Picks of the Week: Dec. 15 – 20.

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

– Dec. 15. (Wed.) Chuck Manning and Sal Marquez Quartet. A pair of L.A.’s most solidly dependable swingers go horn to horn in an evening guaranteed to keep your jazz soul alive. Vibrato. (310) 474-9400.

– Dec. 15. (Wed.) Jules Day. Rising young jazz star Day celebrates the release of her new CD, Day Dreams. Vitello’s.  (818) 769-0905.

Katja Rieckermann

– Dec. 16. (Thurs,.) Katja Rieckermann. German-born alto saxophonist has been one of the favorite back-up players for the likes of Randy Newman, Carole King, Al Green and, most recently, Rod Stewart. She clearly knows where the groove is. Vibrato. (310) 474-9400.

– Dec. 16. (Thurs.) John Proulx Holiday Music. Singer/pianist Proulx applies his amiable musical blend to a program of mid-winter classics. Charlie O’s. (818) 994-3058.

– Dec. 16. (Thurs.) The Vivino Bros. The blues-driven Vivino brothers — saxophonist Jerry and guitarist Jimmy — from the Conan O’Brien show make their first L.A. appearance. The Baked Potato.  (818) 980-1615.

– Dec. 16 – 18. (Thurs. – Sat.) Andy Williams. He’s back. And that’s good news, since the holiday season is never quite complete without the still sweet sound of the venerable balladeer singing Christmas classics. Orange County Performing Arts Center.  (714) 556-2787.

– Dec. 16 – 19. (Thurs. – Sun.) Los Angeles Philharmonic with pianist Robert Levin. Nicholas McGegan conducts the L.A. Phil. In a program reaching from Haydn’s Symphony No. 93 to Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 22, with pianist Levin. Walt Disney Concert Hall. (323) 850-2000.  .

– Dec. 17. (Fri.) Inner Voices. The Southland’s primo vocal ensemble combines a celebration of the holidays with selections from their brand new CD, Valentine.. Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.

Debby Boone and John Davidson

– Dec. 17. (Fri.) Debby Boone and John Davidson. “Christmas Memories” A pair of show business veterans get together to bring musical joy to the holiday season. And no doubt Boone’s memorable version of “You Light Up My Life” will be on the program. Smothers Theatre, Pepperdine University.  (310) 506-4522.

– Dec. 17 & 18. (Fri. & Sat.) Ben Vereen. When he’s on stage as a solo act, there’s more talent up there than there would be with a crowd of most performers. Vereen can do it all, and he doesn’t do many night club dates. So don’t miss this one. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.

Bob Sheppard

– Dec. 17 & 18. (Fri. & Sat.) Bob Sheppard. The gifted saxophonist/flutist has a busy weekend. On Fri. he performs with the Pat Senatore Trio at Vibrato. On Sat. he’ll play selections from his new CD, Close Your Eyes with Alan Pasqua, piano, Larry Koonse, guitar, Gabe Noel, bass and Steve Hass, drums. Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.

– Dec. 19. (Sun.) Los Angeles Master Chorale. Join the LAMC in the ultimate pleasure for frustrated vocalists, the Messiah Singalong. Walt Disney Concert Hall. (323) 850-2000.

– Dec. 19. (Sun.) Dave Koz and Friends Smooth Jazz Christmas Tour. Saxophonist Koz and is pals have a lock on the franchise for smooth jazz Christmas sounds. This year’s lineup includes Jonathan Butler, Brian Culbertson, Candy Dulfer and others. Nokia Theatre L.A. Live.  (213) 763-6320.

– Dec. 20. (Mon.) “Candlelight Carols” Judy Wolman’s Sing! Sing! Sing!. If the Messiah’s a bit of a reach for your vocal skills, never fear. Judy’s singalongs are welcome experiences for everyone, and never more so than when you’re singing Christmas Carols in a candle lit room. Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.

San Francisco

Maria Muldaur

Dec. 15. (Wed.) Maria Muldaur’s Christmas Show. She started out as a folkie in the Greenwich Village ’60s, but Muldaur’s always been a lot more eclectic than that. She’ll add selections from her latest album, Yes We Can, to her Christmas program. Yoshi’s Oakland. (510) 238-9200.

Dec. 17 – 19. (Fri. – Sun.) Hiroshima. Together for three decades, Hiroshima is still one of the unique sounds in comtemporary music, blending jazz, pop and rock with traditional Japanese sounds. Yoshi’s San Francisco. (415) 655-5600.

New York

– Dec. 14 – 18. (Tues. – Sat.) John Pizzarelli Quartet. Pizzarelli’s pretty much established himself as an appealing, contemporary guitar and voice version of the Nat “King” Cole pop jazz style.  Birdland. (212) 591-3080.

– Dec. 14 – 19. (Tues. – Sun.) Samba Jazz & the Bossa Nova Years. One could hardly ask for a more authentic approach to samba, jazz and bossa than this impressive line-up will provide. Featuring Duduka Da Fonseca, Helio Alves, Maucha Adnet, Romero Lubambo, Claudio Roditi and George Mraz. Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.  (212) 258-9800.

Chris Botti

– Dec. 14 – 19. (Tues. – Sun.) Chris Botti begins his annual three week holiday run at the Blue Note. Two shows a night for 21 consecutive nights. And every one of them will be a night to remember.  The Blue Note.  (212) 475-8592.

– Dec. 16. (Thurs.) Rebecca Martin. Singer/songwriter Martin, who matches her engaging musical skills with equally determined social activism, performs tenor saxophonist Bill McHenry and her husband, bassist Larry Grenadier. Jazz Standard. (212) 576-2232.

Dec. 17 & 18. (Fri. & Sat.) Rez Abbasi’s Invocation. Guitarist Abbasi has assembled a band with high powered creative potential. With Rudresh Mahanthappa, alto saxophone, Johannes Weidenmueller, bass, Dan Weiss, drums. Cornelia St. Café. (818) 989-9319.


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