Mariel Bildsten | via

Ok, it’s August. You’re probably reading this either in a state of undress, as close to the most powerful A/C in your house, or in a ghost town of an office, wondering how you ended up being the sole person at work not at the Shore right now. Productivity isn’t exactly the buzzword for the month, and that includes the local jazz scene – August is more a month for enjoying some local favorites in laid-back fashion before the season kicks back into full swing next month. But don’t doze off too hard – there’s more than a few shows worth getting up from your beach chair for.

Above all, make sure to carve out Aug. 19 for Matt Yaple’s invite-only @exuberance (just email him for the invite), when the intimate listening space will host legendary pianist and educator Ran Blake for a rare Philly appearance. The eccentric octogenarian has enjoyed a singular career stretching back more than half a century, including crossing paths with legends like Bill Evans, Ornette Coleman and Mary Lou Williams. He co-founded the New England Conservatory’s enormously influential “Third Stream” program with Gunther Schuller, laying the groundwork for the myriad crossings of jazz and classical music that have followed. Always ahead of the curve, Blake will pay homage to two of his strongest influences during this performance: the late, great singer Abbey Lincoln, and the genre of film noir, which has provided a dark, mysterious undercurrent to much of his music. [TIX / INFO]

For those who don’t feel like coming in from the sunshine to enjoy a little jazz, the Philadelphia Jazz Project is hosting a series of free lunchtime concerts at the Barnes Foundation throughout the summer. Percussionist Kevin Diehl and flautist Brother Wali pair up to kick the month off this Thursday, followed by saxophonist Lynn Riley on Aug. 9 and The Three Bones on Aug. 16, bringing together trombonists Dan Blacksberg, Frank Rein and Connor Przybyszewski. [TIX / INFO]

Meanwhile, up-and-coming NYC trombonist Mariel Bildsten will celebrate First Friday at the Barnes with her quartet. Part of a generation raised on instant access to the full arc of music history, Bildsten appears to reject her peers’ spectrum-spanning hybridity in favor of classic jazz and swing. [TIX / INFO]

The next night, the mighty Odean Pope will wield his ever-ferocious tenor at Chris’ Jazz Café. Anyone with even a glancing knowledge of Philly jazz should be familiar with Pope, from his formative days swapping ideas with a young John Coltrane, to his pioneering work with local fusion greats Catalyst, to his envelope-pushing encounters with the iconic Max Roach and on to his own powerhouse Saxophone Choir. For this occasion he’ll lead a quartet of Philly all-stars, featuring bassist Lee Smith, pianist Tom Lawton and drummer Craig McIver. [TIX / INFO]

That same weekend, the modern-day king of the jazz organ and carrier of the torch of that venerable Philly tradition, the great Joey DeFrancesco, will lead his trio for two nights over at South. Later on in the month, on Aug. 17 and 18, the club will host the rich baritone of singer Allan Harris, paying unlikely tribute to the gruff vocalese of Eddie Jefferson. He’ll be joined by saxophonist Richie Cole, a longtime member of Jefferson’s ensembles. [TIX / INFO]

On Aug. 12, Trombone Shorty will turn Penn’s Landing into New Orleans East. With his Voodoo Threauxdown festival, the artist also known as Troy Andrews will bring several of the Crescent City’s most notable artists to town: the range of brass band approaches will be vividly represented by the iconic Preservation Hall Jazz Band, the modern-leaning New Breed Brass Band, while legendary trumpeter Kermit Ruffins, percussionist and vocalist (and member of another familiar NOLA family) Cyril Neville and funky jam band Galactic will all be on hand for what’s sure to be a raucous day. [TIX / INFO]

Though she’s most often heard with the Philadelphia Blues Messengers, vocalist Lisa Chavous has long crisscrossed the city’s various scenes, working with avant-garde icons Byard Lancaster and Odean Pope, organ jazz greats Jimmy McGriff and Trudy Pitts, or local legends Pat Martino and Bootsie Barnes among countless others. At Germantown’s LaRose Jazz Club on Aug. 25, she’ll cross a few streams with a program called “Latin Jazz Meets Philly Soul & Blues. Saxophonist Lynn Riley will lead her Latin Jazz Ensemble featuring Puerto Rican vocalist Doris Munoz, while Chavous’ longtime Blues Messengers colleagues, harmonica player Larry Hambrecht and guitarist Kevin Joella, will head up a group of local heavy-hitters including saxophonist Robert Landham. [TIX / INFO]