• Waka Flocka Flame

On Thursday night jazz pianist Vijay Iyer returns to town with his redoubtable trio for the first time in several years, playing at the Mayne Stage. You may have read my two cents on the recent kerfluffle caused by a weird piece in the Seattle Weekly that blamed artists like Iyer for jazz’s lack of mainstream popularity—an odd conclusion, given that few contemporary artists make music as tuneful and dramatic as his. Iyer kicks off a very busy week of music, and though I’m excited to catch his show, it means I’ll be missing lots of other stuff on Thursday, including Azita and San Francisco’s Sic Alps at the Empty Bottle, Converge with Torche and Kvelertak at Metro, Barrington Levy and Dead Prez at the Shrine, and pianist Gabriela Montero at Northwestern University. It’s not like things chill out on Friday, either, with Black Prairie at Schubas, the SFJazz Collective at the University of Chicago, and recent Three Beats subjects Yakuza celebrating their new record with a performance at the Empty Bottle. You can read about four more recommended shows from this week’s Soundboard after the jump.