By Larry Taylor/Garden Grove Journal
The 2011-12 jazz season for Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa kicks off Sept. 25 with the appearance of tenor sax great Sonny Rollins. Appearing here with his quintet, Rollins is one of the few pillars from the golden era of jazz 60 years ago.
Following, Oct. 21 and 22, at the center will be the Miles Davis Experience, 1949-1959, featuring the Ambrose Akinmusire Quintet.
They will appear in Segerstrom’s intimate Samueli Theater. Combining live performance, archival images, film and recordings, the multi-media experience traces Miles’ most notable recordings from 1949 through his Blue Note years.
The Spirit of Django is scheduled, Nov. 18-19 also in Samueli. For this, an all-star group has been assembled for a rousing program of the great Gypsy jazz master, Django Reinhardt’s, music.
On Feb. 18, bassist Charlie Haden and his Quartet West celebrate their 25th anniversary in the large Segerstrom Concert Hall with performances from their acclaimed albums “Sophisticated Ladies,” “The Art of the Song,“ and much more.
Back in Samueli, Mar. 23-24, the SFJAZZ Collective, an ensemble of accomplished jazz stars who will explore compositions from pop star Stevie Wonder, as well as such jazz masters as Coltrane, Hancock, Monk and Tyner.
Two stellar artists at the top of their game, Nneena Frelon and Earl Klugh, will wind up the Segerstrom season, April 27-28, in Samueli. Freelon is ranked as one of jazz’s top vocalists, while Klugh is considered a wizard on the guitar.
South of Segerstrom Center, the Irvine Barclay Theatre, adjacent to University of California, Irvine, campus, has a performing arts schedule which includes jazz and jazz-related events.
Next Jan 27, the Metta Quintet explores the international aspect of jazz, performing works by eight renowned composers from eight countries. As well, the concert incorporates an imaginative use of video as background to the exotic music.
Continuing with world music, Feb. 8, South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela is scheduled. The world-famous trumpeter has recorded and played with a wide range of top stars.
On Feb. 22, the audience can be assured of an evening of high-style, droll wit, and provocative music with the appearance of Max Raabe and his big band from Berlin.
The group is renowned for recreating pop songs of the 20s and 30s, all with wit and a jazzy twist.
Closing out the Barclay season, July 6, will be the celebrated Preservation Hall Jazz Band from New Orleans, hearkening back to the roots of jazz.
For tickets and information, contact Segerstrom Center, www.scfta.org; call (714) 556-2787. For the Barclay Theatre, www.thebarclay.org; call (949) 854-4646.