Picks of the Week: June 21 – 26

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Misha Piatigorsky

June 21. (Tues.) Misha Piatigorsky with Sketchy Black Dog.  The winner of the 2004 Thelonious Monk Composers Competition, pianist Piatigorsky’s extraordinary skills reach from soundtrack composing for major films to collaborations with the likes of Wynton Marsalis, Jon Hendricks and Joe Lovano. His piano trio combines with a string quartet to create the ensemble Sketchy Black Dog.   Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.   (310) 474-9400.

– June 21 (Tues.)  Julian Lage. Guitarist Lage was a child prodigy, the subject of an Academy Award nominated documentary.  Now 23, he has established himself as one of the prime jazz artists of his generation. Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.

– June 22 (Wed.) Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.  In addition to their world class jazz skills, Marsalis and the JLCO also offer an irresistible blend of new music and memorable jazz repertory. The Hollywood Bowl.    (323) 850-2040.

– June 22. (Wed.)  Carol Welsman.  Singer/pianist Welsman accomplishes the harder-than-it-looks task of blending her intimate vocalizing and her briskly swinging piano with a subtle ease reminiscent of the great Nat “King” Cole. Vitello’s.    (818) 769-0905.

Alan Chapman and Karen Benjamin

– June 22. (Wed.) CabarabiaMusic For A Midsummer’s Night: An Evening of Cabaret and Jazz”  The title tells it all.  And with a cast like this, expect great results: Karen Benjamin and Alan Chapman. Vocal group Fourplay.  Singers Lauren White and Karen G.  And introducing “Johnny Loves Maddie.”  Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.

– June 23. (Thurs.)  Alison Kraus and Union Station.  With Jerry Douglas. Back together again, this triple Grammy winning combination returns with their matchless blend of country, rock, pop and Americana. The Greek Theatre.  (323) 554-5857.

– June 23. (Thurs.)  Theo Saunders Quartet.  The pianist/composer’s resume reaches from gigs with most of the major names in jazz, to music directing for theatre, to composing for dance, theatre, multi-media and beyond.  Here’s a chance to hear him up close and personal with his own quartet. Charlie O’s.   (818) 994-3058.

– June 24. (Fri.)  Deep Purple: The Songs That Built Rock.  The iconic English band, with three original members, makes its first North American tour in four years.  And, for the first time, they’ll perform with the stunning accompaniment of a symphony orchestra.  Blues-driven Ernie and the Automatics open the show. The Greek Theatre.  (323) 554-5857.

– June 24. (Fri.)  Deborah Pearl.  Writer/lyricist/singer Pearl features selections from her remarkable new album, Souvenir of You: New Lyrics to Benny Carter Classics. She’s backed by the sensitive, swinging support of the Lou Forestieri Trio with special guest Don Shelton on saxophone.   Vitello’s.    (818) 769-0905.

Melissa Manchester

– June 24 – 26. (Fri. – Sun.)  Melissa Manchester.  Singer/songwriter Manchester’s high flying career has zoomed from one hit to another.  Her successes with “Through the Eyes of Love,” “Don’t Cry Out Loud” and “Midnight Blue” thoroughly established her as an artist who knows how to transform a song into a classic.  Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.

San Francisco

– June 24. (Fri.)  Kitty Margolis.  With Allison Miller on drums.  Margolis spends an unusual amount of time away from her Bay area home base.  But now, in a rare San Francisco appearance that should please all of her many local fans, she’s finally getting around to making her debut at Yoshi’s San Francisco.   (415) 655-5600.

– June 24 & 25. (Fri. & Sat.)  Generations in JazzEldar Djangirov and Pat Martino.  Young pianist Djangirov and veteran guitarist Martino are, indeed, generations apart, but they find common ground in their jazz encounters. Yoshi’s Oakland.   (510) 238-9200.

– June 25. (Sat.)  Ana Moura.  A rich, dark voice combined with a mastery of deeply emotional musical story make Moura one of the world’s finest fado singers.  An SFJAZZ Spring Season event at the Herbst Theatre.    (866) 920-5299.


Claudio Roditi

– June 23 – 26. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Claudio Roditi.  Veteran Brazilian trumpeter Roditi has affirmed his jazz creds via his work with the Dizzy Gillespie United Nations Orchestra as well the Grammy nomination s he’s received for his own work. The Jazz Showcase.   (312) 360-0234.

New York

– June 21 – 25.  (Tues. – Sat.)  The Mike Stern Band featuring Esperanza Spalding.  Guitarist Stern, always expanding his musical horizons, teams up with bassist/singer and rapidly emerging jazz star Spalding.  Iridium.    (212) 582-2121.

– June 21 – 26. (Tues. – Sun.)  Barbara Carroll. Her early career as a jazz pianist gradually morphed into Carroll’s later work as an impressive cabaret artist.  At 86, she’s still going strong, and should be in rare form with the backing of Ken Peplowski, Jay Leonhart and Alvin AtkinsonDizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.    (212) 258-9800.

– June 24. (Fri.)  Rez Abbasi Acoustic Quartet. Born in Pakistan, guitarist Abbasi has lived in New York for nearly two decades.  His music reflects both environments, a synthesis of straight ahead jazz and the improvisational traditions of his native land.  Cornelia St. Café.   (212) 989-9319.

Washington D.C.

Jon Faddis

– June 24 & 25. (Fri. & Sat.)  Jon Faddis.  Trumpeter Faddis takes a break from his busy schedule as educator, conductor and composer to display his virtuosic instrumental wares.  Blues Alley.     (202) 337-4141.


– June 26. (Sun.)  Darius Brubeck Quartet and Claude Deppa.  Eldest son of Dave Brubeck, pianist Darius spent more than 20 years in South Africa establishing jazz programs at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and finding intriguing linkages between African traditional music and jazz.  Trumpeter/composer Deppa roves easily across soul, funk, Afro-jazz and Afro-Cuban musics.  Ronnie Scott’s.    020 7439 0747.


June 22 – 24. (Wed. – Fri.) Ramon Valle Trio.  Cuban pianist Valle is yet another extraordinary jazz keyboardist to emerge from the island nation.  He describes himself as a troubadour – “because I tell stories, stories without words.”  A-Trane.   49 30 313 25 50.


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