Picks of the Week: July 13-19

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

– July 13. (Mon.) Big Band 2000. Give Terence Love, the proprietor of Steamers, credit for keeping the tradition of Big Band Monday nights alive. This week, Bill Strout‘s Big Band 2000 recalls the glories and the hits of the Swing Era. Steamers. (714) 871-8800.

– July 14. (Tues.) Rickey Woodard Quartet. Saxophonist Woodard, one of the Southland’s great jazz treasures, performs with the equally valuable backing of pianist Art Hillary, bassist Richard Simon and drummer Roy McCurdy. Bar Melody. (310) 670-1994.

Smokey Robinson

– July 14. (Thurs.) Andy Martin Quartet. Trombonist Martin takes a night off from his busy schedule of performing with virtually every large jazz ensemble in town, to front his own quartet. Charlie O’s. (818) 994-3058.

– July 15. (Wed.) Smokey Robinson. The Motown legend celebrates the release of his latest album, Time Flies When You’re Having Fun. The Pacific Amphitheatre.

– July 15 – 19. (Wed. – Sun.) Kurt Elling, with the aid of Ernie Watts and Laurence Hobgood, revives songs from the iconic recording match-up of John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman.. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.

– July 16. (Thurs.) Grant Geissman. Versatile guitarist Geissman’s quintet showcases selections from the new CD, Cool Man Cool, with saxophonist Brian Scanlon, pianist Emilio Palame, bassist John Belzaguy and drummer Ray Brinker. Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400.

– July 16. (Thurs.) Issa Bagayogo. The fast-fingered Malian master of the lute-like n’goni blends traditional sounds with rock, funk, dub and electronica. The Skirball Center. (310) 440-4500.


– July 16. (Thurs.) Sgt. Garcia. Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca. The grooves will be flying across one border after another, with Garcia’s salsamuffin and Lemvo’s irresistible blend of salsa, rumba and soukous. The Twilight Dance Series at the Santa Monica Pier. HYPERLINK “http://www.twilightdance.org” http://www.twilightdance.org. (310) 458-8901.

July 17. (Fri.) Céu. One of the leaders of a new generation of female Brazilian singers who are creating a 21st century version of the stylistically inclusive MPB and Tropicalia of Brazil’s sixties and seventies. And when Céu is good, she’s very good, indeed. Get there early enough to hear some of the other acts, especially the superb — and not yet well-known in this country — Italian singer/songwriter  Patrizia LaquidaraThe Roxy. (310) 276-2222.

– July 18. (Sat.) Suzy Williams sings Literature in The Lit Show. Songs based on the words of Kurt Vonnegut, Dorothy Parker, Raymond Chandler, Truman Capote and more. Suzy’s 4th annual celebration of the linkages between songs and literature. Beyond Baroque, Venice. (310) 822-3006.

– July 18. (Sat.) Albita. Cuban-born Albita’s unique musical perspective reaches from the irrepressible rhythms of her native land to the boundary-less sounds of the contemporary dance floor. She’s truly one of a kind. Grand Performances. (213) 687-2159

– July 19. (Sun.) Houston Person Quartet. The soulful sound and blues-driven phrases of Person, backed by pianist Bill Cunliffe, bassist Richard Simon and drummer Ralph Penland — all of it in a delightful, Hollywood Hills setting. A-Frame Jazz. (310) 659-9169

Tierney Sutton
Tierney Sutton


– July 19. (Sun.) “The Grammy Museum Salutes the Jazz Bakery.” The Jazz Bakery lives via the first of several Bakery-branded programs leading up (hopefully) to a re-opening in a new location. All artists are Grammy winners or nominees. Kenny Burrell, Hubert Laws, Alan Bergman, Alan Broadbent Trio, Tierney Sutton, Bill Henderson and Mike Melvoin Hosted by Jeff Garlin. Grammy Museum Sound Stage at the corner of Olympic Blvd. and Figueroa St. Jazz Bakery. (310) 271-9039.

July 19 (Sun.)  Shaila Durcal. “Descarga en CityWalk” — the annual free outdoor concert series produced by Telemundo and Mun2 kicks off its third season with the unnique song stylings of Shaila Durcal — daughter of lagendary vocalist Rocío Durcal.  Also on the bill — Mariachi Imperial and Beto Cortez.  The Citywalk at Universal Studios.  Descarga en CityWalk.

San Francisco

– July 16 – 19. (Thurs. – Sun.) Renee Olstead and Paula West. Olstead has been wowing audiences since — in 2003 at the tender age of 13 — she brought an afternoon crowd to their feet to cheer her unannounced appearance at the Playboy Jazz Festival in the Hollywood Bowl. But she needs to be in her best form with the superb, but still too little known West on the same bill.  Yoshi’s has also announced half priced tickets for the 10 p.m. shows on Friday and Saturday.  Check with the club for destails.   Yoshi’s San Francisco. (415) 655-5600.

chuck mangione

New York City

– July 14 – 19. (Tues. – Sun.) Chuck Mangione. The cat in the hat, the always lyrical trumpeter/flugelhornist and the crafter of a collection of memorable jazz melodies, doesn’t make many club appearances. So don’t overlook this one. The Blue Note. (212) 475-8592.

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