L.A. previews March 17-23: John 5, Zucchero, Joey DeFrancesco, Joshua White, Madeleine Peyroux & Rickie Lee Jones, Josh Nelson, Elliott Caine, Havok, Otep, Rozamov.

Fri. March 17 -- Humping the new "Season of the Witch," John 5 & the Creatures shred the wildest, most proficient combination of metal, bluegrass and alien crustacean music on the planet. With Stateline Empire, Dioxide, Quantum, Power Tribe. At the Whisky, 8901 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood 90069; doors 7pm; $20; (310) 652-4202; www.whiskyagogo.com.

Fri. March 17 -- Italian pop megastar Zucchero has the soulful voice, the rhythmic/emotional songs and the polished production, as witnessed once again with his new "Black Cat." Classic rock that Yanks don't know about. At the Saban Theater, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills 90211; 8pm; $38-$68; 18+; www.ticketmaster.com.

Fri.-Sat. March 17-18 -- Seasoned Philly organ man Joey DeFrancesco rolls that Hammond the way it's sposed ta be. Sings and blows trumpet, too. And played with Miles & MahaJohn, don't ya know. At Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood 90028; 8:30 & 10:30pm; $25-$30; (323) 466-2210; www.catalinajazzclub.com.

Sat. March 18 -- Pianist Joshua White updates the 1965 spiritjazz tradition the way few can, here with a dreadnaught trio featuring bassist Dean Hulett and boomknockin drummer Gene Coye. At the Blue Whale on the third level of Weller Court Plaza, south of East First Street between South Los Angeles Street and South San Pedro Street, Little Tokyo 90012; 9pm-midnight; $15; 21+; parking $9 underneath off Second Street at the sign of the P in a circle; (213) 620-0908; www.bluewhalemusic.com.

Sat. March 18 -- A coupla more-than-established jazz/pop singers, Madeleine Peyroux & Rickie Lee Jones, team up to tackle whatever they feel like, from "As Time Goes By" to unexpected quirks like David Essex's "Rock On," to which they do credit. At Cal State L.A.’s Luckman Fine Arts Complex, 5151 State University Drive, L.A. 90032; 8pm; $20-$50; (323) 343-6600; www.luckmanarts.org.

Sun. March 19 -- Angel City Jazz's head-turning Jazz Night presents another platter o' diversity with coolly rooted pianist Josh Nelson, the nonet of violist Eyvind Kang, and Mike Lockwood's spare & perky septet Bonepocket. At Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd. near Alvarado, LA 90057; 8pm; $10; 21+; www.bootlegtheater.org.

Sun. March 19 -- Trumpeter Elliott Caine blows just soft enough to get you to order that second drink, and just hard enough to keep you awake. At the York Bar and Restaurant, 5018 York Blvd., Highland Park 90042; 7:30-10pm; no cover; (323) 255-9675.

Sun. March 19 -- Thrash to the max: Denver's Havok, L.A.'s perseverant Warbringer and omnipresent locals Exmortus, plus Ophiuchus, Trimortis, Infierno. At the Whisky, 8901 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood 90069; doors 6:30pm; $20; (310) 652-4202; www.whiskyagogo.com.

Mon. March 20 -- Charismatic changeling Otep rallies the disenfranchised with her hard-edged, imaginitive rock. With The World Over, Disrupted Euphoria, Midnight Nightmare. At the Whisky, 8901 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood 90069; doors 7pm; $20; (310) 652-4202; www.whiskyagogo.com.

Wed. March 20 -- Boston doomsters Rozamov rock slower than you sleepwalk. With Deathkings, The Rare Breed. At Complex, 806 E. Colorado St., Glendale 91205; doors 8pm; $10; 21+; full bar; www.complexla.com; (323) 642-7519.

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Read Don Heckman’s jazz picks here. Read John Payne's plutonic Bluefat.com here. Read Brick Wahl's noirish music commentaries here.