Picks of the Week: Mar. 5 – 10

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Karen Benjamin and Alan Chapman
Karen Benjamin and Alan Chapman

– Mar.6. (Wed.)  Karen Benjamin and Alan Chapman.  The husband and wife team of singer Benjamin and pianist Chapman bring an impressive blend of musicality and entertainment to their compelling, always illuminating excursions through the Great American Songbook.  Catalina Bar & Grill.   (323) 466-2210.

– Mar. 6. (Wed.)  George Kahn Trio with Gina Saputo.  Veteran jazz pianist Kahn and his group lay down a vibrant mainstream backing for rising young singer Saputo. Vitello’s.    (818) 769-0905.

– Mar. 6. (Wed.)  Anne-Sophie Mutter.  Grammy-award winning violinist Mutter displays her far-ranging musical interests in a program reaching from Mozart to Lutoslawski.  She’s accompanied by pianist Lambert OrkisValley Performing Arts Center.

– Mar. 7. (Thurs.)  Thelonious Monk Institute All Star Sextet.  A group of the gifted young players from the Monk Institute display their wares with trumpeter Terrell Stafford and singer Lisa HenryVibrato Grill Jazz…etc.  (310) 474-9400.

Gulstavo Dudamel
Gustavo Dudamel

– Mar. 7 – 10.  (Thurs. – Sun.)  Dudamel Conducts The Gospel According to the Other Mary. The Los Angeles Philharmonic performs composer John Adams’ composition based on a text drawn from the Bible by Peter Sellers.   Disney Hall.   (323) 850-2000.

– Mar. 7 – 10. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Rachelle Ferrell. One of the most extraordinary voices in pop, soul and jazz makes a rare Southland appearance.  Catalina Bar & Grill.   (323) 466-2210.

– Mar. 8. (Fri.)  Janice Anderson with the Select Quartet.  Singer Anderson’s richly emotional, story-telling interpretations are backed by pianist Chris Dawson’s fine quintet.  Vitello’s.    (818) 769-0905.

– Mar. 9. (Sat.)  Terry Trotter Trio. Pianist Trotter is a first-call player whose credits reach from Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald to a long list of films and recordings.  He performs with the equally in-demand drummer Peter Erskine and bassist Chuck BerghoferVitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

San Francisco

– Mar. 7 & 8.  (Thurs. & Fri.)  Jose Feliciano. Guitarist/singer Feliciano had his first big hits – especially “Light My Fire” in the late ‘60s.  In his late ‘60s, he’s still going strong and still winning Grammys.  Yoshi’s Oakland.    (510) 238-9200.


Lydia Pense and Cold Blood
Lydia Pense and Cold Blood

– Mar. 7 – 10. (Thurs. – Sun.) Lydia Pense and Cold Blood. The memorable ‘60s blues, rock and soul band of Cold Blood has gone through various incarnations, with Pense’s richly emotional, Joplin-influenced vocals always present as the showcase talent. Jazz Alley.    (206) 441-9729.

New York

– Mar. 8 & 9.  (Fri. & Sat.) Celebrating Dizzy Gillespie.  Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra of New York.  Deeply influenced by Gillespie, trumpeter Faddis possesses a rare understanding of the great jazz artist’s creative imagination.  He performs with Jimmy Heath, tenor saxophone, Steve Turre, trombone and conch shells, Ignacio Berroa, drums, Pedrito Martinez, congas.  The Rose Theatre.     (212) 258-9595.


Chick Corea
Chick Corea

– Mar. 6. (Wed.) Chick Corea and Vigil.  Always in search of imaginative new musical ideas, Corea’s intriguing new group, Vigil, includes saxophonist Tim Garland, guitarist Charles Altura, bassist Hadrien Feraud and drummer Marcus GilmoreRonnie Scott’s.    020 7439 0747.


– Mar. 7. (Thurs.)  Billy Cobham Band.  Drummer Cobham, a force in jazz fusion since the ‘60s, continues to lead compelling young bands.  New Morning.    33 1 45 23 51 41.


– Mar. 8. (Fri.)  Julia Hulsmann Trio featuring Theo Bleckman.  The inventive work of singer, songwriter and pianist Hulsmann is critically praised in her native Germany, but too little heard in other countries.  She performs her with the envelope-stretching vocals of Blecknann. A-Trane.  +49 30 3132.


Kurt Elling
Kurt Elling

– Mar. 6 & 7. (Wed. & Thurs.)  Kurt Elling.  Grammy-winning jazz singer Elling has thoroughly established himself as one of the jazz world’s major male vocalists.  Blue Note Milano.    +39 02 6901 6888.


– Mar. 6. (Wed.)  Gregory Porter.  At a time when female jazz singers seem to be dominating the jazz world, Porter is attracting growing attention to the male side of the vocal field.   Blue Note Tokyo.   +81 3-5485-0088.

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