Ramsey Lewis & His Electric Band (Jazz Alley) Soul-jazz keyboardist Ramsey Lewis has aged incredibly gracefully. I caught his last performance at Jazz Alley in 2011, and he was as fit, lucid, and deft on his instrument as a man half his 76 years. Lately, Lewis has been revisiting his electric period, a very fertile phase in which he produced several albums of spacious, spiritual funk (hear Sun Goddess and Don't It Feel Good for irrefutable proof) and a load of inventively rearranged Beatles songs (check out 1968's Mother Nature's Son for more undeniable evidence). This classy legend always offers sophisticated chops, silky grooves, and melodic grace. DAVE SEGAL More info.
Maxi Priest, Rankin Joe, Blue Meadows Band, ZJ Redman, DJ Chuckie (Neumos) The UK-born reggae crooner Maxi Priest has two moments in the sun. The first happened in the '80s, the second in the '90s. The first is essentially British, the second is American. The first is defined by his cover of Cat Stevens's "Wild World" (in my opinion, Maxi's version is better than the original), the second by his Soul II Soul–inspired "Close to You." The first moment is closer to his Jamaican roots, the second to the black American soul tradition. The smoothness of Priest's delivery has always been the point at which Loose Ends' Carl McIntosh meets Jimmy Cliff. CHARLES MUDEDE More info.
Medic Medic, Bandolier, All in Favor (Nectar) Unlike so many other bands, which are blinded by delusions of grandeur, Seattle's Medic Medic actually supply a very apt description of their sound on their Facebook page: "It's as if Passion Pit and MGMT had a three-way with a Game Boy." It's so true! And I loved it! Until I got halfway through "Never in a Million Beers," and the twee vocals turned into a shrilling screamo business that I thought died out half a decade ago. When Medic Medic leave out the screaming, in songs like "From Shoulders" and "Shelbyville," their music is actually quite catching. Which is weird for me to say, I know, because I love it when people scream! Just not in this context, apparently. MEGAN SELING More info.
Opera on Tap (Columbia City Theater) While drunk one night, a singer from Tacoma Opera and one from Seattle Opera had an idea: Why not do Pop Up Opera, with projected "pop-ups" in the style of VH1's more-fun-than-you'd-expect show Pop Up Video? Now it's happening. You'll drink, you'll listen, and you'll learn little tidbits about opera along the way as a pianist accompanies singers in pieces including Madame Butterfly's suicide scene, "I Am Easily Assimilated" from Leonard Bernstein's Candide, "Alabama Song" from Kurt Weill's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (also covered by the Doors and Marilyn Manson), and the "Ho jo to ho!" chorus from Wagner's Die Walküre. And, hey, everyone is invited to sing along. JEN GRAVES