Find a complete list of jazz concerts in Seattle this spring on our Things To Do calendar, or check out the rest of our critics' picks from Seattle Art and Performance.

Stay in the know! Get all this and more on the free Stranger Things To Do mobile app (available for iOS and Android), or delivered to your inbox.

March 19 & April 21

Pink Martini

I will always love Pink Martini for its exceptionally beautiful cover of the "Song of the Black Lizard," the lead track for the campy late-'60s Japanese film Black Lizard. If you have not heard of the band, which was founded in Portland, Oregon, by the pianist Thomas Lauderdale in the mid-'90s, I recommend you enter its world by this door—this sensuous tune. Pink Martini's world is trashy, elegant, and erotic. CM

Edmonds Center for the Arts, 7:30 pm, $59–$94 (March 19); Washington Center for the Performing Arts, Olympia, 7:30 pm, $64–$99 (April 21)

March 20–21

Fred Hersch and Anat Cohen Duo

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 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. Tonight, the great Hersch plays with Anat Cohen, a New-York based jazz clarinetist. CM

Jazz Alley, 7:30 pm, $34.50

March 22–25

Burt Bacharach

Legendary composer, performer, and godfather of pop Burt Bacharach will share his decades of chart-topping experience with a four-day residency of jazz and classic chamber pop.

Jazz Alley, 7:30 pm, $150

March 27

Brittany Anjou Trio with D'Vonne Lewis & Evan Flory-Barnes

Two of possibly the best musicians in Seattle, D'Vonne Lewis (drums) and Evan Flory-Barnes (bass), join forces with Seattle-raised but NYC-based pianist and composer Brittany Anjou. Like Vijay Iyer, Anjou is a philosopher-musician. Hers is a jazz about jazz, a music about music. CM

The Royal Room, 7 pm, $10

March 29–31

Ancient to Future

Royal Room owner Wayne Horvitz is both an adventurous musician and a music historian blessed with vast knowledge and great taste. So, there are few better people to organize a festival dedicated to avant-garde jazz in the tradition of John Coltrane, Cecil Taylor, and Ornette Coleman than this versatile keyboardist/composer. On his important agenda are tributes to some of the most innovative artists ever to burn through orthodoxies, including Sonny Sharrock, Henry Threadgill, Muhal Richard Abrams, and a performance of the Art Ensemble of Chicago's Fanfare for the Warriors. DS

The Royal Room (March 29 & 31) and Chapel Performance Space (March 30), $12–$20

April 2

Golden Ear and Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame Awards

Since 1990, Earshot Jazz's Golden Ear Awards have recognized the accomplishments of Seattle jazz artists during the previous year and inducted significant artists into Seattle's Jazz Hall of Fame.

The Royal Room, 6 pm, $13/$15

April 7

Diego El Cigala

Once referred to as "one of the most beautiful flamenco voices of our time" by iconic guitarist Paco de Lucia, vocalist Diego El Cigala blends bolero, tango, Afro-Caribbean jazz, and Cuban son traditions for a Grammy-winning sound all his own.

UW Meany Theatre, 8 pm, $47+

April 10–11

Branford Marsalis Quartet

The great saxophonist Branford Marsalis, who is a member of jazz's royal family (the Marsalises—Ellis, Wynton, Delfeayo), is famous for participating in Sting's only decent solo album, The Dream of the Blue Turtles, leading the band on Jay Leno's show in the mid-'90s, and working with DJ Premier on jazz/hiphop collaboration Buckshot LeFonque. He is less well known for the ribbons upon ribbons of beauty extracted from Igor Stravinsky's "Pastorale"—a piece on the album Romance for Saxophone. Branford Marsalis is also known for upsetting his more famous brother Wynton. Branford loves popular culture; Wynton hates it. CM

Triple Door, 7:30 pm, $75–$90

April 12–15

Kenny G

Although fate was obviously kinder to one of us, Kenny G and I had the same saxophone teacher. John P. Jessen, aka Johnny Jessen, taught sax out of the Sixth and Pine building downtown for ages. Kenny G used to play two saxophones at once, back at Franklin High School. And his early records were funk. Maybe not great funk, but funk. And we used to say, "Hey, local kid makes good." I am not at all sure about his bossa-nova album. I am not at all sure about anything of Kenny G's after 1989. But I sure do miss Johnny Jessen. Andrew Hamlin

Jazz Alley, 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, $66

April 15

Jazz in the City: The Folks Project

Four excellent local jazz musicians—D'Vonne Lewis (drums), Evan Flory-Barnes (bass), Owour Arunga (trumpet), and Darrius Willrich (piano)—celebrate the music of Seattle's former black neighborhood, the Central District. The music of Quincy Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Ernestine Anderson, Sir Mix-A-Lot, and more will be honored. CM

Frye Art Museum, 2 pm, free

Kathleen Battle

Back in 1992, Kathleen Battle, the soprano with a voice that's unbelievably beautiful, released an album with the jazz giant Wynton Marsalis titled Baroque Duet. At this moment, both musicians were at their peak. Kathleen Battle was a black diva dominating the white world of opera, and Marsalis a black trumpeter leading both black African classical music, jazz, and European classical music, simply called classical. Tonight, Battle performs with another jazz musician, Joel A. Martin, who brings both forms of music together (he calls the combination "jazzical"). The event will feature spirituals and the heroes of the underground railroad. CM

UW Meany Theatre, 8 pm, $125–$149

April 23

Bettye LaVette

Like Mavis Staples and the late Sharon Jones and Charles Bradley, Bettye LaVette proves that advanced age—she's been in the music biz for 55 years—is no barrier to maintaining quality control in the vocal-performance department. Her Tina Turner-esque rasp serves as a vibrant conduit for soul and slow-burning passion. She has a penchant for covering classic-rock artists (Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, the Who), ingeniously rearranging these familiar tunes and imbuing them with a hard-won soulfulness. What LaVette does isn't exactly jazz, but it is very classy and enjoyable, and her burnished voice should sound amazing at Benaroya Hall. DS

Benaroya Hall, 7:30 pm, $40–$55

April 24–25

Daymé Arocena

Emerging Cuban star Daymé Arocena is a quintuple threat as a singer, composer, arranger, choir director, and band leader.

Jazz Alley, 7:30 pm, $30.50

April 26–29

Eliane Elias

Pianist, singer, and songwriter Eliane Elias has won Grammy Awards for her distinctive style that creates a fusion of her Brazilian roots with her instrumental jazz, classical, and compositional skills.

Jazz Alley, 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, $34.50

April 27

Zony Mash, Sweeter Than The Day, The Robin Holcomb Band

Versatile and virtuosic keyboardist/composer Wayne Horvitz flaunts two of his many facets tonight. Sweeter Than the Day is his mostly acoustic group, an elegant foray into lyrical songwriting that skews toward the somberly beautiful. Somehow they coax melodies that seem both sleek and rococo. Zony Mash is where Horvitz gets down and dirty, channeling New Orleans funk (i.e., one of the most flavorful funks) with Meters-like tightness and lubriciousness. This might be my favorite Horvitz project, up there with Pigpen and Ponga. DS

The Royal Room, 8 pm, $15/$20

May 3–6

Earl Klugh

Having received accolades for his classical, jazz, and instrumental pop work, Grammy winner Earl Klugh will now take over Jazz Alley for four nights to reinstate himself as the master of the acoustic classical guitar.

Jazz Alley, 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, $34.50

May 8–9

Joey DeFrancesco Trio

A keyboard prodigy who was playing in bands with Philly Joe Jones and Hank Mobley at age 10, with Miles Davis at 17, and with John McLaughin in his early 20s, Joey DeFrancesco makes the Hammond organ speak in dialects most of his peers can't comprehend. His virtuosity turns your ears into spinning pinwheels of delight. DS

Jazz Alley, 7:30 pm, $32.50

May 14–16

Lean On Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers

What a fine endeavor it is to honor soul singer supreme Bill Withers, so hats off to José James. If your head's been near a radio or television over the last 45 years or so, you've probably heard Withers's voice of brimming mahogany benevolence. James approximates Bill's warm, consoling timbre, and his backing band extrapolate the grooves and tease out the melodic nuances of Withers's original hits and deep cuts with jazzmen's cunning and flair. It'll be a lovely night (or three), particularly if James and company do "Lovely Day." DS

Jazz Alley, 7:30 pm, $30.50

May 16–19

Ballard Jazz Festival 2018

The 16th Annual Ballard Jazz Festival is happening at various locations, including the Conor Byrne Pub and the newly relocated Nordic Museum. Enjoy live sets from local and national acts, a jazz walk down Ballard Avenue, and more.

Various locations, $12–$110

May 16–17

Jazz Innovations

UW student jazz ensembles will pay homage to the many varied icons of jazz and tackle new and progressive orchestral jazz compositions.

Brechemin Auditorium, 7:30 pm, free

May 21

Show Divine at 9th & Pine

Get wild Roaring '20s-style for the Paramount's 90th birthday, with live music by Tedde Gibson on the mighty Wurlitzer organ, and guest vocalists singing popular songs from 1928.

Paramount Theatre, 7 pm, free

May 31–June 3

Spyro Gyra

Jazz fusionists Spyro Gyra, who have performed more than 5000 shows and released 32 albums in the last 40+ years, will headline. Fun fact: the band name is a misspelling of a type of green algae, Spirogyra.

Jazz Alley, 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, $34.50

June 1–3

HONK! Fest West

This family-oriented festival gets you in on the brass, percussion, and street band "global renaissance." Twenty-five or more bands will jam in streets and parks around Seattle.

Various locations, free

June 2

Natalia Lafourcade

Mexican singer-songwriter Natalia Lafourcade utilizes stylistic elements of jazz, pop, rock, and various world music traditions for a unique sound that's netted her 11 Grammys.

Neptune Theatre, 8 pm, $40/$45 (sold out)

June 7–8

Ann & Liz Callaway: Sibling Revelry

Broadway actress and singer Liz Callaway has worked in theater and film for the past 30 years, bringing a firm, light tone and sweet expressiveness to her roles in the debuts of Merrily We Roll Along, Miss Saigon, and others, as well as to film soundtracks such as Anastasia and Aladdin. She's also had a successful off-Broadway career and performs with symphonies and bands around the world. Catch her with her equally talented sister Ann Hampton Callaway.

Triple Door, 7:30 pm, $35–$45

June 7–10

An Evening with Jeffrey Osborne

Jeffrey Osborne has spent decades weaving funk, soul, R&B, and pop into his own unique sound, which has netted him five gold and platinum albums.

Jazz Alley, 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, $60


Jazz at Barca

Barca, 9 pm-12 am, free


Jim Cutler Jazz Orchestra

Tula's, 7:30 pm, $12

The Ron Weinstein Trio

Vito's Restaurant & Lounge, 9:30 pm, free

Every second Thursday

Jennifer Kienzle

Vito's Restaurant & Lounge, 9 pm, free

Every second Saturday

Kareem Kandi

Vito's Restaurant & Lounge, 9:30 pm, free