The fall jazz calendar brings several artists rarely seen in this area for long-overdue engagements. Contemporary jazz encompasses such a vast territory now, and the shows selected here reflect the wide range of improvisation being presented across the region.
Ben Goldberg’s Unfold Ordinary Mind
How Bay Area-based clarinetist Ben Goldberg got this top-shelf group of New York improvisers together and they found their way to Sacramento may the be arts mystery of the fall. The band includes the sonic wizardry of guitarist Nels Cline (of Wilco), saxophonists Ellery Eskelin and Rob Sudduth, drummer Ches Smith, and Goldberg holding down the low-end as bassist with a contra alto clarinet. Goldberg’s groups, including the New Klezmer Trio, Plays Monk, and the Tin Hat Trio, show Goldberg’s love of tradition, exploration, deconstruction and reconstruction. He’s a seminal figure and this band should not be missed. 8 p.m. Sept. 21 at Antiquite, 2114 P St., Sacramento. $15 advance; $20 at the door. (916) 706-0886; www.bengoldberg.net
Brubeck Brothers — A Tribute to Dave Brubeck
The Brubeck Brothers, Chris (bass and trombone) and Daniel (drums) have always carried the mantle of their late father's outsized legacy with grace and good humor. They’ll pay tribute to the senior Brubeck by performing his influential music with their solid mainstream quartet. Thursday, Harris Center, City Studio Theater, 10 College Parkway, Folsom. Tickets: $12-45. www.harriscenter.net; (916) 608-6888.
Ross Hammond’s Humanity Suite
Ross Hammond has composed a suite inspired by three Kara Walker silhouettes on view at the Crocker Art Museum’s “Emancipating the Past: Kara Walker’s Tales of Slavery and Power” (Sept. 22-Jan. 5). The music’s world premiere will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 3. Hammond’s sextet for the performance, which will be recorded live, includes Vinny Golia on soprano sax, Catherine Sikora on tenor, Cliff Childers on trombone, and bass trumpet, Dax Compise on percussion, and Kerry Kashiwagi on acoustic bass. At the Crocker Art Museum, 216 O St., Sacramento. Tickets: $6-12. (916) 808-1182; crockerartmuseum.org
Vinicius Cantuária Quartet
The Brazilian born, New York-based Cantuária has for years been making a post-bossa nova/electronica/jazz amalgam with some of the bigger names in contemporary music (Laurie Anderson, David Byrne and Arto Lindsay). His latest is an intimate 2011 duet record with Bill Frisell “Lagrimas Mexicanas” based on Cantuária’s fascination with the many Spanish-speaking people of his adopted city. He typically plays a repertoire of his own compositions along with Brazilian masters Antonio Jobim and Gilberto Gil. With Cantuária on vocals and guitar, Paul Socolow on bass, Adriano dos Santos on drums and Helio Alves on piano. 7 p.m. Oct. 3, Harris Center, City Studio Theater, 10 College Parkway, Folsom. Tickets: $12-39. www.harriscenter.net; (916) 608-6888.
Alycin Yaffee Quintet and the music of Emily Remler
Cavewomen guitarist Alicyn Yaffe steps out with her own quintet playing the music of the legendary, gone-too-soon guitarist and composer Emily Remler, who died in 1990 at age 34. Remler was a Wes Montgomery disciple, though a rather different player. It will be interesting to see how Yaffee’s own sensibilities come through in this setting. Oct. 6 at JB’s Lounge, 1401 Arden Way, inside the Clarion Inn. The first set starts at 5 p.m. $5-10. Reservations at (916) 723-5517 or email email@example.com.
Ahmad Jamal Trio
Pianist Ahmad Jamal, whose subtle, minimal approach influenced many including Miles Davis, has few peers left. His cool, cliché-free ideas are better heard live than on record. The vital 83-year-old makes his first appearance at the Mondavi Center. 8 p.m. Oct. 12, Jackson Hall, Mondavi Center, UC Davis, 8 p.m. The UC Davis Jazz Combo will perform for free at 6:30 p.m. in the Corin Courtyard. Tickets: $21-$42. For information (530) 754-2787 or www.mondaviarts.org
SFJAZZ Collective — 10th anniversary Tour
This year the Collective celebrates 10 years with its first retrospective concerts, pulling out tributes to essential jazz composers such as Ornette Coleman, Wayne Shorter and Chick Corea. The robust octet now includes alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón, tenor saxophonist David Sánchez, vibraphonist Warren Wolf, trumpeter Avishai Cohen, trombonist Robin Eubanks, pianist Edward Simon, bassist Matt Penman and drummer Obed Calvaire. 8 p.m. Oct. 23, Jackson Hall, Mondavi Center, UC Davis. Tickets: $21-$42. For information (530) 754-2787 or www.mondaviarts.org
Sacramento Jazz Orchestra with vocalist Jamie Davis
This 18-piece big band carries the torch of orchestrated, large-group jazz with some of the area’s best players. Trumpeter Joe Mazzaferro leads the group, which includes alto saxophonist Patrick Langham, guitarist Steve Homan and drummer Rick Lotter. The concert includes the bluesy veteran vocalist Jamie Davis. Nov. 3. $5-15 at JB’s Lounge, 1401 Arden Way, inside the Clarion Inn. (916) 723-5517 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fred Hersch Trio
Pianist Fred Hersch has a touch of the poet in his playing, but that doesn’t mean the man won’t swing. From Thelonius Monk to Cole Porter and his own heady angular compositions, Hersch is a modern master blending prodigious technique with a personal voice and encyclopedic knowledge of the music. The trio includes John Hebert on bass and Eric McPherson on drums. This four-night appearance is a banquet. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, Nov. 6-9 at the Vanderhoef Studio Theatre Cabaret, Mondavi Center, UC Davis. $19-42; tickets for Friday and Saturday are already quite limited. (530) 754-2787; www.mondaviarts.org
Vivian Lee — Tribute to Billie Holiday
The locally based vocalist and impresario Vivian Lee takes on one of the greatest legends as she pays tribute to Billie Holiday. Lee’s warm, engaging style is quite different from Lady Day’s raw emotionalism, but the Sacramento singer knows how to tell a story and thoroughly understands the American Songbook, as well. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 22-23; 2 p.m. Nov. 23-24. $25-29; Three Stages at Harris Center, 10 College Parkway, Folsom. (916) 608-6888; www.harriscenter.net