Opening Up

When Who's on First Is What Matters

CRISTINA BRANCO
October 13
Symphony Space, Broadway and 95th Street, 864-5400
A subtle and somber music of ecstatic despair, the Portuguese fado style was personified by the late Amalia Rodrigues. Branco, Rodrigues's young heir, may not deliver as much saudade (an "exquisite sense of loss") as her predecessor, but she nonetheless possesses a beautiful voice and, accompanied by her guitarist-songwriter husband Custodio Castelo, keeps the fado tradition alive on her own terms. (Gehr)

ELVIS COSTELLO
October 22-23
Beacon Theater, 2124 Broadway, 496-7070
October 28
New Jersey Performing Arts Center, 1 Center Street, Newark, New Jersey, 888-466-5722
He hopped off the middle-age-crisis merry-go-round with a goodly number of brass rings—classical cred and a thumbs-up from Bacharach, for starters—in hand. For his latest trick, ole Declan has wriggled back into the angry-young-man duds he sported two decades back. The fit is far from perfect, but there aren't many performers of his generation—or even the current one—who wear the style as well. (Sprague)

DJELIMADY TOUNKARA
November 10
Symphony Space, Broadway and 95th Street, 864-5400
In July, leading a Super Rail Band that had slackened slightly since their New York debut at Lincoln Center a year before, perhaps because the fresh air at Central Park SummerStage reminded them of street parties in Bamako, the Malian guitarist stepped a little further forward and proved once again that he deserves to be more famous than Ali Farka Toure. Live he will presumably showcase his superb live album, thus stepping even further forward. Don't fret about it. He can take the heat, and so can his songs. (Christgau)

CAETANO VELOSO
November 22
Beacon Theater, 2124 Broadway, 496-7070
November 23
New Jersey Performing Arts Center, 1 Center Street, Newark, New Jersey, 888-466-5722
The challenging and highly entertaining Brazilian singer-songwriter paints himself as an aesthete of the highest order in the forthcoming translation of his autobiography, Tropical Truth. In person, however, he's all pop star—a seductive Bahian hybrid seemingly informed equally by Bob Dylan, Bryan Ferry, Peter Gabriel, Charles Aznavour, and, of course, bossa boss Antonio Carlos Jobim. (Gehr)

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