Sun 3/30 at Seattle Art Museum Vincent Soyez

SUN 3/30

Linda Oh

Linda Oh is not only a talented bassist but one of the most interesting personalities in contemporary jazz. She currently lives in New York City, but her childhood was spent in Perth, Australia, and she was born to Chinese parents in Malaysia. Her English weaves all of these different cultural strands into a very original verbal texture. Some of her words are expressed with Australian English, others with Chinese or American English. And as she speaks, we never sense or feel one form of English clearly dominates the others. Just as the Australian in her seems ready to lead all of her sentences, it suddenly vanishes and is replaced by one of the other parts of her culturally complex life. Her music, however, is grounded in the black American tradition of jazz bass and African rhythms. She is not a deep or bold player (here think of Seattle's Evan Flory-Barnes), but nimble and very modern—in the sense that hers is a clean sound. Trained in classical piano and bassoon, Oh came into jazz a little late—in her teens. In 2008, she moved to NYC to advance her education in music, and in 2009, she released her first album, Morning Sunset. And her latest CD, Sun Pictures (2013), contains the utterly beautiful and cinematic composition "Blue Over Gold." What this track makes clear is that the young Oh has an eye on making movies with her music.

Seattle Art Museum, Plestcheeff Auditorium, 1300 First Ave, 547-6763, earshot.org, 7:30 pm, $18, all ages

SAT 4/19

Susan Pascal Quartet

Here is a confession I must make: I'm not big into jazz guitar. Indeed, I have never bought a record by a band led by a jazz guitarist, even by one of the big names in jazz history, like Charlie Christian and Django Reinhardt. Why? Because I can't help feeling that the real home for this instrument is the blues. But what breaks this dumb feeling in me every time is when a jazz guitarist performs with a jazz vibraphonist. Those wondrous, vaporous, Venusian sounds of the vibraphone seem to magically transform the licks and picks of the guitar into something that's utterly necessary and meaningful to the jazz home. For example, when Susan Pascal, Seattle's great vibraphonist, plays with Milo Petersen, a local jazz guitarist and educator, I honestly fall in love with an instrument that does almost nothing for me on all other occasions. Pascal, an artist who really knows her instrument and handles her sticks in the way that all masterful vibraphonists do (like wands casting warm spells), also frequently performs with Bill Anschell, an established and very productive pianist.

Tula's, 2214 Second Ave, 443-4221, tulas.com, 7:30 pm, $15, all ages till 10 pm, then 21+

THURS 4/24–SUN 4/27

Regina Carter

I have to recount this story: In December 2001, the old Italian city of Genoa (the city that gave the world Christopher Columbus) permitted the American jazz violinist Regina Carter to play Il Cannone Guarnerius (or simply "the Cannon"), a violin that was made more than 260 years ago and was once owned and loved by the 19th-century composer and violinist Niccolo Paganini. Genoa owns this instrument, which has a reputation for producing an explosive sound ("the Cannon"). To appreciate the level of accomplishment Carter has achieved as a musician, you must understand that Genoa does not allow any old person to play the Cannon. The city must deeply admire you. The city must feel that handing you this violin continues a long and noble musical tradition. The city had good reason to trust Carter (who was born and raised in Detroit and is classically trained); she is arguably the most gifted jazz violinist of our times.

Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave, 441-9729, jazzalley.com, 7:30 pm, $24.50, all ages

TUES 4/29–WED 4/30

Fred Hersch Trio

Let me begin with this: If you have never heard of this brilliant pianist, Fred Hersch, I recommend buying his 2010 album Whirl. On that record, which is wall-to-wall perfect, I recommend spending some serious time listening to and absorbing "Snow Is Falling...," a Hersch composition. The details, the art, the beauty of this recording will leave a strong and lasting impression on your mode of feeling. That said, I want to make this other point: If you are into getting to the core of an artist—meaning, coming to understand what makes him/her great—in the case of Fred Hersch, I recommend listening first to Bill Evans's "Spartacus Love Theme," which is on the jazz classic Conversations with Myself, and then listening to Hersch's version on Let Yourself Go: Fred Hersch at Jordan Hall. What do you hear? Evans, the pianist responsible for the jazz canonization of "Spartacus" (the other famous version of this tune is by the recently departed Yusef Lateef), plays the piece with all the mystery, magic, and messiness of French impressionism. Hersch's version, on the other hand, is actually played with greater sensitivity and mastery. The great Bill Evans sounds like a raw or unpolished genius when compared with Hersch.

Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave, 441-9729, jazzalley.com, 7:30 pm, $24.50, all ages recommended


THE REST OF THAT JAZZ

JAZZ ALLEY

Downtown

This joint is not cheap, but neither is it ridiculously expensive, and you almost never leave the place feeling you didn't get real value out of your money.

2033 Sixth Ave, 441-9729, jazzalley.com

TULA'S

Belltown

Tula's is as fine a place as you can imagine, but I only wish they had cheaper wine. And by cheap wine, I don't mean dirt cheap. I only mean wine that is affordable.

2214 Second Ave, 443-4221, tulas.com

THE TRIPLE DOOR

Downtown

MON 3/31

Meklit Hadero, a Bay Area–based and Ethiopian-born jazz/soul singer who released a solo album in 2010 called On a Day Like This, and who has worked extensively with our very own and very talented jazz bassist Evan Flory-Barnes and drummer D'Vonne Lewis (who are half of the emerging local band Industrial Revelation), appears tonight. Do not miss this show, which will happen on the main stage at 7:30 p.m.

216 Union St, 838-4333, thetripledoor.com

SERAFINA

Eastlake

Serafina is, yes, a fancy restaurant, and as a consequence, it is not a cheap restaurant. But on Sundays, you can enjoy brunch as a live jazz band performs. If you are going to spend lots of money, at least do so while being bathed in the warm sounds of jazz.

2043 Eastlake Ave E, 323-0807, serafinaseattle.com

VITO'S

First Hill

SAT 3/8

Kareem Kandi is a jazz saxophone player and a teacher in jazz composition at Tacoma School of the Arts. He performs free jazz, trad jazz, modern jazz, funk, and blues. To get a good idea of his talent (he has a smart, swift, agile sound), download the album See What I'm Saying or watch his performance here at 9:30 p.m.

927 Ninth Ave, 397-4053, vitosseattle.com

ROYAL ROOM

Columbia City

WED 4/16

Tonight at 8 p.m., the excellent Piano Starts Here series celebrates two giants of 20th-century American songwriting, Hoagy Carmichael and George Gershwin. Now, was it Donna Summer who wanted to have dinner with Gershwin?

5000 Rainier Ave S, 906-9920, theroyalroomseattle.com

BARÇA

Capitol Hill

Happy hour wine here is tasty and affordable. It's also affordable after happy hour and during the free live jazz sets every Thursday.

1510 11th Ave, 325-8263, barcaseattle.com

COASTAL KITCHEN

Capitol Hill

The happy hour menu here, which starts at 9 p.m., is super-kind to the purse, and the jazz, which is provided by Pork Chop Trio, is kind to the ears.

429 15th Ave E, 322-1145, coastalkitchenseattle.com