Randy Weston

They don't get much more authentic than this NYC-based piano player. Weston's oft-Afro-centric jams are smart, soulful and lots of fun. 

Esperanza Spalding 

She's a hometown girl and she just won a Grammy. Dang! Two weeks ago you were still calling her "Esmerelda," weren't you? Pretty damn savvy of the Jazz Fest to book her just before she took over the world.

Nik Bärtsch

Dude calls all of his (sprawling, experimental) songs "Modul 1," "Modul 2," etc., all with a number attached to them. Is that not reason enough to see him?!

Maceo Parker / Regina Carter

You really want us to choose between a great jazz violinist and a longtime James Brown sideman? No chance—we choose both.

The Three Cohens

Anat, Avishai and Yuval hit the Crystal Ballroom together in what should prove to be a wicked triple bill. The only way this gets better is if Leonard drops by for a surprise visit.

SEE IT: The Portland Jazz Festival runs Feb. 18-27 at various venues. See music calendar, page 41, or see pdxjazz.com for details.