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Herrera’s latest ambition

Cuban-American pianist Nachito Herrera goes solo and workshops material for his third live disc at the Dakota, featuring a blend of works by George Gershwin and Ernesto Lecuona. Both tunesmiths were born at the turn of the 20th century (Gershwin in Brooklyn, Lecuona in Havana) and had an enormous impact of the culture of their respective countries by spanning classical, popular and nascent jazz styles. It’s an ambitious program that fits perfectly in Herrera’s wheelhouse. (7 p.m. Fri., Dakota, Mpls., $15-$20, dakotacooks.com)

Red 5 becomes seven

Bassist Chris Bates is a vital cog in at least a half-dozen excellent ensembles, but Red 5 is the band that best matches his rugged sensibility and ability to straddle post-bop and more knotty “outside” jazz. This iteration features drummer Davu Seru sitting in for Chris’ brother, JT Bates, with the instrumentation swollen to a sextet featuring four horns and a guitarist. (8:30 p.m. Sat., Black Dog, St. Paul, $10 suggested donation, saturdaynightjazzattheblackdog.info)

Evingson honors horns

Connie Evingson times her Jungle Theater gigs so that each feels special and yet familiar, with great care given to her concert themes. This time it’s “horn heroes,” expanding on the Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker material Evingson worked out with saxophonist Dave Karr to include songs in tribute to horn players — including tunes by Dave Frishberg, Charles Mingus and others. (4 & 7:30 p.m. Sun., Jungle Theater, Mpls., $30, jungletheater.com)

Two shots at a double threat

Benny Benack III is a double threat — a trumpeter and vocalist with a simpatico lively bent. There is plenty of Sinatra and a dollop of Harry Connick in his vocal delivery. And his crisp trumpet work is honed by a facility with standards of the big band and small ensemble variety. His debut album is chock-full of great sidemen — Ulysses Owens Jr., Joel Frahm, Emmet Cohen — and his arrangements are fresh. First he drops by Jazz Central. (7 p.m. Sun., Jazz Central, Mpls., $20, jazzcentralstudios.com). But the showcase gig will be at the Dunsmore Room with his working quartet. (7:30 p.m. Mon., the Dunsmore Room at Crooners, Fridley; $20, croonersloungemn.com)

Britt Robson