Rhythm Planet's August Concert Picks

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Saturday, August 3 | Greg Reitan | Norton Simon Museum (Pasadena)

Greg Reitan is an elegant pianist—and Steinway artist—based in the LA area. I’ve loved his albums on Sunnyside Records for years. He’s joined at the Norton Simon by his regular trio mates—Jack Daro on bass and Dean Koba on drums. It’ll be a treat to hear him in the lovely setting of the Norton Simon. Stroll the galleries, then head to the concert, which is free with museum admission. Click HERE for more information.

Greg Reitan Trio performs John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps”:

Saturday-Sunday, August 3-4 | Festival of Tabla | Sanatan Dharma Cultural Center (Norwalk)

Now the largest musical gathering of its kind on the west coast, the Festival of Tabla features top Indian classical musicians from around the world. While the spotlight will shine on the tabla, the festival aims to expose all Indian classical music and dance to new generations. Attendees can also peruse a photo gallery of more than 100 years of photography collected by the founders of the festival, showcasing great Indian artists of the past. Festival passes include vegetarian lunch, dinner, and snacks and drinks. Click HERE for tickets and more information.

The festival’s featured artist, Ustad Tari Khan, demonstrates his tabla virtuosity and has fun:

Sunday, August 11 | (UP)Rising: An Afro-Future Jazz Her-Story presented by The Nonsemble | The Ford Theatres (Hollywood)

Billed as an evening of post-modern South African music, the show will feature South African musicians Siya Makuzeni and Thandi Ntuli. LA-based Katalyst, a ten-piece band from Inglewood, are also scheduled to perform. The evening celebrates National Women’s Day in South Africa. KCRW DJ Garth Trinidad will emcee, and Don Cheadle hosts the evening. Click HERE for tickets and more information.

South African vocalist/trombonist Siya Makuzeni:

Wednesday, August 14 | Alec Schulman Quintet | Sam First Bar (LAX)

The young pianist and composer Alec Schulman attended Crossroads School in Santa Monica and later won a Music Center Jazz Spotlight Award. He can play inside but also isn’t afraid to go off road in his improvisations. He leads a superb group at Sam First Bar, a cool jazz hang adjacent LAX. The group for the evening includes Katisse Buckingham on sax and flute, Devin Daniels, alto sax, Dave Robaire, bass, and Gene Coye, drums. Click HERE for tickets and more information.

Wednesday, August 14 | Ivan Lins and Friends: A Journey to Brazil • Lee Ritenour’s World of Brazil | Hollywood Bowl (Hollywood)

A huge double-bill evening of Brazilian music, starring Ivan Lins, with special guests Dianne Reeves, New York Voices, Romero Lubambo, and a big band conducted by John Beasley. The evening will start off with guitarist Lee Ritenour’s World of Brazil project, featuring Luciana Souza, Dave Grusin, Gregoire Maret, Paulinho Da Costa, and others.  

Beloved singer-songwriter Ivan Lins found fame when he wrote the song “Madalena” for Elis Regina in 1970. He’s won many awards, including Grammys, and is known for the love songs and ballads he created with his longtime lyricist Vítor Martins. Click HERE for tickets and more information. 

Here is Ivan Lins performing a medley of his famous songs, including “Madalena.” Watch the crowd—they know and love these famous songs.

Saturday, August 17 | Boogaloo Assassins with Clifton aka DJ Soft Touch | Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles (MacArthur Park)

When I first heard Boogaloo Assassins’s version of Dawn Penn’s “No No No,” my ears perked up and I immediately became a fan. Even the name of the band captivates me. Go out and dance and enjoy this big 12-piece Latin band. The show is free; all you have to do is RSVP.

Here is the band’s live version of “No No No”:

Sunday-Monday, August 25-26 | Guinga and Monica Salmaso | bluewhale (DTLA) 

Guinga is one of the most interesting guitarists and composers on the Brazilian music scene. At the end of August he has two shows with the wonderful São Paulo vocalist Monica Salmaso, one of my favorite singers. I’ve probably listened to her album Voadeira a thousand times. She has one of the most tender voices in all of Brazilian music, and her ballads will make you cry. Guinga writes complex music and I’m sure Monica will rise up to the challenge. One of the more unusual shows this month, this marks the first time they’ve performed together in Los Angeles. Their delicate, filigreed sound will appeal to classical music fans and Brazilian music lovers alike. Click HERE for tickets and more information.

Tuesday, August 27 | Western Arts Alliance (WAA) Jazz Showcase | bluewhale (DTLA)

A musical treat of an evening comprised of four top groups—pianist Connie Han’s trio, vocalists Tierney Sutton and Gretchen Parlato in separate sets, and a trimmed-down septet version of pianist/composer/conductor John Beasley’s MONK’estra. Click HERE for tickets and more information.

Gretchen Parlato will present her project “Flor”:

Tierney Sutton will perform selections from her new album ScreenPlay. Here is her version of “The Trolley Song” from the new album.

Saturday, August 31 | La Sonora Dinamita | Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles (MacArthur Park) 

One of Colombia’s most famous cumbia outfits, La Sonora Dinamita has been making “waist-winding” music for decades. Fans of soulful cumbia will love this group. It’s another great booking by Levitt Pavilion for your free enjoyment. Just RSVP HERE.