By Don Heckman
– Nov. 12. (Thurs.) Ariana Savalas . A singer, actress and the daughter of a show biz family, Savalas displays her warm, imaginative jazz vocalizing in every song she sings. Spaghettini Beverly Hills. (310) 424-4600.
– Nov. 13. (Fri.) Bob Sheppard with the Pat Senatore trio. Sheppard’s saxophone and woodwind work have established him as a prime, first-call, all-purpose player. And he’s also an imaginative jazz artist, at his best when he’s backed by players such as veteran bass master Senatore. Vibrato Grill Jazz…Etc. (310) 474-9400.
– Nov. 14 & 15. (Sat. & Sun.) Josh Nelson’s Discovery Project. Creatively adventurous pianist/composer Nelson’s latest project includes Larry Koonse on guitar, Brian Walsh on clarinet, Kathleen Grace & Lillian Sengpiehl on vocals, Dave Robaire on bass, and Dan Schnelle on drums – The weekend will also include an art installation. Blue Whale. (213) 620-0908.
– Nov. 13 & 14. (Fri. & Sat. Monty Alexander and the Harlem-Kingston Express. Alexander’s crisply swinging jazz piano is at its best when it simmers with the rhythms of his Jamaican roots. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.
– Nov. 14 &i 15. (Sat. & Sun.)The Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Vocals Competition and Concert. The Monk Competition is always one of the annual jazz highlights. The Saturday opening competition – this time for jazz vocalists – always provides an opportunity to hear impressive new young talent.
The Sunday finals event at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood pits the three finalists against each other , with the winner performing on a concert in which the Institute will also present its prestigious Herbie Hancock Humanitarian Award to Quincy Jones. The all-star evening also features performances by Hancock, George Benson, Andy Garcia, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Arturo Sandoval, Patti Austin, Al Jarreau & more. The final climax crowns the winner of the 2015 International Jazz Vocals Competition.
– Nov. 12. (Thursday) Celebrating the Clarinet. Much maligned as a jazz instrument, the clarinet’s great potential is explored by four fine jazz clarinetists: Anat Cohen, Don Byron, David Murray, and Todd Marcus. In the acoustically rich environment of Grace Cathedral. SFJAZZ. (866) 920-5299. 866-920-5299 86866-920-5299 6-920-5299
– Nov. 12 – 15. (Thur. – Sun.) Keiko Matsui. Always inventive, Matsui displays a full interpretive range of imaginative musical skills. Jazz Alley. (206) 441-9729.
New York City
– Nov. 12 – 15. (Thurs. – Sun. Stanley Clarke Band. Versatile bassist Clarke steps into the leader’s spotlight. On Sat. and Sun. he’s joined by special guest McCoy Tyner. The Blue Note. (212) 475-8592.
– Nov. 14. (Ssat.) Ben Sidran. Pianist/writer Sidran’s busy resume includes stints with everyone from Steve Miller to the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton and beyond. Here he is in a rare club appearance. Ronnie Scott’s. +44 20 7439 0747
– Nov. 12 & 13. (Thurs. & Fri.) American bassist Eddie Gomez celebrates the global reach of jazz with a group of Denmark’s finest jazz artists – Palle Mikkelborg (Trumpet), Carsten Dahl (Piano, Rhodes) and Anders Kjellberg (Drums). Jazzhus Montmartre. (+45) 70 263 267
Nov. 13 & 14. Nick the Nighetfly Orchestra. The music of Ol’ Blue Eyes is honored in the country of his roots. The Blue Note Milano. +39 02 6901 6888.
Nov. 14 & 15. (Sar. & Sun.) Liz Wright. A versatile vocal talent, Wright has maintained her unique talent in an era of busy repetitiveness. Blue Note Tokyo. +81 3-5485-0088.