Trombone Shorty is the hottest act playing here this week — on Wednesday at The Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany). In fact, he’s the hottest act almost anywhere.
The young (31) trombone and trumpet virtuoso, singer, actor and bandleader inherited from the immortal Neville Brothers the big-stage slot closing Jazz Fest in his native New Orleans. He guested at Jazz Fest with Bo Diddley at age 4 and was already tearing it up; he later toured with Lenny Kravitz’s band and played in numerous brass bands, often with some cousins.
Born Troy Andrews, scion of an intrepid Treme musical family, he has acted in the HBO series of that name. Since he also plays drums, keyboards and tuba, he often challenges his Orleans Avenue bandmates (Peter Murano, guitar; Mike “bass in your face” Bailey, bass; Dan Oestreicher, baritone sax; Joey Peebles, drums; and BK Jackson, tenor sax) to swap instruments during their incendiary, funk-powered shows.
He released his first album, “Trombone Shorty’s Swingin’ Gate,” at age 16, and 10 more since then. After nearly launching The Egg into outer space in early 2014 (then playing hymns on the backstage rehearsal piano to unwind), he released “Parking Lot Symphony” this spring. His charitable foundation provides instruments and instruction to young musicians, and he always has the coolest shoes. 8 p.m. $49.50, $39.50. 473-1845 www.theegg.org
Today, funk and jazz tenor sax-man Karl Denson kicks off the 28th season at Alive at Five (Jennings Landing in Corning Preserve, Albany).
Like Trombone Shorty, Denson toured in Lenny Kravitz’s horn section before forming the Greyboy Allstars, then Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe (Chris Stillwell, bass; Chris Littlefield, trumpet; D.J. Williams and Seth Freeman, guitars; David Veith, keyboards; and Alan Evans, drums) and becoming jam-band-circuit faves.
Denson’s 22 album credits include solo and Tiny Universe projects, also Kravitz releases, GreyBoy Allstars live and studio releases, albums by Stanton Moore, Steve Winwood and maybe most notably the Rolling Stones’ “Sticky Fingers Live.” He’s toured with the Stones since their longtime sax-man Bobby Keys died. Phish-inspired area jammers Let’s Be Leonard open. 5 p.m. Rain site: Corning Preserve Boat Launch under I-787 at Colonie and Water Streets. 432-2032 www.albanyevents.org
POUR A DOUBLE AT OMMEGANG
Alt-alt-alt rockers Ween play at Brewery Ommegang on Friday, and LA indie popsters Foster the People take over on Saturday. With more ch-ch-changes than Bowie, Ween has struggled and triumphed through breakups, makeups, addictions, solo projects, even commercial fishing. But they never lost their lo-fi edge, punk pugnacity, homemade mythology or freewheeling fearlessness through nearly a dozen albums with 570 different lineups and hordes of guests. Now, they’re founders Gene and Dean Ween, guitars and vocals; Claude Coleman, Jr., drums; Dave Dreiwitz, bass; and Glenn McClelland, keyboards. 7 p.m. $50. 800-544-1809 www.ommegang.com
Despite some struggles in singer-songwriter Mark Foster’s past, his band Foster the People (with Sean Cimino, guitar; Isom Innis, keyboards; Mark Pontius, drums; sometimes others on tour) are SO sunny California that they played with the Beach Boys at the Grammys, along with fellow mainstream popsters Maroon 5. If their debut album “Torches” (2009) made them stars, “Supermodel” (2014) reached a clarity the debut lacked, while retaining their trademark uplift. Miya Folic opens. 7 p.m. $37.50
HARLEY ROCK ON LAKE GEORGE
Molly Hatchett — one of 12,665,291 bands inspired by the late, great Allman Brothers Band (five of the founding six have now died) — headlines at Americade (Charles R. Wood Park, Lake George) on Saturday. Formed in 1971 in Jacksonville, Fla., they scored their biggest hit in 1979, “Flirtin’ With Disaster,” and have rocked on despite the deaths of five former or active members. On Saturday, founding guitarist Dave Hlubek leads John Galvin, keyboards; Bobby Ingram, guitar; Phil McCormack, vocals; Tim Lindsey, bass; and Shawn Beamer, drums.
The Commander Cody Band and the Mallett Brothers open. Keyboardist-singer George “Commander Cody” Frayne has delivered a potent brew of country-rock swagger and honky-tonk get-down since 1967, with more than 20 albums to date. Relocating from California to near Saratoga some decades back, he set up shop hereabouts and now plays with Mark Emerick, guitar; Steve Barbuto, drums; Chris Olsen, pedal steel; and Randy Bramwell, bass. Led by guitar-playing, singing, storytelling/songwriting brothers Luke and Will Mallett, the Maine-based high-powered Americana Mallett Brothers could well steal this show. Their rocking debut “The Falling of the Pine: Songs from the Maine Woods” has both deep roots and wide wings of imagination. Along with the Mallett boys, they’re Chuck Gagne, drums; Nick Leen, bass; Andrew Martelle, fiddle and mandolin; and Wally — just Wally — guitar and dobro. Open. 9 p.m. $75, $25. 798-7888 www.lakegeorge.com
Our own Jim Gaudet, who is to rootsy singing and songwriting what William Kennedy is to prose writing, brings his Railroad Boys to the Cock ‘N’ Bull (5342 Parkis Mills Rd., Galway) on Friday. 8:30 p.m. 882-6962 www.thecocknbull.com
Longtime faves the Jeremy Wallace Trio — Wallace, guitar and piano; Matt Gruenberg, bass; and Tom Costagliola, drums — returns to Caffe Lena (47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs) on Friday. They’re bluesy, they’re folk-ish, and they rock. 8 p.m. $18 advance, $20 door; $10 students and children. 583-0022 www.caffelena.org
This follows Alan Epstein’s CD release party tonight at the Caffe. Longtime host of the Caffe’s bluegrass jam, Epstein plays mandolin with formerly Nashville-based guitarist Jim Prendergast tonight. 7 p.m. $12 advance, $15 door, $7.50 children and students
On Saturday, the Bovine Social Club takes over the Caffe. No, this isn’t the area country-rock crew Bovine that starred the late great Rick Morse. Bovine Social Club hails from Pennsylvania and spins bluegrassy, jazzy, twangy roots music around singer-songwriter Samuel Saint Thomas. Their diverse, driving, self-named debut album hit in 2012. 8 p.m. $16 advance, $18 door, $9 students and children