By Don Heckman
– Dec. 8. (Tues.) Neil Sedaka. Hitmaker Sedaka showcases his memorable catalog of songs in a performance replacing a date cancelled in late October. Disney Hall. (323) 850-2000.
– Dec. 8. (Wed.) Carol Welsman Canadian-born Welsman has the rare ability to surround the supple timbres of her voice with an intimate piano style. Her versatility reaches from American standards to songs in French, Italian and Portuguese. With any luck, she’ll offer her intimate version of the lovely Italian song, “Estate.” Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400.
– Dec. 8. (Wed.) Emil Richards/Joe Porcaro Quartet. Featuring Abraham Laboriel, bass and Mike Lang, piano. A quartet of veteran players reveal the broad, generational reach of masterful jazz. Charlie O’s. (818) 994-3058.
– Dec. 8. (Wed.) The Celtic Tenors Holiday Show. An evening of musical holiday cheer from the soaring voices of the Celtic tenors, embracing classical, Celtic, Americana and pop music. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. (562) 916-8501.
– Dec. 9. (Thurs.) Natalie Cole. The eclectic Cole, who – like her Dad – reaches convincingly across genres from jazz to blues and pop, makes her Disney Hall debut. Disney Hall. (323) 850-2000.
– Dec. 9. (Thurs.) Adam Schroeder. Rising star jazz saxophonist Schroeder hosts a pair of release parties for his new CD, A Handful of Stars. W. Graham Dechter, guitar, John Clayton, bass, Jeff Hamilton, drums. Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905. Also Dec. 10 (Fri.) at the The Culver Club for Jazz at the Radisson L.A. West Side Hotel. (310) 649-1776 Ext. 4137.
– Dec. 9. (Thurs.) Eric Reed Trio. Once a teen-age pianistic jazz prodigy, Reed is now firmly established as mature jazz star. He performs with Hamilton Price, bass, Kevin Yokota, drums. Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400.
– Dec. 9. (Thurs.) Denise Donatelli. The Southland is blessed with an impressive array of gifted jazz vocalists. Donatelli’s one of the best – here and elsewhere. To read a recent iRoM performance review click HERE. Charlie O’s. (818) 994-3058.
– Dec. 9 – 11. (Thurs. – Sat.) The Pacific Symphony with pianist Kirill Gerstein in an evening of memorable classics. On the program: the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto #2 and Dvorak Symphony #9 (from the New World). Segerstrom Concert Hall, Orange County Performing Arts Center. (714) 556-2787.
– Dec. 9 – 12. (Thurs. – Sun.) Mike Stern Quartet. Guitarist Stern leads an ensemble of guys, all of whom, fly freely across a colorful array of jazz genres. With Randy Brecker, trumpet, Dennis Chambers, drums and Anthony Jackson, bass. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.
– Dec. 10 – 12. (Fri. – Sun.) Hilary Hahn and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Hahn applies her rich, interprettive style to the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, and Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos conducts the LA Phil in Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique. Disney Hall. (323) 850-2000.
– Dec. 11 & 12. (Sat. & Sun.) The Colors of Christmas. It’s been one of the annual pleasures of Christmas for nearly two decades, with Peabo Bryson, James Ingram, Oleta Adams and Stephanie Mills bringing holiday musical joy to the season. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. (562) 916-8501.
– Dec. 12. (Sun.) Red Holloway and Plas Johnson. Two of the most inimitable jazz tenor saxophonists in the business team up for a holiday jazz celebration. The irrepressible Bubba Jackson hosts. KJAZZ Sunday Champagne Brunch. (323) 491-1000.
– Dec. 12. (Sun.) Kate McGarry and Keith Ganz. Grammy-nominated McGarry performs selections from her album, Less Is More, Nothing is Everything, with her husband, guitarist Keith Ganz. The Royal T. (310) 559-6000.
– Dec. 9 – 12. (Thurs. – Sun.) Charlie Hunter. Guitarist Hunter, who sometimes manages to make his diverse guitar playing sound like a one man band, arrives for his eleventh annual December appearance at Yoshi’s Oakland. (510) 238-9200.
– Dec. 9 – 12. (Thurs. – Sun.) Los Van Van. The great Cuban band, crossing genres in every stylistic direction, and doing it with vitality and substance, makes a rare San Francisco appearance. Yoshi’s San Francisco. (415) 655-5600.
– Dec. 7. (Tues.) Theo Bleckmann & Ben Monder Duo. The unique duo of Bleckmann and Monder trigger musical magic via the blending of voice, live electronics and guitar. The Cornelia St. Café. (212) 989-9319
– Dec. 7 – 11. (Tues. – Sat.) The Roy Haynes Quartet. Ageless, 85 year old drummer Haynes, continues to give seminars in the art of swinging, backed by his Fountain of Youth Quartet. Birdland. (212) 581-3080.
– Dec. 7 – 12. (Tues. – Sun.) Robert Glasper Trio. Pianist Glasper is one of the rare young jazz artists who can bring authenticity to the combination of jazz, rock, hip hop and more. Village Vanguard. (212) 929-4589.
– Dec. 7 – 12. (Tues. – Sun.) The Manhattan Transfer. Vocal music – jazz, pop, blues and beyond – doesn’t get any better than the Transfer. Forty years together and their performances are still utterly mesmerizing. The Blue Note. (212) 475-8592.
– Dec. 9 – 12. (Thurs. – Sun.) Patricia Barber. Pianist/singer Barber is one of a kind, opening new vistas in every song she sings. Hopefully she’ll play an advance tune or two from her upcoming album, The Storyteller, due out in 2011. Jazz Standard. (212) 576-2232.