A renaissance man of the highest tier, there’s any number of ways you may have run into the work of James McBride. His memoir, The Color of Water, one of his novels, or his journalistic pieces are likely. Or maybe it was the music he composed for Spike Lee’s Red Hook Summer or TV’s Barney and Friends. He also plays a mean sax with his jazz-gospel quartet. The native New Yorker’s newest fictional venture is The Good Lord Bird, a historical bildungs-roman about a young slave forced to disguise himself as a woman while traveling the continent with radical abolitionist John Brown. To celebrate the novel’s win of the 2013 National Book Award, McBride reads and discusses the work, and performs with his Good Lord Bird Band.

Sat., Jan. 25, 7 p.m., 2014