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Countdown: Where To Go & What To Hear In NEO, March 7 – 13

Artemis (clockwise from bottom left:) Nicole Glover, Allison Miller, Noriko Ueda, Ingrid Jensen and Renee Rosnes)

Friendly Experiencers,

Oops!…I did it again! Last week came and went without a Countdown, and it was a big week of shows, too. Once again, real life intervened (TLDR: we’re preparing to move). Mea culpa, But on to the good news: an early spring efflorescence of musical excellence, and all in the next seven days. Just look at this lineup!

Maxophone Quintet wsg Caitie Hiatt, Thursday, March 6, 7:30 p.m., Treelawn Social Club, 15335 Waterloo Rd., Cleveland

When you look closely enough at a regional music scene you often discover a tessellation of smaller scenes. Thursday night offers a progress report on a particularly interesting one. Max Schlenk, a rangy and voluble saxophonist has gathered a crew including trumpeter Garrett Folger, guitarist Jonah Ferguson, Taylor Arbogast on bass and drummer Jeremy McCabe. They’re young, but they have quickly caught the ears of Northeast Ohio’s most seasoned and respected musicians. Playing with the elders requires a certain level of deference and respect, but at the Treelawn, they’ve got the keys to the car, Only time will tell of this bunch becomes an NEO version of the early 1980s Young Lions. For now, though, they are most certainly cats. Expect an exhilarating ride.

Bobby Selvaggio with the Theron Brown Trio, Friday, March 8, 8 p.m., BLU Jazz+, 47 E. Market St., Akron

Because Bobby Selvaggio has a recording, stories, dreams, inspirations: for my boy, coming out April 11 (more about that here soon), chalk up his recent ubiquity on the scene to being in new release mode. Or maybe it’s just the saxophonist and educator’s customarily torrid energy level, the same one with which he devours the changes of an uptempo swinger. Expect him to do a lot of that Friday night, especially because the peerless rhythm section of pianist Theron Brown, Jordan McBride on bass and drummer Zaire Darden can match anything Selvaggio throws at them and then some. Does BLU Jazz+ have espresso on the menu? If so, you might want to demur. This band will supply all the liquid energy any jazz fan could want.

3D Jazz Trio, Saturday, March 9, 8 p.m., Lakeland Community College, 770 Clocktower Dr., Kirtland

March is Women’s History Month, but it doesn’t take a special occasion to appreciate the buoyant swing and thoroughgoing professionalism of the 3D Jazz Trio. In May, drummer Sherrie Maricle, bassist Amy Shook and Cleveland’s own Jackie Warren on piano will celebrate a decade of musical give and take since coming together at the Cleveland Playhouse as the rhythm section of the DIVA Jazz Orchestra backing the late dancer Maurice Hines. Driving a big band builds muscles like a musical leg day, but these three can tiptoe their way through a ballad with a finesse that Hines might have envied. The honor of serving as headliners of the 52nd annual Lakeland Jazz Festival is richly deserved.

Artemis, Wednesday, March 13, 7:30 p.m., Oberlin College Finney Chapel, 90 N. Professor St., Oberlin

And while we’re on the subject of all-female supergroups, look who’s coming to Oberlin next week. Artemis is the Blue Note Records all-star band of tenor saxophonist Nicole Glover, trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, drummer Allison Miller, pianist and musical director Renee Rosnes and bassist Noriko Ueda. To list their many musical collaborations would be as unnecessary as it would be impressive; when it comes to ensemble cohesion, instrumental mastery and unimpeachable chops, these five players create their own standard of reference. And if you can’t make the Wednesday night gig, you might want to stop in for a latte at Cat in the Cream at noon on Tuesday where you can catch a short performance and presentation followed by a Q&A led by members of the Crimson Collective.

I couldn’t live without Jim Szabo’s essential, weekly Northeast Ohio jazz calendar , NEO’s most complete list of jazz and jazz-adjacent events. If you haven’t visited it lately, what are you waiting for?

NOTE: This article was written by a real human being. No artificial intelligence or generative language models were used in its creation.

Red beans and ricely yours,