Picks of the Week: Aug. 3 – 8

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Gustavo Dudamel

- Aug. 3. (Tues.)  The Los Angeles PhilharmonicGustavo Dudamel conducts a stunning program of Bernstein and Gershwin. Gabriela Montero solos in the Rhapsody In BlueThe Hollywood Bowl.   (323) 850-2000.

- Aug. 3. (Tues.)  Wayne Bergeron’s Big Band.  Trumpeter Bergeron steps down from the trumpet section to lead own large jazz ensemble.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.   (310) 474-9400.  www.vibratogrilljazz.com.

- Aug. 4. (Wed.)  Denise Donatelli.  With a warm, embracing voice, a solid sense of swing and an intuitive gift for interpretation, Donatelli has all the right stuff for engaging jazz vocalizing. Charlie O’s (818) 994-3058.

Rickie Lee Jones

- Aug. 5. (Thurs.) Rickie Lee Jones. The quirky, singer-songwriter star of the ‘70s and ‘80s still knows how to put it all together.  She makes a rare Southland appearance.  Twilight Dance at the Santa Monica Pier. (310) 458-8900.

- Aug. 5. (Thurs.)  The Los Angeles PhilharmonicGustavo Dudamel adds another stirring Bowl appearance, conducting Ravel’s Bolero, Falla’s Three Cornered Hat, Villa-Lobos Bachianas Brasileiras and more.  Soprano Isabel Leonard is featured.  The Hollywood Bowl.   (323) 850-2000.

- Aug. 5. (Thurs.)  Elliott Cane Quintet. Trumpeter/optometrist Cane showcases his bebop chops in one of L.A.’s most amiable settings.  The Descanso Gardens.   (818) 949-4200

- Aug. 5. (Thurs.)  Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys. The Grammy-nominated Playboys should bring the crowd to their feet with an irrepressible collection of Cajun dance rhythms.  The Skirball Center.  http://www.skirball.org (310) 440-4500.

- Aug. 5 – 7. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Kenny Burrell.  Master guitarist Burrell takes a break from his academic duties in the UCLA jazz program.  He’s backed by the solid ensemble of Tom Ranier, Roberto Miranda, Clayton Cameron and Tivon Pennicott Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.  .

- Aug. 6. (Fri.)  Henry Franklin.  Bassist Franklin, affectionately known as The Skipper, recalls some of the superb sounds he made with the likes of Hugh Masekela, the Three Sounds and Freddie Hubbard.  LACMA (323) 857-6000.

- Aug. 6 – 8. (Fri – sun.) Rent. The Tony-winning, Pulitzer Prize-winning, long-run Broadway hit is this Summer’s choice for the Bowl’s annual fully staged musical. The Hollywood Bowl.   (323) 850-2000.

- Aug. 7. (Sat.)  The Mike Melvoin Trio.  Melvoin has done so many things so well for so many years — compose, conduct, produce, arrange — that his finely honed skills as a jazz pianist don’t always receive the accolades they deserve.  He’s at his best when he works, as he does here,  in a virtually symbiotic musical partnership with bassist Tony Dumas and drummer Ralph PenlandKeyboard Concepts L.A. 3:30 – 5 p.m.  Reservation required.  (323) 651-3060.

Ringo Starr

Aug. 7. (Sat.)  Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band.  There’s usually a Beatles vibe when Ringo’s around.  But for this appearance, celebrating his latest album, Y Not, he shifts gears with a stellar ensemble that includes Edgar Winter, Rick Derringer, Gary Wright, Greg Bissonette and others. The Greek Theatre.   (323) 665-3125.

- Aug. 7. (Sat.)  Mitch Forman Trio.  Versatile keyboardist Forman displays his impressive musical wares in the intimacy of a trio setting.   Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

- Aug. 8. (Sun.) The Music of Scott LaFaro.  A musical and literary tribute to the late great bassists.  Alan Pasqua, Pat Senatore and Joe La Barbera perform.  And LaFaro’s sister, Helene LaFaro-Fernandez will be present to sign her book, Jade Visions: The Music and Life of Scott Lafaro Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.   (310) 474-9400.  .

- Aug. 8. (Sun.) The Four Freshmen and the George Kahn Trio. The current edition of the jazz vocal and instrumental quartet display their lush harmonies in a fund raiser for the California Jazz Foundation. Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.  .

- Aug. 8. (Sun.)  Johnny Polanco y Su Conjunto Amistad.  Multi-instrumentalist Polanco cranks up his Latin jazz rhythms in the laid-back setting of KJAZ’s Sunday Champagne Brunch.  The inimitable Bubba Jackson is the host.  The Twist Restaurant in the Renaissance Hotel & Spa.

- Aug. 8. (Sun.)  Los Angeles Jewish SymphonyCinema Judaica.  The LAJS, conducted by Noreen Green performs the film music of such Jewish composers as Jerry Goldsmith, Elmer Bernstein, Steven Schwartz and others.  The Ford Amphitheatre.   (323) 461-3673.

San Diego

Aug. 6. (Fri.)  Joyce Cooling.  Smooth jazz guitarist and vocalist Cooling brings style, substance and swing to everything she does.  Anthology San Diego.   (619) 595-0300.

San Francisco

- Aug. 3 – 4.  (Tues. & Wed.)  Alfredo Rodriguez. Young Cuban expatriate pianist Rodriguez has everything he needs to surface as a major talent for years to come. Yoshi’s San Francisco.   (415) 655-5600.

New York

- Aug. 3 – 7. (Tues. – Sat.)  The Heath Brothers.  Saxophonist Jimmy and drummer Tootie keep the proud Heath family jazz banner flying.  Birdland (212) 581-3080.

Greg Osby

- Aug. 3 – 8 (Tues. – Sun.)  Greg Osby Quintet.  Alto saxophonist Osby stretches the boundaries of contemporary improvisation with the dynamic backing of guitarist Nir Felder, pianist Marc Copland, bassist Joseph Lepore and drummer Terri Lyne CarringtonVillage Vanguard.   (212) 255-4037.

- Aug. 3 – 8. (Tues. – Sun.) Ron Carter Trio.  Combine bassist Carter with the piano work of Mulgrew Miller and the guitar of Russell Malone and you can expect (and receive) world class jazz results.  The Blue Note.  (212) 475-8592.

Rhode Island

Aug. 6 – 8 (Fri. – Sat.)  The Newport Jazz Festival.  Actually, the current, sponsored title is the CareFusion Newport Jazz Festival. But whatever the title, George Wein’s remarkable summer weekend of jazz has been both the model and the leader of jazz festival events since its inception in the ’50s.  And this weekend once again is filled with superlatives.  Among the highlights: On Friday — Jamie Cullum and Grace Kelly.  On Saturday — the Chick Corea Freedom Band, Ahmad Jamal, the Maria Schneider Orchestra, Anat Cohan, Darcy James Argue, the Newport All Stars, Trio Da Paz, Rez Abbasi, Fly, JD Allen.  On Sunday – Herbie Hancock, Chris Botti, Wynton Marsalis, Amina Figerova, John Faddis, Dave Douglas, Ben Allison, Jason Moran, David Binney, Gretchen Parlato.  And much, much more.  The CareFusion Newport Jazz Festival.  (401) 848-5055.

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One Response to Picks of the Week: Aug. 3 – 8

  1. Re: Ringo Starr and All-Starr Band also includes Richard Page this year – great singer, songwriter, band leader in his own right (Mr. Mister, 3rd Matinee – with Patrick Leonard, Pages, etc.)… just for the record!

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