Picks of the Week: July 6 – 12

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

– July 8. (Wed.) Sergio Mendes, Eddie Palmieri, Poncho Sanchez. Three views of the colorful spectrum of Latin jazz – from samba and bossa nova to Afro-Cuban and salsa –are featured in the first entry in the Hollywood Bowl’s summer jazz programming. The Hollywood Bowl.

Luba Mason
Luba Mason

– July 8 & 9. (Wed. & Thurs.) Luba Mason. Singer/actress Mason applies her impressive voice to selections from her “Krazy Love” CD, backed by bassist Jimmy Haslip, drummer Marco Costa and pianist Sandro Albert, as well as her husband, actor/musician Ruben Blades. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.

– July 9. (Thurs.) Chris Botti w. special guest Renee Olstead. Trumpeter Botti’s accomplishing the rare task of gathering large audiences while continuing to expand his creative horizons. Olstead, just turned 20, is already a veteran songstress with a style all her own. The Greek Theatre.

– July 9. (Thurs.) Bern. It’s drummer Bernie Dressel’s “12-piece, supercharged horn funk band.” With four vocalists, horns and rhythm doing the music of Tower of Power, Funkadelic, the Beatles, Miles Davis and beyond. Café Cordial. (818) 7891985.

– July 9. (Thurs.) Joan Baez. The one and only, still performing with the power, the magic and the musicality that have been essential to her art for nearly five decades. The Santa Monica Twilight Dance Series. (310) 458-8901.


– July 9. (Thurs.) Teka and the NewBossa Trio. (w. Otmaro Ruiz, Tony Dumas and Ami Molinelli.) Singer/guitarist Teka’s “NewBossa” applies her lyrical voice and irresistible rhythms to songs rooted in classic bossa, blossoming in the new century. She spends most of her time around Santa Barbara, so hear her while you can. The Crowne Plaza Hotel. (310) 642-7500.

– July 10. (Fri.) Heart. The summer’s Golden Oldies series kicks off with Heart and the Wilson sisters But that’s just the beginning. Saturday features Duran Duran, followed by Rick Springfield on Sunday. And if that’s not enough, the following week showcases Smokey Robinson, Joan Jett, Tears For Fears, Anita Baker and the B-52s. The Pacific Amphitheatre. (714) 708-1500.

– July 10. (Fri.) The Rickey Woodard Quartet with special guest Jasmyn Roe. The always-engaging saxophonist Woodard leads a sterling ensemble –- pianist Joel Scott, bassist Luther Hughes, drummer Roy McCurdy – in a set brightened by the intimate vocalizing of the rapidly rising jazz star Jasmyn Roe. The Culver Club at the Radisson. (310) 649-1776.

– July 10. (Fri.) Dr. Richard Allen Williams. How in the world does Dr. Williams maintain his position as a highly regarded professor of medicine at U.C.L.A. while keeping his chops together as a prime jazz trumpeter? Hard to say; but he does it. This time out he’ll be laying down his articulate trumpet and flugelhorn lines with the solid backing of tenor saxophonist George Harper, Jr., pianist Harold Land, Jr., bassist Jeff Littleton and drummer Lorca Hart. Spazio. (818) 728-8400.

barbara morrison
Barbara Morrison

– July 10 & 11. (Fri. & Sat.) Barbara Morrison. She’s a consummate blues singer, but that’s just the beginning for the magnificent Ms. Morrison, who convincingly covers all the other areas of the jazz vocal art. Steamers. (714) 871-8800

– July 10 – 12. (Fr. – Sun.) Oleta Adams. Everything Adams touches – from ballads to covers to high spirited rhythm tunes — is illuminated by the soulful qualities at the heart of her singing. She’s right on target when she says she “tries to allow the righteousness to shine forth through the music. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.

– July 11. (Sat.) Buika and Perla Batalla. It’s one of the Southland’s best summer bargains: more than two months of free performances by artists from around the world, presented in the atmospheric, open air setting of the California Water Court. This week; the passionate jazz/bolero/funk sounds of Spanish singer Buika, and the extraordinary ballads, blues and traditional mestiza of Perla Batalla (let’s hope she sings her stunning rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne.”). Grand Performances. (213) 687-2159.

– July 12. (Sun.) Bruce Eskovitz, Charlie Shoemake, Luther Hughes and Pul Kreibich. A Southern California all-star quartet, performing at the ocean view setting of the Hamlet at Moonstone Gardens in the beautiful central coast village of Cambria. Moonstone Gardens. (805) 927-3535.

Ernie Andrews

– July 12. (Sun.) Jazz Explosion III A Fundraiser to Benefit California Jazz Musicians in Need. The all-star line-up includes Ernie Andrews, Llew Matthews, Richard Simon, Roy McCurdy, Bill Cunliffe, Bennie Maupin and his 20 piece Ikeda Kings Orchestra, Janis Mann, Gerry Gibbs and others. 2 – 6 p.m. The California Jazz Foundation. All Saints Church, Pasadena.

San Francisco

– July 9 – 12. (Thurs. – Sun.) Kurt Elling with Ernie Watts and Laurence Hobgood revive songs from the iconic recording match-up of John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman. Yoshi’s San Francisco. (415) 655-5600

– July 10 – 12. (Fri. – Sun.) Ladysmith Black Mambazo. A chance to hear South Africa’s inimitable, high spirited vocalizing in a club setting. Yoshi’s Oakland. (510) 238-9200

New York City

– July 7. (Tues.) Steve Kuhn, with saxophonist Joe Lovano, bassist David Finck and drummer Billy Drummond celebrates the release of new CD, “Mostly Coltrane” (ECM Records). Pianist Kuhn has assembled an all-star band to revisit his early playing years, when – at 21 – he performed with the player was already beginning to transform the future of the jazz saxophone. Birdland. 581-3080

Ron Carter

– July 7 – 12. (Tues. – Sun.) The Ron Carter Nonet. Bassist Carter’s musical curiosity has always had unlimited horizons. And his Nonet – which features a rhythm section, a cello quartet and his own piccolo bass is one of his more adventurous musical explorations. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear it. The Blue Note. (212) 475-8502.

– July 9 – 12. (Thurs. – Sun.) Generations: a band that reaches across four decades to seek – and find — generational common ground. Including saxophonists Frank Wess, Eric Alexander and Andrew Speight, trumpeter Jim Rotundi, pianist David Hazeltine, bassist Ray Drummond, drummer Kenny Washington. The Jazz Standard. (212) 576-2252

Butte, Montana

– July 10 – 12. (Fri. – Sun.) The 71st Annual National Folk Festival. It’s the oldest multi-cultural festival in the nation, and it’s free. Expect to experience music, dance, workshops, crafts, ethnic foods, children’s activities and more. The long colorful list of performers includes Thomas Mapfumo, Michael Doucet, Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano, Melody of China, Bob French’s Original Tuxedo Jazz Band, Texas Shorty and numerous others. The 71st Annual Folk Festival. Butte Montana.


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