Picks of the Week: Mar. 15 – 21

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Keith Jarrett

– Mar. 15. (Mon.) Keith Jarrett Solo.  Jarrett’s solo performances — revelatory journeys through his ever imaginative musical mind — don’t take place very often.  So don’t miss this rare opportunity.  Disney Hall. (323) 850-2000

– Mar. 16. (Tues.)  John Pisano’s Guitar Night.  Every Guitar Night is a winner, and this one’s a highlight, featuring 7-string master Ron Eschete with the solid backing of bassist Chris ConnerVitello’s.  (818) 769-0905.

– Mar. 17.  (Wed.)  The Anonymous 4“A Medieval Ladymass.” The Grammy-winning quartet perform the richly atmospheric polyphony and chant of the 13th and 14th centuries.Disney Hall.

– Mar. 18. (Thurs.)  Stephen Stills.  Going strong at sixty-five, Stills has a deep catalog of music — from Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills & Nash to his own solo outings — from which to choose.  As well, no doubt, as his still vibrant new songs.  The Music Box at the Fonda.  (323) 464-0808.

– Mar. 18. (Thurs.) Ashley Maher.  Singer/songwriter/dancer Maher celebrates the release of her new album, Amina, with a concert and party.  Her songs and her singing find creative ground between jazz, African music and pop via simmering rhythms, arching melodies and lyrics reminiscent of the intimacy of Joni Mitchell.  She’s backed by pianist Otmaro Ruiz, drummer Walter Rodriguez, saxophonist Katisse Buckingham, guitarist Marcelo Caseras, bassist Dante Pascuzzo and percussionist Magatte SowThe Talking Stick in Venice.   (310) 450-6052.

– Mar. 18. (Thurs.)  Julie Newsome.  Vocalist Newsome brings jazz to the far west suburbs, backed by Karen Hammack, keyboard, Chris Colangelo, bass, Jack Le Compte, drums.   Famous Sports Bar,  Thousand Oaks.  (805) 497-4669.

– Mar. 18 – 21.  (Thurs. – Sun.)  Rachelle Ferrell.  With octaves of range and a voice as pliable as warm taffy, Ferrell’s vocal excursions across the boundaries of pop and rock are fascinating to hear.   Catalina Bar & Grills.  (323) 466-2210.

Chris Bennett

– Mar. 19. (Fri.)  Chris Bennett‘s versatile, genre-leaping style conjurs up musical magic with her “Girl Talk” Band. Featuring Sarah Underwood, saxophone, Sacha DuPont, piano, Jennifer York, bass and Suzanne Morissette, drums.  Jazz at the Radisson.  (310) 649-1776.

– Mar. 19. (Fri.)  Bern.  Drummer Bernie Dresel’s played with just about everyone.  But he seems to have most fun when he’s propulsively driving his own eclectic, three-singers, four-horns band, Bern.
Spazio.  (818) 728-8400.

– Mar. 19. (Fri.)  Don Rader with the John Heard Trio.  Veteran trumpeter Rader’s resume embraces gigs with Woody Herman, Count Basie, Maynard Ferguson, Ella Fitzgerald and dozens of others.  Here, he’s out in front, doing it his own way.  Charlie O’s.  (818) 994-3058.

– Mar. 19. (Fri.)  Donovan. The folk/rock/pop troubadour performs with his daughter, Astrella Celeste in a benefit concert for the David Lynch Foundation.  Also on the program: Jack Maness (Sublime), Z (The Like), The Global Sound Lodge, Amrita Sen, Danny Saber and others.  Mathew St. Patrick (of Six Feet Under) hosts.   El Rey.   (323) 936-5657

– Mar. 20. (Sat.) Jeff Elliot All-Stars.  Trumpeter Elliot has assembled a group fully deserving the “All-Star” label, featuring pianist Les McCann and percussionist Airto MoreiraSpazio.  (818) 728-8400.

– Mar. 20. (Sat.)  Gilberto Gil“The String Concert.” The great Brazilian singer/songwriter/guitarist appears with a sterling ensemble featuring his son, guitarist Bem Gil and the gifted cellist Jaques Morelenbaum. Brazilian Nites at Royce Hall.  Tickets from Ticketmaster.

Al Jarreau

– Mar. 21. (Sun.) Al Jarreau and Dee Dee Bridgewater.   A pairing to remember: two singers who blend irresistibly entertaining vocal styles with authentic jazz chops.   Disney Hall.  (323) 850-2000.

– Mar. 21. (Sun.) Willie Jones III.  With Donald Vega, Gilbert Castellanos & Hamilton Price.  Drummer Jones steps to the front of the stage to lead an impressive ensemble of Southland talent,  performing in an amiable, Hollywood hills setting.  A-Frame Jazz.  (310) 659-9169

– Mar. 21. (Sun.) Josh Nelson & Pat Senatore.  The generation-crossing duo of pianist Nelson and bassist Senatore always has something musically fascinating to say.  Their appearances are relatively rare, so don’t miss this one.   Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400.


Julia Dollison and Kerry Marsh

– Mar. 16. (Tues.)  Julia Dollison and Kerry Marsh CD Release Concert.    The Music of Maria Schneider.  Dollison and Marsh have accomplished the remarkable task of creating vocal renderings of Schneider’s mesmerizing instrumental music.  With Sacramento State Vocal Jazz. Music Recital Hall, Capistrano Hall, Sacramento State Campus.   Click here for more information (916) 278-5155.

San Francisco

– Mar. 16 & 17. (Wed. & Thurs.)  Gil Scott-Heron and Friends.   Before there was rap and hip hop, there was Scott-Heron’s spontaneous poetry.  And few of his successors have come close to the depth and the innate musicality of his work.  Yoshi’s San Francisco.  (415) 655-5600.

– Mar. 17. (Wed.)  Rrazz Room Second Anniversary and Benefit for Haiti.  A long line up of stellar performers give their all for a worthwhile cause.  Including  Lucie Arnaz, Sarah Dash, Marilou Henner, Thelma Houston, Miki Howard, Stefanie Powers. Linda Purl, Paula West, Wesla Whitfield and more.  Rrazz Room.  (415) 394-1189.

Pete Escovedo

– Mar. 18 – 20. (Thurs. – Sat.)  Pete Escovedo and his Orchestra.  The Latin jazz percussionist and bandleader has been defining the music for decades.   On this lively outing he features his sons, Juan and Peter Michael Escovedo. Rrazz Room.   (415) 394-1189

– Mar. 19. (Fri.) Altan.  The Irish supergroup’s performances provide convincing evidence of the rich, emotional timelessness of traditional Celtic music.    Zellerbach Auditorium at U.C. Berkeley.  (510) 642-9988

New York

Mar. 16 – 21. (Tues. – Sun.)  Paul Motian, Jason Moran and Greg Osby.  Decades of musical experience, much of it on the cutting edge, come together in this fascinating musical encounter.  Village Vanguard.   (212) 255-4037.

Roy Haynes

– Mar. 17 – 21. (Wed. – Sun.)  Roy Haynes 85th Birthday Celebration.  W. Kenny Garrett & Bill Cosby (17), Roy Hargrove & Christian McBride (3/18), Chick Corea (3/19 & 3/20) TBA (3/21). A great week of music, celebrating the continuing vitality (musically and otherwise) of the man who seems to know the secret to the Fountain of Youth.   The Blue Note.   (212) 475-8592.

– Mar. 18 – 21. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Russell Malone Quartet. Malone’s eclectic skills have played a significant role in building a number of musical careers other than his own.  But he’s a major talent in his own right.   He performs here with pianist Rick Germanson, bassist Tassili Bond and drummer Johnathan Blake.   Jazz Standard.  (212) 576-2232.

– Mar. 20.  (Sat.)  Daughters of Cybele. Dancer/musician Alessandra Belloni leads a “Celebration of  Women’s History Month and the Spring Equinox” St. James Chapel.  Cathedral of St. John the Divine.  (212) 316-7540.


Mar. 19 – 21. (Fri. – Sun.)  Seventh Annual Detroit Django Reinhardt Festival.  With the Hot Club of Detroit adding their musical tribute to the Reinhardt centennial year   Special guests: guitarist Howard Roberts and clarinetist/saxophonist Anat CohenHot Club of Detroit.


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