The 22-year-old, Julliard-trained, alto saxophonist Braxton Cook has traveled the world playing hard-charging, main-stream jazz in the bands of the popular keyboardist Jon Batiste and the gregarious flamboyant trumpeter Christian Scott. The laid-back young saxophonist will interrupt a social visit to Sacramento with a pop-up performance in Elk Grove featuring other equally precocious young lions of the music.
Originally an English major at Georgetown University, Cook entered the prestigious Julliard music program after working his way through the arduous audition process that found him performing for masters of the art including Ron Carter and Kenny Barron. Cook was first attracted to the alto by the singular sound of Grover Washington Jr. and has since discovered standard-bearers Charlie Parker and Julian “Cannonball” Adderly.
The heady Julliard exposure nudged Cook toward the developmental jobs with Batiste and Scott as Cook developed the idea of leading his own band.
For this show Cook previews his forthcoming debut EP release “Sketch,” which features his original compositions. Performing with Cook are young New York associates Samora Pinderhughes on keyboards, Noah Garabedian on bass and Evan Hughes on drums.
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The Braxton Cook Quartet, 8 p.m. Sunday. Doors open at 7 p.m. Coach’s Lounge, 3442 Laguna Blvd., Elk Grove. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Information: marshall.ticketleap.com/braxton-cook-quartet
B Street Plays Two
Most of the area’s theater companies lay low this time of year, but B Street Theatre has two shows up and running. The Buck Busfield comedy “Not in the Stars,” with three veterans of the acting company (David Pierini, Kurt Johnson and Elisabeth Nunziato) continues through Jan. 5, with performances at 8 p.m. today, 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. On the B Street Theatre Mainstage, 2711 B St., Sacramento. Tickets: $23-$35, $5 student rush.
Pierini’s fine world-premiere adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast” closes this weekend with performances 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. today through Sunday. Tickets are $20 adults, $15 children. Recommended for children ages 5 and older. B Street Theatre Family Series Stage, 2727 B St., Sacramento. Information for both productions at (916) 443-5300, or bstreettheatre.org
No rest for Jerry Lee
You might expect actor Jerry Lee to rest on his laurels after a solid run as George Bailey in Sacramento Theatre Company’s “It’s a Wonderful Life the Musical,” which closed last weekend. Such is not the case, however, as Lee mounts a one-night-only cabaret performance titled “Maybe They’re Magic” on Saturday. The show brings together some of Lee’s favorite songs that span decades of popular music, including tunes from Rodgers and Hammerstein, Mumford and Sons, André Previn and Don McLean. Pianist Erik Daniells is the musical director for the performance at the STC Cabaret Stage, 1419 H St., Sacramento. The show starts at 7 p.m. and the doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $17 online in advance, $20 at the door. Information: sacimpulse.com or (916) 749-6039.