By Don Heckman
- Dec. 6 & 7. (Tues. & Wed.) Sophie Milman. The young Russian/Canadian singer has thoroughly established herself as one of the important new arrivals on the jazz scene. She’ll hopefully do a few selections from her latest CD, In the Moonlight. Catalina Bar & Grill (323) 466-2210.
- Dec. 7. (Wed.) Keb’ Mo’ It’s blues on the loose whenever Keb’ Mo’ is on stage. This time out he’ll no doubt sprinkle some holiday selections among his acoustic repertoire. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.
- Dec. 8. (Thurs.) Larry Koonse Quartet. He’s a second generation all-star guitarist, but Larry Koonse has also established a style, an attitude and a visibility all his own. He’s frequently seen in some one else’s rhythm section, so don’t miss this chance to see and hear him in the spotlight. Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400.
- Dec. 8 – 10. (Thurs. – Sat.) The Four Seasons. Amid all the holiday music of the season, it’ll a distinct alternative pleasure to hear Norwegian violinist/conductor Henning Kraggerud perform the always-engaging Vivaldi work – and especially the Winter segment — with the Pacific Symphony. Segerstrom Center for the Arts. (714) 556-2787.
- Dec. 8, 9 & 11. (Thurs., Fri. & Sun.) “The Hollywood Sound.” Thomas Wilkins conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic in an evening of memorable film music by the likes of Erich Korngold, Bernard Herrman, Elmer Bernstein, John Williams and more. The performance is part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time program. Disney Hall. (323) 850-2000.
- Dec. 9 – 11. (Fri. – Sun.) Kenny Werner Band. A pianist, composer and Guggenheim Fellowship winner, Werner leads a world-class jazz ensemble, featuring trumpeter Randy Brecker, saxophonist David Sanchez, bassist Scott Colley and drummer Antonio Sanchez. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210..
- Dec. 9. (Fri.) Holiday Pop! The Glendale Pops Orchestra is conducted by Matt Catingub in a program of holiday classics. Also featured: pianist David Benoit doing material from Vince Guaraldi’s A Charlie Brown Christmas and Grammy winner Taylor Dayne adds her own Christmas favorites. The Alex Theatre. (818) 243-2611.
- Dec. 10. (Sat.) The Colors of Christmas. This always festive holiday program has been arriving every year for nearly a decade. The current line up includes Grammy winners Peabo Bryson and Jennifer Holiday, Broadway star Lea Salonga and Tony award winner Ben Vereen. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. (562) 916-8501.
- Dec. 10 & 11. (Sat. & Sun.) “Reflection” The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. The Southland’s most gifted and adventurous chamber ensemble brings a colorful array of music to the holiday season in a program of Ravel, Tchaikovsky, Thomas Ades and Respighi. Jeffrey Kahane conducts and cellist Ralph Kirshbaum solos. Sat. The Alex Theatre. (818) 243-2539. Sun. Royce Hall. (310) 825-2101.
- Dec. 10 & 11. (Sat. & Sun.) Scarlet Stone. A mixed-media (music/dance/animation) look at ancient Persian mythology, Scarlet Stone also portrays to the current struggles within Iran. Freud Playhouse, U.C.L.A. (310) 825-2101.
- Dec. 11(Sun.) Rejoice: A Classical Christmas. Los Angeles Master Chorale. The gorgeous voices and articulate musicality of the LAMC are heard in a program of compelling Christmas compositions by Poulenc, Distler, Ferko and Lauridsen. Disney Hall. (323) 850-2000.
- Dec. 11. (Sun.) Otmaro Ruiz. Sunday night piano and bass duos at Vibrato are always sure to produce intriguing music. Expect that and more with the creative interaction between the adventurous composer/pianist Ruiz and the versatile bassist Pat Senatore. Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400.
- Dec. 11. (Sun.) ASMAC 2011 Holiday Celebration. The American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers celebrates the season with a Holiday Party, Silent Auction and More. The John Clayton Holiday Quartet performs, with Clayton, bass, Tamir Hendelman, piano, Graham Dechter, guitar, Kevin Kanner, drums. Brunch at 11:30 a.m. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.
- Dec. 10. (Sat.) Ahmad Jamal. The pianist Miles Davis often cited as a master or rhythmic space and time, Jamal is still demonstrating the essentials of how to bring life to the beat and imagination to the music. The Herbst Theatre. An SFJAZZ concert. (866) 920-5299.
= Dec. 8 – 11. (Thurs. – Sun.) Benny Golson Quartet. Veteran tenor saxophonist and composer of some of the most memorable works in the Great American Jazz songbook, Golson in live performance is always something to remember. Jazz Showcase. (312) 360-0234.
- Dec. 6 – 10. (Tues. – Sat.) The Frank Wess Quintet. Approaching his ninetieth birthday in January, multi-instrumentalist Wess continues to be one of the definitive jazz flutist as well as a superb saxophonist. Birdland. (212) 581-3080.
- Dec. 8 – 11. (Thurs. – Sun.) The Manhattan Transfer. For almost four decades the Transfer has been an incomparable model for jazz ensemble singing of every imaginable style, always done with impeccable musicality. Amazingly, they’re still at their best. Hear them at every opportunity. The Blue Note. (212) 475-8592.
- Dec. 8 – 11. (Thurs. – Sun.) Trumpeter Dave Douglas displays his full range of jazz versatility via performances with four different groups: Thurs.: the Key Motion Quintet. Fri.: So Percussion. Sat.: Orange Afternoons Quintet. Sun.: Brass Ecstasy. The Jazz Standard. (212) 576-2232.
- April 6 – 10. (Tues. – Sat.) Motown Christmas Review. Natalie Williams and her Soul Family Band celebrate the holiday season with the music of Smoky Robinson, Gladys Knight, Marvin Gaye, the Supremes, Michael Jackson and a lot more. Ronnie Scott’s. 020 7439 0747.
- April 10 – 12. (Sat. – Mon.) Kyle Eastwood. Bassist Eastwood has garnered a great deal of visibility as the son of jazz fan Clint Eastwood. But Kyle is a solid talent on his own well on his way to a sterling career as a talented bassist. Blue Note Tokyo. 03–5485-0088.