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Ambrose Akinmusire 

When: Tue., Sept. 14, 8 p.m. 2010
Price: $18

Were he born in a different era, Berkeley High alum Ambrose Akinmusire could have easily been a Bird or a Diz. He's one of the most promising trumpeters of his generation, an adroit technician and an omnivorous listener -- his CD deck includes everything from Bach to Imogean Heap to The Foreign Exchange. After winning the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition and the Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition within a week of each other, he moved to New York, cut an album on Barcelona's Fresh Sound label, and ultimately signed with Blue Note. Akinmusire returns to his hometown this Tuesday, Sept. 14, with saxophonist Walter Smith III and a fierce rhythm section -- fellow Berkeley High emeritus Justin Brown will play drums. Their music is challenging, but it swings. At OaklandYoshi's (510 Embarcadero). 8 p.m., $18. Yoshis.com

— Rachel Swan

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