jazz

JFJO Announce West Coast & Europe Tour Dates

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey have announced Winter 2010 tour plans. The band will head out for a 12-date West Coast run in February marking the hard touring quartet's first shows since selling out The Eclipse on New Year's Eve in their hometown of Tulsa. In March, JFJO makes a return trip to Europe for ten dates spanning eight countries, including their second appearance at the prestigious Turku Jazz Festival in Finland.

JFJO will be touring behind their critically acclaimed 2009 EP release One Day In Brooklyn, however, work is already well underway on a follow up, full length album. They spent seven days in December tracking at acclaimed engineer/musician David Teegarden's Natura Digital Recording Studios just outside of Tulsa. The album, tentatively scheduled for a June release, will reflect JFJO's first year of touring and writing together since founding member and pianist Brian Haas and drummer Josh Raymer revamped the line-up last January with the addition of lap steel guitarist Chris Combs and upright bassist Matt Hayes.

Upcoming tour dates are:

February 2 | The Deli | Norman, OK
February 4 | Winston's | San Diego, CA
February 6 | The Mint | Los Angeles, CA
February 10 | Moe's Alley | Santa Cruz, CA
February 11 | Beatnick Studios | Sacramento, CA
February 12 | Coda | San Francisco, CA
February 13 | Hopmonk Tavern | Sebastopol, CA
February 14 | Red Fox Tavern | Eureka, CA
February 17 | High Dive | Seattle, WA
February 18 | Eastside Club | Olympia, WA
February 19 | Mississippi Studios | Portland, OR
March 3 | A-Trane | Berlin, Germany
March 6 | Jazz Dock | Prague, Czech Republic
March 9 | Nya Perspektiv | Vasteras, Sweden
March 11 | Fasching Jazz Club | Stockholm, Sweden
March 13 | Turku Jazz Festival | Turku, Finland
March 15 | Cafe Wilhelmina | Eindhoven, Netherlands
March 19 | Cafe Alto | Amsterdam, Netherlands
March 22 | Teatro Alfierri | Cagliari, Italy
March 31 | The Jazz Bar | Edinburgh, Scotland
April 1 | Vortex | London, United Kingdom

Prez Fest 2010 Celebrating Art Blakey

During his life time, the legendary drummer Art Blakey performed at Saint Peter’s Church, ‘The Jazz Church,” many times. He was well known for his Jazz Messengers “school of jazz” which produced many legendary jazz musicians of today, including Wayne Shorter, Cedar Walton, Lou Donaldson, Terrence Blanchard, Billy Harper, Brian Lynch, Donald Harrison, Reggie Workman, Bobby Watson and others.

The program starts at 3:00 PM on Sunday, March 14, 2010 in the Living Room of Saint Peter’s Church, “The Jazz Church” at 619 Lexington Avenue (54th Street) – Midtown – with several free events:   “The Legend Wall” - an Exhibit of Information about Art Blakey and a Panel Discussion about Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers' enduring influence on jazz.  It will be moderated by a prominent jazz scholar and panelists will include several Jazz Messengers and an expert on Art Blakey and/or the “hard bop” era of Jazz.  A presentation about Art Blakey and his drumming techniques by a well-known drummer may also be included. At 5:00 PM, Jazz Vespers - also free- takes place in the Sanctuary with music led by one of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers.

The Concert begins at 7:00 PM. with live performance of the music of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers.  Jazz Messengers’ bands preceded by a student band will perform the legendary compositions created by Art Blakey and the Messengers over the more than 30 years that various versions of the Messengers held forth.   Suggested ticket donation: $20 ($10 for students with ID).

Several other events are a part of Prez Fest 2010.  We will partner with the National Jazz Museum in Harlem that will highlight Art Blakey during the month of March 2010 including interviews of Jazz Messengers and an all-day seminar on Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers.  In addition, a special event is being planned for the 68 Jazz Messengers who are still performing.

PREZ FEST 2010
CELEBRATING
ART BLAKEY & THE JAZZ MESSENGERS
Saint Peter’s Church
619 Lexington Avenue (at 54th Street), New York City

Django's 100th Birthday At The Iridium

Dorado Schmitt, legendary gypsy guitarist from France, has been at the center of the Django music resurgence in the US by appearing regularly at the Django Reinhardt NY Festival.  Besides starring at  the festival, he has toured the country with Allstar Bands  promoting the Django Reinhardt style at such  venues as The Kennedy  Center, Disney Hall, Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center, The SF Festival, Caramoor  and more...to great acclaim.

His highly anticipated return to the US this January will be in a major tour celebrating the 100th Birthday of DJANGO REINHARDT, his idol, with a swing thru NYC at The IRIDIUM on February 1,2,& 3 with a special tribute to the great LES PAUL, Monday, February  1.  Les Paul cited Django as one of his favorite guitarists, was a personal friend, and was instrumental in settling Django's estate and was given a guitar valued at over $500,000.00.

Accompanying DORADO SCHMITT will be SAMSON SCHMITT -  his son, a young Gypsy Guitar star in his own right, MARCEL LOEFFLER - Virtuoso Accordionist,  PIERRE BLANCHARD - Violin master, all from France , accompanied by Veteran Bassist BRIAN TORFF who performed for years with Grappelli.  And, there will be surprises!

*Django's most important and well-known composition NUAGES will be performed by DORADO SCHMITT and Band with renowned Russian Cellist BORISLAV STRULEV, a world-premiere performance of "Nuages" with cello.  A special arrangement for cello has been written by top Pianist/Composer/Arranger ROGER KELLAWAY (who Conducted and Arranged the music for Clint Eastwoods' new film INVICTUS).

Special Guest: Curtis Stigers

If voices, like wines, had noses, Curtis Stigers’ would be dusky oak with hints of Willie Nelson, Harry Nilsson, Ray Charles and Matt Dennis. It’s a voice that’s at once young and old, tender and tough, warm and inviting as a caress, yet sturdy as a firm handshake.  -Christopher Loudon, JazzTimes

Curtis Stigers is at the forefront of a new generation of jazz singers with one of the most distinctive voices in music...Downbeat Magazine named him as one of the jazz genre’s “Rising Male Stars”.  He has toured the world with such renowned pop artists as Elton John, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, and Prince, while collaborating with  jazz greats  Nancy Wilson, George Benson, Herbie Hancock, Randy and Michael Brecker, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Chris Potter, Larry Goldings and Toots Thielmans.   Crossing from Pop to Jazz, he has been  called “one of the best male jazz singers of his generation” by JazzTimes.  Stigers's latest critically acclaimed recording, "Lost In Dreams," on Concord Jazz, was released in September 2009.

Re the music of DJANGO, STIGERS says" I just love the Django recordings.  Something just kills me about it and I can hear myself singing in that sound!"

The Django Allstar tour, celebrating Djano's 100th birthday (which is Jan. 24th), commences with an important concert at the Kennedy Center Jan. 16, onto Minneapolis at the Dakota Jan. 18 & 19,  Yoshis in Oakland Jan. 21-24, Kuumbwa in Santa Cruz Jan. 25, Catalina's in LA Jan. 26,27,28, The Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa Jan 29 & 30, onto NY at the IRIDIUM Feb. 1,2,3, climaxing at the Montreal Jazz Festival Feb., 4,5,6 before heading back to France...Produced by Pat Philips & Ettore Stratta. The pair have also just released their new CD, Dorado Schmitt and The Django Reinhardt NY Festival Allstars "Live at the Kennedy Center" on their own label SP Productions. ..CD will be on sale during the tour.  (for info: patmusic2@aol.com)

DJANGO and GRAPPELLI met in the 30's in France to form The Hot Club  Quintette which took Europe by storm  and went on to become one of  the  most important musical partnerships in European history with a  hot jazz rendition of American pop standards, influenced by Ellington,  Armstrong and the like...Gypsy Jazz is still on the cutting edge and enjoying  enormous success around the world.  Young musicians as well as more  established are digging into Django's music , a torrent of guitar lines  on special string guitars with sounds all their own, easily  recognizable, virtuosic, hot and romantic.

Celebrity musicians and actors admire the music such as Leonardo DiCaprio who's dog is named Django, Sean Penn who starred in Woody Allen's  film "Sweet and Lo Down" about this music, Willie Nelson records it,  Tony Bennett wrote a lyric to Nuages, the most famous Django composition ... and more.

"Feb 1,2,3, is the  Centennial Celebration at one of NY's most important venues..."Historymaking  at THE IRIDIUM'  marking a music and master that continues to fascinate, inspire and bring joy...one  that has endured the test of time...and is still swinging!   

John Abercrombie Organ Trio w/ Greg Osby

John Abercrombie

Over a career spanning more than 40 years and nearly 50 albums, John Abercrombie has established himself as one the masters of jazz guitar. Favoring unusual sounds (he played electronic mandolin on McCoy Tyner's 1993 album 4x4) and nontraditional ensembles (recent quartet recordings have included violinist Mark Feldman), Abercrombie is a restless experimenter, working firmly in the jazz tradition while pushing the boundaries of meter and harmony."

Greg Osby

Saxophonist, composer, producer and educator Greg Osby has made an indelible mark on contemporary jazz as a leader of his own ensembles and as a guest artist with other acclaimed jazz groups for the past 20 years. Highly regarded for his insightful and innovative approach to composition and performance, Osby is a shining beacon among the current generation of jazz musicians. He has earned numerous awards and critical acclaim for his recorded works and passionate live performances.

Gary Versace

Since basing himself in New York City in June of 2002, jazz organist, pianist, and accordionist Gary Versace has quickly become one of the busiest and most versatile musicians on the scene, often featured in bands led by musicians such as John Scofield, John Abercrombie, Maria Schneider, Matt Wilson, Lee Konitz, Eliot Zigmund, Scott Wendholt, Joe Magnarelli, Danny Gottlieb, Seamus Blake, John Hollenbeck, Andy LaVerne, Adam Nussbaum, Brad Shepik, Ingrid Jensen, Tim Ries and many others.

Adam Nussbaum

One of the finest and most versatile jazz drummers on the scene today Adman’s played with everybody from Sonny Rollins, Gil Evans, Carla Bley, Dave Liebman, Sheila Jordan, James Moody and  many others.  He’s also part of the co-op group  'NUTTREE' with Abercrombie, Jerry Bergonzi & Gary Versace.

JANUARY 14 – 17 JOHN ABERCROMBIE ORGAN TRIO WITH SPECIAL GUEST GREG OSBY
JOHN ABERCROMBIE – GUITARS, GARY VERSACE - ORGAN, ADAM NUSSBAUM – DRUMS, GREG OSBY - ALTO SAXOPHONE

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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

National Jazz Museum in Harlem January Schedule

Swing into the New Year with the National Jazz Museum in Harlem! From live performances in downtown New York to intriguing discussions with authors, impresarios, artists and a legendary choreographer, we'll match your taste for cultural enrichment.

Our flagship series, Harlem Speaks, features conversations with pianist Connie Crothers, known for her association with Lennie Tristano, and Jack Kleinsinger, producer of the longest running jazz series in New York, Highlights in Jazz. Author and WBGO jazz radio host Sheila Anderson is our guest for Jazz for Curious Readers.

Visionary bassist Reggie Workman leads an evening Saturday panel and pre-screens a film presentation of a TRIO 3 performance. Workman will also partake in a discussion with choreographer Lar Lubovitch, whose masterful dance creations grounded and inspired by jazz music is the focus of three weeks of Jazz for Curious Listeners.

If you love the music, nothing is more important than supporting live jazz. Nurture yourself with the scintillating salsa jazz of Bobby Sanabria at Harlem in the Himalayas and the classic American Song Book sounds of Broadway interpreted jazz style at our new series, Jazz at the Players!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Jazz for Curious Readers

7:00 – 8:30pm

Location: NJMH Visitors Center

(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)

FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300 or register online

As host-producer of a TV and a radio program on jazz in the New York City area, Anderson, author of The Quotable Musician: From Bach to Tupac, has met and interviewed musicians, composers, and other music industry professionals from all genres, classical to jazz. For her latest book, How to Grow as a Musician, she put her connections to good use and culled the wisdom and personal experiences of 30 prominent musicians, including Grammy Award-winning performer Al Jarreau; Paula Kimper, a composer of opera, theater, film, and dance music; and Eric Reed, a jazz pianist who has played with the Wynton Marsalis Septet, Joe Henderson, Cassandra Wilson, and a multitude of other masters. Anderson weaves together a comprehensive guide that reveals the fundamentals necessary for living a creative and successful life in music, with insights on getting started, developing as an artist, composing, recording, songwriting, preparing for performance, working with a manager, and signing contracts. She shares musicians' candid and poignant advice on triumph and failure, self-evaluation, ego checks, and personal growth.

In our discussion with this leading lady of jazz radio (nicknamed "The Queen of Hang"), expect not only musician quotes and advice on surviving a career in music, but loads of hilarious anecdotes from her decades of first-hand observation on the front lines of jazz music.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Saturday Panels

An Evening with the Visionary Reggie Workman and Friends

7:30 – 9:30pm

Location: NJMH Visitors Center

(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)

FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Pre-screening of the film, "Reggie Workman's Sculptured Sounds presents ... TRIO 3: At This Time”

Produced by the legendary bassist Reggie Workman, Reggie Workman's Sculptured Sounds Presents TRIO 3: At This Time” is a film documenting the celebrated 2009 performance of TRIO 3 (jazz legends Oliver Lake/Reggie Workman/Andrew Cyrille) plus noted pianist, Geri Allen, at the Birdland jazz venue. Experience interviews with these legendary artists, and commentary from noted jazz writers and artist colleagues. Watch this high octane collaboration on a journey through jazz to the edge and beyond!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners

Rhythm, Rhythm: Jazz and the World of Lar Lubovitch

7:00 – 8:30pm

Location: NJMH Visitors Center

(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)

FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300 or register online

Witness a discussion with Lar Lubovitch, Dr. Billy Taylor, and other guests as they pursue jazz culture and history as it intersects with choreography across jazz and ballet dance communities. Mr. Lubovitch will present excerpts of his work on film.

One of America's most versatile, popular and highly acclaimed choreographers, Lar Lubovitch founded the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company over 40 years ago. In the years since, he has choreographed more than 100 dances for his New York-based company, which has performed in nearly all 50 American states as well as in more than 30 foreign countries.

Lar's dances are renowned for their musicality, rhapsodic style and sophisticated formal structures. His radiant, highly technical choreography and deeply humanistic voice have been acclaimed throughout the world. Lar Lubovitch has been hailed by The New York Times as "one of the ten best choreographers in the world," and the company has been called a "national treasure" by Variety.

Born in Chicago, Lar Lubovitch was educated at the University of Iowa and the Juilliard School in New York. His teachers at Juilliard included Antony Tudor, Jose Limon, Anna Sokolow and Martha Graham. He danced in numerous modern, ballet, jazz and ethnic companies before forming the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company in 1968.

Lubovitch made his Broadway debut in 1987 with the musical staging for the Stephen Sondheim/ James Lapine musical, Into the Woods, for which he received a Tony Award nomination. In 1993 he choreographed the highly-praised dance sequences for the Broadway show The Red Shoes. The final ballet from that show joined the repertories of American Ballet Theatre and the National Ballet of Canada. For his work on that show, he received the 1993-94 Astaire Award from the Theater Development Fund. In 1996 he created the musical staging (and two new dances) for the Tony-Award-winning Broadway revival of The King and I. Most recently he devised the musical staging for Walt Disney's stage version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame in Berlin. In 2004 he was honored with the Elan Award for his outstanding choreography.

In 2007, to supplement the activities (creating, performing and teaching) of the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, he founded the Chicago Dancing Company, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to present a wide variety of excellent dance and build dance audiences in his native Chicago. Initiated by Chicago-born Lubovitch (and  Chicago-based dancer Jay Franke), the Chicago Dancing Festival (CDF) was launched in cooperation with Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) and the City of Chicago. The official premiere of the festival was a free one-night-only dance concert at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. More than 8,000 people attended the performance, which featured dancers from seven leading American companies. For 2008, CDF will be expanded to include three days of programming. For his visionary risk-taking in establishing the Festival, Lubovitch was named a "2007 Chicagoan of the Year" by the Chicago Tribune.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Jazz at the Players

'S Wonderful: Jazz meets Broadway

7:00pm

Location: The Players

16 Gramercy Park South, NYC

FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem AllStars, featuring vocalist Champian Fulton, play the music of George and Ira Gershwin, Fats Waller, Cole Porter, and Duke Ellington for the very first Jazz at the Players event.

Born in 1985, Champian Fulton grew up in Norman, Oklahoma with her two loving parents, Stephen and Susan. Influenced at an early age by her father Stephen, a jazz trumpeter, she fell in love with the music. Surrounded by her father's musician friends, including Clark Terry and Major Holley, Champian learned the language of jazz firsthand. She began to study piano with her grandmother at age 5, and, as singing became more and more important to her, Champian began to play jazz piano to accompany herself at home.

Champian's family moved to LeMars, Iowa in 1994, when her father became the director of the Clark Terry Institute for Jazz Studies. She formed her first band at this time—"Little Jazz Quintet"—all of whose members were under the age of 10, except for the trumpeter - the elder of the group - who was 12 years old. The "Little Jazz Quintet" performed at many events in LeMars, including Clark Terry's 75th birthday party.

After a short move to New York, Champian and her family returned to Norman Oklahoma in 1998. Her full attention turned to jazz at this time, and by 1999 Champian was performing with her new band all around the region. 1999 included appearances at the Kemah Boardwalk Jazz Festival, the Corpus Christi Jazz Festival, and the Jazz in June Festival held in Norman, Oklahoma.

2001 marked the beginning of Champian's stint at Maker's Cigar & Piano Bar in Oklahoma City. The owner of Maker's, Clinton Greehaw, was very supportive of Champian as she grew musically as a professional performer. The Champian Fulton Trio would continue to perform at Maker's nearly every weekend through 2003, when she graduated from Norman North High School as valedictorian and made her move to NYC to attend SUNY Purchase Music Conservatory.

Since then, Champian has become a part of the jazz scene in the Big Apple. Besides leading her own gigs, Champian has been able to play with some world-class musicians, such as Louis Hayes, Jimmy Cobb, Frank Wess, and Lou Donaldson. You can catch her and her trio/quartet at a number of different venues in Manhattan, including Birdland, where Champian has held a steady gig for the past 3 years.

A perpetual student of jazz piano and jazz singing, Champian mentions Erroll Garner, Bud Powell, Sonny Clark, Count Basie, Dinah Washington, and Sarah Vaughan as some of her main influences.

Champian graduated from SUNY Purchase with a Bachelor of Music Degree in May of 2006. Her new CD "Sometimes I'm Happy" was released in September 2008 on Venus Records. She currently resides in NYC and performs with her trio.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Harlem Speaks

Connie Crothers, Pianist

6:30 – 8:30pm

Location: NJMH Visitors Center

(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)

FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Connie Crothers is known for her association with Lennie Tristano, yet she is also recognized for her uncompromising spontaneous improvisation, originality, virtuosity and wide range of expression.

She leads a quartet, with alto saxophonist Richard Tabnik, drummer Roger Mancuso and bassists Ken Filiano or Adam Lane. In January 2007, this quartet released a CD, Music is a Place, on New Artists. It was chosen by Stuart Broomer for his list of the top ten recordings of the year, published on the website jazzhouse.com; the recording also received an honorable mention for best CDs of the year in All About Jazz/New York.

Crothers has performed extensively as a soloist. She appeared solo in the 2008 Vision Festival, and was presented in a solo capacity by the Interpretations Series at Merkin Hall in 2006, where she also performed a duet with Roscoe Mitchell. Lennie Tristano produced her three solo concerts in Carnegie Recital Hall. John Sutherland chose her solo recording, “Music from Everyday Life,” for his list of the best ten recordings of the year in Coda.

Her most recent CD—Conversations—is a duet recording with clarinetist Bill Payne.

Crothers has recorded duo with Max Roach—"Swish"—and performed in a duo with Mr. Roach in Tokyo, Bologna, New Orleans and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. Roach and Crothers were honored by Harvard University as Visiting Jazz Artists; during the ceremony they performed with the Harvard University Band and tap dancer Diane Walker. For this concert, Anthony Braxton wrote a composition for them.

She co-led an engagement at the Village Vanguard with Warne Marsh, in a quartet featuring drummer Peter Scattaretico and bassist Eddie Gomez, a recent guest of Harlem Speaks. Crothers performed with Marsh, with Roger Mancuso and bassist Joe Solomon in Carnegie Recital Hall.

When her first record, Perception, originally on SteepleChase, was reissued in 1983 on Inner City, it was selected as one of the ten best records of the year by Mark Weber in Coda.

Crothers has had the honor of being a guest on Marian McPartland’s radio show “Piano Jazz,” where the two ladies swung mightily. She is very proud of being selected in the list of the most important and influential musicians in the last twenty-five years of the 20th century in the centennial issue of Cadence magazine.

Crothers teaches jazz improvisation in her studio in Brooklyn, passing on a legacy of intellect and musicality that she inherited as a member of the Tristano school.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners

Rhythm, Rhythm: Lar Lubovitch and His Jazz Works

7:00 – 8:30pm

Location: NJMH Visitors Center

(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)

FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300 or register online

Lar Lubovitch and company present a lecture demonstration of excerpts of pieces from his latest jazz trilogy, which includes music by Kurt Elling, Dave Brubeck, and John Coltrane. Mr. Lubovitch will discuss how the music has informed his movements, and how he has collaborated with musicians (jazz and non jazz alike).

The Lar Lubovitch Dance Company will present a two-week season at The Joyce Theater, February 23–March 7, 2010. The jam-packed season is comprised of three programs, each featuring new and recent works by Lar Lubovitch, one of America’s most acclaimed and versatile choreographers.

Lubovitch’s recently completed jazz trilogy reimagines the choreographic possibilities of jazz. The program features the world premiere of Coltrane’s Favorite Things, set to an iconic 1963 recording of John Coltrane’s interpretation of the classic Richard Rodgers song My Favorite Things. The backdrop for the dance is a reproduction of Jackson Pollock’s landmark painting Autumn Rhythm. With this dance, Lubovitch creates a vibrant choreographic counterpart to the artistic impulsiveness of these two 20th century giants. Lubovitch’s jazz trilogy also contains the wildly popular Elemental Brubeck (2005), and Kurt Elling: Nature Boy, Lubovitch’s latest incarnation of 2005’s Love’s Stories, an unabashedly passionate work set to unique renditions of jazz standards by the Kurt Elling Ensemble.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Harlem in the Himalayas

Bobby Sanabria & Quarteto Ache'

7:00pm

Location: Rubin Museum of Art

(150 West 17th Street)

$18 in advance | $20 at door |

Box Office: 212-620-5000 ext. 344

Bobby Sanabria & Quarteto Ache'

Peter Brainin - tenor, soprano sax, flute, percussion, vocals

Alex Hernandez - acoustic bass, percussion, vocals

Enrique Haneine - piano, percussion, vocals

Bobby Sanabria - musical director

Grammy-nominated on multiple occasions as a leader as well as on other projects as a sideman, Bobby Sanabria (drummer, percussionist, composer, arranger, conductor, producer, educator, film-maker, bandleader, and multi-cultural warrior) has performed and recorded with such legends as Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaría, Paquito D’Rivera, Ray Barretto, Candido, Henry Threadgill, Larry Harlow, and Afro-Cuban jazz Godfather, Mario Bauzá. His first big band recording, Live & in Clave!!! was nominated for a mainstream Grammy in 2001. In 2003 he was nominated for a Latin Grammy for "50 Years of Mambo," A Tribute to Damaso Perez Prado. DRUM! Magazine named him Percussionist of the Year in 2005.

His latest recording is the 2008 Grammy nominated Big Band Urban Folktales, with his 19 piece big band, on the Jazzheads label. This South Bronx native of Puerto Rican parentage is a 2006 inductee into the Bronx Walk of Fame, and has a street named after him in his borough of birth.

He holds a BM from the Berklee College of Music, and is on the faculty of the New School and the Manhattan School of Music, where he conducts Afro-Cuban Jazz Big Bands. He is associate producer of “The Palladium: Where Mambo Was King,” a documentary shown on BRAVO, and winner of the IMAGINE award for best TV documentary of 2003. He served in the same capacity for “From Mambo to Hip Hop,” winner of the ALMA award for best documentary for TV shown on PBS in 2007. He is the author of the acclaimed video series, Getting Started on Congas and he is a featured performer on the DVD, Modern Drummer Festival 2006, from Hudson Music. Mr. Sanabria was featured in the documentary, LATIN MUSIC USA, which aired on PBS in October 2009.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners

Rhythm, Rhythm: Lar Lubovitch and the Music of John Coltrane

7:00 – 8:30pm

Location: The New School

66 W. 13TH St, 5th floor

FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300 or register online

In this final JCL for the month of January 2010, Lar Lubovitch will discuss his choreographic interpretation and inspiration of John Coltrane’s “My Favorite Things” with jazz bass legend and New School faculty member Reggie Workman. Workman played on the Copenhagen recording of “My Favorite Things,” the very same recording Lar is  using for his new dance premiering at The Joyce Theater in February 2010. The Lubovitch Dance Company will be there to demonstrate excerpts of this piece as various sections of the music are discussed.

The Lar Lubovitch Dance Company was founded by Lar Lubovitch in 1968 and is now celebrating its 40th anniversary with a national tour as well as a fall season at the New York City Center. Over the years, the company has gained a reputation as one of the world’s foremost modern dance companies, having performed in virtually every state of the US and in more than 30 foreign countries. Lar Lubovitch has been cited by The New York Times as “one of the ten best choreographers in the world.”

Based in New York, the company is internationally renowned, having toured extensively throughout America (virtually all 50 states) and the rest of the world (more than 30 countries). The company has been seen in live performances by more than a million people. On television it has been seen by millions more. In recognition of its work, the company has received many awards and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts and numerous foundations, including the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Harlem Speaks

Jack Kleinsinger, Impresario

6:30 – 8:30pm

Location: NJMH Visitors Center

(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)

FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Jack Kleinsinger is the Producer/Director of HIGHLIGHTS IN JAZZ, New York City's longest-running jazz concert series, formerly performed at Theatre De LYS, Astor Place Theatre, Hunter College, NYU, Pace University, and currently at Tribeca Performing Arts Center in Manhattan.

For over 35 years he has produced and hosted each year's series of 8 jazz programs--researching, selecting and contracting the 75 or more artists in each year's 8 concerts.  In addition, Mr. Kleinsinger designs and structures each of the programs, coordinating publicity, public relations, technical assistance and fund-raising, and is solely responsible for its smooth operation.

In addition to HIGHLIGHTS IN JAZZ, Jack Kleinsinger has also produced many concerts in New York City schools, colleges and prisons; he has co-produced programs for the Newport and the New York Jazz festivals; stage managed the Jazz Festival in Nice, France, and has taught Jazz courses at New York University.  He also volunteered his services as an instructor at the International Center in New York City.

He has served as a talent consultant and assistant for the Bern Jazz Festival in Switzerland and produced children's jazz programs for the Boston Globe Festival in Massachusetts and the Sarasota, Fl. Jazz Society.

Mr. Kleinsinger is an attorney, a former candidate for public office, a teacher and lecturer.  In August, 1991, he retired from his position as Assistant Attorney General of the State of New York.

On June 26, 1997, the JVC Jazz Festival presented a concert entitled "Thanks to Jack Kleinsinger for 25 years of HIGHLIGHTS IN JAZZ" at the Sylvia and Danny Kaye Playhouse in New York City.

On February 5, 1998, the Manhattan Borough President issued a Proclamation designating that date "JACK KLEINSINGER DAY" in the Borough.  This was in recognition of Jack Kleinsinger's contribution to the cultural life of New York City.

On September 6, 1998 Mr. Kleinsinger received the CHARLIE PARKER MEMORIAL AWARD at the 52nd Street Americana Festival.

On June 18, 2008, the JVC Jazz Festival presented a concert entitled "A CELEBRATION OF 35 YEARS OF HIGHLIGHTS IN JAZZ HONORING JACK KLEINSINGER" at New York Society for Ethical Culture. Tonight, we're honored to sit down with Mr. Kleinsinger, a pillar producer of jazz in its capital.

Jose Feliciano | The Iridium Jazz | NYC

Jose Feliciano has been acclaimed by critics throughout the world as "The greatest living guitarist". Referred to as "The Picasso of his Realm," Jose Feliciano's accolades are repeatedly celebrated. Guitar Player Magazine awarded him "Best Pop Guitarist," placing him in their "Gallery of the Greats," and he's been voted both Best Jazz and Best Rock Guitarist in the Playboy Magazine reader's poll, as well. He's been awarded over forty-five Gold and Platinum records; has won sixteen Grammy nominations, earning him six Grammy Awards and is in receipt of countless prestigious awards the world over.

THE IRIDIUM JAZZ CLUB WILL CONTINUE TO CELEBRATE LES PAUL THE MAN, HIS MUSIC AND HIS LEGACY EVERY MONDAY NIGHT WITH: THE LES PAUL TRIO (LOU PALLO – GUITAR, JOHN COLIANNI – PIANO, NICKI PARROTT – BASS)

Monday, December 21st & 28th  -- And Every Monday in January Too!

The Iridium Jazz Club is pleased present A Very Special Holiday Appearance Singing his Grammy Inducted Holiday Classic ‘Feliz Navidad’

IRIDIUM JAZZ CLUB
1650 BROADWAY (CORNER OF 51ST)
NEW YORK, NY 10023
RESERVATIONS: 212-582-2121
HTTP://WWW.IRIDIUMJAZZCLUB.COM/

Ted Nash Mancini Project Wed. Dec. 2nd At The Iridium Jazz Club

The Ted Mancini Project will play the Iridium Jazz Club on Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009.  The Mancini Project features Ted Nash's interpretations of film composer Henry Mancini's work. The project is deeply personal to Ted as his father played on most of the Mancini soundtracks and Ted grew up listening to this music. The overall sound is seductive and smooth. It reminds me most in style of 60's bossa nova (Stan Getz) and 50's jazz. Also is has a bit of a lounge feel to it. The album is played by a quartet - Rufus Reid bass, Frank Kimbrough piano, Matt Wilson drums, and Nash on tenor sax, alto sax, soprano sax, alto flute and piccolo. The spacing on the album is great. Each musician's part can be clearly heard and the sound is never cluttered. More so than any other of Nash's album, this quartet setting really showcases Nash's playing on a variety of instruments as he is the primary soloist throughout the album. On his other albums there always seems to be so much going on that you don't always get a great look at Nash's playing. Here the sound is very clean and crisp. You really get to see all sides of Nash's playin.

IRIDIUM JAZZ CLUB
1650 BROADWAY (CORNER OF 51ST)
NEW YORK, NY 10023
RESERVATIONS: 212-582-2121
HTTP://WWW.IRIDIUMJAZZCLUB.COM/

Mark Murphy At The Iridium Jazz Club

MARK MURPHY is one of the world’s greatest – and hippest jazz vocalists. He has had a prolific 40 year career and is most noted for his definitive and unique vocalese and vocal improvisations with both melody and lyrics. He is the recipient of the 1996, 1997, 2000, and 2001 Downbeat Magazine Readers Jazz Poll for Best Male Vocalist of the Year and is also the recipient of Six Grammy Award Nominations for Best Vocal Jazz Performance. He is also famous for his original lyrics to the jazz classics Stolen Moments and Red Clay.

Catch Mark Murphy at the Iridium Jazz Club on Thursday, November 26th and Friday, November 27th, 2009 | Sets at 8:30PM and 10:30PM.

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IRIDIUM JAZZ CLUB
1650 BROADWAY (CORNER OF 51ST)
NEW YORK, NY 10023
RESERVATIONS: 212-582-2121
HTTP://WWW.IRIDIUMJAZZCLUB.COM/

Jimmy Scott At The Iridium Jazz Club

Billie Holiday often singled out Jimmy Scott as her favorite singer, and over the course of a long, circuitous career that dates back to his 1949 jukebox hit 'Everybody's Somebody's Fool' (with Lionel Hampton's big band), and a series of 1950s-'60s recordings for the Roost, Coral, Brunswick, and Savoy labels, Scott achieved notoriety as an R&B singer and pop balladeer.

Catch Jimmy Scott at the Iridium Jazz Club on Saturday, November 28th and Sunday, November 29th, 2009 - Sets at 8:30PM and 10:30PM.

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IRIDIUM JAZZ CLUB
1650 BROADWAY (CORNER OF 51ST)
NEW YORK, NY 10023
RESERVATIONS: 212-582-2121
HTTP://WWW.IRIDIUMJAZZCLUB.COM/

National Jazz Museum in Harlem December Schedule

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem invites you to join us in this final month of programming in 2009! The month begins and ends with the co-director of the museum, Christian McBride, who comes off the road for five free Jazz for Curious Listeners sessions focusing on the role of the bass in jazz history, the jazz ensemble, and in his illustrious career.

Drummer Ben Riley, first famous for his 1960’s tenure with Thelonious Monk, is the first guest of the flagship Harlem Speaks series. He remains one of the most important drummers on the scene today, so don't miss this rare discussion about his long and distinguished career. The second guest of Harlem Speaks is the saxophonist, composer and arranger Ray Santos, a true icon for over sixty years in the Latin jazz world.

Join for several panel discussions, one peering deeply into the past with a new look at ways jazz informed the work of writer Jack Kerouac, the other projecting a view to the future of jazz in the 21st century.

And so we can take out the old and bring in the new swingin’, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem All Star Big Band, under the direction of Loren Schoenberg, will perform live at the Rubin Museum of Art for the Harlem in the Himalayas series.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Jazz for Curious Listeners
A Month with Christian McBride: The Bass
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300 or register online

The finest musicians to spring from the world of jazz have clearly had an advantage when it comes to branching into other genres of music. Their mastery of composition, arranging and sight reading coupled with their flair for improvisation and spontaneous creation make them possibly the most seasoned and adaptable musicians in the art. Grammy Award winner Christian McBride, chameleonic virtuoso of the acoustic and electric bass, stands tall at the top of this clique. Beginning in 1989 – the beginning of an amazing career in which he still has wider-reaching goals to attain - the Philadelphian has thus far been first-call-requested to accompany literally hundreds of fine artists, ranging in an impressive array from McCoy Tyner and Sting to Kathleen Battle and Diana Krall.

His clear mastery of the bass, undisputed respect and admiration of his peers, and acclaim in the media offers a unique opportunity for those in attendance at tonight’s session. Hear one of the greatest artists on his instrument discuss the role of the bass in the jazz ensemble throughout jazz history and also demonstrate on his own bass.

McBride often uses the analogy of the offensive linemen in football as being comparable to the role of the bassist in jazz. “Although most of the focus is on the quarterback, the leader of the team, he’s only as good as his offensive line. The bass player’s role isn’t glamorous or glorious, but it’s essential.”

Yet in McBride’s able hands the bass takes on a shine of glamour, and his insights will surely illuminate the glory of the bass in the heartbeat of jazz.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Harlem Speaks
Ben Riley, Drummer
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Ben Riley was born on July 17, 1933 in Savannah, Georgia, and his family moved to New York four years later.  He began studying with noted Harlem band leader Cecil Scott while in junior high school, and in high school began playing in a school band.

In 1952 Ben Riley joined the army and began to perform with the army band, ramping up his learning curve several notches. Following his discharge from the army in the late 1950's, he began working in and around New York and developed long-lasting relationships with Randy Weston, Mary Lou Williams, Sonny Rollins, Woody Herman, Stan Getz, Billy Taylor, and many others. Yet the association that secured Ben's place in jazz history was his four year stint with the legendary Thelonious Monk. He toured extensively with Monk and recorded several now classic albums with the pianist, such as It’s Monk’s Time, Underground, and Straight, No Chaser. A marvelous example of Riley’s playing with Monk is also found in the black-and-white DVD released by Jazz Icons.

During his tenure with Monk, Riley also showcased his ability to play with a wide variety of musicians, including Earl "Fatha" Hines, Andrew Hill, Hank Jones, Barry Harris and Clark Terry. After leaving Monk in the late 1960's, Ben chose to take time off from the road and took a position with the Wyandanch, New York school district, where he remained for five years.

Then, during the mid-1970's, the call of music became too strong to resist and Riley began performing and recording once again, this time with Alice Coltrane and as a member of the New York Jazz Quartet. From the late 70's through the 80's he performed and recorded extensively with the Ron Carter Quartet, which included bassist Buster Williams and pianist Kenny Barron, whom Ben recommended for the band.

When Carter disbanded his quartet, the rhythm section of Riley, Williams and Barron remained intact, working as a trio and rhythm section for various touring artists visiting New York. Ben Riley suggested adding a permanent horn player to their trio; Charlie Rouse, Monk’s favorite tenor man in his band, joined and the cooperative band Sphere was the result. Upon Rouse’s death, Sphere disbanded but Riley continued to perform extensively with Barron. He also continued to develop musical relationships with Abdullah Ibrahim, Barney Kessel, Chet Baker, and Johnny Griffin, among several others.

In 1992, because of his vast contribution to jazz music, Riley was inducted into his hometown-based Coastal Jazz Hall of Fame in Savannah, Georgia.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Jazz for Curious Readers
Greg Tate
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300 or register online

Greg Tate was a staff writer at The Vil­lage Voice from 1987–2003. His writ­ings on cul­ture and pol­i­tics have also been pub­lished in The New York Times, The Wash­ing­ton Post, Art­fo­rum, Rolling Stone, VIBE, Pre­miere, Essence, Suede, The Wire, One World, Down­beat, and Jaz­zTimes. He was recently acknowl­edged by The Source mag­a­zine as one of the ‘God­fa­thers of Hiphop Jour­nal­ism’ for his ground­break­ing work on the genre’s social, polit­i­cal, eco­nomic and cul­tural impli­ca­tions in the period when most pun­dits con­sid­ered it a fad.

His pub­lished inter­views include dia­logues with Miles Davis, George Clin­ton, Richard Pryor, Car­los San­tana, Lenny Kravitz, Sade, Erykah Badu, Wayne Shorter, Joni Mitchell, Lisa Bonet, Samuel R Delany, Ice Cube, Dex­ter Gor­don, Betty Carter, King Sunny Ade, Chuck D of Pub­lic Enemy, Cas­san­dra Wil­son, Jill Scott, Wyn­ton Marsalis, Bran­ford Marsalis, Ornette Cole­man, Henry Thread­g­ill and Ver­non Reid of Liv­ing Colour.

Tate has also writ­ten for the Museum of Mod­ern Art, The Whit­ney Museum, ICA Boston, ICA Lon­don, Museum of Con­tem­po­rary Art Hous­ton, The Stu­dio Museum In Harlem, The Gagosian Gallery, Deitch Projects and the Tate Muse­ums Lon­don and Liv­er­pool. His writ­ing about visual art includes mono­graphs and essays about Chris Ofili, Wengechi Mutu, Jean Michel Basquiat, Ellen Gal­lagher, Kehinde Wiley and Ramm El Zee.

His books include Every­thing But The Bur­den, What White Peo­ple Are Tak­ing From Black Cul­ture (Harlem Moon/Random House, 2003), Mid­night Light­ning: Jimi Hen­drix and The Black Expe­ri­ence (Acapella/Lawrence Hill, 2003), and Fly­boy In The But­ter­milk, Essays on Amer­i­can Cul­ture (Simon and Shus­ter, 1993). Next year Duke Uni­ver­sity Press will pub­lish Fly­boy 2: The Greg Tate Reader. He recently com­pleted ‘The 100 Best Hiphop Lyrics’ for Pen­guin and is now work­ing on a book about the God­fa­ther of Soul, James Brown, for River­head Press.

His play My Dar­ling Grem­lin (with live music score by Lawrence Butch Mor­ris) was pro­duced at Aaron Davis Hall in 1993 and at The Kitchen in 1995. His short fea­ture film Black Body Radi­a­tion was com­pleted in 2006. He also col­lab­o­rated on the libret­toes for Juluis Hemphill’s opera Long Tongues (Apollo Pro­duc­tion) and for Leroy Jenk­ins’ Fresh Faust, (Boston ICA Production). Tate, who performs on guitar in his group Burnt Sugar, is currently teaching a course  as the Visiting Louis Armstrong Professor at Columbia University’s Center for Jazz Studies.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Jazz for Curious Listeners
A Month with Christian McBride: On Film
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300 or register online

Come witness Christian McBride, co-director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, on film, with his own bands, as well as with legends such as Sonny Rollins and Herbie Hanock.

If you do you’ll see for yourself that the most awe-inspiring thing about Christian McBride is that his prowess as a player is only half of what makes him such a respected, in-demand and mind-bogglingly busy individual, taking time out to share with the audience of the museum.

The portrait is completed by a mere mid-thirty-something man who carved out time to speak at former President Clinton’s town hall meeting on “Racism in the Performing Arts.” He holds Artistic Director posts at the Jazz Aspen Snowmass summer program and the Dave Brubeck Institute at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. McBride participated in a Stanford University panel on “Black Performing Arts in Mainstream America.” He’s hosted insightful one-on-one “jazz chats” in Cyberspace on Sonicnet.com. He also scribed the foreword for pianist Jonny King’s book, What Jazz Is (Walker & Co., New York).

2005 witnessed his adding two more prestigious appointments to his resume. In January, he was named co-director of The Jazz Museum in Harlem. Christian has been focusing on a longtime concern: exposing jazz to young people.

“To a degree, jazz is non-existent in most major urban communities, which deeply saddens me,” McBride states. “Kids don't understand who our jazz greats were. My contribution towards rectifying this will be getting them to check out free events at the museum by inviting jazz and non-jazz musicians, athletes and speakers that they can relate to.”
While working for the museum in Harlem, McBride racked up frequent flyer miles as Creative Chair for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, which gave him a degree of influence over commercial and educational programs at the Hollywood Bowl and Disney Hall. The position was passed on to him by singer Dianne Reeves who held it for three years; McBride handed off the chair to none other than Herbie Hancock.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Jazz Is: Now!
All about jazz in the 21st century – Part One with Jonathan Batiste
7:00pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Over the course of one century, jazz transitioned from folk to pop to fine art status. In the U.S., where pop music commands the attention of millions, jazz seems to be off the radar of the mainstream media. Yet changes in the landscape of the music industry, driven largely by the Internet and technological innovation, bodes opportunity for jazz musicians, promoters, producers and presenters.

This evening pianist Jonathan Batiste brings together a panel to discuss the future of jazz in the 21st century.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Jazz for Curious Listeners
A Month with Christian McBride: My Bands
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300 or register online

As one of the most in-demand bassists in music, Christian McBride could make a good living as a sideman. However, not only does he refuse to rest on his laurels or sideman status, over the course of his 20 year career he has asserted his own prerogative as a leader. Come hear him discuss his own bands, both electric and acoustic, including his latest ensemble, Inside Straight, which headlined at the Village Vanguard in November.

Christian McBride was born on May 31, 1972 in Philadelphia. Electric bass was Christian's first instrument, which he began playing at age 9, followed by acoustic bass two years later. His first mentors on the instrument were his father, Lee Smith (a renowned bassist in Philly) and his great uncle, Howard Cooper (a disciple of the jazz avant-garde). While intensely studying classical music, Christian's love for jazz also blossomed. Upon his 1989 graduation from Philadelphia's fertile High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (C.A.P.A.), Christian was awarded a partial scholarship to attend the world-renowned Juilliard School in New York City to study with the legendary bassist, Homer Mensch. That summer, before making the move to the Big Apple, the already in-demand bassist got his first taste of touring going to Europe with the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, and traveling the U.S. with the classical jazz fusion group, Free Flight.

McBride never had a chance to settle into his Juilliard studies. Within the first two weeks of the semester, he joined saxophonist Bobby Watson's band, Horizon. He also started working around New York at clubs such as Bradley's and the Village Gate with John Hicks, Kenny Barron, Larry Willis and Gary Bartz. After one year at Juilliard, McBride made a critical decision to leave school to tour with trumpeter Roy Hargrove's first band, electing "experience with as many musicians as possible" as the best teacher. In August of 1990, he landed a coveted position in trumpeter Freddie Hubbard's band until January of 1993.
In 1991, legendary bassist Ray Brown invited the young wunderkind to join him and John Clayton in the trio SuperBass. After being hailed “Hot Jazz Artist” of 1992 by Rolling Stone, Christian continued to prove it as a member of guitarist Pat Metheny's "Special Quartet," which included drum master Billy Higgins and saxophonist Joshua Redman. While recording and touring with Redman the following year, McBride signed to Verve Records in the summer of 1994, recording his first CD as a leader, Gettin' to It. He also graced the big screen playing bass in director Robert Altman's 1940's period piece, Kansas City (1996).

Christian recorded three more career-shaping albums at Verve: Number Two Express (1996), the soul-jazz fusion project A Family Affair (1998 – featuring Christian’s first two songs as a lyricist), and the critically acclaimed SCI-FI (2000), marking the inaugural execution of Christian’s concept of music being boundless by genre. The following year, he continued to expand his audience with two endeavors. He dipped into hip hop with a side project dubbed The Philadelphia Experiment, a “jam band”-inspired CD that reunited Christian with his high school friend, drummer Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson (leader of The Roots) and featured keyboardist Uri Caine and guitarist Pat Martino.

Later that year, pop star Sting invited Christian to become a key figure in his 2001 All This Time CD, DVD and tour. Then in 2002, Christian supported George Duke by becoming a member of his band and recording on his landmark album Face the Music: the legendary keyboardist’s first album on his own recording label, BPM. “Christian is a monster on that bass,” Duke states with pride. “It isn’t often these days to find a young musician so dedicated to his craft. Christian is my kind of musician, one that is open to new ideas, good at playing different styles, reads music prolifically and is dedicated to furthering the growth of music not only as a musician, but as a young representative of his profession. There isn’t anyone better. And besides that, he’s a great cat!”

In 2003, Christian released one album on Warner Bros. Records titled Vertical Vision, a blazing recording that introduced the current incarnation of the Christian McBride Band. Over the years, McBride has been featured on hundreds of albums, touring and/or recording with artists such as David Sanborn, Chick Corea, Chaka Khan, Natalie Cole, George Benson, and the late greats Joe Henderson, Betty Carter and Milt Jackson. He also undertook his first pop Musical Directorship at the helm of a Christmas show featuring gospel royalty BeBe Winans and pop star Carly Simon. The event marked stage-shy Simon’ first New York concert appearance in a decade and she expressly insisted that only McBride could be her MD.

Finally, as a composer, Christian has achieved several high watermarks. Among them is a commission from Jazz at Lincoln Center to compose "Bluesin' in Alphabet City," performed by Wynton Marsalis with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. And in 1998, the Portland (ME) Arts Society and the National Endowment for the Arts awarded McBride with a commission to write "The Movement, Revisited," Christian's dramatic musical portrait of the civil rights struggle of the 1960's written and arranged for quartet and a 30-piece gospel choir.

There have been very few artists who truly embody the genuine, heart-felt passion for music in all areas as has Christian McBride. By boldly continuing to leave his mark in areas of musical performance, composition, education and advocacy, he is destined to be a force in music for decades to come. Tonight’s focus on his own groups will unequivocally show why.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Jazz Is: Now!
All about jazz in the 21st century – Part Two with Jonathan Batiste
7:00pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Harlem Speaks
Ray Santos, Saxophonist/composer
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

For years, Ray Santos has been one Latin Music’s best kept secrets. Not anymore. His arrangement of “Beautiful Maria of My Soul” for the Hollywood movie, The Mambo Kings, was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Song for a Movie Category (1992). He penned the arrangements for tunes such as “Perfidia” and “Quiereme Mucho,” sung on the movie soundtrack by Linda Ronstadt. Excited by the power of the Ray Santos arrangements, she quickly contracted him to arrange and conduct the material for an album of Latin standards.

The result of the Ronstadt/Santos collaboration was the release entitled Frenesi, a tour-de force production that earned the Grammy Award for Best Tropical Latin Album of the Year (1992). On Tito Puente’s 100th Album and Afro-Cuban Jazz progenitor Mario Bauza’s last three productions, Ray Santos’ musicality poured forth through his big band arrangements.

The Juilliard graduate has played, recorded, composed and arranged for the frontline orchestras in the Latin Music Industry over the past 50 years. Mr. Santos, born and raised in New York City, reveled in the atmosphere of the Big Band Era. During this period he absorbed the popular music of his folk from the Caribbean and the Swing Music of the ‘30s and ‘40s. One night, around 1948, while listening to Symphony Sid on the radio, he heard him announce in that familiar deep voice: “Now, here’s ‘Bird,’ Charlie Parker soloing with Machito and His Afro-Cubans.” The thrill of that moment still in his voice, Ray excitedly describes his reaction as “WOW, This is it! This is the real meeting between Jazz and Afro-Cuban Music.”

Creative determination compelled the young saxophonist of the ‘50s to arrange and compose music that captured the incessant rhythmic drive of the Afro-Cuban Sound fused with the power and sonority of Big Band Jazz. The ace arranger penned an extensive output of charts, recorded by two generations of the most influential musical figures in contemporary American and Caribbean music, such as Machito, Tito Puente and Tito Rodriguez. His career from the ‘60s into the early ‘80s matured in Puerto Rico where he wrote and directed music for television, produced recordings for established and emerging Salsa Bands, and played for many top stars in the business. Upon returning to New York, Santos contributed several arrangements to Eddie Palmieri’s 1986 Grammy-winning album in the Latin Music category. His career as a music educator at City College of New York has established him as an authority on Caribbean music, teaching a new generation of musicians. Media and film producers have contracted him as an arranger and music consultant and he remains an artistic innovator in the field.

In September of 1998, Mr. Santos was invited by Wynton Marsalis to conduct the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in a series of three concerts presenting “Con Alma/Jazz With A Latin Tinge.” These concerts were received with great enthusiasm by the audience and drew favorable reviews in the press. In 1999 Ray collaborated with Paquito D’Rivera in the production of Maestro D’Rivera’s album, Tropicana Nights, that was awarded a Tropical Latin Grammy. In December of 1999 he co/produced, with David Chesky, the CD titled The Conga Kings featuring Candido Camero, Carlos “Patato” Valdes and Giovanni Hidalgo, three world-class exponents of conga drumming. In 2000, Ray arranged for the Masterpiece production with Tito Puente and Eddie Palmieri; this CD was awarded a Grammy. A second CD Conga Kings Jazz Descargas, with alto saxophonist Phil Woods was released in 2001 on Chesky Records.

Mambo’s resurgence heavily depends on those in the know. Ray Santos is riding, once again, on the crest of the new wave, experimenting with new ideas and musical approaches that will continue to enrich the popular art form, whether it is labeled salsa, Latin music or Afro-Cuban Jazz. “Mambo,” explains Ray, “is the interplay between a cooking rhythm section accompanying the saxes that lay down a melodic groove, over which the brass comes in blaring high powered riffs. The rhythm players, hearing this, step up the intensity of the beat while the dancers on the floor move with frenzy to this tremendous output. The musicians feed off the dancers’ reaction to the music, so it’s like a cycle of energy that goes back and forth between the music and the dancers.”

Proficient musicianship, the gift to express and write musical inspiration and a well-rounded persona has placed Ray Santos among the developers of the music. In turn, he is also preparing a new generation of musicians who will keep the traditions alive and contribute their own innovations. This unassuming gentleman will be, for days to come, a topic of conversation among musicologists, industry people and music lovers alike. And the recognition that Ray has and will continue to receive proves that even in the midst of a highly competitive music industry, nice guys need not finish last.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Harlem in the Himalayas National Jazz Museum in Harlem All Star Big Band
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door | 7PM
Box Office: 212-620-5000 ext. 344
Band includes: Seneca Black, John Eckert, Dominick Farinacci, Dion Tucker, Pete and Will Anderson, Jason Marshall, Keith Loftis, Ben Williams and Marion Felder.

Swing with executive director Loren Schoenberg and the National Jazz Museum in Harlem AllStar Big Band at our very last performance at the Rubin Museum of Art in 2009!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Saturday Panels
Jack Kerouac: What's New?
11:00am – 4:00pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Join scholar Sara Villa, poet Rueben Jackson and others on recent discoveries and jazz-related items in the Kerouac oeuvre.

When thinking of the relationship between Kerouac’s writings, the first things that generally come to mind are his major novels – most evidently On the Road and The Subterraneans – his poems, like the “Charlie Parker Choruses” of Mexico City Blues, or his poetical statements, such as his “Essential of Spontaneous Prose”.  If, however, we unite this specifically literary perspective to the analysis of his apparently most scattered writings on jazz, a new image of Kerouac is revealed. These texts, dating from 1939 to the late Fifties, include the articles Kerouac wrote for the Horace Mann Record dedicated to Count Basie, Glenn Miller and George Avakian’s Chicago Jazz album, essays on the hybridizing influences of contemporary classical compositions and on the evolution of bebop and cool jazz, poems and journal entries disclosing the poignant insight of a refined cultural critic, one who is extremely knowledgeable and refined in his embrace of jazz music and culture. These texts will be the beginning of a more expanded dialogue and discussion on Kerouac and jazz, with a special contribution of jazz, classical musician and composer David Amram on his jazz poetry performances with Jack Kerouac and on the creation of Pull My Daisy, directed by Robert Frank and Albert Leslie, ad-libbed by Jack Kerouac with original music composed by David Amram.

Sara Villa is a postdoctoral fellow in a joint program between Columbia University’s Center for Jazz Studies and the State University of Milan, where she received her PhD in 2008. Her research project is dedicated to Jack Kerouac’s manuscripts on jazz, from his youthful articles on Glenn Miller and Count Basie to the more mature production of essays on bebop and cool jazz. Dr. Villa is the translator into Italian of Windblown World: The Journals of Jack Kerouac 1947-1954, and the editor of a forthcoming collection of Kerouac’s music writings. She is the author of articles on Jack Kerouac, Virginia Woolf, and Anglo-American Contemporary Cinema. Her monographic volume on Woolf’s Orlando (I due Orlando: dal romanzo di Virginia Woolf all’adattamento cinematografico di Sally Potter/Two Orlandos: From Virginia Woolf’s Novel to Sally Potter’s Film Adaptation) has recently been published by CUEM, Milan.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Jazz for Curious Listeners
A Month with Christian McBride: All-Star Projects
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300 or register online

This evening Christian McBride shall share audio and video clips from his tenure with truly all-star bands, such as Sting, trios led by Herbie Hancock and Pat Metheny, groups fronted by Willie Nelson and Queen Latifah, as well as the Philadelphia Experiment and, very recently, the Chick Corea-John McLauglin Five Piece Band.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Jazz for Curious Listeners
A Month with Christian McBride: Favorite Recordings
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300 or register online

As the premier jazz bassist of his generation, Christian McBride is naturally associated with the jazz idiom. But his tastes in music are quite eclectic, as you will discover tonight at the very last public program of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem in 2009.

The staff and board of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem wish you happy holidays and a prosperous New Year!