9 Must-See Live Music Events This Winter

In January, there's a lot to look forward to — spring, for one thing. Lucky for Boston-area residents, there is also a glut of good concerts on tap. Here are nine live music events I've marked on my calendar:

Anjimile EP Release
Dorchester Art Project

Friday, Jan. 25

An emerging talent in the Boston area, Anjimile writes the kind of songs that stick in your brain. The musician celebrates the release of “Maker Mixtape,” a scrappy, imaginative collection of new songs.

Mick Jenkins
Middle East Downstairs

Friday, Jan. 25

The Chicago rapper Mick Jenkins has always been a high-concept kind of guy, apt to devote an entire album to one theme and pepper his mixtapes with musings on relationships and politics. An expressive emcee with a liquid flow, his skills are nothing to sneeze at, either.


Feb. 1

Nao is a British musician with an effervescent voice whose electro-funk is at once deliciously retro and joyously futuristic. She tours her excellent 2018 album “Saturn.”

I’m With Her
House of Blues

Feb. 15

The music of I’m With Her takes the principals of bluegrass — close vocal harmonies, impressive technical chops, acoustic instrumentation — and applies it to delicate, introspective original songs. Plus, its members (Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O’Donovan) are some of the finest singers around.

Vince Staples
House of Blues

Feb. 25

The Long Beach rapper Vince Staples infuses gritty tales of his South Beach neighborhood with a sardonic sense of fun. He comes to Boston fresh off his excellent third album “FM!”

Stave Sessions
Berklee College of Music

March 19 - 23

Every year, Celebrity Series of Boston hosts a five-day concert series of “path-breaking music” called Stave Sessions. The lineup this time around is exceptional. I’m especially looking forward to the experimental folk-singing and storytelling duo Anna & Elizabeth and the boisterous pan-Latin outfit LADAMA — but really, every act is a standout, from the Colombian jazz harpist Edmar Castaneda to the neo-Sufi singer Arooj Aftab.

Ken Field Alto Sax Quartet + Drums
Institute of Contemporary Art

March 22

The Boston-based saxophonist Ken Field composed scores to many of the short animated films made by his wife Karen Aqua, an award-winning artist who died in 2011. Their collaboration returns to life in a program combining Aqua’s imaginative films and live renditions of Field’s kinetic scores.

Nils Frahm
The Wilbur

March 27

Nils Frahm’s music runs the gamut from minimalist piano pieces to metamorphic electronic compositions. The German musician tours in support of his spacious 2018 album “All Melody.”

Vundabar, Sidney Gish
Paradise Rock Club

March 29

The Scituate-born band Vundabar has matured since its members first began collaborating in high school, bringing a more contemplative attitude to bear on its hook-heavy indie rock. The group joins forces with the Boston-based bedroom-pop artist Sidney Gish, whose wit and inventiveness have made her a leading light in local music.

Winter Arts Preview:

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Amelia Mason Senior Arts & Culture Reporter
Amelia Mason is an arts and culture reporter and critic for WBUR.



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