Picks of the Week: Nov. 1 – 6

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Hilary Hahn

– Nov. 1. Tues.)  Hilary Hahn.  The musically insightful violinist performs an intimate recital accompanied by pianist Valentina Lisitsa.  On the program: Bach, Beethoven and Brahms.  Disney Hall.   (323) 850-2000.

– NOv. 1 & 2. (Tues. & Wed.)  Barb Jungr.  English singer Jungr’s versatility is revealed in her highly personal vocal style as well as her broad choice of material.  In her latest album, The Man in the Long Black Coat, she brings new perspectives to a program of Bob Dylan songs.  Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.

– Nov. 2. (Wed.)  Patty Peterson.  She comes from a family whose musical connections reach into every style and genre.  But Minnesota’s Peterson is a unique vocal stylist with a thoroughly original musical view.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.   (310) 474-9400.

Anthony Wilson

– Nov. 2. (Wed.)  Anthony Wilson Quartet. He’s in the top list of desirable sideman guitarists, and has been enhancing Diana Krall’s rhythm section for a decade.  But he’s also a superlative player and composer in his own right.  Here he is in the spotlight.  Royal/T.

– Nov. 3. (Thurs.)  Deborah Pearl  “Souvenir of You”  Pearl has written lyrics for some of Benny Carter’s finest music, and interprets them in a manner that would surely have pleased the old master.  Click HERE to read a previous iRoM review of Pearl’s Carter program.  Vitello’s.    (818) 769-0905.

– Nov. 4. (Fri.) Vinny Golia Quintet. He’s one of the Southland’s most eclectic jazz artists, applying the sounds of his various woodwinds to improvisational music that knows no genre boundaries. LACMA.   (323) 857-6000.

– Nov. 4. (Fri.) Cyndi Lauper.  With 30 million records sold since she was first just a girl who wanted to have fun, Lauper has matured into a full-fledged entertainer, her skills reaching comfortably from singing and songwriting to acting and writing.  Along the way she’s won a Best New Artist Grammy award, Emmy awards, American Music awards and a lot more.  Club Nokia.     (213) 765-7000.

Billy Childs

Nov. 5. (Sat.)  Billy Childs Jazz Chamber Ensemble.  Pianist/composer Childs has been successfully discovering ways to apply the principles of chamber music to the subtleties of jazz improvisation. Every performance, as a result, is a musical adventure.   To read a previous iRoM review of the Childs Jazz Chamber Ensemble click HERE.   Vitello’s.     (818) 769-0905.

– Nov. 5. (Sat.)  Earl Scruggs.  At 87, banjoist Scruggs – already the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award – continues to gift audiences with the bluegrass music he defined with the likes of Bill Monroe and Lester Flatt.  He’s a true iconic figure of American music.  Don’t miss this rare chance to hear him.   UCLA Live at Royce Hall.    (310) 825-2101.

– Nov. 5 (Sat)  The King’s Singers.  The celebrated English vocal ensemble cruises smoothly through music reaching from the 16th century to contemporary sounds – and does so with authenticity, accuracy and – at times – with humor.  Valley Performing Arts Center.  (818) 677-3000.

The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

– Nov. 5 & 6. (Sat. & Sun.) The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra performs the Bach Brandenburg Concertos. Any opportunity to hear one of the classic Bach Brandenburgs is a good one.  But the chance to hear all six of these remarkable works is something not to be missed.  For this memorable event, the LACO will be led by violinist Margaret Bajer.  The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.    Sat.: The Alex Theatre.  Sun. Royce Hall.  (213) 622-7001.

– Nov. 5 & 6. (Sat. & Sun.)) Don Preston Trio.  Keyboardist Preston may be best known for his stint with the Mothers of Invention.  But he’s had a richly creative, prolific career – both before and after the Mothers – exploring music ranging from straight ahead and cutting edge jazz to many areas of pop and rock.   He performs Sat. at South Pasadena Music Center and Conservatory.  Sun. at Alva’s Showroom in San Pedro.

– Nov. 6. (Sun.)  “Bill in Brazil.”  Always in search of expressive areas to explore, pianist/composer Bill Cunliffe leads his quartet in an excursion through the classic rhythms of samba, the bossa nova and beyond.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.   (310) 474-9400.

– Nov. 6. (Sun.)  Wynonna.  Wynonna Judd’s country music stardom traces back to the early ‘80s and her partnership with her mother, Naomi Judd, in the duo they simply called the Judds.  On her own, she’s continued to have a stellar career.  The Valley Performing Arts Center.  (818) 677-3000.

San Francisco

Omar Sosa

– Nov. 4 & 5 (Fri. & Sat.)  Omar Sosa Quartet.  Cuban-born pianist/composer Sosa continues to seek and find intriguing common ground between jazz and a plethora of world and pop music forms.  Yoshi’s Oakland.   (510) 238-9200.


– Nov. 1 & 2. (Tues. & Wed.)  Omar Sosa Quartet.  See above.  Jazz Alley.    (206) 441-9729.


– Nov. 3 – 6. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Tom Harrell Quartet.  Trumpeter/flugelhornist/composer Harrell has a resume reaching across every area of jazz, from the big bands and small ensembles, playing every contemporary jazz style.  And, at 65, he’s continuing to do so with imagination and enthusiasm.  Jazz Showcase.     (312) 360-0234.

New York

Chick Corea

– Nov. 1 – 27. (Tues. – Sun.)  Chick Corea begins a nearly month long residency at the Blue Note with a stunning survey of the broad, seemingly endless horizons of his extraordinary musical career.  This first week begins with Return To Forever Unplugged (Tues. & Wed.) The Chick Corea/Gary Peacock/Brian Blade Trio (Thurs.) and the Five Peace Band (Fri. – Sun.)  There are always a multitude of reasons to be in New York City, but this month of memorable Corea performances is one of the best. Let’s hope they’re all recorded for those of us not fortunate enough to be there. The Blue Note.  (212) 475-8592.

– Nov. 1 – 6. (Tues. – Sun.)  Sextet Three Cohens.  Celebrating the release of their new Anzic Records  album – appropriately titled Family — clarinetist/saxophonist Anat, soprano saxophonist Yuval and trumpeter Avishai reveal their impressive jazz skills in everything they play.  Village Vanguard.   (212) 255-4037.

– Nov. 1 – 6. (Tues. – Sun.)  Django Reinhardt Festival.  Featuring Dorado Schmidt.  Here it is again, the annual celebration of the the great French jazz artist with Schmitt, another Gypsy guitarist, in the spotlight.  Guests during the week also include clarinetist Ken Peplowski, trumpter Dominick Farinacci and others.   Birdland.   (212) 581-3080.

– Nov. 4. (Fri.) Opera ShortsThe Remarkable Theatre Brigade, ever eager to support the cause of new music, presents a program of 10 ten minute operas, all by living composers. Among those represented are Jake Heggie, William Bolcom, Davide Zannoni and Tom Cipullo.  Subject matter includes a sardonic look behind the scenes at I Love Lucy to a  barnyard where animals discuss politics.  Weill Recital Hall.   (212) 247-7800.


Stacey Kent

– Nov. 1 – 4. (Tues. – Fri.)  Stacey Kent.  A Grammy nominated, American-born vocalist, Kent has spent much of her career living in England and thoroughly establishing herself as an international jazz figure.  She’s currently celebrating the release of her latest album, Dreamer in Concert, her first non-studio album, recorded at La Cigale in Paris.    Ronnie Scott’s.    020 7439 0747.


– Nov. 1 – 4. (Tues. – Fri.)  Toshiko Akiyoshi Quintet.  Approaching her 82nd birthday, Japanese-born pianist/composer/bandleader Akiyoshi continues to affirm the authentic jazz credentials she first displayed when she was discovered by Oscar Peterson in the early ‘50s.  She’ll perform with her husband, saxophonist Lew TabackinBlue Note Tokyo.  03-5485-0088.

Billy Childs photo by Tony Gieske.

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