Picks of the Week: June 23 – 28

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Mundell Lowe

– June 23. (Tues.) John Pisano and Mundell Lowe. Always one of the Southland’s most pleasing jazz evenings, Pisano’s Guitar Night this week features a musical encounter with one of the masters of the art of jazz guitar. Spazio. (818) 728-8400.

– June 23. (Tues.) Yanni. One of the founders of the atmospheric, New Age piano style, Yanni — now wearing short hair and no mustache — is drawing devoted crowds with his new “Voices” tour. Nokia Theatre. (213) 763-6030.

– June 24. (Wed.) Emmylou Harris, Shawn Colvin, Patti Griffin, Buddy Miller. The show is billed as “Three Girls and Their Buddy,” and the title is right on target. Expect lots of engaging songs. The Greek Theatre.

– June 25. (Thurs.) Andy Garcia and the Cineson All Stars. Actor Garcia is never happier than when he’s jamming on the bongos with some world class Latin musicians – and the Cineson All Stars have more than a few. The Conga Room. (213) 749-0162.

Kenny Burrell
Kenny Burrell

– June 25. (Thurs.) Tom Warrington, Larry Koonse and Joe La Barbara. Class, musicality, inventiveness and swing – they’ll all be on the bill when this fine trio steps on stage. Upstairs at Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.

– June 25 – 28. (Thurs. – Sun.) Kenny Burrell Quartet. Kenny would probably resist being described as a jazz icon, but that’s what he is. And when he takes a break from his teaching duties at UCLA to play a club gig, no one should miss the opportunity to hear him, still at the top of his form. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.

– June 26. (Fri.) Steve Huffsteter. Trumpeter Huffsteter’s beautifully lyrical style keeps him on everyone’s A-list. His graceful lines will be backed by the able support of the Pat Sentore Trio. Vibrato. (310) 474-9400.

– June 26. (Fri.) Mark Winkler. The celebration of Winkler’s new CD, “Till I Get It Right” continues. But Winkler – as good a songwriter as he is – always likes to spread his musical net widely. He’ll reportedly be doing some Bobby Troup and Laura Nyro, and inside word has it that Janis Mann will join him on a song or two. The Gardenia. 7066 Santa Monica Blvd. (323) 467-7444.

– June 26. (Fri.) The Four Freshmen. Before there were the Beach Boys, before there were the Hi-Los, there were the Four Freshman, singing gorgeous harmonies on tunes such as “It’s a Blue World.” Sixty-one years after the group first got together, the personnel has changed. But the lush vocal sound remains the same. Culver Club in the Radisson Hotel Westside. (310) 649-1776.  Also at Steamers on Sunday, June 28.  (714) 871-8800.

– June 26. (Fri.) Aretha Franklin. The Queen of Soul makes her first appearance in 31 years at the The Hollywood Bowl. (323) 850-2000.

– June 27. (Sat.) ABBA the music and Super Diamond. The hits will just keep on coming from this pair of tribute bands — Waterloo doing ABBA, and Super Diamond singing the Neil Diamond songbook. The Hollywood Bowl. (323) 850-2000.

Julie Kelly
Julie Kelly

– June 28. (Sun.) Julie Kelly. The versatile, always entertaining Kelly applies her vocal stylings and her guitar to “A Night in Brazil,” with pianist Otmaro Ruiz, bassist Tom Warrington, drummer Devin Kelly and percussionist Walter Rodriguez. Charlie O’s.

San Francisco

– June 22 – 23. (Mon. & Tues.) “Go Left Fest: Where Creative Arts Collide” The inaugural event of a festival celebrating jazz adventurousness. With the extraordinary line up of Marshal Allen, Roswell Rudd, the Myra Melford/Mark Dressor Duo, Matthew Shipp, Joe Morris, Sunny Murray and more. Yoshi’s SanFrancisco.

– June 25 – 28. (Thurs. – Sun.) Pharoah Sanders Quartet with Zakir Hussain. A potentially fascinating encounter between two superb musical individualists. Yoshi’s San Francisco.

New York City

– June 23 – 27. (Tues. – Sat. ) John Pizzarelli and Pizza Party. I don’t know if they’ll be serving pizza, but there will be plenty of Pizzarelli talent on stage, led by the always musical, always witty John Pizzarelli – plus Dad Bucky Pizzarelli, brother Martin Pizzarelli, and wife Jessica Molaskey. Birdland. (212) 581-6500.

– June 23 – 28. (Tues. – Sun.) The 3 Cohens Sextet. Okay, so it’s a week for family jazz ensembles. And here’s another great one; clarinetist/saxophonist Anat Cohen, saxophonist Yuval Cohen and trumpeter Avishai Cohen. With Aaron Goldberg, piano Matt Penman, bass, Greg Hutchinson, drums. The Village Vanguard. (212) 255-4037.

Mary Foster Conklin

– June 28 (Sun.) Mary Foster Conklin. She’s a jazz singer in cabaret disguise, her skills apparent in a new recording, “Blues For Breakfast: Remembering Matt Dennis.” Conklin appears accompanied only by guitarist Tony Romano, a setting guaranteed to give full rein to her vocal story telling. Nios Restaurant in the Muse Hotel. Also July 5, 12 and 19.


– June 27 – 28. (Sat. & Sun.) Friehofer’s Jazz Festival. There’s no better way to spend an early summer afternoon than on the lawn at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, enjoying the entertaining lineup Friehofer’s has assembled. Featured acts includ Patti Labelle, George Benson, Gary Burton Quartet featuring Pat Metheny, Jimmy Cobb’s So What Band with a Kind of Blue Tribute, a Time Out Tribute with Dave Brubeck, Kendra Shank, and SMV (with Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten). Saratoga Performing Arts Center. (518) 587-3330.

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