By Don Heckman
– Oct. 13. (Wed.) Wayne Bergeron Big Band. Trumpeter Bergeron, whose skills reach from superb section work to solid soloing, steps into the spotlight as a leader. Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400.
– Oct. 13. (Wed.) Ed Vodicka Big Band with Marlene VerPlanck. New York singer VerPlanck brings an imaginative slant to the Great American Songbook, backed by Vodicka’s stirring ensemble. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.
– Oct. 13 – 17. (Wed. – Sun.) (H)IT Week. The pop music of Italy – from rock to dance to electronica — fills the Los Angeles air in four dynamic evenings. Oct. 14: singer Ludovico Einaudi and Oct. 15: Singer Elisa and La Blanche Alchimie at The Ford Amphitheatre. Oct. 16: Rock band Negrita and Oct. 17: Pianist Giovanni Allevi at The El Rey. (323) 936-6400.
– Oct. 14. (Thurs.) Ann Walsh Quartet. Walsh’s expressive vocals display a unique empathy for the music of Brazil. Crowne Plaza Brasserie Jazz Lounge. (310) 642-7500.
– Oct. 14 – 16. (Thurs. – Sat.) Stanley Clarke. Bassist Clarke, always looking in different musical directions, performs with a quartet that includes keyboardist Deron Johnson, pianist Ruslan Sirota and drummer Ronald Brunner. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.
– Oct. 14 & 16. (Thurs. & Sat.) Chucho Valdes and the Afro-Cuban Messengers. The great Cuban pianist returns to the U.S. for the first time in seven years, fronting an ensemble that digs into the irrepressible links between jazz and Afro-Cuban music. Thurs.: Irvine Barclay Theatre. (949) 854-4646 Sat.: Luckman Fine Arts Complex. (323) 343-6600.
– Oct. 14 – 17. (Thurs. – Sun.) The Los Angeles Philharmonic. Gustavo Dudamel conducts a rare performance of Olivier Messiaen’s Turangalila Symphonie, a ten-movement, 80 minute work, written when Messiaen – who described the composition as a “love song” — was focusing on the Tristan and Isolde story. In addition to full orchestra and piano, the score also includes the ondes Martenot, one of the earliest electronic instruments. Disney Hall. (323) 850-2000.
– Oct. 14 & 17. (Thurs. & Sun.) Oran Etkin. Clarinetist Etkin celebrates the release of his CD Wake Up, Clarinet! in a pair of Southland performances. On Thursday he’s at The Skirball Center he appears with his group, Kelenia. (310) 440-4500. On Sunday he presents a children’s/family show at McCabe’s. (310) 828-4497.
– Oct. 15 – 17. (Fri. – Sun.) The Asian American Music Festival. The music of the Pacific rim provides a bountiful collection of sounds and rhythms for this creatively eclectic, far-ranging festival. Friday’s program features hip-hopster Kero One, Dana Leong’s Milk & Jade’s electronica sounds, and Japanese rapper Shing02. The inimitable Leroy Downs is the host. Saturday afternoon’s bill includes two extraordinary pianists, Jon Jang and Gary Fukushima. The Pan Asian Arkestra and the Taiko Project will also present the world premiere of Jang’s Concerto For Jazz Orchestra and Taiko. Saturday night showcases the amazing ukulele playing of Jake Shimabukuro and the quartet of Abe Lagrimas, Jr. and Noel Okimoto. Sunday afternoon features the Japanese-American pop-jazz singer Ernie Meyer and the hip-hop electronica of the Shanghai Restoration Project. And the festival soars to a close on Sunday night when a pair of extraordinary jazz vocalists take center stage: Charmaine Clamor and Sachel Vasandani, with the amiable Bubba Jackson hosting. The Asian American Music Festival. The Japanese American National Museum. (213) 545-1330.
– Oct. 15. (Fri.) Peter Erskine Quartet. Erskine follows up last year’s Grammy-nominated Standards album with selections from his new CD, Standards 2: Movie Music. LACMA. (323) 857-6000.
– Oct. 15. (Fri.) Chris Bennett Band. Bennett, who brings style and substance to everything she sings, will feature selections from her recently released album Sail Away: The Tahiti Sessions. The Culver Club at the Radisson. (310) 649-1776 ext. 4137.
– Oct. 16. (Sat.) Madeline Eastman with the Randy Porter Trio. Bay area jazz singer Eastman is always a pleasure to hear. She doesn’t come south often, so don’t miss this one. Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.
– Oct. 16. (Sat.) Paul Weitz. Guitarist Weitz and his quartet perform with the gifted singer/songwriter Jelsa Palao. Back Room at Henri’s. (818) 348-5582.
– Oct. 16. (Sat.) Gary Foster and Putter Smith. It’s an unusual combination – alto saxophone and bass – but Foster and Smith have the skills and the imagination to make it into a fascinating musical encounter. Jazz Bakery Movable Feast. At the Boston Court in Pasadena. (310) 271-9039.
– Oct. 17. (Sun.) Judy Wolman’s Sing! Sing! Sing! Wolman’s singalong afternoons offer spirited opportunities to share the memories and the pleasures of the Great American Songbook. This time it’s the arching melodies and sophisticated word play of Rodgers and Hart. 12 – 3 p.m. Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.
– Oct. 12 – 14. (Tues. – Thurs.) Chick Corea Trio (w. Christian McBride and Brian Blade). It’s as all-star as it gets, and a chance to hear Corea in a basic, piano trio setting. Yoshi’s Oakland. (510) 238-9200.
– Oct. 13. (Wed.) Tom Harrell Quintet. Trumpeter Harrell’s warm sound, rich melodic imagination and rhythmic drive lead the way for his stellar quintet. Yoshi’s San Francisco. (415) 655-5600.
– Oct. 15 – 17. (Fri. – Sun.) Michael Franks. Singer/songwriter Franks has been coming up with memorable songs for more than three decades. Expect to hear “Popsicle Toes,” “The Lady Wants To Know” and, hopefully, a few of his Brazilian inspired works. Yoshi’s Oakland. (510) 238-9200.
– Oct. 12. (Tues.) Italian Jazz Days. The title says it all. A quintet of Italy’s finest jazz descendants in action: Saxophonist Joe Lovano, trumpeter Dominick Farinacci, pianist Antonio Ciacca, bassist Joseph Lepore, drummer Luca Santaniello. Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola. (212) 258-9595.
– Oct. 12 – 17. (Tues. – Sun.) John Abercrombie Quartet. Guitarist Abercrombie has a long history of stretching the musical envelope, and he continues to do so with his current players – violinist Mark Feldman, bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Joey Baron. Birdland. (212) 581-3080.
– Oct. 14 – 17. (Thurs. – Sun.) Apex: Rudresh Mahanthappa & Bunky Green. A pair of alto saxophonists with very different musical roots work – with remarkable success – at finding common ground. The Jazz Standard. (212) 447-7733.
Chick Corea photo by Tony Gieske