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Fall Arts Preview

10 stellar jazz shows to light up autumn

Patricia Zarate Pérez is part of the lineup for the free "Jazz Along the Charles" showcase Oct. 7, presented by the Celebrity Series of Boston.Robert Torres

WALTER SMITH III The venerable Regattabar celebrates its long-awaited post-pandemic reopening with tenor saxophonist Walter Smith III. Smith has been a regular collaborator with other members of his formidable generation: Chief Xian aTunde Adjuah (formerly known as Christian Scott), Kendrick Scott (no relation), Matthew Stevens, Ambrose Akinmusire, Eric Harland. On his latest, “Return to Casual,” Smith matches shapely, inventive forms with his own, by turns, bristling, pliant sound. And, come on, how many other post-bop tenor saxophonists have covered pop goddess Kate Bush (“Mother Stands for Comfort”)? Joining Smith for this show are Stevens (guitar), Harland (drums), pianist Kris Davis, and bassist Harish Raghavan. Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. $25-$30. Regattabar, Cambridge. 617-661-5070, regattabarjazz.com

PAT METHENY A protean musical inventor (of guitar sounds, of forms, even of musical instruments), Metheny assembled the solo-guitar “Dream Box” (released in April) from a collection of private recordings. What emerged was one of his most affecting works. For this “Dream Box”-themed show — which he says will be drawn from “all my solo records” — it will be fascinating to hear how he translates the intimacy (and subtle multi-tracking) of that record to the Wilbur — along with, perhaps, a bit of the explosive skronk of 1994′s “Zero Tolerance for Silence.” Sept. 21 at 7:30 p.m. $59-$125. Wilbur Theatre. 617-248-9700, thewilbur.com


Luciana Souza has shows this fall in Rockport and Boston. Kim Fox and Anna Webber

LUCIANA SOUZA The brilliant São Paulo-born singer and composer is featured in two area concerts this fall, with very different programs. First up, on Sept. 23, is her trio, with guitarist Chico Pinheiro and bassist Scott Colley, playing Souza’s poet-centered song cycles from her 2018 album “The Book of Longing” (Leonard Cohen) and the new “Twenty-four Short Musical Episodes” (Emily Dickinson). And next month she’ll be featured with Cuban-born composer and percussionist Dafnis Prieto’s band playing music from their 2022 collaboration, “Cantar,” with its original takes on traditional Afro-Latin forms and grooves. Sept. 23 at 8 p.m. $47-$65. Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport. 978-546-7391, www.rockportmusic.org. Oct. 28 at 8 p.m. $29-$75. Berklee Performance Center. 617-482-2595, celebrityseries.org


Joshua Redman (second from left) brings his band to the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport on Oct. 1.zack smith photography

JOSHUA REDMAN The current tour by this exciting performer will follow the release of “where are we,” on Sept. 15, with each of the songs making reference “to a specific geographical location (city or state or region) in the United States.” (Interesting mash-ups include Count Basie’s “Goin’ to Chicago” and Sufjan Stevens’s “Chicago.”) The band will include Redman on saxophones, pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Joe Sanders, drummer Brian Blade, and singer Gabrielle Cavassa. Another show, at the ICA, Sept. 29, is all but sold out, so don’t sit on this one. Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. $50-$72. Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport. 978-546-7391, rockportmusic.org

JAZZ ALONG THE CHARLES The Celebrity Series of Boston opens its fall season with a reprise of its 2018 jazz ramble — a free “walkable concert” with 25 local bands, comprising 100 musicians, stationed at various points along a 1.5-mile loop of the Charles River Esplanade, rain or shine. The repertoire this year consists of music composed (or popularized) by women, from Tracy Chapman and Esperanza Spalding to Nnenna Freelon and Donna Summer, as well as a newly commissioned work by Terri Lyne Carrington. Bands include those of Ana Petrova, Charlie Kohlhase, Greg Hopkins, Jason Yeager, Patricia Zárate Pérez, Rebecca Cline, as well as Women in World Jazz, and more. Oct. 7. from 2 to 4 p.m. Free. DCR Charles River Esplanade. 617-482-2595, celebrityseries.org


Charles Lloyd is both honoree and participant in his upcoming “85th birthday celebration” at Berklee Performance Center Oct. 15.D. Darr

CHARLES LLOYD Lloyd’s New Quartet (est. 2007) is still going strong, and so is the renowned tenor saxophonist/flutist and composer. Here he’s the honoree/participant of what’s being billed as an “85th birthday celebration.” The outstanding quartet includes pianist Jason Moran, bassist Reuben Rogers, and drummer Eric Harland. Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. $39-$95. Berklee Performance Center. 617-482-2595, celebrityseries.org

BILL FRISELL/AMBROSE AKINMUSIRE In perhaps the best double-bill of the season, modern jazz guitar sage Bill Frisell joins forces with the equally gifted next-gen trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire. First up will be Frisell’s quartet, with guitarist Tony Scherr, bassist Thomas Morgan, and drummer Rudy Royston. Then Akinmusire will front his Owl Song, with Frisell and the great New Orleans drummer Herlin Riley. Oct. 19 at 8 p.m. $59.94-$80.38. Groton Hill Music Center, Groton. 978-486-9524, grotonhill.org

BILLY HARPER One of the pleasures of seeing the hard-bop flag-wavers the Cookers at Scullers over the past few years has been getting a chance to hear the charismatic, soul-stirring tenor saxophonist Billy Harper. The Houston-born Harper became a lion of the New York scene not too long after his arrival in 1966, playing with Gil Evans, Art Blakey, Lee Morgan, and Randy Weston, and in a long stint with Max Roach. His big, focused sound, with its bluesy warmth, said “Texas tenor,” but with a spiritual glow that was all his own. For this show he brings his quintet, his first Boston bandleading gig in memory. Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. $40-$115. Scullers Jazz Club. 617-562-4111, scullersjazz.com


KALIA VANDEVER/BRUNO RÅBERG/JONAH PARZEN-JOHNSON This Mandorla Music concert brings together Vandever, an exciting trombonist and composer from Brooklyn with a mesmerizing new solo album, “We Fell in Turn”; esteemed Boston musician Råberg, who this year released his first solo-bass album, the rhythmically and melodically rich “Look Inside”; and Chicago-born Parzen-Johnson, a baritone saxophonist and flutist whose introspective solo performances are informed with a distinct undercurrent of funk. Expect three solo sets and possibly a three-way free improv. Oct. 21 at 8 p.m. $15-$20. Eliot Hall, Jamaica Plain. 617-877-0428, mandorlamusic.net

Brad Mehldau brings his trio to Berklee Performance Center Nov. 18.David Bazemore/David Bazemore Photo

BRAD MEHLDAU TRIO In all his various ventures as composer and player, nothing is more central to Brad Mehldau’s musical voice than the trio format, which allows for not only complex inner tensions but also uninhibited flow and lyricism. Mehldau is joined here by his longtime trio-mates, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard. Nov. 18 at 8 p.m. $40-$79. Berklee Performance Center. 617-876-4275, globalartslive.org

Jon Garelick can be reached at garelickjon@gmail.com.