Picks of the Week Nov. 12 – 15″

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Ariana Savalas
Ariana Savalas

– 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.

Bob Sheppard and Pat Senatore FFH
Pat Senatore and Bob Sheppard

– 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.

Monty Alexander

– 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.

Quincy Jones
Quincy Jones

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.

San Francisco


– 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


Keiko Matsui
Keiko Matsui

– 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.

Liz Wright
Liz Wright



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.

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