Picks of the Week: April 24 – 28

April 24, 2013

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Barbara Morrison

Barbara Morrison

- April 24. (Wed.) Barbara Morrison.  A legend in her own right, the versatile Ms. Morrison celebrates the music of the iconic Ella Fitzgerald.  She’ll be backed by pianist Stuart Elster, bassist Pat Senatore and drummer Lee SpathVibrato Grill Jazz…etc.   (310) 474-9400.

-April 24. (Wed.)  Miles Evans Big Band.  Gil Evan’s trumpet-playing son (and Miles Davis namesake) keeps his father’s superb music alive, while taking it into compelling new musical areas.  Catalina Bar & Grill.  (223) 466-2210.

- April 25.  (Thurs.)  Cat’s Birthday Bash. Singer Cat Conner celebrates with an evening of prime jazz.  Her special guests include singer Lee Hartley and woodwind master Gene “Cip” Cipriano, with stellar backing provided by pianist Christian Jacob, bassist Chuck Berghofer and drummer Steve SchaefferVitello’s.    (818) 769-0905.

- April 25. (Thurs.)  Nutty.  Seven piece Nutty is a one of a kind band, applying their ‘Mashups” style to a blend of “jazz and rock ‘n’ roll, served up with a swinging, old school Vegas swagger.” They perform at L.A.’s elegant new jazz room.  H.O.M.E.  l  (310) 271-4663.

Rita Coolidge

- April 25 – 27. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Rita Coolidge. Grammy-winning singer Coolidge – know as “Delta Lady” after Leon Russell wrote the song for her – is still, at 67, a convincing vocal practitioner in the pop and soft rock genres.   Catalina Bar & Grill.  (223) 466-2210.

- April 26. (Fri.) An Evening with Medeski, Martin & Wood.  M, M & W have been exploring new genre combinations – jazz funk, jazz fusion, avant-jazz, etc. – for two decades.  And they’re still working at the cutting edge.  CAP UCLA at Royce Hall.   (310) 825-2101.

- April 26 – 28. (Fri. – Sun.)  Bringuier and Thibaudet with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.  An evening of French delights.  French conductor Lionel Bringuier and French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet perform a program of Ravel and Saint-Saens.  Disney Hall.   (323) 850-2000.

- April 27. (Sat.)  Larry Koonse – Alan Pasqua Duo.  Two of the Southland’s most highly praised players, first call rhythm section experts and superb soloists in their own right, get together in a duo setting.  Vitello’s.    (818) 769-0905.

- April 28. (Sun.)  The Susie Hansen Latin Jazz Band.  She’s a blonde girl from the mid-West who plays violin, but Hansen has been providing some of L.A.’s most authentic and dynamic Latin jazz, salsa and swing for more than two decades.  She’ll be joined by guest vocalist Valerie Petersen. Be prepared to dance in the aisles.  The Huntington Beach Art Center.  www.huntingtonbeachartcenter.org  (714) 536-5258.

San Francisco

Chick Corea

Chick Corea

- April 25 – 28. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Chick Corea & the Vigil.  Always in search of newly expressive music, the inimitable Corea performs with his newest band, featuring saxophonist Tim Garland, bassist Hadrien Feraud, guitarist Charles Altura and drummer Marcus GilmoreYoshi’s Oakland.    (510) 238-9200.

New York City

- April 25 – 27. (Thurs. – Sat.) Celebrating Duke EllingtonWynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra explore their deeply insightful understanding of the classic Ellington musical canon.  Jazz At Lincoln Center’s Rose Theatre.    (212) 258-9595.


- April 27. (Sat.)  Gato Barbieri. Veteran Argentine saxophonist Barbieri has moved across genres from the free jazz of the ‘60s to his Latin jazz specialties of the ‘70s and beyond. He’ll no doubt play his hit version of his music for the film Last Tango In Paris.    Regatta Bar.   (617) 661-5000.


Avishai Cohen

Avishai Cohen

- April 28 (Sun.)  Avishai Cohen, Omer Avital and Iago Fernandez Camano. Critically praised Israeli trumpeter Cohen performs in a true international jazz trio with bassist Omer Avital and drummer Iago Fernandez CamanoBlue Note Milano.    +39 02 6901 6888.


- April 28 & 29. (Sun. & Mon.)  The Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra featuring Lew Tabackin.  Pianist/composer Akiyoshi and her husband, saxophonist Tabackin return to Japan to perform with Akiyoshi’s superb big jazz band. Blue Note Tokyo.   +81 3-5485-0088.

Picks of the Week: Nov. 1 – 6

November 1, 2011

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Hilary Hahn

- Nov. 1. Tues.)  Hilary Hahn.  The musically insightful violinist performs an intimate recital accompanied by pianist Valentina Lisitsa.  On the program: Bach, Beethoven and Brahms.  Disney Hall.   (323) 850-2000.

- NOv. 1 & 2. (Tues. & Wed.)  Barb Jungr.  English singer Jungr’s versatility is revealed in her highly personal vocal style as well as her broad choice of material.  In her latest album, The Man in the Long Black Coat, she brings new perspectives to a program of Bob Dylan songs.  Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.

- Nov. 2. (Wed.)  Patty Peterson.  She comes from a family whose musical connections reach into every style and genre.  But Minnesota’s Peterson is a unique vocal stylist with a thoroughly original musical view.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.   (310) 474-9400.

Anthony Wilson

- Nov. 2. (Wed.)  Anthony Wilson Quartet. He’s in the top list of desirable sideman guitarists, and has been enhancing Diana Krall’s rhythm section for a decade.  But he’s also a superlative player and composer in his own right.  Here he is in the spotlight.  Royal/T.

- Nov. 3. (Thurs.)  Deborah Pearl  “Souvenir of You”  Pearl has written lyrics for some of Benny Carter’s finest music, and interprets them in a manner that would surely have pleased the old master.  Click HERE to read a previous iRoM review of Pearl’s Carter program.  Vitello’s.    (818) 769-0905.

- Nov. 4. (Fri.) Vinny Golia Quintet. He’s one of the Southland’s most eclectic jazz artists, applying the sounds of his various woodwinds to improvisational music that knows no genre boundaries. LACMA.   (323) 857-6000.

- Nov. 4. (Fri.) Cyndi Lauper.  With 30 million records sold since she was first just a girl who wanted to have fun, Lauper has matured into a full-fledged entertainer, her skills reaching comfortably from singing and songwriting to acting and writing.  Along the way she’s won a Best New Artist Grammy award, Emmy awards, American Music awards and a lot more.  Club Nokia.     (213) 765-7000.

Billy Childs

Nov. 5. (Sat.)  Billy Childs Jazz Chamber Ensemble.  Pianist/composer Childs has been successfully discovering ways to apply the principles of chamber music to the subtleties of jazz improvisation. Every performance, as a result, is a musical adventure.   To read a previous iRoM review of the Childs Jazz Chamber Ensemble click HERE.   Vitello’s.     (818) 769-0905.

- Nov. 5. (Sat.)  Earl Scruggs.  At 87, banjoist Scruggs – already the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award – continues to gift audiences with the bluegrass music he defined with the likes of Bill Monroe and Lester Flatt.  He’s a true iconic figure of American music.  Don’t miss this rare chance to hear him.   UCLA Live at Royce Hall.    (310) 825-2101.

- Nov. 5 (Sat)  The King’s Singers.  The celebrated English vocal ensemble cruises smoothly through music reaching from the 16th century to contemporary sounds – and does so with authenticity, accuracy and – at times – with humor.  Valley Performing Arts Center.  (818) 677-3000.

The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

- Nov. 5 & 6. (Sat. & Sun.) The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra performs the Bach Brandenburg Concertos. Any opportunity to hear one of the classic Bach Brandenburgs is a good one.  But the chance to hear all six of these remarkable works is something not to be missed.  For this memorable event, the LACO will be led by violinist Margaret Bajer.  The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.    Sat.: The Alex Theatre.  Sun. Royce Hall.  (213) 622-7001.

- Nov. 5 & 6. (Sat. & Sun.)) Don Preston Trio.  Keyboardist Preston may be best known for his stint with the Mothers of Invention.  But he’s had a richly creative, prolific career – both before and after the Mothers – exploring music ranging from straight ahead and cutting edge jazz to many areas of pop and rock.   He performs Sat. at South Pasadena Music Center and Conservatory.  Sun. at Alva’s Showroom in San Pedro.

- Nov. 6. (Sun.)  “Bill in Brazil.”  Always in search of expressive areas to explore, pianist/composer Bill Cunliffe leads his quartet in an excursion through the classic rhythms of samba, the bossa nova and beyond.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.   (310) 474-9400.

- Nov. 6. (Sun.)  Wynonna.  Wynonna Judd’s country music stardom traces back to the early ‘80s and her partnership with her mother, Naomi Judd, in the duo they simply called the Judds.  On her own, she’s continued to have a stellar career.  The Valley Performing Arts Center.  (818) 677-3000.

San Francisco

Omar Sosa

- Nov. 4 & 5 (Fri. & Sat.)  Omar Sosa Quartet.  Cuban-born pianist/composer Sosa continues to seek and find intriguing common ground between jazz and a plethora of world and pop music forms.  Yoshi’s Oakland.   (510) 238-9200.


- Nov. 1 & 2. (Tues. & Wed.)  Omar Sosa Quartet.  See above.  Jazz Alley.    (206) 441-9729.


- Nov. 3 – 6. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Tom Harrell Quartet.  Trumpeter/flugelhornist/composer Harrell has a resume reaching across every area of jazz, from the big bands and small ensembles, playing every contemporary jazz style.  And, at 65, he’s continuing to do so with imagination and enthusiasm.  Jazz Showcase.     (312) 360-0234.

New York

Chick Corea

- Nov. 1 – 27. (Tues. – Sun.)  Chick Corea begins a nearly month long residency at the Blue Note with a stunning survey of the broad, seemingly endless horizons of his extraordinary musical career.  This first week begins with Return To Forever Unplugged (Tues. & Wed.) The Chick Corea/Gary Peacock/Brian Blade Trio (Thurs.) and the Five Peace Band (Fri. – Sun.)  There are always a multitude of reasons to be in New York City, but this month of memorable Corea performances is one of the best. Let’s hope they’re all recorded for those of us not fortunate enough to be there. The Blue Note.  (212) 475-8592.

- Nov. 1 – 6. (Tues. – Sun.)  Sextet Three Cohens.  Celebrating the release of their new Anzic Records  album – appropriately titled Family – clarinetist/saxophonist Anat, soprano saxophonist Yuval and trumpeter Avishai reveal their impressive jazz skills in everything they play.  Village Vanguard.   (212) 255-4037.

- Nov. 1 – 6. (Tues. – Sun.)  Django Reinhardt Festival.  Featuring Dorado Schmidt.  Here it is again, the annual celebration of the the great French jazz artist with Schmitt, another Gypsy guitarist, in the spotlight.  Guests during the week also include clarinetist Ken Peplowski, trumpter Dominick Farinacci and others.   Birdland.   (212) 581-3080.

- Nov. 4. (Fri.) Opera ShortsThe Remarkable Theatre Brigade, ever eager to support the cause of new music, presents a program of 10 ten minute operas, all by living composers. Among those represented are Jake Heggie, William Bolcom, Davide Zannoni and Tom Cipullo.  Subject matter includes a sardonic look behind the scenes at I Love Lucy to a  barnyard where animals discuss politics.  Weill Recital Hall.   (212) 247-7800.


Stacey Kent

- Nov. 1 – 4. (Tues. – Fri.)  Stacey Kent.  A Grammy nominated, American-born vocalist, Kent has spent much of her career living in England and thoroughly establishing herself as an international jazz figure.  She’s currently celebrating the release of her latest album, Dreamer in Concert, her first non-studio album, recorded at La Cigale in Paris.    Ronnie Scott’s.    020 7439 0747.


- Nov. 1 – 4. (Tues. – Fri.)  Toshiko Akiyoshi Quintet.  Approaching her 82nd birthday, Japanese-born pianist/composer/bandleader Akiyoshi continues to affirm the authentic jazz credentials she first displayed when she was discovered by Oscar Peterson in the early ‘50s.  She’ll perform with her husband, saxophonist Lew TabackinBlue Note Tokyo.  03-5485-0088.

Billy Childs photo by Tony Gieske.

Picks of the Week: April 5 – 10

April 4, 2011

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Junko Onishi

- 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 Bar & Grill.  (323)466-2210  (Also at Yoshi’s Oakland on April 6.)

- April 5. (Tues.)  Ostad Abbos Kosimov.  Traditional Uzbek and Tajik Percussion Music and Dance. Percussionist Kosimov is one of the world’s masters of the doyra frame drum.  He is joined by the CalArts Persian and World Music ensembles, as well as members of his own Abbos Ensemble in an exploration of the music of Uzbekistan.  Tara Pandeya adds the sensual movements of Central Asian dance.  REDCAT (213) 237-2800.

- April 5. (Tues.)  Lorenzo Lamas.  You may remember him as Jane Wyman’s evil stepson in Falcon Crest. But Lamas (yes, from that family) is also an effective musical purveyor of the romantic side of cabaret.  Vibrato Grill Jazz… (310) 474-9400. 

Kenny Burrell

- April 6. (Wed.) Kenny Burrell Jazz Heritage All Stars.  For once, the label “All-Stars” has real significance.  Veteran guitarist/educator Burrell puts it all together with trumpter (and also educator) Bobby Rodriguez, saxophonist Justo Almario, drummer Clayton Cameron and more.  Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.

- April 6. (Wed.)  The Kronos Quartet. The creatively eclectic, Grammy winning string quartet celebrates composer Steve Reich’s 75th birthday with the performance of a newly commissioned work.   Segerstrom Center for the Arts.   (714) 556-2787.

Salif Keita

- April 6. (Wed.)  Salif Keita. The voice of Keita, with its soaring tones, penetrating sound and inspiring rhythms, is one of the great glories of African popular music.  The Conga Room.  (213) 745-0162.

- April 6. (Wed.) Blue Lou Marini.  Veteran New York saxophonist Marini makes one of his rare West Coast appearances, performing with trumpeter Walt Fowler, pianist John Campbell, bassist Chuck Berghofer, drummer Peter Erskine and special guests.  Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.

- April 7. (Thurs.)  Big Willie’s Burlesque.  Busy drummer Willie McNeil’s Quartet lays down some classic backbeat sounds to inspire the irresistible moves of dancer Carolina Cerisola.   They call it “old school burlesque with a cutting edge, Latin, new school vibe.”   The Edison Downtown.  (213) 613-0000.

- April 7. (Thurs.) V. R. Smith Sextet.  It’s a Smith Family Night.  With vocalist V.R. Smith backed by the band of her husband, bassist Putter Smith with Gary Foster alto saxophone, Chuck Manning, tenor saxophone, Jim Szilagyi, piano and Tim Pleasant, drums.  Charlie O’s.   (818) 994-3058.

- April 7 – 10. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Rachelle Ferrell.  Blessed with one of the most impressive voices in the jazz vocal world, Ferrell is also a uniquely appealing song stylist.  Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.  .

Arlo Guthrie

- April 8. (Fri.)  Arlo Guthrie and Friends.  Folk music patriarch returns to UCLA, this time with his “Journey On” tour, featuring his son, Abe Guthrie and the folk-rock trio The Burns SistersUCLA Live.  Royce Hall. (310) 825-2101.

- April 9. (Sat.)  Jazz Fundraiser for Japan.  Vitello’s April Williams has assembled an impressive collection of the Southland’s finest jazz artists for a 12 hour fundraiser for Japan.  Among the participants: Alan Pasqua, Peter Erskine, Bob Mintzer, Darek Oles, Alex Acuna, the Wayne Bergeron Big Band, Denise Donatelli, Joe La Barbera, Larry Koonse, Tom Warrington, Bob Sheppard and many more.  11 a.m. to 11 p.m.  Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

- April 9. (Sat.) Plas Johnson.  Although he’s been a vital member of the Southland jazz community for decades, Johnson is best known for his memorable solo work on “The Pink Panther” theme.  But he’s got a lot more than that to offer.  He’ll be playing with pianist Tom Ranier, bassist John Giannelli and drummer Fritz WiseGiannelli Square.  (818) 772-1722.

- April 9. (Sat. ) Wind Soloists of New York and Pedja Muzijevic. The superb wind instrumentalists of this much praised ensemble join with pianist Muzijevic to perform a dynamic program of works by Beethoven, Saint-Saens, Prokofiev and Poulenc.  And they’ll do so in the elegant Pompeian Room of the Doheny Mansion.  The Da Camera Society.  (213) 477-2929.

- April 10 (Sun.)  Greta Metassa.  Seattle-based singer Metassa is far less known than she should be.  In this rare Southland appearance, she’ll deliver her beautifully crafted vocals  in a plush, private mini concert hall in Beverly Hills.   Hopefully, she’ll include songs from her latest CD, I Wanna be Loved.” Backing her: the world class rhythm section of pianist Mike Garson, bassist Clipper Anderson and drummer Bob Leatherbarrow.  To book seats, click on Resonance Records.   Address will be given when the reservation is made.

San Francisco

- April 6. (Wed.)  Junko Onishi Trio.  Japanese pianist Onishi confirms her return to jazz action last year after a performance break of nearly a decade.  She’ll be backed by the sterling rhythm team of bassist Dwayne Burno and drummer Gregory HutchinsonYoshi’s Oakland. (510) 238-9200.

Madeleine Peyroux

- April 8. (Fri.)  Madeleine Peyroux.  Moving beyond the Billie Holiday musical frame that had narrowed her music for too long, Peyroux is now finding her own way, as unique musical persona and an intriguing songwriter.  SF Jazz Spring Season.  Palace of Fine Arts Theatre.   (415) 398-5655.

- April 9. (Sat.)  Max Raabe and the Palast Orchester.  The music of the twenties and thirties comes vividly back to life in the hands of Raabe and his extraordinarily versatile musicians.  Always as musically provocative as they are entertaining, they’re one of a kind. SFJAzz Spring Season.  Paramount Theatre, Oakland. .

- April 10. (Sun.)  The Asaad Brothers Da Volta as Raizes” Offspring of a famouns musical family, the two guitar duo of the Asaad brothers play everything from Bach transcriptions and gypsy jazz to Brazilian samba and the music of the Middle East.  SFJAZZ Spring Season. Palace of Fine Arts Theatre.  (415) 398-5655.

New York

Toshiko Akiyoshi

- April 4 (Mon.) Fund Raising Concert For Japan. The New York jazz community steps up to play a concert in support of the beleaguered people of Japan. Toshiko Akiyoshi; Cecil Bridgewater; Sam Burtis; Jerry Dodgion; Roy Hargrove; Tom Harrell; Barry Harris; Fred Hersch; Rene Manning; Earl McIntyre; Jimmy Owens; Rufus Reid; Marvin Stamm; Lew Tabackin; Kenny Werner and many othersThe Village Vanguard.  (212) 255-4037.

- April 5 – 10. (Tues. – Sun.)  Toots Thielemans with Kenny Werner and Oscar Castro-Neves.  As if that weren’t enough, Werner will also do a set each night with his Quintet featuring Lionel Loueke and Miguel ZenonThe Blue Note. (212) 475-8592.

- April 8. (Fri.)  Rudresh Mahanthappa’s “Gama.” With David Fiuczynski, guitar, Francois Moutin, bass and Dan Weiss, drums.  Altoist Mahanthappa and Fiuczynski have been working together lately in Jack DeJohnette’s band.  Here they dip into some of the fascinating improvisational territory between jazz and Indian music.  Cornelia St. Café.  (212) 989-9319.

Picks of the Week: Oct. 19 – 24

October 19, 2010

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

- Oct. 19 (Tues.)  Robert Glasper Trio.  More than most of his contemporaries, pianist Glasper has found ways to compatibly combine hip-hop, rock and r & b elements with his solid jazz skills.  Catalina Bar & Grill. http://www.catalinajazzclub.com (323) 466-2210.

- Oct. 19. (Tues.)  Henry Franklin’s Big 70th Birthday Celebration.  Bassist Franklin, universally called “The Skipper,” hits 70 with plenty of creative fuel in the tank.  Charlie O’s.  (818) 994-3058.

Ravi Shankar

THIS CONCERT HAS JUST BEEN CANCELED.  THE PHILHARMONIC HAS ANNOUNCED IT HAS BEEN POSTPONED BECAUSE OF ILLNESS.  TICKET-HOLDERS SHOULD CONTACT THE PHILHARMONIC FOR FURTHER INFORMATION. - Oct. 20. (Wed.)  Ravi Shankar 90th Birthday Celebration. The man who virtually defines Indian classical music and the sitar for listeners both serious and casual, performs with the companionship of his gifted, sitar-playing daughter, Anoushka Shankar.   Disney Hall.   (323) 850-2000.

- Oct. 20. (Wed.)  John Williams.  The superb, Grammy-winning guitarist performs original compositions as well as the works of Villa-Lobos and the Paraguayan guitarist/composer Agustin Barrios Mangore.  Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts (562) 916-8501.

- Oct. 20 – 23.  (Wed. – Sat.)  Billy Cobham.  The eclectically versatile, veteran drummer offers selections from his far-reaching album, PalindromeCatalina Bar & Grill (323) 466-2210.

Denise Donatelli

- Oct. 21. (Thurs.)  Denise Donatelli.  Always a pleasure to hear, Donatelli celebrates the release of her stellar new album, When Lights Are Low.  Featuring Geoffrey Keezer, pianist/arranger, Peter Sprague, guitar, Hamilton Price, bass, Rob Lockart, sax and Marvin “Smitty” Smith, drums.  Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

- Oct. 21. (Thurs.)  Patrick Berrogain’s Hot Club Combo.  French-born guitarist Berrogain revives the musette and the gypsy jazz tradition of Django Reinhardt.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.   (310) 474-9400.

- Oct. 21. (Thurs.)  Jimmy Branley Quartet.  First call drummer Branley, whose expertise reaches from Cuban rhythms to straight ahead jazz, steps into the spotlight with his own ensemble.  Charlie O’s. (818) 994-3058.

- Oct. 21. (Thurs,.)  John Mayer Quartet.  Pianist Mayer keeps bebop alive with his own imaginative ideas and driving sense of swing  He performs with Doug Webb, saxophone, Chris Conner, bass and Roy McCurdy, drums.  Crowne Plaza Brasserie Jazz Lounge. (310) 642-7500.

Taj Mahal

- Oct. 22. (Fri.)  Taj Mahal and special guest Vieux Farka Toure. The great, veteran blues and roots artist shares the stage with the equally compelling blues of Mali’s singer/guitarist Toure.  A UCLA Live concert at Royce Hall.   (310) 825-4401.

- Oct. 22. (Fri.)  Hiroshima.  30th Anniversary Concert.  The group that blended world music and jazz into an amiable sound that lifted it to smooth jazz stardom, celebrates the start of its fourth decade.  Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.   (562) 916-8501.

- Oct. 22. (Fri.) Avishai Cohen Quintet.  Bassist Cohen leads his “Aurora” Project Quintet in a program of music that finds common ground between jazz and some compelling world music sounds.  Vocalist Karen Malka and oud player Amos Hoffman are featured, with pianist Shai Maestro and percussionist Itamar Doari.  A Jazz Bakery Movable Feast at the Musicians Institute Concert Hall.   (310) 271-9039.

- Oct. 22. (Fri.)  Louis Van Taylor Band. Taylor’s saxophone and woodwind sounds have been heard with everyone from Ray Charles to Kool and the Gang and the Gerald Wilson Orchestra.  LACMA.  (323) 857-6000.  Also Oct. 29 at Charlie O’s.  (818) 994-3058

- Oct. 22. (Fri.)  Open Hands.  It’s a modest title for a group of L.A. all-stars: bassist Abraham Laboriel, Sr., saxophonist Justo Almario, drummer Bill Maxwell and keyboardist Gregg MathiesonBaked Potato.   (818) 980-1615.

- Oct. 22 & 23. (Fri. & Sat.) Walt Weiskopf.  Tenor saxophonist Weiskopf’s resume reaches from Steely Dan to the Buddy Rich Band.  But he’s at his best when he’s displaying his enviable talents in front of his own quartet. With Bevan Manson, piano, Tom Warrington, bass and Dick Weller, drums.  Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.

- Oct. 22 – 24 (Thurs. – Sun.)  The Los Angeles PhilharmonicCharles Dutoit conducts the Philharmonic in Berlioz’ lush Romeo and Juliet.  With the LA Master ChoraleDisney Hall.   (323) 850-2000.

Grant Geissman

- Oct. 23. (Sat.)  Grant Geissman’s Cool Man Cool Band. Guitarist Geissman describes his current gig as “Cool music I like to play, with cool people I like to play with.”  Expect cool results.  Spaghettini.   (562) 596-2199.

- Oct. 24. (Sun.) Miles Evans Band. Gil Evan’s son, trumpeter Miles Evans continues on his mission to “pick up where Gil Evans, Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, Jaco Pastorius and Rashied Ali left the notes on the page.”  Catalina Bar & Grill.(323) 466-2210.

- Oct. 24. (Sun.)  The Mozart Classical Orchestra. Ami Porat conducts the MCO in a performance of the Mozart Symphony No. 33, the Bach Sinfonia Op.3 No. 2 in C Major and the Haydn Cello Concerto in C Major, performed by Timothy Landauer.  Performing Bach, Haydn and Mozart.  Irvine Barclay.  Irvine Barclay Theatre.  (949) 854-4646.

San Diego

- Oct. 21. (Thurs.)  Stanley Clarke & Hiromi.  Bassist Clarke and keyboardist Hiromi continue to develop their musically provocative relationship.  Anthology.  (619) 595-0300.

San Francisco

Lavay Smith

- Oct. 20. (Wed.)  Cherry Poppin’ Daddies and Lavay Smith & The Red Hot Skillet Lickers.  Swing is alive and well in the hands of the Daddies (who just celebrated their 20th anniversary) and the glamorous jazz divadom of the entertaining Lavay and her players.  Yoshi’s San Francisco.  (415) 655-5600.

- Oct. 20 & 21. (Wed. & Thurs.) Avishai Cohen. Bassist Cohen leads his “Aurora” Project Quintet in a program of music that finds common ground between jazz and some compelling world music sounds.  Vocalist Karen Malka and oud player Amos Hoffman are featured, with pianist Shai Maestro and percussionist Itamar Doari. Yoshi’s Oakland.   (510) 238-9200.

New York

- Oct. 19 – 23. (Tues. – Sat.)  Jane Monheit. The Grammy-nominated Monheit brings her svelte sound and intimate interpretations to Birdland just in time to celebrate the release of her new CD, Home. Birdland.   (212) 581-3080.

George Wein

- Oct. 19 – 24. (Tues. – Sun.)  George Wein & The Newport All Stars.  Wein, who probably enjoys playing piano at least as much as he likes to produce concerts, celebrates his 85th birthday with the supportive musical companionship of trumpeter Randy Brecker, saxophonist Lew Tabackin, guitarist Howard Alden, bassist Rufus Reid, drummer Lewis Nash & Some Very Special GuestsDizzy’s Club Coca Cola (212) 258-9800.

Picks of the Week: Aug. 24 – 29

August 24, 2010

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

- Aug. 24. (Tues.) Sarah Chang.  The gifted young violinist takes on the fascinating musical demands of the Shostakovich Violin Concerto No. 1, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Leonard Slatkin,  plays the Shostakovich Symphony No. 5The Hollywood Bowl. (323) 850-2000.

- Aug. 24. (Tues.)  Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. The Southland’s always compelling contribution to the top tiers of big band jazz makes an infrequent club engagement. Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.   (310) 474-9400.

- Aug. 24. (Tues.) Otmaro Ruiz Quartet.  Versatile pianist Ruiz shares his views of Latin jazz with the talented vibraphonist, Nick Mancini.  Charlie O’s.  (818) 994-3058.

Monica Mancini

- Aug. 25. (Wed.) Gershwin Across America.  What could be more entertaining than a warm summer night at the Hollywood Bowl, listening to the timeless melodies of Gershwin sung and played by a cast of musical all-stars.  Featured artists include Monica Mancini, Jason Mraz, BeBe Winans, Nancy Wilson, St. Vincent, Shelly Berg, Arturo Sandoval, Tom Scott, Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band and others.  The Hollywood Bowl.   (323) 850-2000.

- Aug. 25. (Wed.)  Dale Fielder Angel City Quartet.  Saxophonist Fielder leads his quartet in an evening dedicated to a tribute to Wayne Shorter as well as selections from his own Suite ClarityCatalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.  .

- Aug. 25. (Wed.)  Larry Goldings Quintet.  Film music is on the menu for pianist Goldings, who leads his players – guitarist Anthony Wilson, trumpeter Josh Welchez bassist Gabe Noel and drummer Kevin Kanner in a program of music by the likes of Bernard Hermann, Henry Mancini, Nino Rota, Leonard Bernstein and more.  Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

Norah Jones

- Aug. 25. (Wed.)  Norah Jones. She burst onto the music scene with almost no advance warning.  And she’s been spreading her wings musically ever since, revealing the broad, eclectic reach of her performing, playing and composing skills. The Greek Theatre.   (323) 665-3125.

- Aug. 25 & 26. (Wed. & Thurs.)  Jeremy Siskind.  The talented young pianist offers a tribute to Oscar Peterson, backed by guitarist Graham Dechter and bassist Will Snyder.  Wed. at Charlie O’s.   (818) 994-3058.  Thursday at Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400.

- Aug. 26. (Thurs.)  BeatlesfestLed Zepagain. It’s tribute night on the Pier, with the sounds of the Beatles and Led Zeppelin spreading musical memories in every direction.   Twilight Dance at the Santa Monica Pier.   (310) 458-8900.

- Aug. 26. (Thurs.)  Peter Erskine and Friends. Expect high quality, world class jazz whenever drummer Erskine is leading the way.  And once again he’s got a band that knows how to deliver it. With Alan Pasqua, piano, Derek Oles, bass and Bob Mintzer, saxophones.  Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.

- Aug. 26. (Thurs.)  Galway Plays Mozart.  Flutist John Galway – his instrument’s most visible performer — plays the Mozart Flute Concerto No 2, as well as Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun and Piston’s Incredible Flutist Suite.  The Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Leonard Slatkin, offers the Overture to Mozart’s The Magic FluteThe Hollywood Bowl.   (323) 850-2000.

Frank Sinatra, Jr.

- Aug. 26 – 29. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Frank Sinatra Jr.  The Sinatra sound is alive and well in the voice and the style of son Frank, Jr.   At a time when Sinatra imitators are showing up everywhere, it’s good to hear the music coming from such an original source.  (323) 466-2210.    Catalina Bar & Grill.

- Aug. 27. (Fri.)  Cyndi Lauper. With 13 Grammy nominations, a pair of Emmys and a ton of MTV awards, Lauper continues to sustain musical stardom that reaches back to her hits of the ‘80s.  Her guest stars are New Orleans’ Allen Toussaint and guitarist David RhodesThe Greek Theatre.   (323) 665-3125.

- Aug. 27. (Fri.)  Dena DeRose. It took injuries to her hands to convince DeRose that she had vocal skills to match the quality of her piano playing.  Fortunately recovered, she now does both.  What she doesn’t do very often, however, is make Southland appearances.  So don’t miss this one.  Crowne Plaza Hotel.   (310) 642-7500.

- Aug. 28. (Sat.)  The Turtle Island Quartet.   The ever-adventurous Turtle Islanders perform music from their new CD, Have You Ever Been… — featuring the music of Jimi Hendrix and founder/composer in residence David BalakrishnanGrand Performances.  (213) 687-2190.

Charmaine Clamor

- Aug. 28. (Sat.) Charmaine Clamor.  The Philippines’ gift to the world of jazz singing gets better and better with every performance, spreading her extraordinary musical versatility in all directions.  Hopefully she’ll offer a glimpse into the songs on her soon to be released new album, Something Good. And this time out, it won’t cost a penny to hear and see this world class artist at the  Levitt Pavilion in a free concert in MacArthur Park.   (213) 384-5701

- Aug. 28. (Sat.)  Jeri Brown.  Brown, whose voice is one of the jazz world’s most remarkable instruments, takes a break from her teaching activities in Canada to make a very rare Southland appearance.  If you haven’t heard her yet, you should start now.  Café Metropol.   (213) 613-1537.

- Aug. 28. (Sat.)  Ashley Maher.  Imagine the lyrical depths of Joni Mitchell embraced by the vital rhythms of Africa, and it still won’t quite describe the songs and singing of Maher, who deserves far more attention than she has received.  She performs with Haiti’s Jean-Paul.  The Kara Mack Band opens.  The Talking Stick, Venice.

- Aug. 28 & 29. (Sat. & Sun.)  Idyllwild Jazz in the Pines.  A great way to spend a late Summer weekend – an entertaining program of music in a delightful outdoor setting.  Featured artists include Tom Scott, Kenny Washington, Oscar Hernandez and David Benoit.  But there’s much more, from the Peter Sprague String Consort and the Jeff Tower Big band to Henry Franklin, Yves Evans, Graham Dechter and many others.  The inimitable Bubba Jackson is the master of ceremonies.  Idyllwild Jazz in the Pines.

= Aug. 29. (Sun.) Kleber Jorge.  Brazilian singer/guitarist Jorge, former lead guitarist with Sergio Mendes,  has also performed with everyone from Dori Caymmi to John Patitucci.  He celebrates the opening of a new Sunday brunch series at the Tiato Market Garden Cafe in Santa Monica.   (310) 866-5228.

San Francisco

- Aug. 24 & 25. (Tues. & Wed.)  Lenny White and Anomaly. Drummer White celebrates the release of Anomaly, his first album in ten years,  Determined to “put the rock back into jazz-rock,” he thoroughly succeeds in the task.  For a review of his performance at Catalina Bar & Grill last weekend, click here.   Yoshi’s Oakland.   (510) 238-9200.

Bob Dylan

- Aug. 25. (Wed.)  Bob Dylan and His Band. A rare and special event.  And it begins with what will surely be a virtual “happening” outside the theatre before the show begins.  Why?  Because all tickets are general admission and will be sold only on the day of the show.  $60, cash only, no credit cards, and no advance tickets will be sold.  Box office and doors open at 5:30 p.m. for the 8 p.m. show.  Line-ups will be allowed no earlier than noon on the day of the show.  The Warfield, San Francisco.

Aug. 26 – 28. (Thurs. – Sat.) John Zorn.  A three night Zorn festival.  On Thursday he performs in a duo with composer Terry Riley; on Friday he plays Alhambra love songs at 8, and is joined by the Aleph Trio at 10; on Saturday he appears with the Rova Saxophone QuartetYoshi’s San Francisco.  (415) 655-5600.

New York

- Aug. 24 – 28. (Tues. – Sat.) Richie Bierach.  Pianist Bierach, a favorite of Stan Getz and Chet Baker, among others, performs with trumpeter Randy Brecker, violinist Gregor Huebner, bassist George Mraz and drummer Billy HartBirdland.  (212) 581-3080.

-Aug. 24 – 29. (Tues. – Sun.)  Saxophone Summit: Salute to James Moody.  Special guests: Tues. — Chris Potter; Wed. – Eric Alexander and Antonio Hart; Thurs – Jimmy Heath; Fri. – Lew Tabackin; Sat. – Ada Rovatti; Sun. – Joe LovanoThe Blue Note. (212) 475-8592

- Aug. 24 – 29. (Tues. – Sun.)  The Music of Antonio Carlos Jobim. An evening of works by the man who created some of the most memorable songs of the late 20th century. Performed expertly by The Trio Da Paz, with Joe Locke, Harry Allen and Maucha AdnetDizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.   (212) 258-9595.

Lee Konitz

- Aug. 26 – 29. (Thurs. – Sun.) Lee Konitz.  The veteran alto saxophonist, one of the jazz world’s true original artists, displays his extraordinary improvisational skills in the company of the alternating rhythm section teams of Ethan Iverson/Larry Grenadier (Thurs. & Sun.) and Reid Anderson/Jorge Rossy (Fri. & Sat.)  Iridium.   (212) 582-2121.

- Aug. 26 – 29. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Gerald Clayton Quintet. Rapidly rising young pianist Clayton expands his trio with a pair of equally promising young instrumentalists – trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and alto saxophonist Logan RichardsonThe Jazz Standard. l (212) 576-3323.

Picks of the Week: June 29 – July 4

June 29, 2010

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Sally Kellerman

-June 30. (Wed.)  Sally Kellerman. Hot Lips is back. And, as convincing as she was in M*A*S*H, she’s even more so as a singer, crafting tunes simmering with traces of jazz, folk, soul and country.  Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

- June 30. (Wed.)  Open Hands.  One of the Southland’s authentic all-star jazz ensembles, featuring the invigorating bass work of Abraham Laboriel and the dynamically versatile tenor saxophone of Justo Almario, with Greg Mathieson, keyboards and Bill Maxwell, drums.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.   (310) 474-9400.

- June 30. (Wed.)  Kevin Eubanks Group. He’s no longer on the air with Leno, but Eubanks is still one of the most listenable guitarists in jazz.  And on this gig you won’t have to worry about being interrupted by a commercial break. Baked Potato.  (818) 980-1615.

- June 30. (Wed.) Nancy Sanchez.  She may have been a mariachi singer as a teen-ager, but Sanchez is now an intriguing, up and coming jazz vocalist who comfortably combines some pop and crossover elements in her coolly expressive vocalizing.  Steamers. (714) 871-8800.

Linda Ciofalo

- July 1. (Thurs.)  Linda Ciofalo. With an appealing voice and a perky rhythmic manner, Ciofalo is the right interpreter for the Johnny Mercer tunes on her brand new CD, Dancing With Johnny.  She’s backed by pianist Otmaro Ruiz, bassist John Belzaguy and drummer Jimmy Branley.  Crowne Plaza. (310) 642-7500.

- July 2. (Fri.)  Charles Owens Quartet. The versatile Owens can play any saxophone, in almost any style, and do it with utter believability.  But the best time to hear him is on a gig like this, when he’s up front, doing everything his own way.  The Culver Club in the Raddison.   (310) 649-1776 ext. 4137.

- July 2 – 4. (Fri. – Sun.)  July 4th Fireworks SpectacularVince Gill, with twenty Grammy Awards and more than 22 million albums sold, is the perfect headliner for the annual pyrotechnical celebration.  Expect to hear such country hits as “I Still Believe In You” and “One More Last Chance.”  Hollywood Bowl.    (323) 850-2000.

- July 3. (Sat.)  Ira Nepus and Friends.  Trombonist, Nepus, one of L.A.’s fine first-call players, steps into the spotlight with his own group.  And the set will be even more highlighted by the engaging vocals of Bonnie Bowden.  Willy’s BBQ and Grill.  Agoura Hills.   (818) 991-7227.

San Francisco

- June 29 & 30 (Tues. & /Wed,)  Joyce (Joyce Moreno) The Brazilian singer/guitarist is keeping the bossa nova flame still burning, while adding her own more contemporary tunes to programs rich with the rhythms of Rio. Yoshi’s Oakland.   (510) 238-9200.

- July 4. (Sun.) Kiosk.  There’s something appropriate about the presence of the highly praised Iranian rock band, Kiosk, at Yoshi’s on Independence Day.  Prevented from performing in public in their native land (because of “inappropriate” lyrics), they re-formed outside Iran and now perform around the globe.  Yoshi’s San Francisco.  (415) 655-5600.

New York

Lew Tabackin and Toshiko Akiyoshi

- June 29 – July 3. (Tues. – Sat.) Lew Tabackin & Toshiko Akiyoshi Quartet. The husband and wife team, innovative figures in the contemporary jazz world for decades, make a too-rare live appearance.  They’re backed by bassist Boris Kozlov and drummer Mark TaylorBirdland. (212) 581-3080.

June 29 – July 4. (Tues. – Sun.)  Fourplay.  Grammy-nominated Fourplay – Bob James, Chuck Loeb, Nathan East and Harvey Mason – have successfully created an audience-pleasing crossover jazz style without sacrificing any of their substantial array of pure jazz skills. The Blue Note.   (212) 475-8592.

Picks of the Week: May 3 – 9

May 3, 2010

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Jeanie Brandes

- May 4. (Tues.)  Jeanie Brandes.  Songs from Brandes’ new CD, Kisses You Awake will be on the agenda for Brandes’ crystalline voice and elegant phrasing.  She’s backed by Bryan Bromberg, Shelly Markham and Tom ZinkasCatalina Bar & Grill (323) 466-2210.

- May 4. (Tues.)  Jonny Blu.  He’s a unique musical canaries, an American singer who has been a star in China, singing in Mandarin.  And he’s just as good with the classic American songbook.  Vibrato (310) 474-9400.

- May 5. (Wed.)  Cinco de Mayo CelebrationLouis Cruz Beltran. The dynamic drummer/singer celebrates the holiday in an irresistible evening of rhythm and song. Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.

- May 5. (Wed.)  Susie Hansen Latin Jazz Band.  The body-moving rhythms of Hansen’s dynamic ensemble are applied to tunes from her soon-to-be-released new CD, the appropriately titled Representante de la SalsaAtomic Ball Room, Irvine.   (914) 250-3332.

- Jan. 6. (Thurs.) Julie Kelly.  Kelly’s dulcet tones and brisk rhythms are supported by the stellar backing of Bill Cunliffe, Chris Collangelo and Kendall Kay. Charlie O’s.    (919) 994-3058.

Gustavo Dudamel

- May 6 – 8.  (Thurs. – Sun.)  Los Angeles Philharmonic.  An evening of dramatic music directed by the equally dramatic hands of Gustavo Dudamel: Tchaikovsky’s Symphony #6 (Pathetique) and the Dvorák Cello Concerto, with soloist Alisa WeilersteinDisney Hall.

- May 7. (Fri.)  Charlie Shoemake and “Sounds of Shearing” Vibist Shoemake brings the classic Shearing sound back to life, recalling some of the classics, applying it to new repertoire.  Culver Club Radisson Hotel. Culver Club Raddison.

- May 7. (Fri.)  Rique Pantoja & Friends.  Brazilian pianist Pantoja leads a band that can easily cover all aspects of the jazz meets Brazilian rhythms style.  Bob Sheppard, Abraham Laboriel, Luis Conte and Russ MillerVitello’s.  (818) 769-0905.

- May 7. (Fri.)  Shelly Berg Trio.  Jazz pianist and jazz educator Berg takes a hiatus from his academic duties in Miami for a one-nighter in Fullerton.  He’s backed by Chuck Berghofer and Greg FieldSteamers.   (714) 871-8800.

Katayoun Goudarzi

- May 7.  (Fri.) SaffronA Celebration of Rumi. A rich blending of atmospheric music with readings from the sensual poetry of Rumi.  The engaging voice of reader Katayoun Goudarzi is accompanied by the playing of Sujaat Husain Khan, Tim Ries, Kevin Hayes, Satoshi Takeishi and Abhimann Kaushal.   The Skirball Center.   (310) 440-4500.

- May 8.  (Sat.) Patti LaBelleAshford & Simpson.  A Mother’s Day Concert celebrates the maternal blessings with a classic collection of soul and r & b sounds. Gibson Amphitheatre.   (818) 622-4440.

- May 9. (Sun.) Raymond de Felitta Trio.  Pianist de Felitta is a legitimate show business mult-hyphenate.  In addition to this convincing keyboard work, he is an Academy Award-nominated independent filmmaker and writer.  His most recent film, City Island, received First Place Audience Award at the Tribeca Film Festival.  Vibrato.  (310) 474-9400.

- May 9. (Sun.)  Judy Wexler. KJAZZ Mother’s Day Brunch. The singing’s great, the food is great, and the atmosphere is great.  Mother should be very happy to be here. KJAZ’s Helen Borgas hosts. Twist Restaurant at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel.   (562) 985-2999.

San Diego

- May 7. (Fri.)  Eldar. The young prodigy jazz pianist from Kyrgyzstan, now 23, has matured into a top level improvisational artist.  Anthology, San Diego.   (619) 595-0300.

Farah and Strunz

- May 8. (Sat.)  Strunz & Farah. The veteran two-guitar team (from Iran and Costa Rica) are producing some of the finest music of their long career together.  Click here to read an iRoM review of a recent L.A. appearance. Anthology, San Diego.   (619) 595-0300.

San Francisco

- May 6 & 7. (Thurs. & Fri.)  Christian McBride and Inside Straight.  Everybody’s favorite bassist, adept at almost any given style, leads his own, appropriately titled straight ahead quintet.  Yoshi’s Oakland.  (510) 238-9200.

- May 7 – 9. (Fri. – Sun.)  Rachelle Ferrell.  A voice with no apparent limits ranges easily across styles, from blues and gospel to some convincing jazz singing.  Yoshi’s San Francisco.   (415) 655-5600.

New York

Chick Corea

May 4 – 9. (Tues. – Sun.)  Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez and Paul Motian“Further Explorations of Bill Evans” Corea must be serious about the quest to dig into the rich lode of Bill Evans music.  He’s performing with a pair of players – bassist Gomez and drummer Motian – who spent a lot of time on the bandstand with Evans.   The Blue Note.  (212) 475-8592.

- May 5 – 8. (Wed. – Sat.)  Umbria Jazz. Unfortunately trumpeter Enrico Rava, the headliner for this presentation of high level Italian jazz, had an accident and can’t make the gig.  He’s been replaced by close associate Dan Kinzelman (sax and clarinet), along with Gianluca Petrella (trombone) Giovanni Guidi (piano), Pietro Leveratto (bass) Fabrizio Sferra (drums), and the quality level is still something special to hear.  Birdland.  (212) 581-3080.

Kenny Garrett

- May 5 – 8. (Wed. – Sat.) Kenny Garrett Band. Alto saxophonist Garrett takes time off from the Five Piece Band to apply his free orbiting style to a collection of his own music.  Iridium.  (212) 582-2121.

- May 5 – 9. (Wed. – Sun.) The Julliard Jazz Orchestra examines some classic jazz repertoire in a program devoted to  “The Music of Mary Lou Williams and Duke Ellington”  with special guests Kenny Barron (Wed. & Thurs.) and Lew Tabackin (Fri. – Sun.)  Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola.   (212) 258-9800.

- May 6 – 9. (Thurs. – Sun.) Mulgrew Miller and Wingspan. Pianist Miller and his small band, Wingspan, have produced some of the jazz world’s most appealing sounds over the past three decades.  The current group features Antonio Hart, Steve Nelson, Duane Eubanks, Ivan Taylor and Rodney Green. Jazz Standard. (212) 576-2232.

Picks of the Week: Mar. 8 – 14

March 8, 2010

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

- Mar. 9. (Tues.) John Pisano’s Guitar Night.  

John Pisano

John Pisano trades riffs with Pat Kelley, who has transformed his Oklahoma roots into an amiable, highly personal guitar style. Ralph Humphrey, drums and John Belzaguy, bass, provide sturdy back-up.  Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

- Mar. 9. (Tues.) Bill Watrous and the San Gabriel 7.  Virtuoso trombonist Watrous leads his seven piece band in a collection of Latin, jazz and funk music.  Singer Katie Campbell adds enticing vocal stylings.  Catalina Bar & Grill.   (323) 466-2210.

Mar. 9. (Tues.) A Special Benefit Tribute to Francisco Aguabella.  The Banda Brothers, with guests Pete Escovedo and Sheila E. lead a tribute performance to benefit the now ill, legendary Cuban drum master.  Other scheduled performers include Alex Acuna, Justo Almario, Poncho Sanchez, Danilo Lozano, John Clayton and many others.  Steamers.  (714) 871-8800.

Mar. 9. (Tues.) Night of Radical Guitar: Janet Feder and Miroslav Tadic with Vinny Golia.  Guitarists Feder and Tadic join up with multi-woodwind instrumentalist Golia to explore the outer limits of eclectic improvisation.  South Pasadena Music Center and Conservatory.  (626) 403-2300.

- Mar 10.  (Wed.)  Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.  An evening of Maurice Ravel, with Daphnis et Chloe, Ma Mere L’Oye and La Valse on the program.  Mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter joins the ensemble for ShehereazadeUCLA Live at Royce Hall .  (310) 825-2101.

- Mar. 10. (Wed.)  Scott Martin’s Latin Soul Band.  After fourteen years in the Grammy-winning Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band, saxophonist Martin is now fronting his own Latin ensemble.  His latest CD, Only Trust Your Heart, finds him surrounded by the lush rhythms and rich harmonies of Brazil.  Vibrato.  (310) 474-9400.

- Mar. 10.  (Wed.)  Classic Albums Live: The Beatles’ Abbey Road.  It’s a tribute performance in which the emphasis is on authentic musical reproduction, without the costumes and wigs.  Irvine Barclay Theatre. (949) 854-4646.

- Mar. 10 & 11. (Wed. & Thurs.)  Babatunde Lea Quintet. The veteran, master percussionist leads a stellar ensemble in a tribute to the late, great singer Leon Thomas. With Ernie Watts, saxophones, Patrice Rushen, keyboards, Gary Brown, bass and vocalist Dwight TribleCatalina Bar & Grill (323) 466-2210.

- Mar. 11. (Thurs.)  The Ying Quartet.  Originally founded by the four Ying siblings, the Ying Quartet now includes Frank Huang, replacing Timothy Ying as first violinist.  But the quartet’s remarkably symbiotic musical togetherness continues. CSUN Performing Arts Center. l (818) 677-1200

- Mar. 11. (Thurs.)  Joe La Barbera Quintet.  Drummer La Barbera takes a leader’s role, fronting the all-star assemblage of trumpeter Clay Jenkins, saxophonist Bob Sheppard, pianist Bill Cunliffe and bassist Tom Warrington.   Charlie O’s.   (919) 994-3058.

- Mar. 11 & 12. (Thurs. & Fri.)  Matt Slocum. Rising young jazz drummer Slocum celebrates the release of his CD, Portraits.  With Dan Lutz, bass and Josh Nelson, piano.    Thurs: Crown Plaza Brasserie Jazz Lounge.  (310) 642-7500.   Fri.: Café Metropol.   (213) 613-1537.


- Mar. 11. (Thurs.)  Hiromi. Japanese keyboardist Hiromi is building a style that reaches out to embrace everything from high voltage electronica to swinging, straight ahead jazz.  A Jazz Bakery Moveable Feast.  (310) 271-9039.  Japan America Theatre.

- Mar. 12. (Fri.) The Stan Kenton Alumni BandMike Vax lead alumni from the 1956-1978 Stan Kenton Orchestras through a program of Kenton classics. Chapman Auditorium, Chapman University.   (714) 997-6871.

- Mar. 12. (Fri.)  Dave PellMed Flory.  A pair of veteran saxophonists have fun with the alto and tenor saxophone frontline format, at one L.A.’s most cozily intimate jazz clubs.  The Back Room at Henri’s in Woodland Hills.

- Mar. 12. (Fri.)  Gary Foster and the Pat Senatore Trio.  Busy studio woodwind player Foster doesn’t spend much time as the front man in a jazz ensemble. So don’t miss this chance to hear his superb saxophone playing, backed by a solid rhythm section. Vibrato.  (310) 474-9400.

Vinicio Caposella

- Mar. 13. (Sat.) Vinicio Capossela. The Italian singer/songwriter’s performances are as unpredictable as the dark balladry of Tom Waits and the capriciousness of Tom Zé, spiced with his own unique stylings, which can reach from a tarantella or a tango to a high spirited love song.  The El Rey.  (323) 936-6400.

- Mar. 13. (Sat.)  Bill Cunliffe’s Imaginacion Quartet. The ever-versatile, always musically curious pianist Cunliffe applies his musical insights to songs with a Latin tinge (as Jelly Roll Morton would have described it).  Vibrato.   (310) 474-9400.

Andrea Marcovicci

- Mar. 13. (Sat.)  Andrea MarcovicciI’ll Be Seeing You…Love Songs of World War II. Singer Marcovicci knows how to get to the heart of a song, and there’s no collection of songs filled with more heartfelt emotions than the songbook of World War II. Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza

- Mar. 13. (Sat.)  John Beasley Jazz Circle.  Multi-instrumentalist Beasley sticks with the keyboards this time, leading the musically intriguing ensemble of  Dwight Trible, vocals, Oscar Seaton, drums and Ian Martin, bass.   Vitello’s.  (818) 769-0905.

- Mar. 13 & 14. (Sat. & Sun.)  The Wailers. The group that has virtually defined reggae music since the ’60s is in town for a pair of performances to support their “I Went Hungry” world food program.  On Saturday, they appear at Brixton in Redondo Beach (310) 406-1931; on Sunday they’re at the Galaxy Concert Theatre in Santa Ana (714) 957-0600.

- Mar. 14. (Sun.)  Larry  Coryell and “Bombay Jazz.” Guitarist Coryell explores the compatible linkages between jazz and Indian classical music.  With saxophonist / composer George Brooks, Indian bamboo flutist Ronu Majumdar and tabla player Aditya Kalyanpur Jazz Bakery Moveable Feast.  Largo – Coronet Theatre.  (310) 271-9039.

Adam del Monte

- Mar. 14. (Sun.)  Adam del Monte.  The master flamenco guitarist celebrates the release of  his new CD, A Cry in the Dark with a concert (no dancing) of all new compositions.  His ensemble includes Enosh del Monte, violin, Emir Isilai, keyboard, Asaf Kofler, bass and Gerardo Morales, percussion.  The Fountain Theatre.  (323) 663-1525.

- Mar. 14. (Sun.)  Traps ‘n’ Taps: A Brief History of American RhythmThe California Jazz Foundation presents an entertaining Sunday jazz brunch featuring versatile dancer, choreographer, bandleader and film archivist Chester Whitmore and drummer Clayton Cameron. Catalina Bar & Grill (323) 466-2210.

San Francisco

Bobby Hutcherson

- Mar. 11 – 14.  (Thurs. – Sun.)  John Scofield’s New Jazz Quartet brings the versatile guitarist back to a steady jazz orbit.  With Mulgrew Miller, piano, Ben Street, bass and Kendrick Scott, drums. Yoshi’s Oakland.   (510) 238-9200.

- Mar. 12 – 14. (Fri. – Sun.)  NEA Jazz Masters All-Stars. An assemblage of great jazz veterans display the skills of their lifetimes in the music.  Bobby Hutcherson, vibes, Jimmy Heath, tenor saxophone, Slide Hampton, trombone, Cedar Walton, piano. Yoshi’s San Francisco.   (415) 655-5600.

New York

- Mar. 8 – 11. (Mon. – Thurs.)  Cassandra Wilson. The inimitable Wilson, her voice one of the unique sounds in contemporary jazz, brings storytelling insights to material reaching across the full range of song. The Blue Note.  (212) 475-8592.

- Mar. 9 – 13. (Tues. – Sat.)  John Pizzarelli’s “Swing 7.” Pizzarelli’s swinging four- horn band provide a solid foundation for his songs and guitar, wife Jessica Molaskey’s crystal clear voice, and the wit and humor of the most entertaining show biz couple since Sonny & Cher.  Birdland.  (212) 581-3080.

- Mar. 9 – 14. (Tues. – Sun.)  Bill Charlap Trio.  Pianist Charlap and his sturdy companions — Peter Washington, bass and Kenny Washington, drums – bring maturity, musical insight and downright swing to everything they play.  Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.   (212) 258-9595.

Bobby Sanabria

- Mar. 10. (Wed.)  Bobby Sanabria Big BandPost Mamboism in the 21st Century Continues! Grammy nominated percussionist Sanabria affirms the vitality of  big band Latin jazz.  FB Lounge (212) 410-7292.

- Mar. 11. (Thurs.)  Lew TabackinHighlights in Jazz celebrates the playing of saxophonist Tabackin with his wife, pianist/composer Toshiko Akiyoshi, drummer Lewis Nash, bassist Boris Kozlov, trumpeter Joe Magnarelli, and guitarist Jack Wilkens plus a Very Special Guest. Tribeca Performing Arts Center.   (212) 220-1460.

- Mar. 11 – 14. (Thurs. – Sun.)  The Charles McPherson Quintet featuring Tom Harrell provides dynamic proof that bebop continues to stimulate compelling new musical ideas.   With Jeb Patton, piano, Ray Drummond, bass and Willie Jones III, drums.  Jazz Standard.   (212)  576-2232.

Roberta Gambarini

- Mar. 12 – 14. (Fri. – Sun.)  Roberta Gambarini. The Italian-born vocalist has a remarkable instrument, with training and skills to match.  But it’s what she does with that admirable combination that makes her one of the unique 21st century jazz singers.  The Blue Note.  (212) 475-8592.


- Mar. 9. (Tues.) Rose Colella TrioAn Evening of Academy Award Winning Songs & Colella applies her lyrical vocal style to songs from films such as “The Gay Divorcee,” Pinocchio,” “Cabin in the Sky” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”  Katerina’s.  (773) 348-7592.

- Mar. 12 & 13. (Fri. & Sat.)  Mike Melvoin Trio.  Long time L.A. jazz star Melvoin returns to his home Midwest territory to refresh his musical roots.  Singer (and actress) Theresa Russell will sing a few tunes from the Melvoin Songbook, and they’ll be backed by Larry Gray, bass and Charles Heath, drums.  Club Blujazz.   (773) 360-8046.

Picks of the Week: Nov. 16 – 22

November 16, 2009

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

- Nov. 16. (Mon.) Devon Wendell, Kevin Kelly and Tyler Kidd.    Blues on the loose, featuring iRoM’s own “Doc” Wendell playing electric and acoustic guitars and harmonica.  A chance to hear the reviewer in action.   The Viper Room.  (310) 652-7869.

- Nove. 16. (Mon.)  Elvis Schoenberg’s Orchestre Surreal.  Schoenberg’s large collective of L.A. studio players claims to perform music that “fuses classical, jazz, rock, hip hop, world music and just about anything else.”  Catalina Bar & Grill (323) 466-2210.


Charlie O

- Nov. 17. (Tues.)  Remembering  Charlie OThe Bill Cunliffe Trio.  Charlie Ottaviano passed away a year ago.  But his widow Jo-Ann has made sure that the club that bears his name continues to be the Southland’s ultimate jazz bar and restaurant, presenting world-class music seven nights a week.  There will undoubtedly be a few tears and a lot of jamming taking place to celebrate his memory.  Charlie O’s. (818) 989-3110.

- Nov. `17. (Tues) Charlie Haden Family & FriendsRambling Boy.  Bassist Haden, one of the jazz world’s most versatile artists, recalls his early years in country and bluegrass music.  Family members, bluegrass players and Jack Black join the party.  Disney Hall.   (323) 850-2000.

- Nov. 19. (Thurs.)  John Altman.  Sixtieth Birthday Party. Alto saxophonist/composer/arranger and humorist Altman celebrates a milestone birthday. Charlie O’s (818) 989-3110.

Lainie Kazan

Lainie Kazan

- Nov. 19. (Thurs.)  Thom Rotella Quartet.  Guitarist Rotella performs with the sterling backing of pianist John Beasley, bassist Kevin Brandon and drummer Roy McCurdy.  Crown Plaza Brasserie Jazz Lounge.  (310) 642-7500.

- Nov. 19 – 21. (Thurs. – Sat.)  Lainie Kazan.  The star of stage, screen, television and beyond is also a jazz-oriented, always engaging vocalist.  Catalina Bar & Grill (323) 466-2210.

- Nov. 20. (Fri.)  Graham Dechter Trio performs with guest star trumpeter Gilbert CastellanosSpazio. (818) 728-8400.

- Nov. 20 – 21. (Fri. & Sat.)  Joey DeFrancesco Trio.  The master of the B-3 keeps alive the tradition of big, blues-driven, irresistibly swinging jazz organ music. Steamers. (714) 871-8800.

- Nov. 21. (Sat.)  The Kronos Quartet, Terry Riley, Matmos and Michael Einziger“Eureka” The opening event in the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s West Coast, Left Coast Festival features four artists whose skills were honed in the cultural environment of California.  The evening’s works are frequently interrlated, especially during a combined version of a piece titled “For Terry Riley,”  performed by the Kronos Quartet and the electronica of Matmos.  Walt Disney Concert Hall.  (323) 850-2000.

- Nov. 21. (Sat.)  Tommy Tune and the Manhattan Rhythm Kings: “Steps In Time” Dancer, choreographer and director Tune recalls some of the classic, high-stepping moments in Broadway musical history.  CSUN Performing Arts Center (818) 677-5768.

- Nov. 21. (Sat.)  Bernadette Peters. The Broadway musical star, who can command a stage with a sultry phrase and a playful twist of her hips, stars in the 15th Anniversary Celebration of the Thousand Oaks Civic Plaza.   (805) 449-2700.


Hubert Laws

- Nov. 21. (Sat.)  Hubert Laws, Larry Koonse and Tierney Sutton. The Jazz Bakery continues its Moveable Feast series of concerts with a Holiday Celebration featuring veteran flutist Laws, versatile guitarist Koonse and jazz vocalist Sutton.    Fowler Museum.  UCLA.   (310) 271-9039

- Nov. 21. (Sat.)  Bob Sheppard.  Name the style you want to hear from a saxophonist, and Sheppard can deliver it in A-class style.  This time out, he’s doing things his own way, backed by the sturdy support of bassist Pat Senatore’s TrioVibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400.

- Nov. 21. (Sat.)  Hans Groiner & Larry Goldings Quartet.  Here’s an intriguing two-fer.  Pianist and humorist Groiner, making his West Coast debut is allegedly a “Thelonious Monk scholar.”   Goldings is a solid talent, one of the Southland’s most imaginative keyboardists.  The Red Carpet Jazz Series.  Upstairs at Vitellos.  (818) 769-0905.

- Nov. 22. (Sun.) Suezenne Fordham Chamber Jazz LA. Fordham’s expands upon the lineage of avant-garde jazz reaching back to the ‘60s.  South Pasadena Music Center and Conservatoryhttp://www.southpasadenamusic.com (626) 403-2300

San Francisco

- Nov. 18. (Tues.)  Fred Hersch.  Solo piano.  Gersh is always a pleasure to hear, but never more so than when he plays alone.  Hopefully he’ll include some selections from his recent album of music by Antonio Carlos Jobim.  Yoshi’s Oakland )510) 238-9200.

- Nov. 20 – 22. (Fri. – Sun.)  Wallace Roney Quintet.  Trumpeter Roney’s playing style flows from the Miles Davis wellspring, but what he does with it is uniquely his own.  Yoshi’s Oakland.  (510) 238-9200.

Savion Glover

Savion glover

- Nov. 20 – 22.  (Fri. – Sun.)  Patti Austin.  Who will show up this week?  The Jazz Patti, the Blues Patti, the Soul Patti.  Doesn’t matter.  All of Austin’s musical manifestations are great.  With any luck she’ll include something from all her sources.  Yoshi’s  San Francisco.  (415) 655-5600.

New York

- Nov. 17 – 22. (Mon. – Sun.)  Savion Glover“Jamming with the Masters” The brilliant tap artist performs with special guests McCoy Tyner, Roy Haynes, Eddie Palmieri, Jack DeJohnette and others TBA.  Check with club for schedules.  The Blue Note. (212) 475-8592.

- Nov. 17 – 22.  George Wein & the Newport All-Stars.  At 84, Wein – a swinging pianist as well as jazz’s most successful impresario – still loves to get up on the stage and do it himself.  He performs with the true all-star backing of saxophonist Lew Tabackin, trumpeter Randy Sandke, guitarist Howard Alden, drummer Winard Harper and others.  Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.  (212) 258-9595.

. – Nov. 21. (Sat.)  Mariza and Friends.  The Portuguese diva and her passionate fado interpretations are joined, in a diverse program, by Peru’s Eva Ayllon and Cuban jazz pianist Gonzalo RubalcabaCarnegie Hallhttp://www.carnegiehall.org/SiteCode/Intro.aspx

- Nov. 22. (Sun.)  Jean-Michel Pilc Quartet. French pianist is one of the most adventurous members of the new generation of players taking their music beyond the powerful influence of Bill Evans. 55 Bar (212) 929-9883.

Picks of the Week: June 29 – July 5

June 29, 2009

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

- June 29. (Mon.) Tim Garland’s Lighthouse Trio. Saxophonist Garland’s remarkable accomplishments reach from orchestral works to choir music to commissions for an African dance company and pairings with Chick Corea. Hearing him with his Lighthouse Trio reveals the inner essence of his art. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210 .

- July 1 – 3. (Wed. – Fri.) Vital Information with Steve Smith. Drummer Smith’s interests in percussion reach around the globe and across musical genres. And Vital Information – with Smith, bassist Baron Browne, guitarist Vinny Valentino and keyboardist Tom Coster – cover most of those bases in their always-changing sets. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210

- July 2. (Thurs.) “Playing for Change.” The 25th Annual Twilight Dance Series at the Santa Monica Pier opens with the live band version of the startling “Playing for Change” phenomenon that has rapidly moved from the #1 rated YouTube video to a Top 10 release of their 2-disc CD/DVD. Santa Monica Pier Twilight Dance Series. And if you haven’t seen the YouTube video, with its marvelous revelation of the power of music, you should  Here it is: .

john fogerty

John Fogerty

- July 2 – 4. (Thurs. – Sat.) The Hollywood Bowl’s annual Fireworks Spectacular. Featuring John Fogerty with the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by John Morris Russell. Fogarty’s reportedly working on a new country album, but the Bowl audience no doubt will expect a large serving of such Creedence Clearwater Revival hits as “Susie Q” and “Proud Mary.” The fireworks, as always, will be spectacular. Hollywood Bowl. (323) 850-2000.

- July 3. (Fri.) Viver Brasil. “Feet on the Ground/Aiye.” A spectacular evening of sight and sound, with the invigorating songs of Katia Moraes and the high-spirited, roots rhythms and dancing of the amazing artist in the Viver Brasil company. Ford Amphitheatre. (323) 461-3673.

Highlight: July 3 (Fri.)

It’s a great night for jazz canaries in L.A., with three impressive ladies offering their very different, but utterly compelling views of the art of jazz vocalizing at locations across the Southland. (Ahh…for a personal helicopter).

Jackie Ryan. The ever-fascinating, multi-jackie ryan culingual Ryan has emerged, in the past few years as a singer with a stunning blend of creative imagination, musicality and captivating story-telling abilities. She arrives in town celebrating the upcoming release of her latest album, the 2-CD “Doozy” (Openart Records). (Full disclosure: I wrote the liner notes for the set.) She’s at the Culver Club at the Radisson. (310) 649-1776. To sample Jackie Ryan’s recordings, click here.

Carol Welsman. Across the county, Canadian singer/pianist Welsman applies her superb blend of voice and instrument to a carolwelsman2repertoire that is as imaginative and far-reaching as any vocalist on the scene. (Maybe even more so.) Blessed with a whisper-in-your-ear warm sound and a rich harmonic sense, she uses them both to bring a compelling lyricism to her songs. Let’s hope she includes some of the engaging selections from her as yet unreleased tribute to Peggy Lee. Steamers. (714) 871-8800. To sample Carol Welsman’s recordings, click here.

Susan Krebs. Meanwhile, out in the Valley, Krebs brings to her songs her belief that “Being a jazz gardener is really about the art of susankrebs4becoming…whether working with plants or music or with oneself.” Her outdoors fascination reaches up to jazz-in-flight, as well, in her album, “Jazz Aviary,” which features such classics as “Baltimore Oriole,” “Skylark,” and, of course, “Ornithology,” She’s backed by pianist Theo Saunders, bassist Ryan McGillicuddy and drummer Sinclair Lott. Spazio. (818) 728-8400 To sample Susan Krebs’ recordings, click here.

- July 4. (Sat.) Shin Hae Chul and N.E.X.T. The South Korean pop star and his band make a rare American appearance. A liberal political icon as well as a musical headliner, often compared to John Lennon, he is one of the founders of the country’s contemporary Kpop genre. The Ford Amphitheatre. (323) 461-3673.

San Francisco

- July 2 – 5. (Thurs. – Sun.) Mose Allison & Bob Dorough. What a treat – two of the deans of hip jazz vocalizing, on the same stage. The Mississippi blues meet cool urban sophistication. Dorough also does a matinee on Sunday featuring selections from his “Schoolhouse Rock.” Yoshi’s Oakland. (510) 238-9200.

- July 2 – 5. (Thurs. – Sun.) Gerald Albright. The multiple Grammy-nominated saxophonist brings jazz authenticity to the too-often tepid waters of the smooth and contemporary jazz styles. Yoshi’s San Francisco. (415) 655-5600

New York City


Jack DeJohnette

- June 29. (Mon.) Ravi Coltrane & Jack DeJohnette with guests: “A Benefit for JazzReach.” Talk about an opportunity to make a contribution to something worthwhile, and experience some remarkable music in the process – here it is. Two of the jazz world’s most adventurous players, taking an exploratory road together. The Blue Note. (212) 475-8592.

- June 30. (Tues.) Terese Genecco & Her Little Big Band. Retro swing comes alive in the hands of the energy-packed Geneco and her irresistibly swinging seven piece band. Also on the bill, Scott Barbarino & the Bev-Naps re-imagine a combination of Dean Martin-revisited with a doo-wop, a capella vocal group.. The Iridium. (212) 582-2121. (Also the last Tuesday of every month.)


Anat Cohen (photo by Tony Gieske)

- June 30 – July 5. (Tues. – Sun.) Anat Cohen. “Clarinet work: Benny Goodman and Beyond. “ It’s been a long time since the clarinet has had an advocate as convincing as the gifted Cohen. Although her work on tenor and soprano saxophones is always a joy to hear, her love for the clarinet, combined with the ability to bring its rich resources of sound to life, is one of the pleasures of the 21st century jazz scene. It’ll be intriguing to hear what she does with Goodman. The Village Vanguard. (212) 255-4037

- July 1 – 4. (Wed. – Sat.) Lew Tabackin & Toshiko Akiyoshi Quartet. The gifted couple – with Tabackin’s envelope-stretching saxophone work and Toshiko’s compositionally structured piano have long been – and continue to be – models of new vista jazz improvisation. Birdland. (212) 581-3080.


Pulitzer Arts

Ornette Coleman

- June 30 – July 12. The Montreal Jazz Festival. There are those who fervently believe that the Montreal Fest is North America’s finest music event. And they may be right (although I’d have to place the Monterey Jazz Festival at a similar level). But with settings placed in and around a beautiful city, and a line up like this, it’s hard to go wrong: Ornette Coleman, Oliver Jones, Joe Cocker, Al Jarreau, Jeff Beck, Jackson Brown, Buddy Guy, Tony Bennett, Brian Setzer, Burning Spear, Melody Gardot, Charlie Haden, Jamie Cullum, Al Di Meola, Joshua Redman, Chris Botti, Esperanza Spalding, Dave Brubeck, Madeleine Peyroux and more. The Montreal Jazz Festival. (888) 525-0515

Rothbury, Michigan

- July 2 – 5. (Thurs. – Sun.) The Rothbury Festival. Rothbury describes its mission as a “commitment to harnessing the spirit of the music festival community into a durable social movement.” A lot of performers and fans agree, especially when the Festival is placed in an amiable outdoor setting, and the program includes The Dead, Bob Dylan, String Cheese Incident, Willie Nelson, the Black Crowes, Ani DiFranco, Matisyahu, Femi Kuti and more. The Rothbury Festival. At the Double JJ Ranch in Rothbury, Michigan.


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