How many viola players can brag that they’ve worked with Jay-Z and Kanye West? At least one: Marla Hansen. Her anomalous association with the hip-hop world is, however, not her only claim to fame. Hansen’s list of credentials including backing the New Pornographers, the National, and pretty much any other vaguely indie-flavored band that has at one point or another required a viola. Emerging from behind the string section to explore her own range of melody, Hansen took care of the songwriting and vocals on 2007’s Wedding Day EP while some of her more famous friends filled in the background. Backed by a slew of collaborators, she plucks her way through six tracks of indie-folk, and now she’s taking the familiarly sunshiny sound on tour. It’s doubtful that Jay-Z will make a guest appearance at any of her live solo shows, but you never know.
Hansen performs with Jens Lekman and the Honeydrips at 8 p.m. at the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. $13. (202) 667-7960. —-Matthew A. Stern