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Interesting Sounds From San Francisco to the Southland

September 15, 2002|DON HECKMAN

The fall schedule of jazz and world music is a virtual banquet table overflowing with diverse opportunities for musical grazing.

Start with jazz at the Southland's numerous major arts venues: UCLA Performing Arts' rediscovery of America's greatest musical achievement has resulted in a number of stellar Royce Hall events, including the West Coast debut of bassist Dave Holland's big band (Oct. 3) and a relatively rare appearance by the Pat Metheny Group (Nov. 16).

Pepperdine's Smothers Theatre, a dependable location for straight-ahead jazz, offers the Manhattan Transfer (Oct. 10; also at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts on Oct. 11) and singer Jane Monheit (Oct. 25).

Cerritos, also a prime source of mainstream jazz, features a particularly attractive pairing of the Ahmad Jamal Quartet and the Jim Hall/Charlie Haden Duo (Oct. 19).

The Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach has also come up with a first-rate booking in Wayne Shorter's superb new quartet (Oct. 25).

On the festival front, the two biggest West Coast events take place in Monterey (Friday through next Sunday) and San Francisco (Oct. 23-Nov. 10). Among the highlights: Dave Brubeck, Joshua Redman, Don Byron, Roy Hargrove and the Mingus Big Band during the 45th Monterey festival; the McCoy Tyner Big Band (Oct. 27), singer Patricia Barber (Nov. 6) and the Ornette Coleman Trio (Nov. 7) in San Francisco.

Locally, the Verizon Music Festival takes place at venues around town the first week in October. Of primary interest to jazz fans: Bela Fleck at UCLA's Royce Hall (Oct. 2), Al Jarreau and Chris Botti at the Wadsworth Theatre (Oct. 4) and Ray Charles in a free concert at Pasadena's Central Park (Oct. 6).

Quickly establishing itself as a major player, the Pasadena Jazz Institute is offering a series of themed programs at Travis Auditorium. Among the choices: saxophonist Ricky Woodard celebrates Hank Mobley (Sept. 28), Bill Cunliffe recalls Bud Powell (Oct. 12), and pianist Christopher Dawson celebrates the late, underappreciated Sonny Clark (Nov. 9).

In the Southland's major club venues, check out the highly regarded saxophonist Chris Potter (Sept. 24-29). At Catalina Bar & Grill: the multitalented George Duke (Sept. 24-29).

The world music scene is also offering a colorful menu. UCLA is especially active with Israeli singer Chava Alberstein (Oct. 1), Brazil's Caetano Veloso (Oct. 29-30), Mali's Salif Keita (Nov. 2), the Afro-Cuban All Stars (Nov. 14) and Cuba's Pablo Milanes (Nov. 21).

On the festival front, the World Festival of Sacred Music continues through Sept. 29 at venues around town; and the Yiddishkayt! Festival at the Skirball Cultural Center features "New Yiddish Songs for the 21st Century" (Oct. 8) and Yiddish soul (Oct. 13).

Standout events also include the U.S. debut performance of "Night Flight to Rio" by the Orquestra de Sao Paulo and Brazil's top jazz ensemble, Banda Mantiqueira, at the Orange County Performing Arts Center's Segerstrom Hall on Oct. 26, and an appearance by legendary Indian classical musician Ravi Shankar with his sitar-playing daughter Anoushka at Royce Hall on Sept. 26.


Don Heckman writes frequently about jazz for The Times.

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