Picks of the Week: July 20 – 26

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Patricia Talem - web
Patricia Talem

– July 21. (Tues.) Patricia Talem. The musical talent never seems to stop flowing from the rich, creative culture of Brazil. But the musically eclectic newcomer Talem, who is celebrating the release of her self-titled CD, is something special. Blessed with a warm, intimate, whisper in your ear voice, she uses it with the communicative qualities of a born story teller. She’ll be backed by the impressive skills of pianist Russell Ferrante, bassist Jimmy Haslip, guitarist Sandro Albert and drummer Marco DaCosta. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323)466-2210.

– July 21. (Tues.) Jon Mayer Trio. Mayer has been quietly delivering one classy performance after another for decades — from the intimate jazz of his own trio to deeply empathic backing for a wide range of other artists. This time out, he’s celebrating the release of his new CD “Nightscape,” backed by bassist Chris Conner and drummer Roy McCurdy. Charlie O’s. (818) 994-3058.

– July 23. (Thurs.) Mike Marshall, Darol Anger and Väsen. The strings will be flying in what promises to be a fascinating encounter between the bluegrass mastery of Marshall’s mandolin, Anger’s boundary-less fiddle and the nyckelharpa, viola and guitar of the dynamic Swedish trio, Väsen. The Skirball Center. (310) 440-4500.

– July . (Thurs.) The Squirrel Nut Zippers. It’s a real night for dancing on the Santa Monica Pier, with the retro jumping jive of the Squirrel Nut Zippers and the authentic big band swing of Johnny Vanus and the Big Band Alumni. All of it taking place on the 85th anniversary of the opening of the La Monica Ballroom. The Twilight Dance Series. (310) 458-8901.

– July 23. (Thurs.) Philip Glass and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Michael Riesman, in the world premiere performance of a new arrangement of Glass’ score for Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance. The Music will be played in sync with a video projection of Godfrey Reggio‘s 1982 wordless film, Koyaaniqatsi. The Hollywood Bowl. (323) 850-2000

The .

Roberta Donnay
Roberta Donnay

– July 23. (Thurs.) Roberta Donnay Quartet. Donnay’s one of the real originals in the latest wave of female jazz vocalists. Although there are traces of Blossom Dearie in her sound and Madeleine Peyroux in her phrasing, Donnay transforms everything she touches into her own unique musical vision. Crowne Plaza Hotel. (310) 642-7500.

– July 25. (Sat.) The Mike Melvoin Trio. Is there such a thing as the “Mike Melvoin Songbook?” The veteran jazz pianist says, “yes.” And Mike, with the incomparable assistance of bassist Tony Dumas and drummer Ralph Penland, will sing and play its pleasures and its secrets. With scheduled guest appearances by Keith England, Theresa Russell and possibly others. Spazio. (818) 728-8400.

gerald wilson
Gerald Wilson

– July 25. (Sat.) “Music and Monologues — Harmony and Humor.” An evening of fun, satire, hi-jinks and some pretty good music, too. Featuring Teresa Tudury, Vicki Juditz and Jonathan Solomon. Parlor Performances. Steinway Hall. (310) 476-6735.

– July 25 & 26. (Sat. & Sun.) The Central Ave. Jazz Festival. The Southland’s most authentic jazz festival — at last in terms of location — situated across from the Dunbar Hotel, at the center of what was once the heart of jazz in Los Angeles. On the schedule — Sat.: The CJS Quintet; Raya Yarbrough; The Eric Reed Trio; The Adonis Puentes Band; Bill Henderson. Sun: Jazz America; The Littleton Bros.; Kalil Wilson; Kamasi Washington; The Gerald Wilson Orchestra; The Jazz on the Latin Side All Stars. The Central Avenue Jazz Festival. (213) 743-8738.

San Francisco

– July 22 (Wed.) “A Musical Tribute to Buddy Montgomery.” Friends, former associates and admirers of the late vibist/pianist (who passed away in May) celebrate his memory. Featuring Marlena Shaw, Mary Stallings, John Handy, David Hazeltine, Brian Lynch, Jeff Chambers and many others. Yoshi’s San Francisco. (415) 655-5600.

– July 25 & 26. (Sat. & Sun.) “Hawaiian World Festival” reaches across the broad spectrum of Hawaiian music. Featuring the versatiel group Hapa, slack key and ukulele master Led Kaapana and singer/songwriter John Cruz. Yoshi’s Oakland. (510) 238-9200.

New York City

Charlie Haden

– July 21 – 26 (Tues. – Sun.) The Charlie Haden Invitation Series. Bassist Haden measures his considerable versatility against a world class line-up of pianists. With Ethan Iverson (Tues,) Steve Kuhn (Wed.), Kenny Barron (Thurs. & Fri,.), Paul Bley (Sat.) and Bill Charlap (Sun.). (212) 475-8592. The Blue Note.

– July 22 – 25. (Wed. – Sat.) The Lee Konitz Quartet. Konitz should be on everyone’s must-hear list whenever he’s in town. And even more so when he’s in the company of drummer Paul Motian and pianist Dan Tepfer. Birdland. (212) 581-3080.

To contact Don Heckman with information regarding performers and/or performances for possible inclusion in Picks of the Week click here.


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