By Don Heckman
The first weekends of 2016 are upon us. And a glance at the music filling the Southland’s music arenas — from clubs to concert halls — is a reminder of the far-reaching pleasures available to Angelenos’ music fans.
We’ve mostly been away from the Los Angeles area for the past year, spending time with kids and grandkids in the pleasant, mountain-surrounded environs of Ashland, Oregon. With a 10 month Shakespeare Festival, classical concerts at Southern Oregon University, and jazz and pop in venues around town, Ashland more than fulfills its inclusion on a list of America’s Ten Hippest Towns.
But — just as we missed New York when we came to L.A. — we found ourselves missing L.A. while we were spending time in Ashland. So we’re going to be enjoying L.A. for a while. With L.A. reviews and Picks to come. Starting with this Weekend’s Picks:
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– Jan. 7. (Thurs.) Sally Kellerman. Her many fans still see her as irresistible Hot Lips in the film version of MASH. But Sally is equally engaging whenever she steps on stage to display her compelling way with a song. Don’t miss this chance to see and hear the pleasures of her singing. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.
Jan. 7. (Thurs.) Otmaro Ruiz and Catina DeLuna. The uniquely talented combination of keyboardist/composer Ruiz and singer DeLuna always seem to produce a colorful blend of appealing, Latin tinged sounds and rhythms, Vibrato Grill Jazz…Etc. (310) 474-9400.
– Jan. 8 (Fri.) Diane Hubka. The pleasing blend of her rich-hued voice with the subtle rhythms of her guitar playing place Diane at the high levels of contemporary jazz vocals. She’ll be aided by the adept guitar work of Sid Jacobs. Artisan Cheese Gallery. (818) 505-0207.
– Jan. 8 & 9 (Fri. & Sat.) Poncho Sanchez and His Latin Jazz Band. L.A.’s Latin jazz wouldn’t be the same without the presence of Poncho and his players. Expect to feel your emotions aroused and your feet moving. Catalina Bar & Grill. ./(323) 466-2210.
– Jan. 8 – 10 (Fri. – Sun.) Emanuel Ax. The Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Daniel Harding brings in 2016 with an arousing program featuring veteran piano soloist Emanuel Ax. The music reaches from Berlioz and Franck to Boulez and Schumann. Disney Hall. (323) 650- 000. /2016-01-08.
– Jan. 9 (Sat.) Donny Osmond. The Osmond family were pop icons of the sixties and seventies. And none was quite as popular as the iconic Donny Osmond. Nostalgia will be in the room for this one. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. (562) 916 – 8500.
– Jan. 9 (Sat.) Johnny Mandel Big Band. Arranger/composer Mandel sets a high standard for big band music. Here he is, fronting a collection of the Southland’s finest jazz players. Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.
– Jan. 10 (Sun.) Carol Robbins Quartet. She’s a first call harpist in the film and recording studios. But Carol’s rare musical skills reach from jazz to classical. And when she leads her own quartet the music swings in both directions. Vibrato Grill Jazz…Etc. (310) 474-9400.