Winter Jam at Consol with For King & Country and Matthew West; Mr. Smalls Hosts Ryan Bingham (Sat., 1/30/16)

1) Once a single concert in ’95, now the largest Christian music tour in the country, Winter Jam 2016 Tour Spectacular is making its annual stop at Consol Energy Center. Celebrating its 21st year, the tour features numerous Christian rock and rap artists, including Crowder, Lauren Daigle, and Tedashii. For KING & COUNTRY and Matthew West co-headline this year. Both have received commercial and critical acclaim from Christians and non-Christians alike. The former is a duo of Australian brothers; the latter, a singer-songwriter. Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong , the duo’s sophomore album, addresses marriage, parenthood, and a life-threatening illness suffered by member Luke Smallbone. West, in addition to his prolific solo career, has written songs for artists like Rascal Flatts and Billy Ray Cyrus. As with last year’s Winter Jam, Evangelist Tony Nolan will also speak. And NewSong, Winter Jam’s founders, continue as host for the event. NewSong has been nominated for eight GMA (Gospel Music Association) Dove Awards and have been making music since ’81. 6:45 p.m. 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown. (CM)

 

2) For Ryan Bingham’s work on the Crazy Heart soundtrack, he garnered something of a musical Triple Crown. He co-wrote the film’s theme, “The Weary Kind,” with music legend T Bone Burnett, and he also sang vocals on the official version for the soundtrack album. That tune went on to win a Golden Globe, a Grammy, and an Academy Award. The film, released in 2009, stars Jeff Bridges as a down-and-out country musician, a role which would earn him the 2009 Academy Award for Best Actor. For an intimate look at Bingham, check out his show at Mr. Smalls. Although Crazy Heart gave him national exposure, it’s his acclaimed studio albums that have cemented him as one of today’s best Americana singer-songwriters. He may no longer be with his former band, The Dead Horses, but that doesn’t mean his music has diminished in the slightest. 2015’s Fear and Saturday Night, his fifth album, captures him at his most intense. 9 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. (CM)

 

3) In the video sample above, you’ll see and hear the jazz pianist Ramón Valle talking for a couple of minutes before he starts to play. It’s worth a listen because Valle is delightfully engaging no matter what he does. Born in Cuba, he emigrated in his 20s and has traveled the world developing his sound, which is actually an eclectic mixture of styles. Along with soulful interpretations of pop anthems like Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” Valle will break out into a souped-up brand of hot Latin jazz—and, being a composer and arranger as well as a performer, he has teamed up with musicians including the Israel Sinfonietta Beer Sheva to play his own compositions. Expect to hear traces of all of the above, plus more, when Ramón Valle visits the MCG Jazz series with double bassist Omar Rodriguez Calvo and drummer Ernesto Simpson. 8 p.m. Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, 1815 Metropolitan St., Manchester. (MV)

 

4) Tchaikovsky couldn’t have seen it coming. When the Russian master composed his ballet Swan Lake in the 1870s, he probably never imagined that a production someday in the future would be advertised with the warning “Contains nudity.” One also doubts that he could have envisioned a Swan Lake enhanced with African drum rhythms, a corps de ballet shouting exuberantly, men dancing in tutus, and the central love theme rewritten as a gay relationship. Yet all this and more can be found in Dada Masilo’s Swan Lake, a new adaptation by the South African choreographer. Along with her original dance pieces, Masilo has done several re-interpretations of existing works, ranging from Romeo and Juliet to Ariel Dorfman’s Death and the Maiden. She has said that while the old classics are great, she doesn’t see the need to follow old conventions. Pittsburgh Dance Council is bringing Dada Masilo’s Swan Lake to town at the Byham Theater. 8 p.m. Tonight only. 101 6th St., Cultural District. (MV)