Las Cafeteras, the “uniquely Angeleno mishmash of punk, hip hop, beat music, cumbia and rock,” (Los Angeles Times) are remixing roots music and telling modern-day stories. The Villalobos Brothers masterfully blend the richness of Mexican folk music with the intricate harmonies of jazz and classical.
Pianist Lara Downes and vocalist Theo Bleckmann present a duo cabaret showcasing the music of Leonard Bernstein, Duke Ellington and Kurt Weill. In Our Time is nostalgic yet timeless, and infused with the magnetic charisma for which Downes and Bleckmann are recognized.
The trios of Keith Jarrett and Brad Mehldau—to whom Brazilian pianist André Mehmari is often likened—provide evidence of the power of piano trio alchemy. Mehmari now brings forth his trio – bassist Neymar Dias and drummer Sérgio Reze – to explore the work of Clube de Esquina.
Veronica Swift is a fearless performer who displays deep and pure musicality in her singing and scatting. Her interplay with her fellow musicians is a hallmark of her talent; here she is matched with the remarkable hard bop pianist Benny Green and his trio.
Five astounding singers and a quartet of musicians led by music director Damien Sneed bring together songs from Aretha Franklin, Duke Ellington, Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone and Donny Hathaway, as well as traditional spirituals to evoke the inspirations, struggles and triumphs of civil rights activists and defenders.
Cellist Matt Haimovitz, an artist whose barrier-breaking performances have taken him around the world, collaborates with renowned pianist and composer Vijay Iyer in a program that defies definition featuring pieces by Iyer, Zakir Hussain, John McLaughlin, J. S. Bach, Ravi Shankar, Billy Strayhorn and others.
As her name portends, Storm Large is every bit the natural phenomenon. With her longtime band, Le Bonheur, Large leads a bold show that includes the Great American Songbook, Broadway standards, rock anthems and some of her own original songs.
With his sextet, Vijay Iyer makes a fascinating leap into ensemble writing that takes advantage of a powerful lineup (cornetist Graham Haynes, drummer Tyshawn Sorey, saxophonists Steve Lehman and Mark Shim and bassist Stephan Crump) veering between tight horn lines, grooves and moments of atmospheric elegance.