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An Addictive, Contemporary Autumn Of Jazz And Classical Music

Jazz opens up new portals in your brain. It's well documented. Improvised tones and grooves zoom down unexplored pathways, expanding and contracting your gray matter while scrambling your neurons. It's addictive. Here are six fall jazz shows that are likely to restructure your musical DNA.

Matt Wilson Quartet: Drummer/composer Matt Wilson's new album, "Honey and Salt," pays tribute to American poet and biographer Carl Sandburg (1878-1967). He'll perform with cornetist Ron Miles, saxophonist Jeff Lederer, bassist Martin Wind and guitarist/vocalist Dawn Thomson. Sept. 22, 8:30 p.m., $35. Side Door, Old Lyme. 860-434-2600, thesidedoorjazz.com.

Somi: On "Petite Afrique," her latest album, the Harlem resident and sonic storyteller tackles the growing problem of gentrification in New York City, even dueting with singer Aloe Blacc on "The Gentry." Oct. 13, 8 p.m., $28. Crowell Concert Hall, Wesleyan University, Middletown. 860-685-3355, wesleyan.edu.

Christian McBride: McBride, a bassist and the new artistic director of the Newport Jazz Festival, celebrates the life and music of the late Ray Brown. Oct. 28, 8 p.m., $42.50. Ridgefield Playhouse, Ridgefield. 203-438-5795, ridgefieldplayhouse.org.

Kamasi Washington: The Los Angeles-based saxophonist/composer barged his way into the mainstream with his 2015 triple album "The Epic." Nov. 18, 8 p.m. $25-$35. Calvin Theatre, Northampton, Mass. 413-584-1444, iheg.com.

Cécile McLorin Salvant: One of the premier singer-composers and musical interpreters in contemporary America returns to Connecticut for a show at Yale as part of the Ellington Jazz Series. Dec. 1, 7:30 p.m. $10. Morse Recital Hall, Yale University, New Haven. 203-432-4158 and music.yale.edu.

Larry Ochs, Gerald Cleaver & Nels Cline: Three experimental musicians combine forces at Firehouse 12, a venue that's no stranger to exploration. Dec. 8, 8:30 p.m., $15-$35. Firehouse 12, New Haven. 203-785-0468, firehouse12.com.

A Classical Season

Classical music, whether you're talking centuries-old classics or contemporary works, asks you to put everything aside — thoughts, concerns, smartphones — and strap in. Think of it as a roller coaster for your ears: placid, slow climbs lead to harmonic twists and turns, toward hair-raising climaxes. Consider these six events the best rides at this season's sonic amusement park.

New Haven Symphony Orchestra: The Brown-Urioste-Canellakis Trio plays Beethoven's Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Piano and conductor William Boughton leads the NHSO through works by Marquez, Britten, Gabrielli and Walker. Sept. 28, 7:30 p.m., $15-$74. Woolsey Hall, New Haven, 203-865-0831, newhavensymphony.org.

Heath Quartet: The forward-thinking string quartet kicks off the Garmany Series with a two-day mini-residency (Oct. 19 and 20) and a concert of quartets by Haydn, Mendelssohn, Sir Michael Tippett and Jörg Widmann. Oct. 19, 7:30 p.m., $25-$35. Millard Auditorium, University of Hartford, West Hartford, 860-768-4100, hartford.edu.

Strauss & the Sublime: The HSO Sunday Serenades season opener surrounds landscape paintings by 19th-century Scandinavian artists with the sounds of Grieg, Strauss and Halvorsen. Nov. 19, 2 p.m., $30. Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, 860-987-5900, thewadsworth.org.

Roomful of Teeth: One of the most exciting vocal ensembles of the past half-century knows few musical boundaries. Oct. 27, 8 p.m., $26-$28. Crowell Concert Hall, Wesleyan University, Middletown, 860-685-2000, wesleyan.edu.

Moscow State Symphony: Conductor Pavel Kogan and cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan take one of Russia's greatest orchestras through Schumann's Cello Concerto in A Minor (Op. 129), Wagner's Tristan und Isolde Overture and Sibelius' Second Symphony. Nov. 9, 7:30 p.m. Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts, Storrs, 860-486-4226, jorgensen.uconn.edu.

December Dreams: Grab some holiday spirit with conductor Adam Boyles and principal oboist Heather Taylor leading the HSO through Jennifer Higdon's Oboe Concerto, Henry Fry's Santa Claus (Christmas Symphony) and selections from Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker." Dec. 8 to 10, 8 p.m. and 3 p.m., $35-$68. The Bushnell, Hartford, 860-987-5900, hartfordsymphony.org.

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