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National Jazz Museum in Harlem 2010 June Schedule

Our June 2010 schedule includes discussions with musical artists Paquito D'Rivera and Craig Harris for Harlem Speaks; a talk with a living literary legend, Peter Straub, at Jazz for Curious Readers; and our adult education series, Jazz for Curious Listeners, features instrumentalists Jeremy Pelt, Nicholas Payton and Orrin Evans taking the reins of discourse on jazz in the 21st century.

On the performance tip, Craig Harris will let his horn do the talking as he headlines the first Harlem in the Himalayas concert of the month, followed by the sax/piano duo of Loren Stillman and Russ Lossing in the intimate performance space at the Rubin Museum of Art. We're also devoting a Saturday afternoon to piano jazz, on the Steinway piano of Dick Katz, in honor of whom the musicians will play in a range of stylistic approaches that Katz performed with aplomb for 50+ years.

Consider donning your dancing shoes for two nights of jazz-influenced music to dance to! The Afro-Cuban tradition will be celebrated for Jazz at the Dwyer, with David Oquendo and Havana 3. A special collaboration with the Riverside Theatre features percussionist Vanderlei Pereira  binding the ties between jazz and Brazilian music with groove and soul.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Jazz for Curious Listeners
Hear Me Talkin' To You: Jeremy Pelt
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Tonight young trumpet master Jeremy Pelt will confront topics not usually addressed by musicians and the jazz public, as we pursue a month-long consideration of jazz in the 21st century.

Jeremy Pelt arrived in New York in 1998 after graduating from Berklee College of Music. Once he got there, it wasn't long before he started being noticed by a lot of top musicians in the city. His first professional Jazz gig was playing with the Mingus Big Band. That gig lead to many long lasting associations with many of the talent in the band, and a great opportunity for growth. Since his arrival, he has been fortunate enough to play with many of today's and yesterday's Jazz luminaries, such as Jimmy Heath, Frank Wess,Charli Persip, Keter Betts, Frank Foster, John Hicks, Ravi Coltrane, Winard Harper, Vincent Herring, Ralph Peterson, Lonnie Plaxico, Cliff Barbaro, Nancy Wilson, Bobby Short, Bobby "Blue" Bland, The Skatalites, Cedar Walton, and many, many more. Jeremy has also been featured in a variety of different bands, including the Roy Hargrove Big Band, The Village Vanguard Orchestra, the Duke Ellington Big Band. Currently, he is member of the Lewis Nash Septet, and The Cannonball Adderley Legacy Band featuring Louis Hayes.

His work earned him a huge write-up in the Wall Street Journal by legendary Jazz writer and producer Nat Hentoff. His performances have received rave reviews from publications around the world.

After a reading of Pelt's biography and discography, it's easy to see why Pelt was voted Rising Star on the Trumpet five years in a row by Downbeat Magazine and the Jazz Journalist Association!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Harlem Speaks
Craig Harris, Trombonist/Composer
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

When Craig Harris exploded onto the jazz scene in 1976, he brought the entire history of the jazz trombone—from the growling gutbucket intensity of early New Orleans music through the refined, articulate improvisation of the modern era set forth by J.J. Johnson, into the confrontational expressionism of the '60s avant-garde.

Yet the contemporary music world quickly realized that his talents went far beyond his superb skills as a trombonist. While he performed with a veritable Who's Who of progressive jazz, including Sun Ra, Sam Rivers, Lester Bowie, Abdullah Ibrahim, Makanda Ken McIntyre, Jaki Byard, Cecil Taylor, Muhal Richard Abrams, and so on, his own projects displayed both a unique sense of concept and a total command of the sweeping expanse of African-American musical expression.
Those two qualities that have dominated Craig's past two decades of activity, bringing him far beyond the confines of the jazz world and into the sphere of multimedia and performance art as composer, performer, conceptualist, curator and artistic director.

In tonight's Harlem Speaks discussion, Harris will venture forth on his life and career, especially as it intersects with Harlem, where he has lived since 1976.

"I used to visit Harlem a lot before moving here. I went to Paris in July 1976 and returned in October 76. I walked the street with Sun Ra back then. I worked in Aaron Davis Hall. I did a piece entitled 'Brown Butterfly,' based on the physiology of Muhammad Ali, which included seven dancers and seven musicians," said Harris, who more recently composed a long-form composition on Harlem called the TriHarLenium. "I sought to capture the beauty, history and culture of a people who have always been originators. Harlem is currently undergoing gentrification and transition so I wanted to share its history through my TriHarLenium composition with Harlem's people."

Monday, June 7, 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

In an excellent overview of the oeuvre, themes, and achievements of renowned contemporary author Peter Straub, writer Stefan Dziemianowicz calls Straub "a jazz stylist of modern horror. Like the musicians whom he references frequently in his stories, he works at an art with deep-rooted traditions that he respectfully acknowledges. But also like those musicians, Straub works tirelessly to extend the range of those traditions, pushing them boldly into hitherto unexplored territory."  Critics and fans alike appreciate that Straub is knowledgeable of horror standards since his fiction abounds with ingenious riffs and variations on its classic themes. Yet he is also a restlessly imaginative artist who synthesizes original and deeply personal creations from seemingly disparate elements of his compositions as well as a versatile improviser who never approaches recurring ideas in his work the same way twice.

Straub came to writing horror by way of mainstream fiction, and he is arguably the most literary of contemporary horror writers, with influences that range from D. H. Lawrence to Vladimir Nabokov and John Ashberry. He was an established poet with two volumes of verse to his credit when his first novel, Marriages, was published in 1973. Like his second-written novel, Under Venus (not published until 1984), it was very much a tale of its time, concerned with characters in the grip of midlife emotional and spiritual crises and set in a realistically imagined post-1960s milieu. In much of his fiction to come, Straub would show readers that supernatural experience is an effective tool for expressing states of intense emotion.

But as with the greatest jazz artists, Straub's fiction moves beyond the bounds of simple genre. Jazz itself is a theme around and through which Straub plays variations, as in the title of his path-breaking 1988 novel, Koko. And in a brilliant interview with writer David Mathew, Straub discusses the origin of his novella story-within-a-story, "Pork Pie Hat," and gives a taste of the feeling tones in store for our talk with him tonight.

"The inspiration for Pork Pie Hat came from a long moment in a videotape of 'The Sound of Jazz,' a live television broadcast in 1957 or 1958 that assembled a lot of great jazz musicians in a studio and let them play whatever they felt like for the space of an entire hour. Just before its conclusion, Billie Holiday sat perched on a stool to sing a blues she had written called "Fine and Mellow" at the center of a circle made up of heroic figures like Ben Webster, Vic Dickenson, Jo Jones, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Eldridge, Rex Stewart, and - above all - the tenor saxophonist Lester Young, then only months from the end of his life and in terrible shape. Billie sang a chorus, two musicians played a chorus apiece, Billie sang another chorus, and so on...

"Lester Young wandered into view at the beginning of the second go-round. Someone had to give him a push in the back to get him on his feet and moving toward the microphone. You can see him lick his reed and settle the horn in his mouth. What he plays is one uncomplicated chorus of the blues that moves from phrase to phrase with a kind of otherworldly majesty. Sorrow, heartbreak, and what I can only call wisdom take place through the mechanism of following one note, usually a whole note, with another one, slowly. There he is, this stupendous musician who had once transformed everything about him by the grace of his genius, this present shambles, this human wreckage, hardly able to play at all, delivering a statement that becomes more and more perfect, more and more profound as it advances from step to step. I cried every time I watched it, and I watched it over and over. I played it for my friends and made them watch it. Eventually, I wondered: what could lead a person to a place like that, what brought him there? That was the origin of Pork Pie Hat."

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Hear Me Talkin' To You: Nicholas Payton
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Considered by many the premier jazz trumpeter of his generation, Nicholas Payton is also an outspoken thought leader among his peers. His musings via blog, or his pithy questions and insights via Facebook are evidence of a deep, provocative thinker.

The son of bassist and sousaphonist Walter Payton, he took up the trumpet at the age of four and by the time he was nine he was playing in the Young Tuxedo Brass Band alongside his father. Upon leaving school, he enrolled first at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and then at the University, where he studied with Ellis Marsalis.

After touring with Marcus Roberts and Elvin Jones in the early 90s Payton signed a recording contract with Verve; his first album, From This Moment, appeared in 1994. In 1996 he performed on the soundtrack of the movie Kansas City, and in 1997 received a Grammy Award (Best Instrumental Solo) for his playing on the album Doc Cheatham & Nicholas Payton. After seven albums on Verve, Payton signed with Warner Bros. Records, releasing Sonic Trance, his first album on the new label, in 2003. Besides his recordings under his own name, Payton has also played and recorded with Roy Haynes, Wynton Marsalis, Christian McBride, Joshua Redman, Roy Hargrove, and Joe Henderson.

In 2008, Payton became part of The Blue Note 7, a septet formed that year in honor of the 70th anniversary of Blue Note Records. His own latest release, Into the Blue, is a collection of ten tunes steeped in melody and groove that Nicholas says “embodies the sensibilities of beauty, elegance and simplicity” and delivers “danceable tempos.”

Tonight's discussion is the first of two consecutive Jazz for Curious Listeners he's leading . . . don't miss this chance to engage with a jazz master in the making.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Harlem in the Himalayas
Craig Harris Quartet
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
For tickets: RMA Box Office
or call 212-620-5000 ext. 344

Born in Hempstead on Long Island, N.Y. in 1953, Craig Harris is a graduate of the renowned music program of SUNY at Old Westbury. Profoundly influenced by its legendary founder and director, the late Makanda Ken McIntyre, Craig's move to New York City in 1978 quickly established him in the forefront of young trombonists, along with Ray Anderson, George Lewis and Joseph Bowie.

First playing alongside another of his teachers at SUNY, baritone saxophonist Pat Patrick in Sun Ra's Arkestra for two years, Harris embarked on a world tour with South African pianist/composer Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand) in 1981. Highly affected by their stay in Australia, Craig played with Aborigine musicians and returned with a dijeridoo, a haunting wind instrument that has become a part of his musical arsenal ever since.

Upon his return, Harris became a member of such major groups as David Murray's Octet, the Beaver Harris-Don Pullen 360 Degree Musical Experience, Sam Rivers' various orchestral aggregations, Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy and many, many more. He also played for the now dearly-departed Lena Horne in her Broadway orchestra for a year.

Harris has performed all over the world with his own ensembles and has recorded numerous albums for various labels; tonight hear this innovative creative spirit make music with his quartet that will certainly be a highlight of the Harlem in the Himalayas roster of concerts in 2010.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Jazz for Curious Listeners
Hear Me Talkin' To You: Nicholas Payton
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Since 1994 when Nicholas Payton made his recording debut as a leader with From This Moment, the trumpeter has been lauded as a significant, top-tier voice in jazz. Even though he started out as a “young lion of jazz,” heralded as one of the new-generation guardians of the hard bop flame, Payton consistently committed himself to discovering his voice outside of the strict confines of that rearview mirror approach to the music.
While his jazz journey has taken him down many roads – from heritage artist to electric experimenter – the 34-year-old trumpeter has arrived at a new plateau of jazz maturity with Into the Blue, his ninth album and his first for Nonesuch. It’s at once a nod to the past and a leap into the future. “It’s an amalgam of every recording I’ve done up until now,” says Payton. “As a musician, as an artist, you’re always trying to zero in on the bull’s eye as a means of becoming a better version of yourself. With Into the Blue, I’ve been able to find the kind of music that’s more inclusive of all of my life. The approach and the ideas of my music have become more singular, more cohesive. I had no agenda in terms of a specific genre or style, only to be true to who I am now.”

True to himself: that's a fitting way to describe Payton's approach to music and the issues that he addresses in writing, online, and at rare public discussion appearances such as last week's Jazz for Curious Listeners. Come witness the continuation of Payton's improvisation on life, the mind and spirit.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Harlem Speaks
Paquito D'Rivera, Composer/Saxophonist/Clarinetist
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Born on the island of Cuba, Paquito D'Rivera began his career as a child prodigy. A restless musical whiz during his teen years, Mr. D’Rivera created various original and ground-breaking musical ensembles. As a founding member of the Orquesta Cubana de Musica Moderna, he directed that group for two years, while at the same time playing both the clarinet and saxophone with the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. He eventually went on to premiere several works by notable Cuban composers with the same orchestra. Additionally, he was a founding member and co-director of the innovative musical ensemble Irakere. With its explosive mixture of jazz, rock, classical and traditional Cuban music never before heard, Irakere toured extensively throughout America and Europe, won several Grammy nominations (1979, 1980) and a Grammy (1979).

Paquito D'Rivera is the first artist to win Latin Grammy's in both Classical and Latin Jazz categories (2003), for Stravinsky’s Historia del Soldado (L'Histoire du Soldat) and Brazilian Dreams with the New York Voices. The other historic recipient who has won duo Grammy's in both Classical and Jazz categories is Wynton Marsalis.

D’Rivera is a recipient of the National Medal for the Arts, presented at the White House by President George W. Bush in 2005, and was named one of the 2005 NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) Jazz Masters.

While Paquito D'Rivera's discography includes over 30 solo albums in Jazz, Bebop and Latin music, his contributions to classical music are impressive. They include solo performances with the London Philharmonic, the London Symphony, the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Brooklyn Philharmonic. He has also performed with the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, the Costa Rica National Symphony, the Simón Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, the Bronx Arts Ensemble, and the St. Luke’s Chamber Orchestra, among others.

In addition to his extraordinary performing career as an instrumentalist, Paquito D'Rivera has rapidly gained a reputation as a dynamic composer. The prestigious music house, Boosey and Hawkes, is the exclusive publisher of Mr. D'Rivera’s compositions. Recognition of his significant compositional skills came in 2007 with the award of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in Music Composition, and the 2007-2008 appointment as Composer-In-Residence at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. His works often reveal his widespread and eclectic musical interests, ranging from Afro-Cuban rhythms and melodies, including influences encountered in his many travels, and back to his classical origins.

Also a gifted author, Mr. D’Rivera’s book, My Sax Life, was published in Spain by the prestigious literary house, Seix Barral, and contains a prologue by Guillermo Cabrera Infante. Acclaimed by the public and critics alike, the English edition was released by Northwestern University Press in November 2005.

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem is proud to feature one of the most respected and beloved artists in jazz this evening for what promises to be a discussion full of fun by a free-spirited virtuoso artist who puts profound feeling into his music, no matter the style or genre.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Harlem in the Himalayas Loren Stillman/Russ Lossing Duo
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
For tickets: RMA Box Office
or call 212-620-5000 ext. 344

A saxophonist and composer from Brooklyn, Loren Stillman is hailed as a writer and a stylist that has found a previously unoccupied slot in the jazz spectrum. He's been recognized as one of today's truly original creative voices by publications such as The New York Times, Downbeat Magazine, Jazziz and Jazz Times as well as by National Public Radio. A former student of Lee Konitz and David Liebman, Stillman has performed and recorded throughout the United States and Europe and Japan with his own ensembles, and with those led by Charlie Haden, Carla Bley, Paul Motian, John Abercrombie, Andy Milnes DAPP Theory, Eivind Opsviks Overseas, Tyshawn Soreys Obliquity, Vic Juris Quartet and The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.

Russ Lossing is a provocative, fresh leader in creating alternatives to long held conceptions in music. His individual voice, as a pianist, teacher and composer, is sought out as an authority in the jazz and avant-garde fields emerging in music today. He's has composed over 300 works and is in special demand as a world class jazz pianist and improviser.  Lossing has seven CDs as leader and is featured on over 30 other CDs as sideman and collaborator with world acclaimed musicians such as Paul Motian, Dave Liebman, John Abercrombie, Mat Maneri and Mark Dresser. He has composed 21 film scores from avant-garde shorts to full length documentaries for PBS, BBC and world broadcast performances, as well as dramatic features both foreign and domestic.  He has numerous television and live radio performances and interviews in the U.S.A. and Europe relative to his distinction as a performer and composer.

Tonight's performance promises to be an adventure into musical territory both expansive and introspective, not to be missed by those with a cutting-edge sensibility.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Jazz at the Dwyer
Afro-Cuban Jazz Dance Night: David Oquendo and Havana 3
7:00 – 11:00pm
Location: The Dwyer Cultural Center
(258 St. Nicholas Avenue at W. 123rd Street)
$15 | More information: info@DwyerCC.org
<mailto:info@DwyerCC.org>

A Night to Remember!

Dance was formerly a mainstay of the public ritual of jazz performance, and remains an essential part of the variety of Latin American music. The Afro-Cuban legacy in jazz brings dance to the forefront, as declarative horns and clave-based rhythms kiss the American impulse to swing. Come ready to do your own thing . . . on the dance floor at the Dwyer Cultural Center in Harlem!


David Oquendo was born in Havana, Cuba in 1958.  Self taught, Oquendo absorbed the essence of the Afro Cuban rhythmical vernacular in the poorest neighborhoods of his native city. At 12 years of age, David started playing guitar and singing in several “Rock” bands around Cuba.  Even though he was not conservatory trained, his passion for music, his discipline and self-criticism, took him to the point where eventually he was considered one of the best guitar accompanist in Cuba. This was evident in his appearances at “El Rincon del Feeling”, “Cabaret Tropicana”, “Cabaret Internacional de Varadero”, “ Salon Rojo” at the Hotel Capri and many more venues.



As accompanist, David has worked with artist of the caliber of: Moraima Secada, Elena Burke, Lucho Gatica, Meme Solis, Maggie Carles, Lenny Andrade, and many others.  As guitarist, singer, composer, arranger and bassist, David has performed in concerts and recordings in Cuba, Panama, Dominican Republic, Austria, Canada, Greece, Spain, Brasil, Bermuda and the US with names such:  Paquito D’Rivera, Compay Segundo, Marc Anthony, Johnny Ventura, Ray Barreto, Arturo Sandoval, Giovanni Hidalgo “Manenguito”, Mauricio Smith, Andy Gonzalez, Manny Oquendo, Johnny Pacheco, Gilberto Santarrosa, El Gran Combo, Jose Luis Quintana “Changuito”, Willie Chirino, Regina Carter, Candido Camero, Patato Valdez, Gato Barbieri, Carlos Ponce, Sergio Vargas, Rudy Calzado, Basilio, Yomo Toro, Anthony Rios, Jose Fajardo, Israel Lopez “Cachao”, Graciela and Chico O’Farril to mention a few.

David has a Grammy Award for the album “Tropicana’s Nights” with Paquito D’Rivera, a Grammy Nomination for “Bebop Timba” with Raphael Cruz and three Latin Grammy Nominations for “Raices Habaneras”, “50 Years of Mambo” and “Paquito D’Rivera Presenta Las Hermanas Marquez”.

Founder and director of the Afro Cuban folklore group “Raices Habaneras”, which has been performing, without interruption, every Sunday since 1996 what has become known as “Domingos de la Rumba” (Rumba Sundays), David’s mission is to expose the public to a genuine representation of the “Rumba” genre.  David, was musical director and producer for “The Cuban Rumba All Stars”, a first time, historical collaboration by members of Cuba’s Rumba groups:  Los Munequitos de Matanzas, Yoruba Andabo, Clave y Guaguanco, Obba ILU, Coro Folklorico Cubano, Raices Profundas y Grupo Tata Guines.

As a member of Faculty of Harbor Conservatory for The Performing Arts, since 2002, he is teaching guitar, Cuban tres, bass, voice and the Afro-Cuban folklore workshop, the Latin Band workshop, the Guitar ensemble and the Vocal training Group Class.

David has appeared in: “El Show de Cristina” in Univision, the series “OZ” in HBO, “Harmony in the Kitchen” in the Food Network, “State of the Arts” and “The Cuban Americans” in PBS, The Ivan Acosta’s films “How to Create a Rumba” and “ Candido Hands of Fire”, The Heddy Honigmann’s film “Dame la Mano”, “Al Rojo Vivo” in Telemundo and “Orgullo Hispano” in Channel 47 Telemundo NYC, “Sabado al Mediodia” and “Al Despertar” in Channel 41 Univision NYC.  As well as WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM, WBAI 99.5 FM and WADO 12.80 AM radio in NYC.  He has also performed in prestigious stages such as: Madison Square Garden, Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Town Hall, Beacon Theatre, NJPAC Newark, Symphony Space, Cami Hall, Seattle International Children Festival, Jackie Gleason Theater, Olympia Theater at Gusman Center and Tropigala at The Fontainebleu in Miami Beach as a part of The 4th Annual Latin Grammy’s performance, The WOMAD Festival in Spain, Tenerife’s Carnival, Sao Pablo and Rio de Janeiro Jazz Festival in Brasil, The JVC Jazz Festival, Ravinia Jazz Festival, San Francisco Jazz Festival and The Montreal Jazz Festival.



Saturday, June 19, 2010

Saturday Panels A Piano Extravaganza
12:00 – 4:00pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Special guest: Ethan Iverson and others

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem is proud to present four hours of live piano jazz as we welcome into our museum holdings the Steinway piano of the late Dick Katz, kicking off our Memorial Concert Series in his honor.

Renowned as a repository of the variety of jazz piano styles from the earliest years of the idiom to the modern styles of the 40s, 50s, and 60s, Katz was last at the museum during our Saturday panel on Papa Jo Jones in 2009. His body was weak, and his gait slow that day, but his eyes gleamed with delight as he discussed Jones's life and career, and the generation of musicians that were central to his own development as a jazz artist.  

In tribute to this friend of the museum and exemplar of the continuum of jazz piano styles, we'll feature hours of the versatility of jazz piano by Katz's friends and admirers.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Hear Me Talkin' To You: Orrin Evans
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

We continue with a month of conversations led by jazz musicians on topics not usually associated with jazz musicians with pianist Orrin Evans, whom Executive Director Loren Schoenberg invited to participate based on "illuminating chats spurred on Facebook."

Born in Trenton, NJ but raised in Philadelphia, acoustic pianist Orrin Evans was among the "Young Lions" of straight-ahead jazz who emerged in the 1990s, as was the previous Jazz for Curious Listeners guest host, Nicholas Payton. Evans' main focus is hard bop, although he has occasionally ventured into soul-jazz and R&B when backing such vocalists as Denice King http://www.artistdirect.com/nad/music/artist/card/0,,525768,00.html and his wife, Dawn Warren http://www.artistdirect.com/nad/music/artist/card/0,,679983,00.html.

Expect a far-reaching discussion with jazz at the starting gate, and audience participation and feedback determining the finish line.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Special Event
Evening of Brazilian music and jazz: Vanderlei Pereira 5
2:00 – 4:30pm
Location: Riverside Theatre (at the Riverside Church)
91 Claremont Avenue, betw. 120th and 122nd
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Music by drummer, percussionist, composer and educator Vanderlei Pereira and friends. Come dance!
Drummer Vanderlei Pereira is one of the most sought-after musicians on the contemporary Brazilian jazz scene. Combining a prodigious knowledge of Brazilian rhythms with dazzling technique and a distinctive touch, Vanderlei has captivated audiences with his unique and electrifying performances.

Yet Vanderlei Pereira's proficiency on the drum set extends beyond his mastery of Brazilian rhythms. He received a Diploma in Jazz Studies from the Mannes College of Music in New York City, where he studied with the renowned jazz drummers John Riley and Vernel Fournier. In addition, Vanderlei has studied with the Latin jazz drum and percussion masters Ignacio Berroa, Bobby Sanabria and Johnny Almendra. He has incorporated these diverse influences into his playing and, as a result, has earned the respect of both straight-ahead and Latin jazz musicians on the demanding New York scene, where he is widely admired and respected for his musical versatility.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Hear Me Talkin' To You: Orrin Evans
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Influenced by McCoy Tyner, Horace Silver, Bud Powell, and Thelonious Monk, among others, our guest host Orrin Evans graduated from high school in the early 1990s and studied at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ before going on to private study with Kenny Barron, and work as a sideman with Ralph Peterson, Duane Eubanks, singer Lenora Zenzalai-Helm and Bobby Watson. In fact, Watson's effect on Evans has been so affecting that Evans's latest CD, Faith in Action (on Posi-Tone Records), is a tribute to the silvery alto saxophonist.

Evans recorded his first CD as a leader, The Orrin Evans Trio, for his own Black Entertainment label in 1994. After that, he signed with Criss Cross and recorded numerous CDs. Most recently, he's released a DVD titled, "Live All Over the Place," excerpts from which he may share tonight.

National Jazz Museum in Harlem 2010 May Schedule

We invite you to join us at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem as we venture to the very birthplace of jazz, New Orleans, for a month-long focus on the Crescent City of today.

We take our Jazz for Curious Listeners theme, “Tuning into Tremé,” as an allusion to the critically acclaimed new HBO series, which itself is named after one of the oldest black neighborhoods in the United States. Curated by Larry Blumenfeld of the Wall Street Journal, this journey will encompass the gumbo of cultures and musics that make New Orleans so special while pointing the way to its post-Katrina future. The Saturday Panel on New Orleans will extend and elaborate this critical inquiry.

Our flagship discussion series, Harlem Speaks, begins with Harlem resident and master tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery, and ends with the veteran vibraphonist David Samuels, whose eclectic musical tastes will add spice to the conversation. Trumpet man Randy Sandke’s latest book is making waves in as a fresh and at times controversial look at race and economics in jazz history; he’ll share the whys and hows at Jazz for Curious Readers.

As always, we never just give you all talk and no play, so the instrumentalists will have their say on stage, as pianist Steven Schoenberg performs a solo concert for Harlem in the Himalayas and the NJMH All Stars blow their horns for dancers at Jazz at the Dwyer.

Mark your calendars today, tell some friends, don’t delay, so we can swing with you in May!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Jazz for Curious Readers
Randy Sandke
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Trumpeter/author Randy Sandke, author of Where the Light and the Dark Folks Meet: Race and the Mythology, Politics and Business of Jazz (Scarecrow Press, 2010), has performed at festivals, clubs, and concerts around the world and has recorded over twenty albums as a leader as well.

As a composer, Sandke has had pieces performed at Carnegie Hall, the 92nd St. YMCA, and Avery Fischer Hall at Lincoln Center. The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band performed six of his suites.

Tonight’s focus, however, is on Sandke’s literary achievement and insights.

Randy Sandke’s previous book, Harmony for a New Millennium, details a method of exploring non-tonal harmony in the context of both composition and improvisation. He has also written scholarly articles on jazz history for the Oxford Companion to Jazz and the Rutgers University Annual Review of Jazz Studies.

In his recently published work (see above) Sandke conjoins his experience as a working musician with his scholarship to produce a work that debunks many of the hoary myths surrounding the role of race in jazz history. In what promises to be an intriguing (and perhaps controversial) discussion, Sandke will explain his thesis and why he was inspired to write Where the Light and the Dark Folks Meet: Race and the Mythology, Politics and Business of Jazz.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Tuning in to Tremé: Big Chiefs and Second Lines
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Set in New Orleans, David Simon's new HBO series “Treme” picks up three months after the floods that resulted from the levee failures after Hurricane Katrina. Culture, which in New Orleans means a tight braid of music, cuisine, dance, visual art, and street life, is the primary focus of the series, as indeed it was and is the defining element of the city's identity and its recovery. Familiar faces from Simon's actors' troupe show up as fictional cultural fixtures: Wendell Pierce (detective Bunk Moreland on The Wire) plays Antoine Batiste, a trombonist we first encounter subbing with the real-life Rebirth Brass Band. Clarke Peters (detective Lester Freamon on The Wire) plays the Mardi Gras Indian Chief Albert Lambreaux, chanting out some of his best lines while beating a tambourine. The true-life heroes of New Orleans jazz figure prominently too: In addition to Rebirth, the list of musicians making cameo appearances, often in performance, includes trumpeter Kermit Ruffins, saxophonist Donald Harrison, and Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, and drummer Bob French.

These 90-minute conversations, led by writer Larry Blumenfeld, who has written extensively about New Orleans since the flood, will use the HBO series to frame a wide-ranging consideration of jazz culture in New Orleans and its role in recovery. Excerpts from the show will be screened, and special guests-musicians, participants in the series, and scholars-will join in the discussion.

In Sidney Bechet's memoir, Treat It Gentle, the late, great clarinetist's real grandfather is supplanted by Omar, a fictional figure based on a folk tale, all the better to convey stirring truths about the true origins of New Orleans jazz. Real and imagined intermingle pointedly in New Orleans, in all walks of life. What can the fiction of “Treme”-which is named for the “Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans, long a hothouse for jazz culture-tell is about the city's real culture before and since the flood?

In our first session we will see the manner in which “Treme” plugs directly into an indigenous culture that has served as a lifeline for a New Orleans still inching toward recovery. That lifeline is extended principally by traditional jazz and brass-band musicians; the Social Aid & Pleasure Club members that mount Sunday parades; and-perhaps the most mysterious and essential group of all-Mardi Gras Indians, who dress in elaborate feathered and beaded suits four times a year. We'll consider the roots, traditions and depictions of these culture-bearers and their connections to familiar music.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

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

Harlem resident Wayne Escoffery is one of the most talented rising stars and in-demand sidemen on tenor saxophone in jazz. Born in London, Escoffery grew up in New Haven, Connecticut, where he sang in a renowned local boy’s choir and began taking sax lessons. At 16 he attended JazzMobile in Harlem, and by his senior year in secondary school had met Jackie McLean at The Artist’s Collective in Hartford.
McLean gave Wayne a full scholarship to attend The Hartt School, where he graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor's degree in Jazz Performance, and became known as one of McLean's prize pupils. He went on to attend and graduate from The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance at The New England Conservatory in Boston with a Masters degree.

Since then, he has performed with a plethora of internationally respected musicians and has become known for his beautiful sound, impressive technique and versatility. As well as performing with his quartet, his group Veneration and a collaborative group with vocalist (and wife) Carolyn Leonhart, Wayne Escoffery currently performs locally and tours internationally with Ben Riley's Monk Legacy Septet, The Tom Harrell Quintet, and The Mingus Big Band/Orchestra/Dynasty.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Harlem in the Himalayas

Steven Schoenberg
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
For tickets: RMA Box Office
or call 212-620-5000 ext. 344

This solo piano performance marks Steven Schoenberg's first New York concert since the release of Steven Schoenberg Live: An Improvisational Journey. He’s a dynamic, award-winning composer/pianist whose talents cross into musical theater, classical compositions, film scoring, children's music, and solo improvisational piano performances. Schoenberg’s creativity as an improviser and composer shall be on full display as he spontaneously riffs on the Himalayan themes of the venue as well as the vibrations he picks up from the audience . . . so be a part of the experience!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Tuning in to Tremé: Hymns, Dirges and Misdemeanors
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

We continue tracking the acclaimed HBO series, noting that New Orleans jazz has always drawn upon and served both the secular and the sacred, and has been an important element of community organization. Yet, in the wake of Katrina, the often-strained relationship between the musicians and the police, the city and its culture, were starkly revealed: A city known for its culture did not so warmly welcome that culture back. Curator Larry Blumenfeld invites you to join the examination of this tension, and its portrayal in the series.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Saturday Panels
New Orleans
12:00 – 4:00pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Live music plus film and discussion about the Crescent City
New Orleans holds a special place in the history and mythos of the U.S.A. Its mix of southern, French, Spanish and African cultures, and a largely Catholic religious background—in a nation predominately Protestant—was a uniquely rich soil for the birth and early development of jazz. Today’s discussion will feature live music, film, recordings, and a lively discussion of the Crescent City from the 19th to the 21st centuries, when a post-Katrina New Orleans struggles to recover while maintaining its soul, style and dignity.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Tuning in to Tremé: A Rhythm-and-Blues Intervention
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Following the current HBO series, we note that perhaps more so than in any other American city, New Orleans represents the blending of African rhythms and forms with European harmonies and musical sensibility to transform our ideas about music and seed ongoing innovation. Looking at that lineage-from Congo Square to Louis Armstrong, Fats Domino to the Nevilles, Wynton Marsalis to Lil Wayne-and as portrayed in the series, Larry Blumenfeld and our live audience will consider what that mixture means.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

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

Veteran Dave Samuels is widely recognized for his fresh new sound and creative approach to both the vibraphone and marimba. Although he’s best known for work with his current ensemble, The Caribbean Jazz Project as well as for his long tenure with Spyro Gyra, Samuels has also worked with a broad scope of artists ranging from Gerry Mulligan, Oscar Peterson, Chet Baker, Stan Getz, Carla Bley and Pat Metheny to the Yellowjackets, Bruce Hornsby, and Frank Zappa.

Samuels has been performing and recording with his group The Caribbean Jazz Project for over a decade; their most recent CD, Afro Bop Alliance, garnered a Latin Grammy and was also nominated for a Grammy. Some of his other recording projects include Remembrances, a percussion recording that features a commissioned marimba concerto for chamber orchestra and soloist composed by Jeff Beal, and Double Image—the vibe-marimba duo consisting of Dave Samuels & David Friedman—which is celebrating thirty years of performances. Double Image performs music which spans many styles - from jazz standards and original compositions to through-composed pieces and spontaneous improvisations, demonstrating Samuels deep versatility and spirit of collaboration.

In addition to his playing, Samuels is a respected educator and author and some of his new works can be found at MalletWorks.com and JazzBooks.com. Samuels has been voted “Best Vibes Player” in both Jazziz and Modern Drummer magazines, and was recently featured on the online jazz television show, Jazz it Up!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Jazz at the Dwyer
Take The A Train: A Big Band Swing Dance
7:00 – 11:00pm
Location: The Dwyer Cultural Center
(258 St. Nicholas Avenue at W. 123rd Street)
$20 | More information: info@DwyerCC.org
, presented with Community Works and The Dywer Cultural Center.

Featuring the NJMH All Star Big Band directed by Loren Schoenberg

Last month, Jazz at the Dwyer featured a romping Caribbean band; this month we’ll swing you into good health with the National Jazz Museum in Harlem All Star Big Band! The famed Big Band Swing era was full of dance bands that stomped and grooved with jitterbugging teens and adults following their every move. Tonight’s show is much more than nostalgia, it’s reclamation of an essential part of the dynamic that made jazz popular. Bring your dancing shoes!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Tuning in to Tremé: Deeper Than the Water
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Weeks into the current HBO series that observes a city built on culture must be rebuilt with culture. That's precisely what is happening in New Orleans. How is this happening? Who are the artists and activists and organizations behind this cultural rebirth? And what can we learn from this experience about the role of culture in our lives and the needs of every American city?

Larry Blumenfeld, curator of this four-part JCL series on New Orleans, writes about music and culture for The Wall Street Journal, Village Voice and many other publications, and is editor-at-large of Jazziz magazine. He is a former Katrina Media Fellow with the Open Society Institute, researching cultural recovery in New Orleans.

Beat Kaestli at Birdland on April 29th

Beat Kaestli is a vocalist, songwriter and producer residing in New York City. After establishing himself in the Swiss music scene, he moved to New York to broaden his musical horizon, leaving behind a promising career in his homeland. He was awarded a scholarship to the Manhattan School of Music (BM) and received the Ella Fitzgerald Foundation scholarship to graduate in 2008 with a Masters Degree from the Aaron Copland School of Music (MA). While honing his craft alongside noteworthy Jazz performers, such as Jane Monheit, Jason Moran and Stefon Harris, he immersed himself in Manhattan's fiercely competitive music scene, emerging as a seasoned performer. He now appears in clubs such as The Blue Note, Birdland, The Bitter End, The Jazz Standard, The Stone aCd Sweet Rhythm, performing with Jazz greats, like Esperanza Spalding, Jon Hendricks, Clarence Penn, Gregoire Maret, Joel Frahm , Billy Drummond, Magos Herrera and Victor Prieto. In 2005, Beat was the chosen vocalist for the Glenn Miller Orchestra, thrilling audiences in concert halls across the USA. Kaestli is touring the world extensively with his own projects, showcasing his music in renowned clubs and at festivals across the US, Europe, Mexico and Canada. His new CD "Far From Home - A Tribute to European Song" was released in fall 2009 in the USA and is scheduled to be released fall 2010 with in Europe.

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Chesky Records Debut "INVITATION" - Release Show BIRDLAND NEW YORK
Thursday, April 29th, 6PM (one set only!)
315 W 44th street (8/9th Ave)
New York, NY
(212) 581 3080 - www.birdlandjazz.com
$20
(includes a complementary CD of the new release "Invitation")
Directions: A, C, E to 42nd street
featuring:
Beat Kaestli - voice
John Hart - guitar
Kenny Rampton - trumpet
Jay Leonhart - bass
Fred Kennedy - drums
and special guest (tba)

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Bar Next Door - Vocal Series:
Monday, April 19th, 8:30/10:30pm
129 MacDougal Street
New York, NY 10012
(212) 529-5945
www.lalanternacaffe.com
$12 plus 1 drink min.
Directions: A, B, C, D, E and F trains to W4th street
featuring:
Beat Kaestli - voice
Guilherme Monteiro - guitar
Gary Wang - bass
special guest Sean Nowell - sax
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Chris' Jazz Cafe
Wednesday, April 21stSet times 8 / 9:45PM
1421 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102-3004
(215) 568-3131 - www.chrisjazzcafe.com
$10, $5 for students

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Upcoming shows in USA/Europe/Mexico:

March 31st - Bix Jazz Club, Stuttgart, Germany
April 8th - Brooklyn Library, NYC
April 19th - Bar Next Door, NYC
April 21st - Chris' Jazz Cafe, Philadelphia
April 25th - Interview with David Kenny WBAI, NYC
April 29th - BIRDLAND, NYC - CHESKY RECORDS RELEASE SHOW
May 2nd - San Luis Festival, Mexico
May - Zinco Jazz Club, Mexico City
May 16th - Talent and Voices at CENART, Mexico City
May - Puebla International Jazzfestival, Mexico (tbc)
May 24th - Zinc Bar, NYC
Oct 2nd-5th - Generations Festival Frauenfeld, Switzerland
Oct 6th - Jazzfreunde Interlaken, Switzerland
Oct 7th - Gambrinus, St Gallen, Switzerland
Oct 8th - Italy (tbc)
Oct 11th - "Shared Night" w/ Alexa Rodrian & Elisabeth Rodrian, B-Flat, Berlin (tbc)
Oct 13th - Le Pirate, Rosenheim, Germany
Oct 15th - Birdland, Ettlingen w/Elisabeth Lohninger, Germany
Oct 27th - The Kitano Hotel, NYC (tbc)
April 15th 2011 - Nicolai Saal, Potsdam, Germany

National Jazz Museum in Harlem April Schedule

Come pursue the varieties of jazz experience at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem! From conversations and live performances to educational sessions and panel discussions, you’re sure to have a ball and learn a lot too.

For Jazz for Curious Readers, scholar of jazz and saxophonist Salim Washington will discuss his co-authorship of a recent work delving into the Miles Davis/John Coltrane relationship and impact. Harlem Speaks features discussions with baritone sax master Joe Temperley, and critically-praised and provocative big band leader Darcy James Argue.

If live music performance is your bent, look no further than our three concert series:  Harlem in the Himalayas, which this month starts with a pairing of radically talented musicians Suphala, a tabla whiz, and jazz pianist Jason Lindner, to whom no style is foreign. The second featured artist for this series held at the Rubin Museum of Art is young trumpeter Dominick Farinacci, who has absorbed the jazz trumpet tradition and presents it with suave and vitality. Jazz at the Players has yet another young player making his mark, pianist Aaron Diehl, in a trio setting. And bring your dancing shoes, as trumpeter Etienne Charles, who recently (as did Diehl) graduated from Juilliard, inaugurates our newest series, right here in Harlem, with  an ensemble for Jazz at the Dwyer (where people come to dance and enjoy the music) that will embody the spirit of Trinidad within the frame of jazz.

This month the National Jazz Museum in Harlem puts special focus on the musical and cultural contributions of an important early jazz figure, Fats Waller. At Jazz for Curious Listeners (every Tuesday evening) we begin with his rich legacy as a composer of compositions key to the jazz dimensions of the American Song Book, and continue on with his place in American music as a pianist and organist. In the latter part of April we present a Saturday Panel on “Fat Waller’s Harlem: Reflections on the 1920s and 30s” and top it off with Fats on film for the last JFCL event of the month.

What are you waiting for? Mark your calendar!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Harlem in the Himalayas
Jason Lindner/Suphala
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
For tickets: RMA Box Office or call 212-620-5000 ext. 344

Pianist Jason Lindner grew up in Brooklyn, NY, started playing piano by ear at age 2 and was playing jazz proficiently at 15. He apprenticed with master bebopper Barry Harris and the mystic master Chris Anderson (Herbie Hancock's harmonic guru), and worked as a journeyman with Junior Mance, Tardo Hammer, Harold Danko, Frank Hewitt and Jaki Bayard before exploring a world of Latin and African rhythms, Funk, R&B, Hip Hop, Electronica, and even Rock. He's been a fixture in the New York jazz scene since the mid-90s when the well-respected Greenwich Village club, Smalls, became home for a new generation of forward-thinking jazz musicians. There he led smaller ensembles and then a big band; Lindner regularly drew sold out crowds on Monday nights at Smalls, earning him an Impulse records debut on Jazz Underground/Live At Smalls, which led to a full-length release on Chick Corea’s Stretch label, Premonition.

He frequently performs in New York and around the world with Claudia Acuña, Meshell Ndegeocello, Baba Isreal, Dafnis Prieto, Omer Avital, Anat Cohen, Luisito Quintero, Malika Zarra, Juancho Herrera, and with his own groups the Ab Aetero, Now vs. Now, Progress Report, the JL-ECTRIK, Big Pump and the Jason Lindner Big Band, now celebrating its 12th year. He has also recorded with (and served as Musical Director for) Lauryn Hill and Amel Larrieux, toured with Roy Haynes, performed with and arranged for Arturo O'Farrill's Grammy-winning Jazz at Lincoln Center Afro-Latin Orchestra, and shared both stage and studio with Chick Corea, Junior Cook, Elvin Jones, Wynton Marsalis, Paquito D’Rivera, Jon Hendricks, James Moody, Graciella (Machito Orchestra), Mark Turner, Lou Donaldson, Jimmy Cobb, Lou Donaldson, The Henry Mancini Orchestra, Mark Turner, Christian McBride, Vernel Fournier, and other artists. Jason Lindner also teaches internationally.

Suphala, one of the most versatile young tabla artists making music today, was raised in the U.S. by Indian parents, and began learning western classical music on the piano at age four, performing at age five, and as a teen transferred her passion to one of the world’s most complex percussion instruments: the tabla. She combines a prodigious technical command of her instrument with a playful sense of experimentation, switching effortlessly between composing, producing and performing

Suphala is a protégé of the great tabla masters Ustad Allarakha and Ustad Zakir Hussain, whose constant inspiration compels her to dedicate herself to the study of Indian classical music while extending the reach of the tabla into a mosaic of musical genres and cultural contexts. Her fluency in a range of musical traditions informs her unique compositions and her highly improvisational performances, as you’ll witness at the Rubin Museum. The three albums she has released to date – Instru Mental (2000), The Now (2005) and Blueprint (2007) – go beyond a particular genre style while referencing such diverse influences as Western classical, Indian classical, jazz, folk and soul.

This pairing will be extraordinary. Don’t miss it.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Jazz for Curious Readers
Salim Washington
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Clawing at the Limits of Cool

Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Salim Washington moved to Detroit, Michigan with his family at the age of eight. Early on he was drafted into the neighborhood gang; fortunately, the gang leader happened to play trumpet, which influenced Salim, ironically, to pursue music not gangs.  He began on trumpet, and then studied classical piano. By middle school, Salim was performing in school ensembles and student funk bands. His college years brought him to Harvard, after which he joined the Worlds Experience Orchestra under the leadership of Jamyl Jones, and then the Source of Life Arkestral Revelation (SOLAR) in Boston, touring with them extensively throughout the south. After returning to Detroit, he taught music in prisons and in public schools. He eventually returned to Boston to finish his degree. After completing his doctorate, he headed to New York to begin a professorship at the Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music. He has travelled extensively, playing music festivals throughout the US and Canada, Latin America, and Europe. He has also led music workshops for the Northern Ireland Arts Council in Belfast, the Bill Evans conservatory in Paris, and others. Salim Washington is a member of the Jazz Study Group at Columbia University and has participated on various committees and panels in service of jazz, including those convened by the Ford Foundation, the Boston Phoenix, the New England Foundation for the Arts.

In Salim’s collaboration with Farah Jasmine Griffin for the recently-published Clawing at the Limits of Cool, the two scholars chronicle the drama of the musical relationship between Miles Davis and John Coltrane, from their initial historic partnership to the interlude of their breakup, during which each man made tremendous progress toward his personal artistic goals. The book even continues with the last leg of their journey together, a time when the Miles Davis group, featuring John Coltrane, forever changed the landscape of jazz. Washington and Griffin also argue that Davis and Coltrane’s collaborations embodied important ideas about what it meant to be a black artist during the Civil Rights era. By insisting on the legitimate cultural value of their work, Coltrane and Davis challenged dominant images of black musicians as merely entertainers, earning the respect of blacks and whites alike for their accomplishments as artists.

From an idiomatic perspective, the authors also examine the profound implications that the Davis/Coltrane collaboration would have for jazz and African American culture, drawing parallels to the changing standards of African American identity with their public personas and private difficulties.

Find out more about the content and context of this important jazz work, and Salim Washington’s journey in jazz at Jazz for Curious Readers.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
The Joint is Jumpin': Fats Waller: The Composer
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

We focus on the composing genius of Fats Waller as we start a month-long series in his honor. In the American public memory, perhaps because of his filmic images, Fats Waller is known as a smiling, eyebrow raising entertainer who also played piano. Fact is that Waller was one of the best of the New York jazz pianists in the au courant styles of that day—from Stride to Swing. He was also a fabulous organist, having cut his teeth at the open air religious services led by his father, Edward Waller, a Baptist lay preacher. He played piano at his public school and at 15 became organist at the Lincoln Theatre on 135th Street.

His father hoped that Waller would follow a religious calling rather than a music career, but after his mother Adeline Waller died in 1920, he moved in with the family of the pianist Russell B. T. Brooks. Waller soon met James P. Johnson, under whose tutelage he developed as a pianist and through whose influence he came to make piano rolls—starting in 1922 with Got to Cool My Doggies Now. There’s even evidence to support Waller's claims that during his formative years as a pianist he studied with Leopold Godowsky and composition with Carl Bohm at the Juilliard School.

Waller wrote many pop hits – Ain’t Misbehavin’, Honeysuckle Rose, for example – but also explored extended compositions with this London Suite. We’ll look at the breadth of his compositions this evening.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

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

Scotland-born Joe Temperley first achieved prominence in the United Kingdom as a member of Humphrey Lyttelton's band from 1958 to 1965. He toured the United States with the band in 1959, and, in 1965, came to New York City, where he performed and/or recorded with Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, Joe Henderson, Duke Pearson, the Jazz Composers’ Orchestra, and the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra and with Clark Terry, among many others. In October 1974 he toured and recorded with The Duke Ellington Orchestra as a replacement for Harry Carney.

Mr. Temperley played in the Broadway show Sophisticated Ladies in the 1980s, and his film soundtrack credits include The Cotton Club, Biloxi Blues, Brighton Beach Memoirs, When Harry Met Sally, and Tune In Tomorrow, composed by Wynton Marsalis. Mr. Temperley is a mentor and a cofounder of the FIFE Youth Jazz Orchestra program in Scotland, which now enrolls 70 young musicians ages 7 to 17 playing in three full-size bands. Mr. Temperley has released several albums as a leader, including Nightingale (1991), Sunbeam and Thundercloud with pianist Dave McKenna (1996), With Every Breath (1998), and Double Duke (1999). He released two new recordings in September 2001. He is an original member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra (now JALC Orchestra) and serves on the faculty of the Juilliard Institute for Jazz Studies, which opened in fall 2001. He has served on the Manhattan School of Music faculty since 1992.

Tonight Temperley, known too for his moving feature on Duke’s “A Single Petal of a Rose” with the JALC Orchestra, will discuss his tenure in this world-class jazz big band led by Wynton Marsalis as well as his previous decades of service in the vineyards of jazz.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Harlem in the Himalayas
Dominick Farinacci
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
For tickets: RMA Box Office or call 212-620-5000 ext. 344

For a soulful listen to the future of jazz now, you can’t miss with young trumpeter Dominick Farinacci, an exemplar of the brass tradition in jazz in full bloom. Last year, after having released six albums as a leader on a Japanese record label, Farinacci debuted with critical acclaim in the U.S., on the Koch label, with “Lovers, Tales, and Dances.”

He's won a variety of awards over the years in the States and in Japan—Farinacci received two Gold Disc awards (Record of the Month) from Swing Journal Magazine in Japan for his recordings of "Say It" and "Besame Mucho," for example. In 2003 he received the International New Star Award in Japan, an honor previously awarded to Diana Krall and Christian McBride, co-director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. In the United States, Dominick was the recipient of the ITG Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Competition in 2003.

At 15, he was "discovered" by Wynton Marsalis in Cleveland, Ohio, Farinacci’s place of birth. Wynton invited Dominick to appear as a featured soloist with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra on a PBS broadcast, "Live from Lincoln Center." While studying with Warren Vache and Wynton Marsalis at the Juilliard School, Dominick was also featured at Lincoln Center on a tribute concert to Freddie Hubbard and Lee Morgan, "Night of the Cookers." Over the years he has performed and/or recorded with many high-profile jazz artists such as Joe Lovano, Wynton Marsalis, Ira Sullivan, Mulgrew Miller, Carl Allen, Jason Miles, and Joe Labarbera.

Prepare to be dazzled by virtuosity and moved by the emotional weight of this young trumpet lion as he claws at the limits of cool with an intense yet relaxed approach to the jazz trumpet tradition.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
The Joint is Jumpin': Fats Waller: The Pianist
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Over sixty years after his death, the consummate artistry and high-spirited zest for living make pianist/composer Fats Waller one of the most celebrated artists in jazz history. His best-known compositions, such as "Ain't Misbehavin'," "Honeysuckle Rose," "Black and Blue," and "Jitterbug Waltz," long ago entered the canon of American music, as discussed in last week’s Jazz for Curious Listeners class.

Moreover, his skills as a pianist place him in the top tier of those who played the instrument, but this fact has been obscured by his greatness as an entertainer with a widespread following in the United States and Europe.

Tonight we focus on the art of Fats Waller as a pianist: his playing (and his songs) reverberates to this day amongst jazz fans and musicians cognizant of his influence and depth. As a pianist, Waller was the outstanding exponent of the Harlem Stride style of jazz piano, drawing together the innovations of Willie "The Lion" Smith and James P. Johnson into a coherent style.

And taken alone, the fact that he was a major influence on the peerless Art Tatum speaks to the eternal place Fats Waller will maintain among the pantheon of jazz greats. Come hear his piano mastery in all of its splendor at the Visitor’s Center of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
The Joint is Jumpin': Fats Waller: The Organist
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Jazz organ fans of what some call the “modern” age of jazz—from bebop and beyond—often gravitate to Jimmy Smith as the icon of the Hammond B3. But if we go back, through the careers of Wild Bill Davis and Sarah McLawler, preceding Smith, we'd end up at the start of jazz organ: Fats Waller.

The son of a Baptist minister, Waller played church organ even before playing piano. During the silent film era he was a theatre organist in New York. Fats also taught Count Basie how to play the organ and he probably had the first recording featuring an electric Hammond organ.

However, it’s on the pipe organ that Waller made several recordings lost to obscurity that will be resurrected and placed properly in the light of recognition tonight, as we’ll hear rare Waller gems heretofore only recognized by the jazz cognoscenti.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Jazz at the Players
Aaron Diehl Trio
7:00pm
Location: The Players
(16 Gramercy Park S. |  get directions)
$20 | Reservations or 212-475-6116

Hailed by the Chicago Tribune as "The most promising discovery that [Wynton] Marsalis has made since Eric Reed," Aaron Diehl's distinctive interpretations of the music of Scott Joplin, "Jelly Roll" Morton, Art Tatum, Duke Ellington, and other masters pay homage to the tradition while establishing his own original voice.

He has performed with the Wynton Marsalis Septet, the JALC Orchestra, The Boston Symphony Orchestra, Hank Jones, Wycliffe Gordon, Wessell Anderson, Benny Golson, NJMH executive director Loren Schoenberg, and has been featured on Marian McPartland’s NPR radio show “Piano Jazz.” His international touring includes major European jazz festivals as well as performances in South America and Asia. “Mozart Jazz,” his first CD as a leader, was released in 2006 on the Pony Canyon label (Japan). Recent performances include the Caramoor Festival and the Allen Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall.

A native of Columbus, Ohio, Diehl is a 2007 graduate of the Juilliard School, where his teachers included recent Harlem Speaks guest and NEA Jazz Master Kenny Barron, Eric Reed, and Oxana Yablonskaya. His honors include Lincoln Center’s prestigious Martin E. Segal award in 2004, winner of the 2003 Jazz Arts Group Hank Marr Jazz Competition, and Outstanding Soloist at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 2002 Essentially Ellington Competition. Immediately following graduation from high school he toured with the Wynton Marsalis Septet.

Aaron Diehl currently resides in Manhattan where he serves as music director of St. Joseph of the Holy Family Church in Harlem. Check out a master-in-the-making playing live at Jazz at the Players.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

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

His debut recording, Infernal Machines, featuring his 18-piece big band, Secret Society, made Darcy James Argue one of 2009’s most talked-about jazz musicians. He was given a series of features in jazz and non-jazz publications alike, multiple nominations at the 2009 Jazz Journalists Association Awards, and a presence on more than 70 best-of-the year lists, including Best Debut honors in the prestigious Village Voice Jazz Critics Poll.

Formed in 2005, Secret Society evokes an alternate musical history in which the dance orchestras that ruled the Swing Era never went extinct, but remained a popular and vital part of the evolving musical landscape. Adopting a steampunk-inspired attitude towards the traditional big band, Argue refashions this well-worn instrumentation into a cutting-edge ensemble. The band’s first studio recording takes its name from a John Philip Sousa quote about the dangers of music technology.

Secret Society holds the honor of being the first group to be announced for George Wein’s 2010 Newport Jazz Festival.

A native of Vancouver, and former member of the Montreal jazz scene, Argue moved to Brooklyn in 2003 after earning a Master’s Degree in Boston while studying with legendary composer/arranger Bob Brookmeyer. He has also studied with Lee Hyla, Randall Woolf, Maria Schneider and John Hollenbeck. His awards include the BMI Jazz Composers’ Workshop Charlie Parker Composition Prize and the SOCAN/CAJE Phil Nimmons Emerging Composer Award.

Reward yourself by attending this conversation with one of the cutting-edge band leaders in the jazz idiom.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Jazz at the Dwyer
Trinidad meets Jazz with the Etienne Charles Band
7:00 – 11:00pm
Location: The Dwyer Cultural Center
(258 St. Nicholas Avenue at W. 123rd Street)
$20 | More information: info@DwyerCC.org

A new series dedicated to jazz and dancing commences with this Friday evening’s JAZZ AT THE DWYER, held at Harlem’s new and vital community center.

In 2009, Etienne Charles brought a large ensemble to the Riverside Theatre in a National Jazz Museum in Harlem program that featured jazzed up versions of classic Caribbean sounds.

The result was so infectious that audience members leapt from their seats to dance.

Expect more of the same, as Trinidadian Etienne Charles and his company of musicians trumpet this mélange of styles to the grooving satisfaction of your ears and feet.

Born on the island of Trinidad in 1983, Etienne Charles’ musical lineage runs at least four generations deep. Yet perhaps it was his father, Francis, who influenced him most. Francis was a member of Phase II Pan Groove, one of Trinidad’s most progressive steel bands and one that Etienne would later join. Immersed in his father’s vast record collection, and suffused with the sounds of calypso, steel pan, and African Shango drumming, Etienne imbibed many of the influences that make up the colors of his harmonic palette.  An alumnus of the prestigious Juilliard School, Charles has received critical acclaim for his exciting performances, thrilling compositions and a knack for connecting with audiences worldwide.
Saturday, April 24, 2010

Saturday Panels
Fats Waller's Harlem: Reflection on the 1920s and 30s
12:00 – 4:00pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

As was Fats Waller central to early jazz, Harlem was an epicenter of the music’s development as well as the stomping grounds for much of the growth of Waller’s aesthetic. Today we’ll examine the connection between Waller and Harlem, viewing Harlem from the vantage of Waller’s work, life and times.

Some historical backdrop of Waller’s career in the 20s and 30s will prepare you for this special afternoon, which continues our month-long investigation into the world of Fats Waller:

In October 1922, Waller made his recording debut as a soloist for Okeh with Muscle Shoals Blues and Binningham Blues, and began a series of recordings the same year as accompanist for several blues singers, including Sara Martin, Alberta Hunter, and Maude Mills. In 1923, a collaboration with Clarence Williams led to the publication of Waller's Wild Cat Blues, which Williams recorded with his Blue Five, including Sidney Bechet, that other great early jazz pioneer from New Orleans. Another composition, Squeeze Me, was published the same year; these began to establish Waller's reputation as a composer of material performed and recorded by other artists. 1923 also saw his broadcasting debut for a Newark local station, followed by regular appearances on WHN of New York. Waller continued to broadcast as a singer and soloist throughout his life, including the long-running Fats Waller's Rhythm Club and Moon River (on which he played organ). During the early 1920s, he continued as an organist at the Lincoln and Lafayette theaters in New York.

In 1927, Waller recorded his own composition Whiteman Stomp with Fletcher Henderson’s orchestra, one of the most significant large ensembles during the era of the dance bands. Henderson also made use of other works by Waller, including Crazy 'bout My Baby and Stealing Apples. Waller's other work as a composer with the lyricists Edgar Dowell, J. C. Johnson, Andy Razaf, and Spencer Williams produced such songs as Honeysuckle Rose and Black and Blue. With Razaf he worked on much of the music for the all-black Broadway musical Keep Shufflin' (1928). Their later collaborations for the stage included the shows Load of Coal and Hot Chocolates (which incorporated the song Ain't Misbehavin' as a vehicle first for Cab Calloway and later Louis Armstrong). Waller's Carnegie Hall debut took place on April 27, 1928, where he was a piano soloist in a version of his mentor James P. Johnson's fantasy Yamekraw, for piano and orchestra.

In 1926, Waller began his recording association with Victor, his principal record company for the rest of his life, with the organ solos St. Louis Blues and his own Lenox Avenue Blues. Although he recorded with various groups, his most important contribution to the Harlem stride piano tradition was a series of solo recordings of his own compositions: Handful of Keys, Smashing Thirds, Numb Fumblin', and Valentine Stomp (1929). After sessions with Ted Lewis (1930), Jack Teagarden (1931), and Billy Banks's Rhythmakers (1932), he began in May 1934 the voluminous series of recordings with a small band known as Fats Waller and his Rhythm.

In the mid-1930s, Waller worked on the West Coast with Les Hite's band at Frank Sebastian's New Cotton Club. He also appeared in two films while in Hollywood in 1935, Hooray for Love! and King of Burlesque. For tours and recordings, Waller often led his own big band. This began as an expanded version of the band led by his bass player (Charlie Turner's Arcadians), and in 1935, with most members of the Rhythm it made its first recording. The group's version of I Got Rhythm includes a cutting contest of alternating piano solos by Waller and Hank Duncan.

In 1938, Waller undertook a European tour, recording in London with his Continental Rhythm, as well as making solo pipe-organ recordings for HMV. His second European tour in 1939 was terminated by the outbreak of war, but while in Britain, he recorded his London Suite, an extended series of six related pieces for solo piano: Piccadilly, Chelsea, Soho, Bond Street, Limehouse, and White Chapel. It is Waller's longest composition and represents his aspiration to be a “serious” composer rather than only the author of a string of hit songs.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
The Joint is Jumpin': Fats Waller: Film night
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

This month the National Jazz Museum in Harlem peered deeply into the artistry and legacy of Fats Waller, first as a composer, pianist, organist and then as one of the central figures of jazz in Harlem.

Tonight we’ll end where popular culture begins as regards Waller, with him on film playing music and mugging for the camera as a showman.

You’ll surely leave with a smile as we view clips from Waller’s Hollywood appearances in feature films and soundies, early versions of the music video. Soundies were three-minute musical films, produced in New York, Chicago, and Hollywood between 1940 and 1946, and often included short dance sequences.

Look out especially for the pairing of Waller and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, which captures a moment in jazz history where dance, song and improvisation were joined at the hip.

Consider yourself hip? Then we’ll see you at the Visitor’s Center of the National Jazz Museum . . . with Fats Waller on screen, you’re guaranteed that the joint will be jumping! 

National Jazz Museum in Harlem Events, March, 2010

In March 2010, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem presents public programming that brings jazz fans closer to artists—emerging to living masters—that embody the art form that defines America to itself and to the world.

Our live performance series, Harlem in the Himalayas, features three forward-thinking musical leaders grounded in the lessons of their forebears, yet who are only bound by the limits of their imaginations. Come see the boundless future their music beholds at the Rubin Museum of Art.

Come engage in conversation with Terry Teachout, author of a celebrated new bio of Louis Armstrong, at Jazz for Curious Readers, and find out details on the controversial 2009 Wall Street Journal article in which he lamented the declining audience for jazz.


Harlem Speaks, our flagship series, features recent NEA Jazz Master awardee Kenny Barron and trombonist Dick Griffin, whose career encompasses all from mainstream jazz to the avant-garde.

Art Blakey, the drum master who led one of the premier jazz ensembles of the 20th century, is the sole focus of our month long Jazz for Curious Listeners (JCL) series and a special Saturday panel discussion. Museum co-director Christian McBride will lead two of the free JCL sessions, and will spearhead a tribute to Herbie Hancock at Stanford University in California as well.

Come to listen, learn, engage and swing!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners The Big Beat: Art Blakey
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Art Blakey is undoubtedly one of the most influential and beloved percussionists and band leaders in the history of the music called jazz, his signature rolls and bandstand power accentuating the bandstands of countless groups as a sideman, and as leader of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers.

The Jazz Messengers was a major incubator for young talent. A list of the band's alumni is a who's who of straight-ahead jazz from the '50s on – Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Freddie Hubbard, Johnny Griffin, Jackie McLean, Donald Byrd, Bobby Timmons, Cedar Walton, Benny Golson, Joanne Brackeen, Billy Harper, Valery Ponomarev, Bill Pierce, Branford Marsalis, James Williams, and Chuck Mangione, to name only a few. In the '80s, precocious graduates of Blakey's School for Swing would continue to number among the movers and shakers in jazz, foremost among them trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, who became the most visible symbol of the '80s jazz mainstream; through him, Blakey's swingin’ ideals came to dominate the public's perception of the music. At the time of Blakey's death in 1990, the Messenger aesthetic dominated jazz, and Blakey himself had arguably become the most influential jazz musician of the past 20 years.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Jazz for Curious ReadersTerry Teachout
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Terry Teachout is a critic, biographer, blogger, and drama critic of The Wall Street Journal, the music critic of Commentary, and the author of Sightings, a column about the arts in America that appears biweekly in the Saturday Wall Street Journal.

And most significantly for tonight, Mr. Teachout is the author of the acclaimed new biography of the Father of Jazz: Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong.

He blogs at About Last Night along with Chicago-based critic Laura Demanski (who writes under the name "Our Girl in Chicago"), contributes a weekly book-review column and a monthly videoblog to Contentions, the Commentary blog, and has written about the arts for many other magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times and National Review.

Teachout grew up in Sikeston, Missouri. He attended St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland; William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, where he received his B.S. in music journalism; and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He lived in Kansas City from 1975 to 1983, working as a jazz bassist and a music critic for the Kansas City Star. He moved to New York City in 1985, working as an editor at Harper's Magazine (1985-87) and an editorial writer for the New York Daily News (1987-93) and as the News' classical music and dance critic (1993-2000). In 2004 he was appointed by President Bush to the National Council on the Arts, the advisory and review panel of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Teachout is the author of All in the Dances: A Brief Life of George Balanchine (2004, Harcourt), A Terry Teachout Reader (2004, Yale University Press), The Skeptic: A Life of H.L. Mencken (2002, HarperCollins), and City Limits: Memories of a Small-Town Boy (1991, Poseidon Press).

He is the editor of Beyond the Boom: New Voices on American Life, Culture, and Politics (1990, Poseidon, introduction by Tom Wolfe) and Ghosts on the Roof: Selected Journalism of Whittaker Chambers, 1931-1959 (1989, Regnery Gateway). In 1992 he rediscovered the manuscript of A Second Mencken Chrestomathy among H.L. Mencken's private papers and edited it for publication by Alfred A. Knopf (1995). He wrote the forewords to Paul Taylor's Private Domain: An Autobiography (1999, University of Pittsburgh Press), Elaine Dundy's The Dud Avocado (2007, New York Review Books), and William Bailey's William Bailey on Canvas (2007, Betty Cuningham Gallery) and contributed to The Oxford Companion to Jazz (2000, Oxford University Press). He has written liner notes for CDs by Karrin Allyson, Gene Bertoncini, Ruby Braff and Ellis Larkins, Chanticleer, Julia Dollison, Jim Ferguson, Diana Krall, the Lascivious Biddies, Joe Mooney, Marian McPartland, Mike Metheny, Maria Schneider, Nickel Creek, Kendra Shank, Luciana Souza, and the Trio Solisti.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners The Big Beat: Art Blakey,
THE BANDLEADER
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Art Blakey's first musical education came in the form of piano lessons; he was playing professionally as a seventh grader, leading his own commercial band. He switched to drums shortly thereafter, learning to play in the hard-swinging style of Chick Webb and Sid Catlett. In 1942, he played with pianist Mary Lou Williams in New York. He toured the South with Fletcher Henderson's band in 1943-1944. From there, he briefly led a Boston-based big band before joining Billy Eckstine's new group, with which he would remain from 1944-1947. Eckstine's big band was the famous "cradle of modern jazz," and included (at different times) such major figures of the forthcoming bebop revolution as Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, and Charlie Parker. When Eckstine's group disbanded, Blakey started a rehearsal ensemble called the Seventeen Messengers. He also recorded with an octet, the first of his bands to be called the Jazz Messengers.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

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

According to writer Arwulf Arwulf (from whom this bio is adapted), a thorough examination of Kenny Barron's musical accomplishments over a span of 50 years requires a discography of more than 200 pages. That's because in addition to a distinguished career as soloist and leader he has served as one of the most dependable sidemen in all of post-bop mainstream modern jazz. More than 40 albums have appeared under his name, and his presence on literally hundreds of recordings by other musicians paints a panoramic picture of Kenny Barron's lifelong devotion to the music.

Born in Philadelphia, PA, on June 9, 1943, he took on the piano at the age of 12, with a little help from Ray Bryant's sister, known today as the mother of guitarist Kevin Eubanks. Three years later, on the recommendation of his own big brother, saxophonist Bill Barron (1927-1989), he joined Mel Melvin's rhythm & blues band. The aspiring pianist gained more experience while working with drummer Philly Joe Jones, saxophonist Jimmy Heath and multi-instrumentalist Yusef Lateef in Detroit. Lateef's album The Centaur and the Phoenix (1960) was Kenny Barron's first modern jazz recording project, though not as a performer (Joe Zawinul was the pianist on this date) but as composer and arranger.

His recording debut as an improvising artist took place shortly after he moved to New York in 1961 and cut the first of many albums with his brother, who often aligned himself with two graduates of the Charles Mingus Jazz Workshop, trumpeter Ted Curson and saxophonist Booker Ervin. A session in 1962 found Barron working with trumpeter Dave Burns, one-time member of sax and flute man James Moody's exciting bop orchestra. Moody himself played an important role in Barron's career, first hiring him to perform at the Village Vanguard, then bringing him into Dizzy Gillespie's band. Barron stuck with Diz and Moody until 1966, performing at clubs and festivals on both coasts and touring through France and England.

Kenny Barron's first great year of independent recording activity was 1967. In addition to co-leading a band with trumpeter Jimmy Owens, the pianist made records with trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and saxophonists Joe Henderson, Stanley Turrentine, Booker Ervin, and Eric Kloss. Barron seldom recorded with anyone just once. Examples of artists who made many records with Barron during the 1970s are  Moody and Lateef, and bassists Ron Carter and Buster Williams, and others such as Marvin "Hannibal" Peterson. Barron also worked regularly with saxophonists Chico and Von Freeman, John Stubblefield, Nick Brignola, and Stan Getz (with whom he toured extensively during Getz's twilight years). The stylistic range continued to widen as Barron sat in with violinists Michal Urbaniak and John Blake, drummer Elvin Jones, and singing trombonist Ray Anderson.

During the '80s, Kenny Barron played piano in the score for Spike Lee's film Do the Right Thing, appeared on multi-performer tribute albums honoring composers Nino Rota and Thelonious Monk, and became a founding member (with Charlie Rouse, Buster Williams, and Ben Riley) of the definitive Monk legacy band, known as Sphere.

A respected educator who has taught at Rutgers, Juilliard, and the Manhattan School of Music, Kenny Barron continues to create music of exceptionally high quality and substantial depth, something he has done for half a century, whether using the Fender Rhodes electromechanical keyboard, a plugged-in harpsichord, a synthesizer, or his lifelong companion, that fundamental jazz instrument, the piano.

In January 2010 Barron was one of the esteemed recipients of the NEA Jazz Master’s honor, conferring an official recognition of what Barron’s fans have already known for 40 years. Come hear an musical master speak of his life and times in the art of jazz.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Harlem in the Himalayas Jaleel Shaw
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
Box Office: 212-620-5000 ext. 344

Jaleel Shaw, alto saxophone
Dwayne Burno, acoustic bass
Otis Brown III, drums

One of the most thrilling young alto saxophonists on the jazz scene, Jaleel Shaw holds down the alto chair in the small ensemble of none other than the great Roy Haynes. Tonight see and hear him as he fronts his own band!

Jaleel Shaw grew up in Philadelphia, PA, where he studied with saxophone instructors Rayburn Wright and Robert Landham. As a teen, Jaleel performed, jammed and sat in at the many clubs in Philadelphia, honing his chops and developing strong relationships with the many great musicians there as well as the musicians that came to Philly from New York City.

Upon graduating from high school, Jaleel received a full tuition scholarship to the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass, where he attended for four years and earned a dual degree in Music Education and Performance (in 2000). While attending Berklee, Jaleel studied privately with saxophonists Andy Mcghee, Billy Pierce, George Garzone, and Shanon LeClaire.

After graduating from Berklee, Jaleel attended the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, where he received his Masters in Jazz Performance in May 2002. During his time at the MSM, Jaleel was recruited by both the Mingus Big Band and Count Basie Orchestra. Jaleel appears on two Grammy Nominated CDs by the Mingus Big Band - "Tonight at Noon" and "I Am Three."

A year after finishing his graduate studies, Jaleel joined Temple University as a part-time private lesson and ensemble instructor, and soon thereafter began giving private saxophone lessons at The New School.

After being in New York for five years, Jaleel's debut CD "Perspective" was released in June 2005 to rave reviews. It was named one of the top 5 debut CDs of 2005 by All About Jazz and the Jazz Journalists Association. In the fall of 2005, Jaleel joined world renown drummer Roy Haynes' Quartet and recorded the Grammy nominated CD "Whereas" with the group for the Dreyfus Label.

In the beginning of 2008, Jaleel launched his own record label (Changu Records), on which he released his second CD – "Optimism." Today Jaleel continues to perform primarily in three groups - The Roy Haynes Quartet, the Mingus Big Band, and his own quartet and quintet.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday Panels
Orgy in Rhythm: An In-Depth Look and Listen to Art Blakey
7:30 – 9:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers served as a traveling finishing school for countless jazz musicians who later led their own groups and became composers and arrangers of note. Today, meet some of the alumni of the Messengers, and see film footage of Blakey in action as a drummer, band leader, and teacher.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Jazz for Curious Listeners
The Big Beat: Art Blakey
ALUMNI REUNION 7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

With Christian McBride

Christian McBride, co-director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, will host alumni of the Blakey band in an evening not to be missed. The spirit of Blakey will be summoned!   

Friday, March 19, 2010

Harlem in the Himalayas
Ambrose Akinmusire
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
Box Office: 212-620-5000 ext. 344

Ambrose’s conceptual extension into a new musical language never excludes beauty. As one who listens intently, he values the fertility of a pause, of communication, of tension. Ambrose began conceptualizing early as a musician, theorizing and experimenting as a catalyst for development. He seeks other genres of music to analyze and expose, drawing inspiration from musicians ranging from Bjork to Chopin.

Before he was eighteen, Ambrose had already performed with such famed musicians as Joe Henderson, Joshua Redman, Steve Coleman, and Billy Higgins. After graduating Berkeley High School, he moved to New York to begin a scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music, studying with Vincent Pinzerella from the New York Philharmonic, Dick Oatts, Lew Soloff, and Laurie Frink.

Ambrose is a recent graduate of the Masters program at USC, and also the Monk Institute, where Ambrose’s instructors included Terence Blanchard, Billy Childs and Gary Grant. In the past several years, he has worked with such artists as Jimmy Heath, Jason Moran, Hal Crook, Bob Hurst, Terri Lynne Carrington, Ron Carter, and Wallace Roney, Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter. So it should come as little or no surprise that Ambrose was the winner of both the 2007 Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition and 2007 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners                               
The Big Beat: Art Blakey                                                                                 THE EARLY YEARS: with Fletcher Henderson, Thelonious Monk and Billy Eckstine

7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Art Blakey's first musical education came in the form of piano lessons; he was playing professionally as a seventh grader, leading his own commercial band. He switched to drums shortly thereafter, learning to play in the hard-swinging style of Chick Webb and Sid Catlett. In 1942, he played with pianist Mary Lou Williams in New York. He toured the South with Fletcher Henderson's band in 1943-1944. From there, he briefly led a Boston-based big band before joining Billy Eckstine's new group, with which he would remain from 1944-1947. Eckstine's big band was the famous "cradle of modern jazz," and included (at different times) such major figures of the forthcoming bebop revolution as Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, and Charlie Parker. When Eckstine's group disbanded, Blakey started a rehearsal ensemble called the Seventeen Messengers. He also recorded with an octet, the first of his bands to be called the Jazz Messengers.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

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

In a career spanning over 30 years, Dick Griffin has performed with some of the biggest names in Jazz and Soul, and has appeared with several symphony orchestras as well. A short list of the luminaries Mr. Griffin has worked with includes: Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Tito Puente, Art Blakey, Charles Mingus, Dizzy Gillespie, McCoy Tyner, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Isaac Hayes, Dionne Warwick, and Lionel Hampton.

Griffin has developed a highly personalized playing style which he calls "circularphonics," a technique that combines the playing of chords on trombone with circular breathing. The expanded range of sounds Griffin creates through his multiphonic technique at times evokes the spirit of such experimental artists as John Coltrane, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and Sun Ra. Never a follower, however, Griffin has developed a unique style on and for the trombone that goes beyond the influence of even those great musicians.

James Richard Griffin was born and reared in Jackson, Mississippi. His first musical influence was a neighbor known simply as Mr. Jesse. At evening time, all the neighborhood children would stop by to hear Mr. Jesse's impromptu blues guitar compositions with lyrics describing the day's events in rhyme. Griffin began studying piano at age 11 and upon entering high school two years later joined the school's marching band where he learned trombone. His professional career began as a teenager, playing piano and trombone in clubs with drummer classmate Freddie Waits. While in high school he also sang in a doo-wop group which was invited to go on the road and perform with Sam Cooke. In junior college, Griffin won several awards for his arranging skills. In 1963, Griffin graduated from Jackson State University and then pursued graduate studies at Indiana University where he received a Masters Degree in Music Education and Trombone.

It was in Chicago, though, where Griffin met avant-garde jazz giant Sun Ra, that his professional career seriously took off. He spent several summers in the mid-1960s playing with Sun Ra's Arkestra. It was during this period that Griffin first met Rahsaan Roland Kirk, who became a close friend. After moving to New York City in 1967, Griffin made his recording debut with Kirk on the album "The Inflated Tear." As a member of the "Vibration Society," Griffin notated and transcribed music for the sightless Kirk. He went on to record several albums with Kirk, including "Prepare Thyself To Deal With A Miracle," "Rahsaan, Rahsaan," "Left & Right," and "Volunteered Slavery." In the early 1970s, Griffin also played in a big band fronted by the great bassist and composer Charles Mingus. During this year-long association, Mingus provided priceless support by encouraging the young trombonist's writing endeavors. Griffin also spent three years in the house band of the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem, playing for nearly all the Motown greats, including The Temptations, James Brown and Nancy Wilson.

In 1974, Griffin released his debut album as a leader, "The Eighth Wonder," for Strata-East Records, one of the most successful independent jazz labels of that period. Later, he released "Now Is The Time: The Multiphonic Tribe" for Trident Records. During this period, he also taught music theory and the history of Jazz at Wesleyan University (1975-77) and later at SUNY-Old Westbury (1981-83). In the 1980s, Griffin's career encompassed performances in a wide variety of settings with his own group and with others. As a sideman, Griffin performed with some of the best big band musicians of the time—Benny Bailey, Jimmy Heath, Frank Foster, and Slide Hampton—at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. Later in the decade, Griffin toured and recorded with the internationally-renowned ensemble "Ekaya," led by South African pianist Abdullah Ibrahim (f/k/a Dollar Brand).

As a composer, Griffin completed the "World Vibration Suite," a work for symphony orchestra premiered by the Brooklyn Philharmonic. In 1986, his third album "A Dream For Rahsaan," was released by Ruby Records to critical acclaim. This inspired him to adapt the album for a symphony orchestra and three saxophones, which was the format he had previously employed for the "World Vibration Suite." During the 1990s, he performed in over a dozen international Jazz festivals, both as a leader and in the bands of such diverse talents as Illinois Jacquet, Sun Ra, Charles Gayle, Hilton Ruiz, and Lionel Hampton. Along with such notable artists as Dizzy Gillespie and Sonny Rollins, Griffin appeared in the Heineken Jazz Festival in Rotterdam and, in 1991, he traveled to Canada to headline Ottawa's International Jazz Festival. The German label, Konnex Records, re-released Griffin's first and third albums in 1994 with additional tracks. Griffin then released "All Blues," his fourth album (on Amasaya Records), which features he novel lineup of trombone, organ, guitar, and drums. In addition to the title track by Miles Davis, Griffin performs five originals plus tunes by Ellington, Horace Silver, and Hampton Hawes, paying tribute to the blues environment in which he was nurtured.

One of the most versatile and inventive musicians of today, Griffin has played with symphony orchestras such as The Harlem Philharmonic and The Symphony Of The New World, and has performed in several Broadway shows including "The Wiz," "Me & Bessie," "Raisin," and "Lena" (starring Lena Horne), as well as in the Paris production of "Black & Blue" (starring Linda Hopkins). He has made many television appearances in the U.S. on shows such as "The Today Show", "Soul", "Faces", "The Ed Sullivan Show", and "Like It Is". He also has appeared in the UK on the BBC and on TV programs in Germany, France, and Italy. Finally, he also appeared in the film "The Cotton Club" and performed on the soundtrack for the movie "Gordon's War".

During the past few years, Griffin has performed more extensively with his own group, the Dick Griffin Organ Ensemble, and he also played at the Uncool Jazz Festival in Switzerland with Charles Gayle in 2001. Griffin has also continued to devote his time to his artwork. His abstract paintings and works on paper have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions, private and corporate collections in both the U.S. and Europe. Some of his early pieces grace the covers of each of his four CDs.

Tonight you can witness an artist not beholden to genre labels and engage in discussion with him during the audience Q&A portion of the evening.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Harlem in the Himalayas
Luis Bonilla
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
Box Office: 212-620-5000 ext. 344

If ever an artist could be called an octopus, Luis Bonilla is it. The California raised, Costa Rican trombonist, composer and arranger has sought out, taken in and mastered an incredible array of musical styles. His success as a sideman with such greats as McCoy Tyner, Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Bowie, Tom Harrell, Freddie Hubbard, Astrud Gilberto, Willie Colon and Toshiko Akiyoshi attests not only to the skill and variety of Bonilla’s talent, but also to a mind restlessly committed to exploring some of the most complex and demanding music of our time.

Yet there is nothing rarefied about the Bonilla experience. He has worked as a studio musician with Tony Bennett, Marc Anthony, La India and Mary J. Blige and understands and exploits the liveliness of pop as well as the rhythmic sway and punch of Latin Jazz. Currently a member of the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra under Arturo O’Farrill’s direction  (both 2009 Grammy winners) and Dave Douglas’s latest group (Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstasy), Bonilla is one of those rare artists whose work is always expanding, taking in more and more while remaining singular and focused: “Bonilla may be a trombonist used to handling that big long sliding thing, but when it comes to execution of his ideas, he lets nothing slide” (All About Jazz).

Critics praised his first two albums on the Candid label, Pasos Gigantes (1998) and iEscucha! (2000), acknowledging Bonilla’s ability to give voice to radically different musical sensibilities with an ease and seamlessness that belies the rigor and sophistication of the music. Pasos Gigantes made Jazziz’s top ten Latin list of 1998. Even as early as these first two albums, critics noted Bonilla’s leadership and sophisticated use of tonal colors. As a faculty member at both Temple University and Manhattan School of Music, Bonilla has an intuitive sense in how to bring out the best in those working with him. Listen to any of his albums and you will hear an extraordinary level of trust and inspiration in each band member’s playing. As the critic for All About Jazz noticed, “Bonilla gives his colleagues ample space to breathe, adding momentum to the flow of his compositional ideas.”

His next album, 2007’s Terminal Clarity was a celebration, reflection and aesthetic extension of his years working with Lester Bowie. While retaining the brash harmonic structures of his mentor’s work from Brass Fantasy to his earlier and justly famous work with the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Bonilla adds a “contagious exuberance” (Jazzwise magazine) that is at the heart of his artistic vision. Without in any way diminishing Bowie’s audacity, Bonilla manages to balance “the cerebral and the down-and-dirty (Jazz Times), taking “bold steps to merge Latin genres, free jazz and a variety of other influences" (Latin Jazz Corner).

In Bonilla’s latest album, I Talking Now! (2009), he pushes these disjunctions even harder, politely demanding that we feel connections between wildly disparate styles of music. A heady mix of swing, rock, free jazz, funk, movie soundtracks, avant-garde noise and ballads, I Talking Now, for all its musical diversity, speaks with one voice. It is a distinctly American vision, a gentle craziness that suggests that every one and every sound can co-exist if we just keep on taking in more and more. Luis Bonilla is moving in directions that are expanding our notions of jazz and leading us into startling new realms with “remarkable creativity and versatility” (Newsday).

Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Christian McBride/Loren Schoenberg Duo/Informance
at Stanford University's Community School for Music and Arts, Mountain View

Tuesday, March 30, 2010 | 6:00 pm

Community School for Music and Arts, Mountain View

The annual duo concert/lecture by the NJMH’s dynamic directors!
ALSO – SAME NIGHT: Jazz for Curious Listeners
The Big Beat:
Art Blakey  FILM NIGHT

7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Don’t miss this free session with one of the world’s best bass instrumentalists sharing his views on, and selections by, Art Blakey, in this last of a month-long series of events focused on the man affectionately called “Buhaina.”

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A TRIBUTE TO HERBIE HANCOCK: CHRISTIAN McBRIDE AND FRIENDS

Wednesday, March 31, 2010 | 8:00 pm
Stanford University's Dinkelspiel Auditorium

$34–38 (Adult) | $10 (Stanford Student)
$31–35 (Other Student)
$17–19 (Youth Under 18)
In a concert curated by the National Jazz Museum in Harlem (NJMH), museum co-director and bass phenom Christian McBride leads a tribute to the legacy of pioneering jazz composer/keyboardist Herbie Hancock. McBride has long embraced electric jazz, funk, and soul music as a vibrant part of the jazz mainstream. Here, he leads his versatile band through Hancock’s incredible body of work, from his years as a Miles Davis sideman and Blue Note Records solo artist in the 1960s, through his groundbreaking Headhunters fusion project in the ’70s, to his work with pop vocalists and producers in the ’80s and ’90s, and his current interest in young hip hop and techno artists. The concert is the culmination of a season of free public programs on jazz and technology, and a continuation of Lively Arts’ collaboration with NJMH and the Stanford Jazz Workshop, revisiting classic jazz repertoire from a fresh perspective.

***note: the JAZZ AT THE DWYER with Etienne Charles and his Trinidadian Jazz Band will occur on APRIL 23rd, not MARCH 23 as listed on our mailing card.

Prez Fest 2010 March 14, 2010 Celebrating Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers

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, Terrence Blanchard, Billy Harper, Brian Lynch, Donald Harrison, Reggie Workman, Bobby Watson and many others. All told there were 150 musicians who passed through his “school” over several decades.

For this festival, we are partnering with the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, 104 East 126th Street # 2C, New York City which is offering a series of events celebrating the legacy of Art Blakey including Jazz for Curious Listeners on Tuesdays in March from 7 to 8 PM and on Saturday, March 13 from Noon to 4 PM “An In-Depth Look and Listen to Art Blakey” panel.

Prez Fest 2010 Celebrating Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers – March 14, 2010 at Saint Peter’s Church, 619 Lexington Avenue at 54th Street, NY, NY.  Program begins at 3 PM and includes panel discussion, drum technique demonstration, jazz vespers and a concert.  $20 suggested ticket donation and $10 students donation with student ID.  http://www.saintpeters.org/ 212 935 2200. Take the “E” train to Lexington Avenue or the “6” to 51st Street. Press contacts: Ike Sturm, 212 935 2200 or Lynne Mueller 917 207 4953.

The Jazz Committee at Saint Peter’s Church / Midtown Arts Commons presents:

Prez Fest 2010 – March 14, 2010

Celebrating Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers

Saint Peter’s Church “The Jazz Church”

619 Lexington Avenue at 54th Street, New York City

Tickets Here

Tibet House US Adds Regina Spektor and Gogol Bordello to 20th Annual Benefit Concert Line Up

Tibet House US has added Regina Spektor and Gogol Bordello to the bill of the 20th Annual Benefit Concert at Carnegie Hall. Already confirmed in the line-up, which is brought together by the concert’s artistic director Philip Glass, is Patti Smith, Jesse Smith, Michael Campbell, Baaba Maal and Pierce Turner. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling Carnegie Charge at 212.247.7800 or in person at the Carnegie Hall Box Office (57th Street and Seventh Avenue). Tickets to the concert and a fundraising reception with the event’s Honorary Chairpersons and artists (following the performance) are available through Tibet House US.  Please note: Concert only tickets are not available through Tibet House US. For more information or to reserve tickets for the concert and reception call Tibet House US Monday- Friday, 10 A.M.- 5 P.M. at 212.807.0563 or visit http://www.tibethouse.org.

For twenty years, the annual concert has assembled some of the biggest names in music and offers audiences a mix of unprecedented musical collaborations and solo offerings.  Past unforgettable concerts have featured such talents as David Bowie, Paul Simon, Sheryl Crow, Moby, Sigur Ros, Bright Eyes, R.E.M., The National, Natalie Merchant, Rufus Wainwright, Vampire Weekend, Emmylou Harris, Live, Ray Davies and Damien Rice, among many others.

The Tibet House US Benefit Concert commemorates the Monlam Prayer Festival traditionally held at the time of the Tibetan New Year. The festival drew vast numbers of monks, citizens and pilgrims from all over the country who gathered to pray for world peace and prosperity. Tibet House US is a non-profit organization founded in 1987 at the behest of His Holiness the Dalai Lama that serves as a center for the preservation and presentation of the endangered Tibetan culture.

About Tibet House US

Tibet House US is a non-profit organization founded in 1987 at the request of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to serve as a center for the preservation and presentation of endangered Tibetan culture. This annual fundraiser supports the work of Tibet House US. Each year a portion of the event proceeds are shared with other charitable organizations. This year’s recipients are the local Tibetan group, Tibetan Community of New York and New Jersey, and others to be announced.

About the Performers

Philip Glass Through his operas, his symphonies, his compositions for his own ensemble, and his wide-ranging collaborations with artists ranging from Twyla Tharp to Allen Ginsberg, Woody Allen to David Bowie, Philip Glass has had an extraordinary and unprecedented impact upon the musical and intellectual life of his times.  In the past 25 years, Glass has composed more than twenty operas, large and small; eight symphonies (with others already on the way); two piano concertos and concertos for violin, piano, timpani, and saxophone quartet and orchestra; soundtracks to films ranging from new scores for the stylized classics of Jean Cocteau to Errol Morris’s documentary about former defense secretary Robert McNamara; string quartets; a growing body of work for solo piano and organ. He has collaborated with Paul Simon, Linda Ronstadt, Yo-Yo Ma, and Doris Lessing, among many others. He presents lectures, workshops, and solo keyboard performances around the world, and continues to appear regularly with the Philip Glass Ensemble.

Baaba Maal Senegalese master-musician Baaba Maal has just released Television (Palm Pictures), the groundbreaking successor to 2001’s Missing You. Television is a collaboration primarily between Baaba Maal and singer Sabina Sciubba and keyboardist Didi Gutman, members of New York’s Brazilian Girls. The result is a disarmingly beautiful and diverse record that meshes two genres, generally unfamiliar to each other, to produce an eclectic and romantic sound. The enigmatically named title-track refers to a relatively recent phenomenon in Africa - ubiquitous TV screens. “The television set is like a stranger you didn’t ask for coming into your living-room,” explains Baaba. “You don’t care about who he is: he just seems to come from nowhere and gives you information.” Baaba Maal’s mission in West Africa extends beyond his music. He is committed to the concerns of families, young people and the future of the continent, as is reflected in his role as Youth Emissary for the United Nations’ Development Programme, about which he says: ‘It strengthens my determination to work harder to contribute more to improving the living conditions of disadvantaged people of the African continent, especially young people, whose future is seriously threatened by illiteracy, poverty and HIV/AIDS. When I am talking about Africa, it is about how Africa will grow into the new millennium. This is why I really wanted to make music, so people can listen more to the music and the messages I am talking about.’

Gogol Bordello Internationally acclaimed Gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello has spent its career electrifying audiences across the globe including performances at some of the most popular music festivals such as Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Glastonbury, Fuji Rock and Ruisrock just to name a few. The band took a break from the road in the first half of 2009 to record their forthcoming album with producer Rick Rubin.  Breaking down musical barriers since 1999, Gogol Bordello’s supercharged music is based on a brutal gypsy two step rhythm augmented by punk, flamenco, samba, roots reggae, Italian spaghetti, Western twang, dub and other sounds generated by gypsies and rebels from across the globe. Gogol Bordello’s philosophy is simple and pragmatic. Music makes it possible to make the contradictions of life sound harmonious, at least for the duration of a song. Their transcontinental rebel rock is based on the belief that music and art can transform negative energy to positive and inspire individual action.

Patti Smith Born in Chicago and raised in South Jersey, poet/singer/songwriter Patti Smith moved to New York City and gained recognition as one of the first visionary artists of the 1970’s - known for the mergence of poetry and rock.  She and her band released 8 studio albums on Arista Records 1975-2002: Horses, Radio Ethiopia, Easter, Wave, Dream of Life, Gone Again, Peace and Noise, and Gung Ho and a compilation of rare studio and live performances entitled Land. April 2004 marked the release of Patti Smith and her band’s first Columbia recording trampin’, critically acclaimed for its diversity, which subjects range from motherhood to the preemptive strike on Iraq. In September 2002, the Andy Warhol Museum launched Strange Messenger, an exhibit containing drawings, silkscreens inspired by the events of 9.11.01, and photographs from 1967-2002.  Her published books include Babel, Early Work, The Coral Sea, Complete, and Auguries of Innocence. In June 2005, she was awarded by the French Republic; the grade of "Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres" The grade of "Commandeur" is the highest grade which can be given. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. In 2007 Patti and her band issued twelve, a CD of cover songs.  2008 included the retrospective exhibit Land 250 at the Cartier Foundation in Paris, the award winning release of Dream of Life: the Movie documentary by Steven Sebring, and an honorary doctorate degree in arts and letters from Rowan State University.  In 2009 Patti Smith was a recipient of the Pratt Institute's Legends Award.  Smith's latest book, Just Kids, will be published in January 2010 by Harper Collins/Ecco Press, about her early life, discovering art and literature, leaving New Jersey for New York City, meeting Robert Mapplethorpe, and their journey together into their respective careers as artists.  Patti Smith continues to create photographs, drawings, and installations for exhibits that are planned for the next year, as well as recording, spoken word performances and touring with her band.

Jesse Smith & Michael Campbell Jesse Smith spent her early childhood in Michigan, and moved to New York City in 1996.  She has had many unique opportunities, such as touring globally with her mother's band, and the chance to be involved in many artistic, musical, and environmental projects. Jesse composes instrumental pieces for piano. She has also written and performed music for her mother and recorded on various albums.

Michael Campbell grew up in Michigan as well, though met Jesse after coming to New York City. Since arriving in New York, he has been able to perform and record with various musical groups, as well as continue to develop his own musical style, with the addition of the aquarion, a glass percussion instrument. Michael and Jesse work together and individually on many musical projects, writing their own compositions. They have recently begun exploring the medium of film scoring, and have performed live film soundtracks at New York galleries. They look forward to recording their own music and continuing to work on environmental sustainability projects.

Regina Spektor Since emerging on the NYC café circuit in 2001, this Russian-born, Bronx-bred artist has been hailed as a truly special talent. With an uninhibited imagination and acute sense of detail both in music and words, Regina Spektor has gone from practicing on an out of tune piano in the basement of her local synagogue to hypnotizing small crowds in NYC's lower East Side to selling out venues like New York's Radio City Music Hall worldwide. Continuing to showcase her amazing ability to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary with her unique and provocative vocal style and prodigious piano skills garnered through years of classical training, Spektor recently released her latest album "far," to an overwhelming response from both fans and critics and it debuted at #3 on the Billboard Top 200. “far” is the follow up to Spektor’s breakthrough album “Begin To Hope” which spent 5 weeks in a row at #1 on the Billboard new artists chart before moving to #20 on the Billboard Top 100 and selling 1 million copies worldwide (Gold or Platinum in 7 countries). Regina recently appeared on Saturday Night Live and has an upcoming performance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Pierce Turner Pierce Turner is a songwriter and a composer of music for film and dance.  His first album for BMG was produced and arranged by Philip Glass.  The BBC described this critically acclaimed album as “Joyce with a voice” Many of Mr. Turner’s themes come from his early years in his native Ireland and subsequent years in America. His music has made it’s way into the HBO show The Wire, he was voted Irelands solo performer of the year in 1998 and has had his songs covered by Ireland’s legendary folk singer, Christy Moore.  The Irish Film Director Jim Sheridan went so far as to say; seeing Turner live gave him the strength and inspiration to make the Oscar winning “My Left Foot.” He is currently working on a book of his stories and lyrics and a track for his forthcoming album “Yogi with a Broken Heart “with Philip Glass on Keyboard (they plan to perform it at this event).  He is also preparing a full length performance of his 2001 time based CD “3 Minute World” for European festivals next summer.

NY Guitar Fest Announces 2 New Shows

The New York Guitar Festival today announces two additional performances in its 2010 offerings, both at Le Poisson Rouge. January 26 welcomes an evening of exquisite finger-style guitar featuring music by James Blackshaw, Max Ochs, Ben Hall, and Nick Jonah Davis, while February 2 serves up Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog and Skeleton$. Details are listed below.

The New York Guitar Festival launched its 10th event last week with a free opening night performance at World Financial Center’s Winter Garden by Slide guitarist Debashish Bhattacharya. Among India’s most esteemed musicians, Bhattacharya lured the packed house with music both soulfully serene and frenetically ferocious. Catch a glimpse here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9cDctzwyJc . Next up for NYGF – this Thursday Merkin Hall hosts the first of four highly anticipated performances in the series Silent Films/Live Guitars.

No instrument has spoken in more voices to more people than the guitar, and over the past decade no festival has sought out the modulations in those voices and the range of the guitar’s cultural expressions than the New York Guitar Festival.

Following its success since 1999 (with rave reviews in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Jazz Times as well as sister festivals in Urbana, Illinois and Adelaide Australia), the New York Guitar Festival announces its tenth season of concert performances, January 8 though February 4, 2010.

The festival boasts over 30 exceptional guitarists of jazz, classical, rock, traditional, and avant garde styles. Participating venues include Merkin Concert Hall, The 92nd Street Y, The World Financial Center’s Winter Garden, Le Poisson Rouge and Barbes. Concerts range from an all-day Guitar Marathon interpreting the music of J.S. Bach and his contemporaries, (featuring, among other internationally-famous musicians, the Brazilian Guitar Quartet, Paul O’Dette, Ana Vidovic, Eliot Fisk, Paul Galbraith and Nigel North) to the Hindustani slide guitar music of Debashish Bhattacharya.

The festival also has a history of commissioning remarkable original works, and the 2010 season breaks yet more new ground by presenting ten classic silent films (seven by Chaplin, one by Keaton and two by Harry Smith) accompanied by original scores performed live by a spectacularly rich and varied coterie of guitarists: Gyan Riley, Alex de Grassi, Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver), Steve Kimock, James Blackshaw, Marc Ribot, David Bromberg and the members of Chicha Libre.

The New York Guitar Festival, a not-for-profit arts organization, was founded in 1999 by musician and producer David Spelman, who serves as its Artistic Director. The Festival’s goal is to broaden the public’s appreciation for the guitar by fostering emerging talent, supporting innovative collaborations among outstanding artists, and commissioning new works. In addition to producing eclectic concerts and radio broadcasts, its Guitar Harvest series of recordings supports outreach programs in New York City public schools.

CONCERT SCHEDULE:

Merkin Concert Hall
Goodman House, 129 West 67th Street
Tickets and information: 212-501-3330 •
kaufman-center.org

Thursday, January 14, 8 p.m.

Silent Films/Live Guitars

Charlie Chaplin’s The Immigrant + The Kid

Music by David Bromberg and Marc Ribot
2008 Grammy nominee David Bromberg is known for his eclectic combination of blues, bluegrass, jazz, folk, country, and rock. He’s recorded and performed with Reverend Gary Davis, Jorma Kaukonen, Jerry Garcia, Bob Dylan and George Harrison among others and is presenting the premiere of newly commissioned music for Charlie Chaplin’s 1917 The Immigrant. Style-morphing icon Marc Ribot has lent his mercurial guitar sounds to collaborations including Robert Plant and Alison Kraus, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello and John Zorn, and will improvise a score for Chaplin’s 1921 classic, The Kid.

Merkin Concert Hall
Goodman House, 129 West 67th Street
Tickets and information: 212-501-3330 •
kaufman-center.org

Thursday, January 21, 8 p.m.

Silent Films/Live Guitars

Charlie Chaplin’s One A.M. and Easy Street + Buster Keaton’s Cops

Music by Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and Steve Kimock
Bon Iver is the nom-de-guerre of musician Justin Vernon. His album For Emma, Forever Ago was a critical and commercial hit, making him one of the most talked-about indie artists of 2008. For his scores to One A.M. & Easy Street, he’s joined by Chris Rosenau, of Collection of Colonies of Bees, whom Justin calls his “guitar mentor.” Steve Kimock is best known as co-founder and guitarist for the San Francisco band Zero. He’s recorded and performed with Bruce Hornsby and members of the Grateful Dead—Jerry Garcia once hailed him as his favorite guitarist. He performs music for Buster Keaton’s Cops.

Le Poisson Rouge
158 Bleeker Street
Tickets and Information: (212) 505-FISH or
lepoissonrouge.com

Tuesday, January 26 @ 6:30 PM

The New Possibility

Music by James Blackshaw, Max Ochs, Ben Hall, and Nick Jonah Davis
An evening of exquisite solo finger-style guitar, assembled by New York City’s Tompkins Square label, a leading purveyor of acoustic guitar music. The Village Voice called the label’s three-volume ‘Imaginational Anthem’ series “the gold standard for guitar nerds.” Ben Hall and Nick Jonah Davis will be making their first-ever New York performances.

Merkin Concert Hall
Goodman House, 129 West 67th Street
Tickets and information: 212-501-3330 •
kaufman-center.org

Thursday, January 28, 8 p.m.

Silent Films/Live Guitars

Charlie Chaplin’s Shoulder Arms and The Fall of the House of Usher (directed by James Sibley Watson and Melville Webber)

Music by Alex de Grassi + James Blackshaw
One of the top fingerstyle, steel-string guitarists, Grammy nominee Alex de Grassi is renowned for his impeccable technique and compelling compositions. He’s explored a variety of world music influences and drawn acclaim for his 14 recordings on Windham Hill and other labels. He presents his original score for Chaplin’s 1918 masterpiece Shoulder Arms. James Blackshaw is a London-based prodigy who’s released seven albums of mesmerizing 12-string compositions. His style is often described as “American primitive” and incorporates elements of Indian raga, improvisation, and psychedelia.

92nd Street Y
Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street
Tickets and information: 212-415-5500 / www.92Y.org

Sunday, January 31, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., with a break at 5 p.m.

The Guitar Marathon: Bach

Music by Paul O’Dette, Brazilian Guitar Quartet, Eliot Fisk, Paul Galbraith, David Leisner, Nigel North, Gyan Riley, Benjamin Verdery, Ana Vidovic, Jason Vieaux, and additional artists to be announced.
Our 5th biannual Guitar Marathon at the 92nd Street Y’s Kaufman Auditorium is co-curated by Paul O’Dette and the NYGF’s David Spelman. Some of today’s finest classical guitarists and lutenists will reveal the different facets of the music of J.S. Bach and his contemporaries. The event runs from 2—10pm, with a break at 5pm. “An epic event” is how the The Wall Street Journal classified our first Marathon, and Jazz Times called it “a veritable guitar orgy.” Half and full-day tickets will be available in August. Presented in association with WNYC Radio and broadcast on 93.9 FM.

Le Poisson Rouge
158 Bleeker Street
Tickets and Information: (212) 505-FISH or
lepoissonrouge.com

Tuesday, February 2 @ 6:30 PM

Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog and Skeleton$

Music by Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog: Marc Ribot (guitar), Shahzad Ismaily (bass, Moog, electronics), and Ches Smith (drums, electronics). Skeletons: also known as Skeletons and the Girl-Faced Boys and Skeletons and the Kings of All Cities.
Ceramic Dog is a post-everything band combining the energies of two masters of downtown New York City mayhem: guitarist/vocalist Marc Ribot (Tom Waits, John Zorn, Robert Plant, T-Bone Burnett, Elvis Costello) and bassist Shahzad Ismaily (Laurie Anderson, Will Oldham), with West Coast indie/experimental genius drummer Ches Smith. Ribot is a widely recognized original on the guitar, with influence across multiple genres of music, including rock, jazz, punk, Latin, soul, 80s No-Wave, avant-garde and noise. Opening the show will be Matt Mehlan’s revolving ensemble musical project Skeleton$.

Merkin Concert Hall
Goodman House, 129 West 67th Street
Tickets and information: 212-501-3330 •
kaufman-center.org

Thursday, February 4th, 8 p.m.

Silent Films/Live Guitars

Charlie Chaplin’s The Pilgrim and shorts by Harry Smith

Music by Chicha Libre + Gyan Riley
The Peruvian-influenced psychedelic pop of Chicha Libre mixes Colombian cumbia, dreamy surf guitar, and Andean melodies. They present their score to Chaplin’s 1923 The Pilgrim. Gyan Riley is an equally strong presence in the worlds of classical guitar and contemporary music. He’s performed throughout Europe and the U.S., both as a soloist and in ensembles with Zakir Hussain, the San Francisco Symphony, the Falla Guitar Trio, and his father, the composer/pianist/vocalist Terry Riley.