Willie Nelson's Country Throwdown Tour: Modesty becomes "new traditionalist" Jamey Johnson, a special featured guest on Willie N's tour opening right here at the Mann today. Jamey joked the other day that he'd be operating at half capacity, cause he normally does a whole lot of Nelson tunes. But truthfully, JJ's got plenty of "A" material to wow 'ya, including those big hits he wrote for George Strait ("Give It Away") and Trace Adkins ("Honky Tonk Bedonkadonk"). A big and diverse event, with intimate side stages active in the afternoon, you'll also find the likes of Randy Houser, Lee Brice, Brantley Gilbert, Craig Campbell, Lukas Nelson & The Promise of the Real and Drake White getting the spotlight treatment. And even more new faces will emerge to woo your country heart, round-robin-style, on the Bluebird Cafe Stage.
Mann Center for the Performing Arts, 52nd Street and Parkside Avenue, 3:30 -11 p.m. today, $25, $29.50, $35, $59.50, $79.50, $89.50, 1-800-745-3000, www.manncenter.org.
D-M-S: Jazz comes in many forms — funky, bluesy, mellow, worldly. The all-star trio of George Duke (keyboards), Marcus Miller (bassist) and David Sanborn (saxophone) will likely tap into some of each in their first joint show here. These bad-to-the-bone players have been jamming in recent years aboard the Smooth Jazz Cruise, also sponsors of their landlubber tour. Each guy has a crazy side, but that's a good thing. Drummer Louis Cato and keyboardist Federico Gonzalez Pena flesh out the lineup.
Keswick Theatre, Easton Road and Keswick Avenue, Glenside, 8 p.m. Thursday, $49.50-$59.50, 215-572-7650, www.keswicktheatre.com.
Dwele: Been looking for a good reason to check out the snazzy new World Cafe Live at the Queen in Wilmington? Here it is: neo-soul artist Dwele. First exposed through collaborative recordings with Slum Village, Bahamadia, Common and Kanye West, Dwele has taken inspiration from the greats of jazz, funk and quiet storm music. And he splits the difference smartly on his most recent audio time capsule "W.ants.W.orld.W.omen" with sophisticated grooves and lyrics longing for love, peace and justice.
World Cafe Live at the Queen, 500 N. Market St., doors open 7 p.m. Thursday, show at 8 p.m. $24/$27, 302-504-9551, http://queentickets.worldscafelive.com.
— Jonathan Takiff