Derek Smalls. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.



And Glass-Reich-Adams-Pärt Minimalism plus however you want to classify the awesome Stanley Clarke — and that’s all on Saturday!! Stay up Friday night and get up Sunday morning and you can add an Icelandic jazz diva and a Hawaiian slack key guitar festival. All of it on a world-class level.

Why in the world would you choose to live anywhere else on the planet, if you love live music? Sheesh. Case closed.


TONIGHT! & Fri, Sat – PETER ERSKINE TRIO (officially, it’s tenor sax man George Gorzone plus the PE Trio with Alan Pasqua on piano and Derek Oles on bass — Santa Monica’s own world-renowned melodic, creative, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious jazz drummer is playing a fairly rare public gig, close to home, live recording, two sets per night, three nights, so wouldn’t it be kind of silly of you to miss it?), Thurs, Fri, Sat 8, 9:30 p.m., Sam First, Westchester (near LAX), $30.


TONIGHT! – DAVID BROMBERG and HIDALGO, LARRY CAMPBELL (billed as the American Crossroads Trio because of their decades on the road soaking up so many places and styles, from the Village to East LA, Hidalgo of course is co-founder of our own Los Lobos, 45 years in, Campbell is a stunning multi-instrumentalist with three Grammys for producing the late lamented Levon Helm, Bromberg was legendary in the Village folk scene of the ‘60s then took a deep dive into bluegrass and country, and all three have recorded or toured with Dylan, so there), Thurs 8 p.m., Regent Theater, downtown LA, $45.

ANNA MJÖLL (what?! — you haven’t caught this unique jazz vocalist yet and I’ve been telling you for years? she always has the very best sidemen in this jazz-rich town, she’s gorgeous, she wears purty dresses, and she’s unexpectedly funny in a weird Viking way, Herb Alpert’s Vibrato is probably the most ravishing club in town and with great acoustics and food, I think they call this a total package), Fri 7, 9, 10:15 p.m., Vibrato, Beverly Glen, $20 cover after 8 p.m.

LA PHILHARMONIC – MESSIAEN (his sumptuous Turangalîla Symphony, conducted by rising if not shooting star Susanna Mälkki, preceded by the U.S. premiere of Saariaho’s Trans for Harp and Orchestra), Fri, Sat 8 p.m., Walt Disney Concert Hall, DTLA, $20-$164.

LA PHIL HARMONIC – SYMPHONIES FOR YOUTH (A Journey Through Minimalism — an interactive concert experience for the whole family, explore the patterns, layers and rhythms of iconic minimalist music by Philip Glass, Steve Reich, John Adams, Arvo Pärt played by our superlative symphony orchestra, with hands-on workshops for kids, 5-11, but, ahem, parents and such get some great music for a bargain price, eh?), Sat 11 a.m., Walt Disney Concert Hall, DTLA, $23-$27.

STANLEY CLARKE (it’s Stanley Clarke… here in town… in a great concert hall… he ain’t just jazz but he is just genius… go so you can tell your grandkids), Sat 7:30 p.m., the Broad Stage, Santa Monica, $64 & up.

SANTA MONICA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (you don’t want to miss this mix of classics with timely selections commemorating MLK Jr., their annual concert with baritone soloist Mark Edward Smith, Lift Every Voice and Sing, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Battle Hymn of the Republic, We Shall Overcome, sing along!), Sat 2 p.m., SGI Auditorium, Santa Monica, free.

TAJ MAHAL & the Phantom Blues Band (I found out about him with his stunning debut album, with Ry Cooder, in the late ‘60s, caught him live at my college, did an interview, years later in Hawaii where he lived, and you should yes go all the way to Agoura Hills, you’ll be glad you did, we’re not going to have him forever you know), Sat 8 p.m., The Canyon, Agoura Hills, $38-$68.

THE FLESH EATERS, MUDHONEY (the best FE’s line-up: 3 from the Blasters, 2 from X, and of course Chris D, new album release plus a bonus, Seattle grunge legends Mudhoney), Sat 8 p.m., Echoplex, Echo Park, $20-$35.

MERLE JAGGER (I love these cahoots, all country, some bluegrass and a lot of rock and roll, as the name implies, such great pickers who needs words, always a good show, the LA Farmers Market on 3rd has free music at 7 every Saturday night and it’s almost always really good), Sat 7 p.m., E.B.’s Beer & Wine Bar, Farmers Market, LA, free.

Southern California SLACK KEY FESTIVAL (oh I love Hawaiian music and I love that we get this festival every year, George Kuo, Sonny Lim, Bobby Ingano, Kawika Kahiapo, Jeff Peterson, Teresa Bright, Jim “Kimo” West, Kunia Galdeira and mesmerizing dancers and great food), Sun 2 p.m., Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, $20-$55.

DEREK SMALLS (“Lukewarm Water Live! – an Adventure in Loud Music” — this is truly An Event, a VIP concert, with a full symphony orchestra and special guests via satellite and an all-star band, his new solo album, Meditations on Ageing, away from his smotheringly-famous former band formerly known as Spinal Tap, will not get old, until you do), Wed 8 p.m., Palace Theatre, DTLA, price unknown (probably really high, maybe $1000 or more for bad seats, who knows?).

BRANFORD MARSALIS QUARTET (if I have to tell you who he is, just skip to someone you do know, but the rest of y’all, there are good reasons legends are legends and the eldest Marsalis has earned his laurels, this will be like an intimate jazz club setting), next Thurs, 8 p.m., the Soraya, Northridge, $35-$78.

COMING ATTRACTIONS: WHISKY X LA, can’t wait to hear featured act ST. PAUL AND THE BROKEN BONES, one of my faves, alone worth ⅔ the price of admission but then you get to taste all those whiskies, 60, and fab food, again at SMO’s Barker Hangar, Fri Jan. 25; BUT, BUT, what am I gonna do because that same night is an unbelievable show, THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN will be spouting his hell-”FIRE!!”, only one other U.S. date so far, his tour a year ago was his first in 40 years, look him up, this is a guy who read the winds and saw the course of music and history changing and reflected it with his huge huge smash hit, Fri Jan. 25; hot hot TRAVIS SCOTT (I don’t often do arena rap shows but this guy is psychedelic, he has pipes, his last album Astroworld was a critical and popular hit, No. 1 out of the gate and gold within a week, his stage show should be awe-inspiring, the Forum, Feb. 8.

Charles Andrews has listened to a lot of music of all kinds, including more than 2,000 live shows. He has lived in Santa Monica for 32 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at

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