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Continued: The Big Gigs for May 2-8: Chromeo, Diana Ross, Queens of the Stone Age and more

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  • Last update: May 2, 2014 - 12:21 PM


After being eliminated on “Dancing With the Stars” in 2006, country star Sara Evans divorced and struggled career-wise. “Strong­er,” her 2011 album, signaled a comeback with the chart-topping single “A Little Bit Strong­er.” She makes a strong move away from Nashville on this year’s “Slow Me Down,” traveling in Pat Benatar territory on “You Never Know” and dueting with Gavin McGraw on the peppy, piano pop tune “Not Over You” and the Fray’s Isaac Slade on the big pop ballad “Can’t Stop Loving You.” A twangy Vince Gill duet, the fiddle-accented “Better Off,” sounds a little more country. Opening are the Swon Brothers, from NBC’s “The Voice.” (8 p.m. Sat., Mystic Lake Casino, $44 & $54.) Bream


Chicago stars Robbie Fulks and Don Stiernberg will help the splendid Twin Cities bluegrass quintet the High 48s celebrate their sixth album, “Great Northern Railroad,” featuring tunes by Greg Brown, Becky Schlegel, Robin and Linda Williams, even Muddy Waters. Fulks is the alt-country songsmith whose recent album “Gone Away Backward” is a bluegrass-compatible gem, while Stiernberg is an outstanding jazz mandolinist and a fine harmony singer. They were bandmates with High 48s guitarist/frontman Marty Marrone in the Grammy-nominated bluegrass group the Special Consensus, so this will be a happy and hip reunion. (7:30 p.m. Fri., O’Shaughnessy Educational Center, University of St. Thomas, 2115 Summit Av., St. Paul. $15.) Surowicz

Acoustic guitar buffs should be excited by a duet show co-starring Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge. Lage is the former jazz child prodigy best known now as a member of several great Gary Burton quartets. Eldridge is a young bluegrass all-star who made his mark with the Seldom Scene, then the Infamous Stringdusters, and more recently as co-founder of the Punch Brothers as well as a prized sideman for the likes of Paul Simon, Justin Timberlake and Elvis Costello. (7 p.m. Wed., Dakota Jazz Club, $25.) Surowicz


Besides being a fine guitarist, adept composer and veteran educator, Paul Renz is good at finding new concert venues to invade. Case in point: the Steeple Center, a former church in Rosemount, where Renz’s quartet will feature Baltimore-based pianist Alan Blackman, who has performed with a host of jazz heavyweights (Donny McCaslin, Joe Locke, Richie Cole) and whose music has been featured on such TV shows as “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Nashville,” and even a Stephen King flick, “1408”. (7 p.m. Sat., 14375 S. Robert Trail, 651-322-6020. $5.) Surowicz


When German violin prodigy Veronika Eberle made her New York recital debut in 2009, at just 20, she won critical praise for her “introverted intensity and interpretive boldness.” Now she is appearing for the first time with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra to play Beethoven’s sweetly lyrical Violin Concerto. Roberto Abbado was sick and did not appear with the SPCO as scheduled last week, but will conduct these concerts. Also on the program: Eight Instrumental Miniatures by Stravinsky, and Haydn’s Symphony No. 88. (8 p.m. Fri. at Wayzata Community Church, 125 E. Wayzata Blvd.; 8 p.m. Sat. at St. Paul’s UCC, 900 Summit Av., St. Paul, $10-$40, 651-291-1144, or Claude Peck

Minnesota composer David Evan Thomas gets a world premiere by 40-voice choral group Kantorei in concerts in Owatonna and St. Paul. Thomas sets his piece “For God So Loved the World” to Jesus’ words to Nicodemus in John 3:16. “It’s one of the cardinal texts of the Church,” Thomas says, “but I haven’t found many treatments of it.” Led by Axel Theimer, Kantorei also performs music by Britten, Hindemith, Poulenc, Stephen Paulus and others. (7:30 p.m. Sat., Sacred Heart Parish, 810 S. Cedar Av., Owatonna; 4 p.m. Sun., St. Paul Seminary, 2260 Summit Av., St. Paul, $20, 612-217-4647, Peck

The SPCO’s Liquid Music series continues to explore classical music’s next frontier by pairing violist Nadia Sirota with Icelandic composer Daniel Bjarnason. Sirota, who’s been called “the beating heart of radical modern classical,” will premiere a string version of Bjarnason’s concerto “Sleep Variations,” joined by a new local ensemble making its debut, the Minneapolis Music Company. Led by former Minnesota Orchestra assistant conductor Mischa Santora, the group plans to present interdisciplinary concerts blending live music with other performing and visual art forms. (7 p.m. Tue., Amsterdam Bar & Hall, $10.) Kristin Tillotson


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