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    Summer Arts Preview

    Jazz picks: From Cape Ann to Newport, showcases for masters and upstarts

    Pat Metheny plays the Shalin Liu Performance Center on May 22-23.
    MARCIAL GUILLEN/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock/file
    Pat Metheny plays the Shalin Liu Performance Center on May 22-23.

    Pat Metheny Summer jazz gets off to an early start in Rockport with the 2018 NEA Jazz Master playing solo guitar both nights at the Shalin Liu Performance Center (which he’ll follow with a sold-out set at the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River). And Metheny isn’t the only big name coming to Cape Ann early in the season: Bobby McFerrin and Christian McBride arrive on June 2 and 7, respectively. May 22-23. $85-$115. Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport. 978-546-7391,

    Dave Douglas-Elan Mehler Sextet Co-leaders Douglas and Mehler each oversee innovative subscription-based record labels (Greenleaf Music and Newvelle Records, respectively). They’ll join forces at Scullers, with vocalist Dominique Eade, saxophonist John Gunther, bassist Simón Willson, and drummer Dayeon Seok. Douglas is one of jazz’s elite trumpeters and composers, having cranked out 40-some albums as leader or co-leader. Pianist Mehler has a less extensive track record, but his recent release “TJ & The Revenge” features Bill Frisell on guitar and some of Mehler’s own growly vocals. May 23. $30. Scullers, Boston. 866-777-8932,

    Harold Mabern Trio Mabern, 83, is one of jazz’s most respected pianists. He learned his craft in clubs, paying special attention to Phineas Newborn Jr. in his native Memphis and Ahmad Jamal in Chicago. His sideman career included stints with Lionel Hampton, Betty Carter, Miles Davis, and Lee Morgan. (Mabern was in the band the night Morgan was fatally shot at Slugs’ Saloon in 1972.) A longtime adjunct faculty member at William Paterson University, Mabern now often works with his former student Eric Alexander and the rhythm section he’ll have with him at Scullers, bassist John Webber and drummer Joe Farnsworth. May 31. $30. Scullers, Boston. 866-777-8932,


    Cambridge Arts River Festival Stellar Boston-based musicians will perform three afternoon sets on the Jazz, R&B, & World Music stage. Laszlo Gardony opens with a solo piano set. Next comes the Kevin Harris Project, with pianist Harris leading an octet in putting the words of James Baldwin to music. The Musical Legacy of John Coltrane, produced by Gardony and saxophonist Bill Pierce, doubles as a tribute to Leonard Brown, the late Northeastern professor who helped launch the annual John Coltrane Memorial Concert in 1977. June 1. Free. Massachusetts Avenue and Sidney Street, Cambridge. 617-349-4380,

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    Joel Ross/GOOD VIBES Vibraphonist Ross, 23, newly signed to Blue Note Records, released his debut album as a leader, “KingMaker,” on May 3. But he’d already been a sideman on several high-profile releases in 2018: Makaya McCraven’s “Universal Beings,” Walter Smith III and Matthew Stevens’s “In Common,” James Francies’s “Flight,” and Marquis Hill’s “Modern Flows, Vol. 2.” Ross’s own recording, featuring his similarly young and aptly named Good Vibes quintet (Immanuel Wilkins, alto sax; Jeremy Corren, piano; Benjamin Tiberio, bass; Jeremy Dutton, drums), reveals his maturity as a composer and bandleader. June 6. $30. Scullers, Boston. 866-777-8932,

    Yoko Miwa Trio A frequent performer around town at venues such as Les Zygomates and The Mad Monkfish, Yoko Miwa will celebrate the release of her lovely new trio album, “Keep Talkin’,” at the Regattabar. Assuming Miwa and crew (bassist Will Slater and drummer Scott Goulding) stick with what’s on her album, that means a mix of the pianist’s originals and covers of classics by Thelonious Monk (“In Walked Bud”), Charles Mingus (“Boogie Stop Shuffle”), Joni Mitchell (“Conversation”), and John Lennon and Paul McCartney (“Golden Slumbers/You Never Give Me Your Money”). June 7. $25. Regattabar, Cambridge. 617-393-7757,

    Catherine Russell This brilliant vocalist has sung at least one Midnight Ramble with Levon Helm and appeared on more than 200 albums as a lead or backup singer. But she also has an outstanding jazz pedigree, with parents who performed with the likes of Louis Armstrong and Mary Lou Williams, and she earned a Grammy nomination for best jazz vocal album for her 2016 release “Harlem on My Mind.” Russell’s seventh solo studio album, “Alone Together,” released in March, puts new spins on old tunes by composers ranging from Irving Berlin and Jimmy Van Heusen to Nat Cole and Louis Jordan. June 8. $35. Scullers, Boston. 866-777-8932,

    Jeremy Pelt Quintet Trumpeter Pelt is featured on the June cover of DownBeat magazine for his new album, “Jeremy Pelt The Artist,” which opens with a five-part suite inspired by the French sculptor Auguste Rodin. That could add resonance for those who caught the Rodin exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum three summers ago or who, like Pelt, have spent time in the Musée Rodin in Paris. On the album, the suite is fleshed out with guitar, marimba, and percussion. At Scullers, Pelt will be backed by vibraphonist Chien Chien Lu, pianist Victor Gould, bassist Richie Goods, and drummer Allan Mednard. June 14. $30. Scullers, Boston. 866-777-8932,


    Newport Jazz Festival Yes, there will be big stars old and new: Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Billy Hart, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Terence Blanchard, Christian McBride, Ravi Coltrane, The Bad Plus, Jon Batiste, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Kamasi Washington, Sons of Kemet, the hip-hop and movie star Common, et al. But there will also be hardcore hard bop from Ralph Peterson and The Messenger Legacy, with Peterson and fellow Jazz Messenger alumni Bobby Watson, Bill Pierce, Brian Lynch, Geoff Keezer, and Essiet Essiet celebrating the late great Art Blakey and their own new two-CD release, “Legacy Alive.” Aug. 2-4. One-day tickets, $69-$79; two-day, $145; three-day, $170; discounted tickets for students and children. (Friday night show at International Tennis Hall of Fame, $50-$110.) Fort Adams State Park, Newport, R.I. 401-848-5055,

    Rockport Jazz Festival The summer’s jazz highlights end where they began, with a weeklong festival in August. Guitar great John Scofield’s trio with Steve Swallow and Bill Stewart leads off on Aug. 4. Subsequent nights will see the Creole jazz of trumpeter Etienne Charles (Aug. 7), vocalist Kat Edmondson (Aug. 8), pianist Aaron Diehl (Aug. 9), and the pre-war swing of the Hot Sardines (Aug. 10). The fest concludes with two shows on Aug. 11: a matinee trio performance led by two-time Grammy-winning drummer Ulysses Owens Jr., and Jack DeJohnette’s trio with Ravi Coltrane and Matt Garrison that same evening. Aug. 4-11. $26-$79. Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport. 978-546-7391,

    Bill Beuttler can be reached at