L.A. previews April 25-May 1: Rachelle Ferrell, Winard Harper, Nick Mancini, Wreck Your Neck Fest, John Heard, Grossman-Vlatkovich, Lee Konitz, Etran Finatawa, Dean Chamberlain.

Fri.-Sat. April 25-26 -- Dunno if Rachelle Ferrell is jazz (she’s just as much R&B), but the way her voice gooshes around a lyric and then leaps way up into the chandelier, hey, it’s got the improvisational thing. Writes all her own words and some of her music, too; got a groove like Sly. At Catalina’s, 8 & 10pm; $30-$40; (323) 466-2210; www.catalinajazzclub.com.

Fri. April 25 -- Drummer Winard Harper, formerly of the Harper Brothers, pilots a sextet in tribute to his old mentor Billy Higgins. At the Theater at 4305, 4305 Degnan Blvd., Leimert Park Village 90008; 8:30 & 10pm; (213) 952-4665; $20.

Fri. April 25 -- Vibesman Nick Mancini swings old-school, but with a modern edge. Crowds dig this guy, and so do I. At Café Metropol, 923 E. Third St., downtown 90013; 8pm; $10 cover, $10 minimum; (213) 613-1537; reservations recommended.

Sat. April 26 -- Wreck Your Neck Fest. Lotta local metal bands including Warbringer and Bonded by Blood. At the Black Castle, 855 W. Manchester Ave., L.A. 90044.

Sun. April 27 -- Equally adept as a bassist and a painter, John Heard holds a salon featuring both. The music half includes drummer Lorca Hart and pianist Danny Grissette. At the Theater at 4305, 4305 Degnan Blvd., Leimert Park Village 90008; 2pm; (213) 952-4665; $20.

Sun. April 27 -- Poetry & trombone. Call & response. S & M. Dorothea Grossman & Michael Vlatkovich. At Dangerous Curve Art Gallery, 1020 E. Fourth Pl., downtown 90013; 7pm; $10.

Tues.-Sat. April 29-May 3 -- Present at the birth of the cool but getting more abstract all the time: alto saxist Lee Konitz, with drummer Joe LaBarbera and bassist Matthew Brewer. At Jazz Bakery.

Tues. April 29 -- Fusion music that involves no rock, no jazz and no electricity: the Nigerian ensemble Etran Finatawa. It seems that musicians from two West African tribes, the Tuareg and the Wodaabe, have joined their traditions -- mainly instrumental on the one hand, mainly singing/dancing on the other. And I think you’re gonna like the soulfully grooving and desert-beautiful result; check it out here. 10:30pm, with Masanga Marimba Ensemble at 9:30pm. At Temple Bar, 1026 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica; $10; www.templebarlive.com.

Tues. April 29 -- Singer-guitarist Dean Chamberlain leads an electric trio. Hmm, where have we heard that before? But it’ll be rootsier this millennium. Dean opens for onetime X guitarist and all-around ‘billy blazer Tony Gilkyson, plus Dan Janisch, with some mixin’ & matchin’ along the way. At Cinema Bar, 3967 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City 90230; 7:30pm; (310) 390-1328; FREE.