Put aside any notion of hibernation as far as live music in the region is concerned. There is already a wealth of concerts scheduled for 2015, and it gets underway as soon as next weekend.
Understandably, much of the confirmed entertainment is spread throughout the winter months and into the spring, with especially active performance rosters planned for the Norton Center for the Arts in Danville and the EKU Center for the Arts in Richmond. But for those making long-range plans, there are already shows set well into next fall.
Here is how the first part of 2015 shapes up concert-wise, along with a brief preview of some major attractions in store for later in the year.
Jan. 9: Travis Tritt, Lexington Opera House, 401 West Short Street. The year begins with — what else? — country music and a regional return by one of the artists who helped define the genre in the '90s. (8 p.m.; $44.50, $54.50). Lexingtonoperahouse.com.
Never miss a local story.
Jan.16: Ken Vandermark and Nate Wooley, Mecca, 946 Manchester Street. Chicago reed player and bandleader Vandermark, a cornerstone artist of the Outside the Spotlight series, returns for a duo performance with trumpeter Wooley. (8 p.m., $5) WRFL.fm.
Jan. 16: Miranda Lambert/ Justin Moore/RaeLynn, Rupp Arena, 430 West Vine Street. Country star Lambert returns with four Grammy nominations for her recent album, Platinum, and concurrent fifth nods as CMA and ACM female vocalist of the year. (7:30 p.m.; $29.75-$54.75). Rupparena.com.
Jan. 17: Lee Ann Womack, Norton Center for the Arts, 600 West Walnut Street, Danville. Some of Lambert's Grammy competition for best country album will come from fellow Texan Womack, who has been nominated for her Americana-inclined The Way I'm Livin'. (8 p.m., $38, $49). Nortoncenter.com.
Jan. 28: Keb' Mo', Lexington Opera House. It has been barely a year since this contemporary blues, soul and pop stylist played the Opera House. Now he is back with a new Grammy-nominated album, BLUESAmericana. (7:30 p.m., $45.50). Lexingtonoperahouse.com.
Jan. 31 and Feb. 1: 2001: A Space Odyssey Live, Singletary Center for the Arts, 405 Rose Street. Stanley Kubrick's 1968 masterpiece is well known for its integration of story and music. This presentation will be the entire movie, with the music played live by the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra and UK Chorale. (7:30 p.m. Jan. 31, 3 p.m. Feb. 1. $20-$40). Singletarycenter.com.
Feb. 5: Cyrille Aimee, Norton Center for the Arts. A French-reared vocalist with a devotion to gypsy jazz, Aimee covers a wide range on her 2013 album It's a Good Day, including Michael Jackson and Duke Ellington. (7:30 p.m., $38, $49). Nortoncenter.com.
Feb. 5: Yonder Mountain String Band, Kentucky Theatre, 214 East Main Street. Here we have a show reshuffled in terms of personnel (mandolinist Jeff Austin out, fiddler Allie Kral and mandolinist Jake Jolliff in) and venue (originally scheduled at the recently defunct Buster's, now rebooked for the Kentucky Theatre). (7 p.m.). Kentuckytheater.com.
Feb. 7: Gregory Porter, EKU Center for the Arts, Eastern Kentucky University, 521 Lancaster Avenue, Richmond. One of the most heralded new jazz singers of recent years, the baritone-powered Porter's Liquid Spirit won the 2014 Grammy for best jazz vocal album. (7:30 p.m.; $35-$42). EKUcenter.com.
Feb. 13: Sundy Best, Lexington Opera House. The Lexington via Prestonsburg duo of Nick Jamerson and Kris Bentley come home for a performance that celebrates the release of their third album, Salvation City. (8 p.m., $25). Lexingtonoperahouse.com.
Feb. 24: The Hot Sardines, EKU Center for the Arts. A sensation in their native New York, the Hot Sardines use the combo-style "hot jazz" of the 1920s, '30s and '40s as the foundation for a vibrant swing sound. (7:30 p.m.; $20). EKUcenter.com.
Feb. 27: Cameron Carpenter, Norton Center for the Arts. A distinctive and controversial organist, Carpenter has mastered various repertoires, composed his own works and designed his own digital organ for touring. (8 p.m.; $25-$46). Nortoncenter.com.
March 8: Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy, EKU Center for the Arts. MacMaster is a champion Cape Breton fiddler, and husband Leahy fiddles (and dances and more) with the Ontario family folk troupe that bears his surname. (3 p.m.; $31.50-$36). EKUcenter.com.
March 12: Audra McDonald, EKU Center for the Arts. Six-time Tony winner McDonald whittles a lifetime of song — Broadway, opera, pop and more — into a single performance. (7:30 p.m.; $53.50-$65). EKUcenter.com.
March 16: Solas, Grand Theater in Frankfort, 308 St. Clair Street. The veteran Irish-American band, led by founding members Seamus Egan and Winifred Horan, examines folk tradition through an array of predominantly original music. (7:30 p.m.; $15-$30). Grandtheatrefrankfort.org.
March 19: Kronos Quartet, EKU Center for the Arts. The pioneering string quartet returns with a new repertoire that includes a commissioned piece by Alexander Vrebalov titled Beyond Zero: 1914-1918. (7:30 p.m.; $35.50-$43). EKUcenter.org.
March 21: ZZ Top/Ben Miller Band, Norton Center for the Arts. With bassist Dusty Hill back in action after a hip injury, ZZ Top brings its steadfast boogie formula ("same three guys, same three chords") to Danville. (8 p.m., $85-$115). Nortoncenter.com.
April 3: Joshua Bell and the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, Singletary Center for the Arts, 405 Rose Street. The heralded violinist and current music director for the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields teams with the UK Symphony to perform Max Bruch's popular Violin Concerto No. 1. (7:30 p.m.; $45-$85). Singletarycenter.com.
April 17 and 18: Ainadamar — Fountain of Tears, Lexington Opera House. The Lexington Philharmonic teams with Louisville's Kentucky Opera and the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre to present a semi-staged version of Argentinian composer Osvaldo Golijov's eclectic and multifaceted work. (7:30 p.m. nightly, $25-$100). Lexphil.org.
April 25: Roseanne Cash, EKU Center for the Arts. One of the most revered names in Americana music returns to showcase the Southern laced song of her fine The River and the Thread album. (7:30 p.m.; $40.50-$49). EKUcenter.com.
Later in the year
Also on tap for later in 2015 will be '60s rock vets Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels (May 8, Grand Theater in Frankfort), the reteamed and realigned bluegrass ensemble Hot Rize (May 29, Lyric Theatre), the Festival of the Bluegrass (June 11 to 14, Kentucky Horse Park Campground), cross-generational Americana greats John Prine and Amanda Shires (June 26, Singletary Center for the Arts), and the plan-ahead return of Taylor Swift (Oct. 20, Rupp Arena).