Cassandra Wilson, the most daring of female jazz vocalists, whose style transcends categories with its infusion of soul and blues, will carry on at the Blue Note jazz club (131 W. Third St.) Oct. 16 through Oct. 19, with two shows each night at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
Wilson’s hornless ensemble includes pianist Jon Cowherd, guitarist Brandon Ross (a longtime arranger and band member), veteran bassist Lonnie Plaxico, drummer John Davis and Gregoire Maret on harmonica.
Being a native of Mississippi, Wilson has stayed close to the blues. It’s a part of the culture that draws her back to her ancestors. Early in her career, Wilson was influenced by vocalists Abbey Lincoln and Betty Carter. It has been noted that Wilson expanded folk music into the jazz genre. However, both Lincoln and Wilson’s rhythmic vocal flows are more common to the rhythms of the African drum than the styling of folk music.
The diverse vocalist, songwriter and producer will take you from the sugar cane fields of Mississippi to the grooves of soul, along with her Miles Davis influences and avant-garde work from her association with saxophonist and composer Henry Threadgill. Alternatively, she may show off her interpretations of pop songs like “The Last Train to Clarkesville.”
For more information, call 212-475-8592.
The Phil Young Experience and Friends will perform Oct. 17 at the Gran Piatto d’Oro Ristorante (Fifth Avenue at 117th Street) with the intention of swinging so hard that the roof may fly off between the hours of 8 p.m. and midnight.
In recent weeks, Young’s special guests at “Jazz on Fifth” have included pianist-composer Onaje Allen Gumbs and percussionist Steve Kroon. There is no telling who may stop by. The music charge is $10. Happy hour specials run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
For more information, call Bob Tate at 917-402-2644 or Emmett Causey at 917-742-1239.
When the jazz warriors who created this wonderful music representing the multilayered soundtrack of America need assistance with employment, housing or health issues, they turn to the Jazz Foundation of America. In an effort to continue their ongoing support for musicians, the foundation will present its 13th annual “A Great Night in Harlem” gala honoring Herbie Hancock Oct. 24 at the Apollo Theater, 253 W. 125th St., at 8:30 p.m.
Hancock will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from Quincy Jones with special guest Bruce Willis. Hancock will later lead an all-star tribute to the trumpeter Clark Terry, featuring the Heath Brothers, Wallace Roney, Steven Jordan, Buster Williams and Billy Hart.
Multi-Grammy-winning singer Chaka Khan and Verdine White (of Earth, Wind and Fire) will pay homage to Maurice White (the group’s leader) with help from Ray Parker Jr. and Questlove. The life of the memorable vocalist Little Jimmy Scott will also be celebrated.
As part of its ongoing tradition, the Apollo will also present aspiring young musicians such as Jorge Luis Pacheco, pianist Matthew Whitaker (13-year-old prodigy), 10-year-old Joey Alexander and veteran performers Charles Bradley, “The Soul of America,” and blues-rocker Susan Tedeschi.
Since 1989, the Jazz Foundation of America, headquartered in Manhattan, has provided programs that help jazz and blues musicians fill a void between social and medical resources and emergency funds. They also assist musicians with possible performances in schools and the community.
The nonprofit organization created a volunteer network of professionals throughout the United States who provide free legal, dental and other health services. Tickets range from $75 (concert only, upper balcony) to $1,500 (preferred seating, VIP reception, gala dinner and after-party). For information and tickets, call the Jazz Foundation at 212-245-3999, ext. 10.