Picks of the Week: Oct. 12 – 18

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Oct. 12. (Mon.)  BERN.  Drummer Bernie Dresel‘s 12 piece band of instrumentalists and singers, playing what he describes as  “supercharged horny funk” — swing their way through music ranging from Tower of Power and Stevie Wonder to Miles Davis and Steely Dan.  Cafe Cordiale in Sherman Oaks.   (818) 789-1985.

– Oct. 12. (Mon.) Diane Hubka.  Singer/guitarist Hubka will no doubt feature some selections from her recent album, “I Like It Here.”  She’s backed by pianist Joe Bagg, bassist Jeff D’Angelo and drummer Ryan Doyle. Charlie O’s.  (818) 994-3058

Carol Welsman black gown
Carol Welsman

– Oct. 13. (Tues.) Carol Welsman. Pianist/singer Welsman celebrates the release of  “I Like Men: Reflections of Miss Peggy Lee” — a tribute to one of Welsman’s inspirations that generates  some of her most engaging and musically intuitive interpretations.  Her tender version of “The Folks Who Live on the Hill” from the new album was just selected Pick of the Week by USA Today’s music critic, Elysa Gardner  (over Barbra Streisand, Joan Baez and Madonna).  Welsman will be backed by her usual all-star trio — guitarist Pat Kelley, bassist Rene Camacho and drummer Jimmy BranlyVibrato.Grill Jazz…etc (310) 474-9400.

– Oct. 13. (Tues.)  “Tango Night” A new twist on John Pisano’s weekly “Guitar Night” sessions.  This time he matches tango riffs with guitarist Marcello Caceres, bassist Pablo Motta and bandoneon player Coco TrivisonoSpazio (818) 728-8400.


Franco Battiato
Franco Battiato

– Oct. 13 – 18. (Tues. – Sun.)  “Hit Week L.A.: The Italian Way of Life” A celebration of Italian music, art, poetry, literature and cinema. Performers include Calibro 35, Daniel Luppe, Negrita, The Niro and Linnea 77.  The week concludes on Oct. 18 with an appearance at The Broad Stage by Italian art rock icon, Franco Battiato.

Events take place at the Music Box at the Henry Fonda Theatre, The Broad Stage in Santa Monica and the Italian Cultural Institute.  Hit Week L.A.


– Oct. 14. (Wed.)  Ann Hampton Callaway and Ramsey Lewis.  It’s an attractive pairing – the lush sound of Callaway’s richly musical jazz vocalizing, and the always-swinging piano playing of the veteran Lewis. Walt Disney Concert Hall (323) 972-7211

Nikki Yanofsky 2
Nikki Yanofsky

– Oct. 14. (Wed.) Nikki Yanofsky.   Yet another young Canadian singing star on the ascendancy.  Fifteen year old Nikki is the youngest performer to ever headline her own show at the Montreal Jazz Festival.  Her repertoire reaches comfortably from Joni Mitchell and folk rock to Ella Fitzgerald and the blues, all of it done with stunning maturity..   Catalina Bar & Grill (323) 466-2210.  .

– Oct. 16 & 17. (Fri. & Sat.)  “Music From the City of the Angels” John Williams conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a program of film music that embraces selections by  Bernard Herrmann, Erich Korngold, Andre Previn, Felix Waxman and, of course, the magic of Williams’ many classic film scores. Walt Disney Concert Hall (323 )850-2040

Iva Bittova

– Oct. 17. (Sat.)  Jesse Cook.  Nuevo Flamenco guitarist Cook blends simmering Latin rhythms with smooth jazz timbres and a dynamic performing style.  The Broad Stage, Santa Monica.

– Oct. 17. (Sat.) Iva Bittová.  The Czech violinist, singer and musical iconoclast is a stirring performer, moving easily from gypsy tunes to unpredictable happenings.  The Luckman Arts Center.   (323) 363-1356.

– Oct. 17. (Sat.)  Stacy Rowles.  Blending lyrical flugelhorn playing with a lyrical singing style, Rowles performs with Jeff Collela, piano, Pat Senatore, bass and Ryan Doyle, drums.  Vibrato.Grill Jazz …etc (310) 474-9400.

San Diego

– Oct. 15. (Thurs.)  Ellen Johnson.  Performing with Rick Helzer, piano and Rob Thorsen, bass, Johnson sings the music of Charles Mingus and adds a tribute to Sheila Jordan.  Tango Del Rey.  Rancho San Diego.   (858) 581-1114.

San Francisco

Miguel Zenon
Miguel Zenon

– Oct. 15. (Thurs.)  Miguel Zenon’s “Esta Plena” The McArthur Award-winning alto saxophonist/composer and his quintet – pianist Luis Perdomo, bassist Hans Glawischnig, drummer Henry Cole and percussionist Hector “Tito” Matos — presents selections from his latest CD.. Yoshi’s San Francisco (415)  655-5600.

– Oct. 16 – 18. (Fri. – Sun.)  Cedar Walton and Friends. Walton’s mastery of bop and post bop have made him one of the first call jazz pianists for decades.  His “Friens” include tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander, vibist Steve Nelson and more.  Yoshi’s Oakland.   (510)  238-9200

New York

– Oct. 13 – 15. (Tues. – Thurs.)  Dominick Farinacci  Quintet. The simpressive new young trumpet star, his career rapidly escalating performs with his quartet.  Birdland.  (212)  581-3080

Chita Rivera
Chita Rivera

– Oct. 15 – 18. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra.  Trumpeter Faddis takes a break from his work with the Chicago Jazz Ensemble to lead his own stirring big band.  The Blue Note. (212) 475-8592

– Oct 16 & 17. (Fri. & Sat.)  Chita Rivera.  The ageless dancing and singing star of Broadway musicals appears in a rare, up close and personal night club setting.  Birdland.   (212)  581-3080

– Oct. 16 – 18. (Fri. – Sun.)  The Ben Allison Band.  Bassist Allison leads his own group in selections from his envelope-stretching new album, “Think Free.”  The Jazz Standard.   (212) 576-2232


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