Picks of the Week: Dec. 2 – 6 (Wed. – Sun.) in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Seattle, Chicago and New York City

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles


Gustavo Dudamel
Gustavo Dudamel

– Dec. 3 – 5. (Thurs. – Sat.) The Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, presents a program of Bach and Mendelssohn. Violinist Gil Shaham is featured in a pair of Bach Concertos. The Philharmonic takes the spotlight with Mendelsohn’s Symphony No 1 and Overture for Harmoniemusik. An LA Philharmonic event at Disney Hall.  (323) 850-2000.

– Dec. 3 – 5. (Thurs – Sat.) The Steve Gadd Band. An evening of prime contemporary jazz in which Gadd, a versatile, highly regarded drummer, leads a hard swinging group including keyboardist Larry Goldings, guitarist Michael Landau, bassist Jimmy Johnson and trumpeter Walt Fowler. Catalina Bar & Grill.    (323) 466-2210.

– Dec. 3 – 5. (Thurs. – Sat.) The Pacific Symphony, conducted by Carl St. Clair, with piano soloist Conrad Tao, perform Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 “Eroica.” Segerstrom Center for the Arts.  (714) 556-2787.

The Temptations
The Temptations

– Dec. 4. (Fri.) The Temptations. The vocal group that was one of the great Motown successes of the ’60s and ’70s are still in action. The only original member of the quintet is Otis Williams, but the musical joys of this classic group remain. The Cerritos Performing Rights Center.  (562) 916-8500.

Diana Krall
Diana Krall

– Dec. 5. (Sat.) Diana Krall. “Wallflower” World Tour. Singer/pianist Krall has reached a stellar creative peak in which she offers one memorable outing after another. She’ll be playing selections from her latest album, in which she brings new perspectives to pop and rock classics. Segerstrom Hall. (714) 556-2787.

– Dec. 6. (Sun.) Bobby Rodriguez and Friends. Trumpeter, educator and one of the rare masters of authentic Latin jazz, Dr. Rodriguez shares the musical pleasures of his Birthday Celebration. Catalina Bar & Grill.
(323) 466-2210.


Denny Zeitlin

– Dec. 4. (Fri.) Denny Zeitlin explores Thelonious Monk. Who could ask for a more compelling musical evening? Pianist Zeitlin has been an adventurous jazz artist since the ’60s, producing frequent performances that challenge the seemingly limitless skills of his improvisational talents. And he has done so while also working as a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at U.C.San Francisco. The encounter between Zeitlin’s soaring imagination and Monk’s always intriguing compositions will surely result in an evening of memorable solo jazz piano performances One can only hope that the program will be recorded and released on CD for Zeitlin’s many fans. The performance takes place at Piedmont Piano Company  (510) 547-8188.

Herb Alpert and Lani Hall
Herb Alpert and Lani Hall

– Dec. 5 – 7. (Sat. – Mon.) Herb Alpert and Lani Hall. Every performance by the gifted husband and wife team of Alpert and Hall produces memorable results – from the classics of the Tijuana Brass to the superbly jazz-driven trumpet playing of Alpert and the intimate lyricism of Hall’s vocals. Yoshi’s Oakland  (510) 238-9200.

San Francisco

– Dec. 4. (Fri.) Merle Haggard. Singer/songwriter Haggard recalls some of the classics of Country and Western Americana. SFJAZZ at the Paramount Theatre.  (866) 920-5299.


Tierney Sutton
Tierney Sutton

– Dec. 2. (Wed.) The Tierney Sutton Band. “A Century of Sinatra.” What a great combination: the always gripping vocal interpretations of Tierney Sutton and her Band of fine players applied to the classics of the Sinatra catalog. Don’t miss this one. Jazz Alley.  (206) 441-9729.


– Dec. 3 – 6. (Thurs. – Sun.) Bobby Broom Trio. An evening with the stunning versatility of guitarist Broom and his trio always offers enough on the menu – from jazz, blues and pop to funk, blues and r&b.– to satisfy every musical taste. Jazz Showcase.  (312) 360-0234.

New York City

= Dec. 2 – 5. (Wed. – Sat. Saxophone Summit. An intriguing evening of jazz saxophone at its best featuring Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman and Greg Osby. Birdland. (212) 581-3080.


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