Summer jazz picks

The Roots’ Questlove (left) and Black Thought will perform at the Newport Jazz Festival.
Jack Plunkett/Invision/AP
The Roots’ Questlove (left) and Black Thought will perform at the Newport Jazz Festival.

NOAH PREMINGER The 30-year-old Canton, Conn., native (now living in Newton) spent his 20s moving from albums of provocative multi-hued originals and covers (Dave Matthews, an unabashed take on “Tomorrow” from “Annie”) to, more recently, deep explorations of the blues. Along with Melissa Aldana, he has the most distinctive tenor saxophone sound of his generation — big, warm, detailed. He’s celebrating the release of his latest, “Meditations on Freedom” (including covers of Sam Cooke, Bob Dylan, Bruce Hornsby, and George Harrison as well as originals like “The 99 Percent” and “Women’s March”) with his band from the album: trumpeter Jason Palmer, bassist Kim Cass, and drummer Ian Froman. May 18 at 8 p.m. Tickets: $25-40. Scullers Jazz Club, Boston. 617-562-4111,

JOEY DEFRANCESCO/GRACE KELLY Hammond B-3 specialist Joey DeFrancesco’s most obvious antecedent is the instrument’s pioneer, Jimmy Smith, but DeFrancesco’s latest CD, “Project Freedom,” with its explicit agenda and titles like “Karma” and “Peace Bridge” (and covers of John Lennon and Sam Cooke) suggests the progressive reach of Larry Young. DeFrancesco’s quartet, the People, shares the evening with Boston favorite Grace Kelly and that singer/saxophonist’s band. A DeFrancesco/Kelly finale is promised. June 3 at 8 p.m. Tickets: $28.50-$48.50. The Cabot, Beverly. 866-811-4111,

MICHAEL GREGORY JACKSON Jackson emerged as part of the ’70s and ’80s avant-garde with the likes of Oliver Lake, Anthony Davis, and David Murray and eventually reached into the worlds of R&B and pop in collaborations with Nile Rodgers and Steely Dan’s Walter Becker. At his best, he’s both a provocative singer-songwriter and an incendiary electric guitarist. He’s joined by bassist Keith Witty. June 10 at 8 p.m. Tickets: $20. Third Life Studio, Somerville. 617-615-9467,


TIERNEY SUTTON BAND Singer Sutton and her band have a knack for turning contemporary pop into real jazz, with their distinctive musical stamp. (Check the mash-up of the Police’s “Driven to Tears” and Miles Davis’s “So What,” from their current project, “The Sting Variations.”) The other members of this resolutely cooperative venture are pianist Christian Jacob, bassist Trey Henry, and drummer Ray Brinker. June 22 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $35. Regattabar, Cambridge. 617-395-7757,

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ROBERT GLASPER EXPERIMENT Keyboardist Glasper, who is just as compelling with an acoustic trio, broke through to a wider audience with his Experiment, in recordings with high-profile guest vocalists like Erykah Badu. But the stripped-down Experiment is something to see on its own, with the Vocoder stylings of singer and alto saxophonist Casey Benjamin and Glasper’s uncanny J Dilla-inspired hip-hop grooves, abetted by bassist Derrick Hodge and either Chris Dave or Mark Colenburg on drums. June 23 at 9 p.m. Tickets: $25. The Sinclair, Cambridge. 617-547-5200,

BLACK ART JAZZ COLLECTIVE This collective of established leaders and rising stars digs into original, fine-grained, exuberant takes on the hard-bop tradition. The players include trombonist James Burton, trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, saxophonist Wayne Escoffery, pianist Xavier Davis, bassist Vicente Archer, and drummer Jonathan Blake. June 29 at 8 p.m. Tickets: $30. Scullers Jazz Club, Boston. 617-562-4111,

PRESERVATION HALL JAZZ BAND This New Orleans ensemble, a longtime Bourbon Street staple, in its early days comprised players barely a generation younger than the folks who invented the genre. Now, after celebrating its 50th anniversary, the band is touring hard, still faithful to the tradition, informed by several wise elders (including octogenarian clarinetist Charlie Gabriel), but also by younger members like second-generation musical director Ben Jaffe. July 21 at 6 p.m. Tickets: $30-$33. Royale, Boston. 617-338-7699,

NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL The historic bash (b. 1954) once again attempts to cover every angle on the music — new, old, mainstream, avant-garde, pop crossover — thus serving as a kind of annual barometer of trends and overall health. This year you’ll find everything from Trombone Shorty and Rhiannon Giddens, Béla Fleck and Maceo Parker, to Vijay Iyer and Henry Threadgill, DJ Logic and the Roots, Benny Golson, Christian McBride (now the festival’s artistic director), and the Maria Schneider Orchestra. Aug. 4-6. Prices vary. International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino and Fort Adams State Park, Newport, R.I.


ROCKPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL Jazz is programmed throughout the summer at Rockport’s Shalin Liu Performance Center, but this weeklong series is particularly rich. It begins with the brilliant 27-year-old singer Cécile McLorin Salvant (Sunday) and continues with pianist Fred Hersch and his celebrated trio (Thursday); pianist/composer Danilo Pérez celebrating the 20th anniversary of his album “Panamonk,” with bassist Ben Street and drummer Lee Fish (Friday); singer-songwriter Paula Cole returning to her roots as a jazz singer (Saturday); the all-female Diva Jazz Orchestra (Sunday afternoon); and singer-guitarist John Pizzarelli performing with Daniel Jobim to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the classic collaboration between Frank Sinatra and Jobim’s grandfather, Antonio Carlos Jobim (Sunday evening). Aug. 6-13. Ticket prices vary; subscriptions available. Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport. Tickets: $47-$65. 978-546-7391,

JOSHUA REDMAN In this late-season offering from Rockport Music, saxophonist and composer Redman returns to his long-time rhythm section: pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Reuben Rogers, and drummer Gregory Hutchinson. Throughout his career, Redman, 48, has pursued music with intellectual curiosity and an ability to create onstage excitement without compromise. Aug. 26 at 8 p.m. Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport. Tickets: $49-$69. 978-546-7391,