There’s a growing jazz scene in Israel, and now the New York scene has a considerable number of Israeli contributors. Among the most visible of those is clarinetist Anat Cohen, who comes back to the Kansas City area on Saturday.
And this appearance is the most ambitious yet. The confident voice of her clarinet will be heard over a 10-piece band that’s both support system and foil, ingeniously arranged by Cohen’s longtime creative partner Oded Lev-Ari.
The tentet (the jazz word for a 10-piece band is much more fun than the allegedly correct “decet”), which is also heard on Cohen’s recent recording “Happy Song,” reflects the wide variety of her musical interests, from mainstream jazz to klezmer to Africa to Brazil and back again. Cohen refuses to stick with just one style of jazz, and that’s not a problem — perhaps it’s a style unto itself. And as her career develops, it’s interesting to note how different each project seems from the others, and yet they all sound like Cohen. (Give Lev-Ari some credit here for making the concepts work together.)
The Anat Cohen Tentet, which at last report featured musicians from at least three continents, performs at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 7, at the Gem Theater, 1615 E. 18th St. Tickets are $45 at americanjazzmuseum.org. The event is presented by the American Jazz Museum and the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City.
Singer, tap dancer and trumpeter Lonnie McFadden hasn’t recorded much, and perhaps you have to see his show to get the whole experience. But his new CD brings a generous amount of the experience directly to your ears.
McFadden and friends will celebrate the release of “Live at the Green Lady Lounge” this week at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 4, and again at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, April 7, at the Black Dolphin, 1813 Grand Blvd. OK, it isn’t the Green Lady, but it’s right next door, and they’re both run by John Scott.
▪ There are plenty of reasons to go hear guitarist Mark Lettieri, of the band Snarky Puppy, when he touches down in Kansas City with a trio for a gig at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 4, at the Westport CoffeeHouse Theater, 4010 Pennsylvania Ave. He’s reportedly bringing a monster trio with Snarky Puppy drummer Jason “JT” Thomas and Funky Knuckles bassist Wes Stephenson. But there’s another important reason to attend: The Project H is also on the bill, and they’re celebrating the release of a new album, “Everyday, Forever.”
▪ The next concert in the Spirituality and All That Jazz series showcases the Kansas City Kansas Community College jazz programs, with jazz bands led by Jim Mair and the jazz choir led by John Stafford. It’s at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 4, at the Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W. 47th St.
▪ The Blue Room, 1600 E. 18st St., has sax man Ernest Melton running the Monday jam at 7 p.m. on April 2; keyboardist Rich Hill and reed man Charles Perkins at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 5; JC The New King of Funk at 8:30 p.m. Friday, April 6; and bassist James Ward’s band at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, April 7.
▪ The Green Lady Lounge, 1809 Grand Blvd., has singer Kathleen Holeman at 6 p.m. Sunday, April 1; organist Chris Hazelton’s trio at 6 p.m. Monday, April 2, followed by keyboardist Max Groove’s trio at 10:30 p.m.; guitarist Matt Hopper at 6 and 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 3, followed by reed man Charles Perkins and bassist Tyrone Clark at 11:30 p.m.; OJT at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 4, followed by Tyrone Clark’s trio at 10:30 p.m.; organist Ken Lovern’s trio at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 5, followed by Guitar Elation at 8 p.m. and sax man Todd Wilkinson’s trio at 11:30 p.m.; pianist Tim Whitmer’s quartet at 5:30 p.m. Friday, April 6, followed by Embrey, Lovern & Strait downstairs at 8:30 p.m., Chris Hazelton’s Boogaloo 7 upstairs at 9 p.m. and organist Matt Villinger’s trio just after midnight; and singer Lisa Henry with pianist Roger Wilder at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, April 7, followed by Ken Lovern at 6 and 8 p.m., Chris Hazelton’s trio at 9 p.m. downstairs and tenor saxophonist Stephen Martin’s quartet at 11:30 p.m. upstairs.
▪ Next door, the Black Dolphin also has saxophonist Matt Chalk’s quartet at 8:30 p.m. Friday, April, 6, and saxophonist Christopher Burnett’s quintet at 9 p.m. Saturday, April 7.
Joe Klopus, 816-234-4751