What a wonderful world
The next best thing to hearing the legendary and dearly missed Louis Armstrong perform live is hearing a talented group of musicians playing his music in a venue built for aficionados.
Trumpeter Marcus Belgrave and his accompanying ensemble of Peter Siers, Charles Gabriel, Chris Smith, Dave Flanigan, Bill Meyer and Hugh Leal are just the group to tackle this enormous feat with their "Salute to Satchmo."
Over the years, Belgrave has performed with such jazz legends as Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Wynton Marsalis and Dizzy Gillespie, and is sure to dazzle and delight audiences with his renditions of Armstrong's beautiful, still-timely music.
Sunday, March 21, 2 p.m. Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, $22 to $39. 371-5656.
Just plain amazing
Songstress Cassandra Wilson is considered by many to be one of the finest jazz vocalists of her generation. A musician since the age of 9 and considered a professional not much later, Wilson's performed with Dave Holland, Abbey Lincoln, M-Base, New Air and Wynton Marsalis. Besides jazz and scat singing, Wilson has also deftly delved into the genres of acoustic blues, vintage country blues and folk.
Warning: Wilson releases albums infrequently, doesn't tour much and thus leaves her audience hopelessly addicted with little hope of quick reprieve. Catch her while you can, but don't blame me if she doesn't come around for a while.
Thursday, March 18, 7:30 p.m. Rossi's Blue Star Room, 90 S. 9th St. $39. 312-2828.