By Don Heckman
– June 6. (Mon.) Candi Sosa: Bolero Meets Jazz. Cuban born singer Sosa finds surprisingly compatible musical linkages between jazz and the lyrical Latin ballad style. Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.
– June 7. (Tues.) Jennifer Leitham Trio. Bassist/singer Leitham celebrates the release of her DVD, The Real Me Live!, the chronicle of an extraordinary talent and an amazing life. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.
– June 8. (Wed.) Sally Unplugged. Sally Kellerman. Hot Lips returns with a bundle of songs reaching from jazz and blues to country and pop. And she does them all with utter authenticity, finding the heart of the story in everything she sings. Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.
– June 9 – 11. (Thurs. – Sat.) “Rhapsody in Blue.” The Pacific Symphony conducted by James Gaffigan, performs a program of Gershwin (the Rhapsody in Blue and Variations on I Got Rhythm) and Rachmaninoff (Symphony No. 2). Orion Weiss is the piano soloist for the Rhapsody. Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. (714) 556-2787.
– June 9 – 11. (Thurs. – Sat.) Diane Schuur. Deedles, as she is known to friends and fans alike, makes a few of her too-rare appearances in the Southland, celebrating the release of The Gathring, her debut album on Vanguard. On Thurs. she’ll be at the Grammy Museum. And on Fri. and Sat. at Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.
– June 10. (Fri.) Julie Kelly. Versatile in everything from atmospheric Brazilian music to jazz balladry and lively scatting, Kelly’s singing is always a pleasure to hear. She’s backed by the John Heard Trio. Charlie O’s. (818) 994-3058.
– June 11. (Sat.) Jethro Tull. More than four decades since Ian Anderson first demonstrated the potential for the flute as the lead instrument in a rock group, he’s still romping with Jethro Tull. The band will perform their Aqualung album in its entirety, with a sampling of other hits, as well. The Greek Theatre. (323) 554-5857.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK
– June 11 & 12. (Sat. & Sun.) The Playboy Jazz Festival. The Hollywood Bowl. It’s that time again. The weekend that jazz fans anticipate with pleasure. A two day jazz party in the sun, filling every nook and cranny of the Hollywood Bowl with all the amazing sounds grouped under the broad colorful umbrella of contemporary jazz. This year’s program includes:
Dianne Reeves, The Roots with Terence Blanchard, Fourplay, Eddie Palmieri’s Salsa Orchestra, the SFJAZZ Collective, A Night in Treme with the Rebirth Brass Band (and guest artists Donald Harrison, Jr., Kermit Ruffins, Dr. Michael White and Big Sam Williams), Bill Cosby’s Cos of Good Music (featuring Geri Allen, George Bohanon, Dwayne Burno, Ndugu Chancler, Anat Cohen and Babatunde Lea), The Ambrose Akinmusire Quintet and the LASUD All City HS Big Band (directed by Tony White and J.B. Dyas).
Buddy Guy, the Lee Konitz New Quartet, John Scofield and Robben Ford, Naturally 7, Harmony 3 with Ronnie Laws, Walter Beasley and Stanley Jordan, Geri Allen’s Timeline Band, Still Black, Still Proud: An African Tribute to James Brown (featuring Pee Wee Ellis, Fred Wesley and Vusi Mahlasela), Bill Cunliffe with the Resonance Big Band in a Tribute to Oscar Peterson, featuring Marian Petrescu, Carlos Varela and the Pullum HS Jazz Big Band (directed by Fernando Pullum). The Playboy Jazz Festival. (310) 450-1173.
– June 12. (Sunday) Gerald Wilson Orchestra. One of the great masters of large ensemble jazz composition and orchestration, ninety-two year old Wilson still knows how to lead a band with enviable dynamic energy. Don’t miss him in action. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.
– June 10 & 11. (Fri. & Sat.) The Yellowjackets with special guest Robben Ford. Fusion, funk, groove masters the Yellowjackets team up with the equally blues-driven guitarist Ford. Yoshi’s San Francisco. (415) 655-5600.
– June 11 & 12. (Sat. & Sun.) Karrin Allyson Quartet. A singer who brings musicality, believability and a gorgeous vocal instrument to all her songs, Allyson appears on the crest of her new album, ‘Round Midnight. Pianist Bruce Barth is featured in her fine back-up group. Yoshi’s Oakland. (510) 238-9200.
– June 6 – 12. (Mon. – Sun.)) The Healdsburg Jazz Festival continues with its presentation of world class jazz in delightful settings. Among the highlights: Mon: John Stowell Guitar Trio; Tues.: SF Jazz High School All-Stars; Wed.: Sandy and Natalie Cressman. Thurs: Geri Allen, solo piano; the Babatunde Lea Quintet in a tribute to Leon Thomas. Friday: Sangam with Charles Lloyd, Zakir Hussain and Eric Harland. Saturday: Denny Zeitlin, solo piano; the John Heard Trio; George Cables All Stars. Sunday: Charlie Haden and Allen Broadbent. At the Raven Theatre and other locations in Healdsburg, CA. The Healdsburg Jazz Festival. (707) 433-4633.
– June 9 – 12 (Thurs. – Sun.) Earl Klugh. One of Detroit’s finest products, guitarist Klugh’s articulate style brings life and substance to the smooth jazz/fusion genre. Jazz Alley. (206)441-9729
– June 6. (Mon.) Jim Hall and Ron Carter Duo. “Alone Together, Again.” A pair of the great jazz masters in action. One only hopes that they continue to do these “Alone Together” gigs – again and again. The Blue Note. (212) 475-8592.
– June 7 – 12. (Tues. – Sun.) The Joe Lovano Nonet. Saxophonist Lovano’s Grammy winning Nonet admirably carries the torch lit by the Miles Davis’ Birth of the Cool band. Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola. (212) 258-9800.
– June 9 & 10. (Thurs. & Fri.) The Steve Cropper Band. Guitarist, songwriter and producer Cropper has backed the likes of Booker T., Sam & Dave, Otis Redding and many others, while writing tunes good enough to trigger his induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Iridium. (212) 582-2121.
– June 12. (Sun.) Jazz on the National Mall. Claudia Acuna Quartet, Roy Hargrove’s RH Factor, Eddie Palmieri All-Star Orchestra, Frederic Yonnet, Toby Foyeh and Orchestra Africa. A free, live performance of world class jazz, presented by the D.C. Jazz Festival. Jazz on the Natonal Mall. The National Mall, Washington, D.C. (202) 457-7628.
– June 9 & 11. (Thurs. & Sat.) Noa. Israeli/American singer Noa (her full name is Achinoam Nini) is as comfortable and effective with a symphony orchestra as she is with the guitar of her frequent musical companion, Gil Dor. But no matter what she’s singing, whether it be rock, blues, Yemenite or folk, in Italian, French, Hebrew or Arabic, she’s one of the world’s great vocal artists. Here, she performs with Dor, as well as the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, celebrating the release of her new album, The Israeli Songbook. The Henry Crown Hall, Jerusalem. 1-700-70-4000.
– Jan 7 – 9. (Tues. – Thurs.) Michel Legrand. The French pianist/composer combines an appealing jazz performance style with a catalog of superb, memorable songs. He’ll be backed in this relatively rare night club performance by Ronnie Scott’s All-Stars. Ronnie Scott’s. 020 7439 0747 4000.
– June 9. (Thurs.) Yuval Ron Ensemble. Oud master Yuval Ron has assembled a remarkable array of musicians for “A Concert For Peace in the Middle East.” The participants include whirling Dervish Aziz, qawwali master Sukhawat Ali Khan, Armenian woodwind master Norik Manoukian, Israeli-Yemenite singer Maya Haddi, and Virgine Alimian, playing kanoun, Jamie Papish and David Martinelli on percussion. FREE but reservations for the free tickets are required. Please email for the free tickets to: firstname.lastname@example.org. “A Concert For Peace in the Middle East.” Sultanahmet Square AmpheTheatre. Istanbul.
– June 8 – 11. (Wed. – Sat.) The Mike Stern Band featuring Randy Brecker. Guitarist Stern, a six-time Grammy nominee, leads the solid ensemble of bassist Tom Kennedy and drummer Dennis Chambers in a multi-layered set of sounds reaching across the spectrum from groove blues to straight ahead jazz. The Blue Note Tokyo.
Sally Kellerman, Dianne Reeves, Buddy Guy and Ron Carter photos by Tony Gieske.