New West Guitar Group: The Southern California-based ensemble of Perry Smith, John Storie and Jeff Stein plays an impressively original brand of jazz, one blending touches of Wes Montgomery and Pat Metheny with pop influences ranging from James Taylor to Radiohead. The group returns to Northern California in support of its new album, “Round-Trip Ticket.” 8 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 321 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $15-$18; also 8 p.m. Friday, 142 Throckmorton Theatre, 142 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley. $12-$20; 8 p.m. Saturday, Sonoma Community Center, 276 E. Napa St., Sonoma. $10.
Now, you really should go ahead and place these saxophone Shaped Wedding Cakes on a board or serving platter before you decorate it. You will not be able to move it once you decorate it or you will ruin it.
Poncho Sanchez: A top-flight percussionist, composer and band leader, Sanchez remains one of Latin jazz’s pioneering and most popular artists. 8 and 10 p.m.; also 5 and 7 pm. Sunday. Yoshi’s, 1330 Fillmore, San Francisco. $5-$25.
Using a variety of puppet sizes, Grey Seal Puppets perform three favorite folks tales from around the world with refreshing wit and wisdom: “The Frog Prince” from Germany, “Three Billy Goats Gruff” from Scandinavia and “The Three Little Pigs” from England.
Speaking of newspapers, the Mercury News’ Andrew Gilbert in previewing the series spoke with Mingus’ widow, Sue. Her thoughts on the man and his music are illuminating.
Morton found himself hit by the Great Depression as much as anyone else at the time. He was still trying to create hits and still having trouble. As such, he began having to play more and more live shows and at less and less respectable places. He managed to get a radio show on the air for a time in 1934, but he was still struggling.
Update: The “boy” just took his medical school entrance exams. He was deciding between majoring in music or medicine and came to the conclusion that a doctor can play jazz on weekends without a license, but jazzmen who play doctor on weekends get in trouble.