By Don Heckman
– June 14. (Tues.) Motley Crue. L.A.’s heavy metal stars of the eighties (and beyond) take over the vast expanse of the Bowl for a tour through the many hits that have made them rock icons. The Hollywood Bowl. (323) 850-2040.
– June 15. (Wed.) Sachel Vasandani Quartet. At a time when male jazz vocalists are in surprisingly short supply, Vasandani is carving an intriguing musical pathway of his own. Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.
– June 16. (Thurs.) Angelique Kidjo, Youssou N’Dour, Vusi Mahlasela. A stellar ensemble of great African artists. Count on them – and Kidjo in particular – to bestow an irresistible display of dynamic, musical excitement on their listeners. The Greek Theatre. (323) 554-5857.
– June 15. (Wed.) Chuck Manning & Sal Marquez Quartet. Two of the Southland’s most dependably hard swinging players team up for some straight ahead jamming. Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400.
– June 15 – 19. (Wed. – Sun.) The National Ballet of Cuba. One of the world’s great classical ballet companies, the dancers’ performances reflect the exquisite style established by the founder, prima ballerina Alicia Alonso. Segerstrom Center for the Arts. (714) 556-2787.
– June 16. (Thurs.) Mel Martin Quartet. Saxophonist Martin, who roves freely and impressively across the spectrum from bebop to avant-garde, makes a rare club stop in the Southland. He’ll be backed by the equally versatile pianist Don Friedman, (who is also rarely seen in L.A., with bassist Tom Warrington and drummer Joe La Barbera. Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.
– June 16 – 19. (Thurs. – Sun.) Hiromi. The Trio Project. Keyboardist Hiromi, always exploring new musical territory, has a go at the ever-changing vistas of the piano jazz trio. She performs with bassist Anthony Jackson and drummer Steve Smith. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.
– June 17. (Fri.) Hollywood Bowl Opening Night. Opening nights at the Bowl are always memorable events, glowing with stars. This year, there will be performances by 2011 Hall of Fame inductees Harry Connick, Jr. and Gloria Estefan. Also on the program: an exclusive live sneak preview of Cirque du Soleil’s first Hollywood production, IRIS – A Journey Through the World of Cinema. Dame Helen Mirren hosts the evening, and Andy Garcia and Hilary Swank will serve as guest presenters. Thomas Wilkens conducts the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. The Hollywood Bowl. (323) 850-2040.
– June 18. (Sat.) Filipina Ladies of Jazz. Following up on last year’s Filipino Gentlemen of Jazz, this year’s program features a splendid array of female Filipina artists. Pauline Wilson (of the group Seawind) headlines. She’ll be joined by two rising young artists, Nicole David (who will duet with her father, singer Mon David) and soul jazz singer Jaclyn Rose. They’ll be backed by the band of saxophonist Michael Paulo. Ford Amphitheatre. (323) 461-3673.
– June 18. (Sat.) Rickey Woodard. Saxophonist Woodard brings high spirited, hard swinging life to every note he plays. This time out, he’s backed by the John Heard Trio. Charlie O’s. (818) 994-3058.
– June 18. (Sat.) Phil Norman Tentet. Saxophonist Norman’s eminently listenable ensemble is also a briskly swinging show case for many of the Southland’s (and the world’s) finest composers and arrangers. Add to that a line up of all-star players, and expect an evening of memorable little big band jazz. Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.
– June 18. (Sat.) Roseanna Vitro “The Randy Newman Project” Vitro, always a fascinating jazz singer, expands her horizons with her new CD, in which she explores the far-ranging, emotionally diverse musical catalog of Randy Newman. It’s a remarkable album, and the live performance of its selections should make for a compelling musical evening. Jazz Bakery Moveable Feast at Musicians Institute Concert Hall. (310) 271-9039.
– June 14 & 15. (Tues. & Wed.) Paula Morelenbaum. Singer Morelenbaum’s deep linkage to the music of her Brazilian homeland in general, and to bossa nova in particular, reaches back to her work as a young singer with Antonio Carlos Jobim in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Yoshi’s Oakland. (510) 238-9200.
– June 18. (Sat.) Nikki Yanofsky. Still only 17, Yanofky’s recordings and live performances have convincingly established her as a rising star with extraordinary potential. An SFJAZZ Spring Season concert at Herbst Hall. (866) 920-5299.
– June 16 – 19. (Thurs. – Sun.) Ramsey Lewis. “The Sun Goddess Tour.” Keyboardist Lewis leads his electric band in a revisiting of the funk-driven sounds of his cross-over hit album, Sun Goddess. Jazz Alley. (206) 441-9729.
June 16 – 19. (Thurs. – Sun.) Rudresh Mahanthappa. Alto saxophonist Mahanthappa, who just received the Jazz Journalists Association Alto Saxophonist of the Year Award, His Indo-Pak Coalition, with Pakistani-American guitarist Rez Abbasi and drummer Dan Weiss is seeking, and finding, ways to synthesize jazz and the improvised musical forms of South Asia. The results are often extraordinary. Jazz Showcase. (312) 360-0234.
– June 14 & 15. (Tues. & Wed.) The Dave Brubeck Quartet. What is there to say that hasn’t already been said about the Brubeck Quartet. Hearing the group, playing classic selections as well as new ventures, is tapping into living jazz history. The Blue Note. (212) 475-8592.
– June 14 – 19. (Tues. – Sun.) Chris Potter Underground. One of the most consistently imaginative saxophonists of his generation, Potter leads a band filled with similarly adventurous players – drummer Nate Smith, guitarist Adam Rogers and bassist Fima Ephron. Village Vanguard. (212) 255-4037.
– June 15 – 19. (Wed. – Sun.) Monty Alexander and the Harlem-Kingston Express. Pianist Alexander and his group survey the musically delightful linkages between up town jazz and the rhythms of the Caribbean. Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola. (212) 258-9800.