Picks of the Week: Feb. 16 – 22

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Mon David

– Feb. 17. (Tues.)  Mon David.  The Filipino singer has all the skills to emerge as one of the breakout male jazz vocal talents of the year.  Vibrato.   (310) 474-9400.  www.vibratogrilljazz.com

– Feb. 17. (Tues.)  “Tales From the Diva Den” featuring Kristin Korb, Inga Swearingen, Kathleen Grace.  They may be divas, but they’re jazz artists first, with each offering a unique slant on how to bring a song alive. Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.  www.catalinajazzclub.com.

– Feb. 18 – 21. (Wed. – Sat.)  Mose Allison and Tom Warrington.  The inimitable Bard of the Bayou, his songs and his piano.  With the impeccable support of Warrington’s bass playing.  Jazz Bakery  (310) 271-9039.  www.jazzbakery.com.

Joan Baez, photo by Dana Tynan

– Feb. 19. (Thurs.)  Joan Baez.  A pop icon if there ever was one.  Baez’s latest CD, “Day After Tomorrow,” was her first to chart on the Billboard Top 200 in 28 years.  And with good reason; her voice is still a musical marvel.  UCLA Live.  Royce Hall. (310) 825-2101.  www.uclalive.org

– Feb. 19. (Thurs.)  Houston Person.  He was great with Etta Jones, and he’s even better up front, bringing swinging soul to everything he touches. Jazz Brasserie at the Crowne Plaza LAX Hotel.  (310) 642-7500.  http://www.in-housemusic.com

– Feb. 19 – 22. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Pianist David Benoit in a rare, up close and personal night club run.  Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.  www.catalinajazzclub.co.

– Feb. 20. (Fri.)  Israel-born pianist Tamir Hendleman proves that good jazz is boundary-less.  Steamers.  (714) 871-8800  www.steamersjazzcafe.com

– Feb. 20 – 21. (Fri. & Sat.)  Another saxophone weekend at Charlie O’s, featuring a pair of the Southland’s most versatile tenorists: Azar Lawrence on Friday, and Justo Almario on Saturday.  With the John Heard Trio.  Charlie O’s.  [818] 994-3058.  www.charlieos.com


– Feb. 21. (Sat.)  Brazilian Carnaval 2009 It’s as close as L.A. can get to the irresistible, high voltage excitement of Rio and carnival time.  The non-stop, six hour line-up of performers includes Katia Moraes and the Pure Samba Band, Nation Beat‘s frevo and maracatu, Flavio Ribeiro and Unidos of California Samba School, Mestre Amen‘s acrobatic capoeira show, The Tropidanza company and the Viver Brasil Dance Company.  Hollywood Palladium.  [818] 566-1111, http://braziliannites.com

– Feb. 21. (Sat.)  The Munich SymphonyPhilippe Entremont, conductor and pianist, performing Wagner, Tchaikovsky (Symphony #2) and a Mozart Piano Concerto.  UCLA Live. Royce Hall. (310) 825-2101.  www.uclalive.org

– Feb. 22. (Sun.)  Ethel Merman’s BroadwayRita McKenzie‘s spot-on salute to the Queen of Broadway, complete with the vibrato, the intensity and the fun.  Cerritos Center.  (562) 467-8818 www.cerritoscenter.com

San Francisco

Richard Bona

– Feb. 19 – 22. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Richard Bona.  Hopefully the gifted African bassist will combine his instrumental prowess with his atmospheric vocals.  A very limited number of tickets are on sale for $10, while supplies last.  Yoshi’s Oakland. . (510) 238-9200.  www.yoshis.com.

– Feb. 20 – 22. (Fri – Sun.) Larry Coryell, Joey DeFrancesco and Alphonse Mouzon in a hard to top combination of body-moving jazz.  Yoshi’s San Francisco.  (415) 655-5600.  www.yoshis.com

New York City

– Feb. 17 – 22. (Tues. – Sun.)  David Sanborn in a rare club gig, reminding us that passion and imagination can be more important than fast fingers.  Blue Note.  (212) 475-8592. http://www.bluenote.net/newyork/index.shtml.

– Feb. 17 – 22. (Tues. – Sun.)  Terence Blanchard takes a break from film composing.  Village Vanguard  (212) 255-4037.  http://villagevanguard.com

– Feb/ 17 – 22/ )Tues. – Sun.)  Ann Hampton Callaway supports her brand new album, “At Last.”  Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola. (212) 258-9595.  www.jalc.org/dccc

– Feb. 18 (Wed.) Medeski, Martin & Wood, still making a convincing case for fusion.  Le Poisson Rouge. (212) 796-0741.  http://lepoissonrouge.com

– Feb. 18. (Wed.)  Anat Cohen Group.  Reviving the clarinet as an authentic jazz instrument.  Small’s   (212) 252-5091.   http://www.smallsjazzclub.com

Randy Weston, photo by Oumar Fall

– Feb. 18 – 22.  (Wed. – Sun.)  Randy Weston’s African Rhythms Quintet.  Weston’s music was described by Langston Hughes as “an ebb and flow of sound seemingly as natural as the waves of the sea.”  The Jazz Standard.  (212) 576-2252.  http://www.jazzstandard.net/red/index.html

– Feb. 19. (Thurs.)  Leonard Cohen.  Beacon Theatre.  NYC.  The Canadia poet/songwriter’s first US show in 15 years.  Beacon Theatre. (212).465-6500.  http://www.beacontheatrenyc.com

– Feb. 22. (Sun.)  Chico O’Farrill’s Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra Directed by Arturo O’Farrill:  “The most seamless blend of clavè rhythm and bebop harmony anywhere.” (Time Out)  Birdland. Birdland.  (212) 581-3080.  www.birdlandjazz.com.


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