Lucian Ban/Mat Maneri Duo
Romanian-born pianist Lucian Ban and violist Mat Maneri pair up to perform a stunning blend of free improvisation, contemporary classical and folk music inspired by composers from Ban’s native region.
Jan. 25, Philadelphia Art Alliance, arsnovaworkshop.com.
Legendary Philly-born drummer Albert “Tootie” Heath comes home with two younger collaborators in tow: The Bad Plus pianist Ethan Iverson and bassist Ben Street. Together, the three play music that acknowledges Heath’s roots while revealing the drummer’s eternal youth.
Feb. 1, Philadelphia Art Alliance, arsnovaworkshop.com.
Dave Liebman/Ravi Coltrane
John Coltrane will be at Chris’ in spirit for this quintet date co-led by son Ravi and longtime disciple Liebman.
Feb. 8, Chris’ Jazz Café, chrisjazzcafe.com.
Monnette Sudler’s Philadelphia Guitar Summit
For the fifth year, blues/jazz guitarist Sudler convenes a gathering of serious six-string practitioners — this year, that means Sheryl Bailey, Mulebone and eight-string virtuoso Tosin Abasi.
Feb. 8, Montgomery County Community College, mc3.edu.
Ethnic Heritage Ensemble
Led by percussionist Kahil El’Zabar, the AACM-aligned ensemble celebrates four decades of its unique fusion of fiery jazz and traditional African music.
Feb. 12, The Rotunda, arsnovaworkshop.com.
Pablo Batista’s Mambo Syndicate
The master percussionist/Temple grad who toured with Grover Washington Jr. for more than a decade returns to Philly to spice up Valentine’s Day with salsa dancing.
Feb. 14, Painted Bride Art Center, paintedbride.org.
Melvin Van Peebles wid Laxative
The always unpredictable father of Blaxploitation and early practitioner of spoken word fronts an eclectic funk-jazz band featuring members of experimental hip-hop big band Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber.
Feb. 15, Johnny Brenda’s, arsnovaworkshop.com.
The Puerto Rico-born Grammy-winning saxophonist has thrived by finding fresh ways to meld jazz with Afro-Latin sounds, most recently co-founding the Cuba-meets-jazz group Ninety Miles.
Feb. 28, Philadelphia Museum of Art, philamuseum.org.
Change of the Century: Still the New Thing!
A series of collaborations between the Bride, Ars Nova Workshop and Bobby Zankel pay tribute to some of jazz’s most innovative voices. Zankel will lead an all-star band in honor of pianist Cecil Taylor; Ornette Coleman will be honored by his son, drummer Denardo Coleman, and bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma; and Zankel’s Warriors of the Wonderful Sound big band and the Sun Ra Arkestra will team up to pay homage to Taylor, Coleman and Sun Ra.
March 8 and 21, April 19, Painted Bride, paintedbride.org.
Newport Jazz Festival: Now 60
The storied jazz festival has hosted virtually every important name in jazz history, was the site of Paul Gonsalves’ audience-inciting solo on Duke Ellington’s “Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue” and served as the backdrop for Bing, Sinatra and Satchmo in High Society. It celebrates its diamond anniversary with an all-star band led by clarinetist Anat Cohen.
March 9, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, kimmelcenter.org.
Bassist and singer Mimi Jones has worked with Kenny Barron, Roy Hargrove and Terri Lyne Carrington, and founded her label Hot Tone as a home for other female artists blending jazz, soul, and hip-hop.
March 14, Philadelphia Museum of Art, philamuseum.org.
Ghost Train Orchestra
Trumpeter Brian Carpenter founded this ensemble to breathe vibrant life into forgotten gems from jazz’s past. Their 2011 debut focused on composers from 1920s Chicago and Harlem, while 2013’s follow-up, Book of Rhapsodies, culls from eccentric ’30s songsmiths like Raymond Scott and Alec Wilder.
April 12, Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, annenbergcenter.org.
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