Picks of the Week: Feb. 18 – 23

By Don Heckman Los Angeles – Feb. 19. (Wed.) Brenna Whitaker. She’s a blonde beauty with a voice to remember. Michael Buble has called Whitaker “one of the finest singers of our generation. Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.  (310) 474-9400. – Feb. 20 – 23. (Thurs. – Sun.) ”TchaikovskyFest.” The Los Angeles Philharmonic celebrates Tchaikovsky with performances… Read More Picks of the Week: Feb. 18 – 23

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Live Music: Chick Corea, Gary Burton and the Harlem String Quartet at the Valley Performing Arts Center

BY DON HECKMAN One of the great pleasures of attending a Chick Corea performance is the anticipatory awareness that his omnivorous musical interests will always bring something new and compelling to every show. On Saturday night at the gorgeous new Valley Performing Arts Center at CSUN, he did it again, this time in the company… Read More Live Music: Chick Corea, Gary Burton and the Harlem String Quartet at the Valley Performing Arts Center

The Playboy Jazz Festival: The First Ladies of the Skins

The 2012 Playboy Jazz Festival, which takes place at the Hollywood Bowl this weekend, features the rare presence of three world class female jazz drummers.  Writer/musician Devon Wendell describes his reaction when he first saw the Festival line up.   By Devon Wendell Growing up, I always thought of the drums as being this potent… Read More The Playboy Jazz Festival: The First Ladies of the Skins

Live Jazz: KPFK 90.7’s First Annual Hero Award Tribute to Billy Higgins at Catalina Bar & Grill

By Tony Gieske You wouldn’t figure that an event honoring the late Billy Higgins would have drawn a full house to Catalina’s on a Sunday night. We here in musician-creamy Los Angeles understand that Higgins — always smiling! — was the go-to guy if you wanted to record with a cat who was there mainly… Read More Live Jazz: KPFK 90.7’s First Annual Hero Award Tribute to Billy Higgins at Catalina Bar & Grill

Picks of the Week: Jan. 25 – 31

By Don Heckman Los Angeles – Jan. 25. (Tues.) John Pisano Guitar Night features the always compelling playing of Anthony Wilson in the downstairs lounge.  Upstairs, the jazz voices take over, with the Peter Eldridge Group and Dollison & Marsh’s Vertical Voices.  Grammy nominated pianist Geoff Keezer provides his usual scintillating accompaniment.  Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.… Read More Picks of the Week: Jan. 25 – 31

Live Jazz: The Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl (Further Thoughts)

by Devon Wendell It’s become harder and harder to discern whether what has been designated as a “Jazz Festival” is aimed at die hard jazz aficionados — studying each chord change and nuance — or those music lovers who just want to dance to more commercially infectious R&B grooves and have fun. This was certainly the case at the 32nd… Read More Live Jazz: The Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl (Further Thoughts)

Live Jazz: The Playboy Jazz Festival, Sunday at the Hollywood Bowl.

By Michael Katz The Playboy Jazz Festival rolls over you like the surf at high tide, albeit a rather long one, nine hours worth of relentless music, the revolving stage feeding one act after another. Aside from the minimal patter of host Bill Cosby, the audience has no chance for contemplation or reflection, or even… Read More Live Jazz: The Playboy Jazz Festival, Sunday at the Hollywood Bowl.