HIGHLY RECOMMENDED:
TONIGHT! — AMPLIFY MUSIC ON THE WESTSIDE (the Amplify Music in LA group seeks to create better, more supportive environments for music and musicians in LA, this sounds pretty cool, I would go even if I weren’t on one of the panels, about the past, present and future of live music — that’s what I love!! — music education and the music industry, with folks who know something about all that, from McCabe’s, Jacaranda, the Broad, KCRW, the Skirball and others, presented by the UCLA Center for Music Innovation, SM Cultural Affairs and the SM Public Library — Jeff Schwartz), Thurs, 7 p.m., Main Library, DTSM, free.

TOM BROSSEAU, Sean Watkins (just when SM has become too much for you, you remember how special it is to be able to hear a singer-songwriter this special in your neighborhood church — great acoustics! — at the monthly music showcase called SANCTUARY, Brosseau will move you with his tender ballads and ethereal voice and he’s a pretty good picker too, has a new album of lesser-known Carter Family songs, “In the Shadow of the Hill,” and after hearing him I’m sure you’ll want to pick one up). Fri 7 p.m., The Church in Ocean Park, donation.

CHARLES MCPHERSON 80th Birthday Celebration (don’t miss this one, in your own backyard, he recorded and toured with Mingus for more than a decade), Sat 8 p.m., Jazz Bakery, Moss Theater, SM, $35.

LA BOHEME — LA OPERA (I’m not a Boheme expert, having seen it just once before but that was at LA Opera in ‘93, boy has a lot gone down since then, for them and me, it’s a chestnut but it’s gotten a boost from the hand of Berlin’s star stager Barrie Kosky, nothing too radical but modernly appealing, the big rotating stage for the Cafe Momus scenes is so packed with frantic characters you can’t take it all in, the singing is outstanding, especially the four main actors and the characters are so endearing and strong, especially the women, that you won’t need your handkerchief unless you want to wave it in the air, huzzah! — also, Opera at the Beach 9-camera hi-def broadcast from Dorothy Chandler to our Pier, big LED screen, next Sat 7:30 p.m., free), Sun 2 p.m., Wed 7:30 p.m., also 9/28, 10/2, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, DTLA, $24-$354.

KEN BURNS’ COUNTRY MUSIC (8 years in the making, so well done, great organization, insights, interviews, photos and video you’ve probably never seen, drop your prejudices and see American history from a different, important angle), Sun – Wed, PBS, check your cable company schedule,

RECOMMENDED:
TONIGHT! — DANIEL LANOIS (a very interesting cat, gifted producer, hard to pigeonhole his music but if you don’t hate it you probably love it), Thurs 6 p.m., Amoeba Music, Hollywood, free but it will be packed an hour early and you won’t even be able to find parking this side of Silverlake.

TONIGHT! — THE BLACK KEYS, Peanut Butter Wolf (not what they used to be but who of us is, but now they are again, new album, first in five years, Let’s Rock — does), Thurs 7 p.m., Wiltern Theater, LA, $85-$325.

TONIGHT! — LINDA RONSTADT: THE SOUND OF MY VOICE (this great doc will perhaps open your eyes with more respect for a woman who blazed early trails in male-dominated rock, 11 platinum albums, first artist ever to simultaneously top the Pop, Country, and R&B charts, 26 Grammy nominations, 10 wins, always advocated for human rights, shared a mattress on the floor of the Governor’s Mansion with Jerry Brown, lived life and her art on her own terms and succeeded wildly, and as Dolly Parton declares, “that girl could sing ANYthing!”), Thurs-?, Landmark Theater, Westwood.

TONIGHT! — MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL film (musical giant, cultural icon Miles Davis, visionary, innovator, originator who embodied the word cool but was fiercely independent, featuring never-before-seen archival footage, studio outtakes, rare photos, the story of a singular talent unpacks the man behind the horn, I learned a lot, it is so well done), Thurs-?, Landmark Theater, Westwood.

KAMASI WASHINGTON (Inglewood’s own monster sax man made his mark alongside Stanley Clarke, George Duke, Thundercat, The Gerald Wilson Orchestra but big time on Kendrick Lamar’s huge recent hits, his future is bright and his present is dazzling), Fri, Sat 8 p.m., The Theater at Ace Hotel, DTLA, $30-$90.

JACARANDA season opener, ORGANIC RUSH (oh boy oh boy, it’s not quite as good for me as the opening of basketball season but I have been anticipating getting Jacaranda back, everything they do in their well-curated themed seasons — “Remember the Future” — is moving and thought-provoking, modern classical music on the edge, even if it was written 100 years ago, and I love organ music, this night we get all-star composers, the ever-fabulous Toccata and Fugue in D Minor and a Chorale Trio by Bach, some Messiaen, Poulenc, Ives, and a couple by one of my faves, Estonian spiritual minimalist Arvo Pärt, introducing Jacaranda’s new resident organist Thomas Mellan playing the remodeled Schantz organ), Sat 8 p.m., Sanctuary Series Conversations at 7, First Presbyterian Church, DTSM, $20-$45.

RACHAEL YAMAGATA (always liked her deep, breathy vocals and striking, moody arrangements, she stays kind of under the radar with infrequent releases but, well, here she is, so go), Sat, Sun 6 p.m., The Moroccan Lounge, DTLA, $25.

NICK MANCINI (cool cat jazz vibraphonist celebrates new album, great venue), Sat 9 p.m., Bluewhale, Little Tokyo, $20.

“THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH” (set in WWII-era New Jersey and the Ice Age — !?! — Thornton Wilder’s oblique, mysterious, confusing, thought-provoking and wonderful), Sat 8 p.m., also 9/29, W.G.’s Theatricum Botanicum, Topanga Canyon, $10-$42;
“MOBY DICK – REHEARSED” (based on Orson Welles’ 1955 adaptation of the novel, requires a lot of “acting” no there’s no leviathan on stage, no big ship — and yes, the company acts their whale tales off, you can see the big whaling ship, you can feel the white whale, and we even had a sub Ahab and he was sensational), Sun 4 p.m., also 9/29, T. Botanicum, Topanga Canyon, $10-$42;
“AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE” (check my previous CURIOUS CITY column for some description of this excellently acted, thought-provoking adaptation by Artistic Director Ellen Geer of a classic Ibsen about… a poisoned water supply, and racial tensions, topical enough for ya?), Sun 8 p.m., also 9/28, Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, Topanga Canyon, $10-$42.

TOLEDO DIAMOND (I know, he’s always there at Harvelle’s, every Sunday, same too-hip cat-with-dames show but he’s worth catching several times a year and I can tell you from being a fan for more than 30 years, he keeps getting better), Sun 9 p.m.., Harvell’s, DTSM, $10.

COMING ATTRACTIONS: RICK SHEA, 9/27, Cinema Bar, Culver City; JEFFR BECK, ROD STEWART, 9/27, Hollywood Bowl “TWELFTH NIGHT”, 9/28, Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, Topanga Canyon; EASY RIDER. 9/29, Aero Theater, SM; GARY CLARK JR., 9/29, Hollywood Bowl; CHICK COREA, CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE, BRIAN BLADE, 10/3, Royce Hall, Westwood.

BODACIOUS BIRTHDAYS: BRIAN EPSTEIN – Beatles’ manager (1934), LOL CREME – 10CC (1947), MAMA CASS ELLIOT (1941), BILL MEDLEY – Righteous Brothers (1940), SYLVIA TYSON – Ian & Sylvia (1940).

Charles Andrews has listened to a lot of music of all kinds, including more than 2,000 live shows. He has lived in Santa Monica for 33 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at therealmrmusic@gmail.com