It's not that the Headhunters aren't grateful to Herbie Hancock, the jazz great who recruited them as his backing band 32 years ago. "But Herbie kinda kept a lid on things," says drummer Mike Clark. "We're much more adventurous now. Herbie kept things in line. He used to tell us, 'Don't take it so far out.' But fans want to hear that old stuff, so we play it."
The latest version of the group includes a trio of vets alongside a pair of younger players. "I never really think about it like that," says Clark. "We're all growing, but those guys are growing real fast. They have a real understanding of jazz, both on and off the bandstand." The Headhunters are at the Beachland Ballroom (15711 Waterloo Road) at 8 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets are $22; call 216-383-1124. -- Michael Gallucci
Plays explore chick issues.
Once Maureen Brady Johnson wrote Harvesting the Marigold Seeds, the local drama teacher became one of the Women on the Verge of . . . Figuring It Out. The mini-fest of two one-acts is the brainchild of the Red Hen troupe. In Johnson's offering, four women discuss problems as they work out in the gym. "It has to do with traditions passed down from mothers to daughters," says Johnson. The second play, Nicolle Nattrass' Brownie Points, is advice from the world's oldest Brownie. "It's a woman's version of Peter Pan," says Nattrass. "But it touches on some very serious things." Performances are at Cleveland Black Box Theatre (1210 West 6th Street) Thursday through June 26. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $18; call 216-556-0910. -- Cris Glaser
For its latest album, Stand Up, the Dave Matthews Band enlisted producer Mark Batson -- best known for his behind-the-boards work with Eminem, 50 Cent, and the Game -- to contemporize its by-now formulaic sound. And while Batson certainly sparks the CD with more active beats and springier rhythms, Stand Up is still pretty much a DMB record, complete with violin flourishes, stammering guitars, and Matthews' cloudy worldview. Onstage is where it all comes together for the group, which is at Blossom Music Center (1145 West Steels Corners Road in Cuyahoga Falls) at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets are $40 and $58, available by calling 216-241-5555. -- Michael Gallucci