Picks of the Week: Jan. 11 – 16

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

– Jan. 11. (Tues.)  John Pisano Guitar Night.  The first anniversary of Guitar Night at Vitello’s will feature a stellar collection of L.A.’s finest six-stringers.  Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.

– Jan. 13. (Thurs.)  Henry Franklin Quartet.  Bassist Franklin, known to all as “The Skipper,” celebrates the release of his CD, The Soul of the WorldCharlie O’s. (818) 994-3058.

Cheryl Bentyne

– Jan. 13 & 14. (Thurs. & Fri.)  Cheryl Bentyne. The Manhattan Transfer’s soaring soprano takes a break from her ensemble duties to demonstrate her mesmerizing skills as a solo artist.   Click HERE. to read an iRoM review of Cheryl Bentyne’s most recent Vitello’s performance. Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

– Jan. 13 – 15.  (Thurs. – Sat.) Pinchas Zukerman and the Pacific Symphony. Violinist/conductor displays his far-reaching versatility with the Stravinsky Concerto in D (for string orchestra),  Haydn’s Symphony No. 83 “The Hen” and the Beethoven Violin ConcertoSegerstrom Concert Hall OCPAC.   (714) 556-2787.

– Jan. 14. (Fri.) Gary Foster. Multi-talented saxophonist Foster has been ollowing his own adventurous musical pathway for decades, undeterred by stylistic comings and goings in the saxophone world.  He’s backed by the Pat Senatore Trio. Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400.

Justo Almario

– Jan. 14. (Fri.)  Justo Almario. The master saxophonist and woodwind artist, who can play just about anything with anybody,  celebrates 45 years in the business, with Oscar Hernandez and the LA/NY Connection.   Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.

– Jan. 14. (Fri.)  Joey DeFrancesco Trio. A night at  Steamers with Joey D piloting the Hammond B-3 through one jazz realm after another is always a night to remember.  Steamers.   (714) 871-8800.

– Jan. 15 & 16. (Sat. & Sunday)  India Adams. Her name may be unfamiliar, but her voice will evoke memories. Adams was the singing voice for Joan Crawford in Torch Song, Cyd Charisse in The Band Wagon and herself on Broadway. Catalina Bar & Grill (323) 466-2210.

– Jan. 16. (Sun.) Marian Petrescu and Mike Garson. Pianistic virtuosity will be on the loose in this promising jazz encounter between the astonishingly fast fingers of Romania-born Petrescu and the eclectic musical imagination of Garson.  Pierre’s Fine Pianos.    (310) 247-0331.

– Jan. 16. (Sun.)  Elliott Caine Sextet.  Trumpeter Caine leads his sextet in a celebration of material from his new CD, the evocatively titled Hippie Chicks on Acid. KJAZZ’s Bubba Jackson, the irrepressible host, will explain what it means.   KJAZZ Sunday Champagne Brunch.  The Twist Restaurant in the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel.  (562) 985-2999.

San Francisco

Dave Grisman and Martin Taylor

– Jan. 12 & 13. (Wed. & Thurs.) Dave Grisman and Martin Taylor.  Mandolinist Grisman and guitarist Taylor, two of the most gifted proponents of acoustic music, get together for an engaging evening of string sounds. Yoshi’s Oakland.  (510) 238-9200.

– Jan. 12 & 13.  (Wed. & Thurs.) The Family Stone. Jerry Martini and Cynthia Robinson, among the founding members of Sly & the Family Stone, revive some of the classic rock band’s greatest hits.  Expect to hear, among others, “I Want To Take You Higher,” “EverydayPeople” and “Dance to the Music.”  Yoshi’s San Francisco. (415) 655-5600.

New York


– Jan. 10.  (Mon.)   Noa. Israel-born, New York City-raised singer Noa (whose full name is Achinoam Nini) makes a special appearance in a small venue.  Blessed with a musically precise, emotionally intimate voice and a mastery of a far-reaching range of global styles, Noa — who has sung for Pope John Paul II and President Bill Clinton, and performed with everyone from Sting and Stevie Wonder to artists from Palestine, Lebanon and Algeria — can rarely be heard in such an up close and personal setting.  Don’t miss this one.  City Winery.    (212) 608-0555.

– Jan. 11 – 15. (Tues. – Sat.)  The Tierney Sutton Band. Seventeen years together and Sutton and her musicians seem to get better with every performance, bringing new crative perspective to everything they touch.   Click HERE to read a recent iRoM review of the Tierney Sutton Band.   Birdland.    (212) 581-3080.

– Jan. 11 – 16. (Tues. – Sun.)  Joe Lovano’s “Us Five” brings together a cross-generational congregation of impressive jazz talent: pianist Jerome Wiedman, bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding, and drummers Otis Brown III and Matt Wilson.  They’ll no doubt perform selections from Lovanos album, Folk ArtVillage Vanguard.  (212) 929-4589.

– Jan. 11 – 16. (Tues. – Sun.) Bill Evans/Steve Lukather “Toxic Monkey.” Crossover saxophonist Evans and multiple Grammy-winning guitarist Lukather debut their new funk/rock/jazz band. The Blue Note.   (212) 475-8592.

– Jan. 11 – 16. (Tues. – Sun.)  The Clayton Brothers Band.  Altoist Jeff and bassist/composer John Clayton – high level members of L.A.’s jazz aristocracy, get together with pianist Gerald Clayton (John’s son) bassist Terrell Stafford and drummer Obed Calvaire to celebrate the Clayton Brothers second Grammy nomination in a row.  Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola.   (212) 258-9800.

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