For all the obvious advantages of living in the Bay Area, it's still awfully hard for a jazz musician to make a living here. Which is why it's always cause for celebration when a native son gone to New York, such as Oakland trumpet sensation Ambrose Akinmusire, pays a return visit.
A fierce performer, daring improviser and generous sideman, Akinmusire has quickly established credentials as one of the most gifted and imaginative practitioners of his instrument to emerge on the jazz scene in the past decade. He owes much of his early renown to his association with the Thelonious Monk Institute, and he'll repay the favor when he performs with singer Lisa Henry and other alumni of the Institute, 8 p.m. Wednesday at Yoshi's San Francisco. Tickets are $16-$20.
Also worth noting on the Bay Area jazz scene this week:
- Fusion jazz dynamo Stanley Jordan teams up with fellow guitarists Sharon Isbin and Romero Lubambo for an evening of Latin-tinged lyricism, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Bankhead Theater in Livermore. $36-$55
- Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen performs original tunes of spare, crystalline beauty, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at SFJAZZ Center. $25-$40
- East Bay guitar whiz Terrence Brewer mixes influences old and new with his regular quartet (7 and 8:30 p.m. Thursday) and a souped-up Latin jazz quintet (7 and 8:30 p.m. Friday) at SFJAZZ Center. $20
- Pianist Chuchito Valdes, son of Latin jazz legend Chucho Valdes, creates his own kind of tropical fire, 8 p.m. Thursday at Yoshi's Oakland. $19-$24
- Jackie Ryan, a singer who neatly balances finesse and punch, performs with a quartet of top Bay Area instrumentalists, 8 p.m. Thursday at Yoshi's San Francisco. $21-$25
- Guitar hero Pat Metheny reconvenes his Unity Group, one of his tightest combos in years, for an 8 p.m. Friday show at The Warfield. $39.50-$82.50
- Dmitri Matheny, a horn player of uncommon wit and power whose chosen axe happens to be the overlooked flugelhorn, performs 8 p.m. Saturday at Berkeley's Jazzschool. $12-$15
- The Manhattan Transfer, jazz's leading practitioners of the art of "vocalese" for several decades, swing it a cappella style, 8 and 10 p.m. Friday, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday and 7 and 9 p.m. Sunday at Yoshi's Oakland. $35-$48
- Agile and imaginative pianist Amina Figarova performs with her hard-driving sextet, 7 and 8:30 p.m. Saturday and 5:30 and 7 p.m. Sunday at SFJAZZ Center. $20-25
- Percussion maestro John Santos recruits four of the Bay Areas top vocalists -- Faye Carol, Kenny Washington, Destani Wolf and Kellye Gray -- to reshape the standards in a Latin mode, 4 p.m. Sunday at SFJAZZ Center. $25-$45