Chicago-based, Grammy-winning group Third Coast Percussion will premiere a brand-new work by Philip Glass in Seattle in April. Third Coast Percussion
Below, we've rounded up the biggest and best music events you need to know about this season, like an afternoon at Marymoor Park with pop phenom Billie Eilish, the Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour, a 24-hour experimental music marathon, or Seattle Opera’s Carmen. You can also find a complete list of music shows in Seattle this spring on our Things To Do calendar, or check out the rest of our critics' picks from Seattle Art and Performance.

Found something you like and don't want to forget about it later? Click "Save Event" on any of the linked events below to add it to your own private list.


Classical



Tues March 19

San Francisco Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas MTT is one of America's most renowned music directors. During his 24-year-long stewardship of the San Francisco Symphony, he was known as the man who made a home for contemporary symphonic music out west, championing American music over the old European repertory. On his trip to Seattle, the famed conductor will breathe new life into Beethoven's Eroica Symphony, one of the composer's most celebrated, emotionally complex, and consequential pieces of music. MTT will also conduct his own composition, Agnegram. RICH SMITH (Benaroya Hall, 7:30 pm, $82—$165)


March 21 & 23

Seattle Symphony with Wayne Marshall: Shostakovich Symphony No. 15 The prolific pianist and organist joins the symphony in performing Shostakovich's tribute to Johann Sebastian Bach. (Benaroya Hall, $22—$122)


Fri March 22

[untitled] 2 These concerts are full of surprises, and they're somehow both casual and posh at the same time. And the two compositions on offer here are worth your time. Pierre Boulez's Sur incises sounds like spring feels in the PNW, with colors popping out all over the place beneath an ominous, overlording monocloud. There's more room to breathe in Luciano Berio's meditative Circles, plus you'll get to hear Maria Männistö's haunting soprano. RICH SMITH (Benaroya Hall, 10 pm, $16)


Sat March 23

Contemporary Music Marathon A 24-hour multi-disciplinary marathon of music from more than 50 living composers performed each hour by a variety of musicians, composers, and experimental artists and arranged into three acts: Nightfall, Dreams, and Daybreak. (Benaroya Hall, 5 pm, $75)

Seattle Classic Guitar Society - David Russell A night of virtuosic acoustic goodness from the highly lauded, Grammy-winning classical guitarist. (Benaroya Hall, 7:30 pm, $38)


Tues April 2

Emanuel Ax The Grammy-winning and internationally acclaimed pianist delivers a re-creation of his New York recital debut program on its 40th anniversary. (Meany Center for the Performing Arts, 7:30 pm, $60)

In the Spotlight: Trimpin, Stiefel, & Hausmann The Seattle Symphony showcases three of the city's very own composers. MacArthur Genius Trimpin creates room-sized orchestral art installations that sometimes look like Rube Goldberg machines. You'll get a taste of that with Solo Flute, Eight Pottery Wheels and Assorted Vinyls. Stiefel's deceptively simple and pretty Five Ways to Listen to a Mockingbird will blur the false distinction between the natural world and the metropolis. And finally, musicians will display the full range of maraca and maraca-type instruments in Leonardo Gorosito and Rafael Alberto's mesmerizing percussive piece Seeds. This concert will also give you a chance to check out Octave 9, a newly opened, state-of-the-art space that allows the symphony to completely change the acoustics of the room to suit their needs. RICH SMITH (Benaroya Hall, 7:30 pm, $20)


April 4–7

Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 The whole program for this evening plays to incoming Seattle Symphony music director Thomas Dausgaard's strengths. He's known for his interpretations of Brahms, one of the daddies of the Romantic era, but one who nevertheless stayed true to his classical roots. Both Dausgaard and pianist Garrick Ohlsson offer passionate intensity without sacrificing a bit of intellectual rigor, so it'll be interesting to see them tackle Brahms's formidable First Concerto. Nielsen's angsty, manic Second Symphony will come as a relief after Rued Langgaard's prelude to Antichrist, which is gorgeous, but also sounds like the orchestral equivalent of edging. Both pieces were written in Dausgaard's native Denmark. RICH SMITH (Benaroya Hall, $22—$122)


Sat April 6

Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra: "A Floodtide of Inspired Invention" — Beethoven's Seventh Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra will take on the technical masterwork and unending fount of inspiration for other composers, Beethoven's Symphony No. 7. In addition, Franz Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1 and a symphonic piece by Finnish composer Helvi Leiviskä will be performed, with a feature by the winner of the Philharmonic's 2018 Don Bushell competition, Hexin Qiao. (Benaroya Hall, 2 pm, $20/$30)


Sun April 7

Town Music: Third Coast Percussion Attention all Philip Glass fans: Chicago-based, Grammy-winning group Third Coast Percussion will premiere a brand-new work by the living legend right here in Seattle. It's the minimalist master's "first ever composition specifically for a percussion ensemble," according to press materials. If you're someone who likes to get blazed and bliss out at concerts, put this at the top of this season's list of must-sees. RICH SMITH (Benaroya Hall, 6 pm, $20)


Tues April 9

Beethoven & Stravinsky Indulge in the work of classical powerhouses in this dual performance of Beethoven's Septet and Stravinsky's Duo Concertant. (Benaroya Hall, 7:30 pm, $40)


Tues April 9 & Sat April 13

Harry Partch Ensemble The opportunity to hear the wholly idiosyncratic music of Harry Partch performed live rarely occurs, so prioritize this event. Blessed with an outsized sonic imagination, Partch also built his own assemblage of bizarre, gargantuan instruments (Chromelodeon, Cloud-Chamber Bowls, Zymo-Xyl, and Spoils of War, etc.) tuned to a microtonal scale (43 unequal tones per octave, bro), which allowed the itinerant American composer to create disorientingly beautiful works that sound as if they're beamed in from another universe. DAVE SEGAL (UW Meany Studio Theater, 7:30 pm, $10)


Thurs April 11 & Sat April 13

Dvorák New World Symphony Pianist/composer George Walker will lead Dvorák's triumphant ninth symphony in a performance that will draw parallels between Walker's own experiences as a black composer breaking barriers in the music industry and Dvorák's experiences leaving his Czech homeland and coming to the US. With guest violinist Nicola Benedetti. (Benaroya Hall, $22—$122)


Sat April 13

Seattle Classic Guitar Society: Irina Kulikova A gifted classical guitarist, noted Russian musician Kulikova will play a program of her favorites. (Frye Art Museum, 2 pm, free)


April 13–16

Pacific MusicWorks: International Woman of Mystery A tribute to the life and legacy of Venetian artist Antonia Bembo, a prodigious singer and composer who worked in Paris under the protection of King Louis XIV. Featured soloists include soprano Danielle Sampson, violinist Linda Melsted, cellist Annabeth Shirley, and harpsichordist Henry Lebedinsky. (April 13: St. Augustine's in-the-woods, 7:30 pm, $25; April 14: The Royal Room, 8 pm, $25 & Resonance at SOMA Towers, 3 pm, $25; April 16: Capitol Cider, 7 pm, $25)


Sun April 14

In the Spotlight: Schoenberg & Bach Schoenberg's Woodwind Quintet and Bach's Goldberg Variations will be performed in the same program by Seattle Symphony musicians to draw attention to the similarities in how these pieces create massive musical frameworks from the humblest of beginnings. (Benaroya Hall, 5 pm, $35)


April 18 & 20

Mozart Symphony No. 40 Marc-André Dalbavie will join the Seattle Symphony for a performance of Mozart's mythically dramatic symphony. (Benaroya Hall, $22—$122)


Fri April 19

Mozart Untuxed A low-key, no-intermission way to enjoy Seattle Symphony, which will present Mozart's Symphony No. 40. (Benaroya Hall, 7 pm, $13—$55)


April 22, 25 & 27

Heiner Goebbels On April 25 and 27, the German composer and theater artist will present his multimedia project, Surrogate Cities, a study of the modern urban landscape, examining various demographics and society at large and how they all fit into and contend with the natural world; with vocalists Jocelyn B. Smith and David Moss. On April 22, he'll also have a "spotlight" show, featuring immersive chamber music paired with clips of large-scale video and support from the Seattle Symphony. (Benaroya Hall, $22—$122)


Sat April 27

Beethoven V. Coldplay Take the lowbrow of Coldplay and blend it with the highbrow of Beethoven at this symphonic concert that asks the question: Would Beethoven have found meaning in the music of Coldplay? (Benaroya Hall, 8 pm, $30—$70)

A New World: Intimate Music from Final Fantasy The touring concert will return to Seattle with a whole new program featuring the New World Players chamber ensemble, piano soloist Benyamin Nuss, and conductor Eric Roth. (Benaroya Hall, 4 pm, 8 pm, $50—$75)


Wed May 1

Music of Today: Kontakte with Bonnie Whiting, Percussion; Cristina Valdés, Piano From 1958 to 1960, avant-garde German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen was conjuring into existence Kontakte, a four-channel electronic tape piece that jars with its seemingly random explosions of myriad percussion instruments, its sparse piano clusters, and its 360-degree panopticon of highly tactile noises zooming in and fading out at unexpected intervals. It's a serious mindfuck. Presented by the UW School of Music and the Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS), this performance will be embellished by faculty members Bonnie Whiting on percussion and Cristina Valdés on piano. DAVE SEGAL (Gerlich Theater, 7:30 pm, $15)


Sun May 5

(Im)migration: Music of Displaced Peoples In this quarterly series that highlights music by composers affected by diasporas and migration, UW piano professor Robin McCabe will lead UW music students through multiple works, with a pre-concert lecture by UW Music History faculty member Jon Hanford. (Brechemin Auditorium, 4 pm, free)


May 9–10

Brahms Concerto Festival The timelessness and simple elegance of Johann Brahms' compositions will be revealed with this two-night performance of his First Piano Concerto and Double Concerto on night one and his Second Piano Concerto on night two. (Benaroya Hall, 7:30 pm, $22—$97)


Sat May 11

Ten Grands What could be a mind-blowing battle royale between world-renowned pianists is actually a delightful event to raise money for children's music education, as 10 performers astride a baby grand apiece play selections from every genre. (Benaroya Hall, 7 pm, $43—$121)


May 16 & 18

Pixar in Concert See your favorite childhood films in a new light as the Seattle Symphony performs classic Pixar film scores by Randy Newman, Patrick Doyle, Thomas Newman, and Michael Giacchino, which accompany a high-definition montage of clips from every one of Pixar's 14 films — including Cars, WALL-E, Ratatouille, A Bug's Life, Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc., and Brave. (Benaroya Hall, $35—$100)


Sat May 18

Guest Artist Concert: JACK Quartet - Human Subjects Babes of the contemporary classical music scene JACK Quartet will take the university world by storm in the most genteel way possible with their "Human Subjects" program. They'll don portable EEGs (electroencephalograms, which record electrical patterns in your brain) and wearable muscle neuron sensors to explore the complexity of integrations between brain and body signals during the exercise of creative performance. (Gerlich Theater, 7:30 pm, $20)


May 18–19

Music of Remembrance: The Parting "Never forget" was the refrain the world adopted in response to the horrors of the Holocaust. Music of Remembrance takes that charge seriously, using symphonic music's ability to transcend time and create emotional connections between an audience and those touched by the Shoah and other tragedies. This spring, they mark their 21st season with "The Parting," an opera by composer Tom Cipullo and librettist David Mason that explores the life and work of Miklós Radnóti, who is considered one of the most vital poetic witnesses to the Holocaust. RICH SMITH (Benaroya Hall, 7:30 pm, $55)


May 29–30

Jurassic Park in Concert Witness man versus beast in the classic Spielberg film Jurassic Park as it gets the Seattle Symphony treatment with a high-definition screening set amidst a live performance of John Williams' iconic score. (Benaroya Hall, 7:30 pm, $35—$100)


June 6–9

Holst's The Planets Take a sonic road trip through our solar system with this performance of Gustav Holst's iconic The Planets in all its dazzling glory. (Benaroya Hall, $22—$122)


Fri June 7

[untitled] 3 The popular [untitled] series is back with an intimate performance of Dutch composer Reinbert de Leeuw's reimaginings of Schubert and Schumann pieces for a thrilling journey based on the style of 1920s German cabaret. (Benaroya Hall, 10 pm, $16)


Through Sun June 23

Salish Sea Early Music Festival 2019 If period-specific instrumental chamber music from six different centuries sounds like your vibe, then say hello to the 2019 season of the Salish Sea Early Music Festival, which will include programs by cellist Caroline Nicolas, violist Stephen Creswell, violinist Courtney Kuroda, and more. In the spring, the festival will focus on Bach's sonatas (March 10–24), baroque winds (April 22–28), Bach's Triple Concerto (May 22–29), and early 17th-century canzonas (June 4–10), with a special feature from the Boston Baroque Trio (May 5–12). (Various locations, $15—$25 suggested donation)


Sundays

Compline Choir This is an excellent opportunity to lie on the floor while listening to choral music. Rich Smith once wrote, "Something about the combination of the architecture, the fellowship, and the music gave me a little peek into the ineffable." (Saint Mark's Cathedral, 9:30 pm, free)


Opera



Sun April 7

The Rape of Lucretia Benjamin Britten's chamber opera is considered iconic within the genre, about an ancient Roman noblewoman whose rape by an Etruscan prince spurred a rebellion that overthrew the Roman monarchy. (Theater on the Square, 2 pm, $26—$56)


May 4–19

Carmen Georges Bizet's Carmen is dark, intimate, catchy, and closer in plot to a film noir than an epic. Expect Seattle Opera to bring a thoughtful and nuanced perspective, carefully handling the dated theme of the exotic femme fatale. JOULE ZELMAN (McCaw Hall, $89—$335)


Jazz + World music + more



March 21–24

Gamelan Pacific & Darsono Gamelan is traditional ensemble music from Indonesia that relies heavily on mallet-struck metallophones and drums called kendhang, with other sounds emitting from bamboo flutes, xylophones, and the bowed instrument rebab. It can sound chaotic yet regimented or serenely mellifluous, but it is never less than mesmerizing. Gamelan Pacifica have long been Seattle's foremost practitioners of the style, and for this concert, they're collaborating with Central Java musician Darsono (making his Seattle debut), as they perform pieces from his region's repertoire. DAVE SEGAL (Chapel Performance Space, 8 pm, $5—$15)


Fri April 5

Kiki Valera & Cubaché Charles Mudede has said: "You can never go wrong with Kiki Valera, who performs one of the most vibrant, soulful, and infectious forms of music in the world, Cuban jazz." (The Royal Room, 8 pm, $15)


Sun April 7

Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour The Monterey Jazz Festival, the longest continuously-running jazz festival in the world, is coming to us this year, with live sets by huge jazz talents like Cecile McLorin Salvant and three winners of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. (Moore Theatre, 7:30 pm, $20—$45)


April 11–14

Tower of Power Oakland's fabulous funk and soul-jazz heavies return for yet another Seattle residency. Tower of Power have been active for 50 years and show no signs of getting up from all their serious getting down! MIKE NIPPER (Jazz Alley, $67)


April 18–21

Kenny G A four-night run of smooth jazz sounds from the global superstar saxophone player who's best known for them. (Jazz Alley, $67)


Fri April 19

Makaya McCraven Jazz is going through something of a renaissance in the 2010s, and Chicago-based drummer Makaya McCraven is among the young(ish) artists driving it to summits not heard since the early '70s. As with that era's fusion greats, McCraven mixes styles with a brazen disregard for purism while displaying an athletic rhythmic dexterity. He blends funk, post-rock, and spiritual-jazz elements in freewheeling tracks that should excite fans of Eddie Henderson, Material, Codona, and Art Ensemble of Chicago. DAVE SEGAL (The Royal Room, 7 pm, 9:30 pm, $10—$20)


Sat April 20

North Bend Jazz Walk 2019 Get ready for a whole day of jazz, with double digits' worth of different North Bend venues celebrating their seventh Jazz Walk anniversary. Food, drinks and plenty of jazz talent will all be available for consumption. (Various locations, 5 pm—12 am, $30)


Wed April 24

Anoushka Shankar Imagine the pressure of following in the footsteps of your father and musical guru, the most famous and respected sitarist in the world, Ravi Shankar. But Anoushka Shankar has handled stratospheric expectations with grace and developed her own grandiloquent skills on her family's main instrument. Her technique is marked by a calligraphic dexterity and profound emotional heft that showcase ragas' innate, immortal psychedelic properties. Anoushka is advancing the Shankar legacy formidably into the future. DAVE SEGAL (Edmonds Center for the Arts, 7:30 pm, $29—$64)


Fri April 26

The Spring Quartet: Jack DeJohnette, Joe Lovano, Esperanza Spalding, Leo Genovese Four stand-out talents from the jazz and jazz-rock scenes come together for a night of expansive, dynamic work. (Moore Theatre, 8 pm, $43—$63)


Sun May 5

DKV Trio Chicago has become the American capital of improvisational jazz, and groups like DKV Trio prove why. This formidable unit of drummer Hamid Drake, reeds player Ken Vandermark, and bassist Kent Kessler summons pieces that brood with a coiled intensity and snake with graceful unpredictability. With a quarter century of performing experience, DKV Trio operate with a dazzling telepathy. DAVE SEGAL (The Royal Room, 7 pm, $10—$20)


Tues May 7

Eddie Palmieri's Latin Jazz Septet Since his 1962 debut, La Perfecta, Latin jazz artist Palmieri solidified his reputation as one of the pillars of his trade, but all a neophyte has to do is listen to "Kinkamache" off 1975's Unfinished Masterpiece to recognize Palmieri's sun-kissed brilliance on the ivories. KYLE FLECK (Triple Door, 6:30 pm, 9 pm, $32—$40)


May 21–22

The Messenger Legacy - Art Blakey Centennial Celebration Legendary jazz drummer Blakey will be the centerpiece of this centennial tribute show with the Messenger Legacy, an elite lineup of alumni members of one of the genre's most influential bands, Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. (Jazz Alley, 7:30 pm, $26)


May 24–25

IMPFest XI The Improvised Music Project celebrates 11 years. UW faculty and students will be joined by special guests for two days of improvised tunes and jazzy free-form. Headliners and guest artists will include Lucia Pulido (voice, cuatro) and Stomu Takeishi (bass). (UW Meany Studio Theater, 7:30 pm, $20)


Tues May 28

Snarky Puppy Led by bassist, composer, and producer Michael League, this Brooklyn-based collective encompasses 19 members, though mostly they rotate in and out when on the road. Snarky Puppy have taken home three Grammys for their upbeat, brass-saturated (occasionally flute-stroked) take on groovy, funky, R&B imbued jazz fusion. It can get a little smooth at times, but it's far more full-bodied than the sounds you hear from Kenny G types. LEILANI POLK (Paramount Theatre, 7:30 pm, $36)


May 29–June 2

Bellevue Jazz & Blues Festival 2019 Featuring free and ticketed events for all ages and tastes. This year's headliners will include Deva Mahal and Dr. Lonnie Smith with his trio. (Various locations, free—$50)


Mon June 3

UW Gospel Choir Longtime UW choir director Phyllis Byrdwell will be joined by a 100-voice gospel choir for an evening of piano, song, and plentiful expressions of the gospel tradition. (Gerlich Theater, 7:30 pm, $10)


June 7–8

Alice Smith The talented vocalist takes on jazz, blues, rock, pop, soul, and R&B in her sultry and intoxicating music. (Triple Door, 8 pm, $40—$50)

Pop, Rock & Hiphop



Deafheaven, Baroness, Zeal & Ardor
The Showbox, Tues March 19

Low, EMA
Neumos, Wed March 20

Fatoumata Diawara
Neptune Theatre, Thurs March 21

Bad Bunny
Tacoma Dome, Fri March 22

Maren Morris, Cassadee Pope
Showbox Sodo, March 22–23

Vince Staples, JPEGMAFIA, Channel Tres
Showbox Sodo, Mon March 25

Lettuce
Jazz Alley, March 27-29

Believe: The Music of CherMcCaw Hall, March 30–31

José González & The String Theory
Paramount Theatre, Tues April 2

Stella Donnelly, Faye Webster
Barboza, Tues April 2

James Bay, Noah Kahan
Paramount Theatre, Wed April 3

Queensrÿche, Fates Warning
Neptune Theatre, Wed April 3

Peabo Bryson
Jazz Alley, April 4–7,

Jack & Jack
Neptune Theatre, Fri April 5

Bob Mould Band, Hutch Harris
Neumos, Sat April 6

Dermot Kennedy
Paramount Theatre, Sat April 6

Tito's Handmade Vodka 22nd Birthday Party with Matt & Kim
Neumos, Mon April 8

Perfume
Paramount Theatre, Wed April 10

Girlpool, Hatchie
Neumos, Fri April 12

Sol
The Showbox, Fri April 12

Kansas
Paramount Theatre, Sat April 13

Earl Sweatshirt, Liv.e, MIKE
Showbox Sodo, Sun April 14

Ben Rector, Josie Dunne
Moore Theatre, Tues April 16

Eric B. & Rakim
The Showbox, Tues April 16

Buddy Guy
Tulalip Resort Casino, Fri April 19

Kimya Dawson, Your Heart Breaks
Triple Door, Sun April 21

Haley Reinhart
Crocodile, Mon April 22

LP, Guests
Showbox Sodo, Mon April 22

King Princess, Banoffee
The Showbox, Fri April 26

RÜFÜS DU SOL
WaMu Theater, Sat April 27

Lizzo, Tayla Parx
Showbox Sodo, Sun April 28

Arlo Guthrie
Moore Theatre, Tues April 30

The Delfonics with Greg Hill
Jazz Alley, April 30–May 1

Passion Pit
Showbox Sodo, Tues May 7

Léon
Neptune Theatre, Wed May 8

Stephen Malkmus
Columbia City Theater, Sat May 11

Mac DeMarco
Showbox Sodo, May 11–13

An Evening with Yann Tiersen
Moore Theatre, Mon May 13

Snow Patrol, Billie Marten, Ryan McMullan
Showbox Sodo, Wed May 15

American Football
The Showbox, Fri May 17

Lolo Zouaï, Jean Deaux
Neumos, Fri May 17

Art Garfunkel
Moore Theatre, Sun May 19

Elle King, Barns Courtney
Neptune Theatre, Mon May 20


Moore Theatre, Tues May 21

Lila Downs
Meany Center for the Performing Arts, Tues May 21

The Rolling Stones
CenturyLink Field, Wed May 22

Ronnie Spector & The Ronettes
Edmonds Center for the Arts, Thurs May 23

Tedeschi Trucks Band
Paramount Theatre, May 23–24

Brandi Carlile, Emmylou Harris, Neko Case
Gorge Amphitheatre, Sat June 1

Billie Eilish, Denzel Curry
Marymoor Park, Sun June 2

An Evening with Imogen Heap
Moore Theatre, Wed June 5

Amanda Palmer
Paramount Theatre, Fri June 7

Cowboy Junkies
Neptune Theatre, June 9–10