By Don Heckman Kenny Burrell took a break Friday night from his academic duties at U.C.L.A., where he has been the driving force behind the establishment – and the expansion – of the University’s superb jazz program. Working with his quartet at Catalina Bar and Grill, his far-ranging performance recalled some of the high points… Read More Live Jazz: The Kenny Burrell Quintet at Catalina Bar & Grill
By Don Heckman Studio City, CA. John Beasley described the 18 piece ensemble he brought to Vitello’s Wednesday night as a MONK’estra. He also called it “A Big Modern Jazz Band.” Both labels were right on target for this performance. First, the great majority of the program was dedicated to the music of Thelonious Monk. … Read More Live Jazz: The John Beasley MONK-estra Upstairs at Vitello’s
By Devon Wendell It was a beautiful, perfect, sunny California day in Beverly Hills for the first of 2012’s free Playboy Jazz Festival community concerts, featuring two diverse acts. One demonstrating the bright future of jazz to come, the other celebrating the musical legacy of one of the most influential artists and composers in the… Read More Live Jazz: Jose Rizo’s Mongorama and the Beverly Hills High School Jazz Band in the 2012 Playboy Jazz Festival’s First Community Concert
By Don Heckman Los Angeles – July 26. (Tues.) Justo Almario Quartet. Saxophonist/flutist Almario is one of the Southland’s great jazz treasures, a player who moves convincingly across every jazz arena. Vibrato. (310) 474-9400. – July 27. (Wed.) Gladys Knight and James Ingram. The one and only Grammy-winning Empress of Soul shares the stage with… Read More Picks of the Week: July 25 – 31.
By Devon Wendell It was a beautiful sunny day at the Beverly Hills Civic Center on Sunday for the 33rd annual Playboy Jazz Festival to present its first free community concert. Two very diverse and skilled performers were on the bill, and KJAZZ’s Brad Williams was the host. The first act was award winning Israeli… Read More Live Jazz: Justo Almario’s Afro-Colombian Ensemble and the Tamir Hendelman Trio in a Playboy Jazz Festival Free Community Concert at the Beverly Hills Civic Center
By Don Heckman Los Angeles – April 5. (Tues.) Junko Onishi Trio. Japanese pianist Onishi confirms her return to jazz action last year after a performance break of nearly a decade. She kicks off her American tour tonight with the backing of the sterling rhythm team of bassist Dwayne Burno and drummer Gregory Hutchinson. Catalina… Read More Picks of the Week: April 5 – 10
By Don Heckman Los Angeles – Jan. 11. (Tues.) John Pisano Guitar Night. The first anniversary of Guitar Night at Vitello’s will feature a stellar collection of L.A.’s finest six-stringers. Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905. – Jan. 13. (Thurs.) Henry Franklin Quartet. Bassist Franklin, known to all as “The Skipper,” celebrates the release of his CD, The… Read More Picks of the Week: Jan. 11 – 16