AIRTO MOREIRA – sadly, the legendary Brazilian percussionist (Miles, Weather Report, Chick Corea Return To Forever) is very ill, losing both hearing and eyesight (hard to comprehend) and stuck in Brazil with no health coverage, so his daughter Diana (her mother, of course, the great vocalist Flora Purim) organized a benefit concert last week that I wrote about, at the gorgeous Lodge Room in Highland Park, and the stage was filled with a dozen great, mostly Brazilian players who delivered a concert for the ages. Our own legendary Peter Erskine (playing Saturday see below) was brilliant, as was Peruvian percussionist Alex Acuña, but it was diminutive keyboardist Patrice Rushen who really tore the roof off. The sold out show raised a good amount but unfortunately much more is needed. You can honor his lifetime of musical gifts to the world by hitting up the GoFundMe page:
PETER ERSKINE, ALAN PASQUA, DAREK OLES – I’m sorry I can’t wax a greater number of poetics about Erskine and his two virtuoso partners but gosh I have written about him so many times and declared that I would go anywhere to see him (drove an hour and a half in traffic recently) and here he is just down Lincoln at the beautiful Sam First jazz club at LAX and while his performances are priceless these shows are only 25 bucks (two sets, separate admission) and if you have not yet taken my advice to catch him, first I say, what is wrong with you, and second I will ask you afterwards if you haven’t just witnessed the most melodic, refined, inspired, restrained, improvisationally and ensemble-leading gifted drummer you’ve ever heard. Both Oles and Pasqua, long longtime trio partners with Peter, will each knock you out. Did I mention Erskine is one of our own, long a Santa Monica resident? I think by himself he more than makes up for Stephen Miller and The Observer. Sat 7:30, 9 p.m., Sam First, LAX, $25.
JEFF BECK – with, I hesitate to add, Johnny Depp, singing, or talking, or something. I suppose a lot of Deppos are going just for this rare chance to see him fronting a great band, but I hope he doesn’t get in the way of the guitar slinger because Jeff Beck has survived through 60 years, from The Yardbirds to The Jeff Beck Group with Rod Stewart (in his prime) to realizing his guitar spoke so eloquently across every genre that he didn’t need a singer, and he has been playing mostly instrumentally for 45 year and absolutely thrilling audiences. I can’t think of anyone who was a ‘60s rock star who is playing maybe even better today. I’ve been waiting for this concert for months. How often in LA, does the show of the year come in the 11th month? Sun 8 p.m., Orpheum Theater, $63-1,043.
THE HOT CLUB OF LOS ANGELES – Breakneck, virtuosic 1930s Django-style swing music in the cozy Culver City dive (almost 75 years old) with live music almost every night and never a cover charge. It’s gigs like this that make putting up with the bad side of Santa Monica worth it. Mon 9 p.m., Cinema Bar, Culver City, no cover.
EM – She’s still amazing. But nothing good lasts forever, you know. Don’t push your luck. So why not go this Tuesday night? Betcha, you’ll thank me. Tues 9:30 p.m., Harvelle’s, Santa Monica, $10.
B-52s FAREWELL TOUR – I saw them at a street concert in downtown LA a few years ago and I thought I remembered the quartet they became (1985, nine years in) but now I see a photo of only three, but it’s the big three, Fred Schneider, Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson, so all should be cool. If it’s the Farewell Tour, you gotta go. Fri 7:30 P.M., YouTube Theater, Inglewood, $49-715.
LA OPERA, “OMAR” – So I have thought and thought for a week about something different and maybe more upbeat that I can say about this remarkable production – that I am clearly recommending that you see – but all my life my reaction to music and other arts is first visceral, and then analytical, and this one just didn’t knock me upside the head, as much as I wanted it to. I’ve thought of several reasons – the music, much of it inspired by Rhiannon Giddens, whom I adore, was excellent but it was kind of all over the place, and there were no tunes you left the theater humming. The story line, aside from the obvious, being the life story of an African Muslim scholar who was enslaved and brought to America, lacked dramatic conflict to be resolved. The costumes are spectacular, the singing magnificent including the choral, and the sets even got an ovation. I probably need to see it again (but can’t). But you can go three times in a week. Sat 7:30 p.m., Wed 7:30 p.m., Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, LA, $18-199.
TOLEDO DIAMOND — The true hipster (when that sobriquet meant something way cool), choreographer to the stars, smoky Svengali, showman supreme. Toledo and his unquestionably unique show always pleases, if you are ready for the very different. Every Sun 9:30 p.m., Harvelle’s, Santa Monica, $12.
LYLE LOVETT, JOHN HIATT – I could write a book about the talents and careers of these two notable American troubadours but, I’d surely get something slightly wrong that the hardcore fans would petard-hoist me for, and they are going anyway, and if you know nothing about them you don’t have much time to catch up so you won’t miss one very memorable show. Wed 8 p.m., The Soraya, Northridge, $56-125.
COMING ATTRACTIONS: TOLEDO DIAMOND, Harvelle’s, 11/13, 20, 27; HOT CLUB OF LOS ANGELES, Cinema Bar, 11/14, 21, 28; EM, Harvelle’s, 11/15, 22, 29; LA OPERA, “OMAR,” Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 11/13; BRET MCKENZIE, Theatre at Ace Hotel, 11/11; RHIANNON GIDDENS, Disney Hall, 11/12; ALBERT LEE, McCabe’s, 11/12; LIBRARY GIRL 13TH ANNIVERSARY SHOW, Ruskin Group Theatre, , 11/13; NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON, Saban Theatre, 11/13; ELTON JOHN, Dodger Stadium, 11/17, 19, 20; GERALD CLAYTON & Friends, Sam First, 11/22; MACY GRAY, Vibrato, 11/23; THE LAST WALTZ TOUR 2022, Orpheum Theater, 12/4; DUDAMEL LEADS THE TRISTAN PROJECT: I,II,III, Disney Hall, 12/9. 10. 11. 15, 16, 17; LA CHAMBER ORCHESTRA Tribute to Lucha Libre!, GIL SHAHAN, Ambassador Auditorium, 12/11; BILLIE EILISH, Kia Forum, 12/13, 15, 16; X, Orpheum Theater, 12/16.
Charles Andrews has listened to a lot of music of all kinds, including more than 3,000 live shows. He has lived in Santa Monica for 36 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at email@example.com