Picks of the Week: April 5 – 11

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Gretchen Parlato

– April 5. (Mon.)  Gretchen Parlato.  A singer who finds the inner core of a song and makes it her own, Parlato is arguably one of the most original vocal performers of her generation.  Listen to her sing and you’ll be as bewildered as I was that she didn’t receive a Grammy nomination (much less an award) in January.  Catalina Bar & Grill (323) 466-2210.

– April 6 (Tues.)  Arturo Sandoval Big Band. Multi musical hyphenate Sandoval – trumpeter, singer, pianist and percussionist – expands his musical palette even more with the backing of a big, powerful jazz band. Vibrato.   (310) 474-9400.

– April 6. (Tues.)  Guitar NightJohn Pisano with Brazilian guitarist Ricardo Silveira exchange musical ideas in an evening that should be simmering with irresistible rhythms of Brazil.  Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

– April 6. (Tues.) Charles RosenAn Evening of Chopin.  Rosen, both a music theorist and a thoughtful Chopin interpreter, presents a program of Nocturnes, Mazurkas and the Sonata No. 3 in B minor Irvine Barclay Theatre.   (949) 854-4646.

Terence Blanchard

– April 6 – 9. (Tues. – Fri.)  Terence Blanchard Quintet.  Blanchard has become almost as well known as a film composer as a trumpeter.  But when he walks on stage with his quintet, there’s no doubt about his abilities as a prime jazz artist.  Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.

– April 6 – 11.  (Tues. – Sun.)  Hairspray.” The ‘60s come alive again in this high spirited musical based on John Waters’ 1988 film of the same name.  Expect to feel the rhythm.   Segerstrom Hall.  Orange County Performing Arts Ccenter (714) 556.2787.

– April 7. (Wed.)  Tomasz Stanko Quintet. Polish trumpeter Stanko manages to link jazz elements reaching from Miles Davis lyricism to abstract expressionism.  His international quintet includes players from Denmark and Finland. A Jazz Bakery Moveable Feast.   (310) 271-9039.  Musicians Institute concert center.

– April 7. (Wed.) The FIATO String Quartet performs the lyrical Mendelssohn Quartet No. 2 in A minor at a free concert in the Sanctuary of the First Baptist Church of Glendale.  12:10 – 12:40 p.m.  Glendale Noon Concerts.  (818) 242-2113.

– April. 8. (Thurs.)  Peggy Duquesnel.  She sings, she accompanies herself with intimately supportive piano playing and writes songs in the style of the Great American Songbook.  Expect to hear songs from her new CD, Summertime Lullaby.    Crowne Plaza Brasserie Jazz Lounge.  (310) 642-7500.

– April 8. (Thurs.)  Dwight Trible and John Beasley. Trible, one of the jazz world’s truly individual male singers matches his far-ranging vocal excursions with Beasley’s inventive piano work.  They’re backed by Trevor Ware, bass and Dextor Story, drums.  Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.

Jackie Ryan

– April 9. (Fri.)  Jackie Ryan.  A singer who literally can sing just about everything, while imprinting every line with her uniquely memorable artistry.  Culver’s Club For Jazz in the Radisson Hotel.  (310) 649-1776.

– April 9. (Fri.)  Dave Pell and Med Flory. A pair of veteran saxophone stylists revive the sound of the alto and tenor front line.  The Backroom at Henri’s.   (818) 348-5582.

– April 9. (Fri.)  Denise Donatelli. The warm sound, subtle phrasing and engaging style of Allentown, PA’s gift to jazz are always a pleasure to hear.  Charlie O’s.   (919) 994-3058.

Charmaine Clamor

– April 10. (Sat.)  Charmaine Clamor The gifted creator of the “Jazzipino” style celebrates her pop skills with “Here Lies Love,” a collaboration with David Byrne and Fatboy Slim.   Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.

– April 10. (Sat.)  Luckman Jazz OrchestraTribute to Duke Ellington. The finely honed skills of the fine LJO are applied to the stunning Ellington catalog – with both familiar and rarely heard items.  Luckman Fine Arts Complex.   (323) 343-6600.

– April 10. (Sat.)  Mark Winkler and Mary Foster Conklin. A pair of singers who sneakily enhance their cabaret skills with solid jazz chops get together for what promises to be an engaging jam.  The Gardenia.  (323) 467-7444.

– April 10 & 11. (Sat. & Sun.)  Sones de Mexico Ensemble. The Grammy-nominated ensemble showcase the traditional instruments, music and dance of their rich, Mexican heritage.  Getty Villa.   (213) 458-2003.

Lionel Loueke

– April 11. (Sun.) Lionel Loueke Trio.  Benin-born guitarist, singer and musical innovator has been opening ears since he first arrived in the U.S.  His recently released CD, Mwaliko, displays his remarkable talents in the company of Angelique Kidjo, Esperanza Spalding and others.  Loueke is not in L.A. very often, so don’t miss this one.  The Cafe Metropol.   (213)  613-1537.

San Francisco

April 8 – 11.  Bill Frisell. Guitarist Frisell’s residency at Yoshi’s includes a different musical challenge for each night.  On Thursday with three other guitarists; on Friday doing a live score for short films by Buster Keaton; on Saturday with violinist Jenny Scheinman; and on Sunday with pianist Jason Moran.  Yoshi’s Oakland.   (510) 238-9200.

New York

– April 6 – 10.  (Tues. – Sat.)  Pharoah Sanders Quartet.  Sanders continues his long exploration of the outer limits of spontaneous improvisation.  He’s backed by Bill Henderson, piano, Nat Reeves, bass and Joe Farnsworth, drums.   Birdland.   (212) 581-3080.

– April 6 – 11. (Tues. – Sun.)  Randy Weston’s African Rhythms Birthday Celebration will no doubt reveal that, at 84, the scope of his musical imagination is still as wide as ever.  Jazz Standard.  (212) 576-2232.

– April 6 – 11. (Tues. – Sun.)  The Bad Plus.  Always an exploratory trio, Ethan Iverson, Dave King and Reid Anderson’s For All I Care album underscored their belief in an egalitarian approach to their selection of music.  The Blue Note. (212) 475-8592.

"The Addams Family"

– April 8. (Thurs.)  The Addams Family comes to Broadway, starring Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth.  “A dream cast, delightful story, and musical numbers you truly will be singing as you dance out of the theater,” wrote Bill Zwecker in the Chicago Sun-Tunes, reviewing the pre-Broadway run.  The Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.  (212) 304-44100.

– April 8. (Thurs.)  Musicians For Harmony“ Concert For Peace.” The Borromeo String Quartet, the Imani Winds Quintet and Randall Scarlata, baritone, offer a musical dialogue between cultures with a program of contemporary music composers of Jewish and Arabic origins.  Merkin Hall at the Kaufman Center. NYC.   (212) 501-3303.

Washington, D.C.

April 8 – 10. (Thurs. – Sat.)  Bucky Pizzarelli. The veteran master of the seven-string guitar was the first Pizzarelli to lay a claim to jazz stardom, and at 84, he’s still going strong. Blues Alley (202) 337-4141.

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