This is one of those weeks where the major acts are performing far, far away, giving listeners the perfect opportunity to sample the wares of musicians who might be overlooked when the name-brand bands come to town.
|Jamie Cullum: 8 p.m. Wednesday, Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave., Seattle; $26; 206-628-088.
Reilly &Maloney: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Whidbey Playhouse, 730 SE Midway Blvd., Oak Harbor; $16; 360-679-2237; 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Snohomish County PUD, 2320 California St., Everett; $15; 800-838-3006.
Heaven by Northwest: 7 p.m. today, Immaculate Conception Church gym, Everett; $5 donation.
Rhiannon: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Triple Door, 216 Union St., Seattle; $10; 206-838-4333.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy: Various times today through Sunday, Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave., Seattle; $24.50; 206-441-9729.
Brandi Carlile: 9 p.m. today, Showbox, 1426 First Ave., Seattle; $16; 800-992-8499.
Ohmega Watts: 8 p.m. Sunday, Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., Seattle; $5, 21 and older; 206-324-8000.
Hiromi Spirals: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave., Seattle; $20.50; 206-628-0888.
The Mammals: 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. NW, Seattle; $12; 203-331-9756.
Monty Alexander and Spirit of Jamaica: Various times Thursday through March 5, Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave., Seattle; $24.50; 206-441-9729.
David Rovics, Attila the Stockbroker: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Phinney Neighborhood Center, 6532 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle; $12, $14; 206-528-8523.
Jamie Cullum’s 2004 debut on Verve, “Twentysomething,” was a commercial success (2 million copies sold) and earned a Grammy nomination. He’s touring with a new CD, “Catching Tales,” and performs Wednesday in Seattle with covers, originals and standards.
“People ask why I play jazz. It’s because you can take jazz to so many different places. You can embrace dance music, rock, pop music, classical, funk, everything,” Cullum said.
Hats off to a 26-year-old whose career has included gigs on cruise ships and wedding receptions. He never stopped chasing the dream.
Reilly and Maloney: Ginny Reilly and David Maloney have been respected and loved on the West Coast since the mid-1970s. Not even a long separation after more than 3,000 shows together diminished their fans’ attitude toward the duo’s satisfying harmonies and winning personalities.
The last few years they’ve been touring together again, and this weekend will make stops in Oak Harbor and Everett.
Their sweetness-and-grit voices aren’t a combination you’d assume would go well together, yet a few bars into the first song, you know they were meant for each other.
Heaven by Northwest: Help comes in the form of a concert tonight by Heaven by Northwest, a Christian pop-rock group.
The concert benefits a Malawi parish, sister parish of Everett’s Immaculate Conception Church. The church’s assistant pastor, the Rev. Boniface Kasulo, is from Malawi, which has suffered from severe drought and famine.
It also benefits the Mbugua family of Everett, stranded in America by their African sponsor.
Also on tap: an African marimba band, singers performing in Swahili, a silent auction, and a slide show of life in Malawi.
Rhiannon: If you like Bobby McFerrin, head down I-5 for jazz vocalist Rhiannon’s performance Tuesday. The mezzo-to-alto singer fronted Alive! for years, and performed with McFerrin’s Voicecestra. An accomplished scat singer, vocalizing without words or with nonsense words, Rhiannon is also a socially conscious performer.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy: It’s swing time with the nine-musician band tonight through Sunday. BBVD is retro-cool, carrying on the traditions of an era when big bands and orchestras toured practically non-stop (and wearing classic suits and fedoras). Voodoo Daddy also wrote and performed the theme song for the Carson Daly Show.
Brandi Carlile: Rolling Stone magazine put the Maple Valley resident on its 10 Artists to Watch list last year because of her ethereal, melancholy ballads, love for old-school country, and acoustic strummers. Carlile performs tonight in Seattle.
Ohmega Watts: Original hip-hop values return to Seattle Sunday when Watts brings music from his recent release, “The Find.” He opened for Breakstra in a December show. Expect rocking, positive and funky hip-hop with ties to the old school. Opening will be Sonny Bonoho, Lujique, and Posing as People.
Hiromi Spirals: Innovative jazz from a new Hiromi recording, “Spiral,” will be the focus Tuesday and Wednesday in Seattle. The Japanese keyboard sensation with a degree from Berklee College of Music in Boston has roots in jazz but might be nudging it in a new direction. Awards and accolades are already piling up for this young pianist.
The Mammals: Nickel Creek isn’t the only 20-something band on the circuit, although they get top billing just by rolling out of bed. The Mammals, performing Saturday in Seattle, are still earning notice, and the critics’ praises are mounting. Known for their unpredictable live shows, The Mammals move from genre to genre without difficulty: old-time music, roots rock, hill music, pop, no problem.
Monty Alexander and Spirit of Jamaica: In 1999, Alexander released “Stir It Up,” a tribute to reggae legend Bob Marley. After years of working through straight-ahead jazz, the American songbook and world music, he returns with Marley’s music on “Concrete Jungle,” out next month. Alexander performs Thursday through March 5 in Seattle with his trio and an all-Jamaican reggae rhythm section.
David Rovics, Attila the Stockbroker: American songwriter Rovics and the United Kingdom’s social surrealist poet and songwriter Attila perform Saturday in Seattle. Expect rebel folk songs and verse, quest for justice in the traditions of Woody Guthrie and Phil Ochs, and unapologetic spoken word.