By Devon Wendell On Saturday, June 13th; Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock and young players from The Monk Institute Of Jazz Performance Ensemble will be performing at the 37th Annual Playboy Jazz Festival taking place Saturday and Sunday at The Hollywood Bowl. I recently had the amazing opportunity to interview Wayne Shorter on his upcoming performance… Read More Q&A: Wayne Shorter and Daniel Rotem At The Playboy Jazz Festival
By Don Heckman The week between Christmas and New Year’s is always light on performances. And this week is no exception. But numerous events, nonetheless, are well worthy of listeners’ attention. Here’s a selective group of some of the many highlights. Los Angeles – Dec. 26. (Thurs.) Robert Davi. Actor/singer Davi has thoroughly established himself… Read More Picks of the Week: Dec. 26 – 29
By Don Heckman Los Angeles – Mar. 27. (Wed.) Sascha’s Bloc. A gifted group of players, many from Russia and/or Eastern European backgrounds, showcasing music that crosses easily and compellingly across lines of genre and tradition. Led by the dynamic guitar playing of Alex (Sascha) Gershman, with the intimate vocalizing of Carina Coper. Vibrato Grill… Read More Picks of the Week: Mar. 27 – 31.
By Don Heckman Studio City, CA. One of the great pleasures of writing about music arises on those rare occasions when a relatively unknown artist makes an unheralded, but irresistibly appealing first appearance. As happened Friday night in the performance of Danish singer Sinne Eeg (pronounced ‘Seen-uh Eeg) at Vitello’s upstairs jazz room. Although Eeg… Read More Live Jazz: Sinne Eeg Upstairs at Vitello’s
By Don Heckman Los Angeles – Jan. 9. (Wed.) Ariana Savalas and Corky Hale. Yes, the name “Savalas” is familiar; Ariana is the daughter of the veteran actor Telly Savalas. But as a singer, she has an appealing style that is uniquely her own. She’s backed by the musically supportive accompaniment of pianist/harpist Hale. Vibrato… Read More Picks of the Week: Jan. 7 – 13
By Don Heckman Anyone who doubts the excitement, the imagination and the contemporary vitality of big band jazz should have been at Vitello’s last weekend. Over the course of Friday and Saturday nights, two stellar ensembles – the Bob Mintzer Big Band and the Bill Cunliffe Big Band – offered invigorating reminders of the still-potent… Read More Live Jazz: the Bob Mintzer and Bill Cunliffe Big Bands
By Don Heckman April Williams spends a lot of nights – and a few afternoons, too – at Vitello’s Restaurant in Studio City. Under her guidance, Upstairs at Vitello’s has become one of L.A.’s best new jazz venues. She was there on Saturday night, as well. But not for her usual routine of cruising the… Read More Live Jazz: April Williams with Alan Pasqua, Bob Sheppard, Darek Oles and Peter Erskine at Vitello’s.
By Don Heckman Los Angeles – July 18. (Wed.) The Chris Walden Big Band with special guest Tierney Sutton. Walden takes a break from his busy schedule of studio arranging and composing to lead his always dynamic big band. And it will be especially fascinating to hear the versatile Ms. Sutton singing in a setting… Read More Picks of the Week: July 18 – 22
By Don Heckman Los Angeles – Feb. 14. (Tues.) Nedra Wheeler. Bassist/vocalist Wheeler is a convincing performer as an instrumentalist and a singer. and she’ll no doubt be in rare form with the backing of Lanny Hartley, piano, Clarence Webb, saxophone and Munyungo Jackson, drums. Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400. – Feb. 15. (Wed.) Spanky… Read More Picks of the Week: Feb. 14 – 19
By Don Heckman Los Angeles – Jan. 31. (Tues.) Anthony Wilson. He’s had a lot of visibility the past few years backing Diana Krall, but Wilson’s a certified jazz star in his own right – as a performer, a composer and a band leader. This time out, he gets back to basics with guitarist and… Read More Picks of the Week: Jan. 31 – Feb. 5