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Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra featuring Lavay Smith 

When: Wed., April 29, 8 & 10 p.m. 2009
Price: $10-$16

Yoshi's may be booking popular artists like rapper Mos Def and folk rocker Devendra Banhart, but it still occasionally harks back to the great jazz standard-bearers. On Wednesday, Apr. 29, the Oakland club (510 Embarcadero W.) will celebrate Duke Ellington's 110th birthday with a big-band tribute, led by San Francisco bassist and composer Marcus Shelby. An in-demand leader and sideman, Shelby has garnered praise for his eponymous Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra, which released the grand oratorio Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman in 2008. It's a two-disc set of original material with a phenomenal four-part vocal chorus, featuring Faye Carol as Harriet Tubman. Wednesday's tribute will pair Shelby's Orchestra with straight-ahead jazz singer Lavay Smith, plus saxophonists Jules Broussard and Howard Wiley, drummer Darrell Green, and trombonist Danny Armstrong. 8 p.m. ($16) & 10 p.m. ($10). Yoshis.com


— Rachel Swan

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