the bluesy rock scorcher “Bones,” which is now the official theme of the Professional Bull Riders’ series. (8 p.m. Sat. Treasure Island Casino, Red Wing. Sold out.) Bream


Brian Gore always puts together an intriguing lineup for his annual International Guitar Night tours, and 2013 is no exception. Brilliant British jazz guitarist Martin Taylor is one of the best solo fingerstyle players on the planet, a dazzler in the grand tradition of Joe Pass and Lenny Breau. The second-ever Twin Cities appearance by Guinga, one of Brazil’s greatest living composers, is another exciting prospect. The 62-year-old singer/guitarist might be a world star had he not spent 30 years as a dentist, limiting his touring. Then there’s Solorazaf, from Madagascar. A remarkably rhythmic player, he’s something of a one-man-band, using lots of foot percussion, and he toured for 15 years with the legendary Miriam Makeba. (7 & 9 p.m. Wed., Dakota Jazz Club, $30-$40.) Surowicz


Irish-American folk standard-bearers Solas are back, touring in support of their ambitious new CD, “Shamrock City.” It tells the story of bandleader Seamus Egan’s great-great-uncle, who left Ireland roughly 100 years ago to work in the copper mines of Butte, Mont. The CD has noteworthy guest appearances (Rhiannon Giddens of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Aoife O’Donovan of Crooked Still, Scots folk legend Dick Gaughan) and it shows off the band’s latest singer, Niamh Varian-Barry, who also plays viola. (8 p.m. Fri., Cedar Cultural Center, $20-$25.) Surowicz


Fans of North Indian classical music probably already know Pooja Pavan, the Twin Cities-based scholar and singer of Urdu love poems and devotional folk songs. She released an album for the adventurous local label Innova in 2010, and has taught at the U of M and Macalester. She stars in an attractively priced concert called “Global Conversations,” where she’ll be joined by esteemed Indian musicians Pavan Allalaghatta and Sriram Natarajan and acclaimed Minnesota musical explorers Tim O’Keefe and Greg Herriges. It’s a good chance for the curious and the uninitiated to sample some exotic sounds. (7:30 p.m. Sun., Cedar Cultural Center, $5.) Surowicz


This year, the format of the annual Bobby Peterson Memorial Weekend changes quite a bit. Instead of six different pianists paying homage to the hard-swinging late Twin Cities master, it’ll be a two-night showcase for his most world-acclaimed disciple, Bill Carrothers. It will also be a reunion of his “After Hours” trio (with bassist Billy Peterson and drummer Kenny Horst), whose 1998 CD, a casual late-night session, helped make Carrothers an international cult star. Bobby P would no doubt be proud. (9 p.m. Fri,-Sat., Artists’ Quarter, $15.) Surowicz


Miss the sound of an orchestra? The Bloomington Symphony, a fixture in the south metro, is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and you’re invited. Led by music director Cheung Chau (appointed in July), the program includes the world premiere of “Handprints” by former music director Steven Amundson, commissioned for the occasion. Also in store is a smorgasbord of music by Norway’s Edvard Grieg (from “Peer Gynt”), Sweden’s Hugo Alfvėn (“Midsommarvaka”) and Finland’s Jean Sibelius (the tireless Symphony No. 2). (3 p.m. Sun., St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, 9201 Normandale Blvd., Bloomington. $14-$12, students free. 952-563-8575 or Larry Fuchsberg


This is a good time to discover Minnesota Sinfonia, one of the only professional orchestras playing in the Twin Cities. For its winter concert, the ensemble has engaged cellist Dmitry Kouzov, International Beethoven Competition winner, to play Tchaikovsky’s “Variations on a Rococo Theme.” Also on the program: a new commission from Sinfonia clarinetist Paul Schulz, “Overture the Emerald” as well as the rarely heard “Serenade for Strings,” by operetta composer Victor Herbert. (7 p.m. Fri., Founders Hall, Metropolitan State University, 700 E. 7th St., St. Paul; 4 p.m. Sun., Temple Israel, 2324 Emerson Av. S., Mpls. Free. 612-871-1701. William Randall Beard


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