January Concert Picks from Rhythm Planet

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Thursday, January 16  | Sussan Deyhim: La Belle et La Bete | Irvine Barclay Theatre (Irvine)

Sussan Deyhim is a classically-trained vocalist and composer who has worked with Peter Gabriel, Branford Marsalis, and U2. The Iranian-American singer is an amazing performer, and she’ll be joined at this show by a superb jazz trio led by pianist Mitchel Forman. They’ll perform classic love songs, popular songs from 1950’s and 60’s Iran, as well as original works. Click HERE for tickets.

Deyhim sings a medley of songs from La Belle et La Bete:

Friday & Saturday, January 17 & 18 | The Rodriguez Brothers Quartet | Sam First (El Segundo)

Brothers Michael (trumpet) and Robert (piano) form the Rodriguez Brothers. Firmly established in New York City’s upper-crust jazz firmament, the two now live in California, teaching at Cal Arts (Robert) and San Francisco Conservatory of Music (Michael). Both are gifted improvisers and it’ll be great to hear their Latin jazz sounds in the intimate confines of Sam First. Veteran Cuban bassist Carlitos del Puerto joins them on bass plus a drummer still to be confirmed. Click HERE for tickets and more information.

Saturday & Sunday, January 18  & 19  | 3MA | The Getty Center (Sepulveda Pass)

The African string-instrument trio 3MA—comprised of master musicians Ballaké Sissoko (kora), Driss El Maloumi (oud) and Rajery (valiha)—performs 2 shows in a pan-African jam session that will surely delight. I love this combination of traditional African instruments from Mali, Morocco, and Madagascar. I plan to be there! The shows are free, but an advance ticket is required. Click HERE for tickets and more information.

Sunday, January 19 | 2020 Southern California Slack Key Festival | Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center (South Bay)

Slack-key guitar is a fascinating musical style as the guitarist will use open tuning to produce a very individual and creative sound. The story goes that the guitar first came to Hawai’i in the 19th century with the Mexican vaqueros, or cowboys, to help round up the cattle and teach horse riding skills. Kala Koa Entertainment once again presents its annual big Hawaiian show, featuring slack-key virtuosos and other performers such as John Keawe, Jerry Santos, Kamuela Kimokeo, the Lim Family, and many more. Click HERE for tickets and more information. An Island Marketplace opens earlier in the day (at 11 a.m.) and is free to the public.

Wednesday, January 22 | Biréli Lagrène—Gypsy Jazz Trio | Théâtre Raymond Kabbaz (Rancho Park) 

I discovered Biréli Lagrène in 1981, when the guitar maestro issued his first album while still in his early teens. I was floored. Since then, Lagrène has established himself as one of the kings of French manouche (gypsy guitar), working with the likes of Al Di Meola, Paco de Lucía, John McLaughlin, Jaco Pastorius, and Stéphane Grappelli. I’m not sure how often he performs in Los Angeles. Lagrène’s trio ensemble for this show will also feature saxophonist Frank Wolf and double bassist William Brunard. Click HERE for tickets and more information.