All our best bets
-- The Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival will kick off the fall season on Saturday with a strong lineup. Headliners include the great drummer Jack DeJohnette leading a trio saxophonist Ravi Coltrane and bassist Matt Garrison, and dynamic vocalist Catherine Russell. Local stars Maria Zemantauski and Michael Benedict’s Jazz Vibes will also perform.
-- On Sept. 12, the series A Place for Jazz will open its five-concert season at the Unitarian Universalist Society with a quintet led by trombonist Clifton Anderson. The nephew of saxophone giant Sonny Rollins, Anderson ranges from a sturdy post-bop repertory to calypso.
-- Right after Anderson’s concert comes the Lake George Jazz Weekend, Sept. 13 and 14. Always an eclectic mix, this year the event will include Manual Valera’s Cuban Express, Cyrille Aimee’s Gypsy Jazz Quintet, clarinetist Anat Cohen’s Quartet and the Raymond Scott Orchestrette.
-- On Oct. 14, the Empire Jazz Orchestra, resident big band at Schenectady County Community College, will play music by Gil Evans, Duke Ellington, Frank Foster, Mary Lou Williams and others. The band features many of the top musicians in the Capital Region.
-- Looking ahead to December, pianist Brad Mehldau’s trio will perform at The Egg at the Empire State Plaza in Albany on Dec. 14, followed the next night by the College of Saint Rose’s annual Jazzy Christmas, featuring top local musicians playing Vince Guaraldi’s music for “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”
— Gazette jazz writer Tim Coakley
Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival, Jennings Landing, Albany. 434-2032.
Sept. 6: Maria Zemantauski, Michael Benedict Jazz Vibes, Professor Cunningham and His Old School, Catherine Russell, Jack Dejohnette Trio with Ravi Coltrane and Matt Garrison
A Place for Jazz, Unitarian Universalist Society, Schenectady. 393-4011.
Sept. 12: Clifton Anderson Quintet
Sept. 26: George Garzone Quartet
Oct. 10: Alexis Cole Quartet
Oct. 24: John Menegon Quartet
Nov. 7: Bria Skonberg Quintet
Arthur’s Market, Schdy.
Sept. 12: Terry Robin and Mary Ann Kosek
Sept. 16: Jazz Jam hosted by drummer Dennis McCaffrey
Sept. 17: Kitchen Jazz
Sept. 19: Swing Dance with Kitchen Jazz ($10 includes lesson)
Sept. 24: Jazmin
Sept. 26: Dave Fisk Quartet
Calvin Theatre, Northampton, Mass. 413-584-1444, www.iheg.com
Oct. 4: Esperanza Spalding
The Egg, Empire State Plaza, Albany. 473-1845.
Oct. 7: Hugh Masekela & Vusi Mahlasela
Oct. 17: Habana Sax
Nov. 14: Hiromi — The Trio Project
Nov. 20: Nels Cline & Julian Lage
Nov. 22: The Touré-Raichel Collective
Dec. 14: Brad Mehldau Trio
GE Theatre, Proctors, Schdy. 346-6204
Sept. 25: Stefon Harris
Iron Horse, Northampton, Mass. 413-584-0610, www.iheg.com
Sept. 5: Charles Neville
Quartet, and Juke Joint
Sept. 20: Charlie Hunter & Scott Amendola
Sept. 26: Caravan of Thieves
Sept. 29: Kneebody
Oct. 28: Cyrille Aimee
Nov. 5: Buster Williams Quartet featuring Patrice Rushen, Lenny White and Bruce Williams
Lake George Jazz Weekend, Shepard Park, Lake George Village. 668-2616.
Sept. 13: Manual Valera Cuban Express, Cyrille Aimee Gypsy Jazz Quintet, Sexmob Plays Fellini, Anat Cohen Quartet
Sept. 14: Billy Martin’s Wicked Knee, Jane Bunnett & Maqueque, Raymond Scott Orchestrette
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Mass. 413-528-0100, www.mahwaiwe.org
Oct. 17: Black Violin
Oct. 19: Dianne Reeves
Dec. 27: John Pizzarelli & Jane Monheit
Massry Center, College of St. Rose, Albany. 337-4871, www.strose.edu
Sept. 27: John Pizzarelli Quartet
Dec. 15: “It’s a Jazzy Christmas” featuring the Peanut Gallery Band
Parish Public House (formerly Red Square), Albany. 465-0444, www.parishpublichouse.com
Oct. 25: The Arch Stanton Quartet
Putnam Den, Saratoga Springs. 210-8486, www.putnamden.com
Oct. 2: Alan Evans’ PlayOnBrother
Schenectady County Community College
Oct. 14: Empire Jazz Orchestra
Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs
Sept. 26: Eric Harland & Voyager
Steamer No. 10, Albany. 438-5503, www.steamer10theatre.org
Oct. 30: Joe Barna & Sketches of Influence
Swingtime Jazz Society. 584-3548
The Railyard, Albany.
Oct. 12: Brian Melick Presents Heard
Van Dyck, Schenectady. 348-7999, www.vandycklounge.com
Sept. 2, Oct. 7, Nov. 4 & Dec. 2: Keith Pray’s Big Soul Ensemble
Sept. 18, Oct. 16, Nov. 20 & Dec. 18: Colleen Pratt & Friends