International Review of Music selects NIYAZ on Picks of the Week


Picks of the Week: Feb 2 – 8

February 2, 2009 — irom

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

– Feb. 2. (Mon.) Emerson String Quartet. The veteran, eight Grammy Award-winning ensemble performs amid a major retrospective showing of the art of painter Roberta Eisenberg. The program includes Beethoven, Ravel, Webern and Schubert. Cal State Polytechnic. Pomona. (310) 216-5861.

Jacky Terrasson

– Feb. 4 – 7. (Wed. – Sat.) Jacky Terrasson Trio. The always-intriguing French pianist makes a rare L.A. stop. The Jazz Bakery (310) 271-9039.

– Feb 5. (Thurs.) Klezmerata Fiorentina. How’s this for eclecticism: Four principal players from Florence’s Orchestra del Maggio Musicale, performing Ukrainian-Jewish instrumental music in an improvisatory style. Expect to hear lots of tapping feet. Skirball Cultural Center. (310) 440-4500.

– Feb. 5. (Thurs.) Ron Eschete Trio. The master of the seven string jazz guitar in action. Steamers. (714) 871-8800

Steve Tyrell

– Feb. 5 – 8 (Thurs. – Sun.) and Feb. 12 – 15 (Thurs. – Sun.) Singer Steve Tyrell does his unique take on the Great American Songbook. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.

Feb. 6. (Fri.) Master Musicians of Jajouka. William S. Burroughs described it as the “music of a 4,000 year old rock & roll band.” But even that colorful beat generation description misses the intensity of the Jajoukas’ music, with its plangent reeds, wailing flutes and roiling percussion. UCLA Royce Hall. (310) 825-2101. (Also Feb. 11 and 12 at Yoshi’s San Francisco. (415) 655-5600.

Orchestra Otmani

– Feb. 6. (Fri. ) Orchestra Otmani of Fes. A rare opportunity to hear Moroccan music in the Andalusian style. Orchestra Otmani performs in both secular and Sufi traditions, and features the singing of 21 year old vocal prodigy Marouane Hajji. Zipper Concert Hall at the Colburn School. (866) 468-3399.

– Feb. 6, 8, 13 and 15. (Fri,, Sun., Fri. & Sun.) Le Nozze di Figaro. “Figaro” is always fun. But rarely more so than in this self-described “boisterous new production” by Opera UCLA. Schoenberg Hall. (310) 825-2101

– Feb. 6 & 7. (Fri. & Sat.) Another jazz saxophone weekend at Charlie O’s, with the boppish stylings of Lanny Morgan on Sat. and the Pink Panther tenor of Plas Johnson on Saturday. Charlie O’s. 818- 994-3058.

– Feb. 7. (Fri.) An Evening with Edward Albee. The great American playwright tells how it’s done. Royce Hall UCLA. UCLA Royce Hall. (310) 825-2101.

Azam Ali

-Feb. 7. (Sat.) Niyaz. The cross-cultural ensemble of singer Azam Ali, multi-instrumentalist Loga Ramin Torkian, oud player Naser Musa, tabla player Salar Nadar, bassist Miles Jay and keyboardist Ray Lee explore the surprisingly compatible linkages between Persian, Indian, Turkish and Western dance music. The El Rey. (323) 936-6400. Also Fri., Feb. 7 at Cal State Fullerton Performing Arts Center. (714) 278-3371.

– Feb. 7. (Fri.) Rahim AlHaj and Souhail Kaspar. Iraqi oud virtuoso AlHaj is joined by Lebanese percussionist Souhail Kaspar in a presentation of music from his latest CD, “Home Again.” The Getty.


– Feb. 8. (Sun.) Kodo Drummers. Disney Hall. No that’s not the big one you hear, although it sometimes approaches the intensity of a major temblor. It’s Japan’s Kodo Drummers, filling Disney Hall with their incomparable blend of sheer showmanship and body-shaking percussion sounds. Walt Disney Concert Hall. (323) 850-2000.

San Francisco

– Feb. 2 & 3. (Mon. & Tues.) Chris Hillman & Herb Pederson with John McEuen. California country, rock and bluegrass lives. Yoshi’s San Francisco. (415) 655-5600.

New York City

– Feb. 3 – 8. (Tues. – Sun.) The perfect contemporary jazz storm: The Yellowjackets’ irrepressible beat and Mike Stern’s take-no-prisoners guitar playing. Blue Note. (No wonder they have two Grammy nominations.) (212) 475-8592.

– Feb. 4 – 7 (Wed. – Sat.) Drummer Lewis Nash steps to the front of the stage with his own sterling quintet (Jeremy Pelt, trumpet, Jimmy Greene, tenor saxophone, Renee Rosnes, piano, Peter Washington, bass) Birdland. (212) 581-3080.

– Feb. 6. (Fri.) Up and coming pianist Helen Sung combines her youthful perspective with veteran bassist Ron Carter’s ever-adventurous overview. Rubin Museum of Art. (212) 620-5000.

– Feb. 6 & 7. (Fri. & Sat.) Pianist Mike Melvoin, bassist Jay Leonhart and drummer Bill Goodwin make a convincing case for the fact that jazz can be simultaneously lyrical, elegant, imaginative and hard-swinging. The Kitano. (212) 885-7000. Also at Scullers Jazz Club in Boston on Tues., Feb. 10. (617) 562-4111.

– Feb. 6 & 7. (Fri. & Sat..) (10:30 & 12:00 AM) Tenor saxophonist Seamus Blake’s envelope-stretching quintet, with pianist Dave Kikoski, guitarist Lage Lund, drummer Bill Stewart and bassist Matt Clohesy. Smalls. (212) 252-5091.

Knoxville, Tennessee

– Feb. 6 – 8 (Fri. – Sun.) Big Ears Festival. A cross-genre music and arts festival combining art installations, exhibitions, performance art, seminars with artists, and interactive experiences. Confirmed artists include Philip Glass, Jon Hassell, Pauline Oliveros, and numerous others. At locations around Knoxville, Tenn. (865).684-1200 Ext. 2.

Posted in Picks of the Week. Tags: Azam Ali, Big Ears Festival, Birdland, Catalina Bar & Grill, Charlie O’s, Chris Hillman, Don Heckman, Edward Albee, El Rey Theatre, Emerson String Quartet, Helen Sung, Herb Pederson, Jacky Terrasson, Jazz Bakery, John McEuen, Jon Hassell, Klezmerata Fiorentina, Kodo, Lanny Morgan, lewis Nash, Master Musicians of Jajouka, Mike Melvoin, Mike Stern, Niyaz, Ochestra Otmani of Fes, Opera UCLA, Pauline Oliveros, Philip Glass, Plas Johnson, Rahim AlHaj, Ron Carter, Ron Eschete, Royce Hall, Schoenberg Hall, Seamus Blake, Small’s, Steve Tyrell, The Blue Note, The Getty, The Kitano, UCLA, Yellowjackets, Yoshi’s.


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