Music News & Reviews

KC concerts March 7-13: Kurt Elling Quintet, Anoushka Shankar, Citizen Cope

Kurt Elling
Kurt Elling

Jacob Banks

8 p.m. Thursday, March 7, at RecordBar

Jacob Banks’ show was originally booked at The Truman before being relocated to the substantially smaller RecordBar. Kansas City may be one of the last markets the British soul belter has yet to conquer. “Village,” Banks’ 2018 album, affirmed that the Nigerian-born vocalist is destined for stardom. Although he works in the drama-laden vein of artists such as Adele and John Legend, Banks’ dazzling voice is entirely distinctive. With Abir. 816-753-5207. Tickets are $22 through

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness

7:30 p.m. Friday, March 8, at The Truman

Andrew McMahon is too young to indulge in nostalgia. Yet the Californian has packed a lot of living into his 36 years. “Teenage Rockstars,” the opening track of McMahon’s latest album, is a wistful remembrance of his days as a musical prodigy with the pop-punk band Something Corporate. He later found success under the moniker Jack’s Mannequin. McMahon is also a cancer survivor. Working as Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, he’s an assertive pianist and melodic rocker. With Flor and Grizfolk. 816-205-8560. Tickets are $35 through

Kurt Elling Quintet

8 p.m. Saturday, March 9, at Folly Theater

Kurt Elling isn’t merely the most accomplished living jazz vocalist. The Chicago native is every bit as good as predecessors Johnny Hartman, Joe Williams and the late Kansas City star, Kevin Mahogany. Elling’s pairing of immaculate vocal control with stunning conveyance of emotional depth hasn’t gone unnoticed. He’s been named Male Vocalist of the Year in Downbeat magazine’s critics’ poll 15 of the last 19 years, a streak that’s likely to continue. Born in 1967, Elling is only now entering his artistic prime. 816-474-4444. Tickets are $20-$55 through


8:30 p.m. Saturday, March 9, at Knuckleheads

Two telling details about the Vandoliers’ new album, “Forever,” differentiate the rowdy band from Dallas from its peers in the extremely crowded realm of red dirt country. Not only is the project issued by the taste-making label Bloodshot Records, but the track “Fallen Again” is co-written by Vandoliers vocalist Joshua Fleming and Rhett Miller, the revered front man of the Old 97s. The Vandoliers blend old-school Southwestern cow-punk with twang-laden honkytonk in the venerable tradition of Miller’s band. With Austin Lucas. 816-483-1456. Tickets are $10 through


8 p.m. Monday, March 11, at Riot Room

Taylor Upsahl’s discography should come with a trigger warning. The up-and-coming Arizona artist regularly pushes sensitive buttons. She glorifies intoxicants on the alarmingly persuasive “Drugs,” implores a hesitant partner to satisfy her longing on “Kiss Me Now” and addresses opposing sexual preferences on “The Other Team.” With the clout of a major label behind her, Upsahl may soon find mainstream success that extends beyond the fame enjoyed by Monday’s headliner, Max Frost, whose breakout hit “White Lies” soared up the charts five years ago. With Mikey Mike. 816-442-8179. Tickets are $15 through

Anoushka Shankar

7 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, at Helzberg Hall

While the most popular songs of Norah Jones contain no traces of the sound associated with her famous father, Ravi Shankar, Jones’ half-sister, Anoushka Shankar, eagerly embraces the family tradition. Like her father, the British artist is an accomplished sitar player. Shankar has proved capable of mesmerizing audiences with traditional Indian classical music, but she also ventures into the pop territory associated with her half-sister. In 2013, they combined their disparate styles on the enchanting “Traces of You.” 816-994-7222. Tickets are $45.50-$95.50 through

Anoushka Shankar YUVAL HEN

The Aces

8 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, at RecordBar

The sugary songs on the Aces’ 2018 debut album resonate with fans of the like-minded sister trio Haim. Just as Haim’s hits strike an ideal balance between Top 40 pop and stylish indie-rock, the infectious “Volcano Love” by the Utah quartet of Katie Henderson, McKenna Petty and sisters Alisa Cristal Ramirez sounds like a mash-up of pop star Ariana Grande and modern rock masters Foster the People. With Tishmal. 816-753-5207. Tickets are $15 through

Citizen Cope

8 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, at The Truman

The title of the recently released “Heroin and Helicopters,” the first Citizen Cope album since 2012, references a cautionary advisory from Carlos Santana. The celebrated guitarist reportedly told Clarence Greenwood, the Tennessee native who works as Citizen Cope, that the drug and the mode of transportation lead to an uncommon number of deaths among musicians. At 50, the accomplished troubadour has already sidestepped innumerable pitfalls in a career that began in the early 1990s. With David Ramirez. 816-205-8560. Tickets are $33.50 through

Citizen Cope ALEX ELENA