Drummers can easily make or break or break a jazz group, but rarely do they get the spotlight. SFJAZZ remedies that this week with a series of shows featuring percussive talents.
First up Thursday ($18-$35) is powder-keg drummer Cindy Blackman-Santana leading her trio, with fellow free spirit Allison Miller opening the show with a duo performance with reeds man Jeff Lederer. Eric Harland, one of the most in-demand drummers in modern jazz, takes over with his quartet Friday ($25-$35), followed by body-percussion innovator Keith Terry and Crosspulse on Sunday ($25-$35). All shows starts at 7:30 p.m. at SFJAZZ Center.
Also worth noting on the Bay Area jazz scene this week:
- Sax ace Dan Zinn performs with his A-list quartet, 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Stanford Jazz Festival. $15-$45
- Guitar hero Calvin Keys performs with his quartet, including organ maestro Brian Ho, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Stanford Jazz Festival. $15-$45
- Nimble pianists Taylor Eigsti and Joe Gilman play favorite Dave Brubeck tunes, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Stanford Jazz Festival. $15-$45
- Vibes whirlwind Dillon Vado and his group Grooveyard Shift dish out pulsing party jazz, 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Berkeley’s Jazzschool. $15
- E.W. Wainwright & African Roots of Jazz and dynamic vocalist Denise Perrier celebrate summer in a free 1 p.m. Saturday show at Yerba Buena Gardens.
- Grupos Samba Rio and Falso Baiano, plus the Jovino Santos/Paul Taub duo, explore many facets of Latin jazz, 7:30 p.m. Saturday at SFJAZZ Center. $20-$40
- Cyrus Chestnut, one of the most gifted and swinging pianists of his generation, inaugurates the Jazz in Walnut Creek season with shows at 5 and 8 p.m. at the Lesher Center. $25-$40
- Partisans of one of the freest spirits in free jazz keep the interstellar flame burning as the Sun Ra Arkestra performs 8 p.m. Saturday at the Victoria Theater. $25-$50
- Savion Glover, a certified genius who re-invented tap-dancing for a new generation, improvises with his trio, 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Stanford Jazz Festival. $15-$45
- Sassy singer Roberta Donnay and the Prohibition Mob Trio celebrate the speakeasy era with a multimedia show, 8 p.m. Saturday at Musically Minded in Oakland.
- Local club jazz stalwart Josh Jones leads the Jazz-Funk Messengers through some booty-busting fun, 9:30 p.m. Sunday at SFJAZZ Center. $20
- Cheryl Bentyne, of trailblazing vocal quartet Manhattan Transfer, sings with her trio, 6 and 8 p.m. Sunday at Yoshi’s Oakland. $22-$27
- Pianist Harold Malbern and sax ace Eric Alexander lead a multigenerational jazz blowout, 8 p.m. Sunday at the Stanford Jazz Festival. $15-$45
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