Coming Attractions in Jazz: Early February 2011

Two rescheduled events—a celebration of Haiti and Mango Blue’s CD release—highlight the first half of February, along with a not-to-be-missed visit by Wayne Shorter and his Quartet.

By J. R. Carroll.

How lousy has this winter been? Well, when recommended events are cancelled before you can even post them, that’s pretty bad. So, we’ll write off the first two days of the month to a double-whammy of blizzards, and cross our fingers that by Thursday evening it will actually be possible to get anywhere.

On Thursday, February 3, at 8 p.m., Scullers welcomes saxophonist Tia Fuller and her quartet. Then, at 9 p.m. at Ryles, Afro-Indian jazz quintet Natraj joins up with ethnomusicologist David Locke’s Agbekor Drum and Dance Society and Ewe master drummer and dancer Nani Kwashi Agbeli.

And, while Carnaval doesn’t get into high gear for another month, you can get a warm-up on Thursday at 9:30 p.m. when Dudu Nobre brings some fiery pagode to Harvard Square’s Fire+Ice. (We’ve already got all the ice we need, thank you.)

A year after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, Arts at the Armory in Somerville presents “Word, Dance and Misik: A Spiritual Celebration” on Friday, February 4, at 7:30 p.m., featuring music by Zili Misik and choreography by Jean Apolon, with guest poets and vocalists. [Rescheduled]

Meanwhile, the Acton Jazz Cafe presents a double bill of the Kaorukojazz Ensemble at 7 p.m. and Racha Fora at 9:30 p.m. Later, at 10 p.m., the Beehive hosts Israeli saxophonist Shauli Einav and his quintet with guest trumpeter Avishai Cohen.

On Saturday, February 5 at 9 p.m., Ryles heats up with Ritmo Masacote, while up at Chianti in Beverly, bassist Bruce Gertz and his quintet perform.

It’s all about Inman Square on Sunday, February 6. At 2:30 p.m. the Lily Pad presents the Berkovitz/Raberg Quartet; then, at 8 p.m., Outpost 186 welcomes back the OlsonPingrey Quartet.

The Berklee Jazz Series at Watertown’s Arsenal Center for the Arts features flutist/composer/arranger Fernando Brandão on Monday, February 7, at 7:30 p.m. Meanwhile, up in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, at 8 p.m., bassist Nate Therrien appears at the Press Room.

On Tuesday, February 8, there’s really only one place to be: The Berklee Performance Center, where saxophonist/composer Wayne Shorter and his peerless quartet (pianist Danilo Perez, bassist John Pattitucci and drummer Brian Blade) perform at 8 p.m.


The new CD, Mango, by Alex Alvear and Mango Blue

Thanks to the late January blizzards, it’s been an even longer time coming, but Mango Blue at last gets to celebrate the release of its new CD, Mango, on Wednesday, February 9, at 8 p.m. at Club Oberon in Harvard Square. Don’t miss this one! [Rescheduled]

And, at 9 p.m., Ryles brings together the voices of five Women of the World (Ayumi Ueda from Japan, Ali Rapetti from the U.S., Katerina Polemi from Brazil, Giorgia Renosto from Italy, and Annette Philip from India).

Alto saxophone master Lee Konitz, still going strong at 83, has a long history of duo performances with other musicians; on Thursday, February 10, he’ll team with pianist Dan Tepfer at the Regattabar at 7:30 and 10 p.m.

Also on February 10, at 8 p.m., you can catch a double bill of experimental guitarists at Johnny D’s: Ben Monder pairs up with saxophonist Bill McHenry, and then David Tronzo performs with drummer Dave Fox’s Adventures in Sound.

Pianist Bill Charlap and guitarist Peter Bernstein played and recorded together as part of the Blue Note 7; joined by bassist Sean Smith, they’ll be at Northampton’s Iron Horse on February 10 at 7 p.m., and then at the Regattabar on Friday and Saturday, February 11-12, at 7:30 and 10 p.m. (Peter Bernstein sticks around another day for a visit to Portsmouth’s Press Room on February 13 at 6 p.m.)

Wherever you may be at 8 p.m. on Saturday, February 12, you’ll have an opportunity to catch some fine jazz vocalists: Rebecca Parris and her trio come to Arlington’s Regent Theatre, Gretchen Parlato visits the Vermont Jazz Center, and Karen Frisk appears at New London’s Jazz Underground.

If the dance floor is where you’d rather spend Saturday evening, Ryles offers the Afro-Cuban funk of Palo at 9 p.m., and the Beehive has the straight-up funk of Akashic Record with vocalist Marsha Nedgié Lubin at 10 p.m.

Finally, the Regattabar has something special in store for Valentine’s Day. Born in Illinois to Ugandan and Rwandan parents, the unique and elegant vocalist and songwriter Somi blends jazz with her African heritage; you’ll have two chances to hear her, with shows at 7:30 and 10 p.m.

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