Picks of the Week: Aug. 7 – 12

By Don Heckman

 Los Angeles

– Aug. 7. (Tues.) Yo Yo Ma and Gustavo Dudamel.  Two of the most charismatic figures in today’s classical music world join with the Los Angeles Philharmonic to perform the Schumann Cello Concerto and Tchaikovsky’s electrifying Symphony No. 4.  Hollywood Bowl.  (323) 850-2000.

Duke Ellington

– Aug. 8. (Wed.)  Duke Ellington Orchestra.  Kenton 100th Anniversary. It’s an evening of classic big band music.  The still very active Ellington Orchestra is joined by vocalist Brian McKnight, and the Stan Kenton Centennial Orchestra revives some memorable Kenton items with singer Tierney SuttonHollywood Bowl.   (323) 850-2000.

– Aug. 8. (Wed.)  Ron Jones and the Influence Jazz Orchestra.  Jones’ swinging arrangements performed by the Southland’s finest players make for a great musical evening.  To read an earlier iRoM review of the IFO, click HERE.     Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.

Jackie Ryan

– Aug. 9. (Thurs.) Jackie Ryan.  She’s been delighting Bay area listeners for years with her gorgeous voice, story telling magic and gentle swing.  But Jackie doesn’t make many appearances in Los Angeles.  So don’t miss this chance to hear her up close and personal.  Vitello’s.    (818) 769-0905.

– Aug. 10. (Fri.)  Nora Jones.  An impressive week of music at the Bowl continues with a solo appearance by singer/songwriter/pianist Jones.  It’ll be intriguing to hear how the intimate stylings of Jones fill the wide spaces of the Bowl. Opening the show: Corey Chisel and the wandering Sons. Hollywood Bowl.    (323) 850-2000.

Cheryl Bentyne

– Aug. 10 & 11. (Fri. & Sat.)  Cheryl Bentyne City of Hope Benefit.  The stylish voice of Bentyne has been a primary element in the sound of the Manhattan Transfer for decades.  She returns to action now from a life-threatening illness in an all-star performance benefiting the City of Hope.  Contact the club for the full line-up.  Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.

– Aug. 11. (Sat.)  Liza Minelli  ”Confessions.”  The one and only Liza, star of stage, screen and cabaret, winner of a wide array of awards – from Oscars to Grammys – makes one of her rare Southland appearances in the only venue big enough to contain her talents.  Hollywood Bowl.  (323) 850-2000.

– Aug. 11. (Sat.)  Helen Reddy.  Yes, it’s that Helen Reddy — the’70s  hitmaker of “I Am Woman” and “I Don’t Know How To Love Him.”  She’s returning to action after a ten year hiatus, with a show that has “handpicked stories and songs from her heart.”  She may or may not, however, sing some of her classics.  Either way, here’s a rare opportunity to see and hear an iconic music world figure.  The Canyon Club in Agoura Hills.  (818) 879-5016.

– Aug. 11. (Sat.)  Danny Janklow Quartet. Alto saxophonist Janklow – acknowledged as an “outstanding soloist” by Wynton Marsalis when he was still in high school.  Check out this fast rising young talent at an early stage in his career.  With the Pat Senatore Trio.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. http://www.vibratogrilljazz.com  (310) 474-9400.

Gustavo Dudamel


– Aug. 12. (Sun.) Gustavo Dudamel conducts “Rigoletto.” A week filled with an amazingly diverse array of music at the Bowl winds up with a staged concert performance of the great Verdi opera, starring the Serbian baritone Zeljko Lucic in the starring role.  The  Hollywood Bowl.   (323) 850-2000.

– Aug. 12. (Sun.)  Julie Kelly Celebrates Los Angeles Arrangers.  Julie gets together with the Bill Cunliffe Quartet to sing tunes arranged by LA.’s finest – among them, Cunliffe, Otmaro Ruiz, Sara Lieb, Tom Garvin, Rich Ruttenberg and others.  Vitello’s.  http://www.vitellosrestaurant.com  (818) 769-0905.

Russ Garcia

– Aug. 12. (Sun.)  A Free Concert Celebrating Russ Garcia.  “To Build A Better World.”  Arranger/composer Garcia, who died last year at 95, had a career encompassing everything from numerous film and television scores to collaborations with stars reaching from Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong to Walt Disney and Charlie Chaplin.  His instruction book, The Professional Arranger Composer,  has been used by arrangers young and old for decades.  The Canyon Club.  2 – 5 p.m.  RSVP to kristy4wellness@me.com

 San Francisco

– Aug. 9. (Thurs.)  Rebecca Mauleon plays Eddie Palmieri.  Pianist/arranger Mauleon applies her wide experience and deep understanding of Latin jazz to an evening dedicated to the legendary Palmierie.  An SFJAZZ concert at Amnesia.    (866) 920-5299.


– Aug. 7 & 8. (Tues. & Wed.)  Tracy Nelson. With her band, Mother Earth, Nelson was one of the stars of the San Francisco ‘60s scene, followed by a series of country and soul albums.  At 67, Nelson is still gpmg strong.  Jazz Alley.  http://www.jazzalley.com/artist.asp?artistid=1141   (206) 441-9729.


– Aug. 9 – 12. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Charles McPherson Quartet.  Alto saxophonist McPherson is a convincing advocate of classic bebop.  But his skills also reach beyond that genre into an expressive improvisational style of his own. Jazz Showcase.    (312) 360-0234.

 New York

Melissa Stylianou

– Aug. 7. (Tues.)  Melissa Stylianou.  Still not well enough known beyond the New York City jazz scene, Stylianou is demonstrating all the characteristics of a potentially important jazz vocal artist.  Check out her latest album, Silent Movie, then check her out in this live appearance.  The Jazz Standard.  (212)  576-2232.

– Aug. 11. (Sat.)  Thumbscrew. It’s a new band with some adventurous new music.  How could it be otherwise with the impressive line up of Mary Halvorson, guitar, Michael Formanek, bass and Tomas Fujiwara, drums.  The Cornelia St. Café.   (818) 989-9319.


– Aug. 8 & 9. (Wed. & Thurs.)  The Music of Miles Davis.  The jazz celebration of the Olympics continues with a pair of performances dedicated to the memorable music of Miles Davis, performed by the Jay Phelps QuartetRonnie Scott’s.   (0) 20 7439 0747.


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