A&E Pick of the Week

It is a very good time to be a Seattle jazz fan. Sure, our homegrown artists and labels are stacking Grammy nominations, our high school jazz bands are always killing it and we have historic John Coltrane recordings just lying around. But right now — like, literally, starting this week — it is a particularly good time to be a jazz lover in the 206.

Around this time each year (pandemics aside), Portland nonprofit PDX Jazz lines up nearly two weeks worth of stellar jazz shows for its annual Biamp PDX Jazz Festival. Good news for us is that Seattle basically gets an unofficial jazz fest of its own, as many of those artists make their way up I-5 as long as they’re in the Northwest (long way back to NYC, after all).

This year, we miss out on a few top draws, including sax great Gary Bartz and young hotshot Immanuel Wilkins, who was here a few months ago. But there’s plenty to get excited about, including the gigs listed below. (Check websites for coronavirus policies.)

So thanks, Portland, for giving us this piggyback “festival.” Hopefully we return the favor when Earshot Jazz Festival lures a similar battalion of talents to our mossy corner in the fall.

Makaya McCraven

Without checking the diploma on the self-proclaimed “beat scientist’s” wall, the combination of mastery and curiosity the inventive drummer/producer brings to his sharply focused projects is downright scholarly. But that’s not to say anything the hip-hop-savvy jazzman touches feels overly rigid or academic. Especially on “Deciphering the Message,” McCraven’s latest remix project shaking up classics from Blue Note Records’ esteemed catalog, as Madlib did years ago with “Shades of Blue.” (Or more recently, “Shades of Flu,” a pandemic mixtape from Seattle’s own Kassa Overall). 8 p.m. Feb. 21; Neptune Theatre, 1303 N.E. 45th St.; $23; stgpresents.org

The Soul Rebels

Just in time for Mardi Gras, the New Orleans brass band ventures north for a Fremont throwdown. The tuba-thumping ensemble is known for blending NOLA’s rich second-line tradition of parading brass bands, with contemporary hip-hop and pop music, capable of shaking loose the most deeply rooted wallflowers. 8 p.m. Feb. 23; Nectar Lounge, 412 N. 36th St., Seattle; $25-$30; nectarlounge.com


Kandace Springs with Sasha Berliner

Ever graceful vocalist Kandace Springs — who wields an airy mix of jazz and neo-soul on her newly released “My Name is Sheba” LP — isn’t part of the Portland fete. But thanks to the Rose City bash, her four-night stand at Jazz Alley turns into a double whammy with ace vibraphonist and composer Sasha Berliner coming up to open. 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24-27, and 9:30 p.m. Feb. 25-26; Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave., Seattle; $36.50; jazzalley.com

James Brandon Lewis and Chad Taylor

Rising sax star James Brandon Lewis led his superb Red Lily Quartet to one of last year’s most critically acclaimed jazz albums, “Jesup Wagon,” which pays tribute to the legacy of agricultural scientist George Washington Carver. This time, Lewis hits Seattle with frequent collaborator/Red Lily drummer Chad Taylor, with whom he also cut the kinetic duo album “Radiant Footprints” a few years back. 8 p.m. Feb. 26; Chapel Performance Space, fourth floor of Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N., Seattle; $10-$20; earshot.org

Robert Glasper

One of the heaviest hitters to ever walk the line between jazz and hip-hop comes to Seattle two days after releasing his anticipated “Black Radio III” — the third installment of his landmark series melding jazz, hip-hop and R&B. The decorated pianist is up for a pair of Grammys this spring, with his Dinner Party supergroup and a Leon Bridges collab. With “Black Radio III,” Glasper similarly recruits A-list contributors, including his fellow Soulquarians, the neo-soul collective that’s been pushing sonic boundaries for more than two decades. 8 p.m. Feb. 27; Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave., Seattle; $50-$60; stgpresents.org

Other Biamp PDX Jazz Festival participants coming to Seattle:

● Marc Ribot, 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Feb. 19, Triple Door, $20-$25.

● Diane Schuur, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19, Vashon Center for the Arts, $55-$70.

● Diane Schuur, 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Feb. 21, Triple Door, $28-$35.

● MNDSGN, 6:30 Feb. 21, Madame Lou’s, $25.

● Eric Krasno + Son Little, Feb. 22, Nectar Lounge, $32-$35.

● Nate Smith + Kinfolk, Marquis Hill opens, 8 p.m. Feb. 23, Neptune Theatre, $25-$28.

● Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25, Crocodile, $35.