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New Orleans wonder Trombone Shorty tops Bay Area jazz week

Trombone Shorty
David Becker

Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews deserves credit for all sorts of improbable achievements -- making the trombone sexy, mediating a beautiful marriage between New Orleans street music and hip-hop, getting the normally stodgy Monterey Jazz Festival arena audience to dance -- but most of all the man has to be revered as a performer. Blessed with incredible charisma and rock-solid chops, he could sell anything to an audience.

Fortunately, what he's selling is an intrinsically appealing mix of mainline jazz and modern energy and attitude, so all that energy goes into performing instead of persuading. Hear for yourself when Shorty and his Orleans Avenue crew drop into the Warfield for a 9 p.m. Friday show. Tickets are $38-$48.

Also worth noting on the Bay Area jazz scene this week:

  • Adam Theis, the incredibly prolific and imaginative ringleader of San Francisco's Jazz Mafia collective, assembles his Subharmonic outfit to assay Charles Mingus' seminal album, "Ah Um," 8 and 9:30 p.m. Thursday at SFJAZZ Center.
  • Martin Taylor, Frank Vignola, Vinny Raniolo and Peppino D'Agonisto, each a guitarist of amazing dexterity and imagination, go acoustic for shows at 8 and 10 p.m. Thursday at Yoshi's Oakland. $19-$23
  • Bassist Damon Smith augments his trio with free jazz icon Roscoe Mitchell on sax for a 9:30 p.m. Friday show at Oakland's Duende. $25
  • Some of the Bay Area's top instrumentalists, including Noel Jewkes, Larry Vukovich and Jeff Chambers, perform as the Hard Bop All-Stars, 8 p.m. Saturday at Piedmont Piano Company in Oakland. $20
  • Bassist and composer Todd Sickafoose, a musician with a fertile imagination and knack for making new music/avant jazz ideas rock, assembles his Tiny Resistors octet to present "Bear Proof," his new extended meditation on the boom-bust cycles of California history. 8 p.m. Friday at Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley. $21-$23
  • After a few bumpy years of transition from torch singer to artiste, singer-pianist Diana Krall has matured into an effortlessly charming style that mixes creative instincts, respect for tradition and solid jazz chops. She performs 8 p.m. Saturday at the Fox Theater in Oakland. $59.50-$125
  • Chihiro Yamanaka, a pianist with nimble fingers and a forceful touch, performs with her trio, 7 p.m. Sunday at Yoshi's San Francisco. $20-$23

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