Jazz in NYC This Week

English: Mary Halvorson, Jazz guitarist; Pictu...

Source: The New York Times.

SUNN O))) at Knockdown Center (March 17, 8 p.m.). With its members dressed in hooded cloaks and shrouded in smoke from fog machines, Sunn O))) puts on concerts that can feel like bizarre cult rituals. And to fans of heavy metal’s many subgenres, they are. Since the late ’90s, the group’s founding members, Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson, have spurred a rise in experimental metal in America thanks to their own record label, Southern Lord, which has also released excellent albums by experimental-noise bands like Pelican and Boris. For this concert, brace yourself for overwhelming guitar drones, which Sunn O))) conjures with instruments tuned so low, they just might reach the Earth’s core.
347-915-5615, knockdown.center

GNAOUA ET JAZZ at Pioneer Works (March 19, 6 p.m.). In the Islamic Gnawa musical tradition of West Africa, orbital and trancelike sounds spring from voices, metal percussion instruments and a stringed bass known as the gimbri. Songs of just a few lines tend to repeat and deepen for long stretches of time. The Gnaoua World Music Festival, now in its 20th year, always brings a crowd of thousands to Essaouira, Morocco; this month, a series of satellite events are taking place in Paris and New York. This performance at Pioneer Works will feature appearances by American musicians, including the drummer Will Calhoun and the bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma, alongside the Gnawa master practitioners Hamid El Kasri and Abdeslam Alikkane.
718-596-3001, pioneerworks.org

NATHANIEL MACKEY AND HENRY GRIMES at McNally Jackson (March 18, 7 p.m.). The National Book Award winner Nathaniel Mackey doesn’t just draw much of his inspiration from improvised music; his writing has jazz’s sense of ardent pursuit. “Late Arcade,” his most recent novel, charts the road life of an experimental sextet. To celebrate its release, Mr. Mackey appears here in a joint performance and reading alongside the esteemed avant-garde bassist Henry Grimes.
212-274-1160, mcnallyjackson.com

TOMEKA REID QUARTET at Roulette (March 20, 8 p.m.). The cellist Tomeka Reid is an experimental improviser who treats melody and rhythm as solid, noble substances — but refuses to fortify them with boundaries. Her playing is shuddery and rough, often evoking multiple feelings at once. Based in Chicago, Ms. Reid is artist in residence this year at Roulette, where she performs intermittently in different arrangements. For this concert, she appears with the personnel from her remarkable 2015 album, “Tomeka Reid Quartet.” The band features Mary Halvorson on guitar, Jason Roebke on bass and Tomas Fujiwara on drums.
917-267-0363, roulette.org