Hardest working fellow in Bay Area jazz? My pick would have to be Marcus Shelby, who for more than two decades has been enriching and expanding the jazz tradition with his phenomenally fluid bass playing, ambitious (and swinging) compositions and uncanny managerial knack for keeping a large ensemble going in these perilous times.
Shelby and his 15-piece orchestra will revisit highlights from several of the musician’s extended compositions — exploring everything from the Port Chicago injustice to Bay Area ecology — during a performance 4:30 p.m. Sunday at Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society near Half Moon Bay. Tickets are $30-$35.
Also worth noting on the Bay Area jazz scene this week:
- They’re not kidding with the name of the Latin Jazz All-Stars. The traveling combo features trombonist, conch shell maestro and “Saturday Night Live” regular Steve Turre; pianist and Lincoln Center standout Arturo O’Farrill and do-it-all flautist Nestor Torres. The group performs 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at Yoshi’s San Francisco. $25
- Sassy vocalist Davina Sowers and her band, the Vagabonds, play jazz with a lot of swing and no guitar wanking, 8 p.m. Wednesday at Yoshi’s Oakland. $15
- Pianist Erik Deutsch adds some psychedelic groove to his happening club jazz sound, 8 p.m. Friday at Berkeley’s Jazzschool $12-$15
- Last year’s 55th Monterey Jazz Festival had one of the most smokin’ versions ever of the festival’s traditional all-star group, with Benny Green pounding the keys, hot young trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire blowing big, vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater teasing and pleasing and bassist Christian McBride keeping it tight. The group is on tour and checks in to Berkeley on Saturday for an 8 p.m. Cal Performances date at Zellerbach Hall. $20-$48
- Delightfully supple vocalist Jane Monheit has a deliciously light and playful way with the standards, 8 and 10 p.m. Saturday and 6 and 8 p.m. Sunday at Yoshi’s Oakland. $28
- Guitarist/educator Steve Kirby and his pals in the Horizons Trio play jazz with contemporary sass, 4:30 p.m. Sunday at Berkeley’s Jazzschool. $12-$15
- Powerful vocalist Stephanie Nakasian and pianist Hod O’Brien perform standards and original tunes that explore the many aspects of love, 5 p.m. Sunday at Piedmont Piano Company in Oakland. $15
- Pianist Mariah Parker blends influences from many continents with her Indo Latin Jazz Ensemble, performing 8 p.m. Sunday at Freight &Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley. $20.50-$22.50
- Ace pianist Larry Vukovich, master percussionist John Santos and vocalist Jackie Ryan threaten to wake the dead with a 2 p.m. performance at Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland. $10-$15
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