From left: Angel Olsen and Janet Jackson   Photos: (Olsen) Brittany Sowacke/RedEye; (Jackson) Dave Nelson/ExNew/AP

1 Janet Jackson

Chicago Theatre

Pop: She’s back! After a seven-year hiatus, the ageless pop innovator has a new album (Unbreakable) and new tour. November 3, 4, and 6. $50 to $200.

2 Shemekia Copeland

Old Town School of Folk Music

Blues: With an otherworldly voice that has impressed the likes of the Rolling Stones and nabbed her the Queen of Blues title in 2011, Copeland is a marvel to see live. September 26. $26 to $28.

3 Patty Griffin

Vic Theatre

Folk: Few can command a stage like this Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, who tours behind her stark new album, Servant of Love. October 13. $39.

4 The Bad Plus Joshua Redman

Symphony Center

Jazz: The experimental trio teams up with innovative saxophonist Redman for a night of Brubeck-indebted original jams. October 16. $28 to $89.

5 World Music Festival Chicago

Various locations

World: Travel to India (Nayan Ghosh), Nigeria (highlife band Orlando Julius and the AfroSoundz), and Georgia (folk group Zedashe Ensemble) without venturing farther than downtown. Through September 22. Free.

6 Shamir

Lincoln Hall

Pop: With his piercing countertenor and his endearing dance moves, this 20-year-old Las Vegas native brings some much-needed vigor to dance music. October 8. $15.

7 Hyde Park Jazz Festival

Various locations

Jazz: Hear world premieres from the likes of cellist Tomeka Reid and trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire at the city’s best free jazz event. September 26 to 27. Free.

8 The Who

United Center

Rock: If you missed Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey on the first leg of their Who Hits 50 tour, this is your final-final chance to see the legendary duo. October 15. $55 to $155.

9 ASAP Rocky

Aragon Ballroom

Rap: The New York MC teams up with rabble-rouser Tyler the Creator and Detroit rapper Danny Brown for what’s sure to be a memorably chaotic show. September 27. $50.

10 Angel Olsen

Venue Six10

Folk: Olsen has fast become one of indie rock’s rising stars, thanks to a voice that lands somewhere between Chris Isaak’s haunting warble and Joni Mitchell’s quiet trill. September 26. $60.


… And 8 More Picked by the Pros

Three Chicago bookers dish on the musicians they’re most excited to see this fall—three of whom are local.

Jake Austen


Kool Keith

“He is perhaps the greatest eccentric,” says Austen.
Recommended song: “Plastic World”
See him: September 26 at the Promontory. $10.

The Maccabees

Recommended song: “Marks to Prove It”
See them: October 20 at Thalia Hall. $20 to $250.

Christopher LeMark Xperience

Recommended song: “March On”
See them: November 4 at the Promontory. $15.

Jake Samuels

SPACE and Thalia Hall

Dolly Varden

“Their particular brand of folk music feels like it’s from a different era but somehow still amazingly contemporary,” says Samuels.
Recommended song: “Simple Pleasure”
See them: September 19 at SPACE. $15 to $20.

The Milk Carton Kids with Anais Mitchell

Recommended song: “The City of Our Lady”
See them: October 30 at Fourth Presbyterian Church. $35 to $45.

Matt Rucins

Lincoln Hall and Schubas


Recommended song: “Trying”
See them: October 9 at Lincoln Hall. $20.


“They’re one of the best of the current wave of bands bringing the ’90s back,” says Rucins.
Recommended song: “No Matter Where We Go”
See them: October 27 at Lincoln Hall. $14.

Chad Valley

Recommended song: “Shell Suite”
See him: October 3 at Schubas. $12.