Which makes it all the more impressive that Hall is such an in-demand sideman. Most recently, he finished up a record with legendary New Orleans pianist John Cleary. "I'm floored that I even know him," Hall says. "The band we put together for that album I think is the most perfect band that I've ever played in." Which is saying something, considering the people he's played with.

Right now he's playing with the Headhunters. Yeah, Herbie Hancock's band. Oh, and he's got an all-original thing going with Portland drummer Nikki Glaspie and Nate Edgar (John Brown's Body) and a few others called Nth Power. They're making a record, but "I don't know when it's going to be out," Hall says. "We've all got so much going on. But I'm really excited about it. If I'm never in another band, I just want to be in that one."

As for this weekend, expect to see Ryan Zoidis ("he's one of my besties," Hall laughs), plus Adam Smirnoff and Eric Krasno of Lettuce, and plenty more friends and musical family. "We're just going to have a good time," Hall says, "just like if there was a parking ban and nobody would show up . . . Which is probably what will happen if I know Portland." ^

NIGEL HALL | at the Big Easy, 55 Market St, Portland | March 29 @ 9 pm | $12

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