jazz

Organ Summit This Weekend At The Iridium Jazz Club

Photo by Jim Eigo- for the Grateful Web

ORGAN SUMMIT Featuring: Joey DeFrancesco, Reuben Wilson, Paul Bollenback, & Byron Landham.  Also, be sure to check out EVERY MONDAY LES PAUL AND HIS TRIO JOHN COLIANNI – PIANO - LOU PALLO – GUITAR, NICKI PARROTT - BASS.

IRIDIUM JAZZ CLUB
1650 BROADWAY (Corner of 51st)
NEW YORK, NY 10023
RESERVATIONS: 212-582-2121
http://www.iridiumjazzclub.com/
Sets At 8:30 & 10:30PM (Unless Otherwise Indicated)

Magos Herrera & Beat Kaestli @ Drom, Dec. 7th

Magos Herrera & Beat Kaestli- for the Grateful Web

Mexico's Magos Herrera is considered one of the most beautiful voices and the most active vocalist of the contemporary Latin American jazz scene and Esquire Magazine quotes "Beat Kaestli's emergence as a vocalist bespeaks a life full of experience. Like Jazz itself, his willingness to adapt and improvise has given rise to a unique young man and artist." Magos and Beat met in New York City a year ago and immediately felt a connection in each other's music and as artists in this vibrant Metropolis. Soon they performed as guests at each other's live shows and recordings. Now, Magos and Beat will bring their exciting mix of Jazz, R&B and Latin rhythms to Drom NYC, featuring vocal duets and songs from their current solo projects.

Magos Herrera:
A dazzling, accomplished singer-songwriter and known for her beguiling rhythmic scatting, inflected with soulful Latin-Andalusian phrasings, Magos Herrera is known for her signature sound that elegantly blends her classic jazz styling with Mexican, Cuban and Brazilian melodies. Based in NYC since 2007, she has recorded with Saxophonist Tim Ries for the Rolling Stones Jazz Project and for contemporary composer Paola Prestini for John Zorn label. For over 10 years Magos has performed in international arts centers, at festivals and concert halls such as Lincoln Center, NYC, Millennium Park in Chicago, Knitting Factory, Teatro de la Ciudad de Mexico, Sala Galileo and Galilei in Madrid among others.

Magos will be releasing her 6th CD spring 2009 featuring guitarist Lionel Loueke and pianist Aaron Goldberg produced by Tim Ries, saxophonist of The Rolling Stones.

Beat Kaestli:
Beat Kaestli moved to New York from his native country of Switzerland, receiving a scholarship to the Manhattan School of Music (BM) and graduating from the Aaron Copland School of Music with an MA in 2008. Since the release of his 2005 Jazz debut "Happy, Sad and Satisfied", he has toured the world and his unmistakable blend of Jazz, classical and contemporary vibes thrills audiences everywhere. In New York he has performed in renowned clubs, such as The Blue Note, Birdland, The Bitter End, The Jazz Standard, The Stone and Sweet Rhythm, performing with Jazz greats, like Esperanza Spalding, Clarence Penn, Joel Frahm and Victor Prieto.

Beat is now putting the finishing touches on his latest CD "Far From Home – Dedicated to European Song" scheduled to be released in 2009.

Magos Herrera and Beat Kaestli @ Drom, NYC

Sunday, December 7th at 9:30pm and 11pm

85 Avenue A, New York, 212-777-1157

Stryker/Slagle Band Monday Dec. 1st @ The Blue Note

Stryker/Slagle Band- for the Grateful Web

Here on their fourth release as co-leaders of a dynamic quartet, West Orange guitar ace Dave Stryker and NYC-based saxophonist Steve Slagle continue to mix the jazz tradition with the music's more forward-looking side. The results can be deep and bluesy one moment, more angular and abstract the next. As on Slagle's "Skee," a spunky, riff-built whose theme resolves warmly. Here, Slagle and guest tenorman Joe Lovano explore the tune's edges while Stryker comes in like a seasoned bluesman with his hearty remarks. The guitarist's title track is of a contemporary lyrical bent, as the leaders and bassist Jay Anderson wax song-like, modern-style, with drummer Victor Lewis creating colorful washes along with a stirring ride beat on his cymbals. Slagle's alluring "Six Four Teo" has a similar lyrical sense - with telling solos - but with a percolating 6/4 rhythm.

DAVE STRYKER guitar, STEVE SLAGLE alto and soprano sax, flute JAY ANDERSON bass, VICTOR LEWIS drums, SPECIAL GUEST JOE LOVANO

Stryker/Slagle Band 

Dave Stryker -guitar
Steve Slagle -sax
Jay Anderson - bass
Billy Hart -drums

Blue Note Jazz Club 
131 W. 3rd St
New York, NY 10012
212-475-8592

The Songwriter's Beat 8th Anniversary Concert

- for the Grateful Web

The Songwriter's Beat, New York's premiere night for performing songwriters, celebrates its eighth anniversary on December 6, 2008 at the renowned Cornelia Street Café in Greenwich Village, New York. Performers include: Ann Klein, Kismet Lyles, Chloe Temtchine and Songwriter's Beat founder Valerie Ghent. A free songwriting workshop will be offered in the afternoon.

Founded by singer-songwriter Valerie Ghent in 2000, The Songwriter's Beat has presented over 250 songwriters and hundreds of new songs. Performers include Broadway-bound Elisabeth Withers (The Color Purple), The Letterman Show's own Felicia Collins, the legendary Jimmy Norman ("Time Is On My Side"), Morley, rocker Patti RothbergJoe Bowie (Defunkt), violinist Deni Bonet (Cyndi Lauper), Haale, funk-metal bass extraordinaire T.M. Stevens, political satirist Roy Zimmerman, bluesman Michael Hill, Songwriter's Exchange members Michael Fracasso and Carolyn Mas, jazz singer Paulette McWilliams w/ Nat Adderly Jr., Christian artist Ginny Owens, cellist Stephanie Winters and hundreds more. Performers hail from NYC and the Tri-State area, as well as from across the USA, Canada, France, Germany, England, Ireland, Sweden, Australia, South Africa and Japan. Notable guests have included legendary songwriter-performer-producers Ashford & SimpsonSteve BuscemiLou Reed and record producers Orrin Keepnews and Mike Thorne.

The Songwriter's Beat supports songwriters and their creative process, providing an encouraging atmosphere for songwriters to try out their newest material and the opportunity to cross-pollinate with other writers and audiences. Featuring four up-and-coming artists of differing genres each month, over 500 new songs have been born over the years - thousands of new songs if you go back a few decades and include the Songwriter's Exchange, where Suzanne Vega got her start. The Songwriter's Beat culminates in the annual Songwriter's Beat Festival, featuring 25 songwriters in 6 nights every July. The Songwriter's Beat is delighted to begin its 9th year of supporting songwriters, bringing new songs to life and artists to new audiences.
 
What: Songwriter's Beat 8th Anniversary Concert

When: Saturday, December 6th, 2008

Time: 9:00pm

Who: Valerie Ghent, Ann Klein, Kismet Lyles, Chloe Temtchine

Where: Cornelia Street Café 29 Cornelia Street, New York, NY 10014 212.989.9319

Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio This Weekend At The Iridium Jazz Club

Dr. Lonnie Smith- for the Grateful Web

"Dr. Lonnie Smith is a phenomenal B3 burner who can light up a room with visceral intensity or lay down some of the nastiest funk ever played on an organ." Bill Milkowski in JazzTimes

IRIDIUM JAZZ CLUB
1650 BROADWAY (Corner of 51st)
NEW YORK, NY 10023
RESERVATIONS: 212-582-2121
http://www.iridiumjazzclub.com/
Sets At 8:30 & 10:30PM (Unless Otherwise Indicated)
Les Paul Sets Remain at 8:00 & 10:00PM

This Weekend At Cornelia Street Cafe NYC w/ John McNeil

John McNeil will play the Corneila Cafe- for the Grateful Web

Fri Nov 28 & Sat Nov 29
9:00PM & 10:30PM THE JOHN MCNEIL HARMONIC EXTRAVAGANZA! @ the Cornelia Street Cafe

(John McNeil, trumpet; Tom Beckham, vibraphone; Nate Radley, guitar; Mike McGuirk, bass)

The John McNeil Harmonic Extravaganza! - A THANKSGIVING TREAT!

After blowing your diet completely and spending yet another torturous holiday with family members you can't stand, you now have the opportunity to wipe the slate clean.  John McNeil's Harmonic Extravaganza is just the thing to erase the evil memories of Thanksgiving and to steel you against Yuletide challenges yet to come.

You see, this is no ordinary music; the chords and tonal colors generated by this band are specifically designed to resonate within your cerebral cortex and stimulate your pleasure centers with endorphins.  In other words, this band puts the "hip" in hippocampus, the "myg" in amygdala and removes the "dull" from medulla. It's like electroshock therapy without the drooling and loss of short-term memory.

Sun  Nov 30 
8:30PM ALEJANDRO FLÓREZ'S TIBAGUI

(Sam Sadigursky, clarinet, flute; Sebastián Cruz, tiple, guitar; Alejandro Flórez, bandola, tiple, guitar; Andreas Guarín, guitar; Pedro Giraudo, bass; Franco Pinna, drums, percussion)

Three unique acoustic guitars plus drums, bass, clarinet and flute, playing music that is rich in danceable rhythms, elaborate melodies and sophisticated harmonies, based on Colombian tradition but injected with a jazz ingredient full of improvisation, interaction and innovative character.

Mon  Dec 01 
8:30PM AMRAM & CO

(David Amram, piano, french horn, flutes, composition & surprises; Kevin Twigg, drums, glockenspiel; John de Witt, bass; Adam Amram, percussion; John Ventimiglia, actor)

David Amram Quartet, with Kevin Twigg, John Dewitt, Adam Amram, actor John Ventimiglia and surprise guests celebrating the publication of Amram's new book, "Upbeat: Nine Lives of a Musical Cat" classics of jazz, world music, spoken word and amram's compositions.

This series explores in his highly personable, generous and informal style the astonishing variety of David Amram's interests and accomplishments - renowned composer of symphonic classical music, jazz compositions, improvisation, spoken word, scat, he sits at the piano, schmoozes about music, about the greats, the beats, the obscure, the legendary; plays the French horn, pulls out all kinds of instruments (flutes, drums, horns) gathered from his many circumnavigations of the globe, pulls in guests drawn from just about every artistic walk of life.

National Jazz Museum in Harlem December Schedule

Heribe Nichols- for the Grateful Web

Coming off of its very successful November 25th 2008 Gala Fundraiser which raised over $200,000, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem spends December explores the variegated personalities and styles of jazz music through discussions with trombonist and experimental composer George Lewis, drummer Andrew Cyrille and pianist Larry Willis. 
 
Two special events leaven our free public programming this month. How Paris influenced the development of jazz is the topic of the first, whereas "Jews and Jazz" will delve into the intersection of Harlem, ethnicity, race, culture, business and the way jazz has served as a magnet for members of the Jewish community. A live performance promises to demonstrate musically the insights related in the discussion between musicians Yale Strom and Loren Schoenberg.
 
As a museum dedicated to codifying the grand legacy of the living art form of jazz, we believe it necessary to highlight the contributions of unsung contributors to the idiom. Our classes will delve into the musical legacies of three pianists curious listeners will be pleased to discover more about: Herbie Nichols, Andrew Hill, and the French virtuoso Martial Solal. 
 
The National Jazz Museum staff, board, and volunteers invite you to attend these free sessions, and to share the wealth and glory of this music to those closest to you in this holiday season.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Jazz for Curious Listeners

Deserving Wider Recognition: Herbie Nichols 
7:00 – 8:30pm
Instructor: Frank Kimbrough

Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300 or register online

Herbie Nichols is a perennially neglected jazz pianist and composer. He recorded less than half of his 170 compositions on three classic trio albums for Blue Note and one for Bethlehem before dying of leukemia at the age of 43 in 1963. He is often compared to Thelonious Monk, and his piano playing and compositions certainly do have some of the harmonic angularity people associate with Monk. But he had a very distinctive sound of his own, more melancholy and, for lack of a better word, poetic than Monk in many ways. In fact, Nichols was something of a poet, as the titles to his tunes suggest. And he was fully Monk's equal in the quality and individuality of his tunes. He is held in high critical esteem within jazz, although his tunes are still not widely recorded. Outside of jazz circles, the only tune of his anyone is likely to know is "The Lady Sings the Blues," which Billie Holiday set lyrics to and adopted for the title of her autobiography.

Nichols was born in New York in 1919 and died there forty-four years later. In the course of his brief life he was for a time an associate of Monk's, though to consequently call his music Monk-like is to do it a grave disservice. He played with, amongst others, Milt Larkin and Rex Stewart out of economic necessity. His own harmonically extraordinary music was no small distance removed from theirs. This is not to imply however that his music amounted merely to an academic exercise. As it was to be with Andrew Hill some years later, Blue Note records afforded Nichols an unprecedented opportunity to record his own music, and he made full use of it, as the three CD set of "The Complete Blue Note Recordings" shows. The music found here comes exclusively from his pen and it was recorded in a bout of concentrated recording activity between May 6, 1955, and April 19, 1956. It was all performed in the trio setting, and throughout Nichols plays with a variety of virtuosity that couldn't be included in any jazz curriculum. As a player he has capable not only of dark lyricism but also of writing melodies so harmonically adventurous that they can make the listener laugh out loud over their audacity.

Furthermore, his music was in a rhythmic league of its own, and Nichols was indeed fortunate in the drummers he worked with in his brief recording career these Blue Note sides find him in the company of both Art Blakey and Max Roach.

In his lifetime Nichols only put out four records under his own name, three for Blue Note and one for the even smaller Bethlehem label, this time in the company of Dannie Richmond, Charles Mingus's drummer of choice. This date offers listeners evidence of his way with a standard song or two.

The music of Herbie Nichols is undoubtedly an acquired taste. Whilst he plowed an individual furrow he did so with clarity of purpose and vision. The irony of it is that if he were alive today he would probably have to work outside of music in order to make a living. The passing of time has moved several steps away from the recording and marketing of music as idiosyncratic as his. As such, his life was and is a stark example of the gulf between art and commerce.

Our session will be led by Frank Kimbrough, a leader jazz composer who helped create the Herbie Nichols Project. Frank Kimbrough is a New York City based jazz pianist, educator, founding member and composer-in-residence of the Jazz Composers Collective (est. 1992). He has recorded as a leader for OmniTone, Palmetto, Soul Note, Igmod, and Mapleshade.  His most recent duo project with vibist Joe Locke is Verazzano Moon (OmniTone), recorded live in concert, which follows the duos previous OmniTone recordings, The Willow and Saturn's Child, and the Frank Kimbrough Trio (with Ben Allison and Jeff Ballard) recently made its OmniTone debut on the brilliant, live recording Quickening.

As a recipient of funding from Meet the Composer, Kimbrough's own compositions have been the focus of concerts presented by the Jazz Composers Collective, a musician-run, non-profit organization dedicated to presenting original music. These concerts have featured several groups led by Kimbrough, most notably his trio with bassist Ben Allison and drummer Jeff Ballard; and his Noumena group with guitarist Ben Monder, saxophonist Scott Robinson, and drummer Tony Moreno. He is also active in the realization of music composed by other members or guest composers of the Collective, including Ted Nash, Ben Allison, Ron Horton, Michael Blake, Eddie Gale, Joe Locke, Jon Gordon, and the Collective Big Band.

An authority on the music of the late pianist/composer Herbie Nichols, he was awarded a Jazz Performance Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts in 1995 to fund two concerts in New York City featuring 24 of Nichols' compositions as played by a dozen musicians in 16 different ensemble configurations. The Jazz Composers Collective's Herbie Nichols Project, with Kimbrough and Ben Allison as co-leaders, has toured the U.S., Portugal, Wales, The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, and England, and has documented its work with one CD for Palmetto (Strange City) and two CDs for Soul Note Records (Love Is Proximity), Dr Cyclops Dream.  Kimbrough has also written about Nichols' life and work for the journal O Papel do Jazz (Portugal), the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, and liner notes for The Complete Blue Note Recordings of Herbie Nichols.

Since 1993, Kimbrough has toured with the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra in the U.S., China, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Spain, The Netherlands, Italy, France, and Finland, as well as participating in her five-year (1993-98) residency on Monday nights at Visiones in Greenwich Village.  He also appears on her Grammy-nominated CD, Coming About, and contributed to Schneider's collaborations with the Pilobolus Dance Company in 1998 at the American Dance Festival, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Since 1996, Kimbrough has served on the faculty of New York University's Department of Performing Arts Professions, teaching jazz piano, improvisation, and leading student ensembles. He has conducted workshops at the Paris Conservatory (with Maria Schneider), Oxford University (with the Herbie Nichols Project), The New School, Berklee College of Music, Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, Indiana State University, the University of Iowa, the University of North Florida, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also served on the faculty of Cannon Music Camp at Appalachian State University from 1989-1996.
 
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Special Event
Paris and the Development of American Jazz: How the French Influenced American Jazz
6:30pm
Location: Museum of the City of New York
(1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd St. | get directions
$9 General admission, $5 Museum members, seniors, and students | Reservations: 212-534-1672 x3395

During the years between the world wars, a small but dynamic community of African American jazz musicians left the United States and settled in Paris, creating a vibrant expatriate musical scene and introducing jazz to the French. While the Harlem Renaissance was taking off across the Atlantic, entertainers such as Sidney Bechet, Ada "Bricktop" Smith, Django Reinhardt, and Josephine Baker were performing in Montmartre, the epicenter of the Parisian jazz scene.

Charles Hobson, filmmaker and contributor to Channel 13's Great Performances, will show excerpts from his forthcoming film Harlem in Montmartre based upon William A. Stack's bookHarlem In Montmarte: A Paris Jazz Story Between the Great Wars (University of California press, 2001) to be followed by a discussion between the filmmaker and jazz historian and author Jason Weiss.

Click for more information or to purchase tickets. 

Monday, December 8, 2008
Jazz for Curious Readers
George Lewis, Trombonist and Director of Columbia University's Center for Jazz Studies, in discussion with Jonathan Scheuer
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300 or register online

The recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship in 2002, an Alpert Award in the Arts in 1999, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, George Lewis studied composition with Muhal Richard Abrams at the AACM School of Music, and trombone with Dean Hey. A member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) since 1971, Lewis's work as composer, improvisor, performer and interpreter explores electronic and computer music, computer-based multimedia installations, text-sound works, and notated and improvisative forms, and is documented on more than 120 recordings. His published articles on music, experimental video, visual art, and cultural studies have appeared in numerous scholarly journals and edited volumes.

Professor Lewis came to Columbia in 2004, having previously taught at the University of California, San Diego, Mills College, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Simon Fraser University's Contemporary Arts Summer Institute. He has served as music curator for the Kitchen in New York, and has collaborated in the "Interarts Inquiry" and "Integrative Studies Roundtable" at the Center for Black Music Research (Chicago).His oral history is archived in Yale University's collection of "Major Figures in American Music." 

Lewis has worked closely with film/video artists Stan Douglas and Don Ritter, as well as with contemporary musicians such as Anthony Braxton, Anthony Davis, Bertram Turetzky, Count Basie, David Behrman, David Murray, Derek Bailey, Douglas Ewart, Evan Parker, Fred Anderson, Frederic Rzewski, Gil Evans, Han Bennink, Irene Schweizer, J.D. Parran, James Newton, Joel Ryan, Joelle Leandre, John Zorn, Leroy Jenkins, Michel Portal, Misha Mengelberg, Miya Masaoka, Muhal Richard Abrams, Richard Teitelbaum, Roscoe Mitchell, Sam Rivers, Steve Lacy and Wadada Leo Smith.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Jazz for Curious Listeners
Deserving Wider Recognition: Andrew Hill
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300 or register online 

Recognized by Blue Note Records' founder Alfred Lyon as his "last, great protégé," pianist Andrew Hill spent 40 years composing, performing, recording, and mentoring young musicians. Born in Chicago in 1931, Andrew Hill began teaching himself to play piano at age 10, and was later introduced to German composer and music theorist-in-exile Paul Hindemith. He started performing in 1952 with touring jazz musicians, including Charlie Parker, Dinah Washington, Coleman Hawkins, and Miles Davis.

He moved to New York in 1961 and shortly thereafter was contracted by Alfred Lyons at Blue Note Records as a leader and a sideman, producing his early classics for the label, such as Point of Departure and Black Fire. Hill's Blue Note sessions with acclaimed musicians such as Eric Dolphy, Kenny Dorham, John Gilmore, Roy Haynes, Joe Henderson, and Elvin Jones cemented his reputation as a musician and composer of some renown.
Hill served as composer-in-residence at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York from 1970-72. In California, he performed in concert and taught classes at public schools and social service institutions before becoming an associate professor of music at Portland State University, where he established the successful Summer Jazz Intensive. He also performed and taught at Harvard and Wesleyan universities, among others.

He returned to New York City in the 1990s, reestablishing himself as a pianist, ensemble leader, and composer. In 2000, Hill released "Dusk," a song cycle loosely based on Jean Toomer's 1923 book Cane, with yet another phenomenal band. The album brought him to the attention of and garnered him acclaim from a larger jazz audience, claiming a place on best-album-of-the-year lists with Fortune Magazine, San Diego Union Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, JazzTimes, and Down Beat.

The new attention led to reissues of his classic Blue Note recordings of the 1960s and new issues of some previously unreleased recordings from that time period. One of the most interesting was Passing Ships, a previously unknown nonet recording that prefaced his big band recording in 2002, A Beautiful Day, by more than 30 years. In 2003, he received the prestigious Danish award, the JAZZPAR Prize.  And just this year, Joyous Shout Records released a 1993 duet collaboration between Hill and drummer Chico Hamilton. Liner notes writer Gene Santoro: "How they prod and jab and lure each other, is a marvel to hear."

Thursday, December 11, 2008
Harlem Speaks

Andrew Cyrille, Drummer/educator
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300

Andrew Cyrille was born in Brooklyn, NY. As well as studying privately, he attended the Juilliard and Hartnett schools of music. He has performed with jazz artists ranging from Coleman Hawkins, Illinois Jacquet and Mary Lou Williams to Kenny Dorham, Muhal Richard Abrams, Horace Tapscott, John Carter, Mal Waldron and David Murray. In 1964 he formed and association with pianist Cecil Taylor that would last for 11 years. He played drums for many notable dancer-choreogrphers from the mid to late 1960's.

He was artist-residence and teacher at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio from 1971 to 1973. Cyrille has also taught at the Graham Windham Home for Children in New York. He is currently a faculty member at the New School University (formally The New School for Social Research) in New York City. His sterling work has earned him a number of grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and Meet the Composer, including a commission to create a new work for the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Company in 1990. In 1999, he received a Guggenheim Fellowship for composition.

Starting in 1969, Cyrille began to organize the first of several percussion groups, including Dialogue of the Drums, Pieces of Time, and Weights and Measures. Some of the distinguished artists who played in these groups were Kenny Clark, Milford Graves, Famoudou Don Moye, Michael Carvin and Obo Addy. Starting in 1988 through the present time, he has toured and performed here and abroad with the renowned Russian percussionist, Vladimir Tarasov.

In 1975, Cyrille formed a band called Maono (feelings) featuring various instrumental voices determined by his compositions. He is a member of Trio 3 featuring alto saxophonist, Oliver Lake and bassist, Reggie Workman. Also, from time to time, he leads another group called Haitian Fascination, playing music inspired by the musical tradition from Haiti. Within the past several years, he has been collaborating and working with musicians such as saxophonist Archie Shepp, trombonist Roswell Rudd, trumpeter Dave Douglas, bassists Henry Grimes and William Parker, pianists Dave Burrell and Marilyn Crispell, and vibraphonist Karl Berger. He continues to record and perform with duo, trio, quartet, quintet and big band formations.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Jazz for Curious Listeners
Deserving Wider Recognition: Martial Solal
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300 or register online

Considered one of Europe's best jazz musicians, pianist Martial Solal is relatively unknown in the United States. Solal was born in Algiers, Algeria, North Africa, where he grew up listening to jazz pianists Fats Waller and Art Tatum and was exposed to bebop. In the forties Solal worked in Algiers as a pianist before settling in Paris in 1950. During the fifties he performed in Parisian clubs, often as backup, with many American expatriate jazz musicians.

The early 1960s were productive years for Solal. He performed for several months at the Hickory House, a club in New York City, and appeared at jazz festivals in Newport, Rhode Island; Montreal, Canada; and Berlin, West Germany. When asked in the sixties what he thought the future of jazz and his place in it would be, Solal recalled to Jerome Reese of Musician, "I said that in order for jazz to survive it had to have a repertoire; jazz musicians had to write important works. Just after that stupid declaration everyone did exactly the opposite, playing totally improvised music. Presently there is a return to traditionalism, and I persist in believing that the future of jazz lies in written music, in longer and longer written sequences, which does not exclude improvisation, of course. I also believe that once one has a very definite style, the only way to evolve is through composing."

While most jazzmen went the alternate route, emphasizing improvisation, Solal has scored pieces for big band and various trios with which he has performed since the sixties. "Freedom, for me, means being able to go as far as possible in a certain direction, established and prepared in advance," he told Reese. "But I don't like the idea of 'anything goes.' That's why I play jazz standards, which give the audience something they can follow more easily and which will perhaps entertain them while having to put up with my, shall we say, busy style. Even when playing my own pieces, a major part of my performance consists of humourous musical citations I'll throw in as they pop into my head. But this humorous aspect can only be appreciated if the audience knows the standards I'm quoting. I like music that can surprise you at any given moment, not to show off, but in order to produce something different each time."

At one point in his career, Solal seriously studied classical music to help perfect his technique. Regular daily practice, often consisting of scales, maintains the virtuoso technique that has given him the ability to express whatever he has to say musically. When improvising he explores a melody in a seemingly endless stream of variations, which has given rise to his reputation as a highly technical musician. When the French government commissioned a work from Solal in the early eighties, Solal composed a concerto for piano and orchestra that was played by the big band that eventually involved into the government-supported Orchestre National de Jazz.
While Solal is best known in France for his duo albums with saxophonists Sidney Bechet and Lee Konitz and violinist Stephane Grappelli, he has also composed more than thirty movie scores, including the original French version of Breathless, conducted by Jean-Luc Goddard and starring Jean Paul Belmondo. With the advent of pop music and highly improvisatory jazz in the late sixties, the opportunities for film-score composing vanished.

Through his composing, arranging, and performing, Solal seems to want to legitimize jazz in Europe in general and his distinct style of jazz in particular. "Even if it doesn't sound modest, I think that one must listen to my music several times because of its density," Solal declared to Reese. "If you are surprised by the technical aspect, then the musical content may escape you on the first listening. I have always had very high hopes for jazz. I want people who love classical music to find that same perfection in jazz, and 90 percent of jazz doesn't satisfy that demand."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Special Event
Jews & Jazz
7:00pm
Location: Museum at Eldridge Street
(12 Eldridge Street, New York, NY | get directions
Adults: $12 | Students & Seniors: $10 | 212-219-0888

Musicians Yale Strom and Loren Schoenberg will talk about the longstanding connection Jews have with jazz and its Harlem lineage beyond the stereotypes found in movies and popular culture. Roof-raising performances by Hot P'stromi and special guests will illustrate the intermingling of cultures.

Thursday, December 18, 2008
Harlem Speaks
Larry Willis, Pianist
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300

Once identified with on-the-edge free music, keyboardist Larry Willis had a profitable flirtation with fusion in the '70s, then moved to hard bop in the '80s and '90s. Willis' playing has been frenetic, ambitious and interesting, but during his jazz-rock and fusion days was funky but greatly restrained and simple. A devotee of Herbie Hancock, Willis has found a good balance, with expertly constructed modal solos and also lyrical, relaxed statements. 

Willis graduated from the Manhattan School of Music in the early '60s, then played with Jackie McLean and Hugh Masekela. He recorded with Lee Morgan and McLean in the mid-'60s, and worked with Kai Winding and Stan Getz, as well as recording with Robin Kenyatta in 1969. Willis turned to synthesizer and electric piano in the '70s, doing sessions with Cannonball Adderley, Earl May, Joe Henderson, Groove Holmes and Masekela again. He joined Blood, Sweat And Tears in 1972, recorded with Alphonze Mouzon in both 1972 and 1973, and did dates as a leader and freelance session musician. Willis also recorded with Ryo Kawasaki and Sonny Fortune in the late '70s, and with David "Fathead" Newman and Carla Bley in the '80s. Willis toured and recorded with Nat Adderley in the '80s, and joined Woody Shaw's quintet in 1986. He's done sessions as a leader for Groove Merchant, Steeplechase, Audioquest, Brunswick and Mapleshade, among others.

A JAZZ NATIVITY SWINGS INTO BIRDLAND FOR 3rd YEAR

THE JAZZ NATIVITY- for the Grateful Web

BENDING TOWARDS THE LIGHT… A JAZZ NATIVITY, the joyful musical holiday show that warms the hearts of families of all faiths, swings into Birdland (315 West 44th Street, New York City) with seven performances this season, Sunday, Dec 21st through 25th  There will be two performances on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 

A colorful presentation that delights children as well as jazz fans, the JAZZ NATIVITY boasts an all-star band featuring Latin percussionist Candido and tenor saxophonist Bob Kindred; vocalist Hilary Kole in the role of Mary; Brenda Feliciano as the archangel; and features many jazz greats. Among this years performers as Kings are saxophonist, Frank Wess, trombonist, Benny Powell, , trumpeters Lou Soloffand Ingrid Jensen, and tappers Maurice Chestnut, Andrew Nemr and Roxane Butterfly. Taking part as special guests, pianists, Hank Jones and Arturo O'FarrellDaniel Marconi, from Broadway's  Mary Poppins and Misael Sanchez from the Newark Boys Chorus School will alternately play the role of the shepherd boy.

" Written and arranged by singer-songwriter Anne Phillips at the suggestion of the late John Garcia Gensel of St. Peter's Church, JAZZ NATIVITY first premiered in 1985.  Since then, it has been a popular Christmas offering across the country.  

The show combines well-known Christmas carols with original music by Ms. Phillips, Bob Kindred andDave and Iola Brubeck. The original soundtrack recording features as narrator the late CBS Newsjournalist Charles Kuralt, with Lionel Hampton, Dave Brubeck, Tito Puente, Benny Powell, Toots Thielemans and many other jazz greats in the band.  For information: www.jazznativity.com orwww.cdbaby.com.

Tickets at $40 are now on sale at Birdland box office (212-581-3080)

Kenny Drew Jr. In Rare New York City Performance

Kenny Drew Jr.- for the Grateful Web

Jazz pianist Kenny Drew Jr. returns to New York for a rare solo performance on December 17, 2008 as part of the Lyric Chamber Music Society of New York concert series at the Kosciuszko Foundation. He continues the Lyric's tradition of infusing Jazz into traditional Chamber Music programming, combining his virtuosic talents, evident in his performances of Classical works, with superb improvisational instincts, as showcased in his Jazz performances, be they solo or in collaboration with such luminaries as David Taylor, Daniel Schnyder and many others.

In just ten seasons since its debut in the spring of 1998, the Lyric Chamber Music Society is recognized by musicians, the press, and audiences as one of the preeminent chamber music organizations in the country. Founded to present the works of the giants of the past and present, the Lyric performs masterpieces of chamber music literature and unusual repertoire in the intimate salon of an elegant Fifth Avenue mansion and at Victor Borge Hall — offering the music in the personal and intimate ambience in which it was intended to be heard. "Adventurous," The New York Times has called the Lyric, for its repertoire spanning from the Renaissance to the present, a combination of classic canonical chamber works, rarely performed compositions, and contemporary pieces. Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata may be followed by a sonata by Poulenc, Gershwin by Jobim, Bizet by bossa nova, or J.S. Bach transcribed for four marimbas by a world premiere composed for Lyric artists.

The Lyric has attracted to its roster some of the world's most distinguished musicians, accomplished orchestral players, and up-and-coming young talent. More than a dozen concert masters and first chair players of the New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera Orchestra as well as extraordinary jazz musicians have chosen the Lyric as their musical second home. Young artists who are recognized in music circles as the next generation of performing greats—many handpicked by the Lyric's legendary Advisory Board—regularly get an opportunity to introduce themselves to a wider audience. Such has been the creative energy and sense of possibility flowing from our concerts that in the brief period since our inception one new trio has already been formed under our auspices and two have made their New York debuts.

Reaching out to an ever-widening audience, Lyric virtuosos bring the inspiring scope of music's possibilities to thousands of New York public school students and reach millions of listeners on National Public Radio. As New Yorkers and visitors look to the Metropolitan Opera for opera and the New York Philharmonic for symphony, more and more people are turning to the Lyric Chamber Music Society of New York for chamber music and "chamzz," a Lyric innovation: programs combining classical music and jazz.

Kenny Drew Jr. was born in New York City in 1958. He started music lessons at the age of four. After studying classical piano with his Aunt Marjorie, he branched out into the area of jazz music. Kenny Jr. has performed worldwide with a comprehensive variety of musicians, including Stanley Jordan, Out of the Blue (OTB), Stanley Turrentine, Slide Hampton and the Jazz Masters, the Mingus Big Band, Steve Grossman, Yoshiaki Masuo, Sadao Watanabe, Smokey Robinson, Frank Morgan, Daniel Schnyder, and many others.

Kenny Drew Jr. was the winner of the 1990 Great American Jazz Piano Competition in Jacksonville, Florida. He has appeared as a leader at many major festivals, including the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, Kyoto Jazz Festival, Savannah on Stage Festival, Clearwater Jazz Festival, and the Newark Jazz Festival. Kenny has also performed as a leader at many major jazz clubs around the country, such as Bradley's (NY), Visiones (NY), The Blue Note (NY), Blues Alley (DC), Fat Tuesday's (NY), The Village Gate (NY), Trumpets (NJ), The Jazz Showcase (Chicago), Twins Lounge (DC), One Step Down (DC), and the Montreal Bistro (Toronto). He has recorded nine albums as a leader and has also made numerous recordings as a sideman. Kenny has performed at concerts and in clubs with The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, the Faddis/Hampton/Heath Sextet, Steve Turre, Jack Walrath, David Sanchez, Jack Wilkins, Michael Mossman, Ronnie Cuber, Steve Slagle, and Marlena Shaw. Other performances included appearances with Jon Faddis, Slide Hampton, and Jimmy Heath at the Montreal North Sea, and Lugano festivals and with the Mingus Big Band at the Chicago and Detroit festivals.

In addition to his exploits in Jazz, Kenny has built a reputation as a performer of classical music. He has performed both jazz and classical music at the Barossa Music Festival in Australia. The classical repertoire included Bach concertos and music by African-American composers. These concerts consisted of solo piano recitals and appearances with renowned classical musicians such as violinist Jane Peters and pianist Peter Waters. Kenny participated in a performance of Charles Mingus' large-scale composition Epitaph at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam under the direction of Gunther Schuller. He performed a Mozart concerto with the Milwaukee Symphony conducted by Andreas Delfs, and appeared at the International Bach Festival in Leipzig, playing Bach's music with Daniel Schnyder and David Taylor. Further appearances as a classical performer include the Luzern Piano Festival and in Key West.

In addition to his work as a soloist and jazz side man, Kenny has been playing with a classical/chamber-jazz trio led by composer/saxophonist/flautist Daniel Schnyder, with David Taylor on bass trombone. The group has performed concerts in Switzerland and New York as well as the Barossa Festival in 1997. Among Kenny's recordings with Daniel Schnyder are the Sonata for Soprano Saxophone And Piano and the Sonata for Bass Trombone And Piano (with David Taylor). Kenny also participated in the recording of Schnyder's Third Symphony with the Basel Radio Orchestra under the direction of Hans Drewanz. Other groups and artists Kenny has performed with are the Absolute Ensemble, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Shirley Horn, Teddy Edwards and Henry Johnson. Kenny also played a solo piano tribute to Duke Ellington on Ellington's 100th birthday at the Tonhalle in Zurich. He has recently appeared with his own trio at the Village Vanguard in New York, the Jazz Showcase in Chicago and on the Queen Elizabeth II Jazz Cruise.

Kenny has recorded over twenty albums as a leader, amongst them, in 2001, Autumn for the Japanese label Pony Canyon. The CD features George Mraz on bass and Tony Jefferson on drums. Drew recorded a CD of two-piano jazz arrangements of music by Ravel with pianist Peter Waters. This CD, which was recorded in Switzerland, also features the Winterthur Chamber Orchestra. Kenny Drew Jr. taught at the Engadin International Summer Piano Academy in Switzerland, giving master classes and private lessons. He was one of the featured artists at the West Coast Jazz Party in California. He has toured Switzerland with Daniel Schnyder, including a concert with members of the Zurich Opera Orchestra. Kenny played two concerts at the Umea Jazz Festival in Sweden, including a performance of Daniel Schnyder's Piano Concerto with the Norrlands Opera Orchestra under the direction of Kristjan Järvi. This concert was recorded for release as a CD.

'Jacofest' A Tribute to Jaco Pastorius

Jaco Pastorius- for the Grateful Web

The late great bassist-composer Jaco Pastorius, an undeniable force on contemporary jazz during the '70s as well as a towering influence on two generations of musicians, will be feted at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York from November 20 - 23. Included in this all-star gala, produced by impresario Charles Carlini, are Pastorius colleagues and former bandmates like trumpeters Randy Brecker, Miles Evans and Lew Soloff, Saxophonists Alex Foster and Butch Thomas, Trombonist David Bargeron, keyboardist Delmar Brown, guitarist David Gilmore and drummer Kenwood Dennard. Featured bass players are T.M Stephens, Matt Garrison, and Jaco's son, Felix Pastorius. For reservations, please call the box office at (212) 582-2121 or visit www.iridiumjazzclub.com.
 
Crafted by Musical Director, Kenwood Dennard, this, not-to-be-missed, event, is a heartfelt devotion to his friend and fellow musician Jaco Pastorius, whom Dennard accompanied for many years.  It is also an early celebration of what would have been Jaco's Birthday (on December 1, 1951).

Although Jaco Pastorius passed away over 21 years ago (on September 21, 1987), his musical legacy remains as strong today as ever. Jazz artists around the world continue to cover his compositions or offer up personal tributes to the man on their recordings, all attesting to the indelible mark that Jaco made in his relatively short career. Born in Norristown, Pennsylvania on December 1, 1951, Pastorius grew up in Fort Lauderdale and as a teenager began playing around the South Florida music scene.

Originally a drummer, he switched to electric bass at age 16 after injuring his wrist in a football game and adapted remarkably well to his new instrument. Within a year, it was clear to everyone on the scene that he possessed special gifts as a bassist. Growing by leaps and bounds, Jaco would quickly develop a wholly new and unprecedented vocabulary on the instrument. After performing in a series of local Florida bands, Pastorius was "discovered" by Blood, Sweat & Tears drummer Bobby Columby, who produced Jaco's landmark self-titled debut for Epic Records in late 1975.

Jaco joined Weather Report, the premier fusion band of the '70s, in April of 1976 and appeared on the band's groundbreaking 1977 Columbia album, Heavy Weather. He remained with Weather Report for six years, appearing on a string of acclaimed recordings including 1978's Mr. Gone, 1979's Grammy Award-winning 8:30, and 1980's Night Passage. Pastorius' second recording as a leader, 1981's Word of Mouth on Warner Bros., introduced such ambitious Jaco compositions as "Liberty City," "John and Mary" and the adventurous title track along with a full big band arrangement of his most famous composition, "Three Views of a Secret." Jaco's 1983 album, Invitation, documented his Word of Mouth Big Band on tour in Japan. He subequently toured in a scaled-down sextet version of Word of Mouth and with the PDB trio-featuring guitarist Hiram Bullock and drummer Kenwood Dennard.