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This weekend’s best Tampa Bay concerts: Johnny Mathis, Jermaine Dupri

Queensryche, Branford Marsalis, Steve Aoki and an Iron Maiden side project round out the top picks.
Jermaine Dupri poses for a photo on the red carpet at the grand opening of Tyler Perry Studios on Oct. 5, 2019, in Atlanta. [ELIJAH NOUVELAGE  |  Invision/AP]
Jermaine Dupri poses for a photo on the red carpet at the grand opening of Tyler Perry Studios on Oct. 5, 2019, in Atlanta. [ELIJAH NOUVELAGE | Invision/AP]
Published Jan. 15

SO SO DEF: JERMAINE DUPRI

He may not get the same attention as Puffy or DJ Khaled, but as a mogul-turned-performer, Jermaine Dupri has turned out a heck of a resume, leading the way on a few big hits (Money Ain’t a Thang, Welcome to Atlanta) and featuring on numerous others (Dem Franchize Boyz’s I Think They Like Me, Lil Bow Wow’s Bounce With Me). But his legacy is greater behind the scenes, where he helped launch TLC, Kris Kross and Xcape; and collaborated with Usher, Mariah Carey and Destiny’s Child. In 2018, he became only the second rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. It’s about time he took a few victory laps as a performer. J-Kwon, Liyah and DJ Blondie open. $40 and up. 10 p.m. Friday. Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, 5223 Orient Road, Tampa. (813) 387–9838. seminolehardrocktampa.com.

LEGENDARY PIPES: JOHNNY MATHIS

Christmas was last month, which means we (probably) won’t get to hear Johnny Mathis croon out his many beloved holiday singles. But there are still plenty of good reasons to celebrate the 84-year-old legend, now in his seventh decade of stardom and still melting hearts coast to coast. Mathis still has a way with the Great American Songbook, which is no surprise, considering some of his best-known hits (Chances Are, Misty) pretty much are the Great American Songbook. Get in the mood, and he’ll still warm you up like a fireside snifter of brandy. $35 and up. 8 p.m. Saturday. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.

Johnny Mathis will perform at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Jan. 18. [Courtesy of Jeff Dunas]

SEATTLE’S BEST? QUEENSRYCHE

Prog-metal brainiacs Queensryche came out of Seattle 40 years ago, but they’ve almost become kind of a Tampa Bay band. After singer Geoff Tate left the band in 2012, he was replaced by Todd La Torre, formerly of the local bands Crimson Glory and Rising West. And when drummer Scott Rockenfield went on hiatus in 2017, he was replaced on tour by Casey Grillo from Tampa power metal veterans Kamelot. The La Torre-Grillo version of Queensryche has performed locally, but never in a proper headlining show. So they’re overdue for some hometown love. $27.50 and up. 8 p.m. Saturday. Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 565-0550. jannuslive.com.

Queensryche will play Jannus Live in St. Petersburg on Jan. 18. [Courtesy of Grizzlee Martin]

ECLECTIC GUEST: STEVE AOKI

Steve Aoki: Electronic music impresario, son of renowned restaurateur Rocky Aoki and, anytime he feels like it, festival-conquering DJ. The hard-touring, cake-hurling producer is not only an influential EDM figure thanks to his label Dim Mak, but a prominent artist in his own right, recruiting the likes of Sting and the Backstreet Boys to sing hooks on his forthcoming album Neon Future IV. (Eclectic collaborators are another Aoki hallmark; his last album featured BTS, Blink-182, Lady Antebellum and Bill Nye the Science Guy. Really.) This weekend, he’ll take a break from residency at MGM Grand’s Hakkasan in Las Vegas for a fun-filled one-nighter in Florida. $45 and up. 10 p.m. Saturday. Ritz Ybor, 1503 E Seventh Ave., Tampa. (813) 390-0397. ritzybor.com.

Steve Aoki will peform at the Ritz Ybor in Tampa on Jan. 18. [MSO PR]

JAZZ MASTER: BRANFORD MARSALIS

Branford Marsalis was never the right fit for The Tonight Show. Jay Leno’s former bandleader was a game participant in bits in the early ’90s, but he was a hugely respected musician before and during that stint, performing with everyone from the Grateful Dead and Sting to his own eponymous jazz quartet. He keeps pushing his music in different directions, receiving a Tony nomination for composing the music to a revival of August Wilson’s Fences, and reaping yet another Grammy nomination — his 18th — for his latest album, The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul. At his “evening with" performance this weekend, he’ll play sideman to no one, sharing the stage with only his own band. $54.50 and up. 8 p.m. Saturday. Central Park Performing Arts Center, 105 Central Park Drive, Largo. (727) 587-6793. largoarts.com.

Branford Marsalis performs during the Ellis Marsalis Family Tribute at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival on April 28, 2019, in New Orleans. [AMY HARRIS | Invision/AP]

IRON MAN: BRITISH LION

Steve Harris has hobbies, just like you and me. When he’s not jetting around the world as the founding bassist and primary songwriter for metal icons Iron Maiden, he’s got a side project, British Lion, that scratches a creative rock itch that rumbling through Run to the Hills and The Number of the Beast for the millionth time just can’t. British Lion has never embarked on a proper U.S. tour, but with Friday’s release of their new album The Burning, Harris has decided that should change. So starting this weekend in Florida, he and his non-Maiden bandmates will travel around the country — presumably not aboard Ed Force One — playing small clubs like the Brass Mug. For Iron Maiden fans, it’s a rare opportunity to catch the leader of one of the biggest rock bands on the planet in very close quarters. Picture Books, Jetter and Level the Planet open. $28.50 and up. 6 p.m. Sunday. Brass Mug, 1450 Skipper Road, Tampa. (813) 972-8152.

British Lion, featuring Iron Maiden founder and bassist Steve Harris, will play the Brass Mug in Tampa on Jan. 19. [Courtesy of John McMurtrie]

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  2. AJR performs during 97X Next Big Thing at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa in 2018.
  3. Rezz will perform at the 2020 Sunset Music Festival at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
  4. Musician Kerry Courtney, a former "American Idol" contestant, poses for a portrait on Feb. 10 in St. Petersburg.
  5. Country crooner Doug Stone headlines this weekend's Florida Bluegrass Classic at Florida Classic Park in eastern Brooksville. Stone performs at 8:30 p.m. Feb. 22. He is known for hits such as "I’d Be Better Off (In a Pine Box)" and "A Jukebox With a Country Song."
  6. The Hernando Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor Michele DiLuzio, will present the Spectrum concert this weekend at the Central High School theater. Courtesy of Jeff Turner
  7. Mick Jagger, left, and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones perform during their concert at the Rose Bowl on Aug. 22, 2019, in Pasadena, Calif.
  8. This image released by Fox shows host Nick Cannon, left, with Lil Wayne in the third season premiere of "The Masked Singer," which aired after the Super Bowl. The special edition of the show, with Lil' Wayne as the mystery guest, had its biggest audience ever Sunday when 23.7 million people watched it, the Nielsen company said.
  9. Willie Nelson performs in 2017 in Nashville, Tenn.
  10. Roddy Ricch will headline Wild 94.1's Wild Splash festival on March 7 in Clearwater's Coachman Park.
  11. The Struts will perform at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg on June 12.
  12. Melanie Martinez will perform at the Yuengling Center in Tampa on July 2.
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