A weekly feature that highlights the 10 best music happenings in Toronto. Here’s what’s on this week, June 20 to 26.
Toronto Jazz Festival
This year’s highlights include Earth, Wind and Fire, Keith Jarrett, Snarky Puppy, Dianne Reeves, Bill Frisell, Robert Randolph & the Family Band and the Afro-Spanish singer Buika. To June 28. Various venues and ticket prices. toronto.jazz.com.
WorldPride: Melissa Etheridge
The water-deprived icon brings enthusiastic emotion and powerful songwriting to an event that kicks off the city-hosted WorldPride 2014 (June 20 to 29). June 20, 8 p.m. Free. Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St. W., worldpridetoronto.com.
NXNE: Yonge-Dundas Square
The annual festival of music, film, comedy and interactive media boasts hundreds of shows, but none bigger and more free than the open-air extravaganzas featuring sharp indie-darling St. Vincent (June 20), tuneful Texas rockers Spoon (June 21) and rapper Juicy J (June 22). To June 22. Various times and opening acts. nxne.com.
Pelléas and Mélisande
Against the Grain Theatre stages Claude Debussy’s lone completed opera at the secluded Max Tanenbaum Courtyard Gardens. To June 25. $40 to $60. Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre, 227 Front St. E., 416-522-6515 or againstthegraintheatre.com.
NXNE: Benjamin Booker
Fans of Alabama Shakes and Gary Clark Jr., might cotton to the robustly electric brand of blues-based rock from this New Orleans-based upstart. June 20, 9 p.m. Horseshoe Tavern, 370 Queen St. W; June 21, 10 p.m. Silver Dollar Room, 486 Spadina Ave.; various passes and ticket prices, nxne.com.
Free from a jail stint that stemmed from a tax-evasion rap, the former Fugee hits the road with reworked versions of her classic Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and MTV Unplugged albums. June 21, 8 p.m. $70 to $98. Sound Academy, 11 Polson St., 1-855-985-5000 or ticketmaster.ca.
Paul James Band
Dylan-approved rockabilly vet hosts a summer-solstice swing-dance bonanza and barbecue. June 21, 9 p.m. $10. Ward’s Island Club House, wardsislandclubhouse.com.
Fresh off a reported victory performance at Bonnaroo, the whip-smart British rockers seek to rout the Molson Amphitheatre. June 21, 7:30 p.m. $28 to $77.75. Molson Amphitheatre, 909 Lake Shore Blvd. W., 1-855-985-5000 or ticketmaster.ca.
Danny Michel: School Night Mondays
The Juno-nominated singer-songwriter (and lover of Paul Simon and Garifuna music) plays weekly with special guests, recently including Jim Cuddy and Sarah Harmer. June 23 and June 30, 8 p.m. $20. Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave., 416-850-4579 or ticketfly.com.
Boston, with Cheap Trick
Missing the late, great singer Brad Delp, the guitarist Tom Scholtz and crew mix past classics from the new and optimistic Life, Love & Hope album. June 23, 7:30 p.m. $35.50 to $103. Molson Amphitheatre, 909 Lake Shore Blvd. W., 1-855-985-5000 or ticketmaster.ca.
Digital Dreams June 28 and 29. The Flats at Molson Amphitheatre, digitaldreamsfest.ca
Jolie Holland June 29. Great Hall, ticketfly.com
John Sebastian June 29. Hugh's Room, 416-531-6604 or hughsroom.com.
Toronto Urban Roots Fest July 4 to 6. Garrison Commons, ticketfly.com
Beaches International Jazz Festival July 18 to 27. beachesjazz.com
Lorde Sept. 12. Echo Beach, 1-855-985-5000 or ticketmaster.ca
Constantines Oct. 2. Danforth Music Hall, 1-855-985-5000 or ticketmaster.ca