The Ballard Jazz Festival is a hot ticket next week, but three other shows should also tickle Northwest jazz fans.

Medeski, Martin & Wood, the grooving “indie jazz” trio that dragged the music kicking and screaming into the age of electronica, did an abrupt about face last year by going all acoustic with the album “Free Magic.”

Medeski points out in interviews that playing acoustically with his band mates Chris Wood (bass) and Billy Martin (drums) takes out some of the groove, but forces both musicians and audience to listen more closely. Nothing wrong with that.

The trio performs at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Kirkland Performance Center, 350 Kirkland Ave., Kirkland; $40 (425-828-0422 or

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The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra nods to the great Duke Ellington this week with an “early music”-style concert titled “Music of the Harlem Renaissance III: Duke Ellington’s ‘Reminiscing in Tempo.’ ” SRJO co-director Michael Brockman, who transcribed the show’s 12-minute title tune from the 1935 recording, will discuss excerpts along with co-director Clarence Acox. The performance will be done with the original Ellington instrumentation, including valve trombone, guitar and two bass fiddles.

(Next year, the SRJO performs a Mound City Blue Blowers program with original tissue paper and comb — just kiddin’.)

The SRJO performs at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Nordstrom Recital Hall, Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle (206-215-4747 or and at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Kirkland Performance Center, 350 Kirkland Ave., Kirkland (425-828-0422 or Tickets are $15-$41 and are available directly from the venues or from the SRJO (206-523-6159 or

Guitarist and composer Tom Baker has been producing outstanding work in Seattle for two decades, most notably the starkly beautiful chamber opera, “Hunger: The Journey of Tamsen Donner.” On Friday, as part of the Cornish Music Series, Baker kicks off a third decade here with a concert of all-new electronic music, including collaborations with dance and film.

The show’s at 8 p.m. Friday at Poncho Concert Hall, Cornish College of the Arts, 710 E. Roy St., Seattle; $10-$20 (800-838-3006 or

Paul de Barros: 206-464-3247 or