Updated Aug. 9 at 3 p.m. In the second week of August, the power of percussion is much in evidence, with Mikael Ringquist and Marcus Santos, Manolo Mairena, Gary Fieldman, and Vicente Lebron. New Orleans adds some flavor with Christian Scott and Galactic, and Berklee Summer in the City just keeps rolling along.
By J. R. Carroll.
The team of vocalist Kurt Elling and pianist Laurence Hobgood has been one of the most fruitful of the past decade. Their tribute to Johnny Hartman and John Coltrane, Dedicated to You, spun off an inspired collaboration between Hobgood’s trio and saxophonist Ernie Watts that was captured live in Indianapolis and will be the focus of a limited-edition EP CD release at the Regattabar on Thursday, August 2, at 7:30 and 10 p.m. Saxophonist Jimmy Greene will ably fill Ernie’s role in this program of Hobgood’s original compositions.
One may be forgiven for, earlier in the day, concluding that there are Berklee musicians playing on every corner in Boston. Berklee’s Summer in the City series will offer saxophonist Lihi Haruvi at Atlantic Wharf and the Hamish Napier Band in Kendall Square, both at noon, followed in Harvard Square at 1 p.m. by guitarist Lee Dynes at Club Passim. At 5 p.m. the second shift starts with pianist Moira Lo Bianco at Brewer Plaza, followed at 5:30 p.m., a bit up north, by saxophonist Daniel Rotem at the Wakefield Library, with a 6 p.m. reprise of the Hamish Napier Band at the Institute of Contemporary Art. Finally, Berklee’s Tito Puente Latin Music Series comes to Mission Hill’s Sheehy Park at 8 p.m. with Combo Sabroso.
The Lily Pad has a full evening on Friday, August 3, starting at 7 p.m. with South African flutist Wouter Kellerman, followed at 8 p.m. by saxophonist Jim Hobbs and Friends and continuing at 9 p.m. with a double bill of guitarists featuring Nick Grondin and his quartet and Assaf Kehati and his trio.
Here’s an inspired example of jazz outreach: The New England Conservatory is coordinating with the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company to present live jazz preceding each of its performances (at 6:20 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 5:20 p.m. on Sunday) of Coriolanus as part of its ongoing Shakespeare on the Common series. The Mark and Glenn Zaleski Quartet will perform on Friday, August 3, followed by Talk Listen Door on Saturday, August 4, and Friday, August 10; Ari and Mia on Sunday, August 5; Michael Prentky’s Bone Town on Tuesday, August 7; The Malcolm Campbell Trio featuring vocalist Kim Mayo on Wednesday, August 8; Ro Sham Beaux on Thursday, August 9, and Saturday, August 11; and The Six of Us on Sunday, August 12.
For more than a quarter of a century, Marblehead Summer Jazz has been the season’s musical epicenter on the North Shore and nothing more so than the annual visit from vocalist Rebecca Parris. She returns to familiar ground on Saturday, August 4, at 8 p.m.
On Sunday, August 5, Berklee Summer in the City stows its riches offshore, but it won’t be cosying up to Mitt Romney’s millions in the Caymans. Instead, catch the Boston Harbor Islands ferry to Spectacle Island for a 1 p.m. performance by the Jazz Tellers—and a great view of the city.
And Berklee has a special something else up its sleeve on Sunday. At 5 p.m. in Highland Park in Roxbury, the Revive Music group will present an intriguing program, “Hip Hop 1942,” that links classic jazz recordings with the hip hop artists who sampled them.
On the harbor shore, East Boston’s ZUMIX community center has also been offering free music this summer; multicultural powerhouse Zili Misik makes waves at Piers Park at 6 p.m. Also at six, Inman Square’s Lily Pad, welcomes pianist John Funkhouser and his trio.
Berklee’s Tito Puente Latin Music Series comes to a fine conclusion when percussionist Mikael Ringquist meets percussionist Marcus Santos and his Bloco AfroBrazil in the South End’s O’ Day Park at 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 9.
Take a funky lunch break in the Maghreb at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, August 10, as the Boston Public Library Concerts in the Courtyard host Atlas Soul. In the evening, guitarist Steven Kirby brings his Horizon Trio and guest saxophonist Daryl Lowery to the Acton Jazz Cafe at 7 p.m.
Saturday, August 11, takes us first into Boston Harbor for a 1 p.m. Berklee Summer in the City performance on Peddocks Island by trombonist John Egizi. Back in Inman Square at 3 p.m., the Lily Pad hosts the Charlie Banacos Birthday Remembrance of the late pianist and master teacher. Then it’s out to the Acton Jazz Cafe at 7 p.m. for saxophonist Cercie Miller and her Quartet.
Either/Orchestra is on hiatus until the fall, but percussionist Vicente Lebron is staying busy: At 8 p.m. on Wednesday, August 15, he’ll step out front to lead an ensemble of his own at Ryles. Meanwhile, across the river at the Museum of Fine Arts Concerts in the Courtyard, you can catch Frank London’s Klezmer Brass All-Stars, also at 8 p.m.
There’s much, much more going on in August, so check back here in a few days for the complete list.