Picks of the Week: April 25 – April 30

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Freda Payne

– April 25. (Wed.)  Corky Hale and Freda PayneA Salute to Billie Holiday’s Birthday.  Lovely Freda Payne has a convincing way with the musical riches of the Holiday legacy.  And  the versatile pianist/harpist Hale, once Lady Day’s accompanist, provides the perfect setting.  Catalina Bar & Grill.   (323) 466-2210.

– April 25. (Wed.)  Anthony Wilson residency Part 4. Guitarist Wilson wraps up his residency with special guests Donald Vega, Mark Ferber, Dave Robaire, Gilbert Castellanos, Matt Otto, Matt Zebley and Adam SchroederThe Blue Whale.    (213) 620-0908.

– April 25. (Wed.)  The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields with Joshua Bell. The rightly much-honored violinst Bell performs the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the accompaniment of the Academy’s superb ensemble.  Valley Performing Arts Center.  (818) 677-8800.         Bell and the Academy perform a similar program Thursday, 4/26 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts.    (818) 677-8800.

– April 26, 27 & 29.  (Thurs., Fri. & Sun.)  Pepe Romero and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.  Veteran classical/flamenco guitarist Romero performs Rodrigo’s great Concierto de Aranuez with the L.A. Phil under the baton of Christoph Konig.  Also on the program: Dvorak’s Scherzo Capriccioso and Brahms’ Symphony No. 2.  Disney Hall. (323) 850-2000.

Della Reese

April 27 & 28. (Fri. & Sat.)  Della Reese. She may have reached her largest audience as a star of the hit ‘90s television series, Touched By An Angel, but Reese has been an eminently listenable singer since the ‘50s.  And she’s still going strong.  Catalina Bar & Grill.   (323) 466-2210.

– April 27 & 28. (Fri. & Sat.)  Nnenna Freelon and Earl Klugh.  Jazz vocalist Freelon and guitarist Klugh are at the top of their form, skilled jazz individualists and engaging performers.  Samueli Theatre at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.   (714) 556-2787.

– April 27 & 28. (Fri. & Sat.)  The Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet.  The 15-member Cedar Lake company concentrates on the works of innovative choreographers.  For this performance they’ll feature works by Regina van Berkel, Crystal Pite and Alexander Ekman.  A UCLA Live event at Royce Hall.  (310) 825-4401.

– April 28. (Sat.) Nailah Porter and Billy Childs.   Porter’s been a Capitol Hill attorney as well as a singer/songwriter. Currently working on a new album, she’ll no doubt be trying out some of the material with her producer – pianist/composer Childs.  Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.


 – April 30. (Mon.)  1st International Jazz Day Celebration.  Herbie Hancock’s first initiative as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador was to create International Jazz Day – the climactic event celebrating April as Jazz Appreciation Month.  Concerts will take place in Paris, New York, New Orleans and dozens of other countries.  In Los Angeles, Herb Alpert’s Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. has stepped up with a major jazz event featuring an all-star line-up of the Southland’s finest players in an evening of continuous jazz.  The stellar list of names is too long to include here – check the Vibrato web site for the full line-up: Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.  (310) 474-9400.

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San Francisco

Anat Cohen

– April 29. (Sun.)  The 3 Cohens and the Gilad Hekselman Trio.  It’ll be a celebration of the impact jazz has had on young Israeli musicians – and vice versa.  With Cohen siblings Anat, clarinet and tenor saxophone, Yuval, soprano saxophone, and Avishai, trumpet, as well as guitarist Hekselman’s Trio. SFJAZZ at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco.    (866) 920-5299.


Jon Faddis

April 25 – 28.  (Wed. – Sat.)  Jon Faddis.  Arguably one of the most virtuosic trumpeters of his generation, Faddis’ performances are virtual seminars in the length and breadth of jazz trumpetry.  Blues Alley.   (202) 337-4141.

New York

– April 24 – 28.  (Tues. – Sat.)  Bossabrasil.  Featuring Marcos Valle and Paula Morelenbaum.  Fifty years after the girl from Ipanema, keyboardist Valle and singer Morelenbaum get together to explore the broad connections Brazilian music has established with pop, jazz, world music and beyond.  Birdland.    (212) 581-3080.

– April 25 – 29.  (Wed. – Sun.)  “Endangered Species: The Music of Wayne Shorter.”  It may not actually be endangered, but Shorter’s works  surely deserve more attention than they’ve received in recent years.  And there’s no better collection of interpreters than Ravi Coltrane, Jeremy Pelt and Marcus StricklandDizzy’s Club Coca Cola.  (212) 258-9800.


– April 25 & 26. (Wed. & Thurs.)  Clare Teal. BBC Jazz Singer of the Year in 2006, Teal’s busy career includes a pair of Radio 2 weekly shows featuring her eclectic vocal stylings.   Ronnie Scott’s.   020 7439 0747.


David Sanchez

– April 27. (Fri.)  David Sanchez.  Puerto Rican born saxophonist Sanchez enlivens his solid jazz skills with occasional seasonings of Caribbean rhythms.  New Morning.  01 45 23 51 41.


– April 29. (Sun.)  Vijay Iyer Trio. Starting out as violinist, while absorbing some Carnatic music along the way, holder of a PhD in music cognition, Iyer has brought a rich creative perspective to his art as a jazz pianist.  A-Trane.  030 / 313 25 50.


– April 27. (Fri.)  Patti Austin.  Few singers can match Austin’s remarkable stylistic versatility, her ability to move with great authenticity from jazz to pop to rock to r & b and beyond.  Blue Note Milano.


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