NONAME at Brooklyn Steel (Jan. 5-6, 8 p.m.). Upon first listen, the Chicago rapper’s music sounds laid-back and understated. “I make lullaby rap music,” she explained recently on Twitter, a description as concise and apt as most of her rapid-fire yet still conversational verses. But even though her volume rarely goes above piano, Noname has attitude and depth to spare as she raps over asymmetrical grooves that have a live, unprocessed sound. On her recent full-length debut “Room 25,” there are lines salacious enough to garner their own headlines alongside philosophical manifestos, as on “No Name”: “’Cause when we walk into heaven, nobody’s name’s gonna exist/Just boundless movement for joy, nakedness radiance.” Both shows are sold out, but tickets are available via the secondary market.
OZOMATLI at Sony Hall (Jan. 5, 7:30 p.m.). The Los Angeles band’s goal has long been to capture that they see as a melange of genres: cumbia, salsa, rock, hip-hop, reggae and funk. This past year was the 20th anniversary of their self-titled debut album, which earned them a spot opening for Santana on the 1999 “Supernatural” tour. Since, they’ve been among the most reliable purveyors of Latin rock, often foregrounding issues around immigration, social justice and worker’s rights (the band’s members first met while trying to unionize a community center).
CL SMOOTH at S.O.B.’s (Jan. 10, 8 p.m.). When the rapper released his best-known single “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)” alongside producer Pete Rock, he was just 23. Over two decades later, the song’s carefully crafted bars and jazz-sampling beat remain etched in hip-hop history, giving its titular reminiscence new meaning. In a recent interview, CL Smooth reflected on how the music has evolved since the duo’s heyday during what’s often called hip-hop’s golden age. “I wouldn’t change anything.”
GLOBALFEST at the Copacabana (Jan. 6, 7 p.m.). As always, the 16th annual Globalfest features a broad range of acts from across the world. Highlights this year include the Calcutta-based Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya, who plays Indian ragas on the slide guitar, in a style descended of the sitar; the Cuban mambo revivalists of Orquesta Akokán; and Gato Preto, an electronic duo exploring music from across the African diaspora. All told, the evening boasts performances from a dozen bands across three stages at the Copacabana, one of Manhattan’s most storied nightclubs.
CRAIG HARRIS at Nublu 151 (Jan. 6, 7 p.m.). Harris, a trombonist, is celebrating the release of “Brown Butterfly,” an ambitious album paying homage to the legacy of Muhammad Ali. The suite laces gnarled horn arrangements and spoken tributes to Ali over protean rhythms, drawing on influences as varied as Count Basie’s big band and the drum-and-bass of 1990s London; the music emulates the rugged grace and mercurial power of Ali in the ring. Harris’s band includes Kahlil Kwame Bell on percussion, Calvin Jones on bass, Adam Klipple on piano, Tony Lewis on drums and Jay Rodriguez on saxophone.