Coming Attractions in Jazz: July 2012

By J. R. Carroll.

Updated. In or out of doors, from Inman Square to the coast of Maine, it’s a hot July in New England. Sounds of the season—or of any season—abound, including a twenty-fifth anniversary celebration for Natraj.

On Friday, July 6, there’s a full evening of Post-Independence-Day fireworks starting at 7 p.m. at the Lily Pad with the duo of saxophonist Jorrit Dijkstra and pianist Pandelis Karayorgis, joined later by bassist Jacob William and drummer Eric Rosenthal. Topping things off is a piano duo set by  Bruce Barth and Eri Yamamoto.

Barth and Yamamoto will also perform at the gWatson Gallery on Deer Isle in Stonington, ME, on July 8 at 7:30 p.m. Outpost 186 hosts William and Rosenthal (with pianist Dave Bryant and saxophonist Tom Hall) on July 9, Karayorgis and William with drummer Luther Gray’s Sextet (including saxophonists Charlie Kohlhase, Matt Langley,and Andy Voelker) on July 19, and Dijkstra and Rosenthal performing with Bolt (led by Eric Hofbauer with guest cellist Junko Simons) on July 20; all gigs are at 8 p.m. William also plays at Ryles on Thursday, July 12, at 9 p.m. with his Beyond Biology project.

The Makanda Project kicks off its summer series at Roxbury Heritage State Park on Saturday, July 7, at 1 p.m., with the ensemble augmented by live painting (by professional artists, art students, and audience members, if they so choose) during the music, sponsored by MassArt’s sparc! the ArtMobile.

In the evening, at 8 p.m., Marblehead Summer Jazz gets off to a flying start with the quintet of trumpeter Jeremy Pelt

Further up the coast on Cape Ann, guitarist John Pizzarelli comes to Rockport’s spectacular Shalin Liu Performance Center at 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 8.

On Wednesday, July 11, at 7:30 p.m., Berklee’s David Friend Recital Hall hosts Evo-Q (Evolving Quartet).

Back up north, the gWatson Gallery on Deer Isle presents pianist Arturo O’Farrill in a solo piano performance on Thursday, July 12, at 7:30 p.m.

An ear-stretching Friday the 13th in Cambridge starts off at 7:30 p.m. at the Regattabar with Grand Fatilla. After the show, head over to Inman Square for the 9 p.m. performance by Either/Orchestra at the Lily Pad.

It may be Bastille Day, but Saturday, July 14, is a night for Brazilian music. At 7:30 p.m., the Regattabar welcomes pianist/vibraphonist Alexei Tsiganov with special guest bassist Ebinho Cardoso. Out in Shirley, MA, singer/songwriter Fernando Holz travels with his Quintet to the Bull Run Restaurant at 8 p.m.

On Monday, July 16, Berklee Summer in the City features the intriguing young Israeli pianist Yakir Arbib in the Regattabar Courtyard at 6 p.m.

East Boston’s ZUMIX brings Angel Wagner and his Grupo Fantasia to Bremen St. Park at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 17 for a free concert.

Brian Carpenter’s Ghost Train Orchestra breathes fresh life into forgotten compositions by 1920s Harlem and Chicago bandleaders like Charlie Johnson, John Nesbitt, Tiny Parham, Don Redman, and Fess Williams at the MFA Concerts in the Courtyard on Wednesday, July 18, at 7:30 p.m. Then, if you hustle across the river, at 9:30 p.m. Cleveland-based saxophonist Bobby Selvaggio pays a visit to the Lily Pad.

Also on July 18 and again on Thursday, July 19, conductor Christopher Wilkins and the Boston Landmarks Orchestra will collaborate with a “‘pocket-sized salsa orchestra’ from Villa Victoria” on a program featuring compositions—including a new one by Gonzalo Grau—paying tribute to the great Cuban percussionist Chano Pozo. The first performance will be at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the Hatch Shell on the Boston Esplanade and will be repeated (in part) the next day (with a smaller orchestra) at 6:30 p.m. in Blackstone Park in Boston’s South End.

On the heels of a terrific recent CD tribute to Dizzy Gillspie, trumpeter Arturo Sandoval comes to the Shalin Liu Performance Center at 8 p.m. on Friday, July 20.

On Saturday, July 21, the Regattabar hosts up-and-coming Brazilian vocalist Luisa Maita at 7:30 p.m.

Up on the North Shore at 8 p.m. the same evening, Marblehead Summer Jazz features Tessa Souter, a vocalist who’s willing to take risks with her repertoire (a Brahms theme with her original lyrics? a cover of Jack Bruce’s “White Room”?) that, amazingly, pay off in often surprising ways.

Then, at 10 p.m. at the Lily Pad, wrap up the evening with pianist Tom Wetmore, whose engaging compositions wear their contrapuntal intricacies lightly.

For pretty much as long as the Newport Jazz Festival has been in existence, founder George Wein has regularly assembled a group of top-drawer musicians who perform as George Wein and the Newport All Stars. (This year’s band consists of Anat Cohen and Lew Tabackin, saxophones; Howard Alden, guitar; George Wein, piano; Jay Leonhart, bass; and Lewis Nash, drums.) At 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 21, they’ll be at Scullers, and on Sunday, July 22, they’ll travel to Cape Cod Community College’s Tilden Arts Center for a 3 p.m. concert benefitting Yarmouth’s nonprofit affordable housing renovators, Our First Home.

Earlier on Sunday, get a fresh perspective on the city with a visit to Spectacle Island, where Berklee Summer in the City presents guitarist Alex Baboian at 1 p.m.

More young talent from Berklee Summer in the City on Monday, July 23, at 6 p.m. with a performance in the Regattabar Courtyard by Israeli saxophonist Daniel Rotem.

On Tuesday, July 24, at 8 p.m., the Franklin Park Coalition’s music series at the Elma Lewis Playhouse in the Park will showcase powerhouse vocalist Athene Wilson.


Natraj at 25

Have Natraj really been around for 25 years? Ensembles exploring the fusion of jazz and music from Africa and South Asia are not that unusual these days, but Natraj got there way before them and are still the masters. Celebrate with them and their special guest, Indian mridanga virtuoso Vidwan T. K. Ramakrishnan, at the Regattabar on Wednesday, July 25, at 7:30 p.m.

Not at the quarter-century mark yet but a durable presence on the Boston Latin jazz scene since the 1990s, Alex Alvear and Mango Blue come to the East Boston Greenway Caboose (?) on Thursday, July 26, at 7 p.m., in cooperation with ZUMIX and as part of the Berklee Summer in the City Tito Puente Latin Music Series.

Across the Mystic River at 7:30 p.m., saxophonist/flutist Paul Lieberman builds bridges in both directions between the Great American Songbook and its Brazilian counterpart at the Regattabar,

On Friday, July 27, at 8 p.m., the Lily Pad welcomes the distinctive trio sound and texture of vocalist Dominique Eade, saxophonist Allan Chase and pianist Tim Ray. At 9 p.m., they’re followed by a return to the Lily Pad by Either/Orchestra.

Guitarist Gerry Beaudoin’s inspired teaming of his trio with saxophonist Harry Allen makes its way to the Regattabar on Saturday, July 28, at 7:30 p.m.

Master timbalero Eguie Castrillo carries on the traditions of the great Tito Puente as he brings his formidable 17-piece big band to East Boston’s Piers Park (in conjunction with ZUMIX) on Sunday, July 29, for a free concert at 6 p.m.

On Monday, July 30, it’s back to Harvard Square at 6 p.m. for pianist/vocalist Amanda Addleman and guitarist Lee Dynes in the Regattabar Courtyard as part of Berklee Summer in the City.

Finally, top off the month with a blast of funk at Ryles on Tuesday, July 31, at 8 p.m. with the Brian ThomasAlex Lee-Clark Big Band.

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