By Don Heckman
– Nov. 8. (Tues.) Rick Braun Sings. Trumpeter Rick Braun, a high visibility instrumentalist in the smooth jazz arena, displays his engaging vocal skills on his latest album, the appropriately titled Rick Braun Sings With Strings. Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.
– Nov. 9. (Wed.) Phil Norman Tentet CD release party. The Norman Tentet’s 21st century take on the West Coast sounds of the ‘50s is enhanced in the new album – Encore — by a set of arrangements from some of the world’s finest jazz arrangers. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.
– Nov. 9. (Wed.) Phil Upchurch and Grace Kelly. Veteran blues artist Upchurch joins his solid skills with the rapidly growing talent of young alto saxophonist Kelly. They’re joined by Ernest Tibbs on bass. The Coffee Gallery. (626) 798-6236.
– Nov. 9. (Wed.) Marc Cohn. Grammy award winning singer/songwriter Cohn features selections from his new album, Listening Booth 1970 in which he finds vibrant life in that storied year via his transformations of songs by Cat Stevens, John Lennon, Van Morrison, Smokey Robinson and others. The Irvine Barclay. (949) 854-4607.
– Nov. 10. (Thurs.) Patrick Berrogian’s Hot Club Combo. French guitarist Berrogian recalls the gypsy swing of Django Reinhardt with the hard driving support of Combo from the Hot Club of San Diego. Vibrato Jazz Grill…etc. (310) 474-9400.
– Nov. 10 – 13. (Thurs. – Sun.) Chita Rivera: My Broadway. The title is right on target. Who knows Broadway better than Rivera, whose credits reach from West Side Story to Kiss of the Spiderwoman and beyond. Segerstrom Center for the Arts. (714) 556-2787.
– Nov. 11. (Fri.) Evelyn Glennie and Maya Beiser. The gifted Scottish percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie and cello goddess Beiser perform individual sets defining their extraordinary talents before coming together for a climactic world premiere of Stuttered Chant, composed for them by David Lang. Royce Hall. UCLA Live. (310) 825-2101.
– Nov. 11 & 12. (Fri. & Sat.) Strunz & Farah. Performing together since 1980, the duo guitar team of Jorge Strunz and Ardeshir Farah create incomparable musical banquets overflowing with sounds and rhythms reaching from jazz and flamenco to the Middle East, spiced with their own musically rich imaginations. Click HERE to read iRoM’s most recent review of Strunz & Farah. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.
– Nov. 11 & 12. (Fri. & Sat.) Bychkov and the Labeques. The musically vivacious Labeque sisters – Katia and Marielle — s are joined by the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the baton of Semyon Bychkov at Disney Hall in a performance of Ravel’s Rhapsodie Espagnole, Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances and the world premiere of Swiss composer Richard Dubugnon’s Concerto for Two Pianos and Double Orchestra. Disney Hall. (323) 850-2000.
– Nov. 12. (Sat.) Denise Donatelli. Grammy nominated jazz vocalist Donatelli performs material from her radio-favorite album When Lights Are Low as well as the standards she sings with such musical authenticity. Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.
– Nov. 12. (Sat.) Three Guitars. Frank Potenza, Bruce Forman and Pat Kelley. Guitar togetherness doesn’t get much better than this blending of three of the instrument’s most gifted masters. Boulevard Music, Culver City. Info: (310) 398-2583.
– Nov. 12. (Sat.) Kenny Burrell. “80 Years Young.” He may be turning 80, but guitarist Burrell continues a full schedule reaching from his work with the UCLA’s jazz studies program to his continuing live performances. Celebrants include B.B. King, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Lalo Schifrin, as well as the UCLA Philharmonia, the UCLA Jazz Orchestra and the Jazz Heritage All-Stars. The program features new compositions by Dr. Roger Bourland, Dr. Paul Chihara, John Clayton, James Newton, Burrell and others. Royce Hall. UCLA Live. (310) 825-2101.
– Nov. 13. (Sun.) Betty Bryant and Mark Miller. Singer/pianist Bryant’s entertaining style embraces pleasures of jazz reaching back to the ‘50s. She celebrates her birthday by joining with singer Miller in a performance of songs from their new duo album, Together. Matinee. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.
– Nov. 8 (Tues.) New West Guitar Group. The talented young guitar virtuosos of the NWGG, equally adept at acoustic and electric styles, celebrate the recent release of their latest CD, Round Trip Ticket. Yoshi’s Oakland. (510) 238-9200.
– Nov. 12. Jim Kweskin, Geoff Muldaur and Suzy Thompson. Folk revival heroes of the ‘60s, Kweskin and Muldaur, along with the Jug Band, brought the spirit of Americana to the world of rock music. Thompson’s dynamic singing and spirited fiddling add solid roots touches to the mix. Freight & Salvage. (510) 644-2020.
– Nov. 13. (Sun.) “Melody Monsters.” Dave Grisman and Frank Vignola Duo. It’s a uniquely appealing combination – Grisman’s sweetly lyrical mandolin and Vignola’s dependable jazz guitar. Don’t miss this one. Yoshi’s Oakland. (510) 238-9200.
– Nov. 6 & 9. (Tues. & Wed.) Rickie Lee Jones. Singer and songwriter of styles beyond definition Jones – approaching 60 – may not have the visibility she once did, but she nevertheless continues to be one of pop music’s most intriguing performers. Jazz Alley. (206) 441-9729.
– Nov. 8 – 12. (Tues. – Sat.) Maureen McGovern. Her soaring vocals have been delighting audiences with her imaginative views of the American Songbook over four decades. Now she’s offering tunes from a new CD – dangling conversations — featuring music by more recent additions to the Songbook – Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Bruce Springsteen and Jimmy Webb among them. Birdland. (212) 581-3080.
– Nov. 8 – 13. (Tues. – Sun.) Chick Corea continues his epic, month long run at the Blue Note. This week, he’ll be in the company of Bobby McFerrin (Tues. – Thurs.) and Gary Burton with the Harlem String Quartet. (Fri. – Sun.) The Blue Note. (212) 475-8592.
– Nov. 11. (Fri.) “The 50th Anniversary of West Side Story: The Movie.” Yes, it’s been half a century since the magnificent Bernstein/Sondheim hit musical of the ‘50s made its way into a classic film musical. Celebrating that extraordinary production, the Manhattan School of Music Jazz Orchestra and Justin DiCioccio will feature arrangements crafted by Dave Grusin, Michael Abene and Don Sebesky, as well as the Buddy Rich West Side Story Suite by Bill Reddie and a pair of Johnny Richards arrangements for Stan Kenton’s West Side Story album. Borden Auditorium at the Manhattan School of Music. (917) 493-4428.
– Nov. 13. (Sun.) Turtle Island Quartet and Tierney Sutton. They’re a seemingly unlikely combination, but both the TIQ and Sutton have a sparkling history of musical adventurousness. And when they get together – as they do here – to perform the music of John Coltrane, expect creative fireworks. Iridium. (212) 582-2121.
– Nov. 9 – 12 (Wed. – Sat.) Brubecks Play Brubeck. Darius, Chris and Dan Brubeck plus special guest. The musical genealogy is a potent element in this aggregation of Dave Brubeck’s sons. Each is an accomplished, envelope-stretching player in his own right. Together, they recall some of their old man’s finest efforts. (I wonder who the special guest will be.) Ronnie Scott’s. 020 7439 0747.
Photos of Kenny Burrell, Rickie Lee Jones and Tierney Sutton by Tony Gieske.