Staff Picks: The American Songbook Live

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Annie Ross @ The Metropolitan Room (New York, NY) - The vocal group Lambert, Hendrix and Ross are often heard on The Jonathan Channel. It was a group that came to prominence in the 1950’s and completely revolutionized the way vocal groups approached their craft. The group was only together for a short time but they left a mark that is felt to this day. You can still hear Annie Ross perform weekly in New York. She’s at The Metropolitan Room this Tuesday.

Julian Lage Trio @ Jazz Standard (New York, NY) - Julian Lage burst onto the scene as a teenager playing with the vibraphonist Gary Burton. A decade later, he has become one of the leading voices of the jazz guitar and a composer worthy of wider recognition. His technique is unbelievable and yet he plays with the subtlety and taste of an old soul. This week he leads a trio with Scott Colley on bass and Kenny Wolleson on drums. Tuesday and Wednesday.

Benny Green Trio @ SFJazz (San Francisco, CA) - Benny Green is probably the greatest straight-ahead, right out of the school of Oscar Peterson, piano player in the world today. The one-time wunderkind who came up playing with Betty Carter, Art Blakey and Ray Brown leads a trio with David Wong on bass and Kenny Washington on drums. Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at the Joe Henderson Lab at SF Jazz.

Michael Feinstein @ Pasadena Pops (Pasadena, CA) - Not only is Michael Feinstein a world-class performer, he’s also the host of Song Travels on The Jonathan Channel, and the conductor of the Pasadena Pops. This Saturday he’s putting the baton down for one night only to sing a program celebrating the Gershwin songbook. Oh yeah, he’s also the world’s preeminent Gershwin expert. Is there anything this guy can’t do?

Al Jarreau & Others @ Umbria Jazz Festival (Perugia, Italy) - Beginning in 1973, The Umbria Jazz Festival has been held annually in the picturesque, medieval town of Perugia, Italy. This year the city will host jazz greats including: Al Jarreau, Herbie Hancock & Wayne Shorter, Natalie Cole, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Roy Hargrove and Roberta Gambarini. Check the website for complete information.

Jamie Cullum @ JazzOpen (Stuttgart, Germany) - Jamie Cullum balances on the line between jazz and pop like a professional tightrope walker. Never veering too far on either side of the spectrum, he enjoys the fruits of both genres: adoring fans, critical success and the freedom to explore the music that interests him. This Sunday he is performing at JazzOpen in Stuttgart, Germany.