By Don Heckman
– July 15. (Mon.) L.A. Jazz Orchestra Unlimited. With Kenny Burrell. Guitarist/educator Burrell leads an aggregation of some of the Southland’s fine big band players. Catalina Bar & Grill. (223) 466-2210.
– July 16. (Tues.) Nora Rothman. With an appealing vocal style, young jazz artist Rothman offers what she describes as her own “unique twist” on jazz standards. Catalina Bar & Grill. (223) 466-2210.
– July 16 & 17. (Tues. & Wed.) Aaron Weinstein. A violinist, mandolinist and arranger, Weinstein’s special talents have been drawing attention lately. Here’s a chance to check out his skills in the warm musical environment of Herb Alpert’s Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400.
– July 17. (Wed.) Sergio Mendes, Lani Hall and Herb Alpert. After last week’s odd jazz opening night program featuring Queen Latifa, the Bowl summer jazz season finally arrives via an evening of stellar jazz with a Brazilian touch. Hollywood Bowl. (323) 850-2000.
– July 18. (Thurs.) Bob McChesney Quintet. Trombonist McChesney always does a spectacular job of making other bands sound great. Here he is in the spotlight leading his own group. Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.
– July 19. (Fri.) Brantley Gilbert. Country superstar Gilbert makes his Greek Theatre debut . Jack Ingram and Rachel Farley open the show. The Greek Theatre. (323) 665-5857.
– July 19 & 20. (Fri. & Sat.) Freda Payne. The lovely Ms. Payne makes one of her infrequent Southland appearances, looking great as she applies her special vocal talents to a program of standards as well as her own hits (hopefully including “Band of Gold”) Catalina Bar & Grill. (223) 466-2210.
– July 19 – 21. (Fri. – Sun. ) Pink Martini with the L.A. Phil. With singers China Forbes and Storm Large in the foreground, the 12-piece Pink Martini ensemble easily and entertainingly crosses genres from jazz and classical to pop and Latin. Hollywood Bowl. (323) 850-2000.
– July 21. (Sun.) Quattro. The unique Quattro instrumentation (cello, percussion, violin and guitar), combine with their four-part vocals and imaginative interpretations to produce some of the most intriguing music on the contemporary music scene. Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.
– July 18. (Thurs.) Eddie Daniels & Roger Kellaway. It’s a rare combination – the superb clarinet work of Daniels and the similarly excellent piano of Kellaway – displaying a range of talents reaching easily from jazz to classical and beyond. SFJAZZ Center, Miner Auditorium. (866) 920-5299.
– July 21. (Sun.) Laurie Antonioli. “The Music of Joni Mitchell.” Antonioli is a pleasure to hear when she’s showcasing her impressive jazz skills. Singing the songs of Joni Mitchell should stimulate an even more engaging set of creative interpretations. SFJAZZ Center. Joe Henderson Lab. (866) 920-5299.
– July 16 – 20. (Tues. – Sat.) The Billy Childs Quartet. Pianist/composer Childs takes a break from his chamber jazz ensemble to showcase his mesmerizing, straight ahead jazz skills. Birdland. (212) 581-3080.
– July 17 – 19. (Wed. – Fri.) Hermeto Pascoal. Composer/multi-instrumentalist Pascoal has been setting a unique pathway through contemporary Brazilian music for decades. Hearing him in live performance is a memorable experience. Ronnie Scott’s. +44 20 7439 0747.
– July 17. (Wed.) Roberta Gambarini. She’s one of the current jazz scene’s most fascinating vocal artists, balancing her superb ballad skills with incomparable scatting abilities. New Morning Paris. +33 1 45 23 51 41.
– July 18. (Thurs.) The Steve Swallow-Carla Bley Quintet. Bassist Swallow and pianist/composer Bley have been at the cutting edge of contemporary jazz for decades. And they’re still a pleasure to hear in action. New Morning Paris. +33 1 45 23 51 41.
– July 21. (Sun.) Dave Douglas “Be Still.” Always adventurous, trumpeter Douglas leads an ensemble of similarly envelope-stretching players, featuring Jon Irabagon, saxophones, Matt Mitchell, piano, Linda Oh, bass and Rudy Royston, drums. A-Trane. +49 30 3132 ext. 550.
– July 21. (Sun.) Branford Marsalis. Not quite as visible as his brother, trumpeter/impresario Wynton, Branford Marsalis is, nonetheless, a compelling, musically creative jazz artist. Blue Note Milano. +39 02 6901 6888.
– July 17 & 18. (Wed. & Thurs.) Dionne Warwick. She’s been one of the hit-makers of the rock era, especially when she’s singing songs by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. And, at 72, she’s still a mesmerizing performer. Blue Note Tokyo. +81 3-5485-0088.