Picks of the Week: April 12 – 18

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

– April 12 & 13. (Mon. & Tues.)  Miles Evans Band.  Trumpeter Evans, named after Miles Davis, is the son of equally legendary arranger Gil Evans.  His current mission, he says, is to explore, with his eight piece band, the music that had been planned for an Evans/Jimi Hendrix collaboration that was cancelled after Hendrix’s premature death.  Catalina Bar & Grill (323) 466-2210.

– April 12 & 13. (Mon. & Tues.)  The Constellations. The Atlanta-based buzz band is making a big push in advance of the release of their debut CD, Southern Gothic. Mon.: Spaceland.  (213) 833-2843 Tues.: Cinespace.  (323) 817-3456.

– April 13. (Tues.) Bill Frisell debuts his new trio, with Jason Moran, piano and Kenny Wollesen, drums.  Largo at the Coronet.  (310) 855-0347.

– April 13. (Tues.)  Steve Huffsteter Quartet.  Trumpeter Huffsteter’s warm sound and articulate phrasing are well matched with the backing of Larry Koonse, guitar,  Putter Smith, bass and Dick Weller, drums.  Charlie O’s. (818) 994-3058.

Susan Egan

– April 14. (Wed.)  Susan Egan.  Local girl Egan was nominated for a Tony Award for her role as Belle in the original Broadway production of “Beauty and the Beast.”  She is equally skilled with her interpretations of classic cabaret numbers and material from the Great American Songbook  Smothers Theatre Pepperdine. (310) 506-4522.

– April 14. (Wed.)  Jennifer Leitham Trio.  Bassist Leitham wings it back to LA for a couple of educational workshops and a performance with her sterling trio — with Josh Nelson on piano and Randy Drake on drums.  Café 322. (626) 836-5414.

– April 15. (Thurs.) Caetano Veloso.  One of the great figures of late 20th century Brazilian music, Veloso continues, at 67, to be an artist who creates musical magic with every performance.  With luck, the ever-adventurous Veloso may offer a preview of the hip-hop fusion song he’s allegedly been working on with Sean P-Diddy Combs.   The Greek Theatre.   (323)  665-5857.

Willie Nelson

– April 15. (Thurs.) Willie Nelson.  One of the few, still-performing musical artists who can genuinely be referred to as iconic, Nelson’s going strong, surging on the crest of last-year’s much-praised collection of standards, American Classic. Grove of Anaheim. (714) 712-2700.

Leonardo Suarez Paz

– April 16. (Fri.) Leonardo Suarez Paz“Romance de Tango.” Tango, in all its rich manifestations – music, dance, poetry and more – is presented by Grammy-nominated violinist Suarez Paz’s gifted company of musicians and dancers.  Beckman Auditorium. CalTech.  Pasadena.   (626) 395-4652.

– April 16. (Fri.)  Arlo GuthrieThe Guthrie Family rides Again. And they really do – across the generations – starting with Woody Guthrie’s songs and working through the singing and playing of Arlo, his son Abe, daughters Cathy, Annie and Sarah Lee, and various grandkids.  Royce Hall.  UCLA Live. (310) 825-2101.  (Also at the Irvine Barclay Theatre on Sat.  See below)

– April 16 – 18. (Fri. – Sun.)  Oleta Adams.  She puts it all together – jazz, soul, r&b, gospel and pop – into an utterly believable vocal package.  Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.

– April 16, 17 & 20. (Fri., Sat. and Tues.)  The Eagles. Thirty-five years together have generated a ton of Eagles hits, and they’ll no doubt perform most of them.  Adding some spice and diversity to the evening, the opening acts are the Dixie Chicks (on stage for the first time in four years) and country singer/songwriter Keith Urban.   The Hollywood Bowl.   (323) 850-2000.

Baaba Maal

– April 17.  (Sat.)  Baaba Maal.  Senegal’s Maal has been doing a masterful job of creating a musical vision that embraces contemporary elements, of every sort, without losing contact with his rich, traditional roots.  Royce Hall.  UCLA Live. (310) 825-2101.

– April 17. (Sat.)  Arlo Guthrie. The Guthrie Family Rides Again.  Their second Southland date in two days.  (See above at Royce Hall on Friday.)   Irvine Barclay Theatre. (949) 854-4646.

– April 17. (Sat.) Bill Cunliffe Big Band. Pianist/composer Cunliffe leads a 17 piece big band in a performance of Cunliffe originals, as well as his Grammy-winning arrangement of a “West Side Story Medley.”  Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.

Alessandra Belloni

– April 17. (Sat.)  A Gershwin Celebration. A quartet of engaging, Broadway musical veterans – Raymond Saar, Diane Ketchie, Valeri Perri and Scott Harlan take on the full gamut of the remarkable Gershwin catalog of songs. CSUN Performing Arts Center.   (818) 677-1200

– April 17 & 18. (Sat. & Sun.)  Alessandra Belloni.  The percussionist, dancer and master of traditional Southern Italian music leads a Weekend Drum and Dance Workshop.   Afternoons: “Rhythm is the Cure” with Special Healing Drum Stretch and Dance Workshop.  Evenings: Concert of music and dance.  Remo Performance Center.

– April 18  (Sun.) Los Angeles Jazz Collective “Spring Jazz Fest.” Five ensembles take center stage for the LAJC’s festival: the Brian Carmody Trio, The Ryan Seward/Josh Welchez Group, Sigmund Fudge, the Los Angeles Jazz Quartet and Brian Swartz and the Gnu SextetVitello’s. (818) 769-0905.

San Francisco

Omar Sosa

– April 16 – 18. (Fri. – Sun.)  Omar Sosa Afreecanos Quintet. Adventurous pianist/composer Sosa’s Afreecanos ensemble also features the vocals and instrumental work of Senegalese musician Mola Sylla, and the envelope-stretching saxophone playing of Peter Apfelbaum Yoshi’s Oakland. (510) 238-9200.

– April 17 – 18. (Sat. & Sun.)  Andrae Crouch.  Seven-time Grammy winner Crouch has done it all in the gospel music world – from performer and songwriter to arranger and producer.  Inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame a decade ago, he’s still a marvel to hear.  Yoshi’s San Francisco.  (415) 655-5600.

St. Louis

– April 15 – 17. (Thurs. – Sat.)  Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival.  Lots of big band action at this year’s festival.  Headliners include Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, Conrad Herwig’s Latin Side All-Stars, UM-St. Louis Jazz Ensemble directed by Jim Widner. Also on the bill, lots of young, upcoming talent from the area’s many jazz education programs.  The Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival at the Touhill Performing Arts Center.  http://www.gsljazzfest.com (866) 516-4949.

New York

Ron Carter

– April 13 – 18. (Tues. – Sun.)  Kenny Werner’s stellar Quintet features the clarion trumpet work of Randy Brecker and the always solid bass of John PatitucciThe Blue Note. l (212) 475-8592.

– April 13 – 18. (Tues. – Sun.)  Julliard Jazz Quintet.  A high level combination of cross-generational jazz masters: bassist Ron Carter, pianist Benny Green, drummer Carl Allen, saxophonist Ron Blake and trumpeter Eddie Henderson Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.   (212) 258-9800.

– April 14 – 18. (Wed. – Sun. Dave Grusin. The pianist/composer makes a rare club performance in the company of Nestor Torres, flute, Steve Turre, trombone, Peter Washington, bass, Kenny Washington, drums.  Iridium.   (212) 582-2121.

– April 15 – 18 (Thurs. – Sun.)  Don Byron Groups.  Clarinetist Byron displays his versatility with three different ensembles.  Thurs. and Fri.: the New Gospel Quintet.  Sat.: The Ivey-Divey Trio. Sunday: Swiftboat Jazz Standard.   (212) 576-2232.

Magos Herrera

– April 15 & 21. (Thurs. & Fri.)  Magos Herrera. The Mexican singer brings a rich, dark, sound and a stirring rhythmic flow to her music.  She’ll perform tunes from her Grammy nominated album, Distancia.  Thurs 15: Galapagos Art Space.  (718) 222-8500.  Fri. 21: BAMcafe Live.   (718) 636-4100.

– April 17 (Sat.) Rokia Traoré.  Mali’s dynamic singer/songwriter is a musical whirlwind in her live performances.  She’ll be showcasing songs from her new Nonesuch album, TchamantchéThe Highline Ballroom.  (212) 414-5994.

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