Folk, Country, World
12/9–12 Now a holiday tradition, the indie folk singer-songwriter plays this mostly instrumental string concert at the gorgeous Fourth Presbyterian church. $35–$40. Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 E Chestnut. etix.com
12/5 at 8 Pokey LaFarge. Like his label’s president, Jack White, the 30-year-old native of Bloomington, Illinois, has an ongoing love affair with old-timey roots music. He performs with his five-piece band. $15–$17.
12/11 at 9 King Krule. The 17-year-old ginger-haired Brit has gotten a lot of attention for his song writing, and rightly so.
2424 N Lincoln. lincolnhallchicago.com
Old Town School of Folk Music
12/4 at 8:30 ÑAWI: Yarina & Alex Alvear. As part of World Music Wednesday, bassist Alex Alvear and indigenous Ecuadorian troupe Yarina join forces for a night of rollicking South American tunes.
12/7 at 4 and 7 John McCutcheon. The multitalented folk musician leads a team of locals for a winter-solstice-themed concert. $25.
12/7 at 7 and 10 Over the Rhine. This Ohio husband-and-wife duo continues to enchant with its thoughtful song writing. $35.
12/8 at 4 and 7 Carrie Newcomer. The husky-voiced singer-songwriter performs original work with pianist Gary Waters. $26.
12/8 at 4, 7 Steep Canyon Rangers. Steve Martin has plucked his banjo with this Grammy-winning bluegrass quintet, so consider that an endorsement. $25.
4544 N Lincoln. oldtownschool.org
12/7 at 7:30 Leo Kottke. The Space favorite still plays slide guitar with timeless agility. $30–$62.
12/31 at 6 The Flat Five. A supergroup of talented local alt-country stars—Alex Hall, Kelly Hogan, Scott Ligon, Casey McDonough, and Nora O’Connor—team up for a night of reworked country standards. $15–$35.
12/31 at 10 Alejandro Escovedo & the Sensitive Boys. Even with more than 40 years of band-hopping under his belt, the Texan-born guitarist still knows how to sing a haunting tune. $65–$95.
1245 Chicago. evanstonspace.com
Battle of the Saxes
12/27 at 9, 12/28 at 8 Ed Petersen and Eric Schneider fight for sax supremacy in this friendly annual competition. Accompaniment by the Green Mill All-Stars. $12. Green Mill, 4802 N Broadway. greenmilljazz.com
Don Stiernberg Quintet
12/20 at 8 Keeping the spirt of Django Reinhardt alive, the Chicago mandolinist heads this locals-only showcase, featuring Andy Brown on guitar, Jim Cox on bass, Phil Gratteau on drums, and Larry Harrison on piano. Singer Petra Van Nuis opens. $16. Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N Lincoln. oldtownschool.org
12/10 at 9, 10:30, and midnight The local percussionist plays selections from seminal free jazz pianist and composer Andrew Hill’s 1963 record Black Fire. $10. Andy’s Jazz Club, 11 E Hubbard. andysjazzclub.com
12/12–12/15 Joey DeFrancesco Trio. DeFrancesco proves that the organ is a vital, underutilized tool in the jazz musician’s arsenal. $25–$45.
12/12 at 8 and 10 Fred Hersch Trio. De facto leader of the school of pianists comfortable playing both Monk and Radiohead, Hersch comes to Chicago for what’s sure to be a beautiful, poignant set. Critic’s Pick. $25–$45.
806 S Plymouth