Picks of the Week: May 3 – 9

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Jeanie Brandes

– May 4. (Tues.)  Jeanie Brandes.  Songs from Brandes’ new CD, Kisses You Awake will be on the agenda for Brandes’ crystalline voice and elegant phrasing.  She’s backed by Bryan Bromberg, Shelly Markham and Tom ZinkasCatalina Bar & Grill (323) 466-2210.

– May 4. (Tues.)  Jonny Blu.  He’s a unique musical canaries, an American singer who has been a star in China, singing in Mandarin.  And he’s just as good with the classic American songbook.  Vibrato (310) 474-9400.

– May 5. (Wed.)  Cinco de Mayo CelebrationLouis Cruz Beltran. The dynamic drummer/singer celebrates the holiday in an irresistible evening of rhythm and song. Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.

– May 5. (Wed.)  Susie Hansen Latin Jazz Band.  The body-moving rhythms of Hansen’s dynamic ensemble are applied to tunes from her soon-to-be-released new CD, the appropriately titled Representante de la SalsaAtomic Ball Room, Irvine.   (914) 250-3332.

– Jan. 6. (Thurs.) Julie Kelly.  Kelly’s dulcet tones and brisk rhythms are supported by the stellar backing of Bill Cunliffe, Chris Collangelo and Kendall Kay. Charlie O’s.    (919) 994-3058.

Gustavo Dudamel

– May 6 – 8.  (Thurs. – Sun.)  Los Angeles Philharmonic.  An evening of dramatic music directed by the equally dramatic hands of Gustavo Dudamel: Tchaikovsky’s Symphony #6 (Pathetique) and the Dvorák Cello Concerto, with soloist Alisa WeilersteinDisney Hall.

– May 7. (Fri.)  Charlie Shoemake and “Sounds of Shearing” Vibist Shoemake brings the classic Shearing sound back to life, recalling some of the classics, applying it to new repertoire.  Culver Club Radisson Hotel. Culver Club Raddison.

– May 7. (Fri.)  Rique Pantoja & Friends.  Brazilian pianist Pantoja leads a band that can easily cover all aspects of the jazz meets Brazilian rhythms style.  Bob Sheppard, Abraham Laboriel, Luis Conte and Russ MillerVitello’s.  (818) 769-0905.

– May 7. (Fri.)  Shelly Berg Trio.  Jazz pianist and jazz educator Berg takes a hiatus from his academic duties in Miami for a one-nighter in Fullerton.  He’s backed by Chuck Berghofer and Greg FieldSteamers.   (714) 871-8800.

Katayoun Goudarzi

– May 7.  (Fri.) SaffronA Celebration of Rumi. A rich blending of atmospheric music with readings from the sensual poetry of Rumi.  The engaging voice of reader Katayoun Goudarzi is accompanied by the playing of Sujaat Husain Khan, Tim Ries, Kevin Hayes, Satoshi Takeishi and Abhimann Kaushal.   The Skirball Center.   (310) 440-4500.

– May 8.  (Sat.) Patti LaBelleAshford & Simpson.  A Mother’s Day Concert celebrates the maternal blessings with a classic collection of soul and r & b sounds. Gibson Amphitheatre.   (818) 622-4440.

– May 9. (Sun.) Raymond de Felitta Trio.  Pianist de Felitta is a legitimate show business mult-hyphenate.  In addition to this convincing keyboard work, he is an Academy Award-nominated independent filmmaker and writer.  His most recent film, City Island, received First Place Audience Award at the Tribeca Film Festival.  Vibrato.  (310) 474-9400.

– May 9. (Sun.)  Judy Wexler. KJAZZ Mother’s Day Brunch. The singing’s great, the food is great, and the atmosphere is great.  Mother should be very happy to be here. KJAZ’s Helen Borgas hosts. Twist Restaurant at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel.   (562) 985-2999.

San Diego

– May 7. (Fri.)  Eldar. The young prodigy jazz pianist from Kyrgyzstan, now 23, has matured into a top level improvisational artist.  Anthology, San Diego.   (619) 595-0300.

Farah and Strunz

– May 8. (Sat.)  Strunz & Farah. The veteran two-guitar team (from Iran and Costa Rica) are producing some of the finest music of their long career together.  Click here to read an iRoM review of a recent L.A. appearance. Anthology, San Diego.   (619) 595-0300.

San Francisco

– May 6 & 7. (Thurs. & Fri.)  Christian McBride and Inside Straight.  Everybody’s favorite bassist, adept at almost any given style, leads his own, appropriately titled straight ahead quintet.  Yoshi’s Oakland.  (510) 238-9200.

– May 7 – 9. (Fri. – Sun.)  Rachelle Ferrell.  A voice with no apparent limits ranges easily across styles, from blues and gospel to some convincing jazz singing.  Yoshi’s San Francisco.   (415) 655-5600.

New York

Chick Corea

May 4 – 9. (Tues. – Sun.)  Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez and Paul Motian“Further Explorations of Bill Evans” Corea must be serious about the quest to dig into the rich lode of Bill Evans music.  He’s performing with a pair of players – bassist Gomez and drummer Motian – who spent a lot of time on the bandstand with Evans.   The Blue Note.  (212) 475-8592.

– May 5 – 8. (Wed. – Sat.)  Umbria Jazz. Unfortunately trumpeter Enrico Rava, the headliner for this presentation of high level Italian jazz, had an accident and can’t make the gig.  He’s been replaced by close associate Dan Kinzelman (sax and clarinet), along with Gianluca Petrella (trombone) Giovanni Guidi (piano), Pietro Leveratto (bass) Fabrizio Sferra (drums), and the quality level is still something special to hear.  Birdland.  (212) 581-3080.

Kenny Garrett

– May 5 – 8. (Wed. – Sat.) Kenny Garrett Band. Alto saxophonist Garrett takes time off from the Five Piece Band to apply his free orbiting style to a collection of his own music.  Iridium.  (212) 582-2121.

– May 5 – 9. (Wed. – Sun.) The Julliard Jazz Orchestra examines some classic jazz repertoire in a program devoted to  “The Music of Mary Lou Williams and Duke Ellington”  with special guests Kenny Barron (Wed. & Thurs.) and Lew Tabackin (Fri. – Sun.)  Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola.   (212) 258-9800.

– May 6 – 9. (Thurs. – Sun.) Mulgrew Miller and Wingspan. Pianist Miller and his small band, Wingspan, have produced some of the jazz world’s most appealing sounds over the past three decades.  The current group features Antonio Hart, Steve Nelson, Duane Eubanks, Ivan Taylor and Rodney Green. Jazz Standard. (212) 576-2232.

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