By Don Heckman
- May 15 – 20. (Tues. – Sun.) Jack DeJohnette, Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke celebrate Jack’s 70th birthday. It would be hard to ask for a more stellar trio than this. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear three authentically iconic jazz artists performing together. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.
- May 16. (Wed.) Gary Foster/Tom Ranier Quartet. And speaking of stellar, here’s a quartet — including Putter Smith, bass and Joe LaBarbera, drums – that shines pretty brightly, as well. They may be based solely in L.A., but they’ve got world class jazz credentials.. Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.
- May 16. (Wed.) Bern. Drummer Bernie Dresel leads his 12 piece, supercharged, funk-driven band in an evening at the Valley’s newest jazz room. The Federal. (818) 980-2555.
- May 17. (Thurs.) Annie Trousseau. This multi-lingual world music sextet is led by Colombian/America singer/songwriter Ana Maria Lombo in a program reaching from Edith Piaf to Antonio Carlos Jobim. Vibrato. .(310) 474-9400.
May 19. (Sat.) Barbara Cook. Tony Award-winning (for Music Man) Cook has been concentrating on cabaret and concert music for the past four decades. And, at 84, she is still a captivating singer. Valley Performing Arts Center. (818) 677-3000. The Valley Performing Arts Center regretfully announces that due to an unexpected reaction to medication, Barbara Cook has been forced to postpone her performance originally scheduled at the Valley Performing Arts Center Great hall on Saturday, May 19, 2012. This concert has been rescheduled to Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 8 pm. Tickets for the May 19 date will be honored on June 30. Requests for refund must be made to the VPAC box office by June 5.
- May 19. (Sat.) Elaine Stritch. “Singin’ Sondheim…One Song at a Time.” One of the great, charismatic Broadway performers, Stritch makes her Disney Hall debut with what will surely be a memorable program. Disney Hall. (323) 850-2000.
- May 19. (Sat.) Luckman Jazz Orchestra. A Tribute to Charlie Parker. The LJO pays much deserved tribute to alto saxophonist Parker, one of the two or three most powerfully influential figures in the history of jazz. Luckman Performing Arts Center. (323) 323-4600.
- May 18 – 20. (Fri. – Sun.) The Brad Mehldau Trio. Firmly established as a vital, influential pianist, Mehldau’s current group – with bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard — has set high standards for the contemporary jazz piano trio. An SFJAZZ 2012 Spring Season event at the YBCA Forum. (866) 920-5299.
- May 17 – 20. (Thurs. – Sun.) The Roy Haynes Fountain of Youth Band. The name is well chosen for drummer Haynes, who – at 87 – continues to superbly lead groups consisting of players young enough to be his grand children. Blues Alley. (202) 337-4141.
- May 15 – 19. (Tues. – Sat.) Joey DeFrancesco Trio with special guest George Coleman. It’s a great combination – the effervescent B-3 organ drive of DeFrancesco with the solid, blue-inflected saxophone of Coleman. Birdland. (212) 581-3080.
- May 16 – 19. (Wed. – Sat.) Brian McKnight and the Duke Ellington Orchestra. The rich, golden voice of McKnight surrounded by the incomparable Ellington Orchestra timbres – should make for a great musical evening. McKnight’s The Blue Note. (212) 475-8592.
- May 17 – 20. (Thurs. – Sun.) The Gil Evans Centennial Project. Directed by Ryan Truesdell. A different Evans program will be presented on each night by a prime New York big band, reaching from Evans’ work for the Claude Thornhill Band to his own recordings in the ‘50s and ‘60s. The Jazz Standard. /red/index.html (212) 576-2232.
- May 16 – 18. (Wed. – Fri.) Al Di Meola World Sinfonia. Always versatile, moving across stylistic areas with ease, guitarist Di Meola’s current group cruises affectingly through lush harmonies and stirring world rhythms. Ronnie Scott’s. 020 7439 0747.
- May 16. (Wed.) The Lynne Arriale Trio featuring Benny Golson. Pianist Arriale and veteran composer and saxophonist Golson get together for some lively, cross-generational jazz. A-Trane. 030 / 313 25 50.
- May 17 & 18. (Thurs. & Fri.) Lee Ritenour and Dave Grusin. Guitarist Ritenour and keyboardist/composer Grusin are long time musical companions, recording and playing together frequently over the yeas. Hopefully they’ll offer some selections from their superb Two Worlds album. The Blue Note Milano. 02.69.01.68.88.