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The best things to do in Chicago this month,
selected by our culture criticsApril 2016

Music
Classic Rock, Soul, R&B, Blues

Mississippi Heat Blues Band
Mississippi Heat Blues Band Photo: Bert Reinders

EARTH, WIND & FIRE

4/1 at 7:30 The recent death of founding member Maurice White will make this show a somber affair. But this band has thrived on songs that punctuate life’s big moments—weddings, graduations, and deaths among them—and surely won’t waste a chance to send White off on home turf. $25–$195. United Center, 1901 W. Madison. ticketmaster.com

 

KIRK FRANKLIN

4/1 at 7:30 This gospel legend has made multiple passes at young audiences recently, appearing with Chance the Rapper at Pitchfork last summer and on Kanye’s latest album, The Life of Pablo. The move reinforces his chief knack from day one: packaging gospel for listeners new and old. $50. Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State. ticketmaster.com

MISSISSIPPI HEAT BLUES BAND

4/7 at 10:30 The Chicago six-piece has been a local and national staple for more than two decades. Though rooted in traditional blues sounds, the group continues to surprise audiences—11 albums later—with off-kilter flourishes that feel more joyful than dire. $12. Kingston Mines, 2548 N. Halsted. ticketweb.com

TAJ MAHAL TRIO

4/14 at 7 and 9:30 Living legend Taj Mahal brings his sweet blend of blues and world music to Chicago for two shows with his trio, promising a long, eclectic set of contemporary takes on global sounds. $46–$48. Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln. oldtownschool.org

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