Rhythm Planet’s October Concert Picks

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One of Brazil’s best-kept secrets, acclaimed singer Adriana Calcanhotto performs in L.A. for the first time this month. Her new album "Margem" was inspired by the sea. Photo by Leo Aversa

Wednesday, October 2 and Sunday, October 13 | Tinariwen | Hollywood Bowl (2nd) and The Mayan (13th)

Tinariwen brings its hypnotic desert grooves to LA for two upcoming shows, first at the Bowl, billed with top indie band and KCRW favorite Vampire Weekend and Richard Pictures. For pure Tinariwen, head for the Mayan on the 13th. The latter show is almost sold out, so don’t tarry! Click HERE for tickets and information for the Bowl show, and HERE for the Mayan.

Thursday, October 3 | Chick Corea Trilogy with Christian McBride & Brian Blade | CAP UCLA (Westwood)

Corea, McBride, and Blade—talk about a super trio. This show will be fantastic in the superb acoustic setting of Royce Hall. I am surprised it hasn’t already sold out. Watch the trio in Tblisi, Georgia, with young Georgian pianist Beka Gochiashvili. They have a blast playing Corea’s classic “Spain” and Monk’s “Straight No Chaser.” This video is from 2012, meaning the trio has played a lot together and has finely honed its chops. Click HERE for tickets and more information.

Thursday, October 10 | Brooklyn Rider & Magos Herrera | Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (Beverly Hills)

Mexican jazz singer Magos Herrera has become a superstar, and she’s not afraid to embark on new challenges. This special night features her with the string quartet Brooklyn Rider, a chamber group capable of doing anything including breaking some rules (or some strings). Here they are on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert. Click HERE for tickets and more information.

Saturday, October 12 | Nella | Luckman Fine Arts Complex (East L.A.)

Venezuela-born singer Nella has exploded onto the world scene. Gustavo Dudamel (a big fan), caller her “a new voice and an important artist from the Americas.” A graduate of the Berklee School of Music in Boston, Nella now resides in Spain’s Andalusian region. Her new album Voy, produced by Javier Limón, is climbing the charts, making her one of the most popular new artists on the Latin music scene. One of this year’s nominees for Best New Artist at the Latin Grammys, Nella was just featured on NPR. Click HERE for tickets and more information.

Saturday-Sunday, October 12-13 | Pharoah Sanders (with Benito Gonzalez, piano) | Jazz Bakery at the Moss Theater (Santa Monica)

A few artists carry the torch John Coltrane left behind, and none so much as Pharoah Sanders, who re-energized Coltrane’s group in the last few years of the master’s life. Sanders also has gifted us anthemic songs like “The Creator Has a Master Plan.” For this two-night stand, we get an intimate duet set with Sanders and the young and dynamic pianist, Benito Gonzalez. Click HERE for tickets and more information.

Sunday, October 13 | Sultans of String | McCabe’s Guitar Shop (Santa Monica)

The instrumental group Sultans of String hails from Toronto, Ontario. They play barn hoe-down style was well as flamenco, Arabic folk, and French gypsy-jazz. While you’re at McCabe’s, be sure to check out all the guitars on their hallowed walls but observe the “refrain from clutching to bosom” signs on them. Click HERE for tickets and more information.

The band performs a timely song in this video (featuring Ifrah Mansour on vocals) that shows their musical reach and empathy:

Thursday, October 17 | Taimane & Her Quartet | Smothers Theatre at Pepperdine (Malibu)

Samoan-Hawaiian ukulele virtuoso Taimane Gardner is changing the playbook for the iconic Hawaiian instrument. She reimagines the possibilities of the diminutive instrument with her creativity and expressive power. You’ll be surprised. Click HERE for tickets and more information.

Saturday, October 19 | Chucho Valdés | The Soraya at CSUN (Northridge)

Chucho Valdés is one of Cuba’s greatest pianists. Son of the late Bebo Valdés (pianist and music director at Havana’s legendary Tropicana Night Club), Chucho founded and played with the trendsetting Cuban jazz band Irakere for decades before branching out on his own. He has the pianistic virtuosity of a Horowitz but injects it with Afro-Cuban heat. Click HERE for tickets and more information.

Sunday, October 20 | Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain, Edgar Meyer | Soka Performing Arts Center (Orange County)

You wouldn’t think that American bluegrass would be a good fit with classical Indian percussion, but you’d be wrong. Bassist Meyer, banjo master Fleck and tabla virtuoso Hussain go together like hand and glove. This group blends diverse musical traditions into an exciting cross-cultural whole. Click HERE for tickets and more information. Check out the group playing “Bubbles” from a show last year:

Thursday, October 31 | Adriana Calcanhotto | Moss Theater (Santa Monica)

I’ve been a fan of Brazilian popular MBP singer Adriana Calcanhotto for a while now, and I believe this may be her first performance in Los Angeles. She’s released over a dozen albums, many of them going Gold and Platinum, but none have been licensed for distribution outside of Brazil. As such, she’s one of Brazil’s best-kept secrets. Fans of Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil will like her. Click HERE for tickets and more information.

October | Various Performances | bluewhale (Downtown)

Last but not least, the bluewhale in Little Tokyo continues to bring wonderful music to Los Angeles and our city is the better for it. October shows include Brazilian 7-string guitar virtuoso Fabiano do Nascimento, Korean singer Youn Sun Nah, a solo show from bassist Larry Grenadier (fresh on the heels of his ECM solo album) and trumpet virtuoso, Avishai Cohen brings in his quartet. Click HERE for the full October calendar.