MAXWELL at the Beacon Theater (Dec. 9, 8 p.m.). Of the 1990s neo-soul artists who made a mainstream impact, the Brooklyn-born crooner Maxwell might have been the most unlikely: His delicate, understated style was hardly irresistible radio fodder (though his work has long been a staple of adult R&B stations), and his deliberate, complex ballads seemed ill suited to court anyone beyond R&B purists. Despite this outlier status, not long after Maxwell returned from a seven-year hiatus, he found himself surrounded by artists who took his influence and ran with it, like Miguel, Frank Ocean and Daniel Caesar. Now, Maxwell’s sound seems ubiquitous.
THE MIDNIGHT HOUR at the McKittrick Hotel (Dec. 13, 10:30 p.m.; Dec. 14, 12:15 a.m.). The D.J. and producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad (A Tribe Called Quest) and the composer Adrian Younge have long operated in the same circles, but a commission to create the soundtrack for Netflix’s “Luke Cage” series helped foster a more official musical partnership. As the Midnight Hour, the duo pushes toward a vision of hip-hop that’s polished but uncompromising, and complex without being inaccessible. Another explicit source of inspiration is the Harlem Renaissance, so fittingly there’s a fair amount of jazz in the mix — the boom-bap grooves, though, remain central.
STEVE MILLER AND MARTY STUART at the Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center (Dec. 7-8, 8 p.m.). Miller, a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, will continue his lifelong exploration of the blues during this two-night run, which honors the music of Appalachia. He’ll be joined by Stuart, a bona fide country legend who spent five years playing guitar and singing backup vocals for Johnny Cash. Stuart’s band, the Fabulous Superlatives, will also be present for what promises to be a down-home show.
JUSTUS PROFFIT AND JAY SOM at Baby’s All Right (Dec. 7, 8 p.m.). Proffit, a singer-songwriter, and the multi-instrumentalist Melina Duterte — who performs under the name Jay Som — have achieved indie rock without pretension on their stripped-down joint EP “Nothing’s Changed.” Separately, Duterte’s music skews more toward garage rock and Proffit’s toward gentler, almost folksy fare; on this project, they more or less meet in the middle. The songs are rough around the edges but still have pop flair thanks to jaunty guitar riffs and retro harmonies. “You have aged and nothing’s changed,” they sing on the title track, somehow making existential resignation sound appealing.