Has anyone in jazz done more to expand the vocabulary of the violin than Regina Carter? From classical music to work that explores African and Southern elements, she approaches everything she does with fierce intelligence and a lavish improvisational imagination.
She gets another week as guest programmer at SFJAZZ this week, designing a schedule that promises to explore yet more aspects of her instrument. Thursday, she forms a trio with new music explorers Jenny Schienman and Sara Caswell. Friday, she teams up with tango master Pablo Ziegler and his quartet. Saturday is a duet with consummate jazz pianist Kenny Barron, while Sunday she pairs up with dynamite vocalist Carla Cook. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday, and tickets are $25 to $65.
Also worth noting on the Bay Area jazz scene this week:
- Virtuoso guitarist Mimi Fox finds an able foil in organ maestro Wil Blades, 8 p.m. Tuesday at Yoshi's Oakland. $19
- Jason Marsalis, brother of you-know-who, gives some love to the vibraphone with his swinging new quartet, performing 8 p.m. Wednesday at Yoshi's San Francisco. $21-$25
- Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat adds modern sass to the swing tradition, 8 and 10 p.m. Friday at Yoshi's Oakland. $27-$35
- Veteran straightahead sax player Steve Heckman teams up with Bay Area guitar whiz Terence Brewer and others for an 8 p.m. Saturday show at Berkeley's Jazzschool. $12-$15
- High-energy vocalist Diane Witherspoon teams up with the Billy Higgins Legacy Band for an 8 p.m. Saturday performance at Piedmont Piano Company in Oakland. $20
- Jason Marsalis, Mads Tolling and more help raise money for the Orinda Arts Council at the Orinda Jazz Festival, 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Orinda Library. $5-$20
- Son of Cuban jazz royalty and a piano powerhouse in his own rite Chuchito Valdes gets his cha-chas out, 7 p.m. Sunday at Yoshi's Oakland. $23
- Bassist/singer John Lester teams up with high-octane pianist Michael Wolff to offer jazz takes on Pink Floyd, Pearl Jam and more, 4 p.m. Sunday at Piedmont Piano Company in Oakland. $15
- San Francisco piano icon Larry Vukovich touches on everything from tango to hard bop with his Blue Balkan ensemble, performing 4:30 p.m. Sunday at Bach Dancing & Dynamite near Half Moon Bay. $35
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