Blue Note NY announces mini series to celebrate funk, jazz, and jam synergies

Article Contributed by Shore Fire Media | Published on Wednesday, December 21, 2022

In 2023, New York’s iconic Blue Note Jazz Club is rolling out special programming that will highlight the synergies between the funk, jazz, and jam music communities. Featuring shows from one of the world’s most accomplished turntablists DJ Logic, funk-bands Soulive, Lettuce, Galactic featuring Special Guests, Antibalas, saxophonist Karl Denson, Ghost Note, Butcher Brown and more, the series will be a stomping ground for innovation and improvisation, showcasing the fluidity of the artists who perform within these funky genres, and with more special show announcements in January 2023.

Blue Note Director of Programming Alex Kurland: “The power of jazz has impacted and influenced many musical genres, and has its fingerprint deep within jam band culture and funk. Blue Note greatly celebrates this legacy and presents a broad range of artistry. We feel it's important for us to embrace jam band culture, funk, progressive and soulful music all of which have been influenced by jazz. We're proud to have genre-bending artists upcoming at Blue Note ranging from Lettuce, Soulive, Galactic & Friends, to Ghost Note, and Butcher Brown. Jazz and improvisation lives and breathes within progressive funk and jam band artistry. As a legendary jazz institution, it’s Blue Note’s responsibility to continue presenting innovative and soulful artists with musical integrity influenced by its exposure to jazz and improvised music."

Read more about the rest of the shows in the series below, including New Orleans jam band Galactic, who today also announced their residency special guests including Matisyahu, Robert Randolph, James Carter and Nicholas Payton.

DJ Logic & Friends (Jan 19 - 22)


Special guests will include: 

  • Jan 19 - 20: James Carter, James Genus, Robert "Sput" Searight, Neal Evans
  • Jan 21: James Genus, Robert "Sput" Searight, Neal Evans, Casey Benjamin
  • Jan 22: John Popper, Paul Shaffer, James Genus, Robert "Sput" Searight, Casey Benjamin


As one of the world’s most accomplished turntablists, DJ Logic is widely credited for introducing jazz into the hip–hop realms and is considered by most as a highly-respected session musician and an innovative bandleader. Since his emergence in the early nineties amidst the Bronx hip-hop scene, the New York City based deejay has been amassing a veritable mountain of collaborations, including a full-fledged band with members of Blues Traveler (The John Popper Project ft. DJ Logic), a trio with Steve Molitz & Freekbass (Headtronics), a jazz project with Georgian prodigy Beka Gochiasvili, and as a member of Grammy-winning Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra’s The Offense of the Drum album. He also has a long list of other collaborations with artists ranging from the likes of Bob Weir, John Mayer, Medeski Martin and Wood, Christian McBride, O.A.R., Carly Simon, Marcus Miller, Jack Johnson, Vernon Reid, Warren Haynes, Charlie Hunter, Jack DeJohnette, Ben Harper, Mos Def, The Roots, Bernie Worrell, Bill Laswell, Melvin Gibbs, Fred Wesley, Sean Kuti and many more.

Galactic (Jan 25 - 29)


Special guests will include: 

  • Jan 25: James Carter 
  • Jan 26 - 27: Robert Randolph 
  • Jan 28: Matisyahu 
  • Jan 29: Nicholas Payton


Galactic draws on 25 years together in order to progress with each performance and subsequent record. After 10 albums, over 2,000 gigs, and tens of millions of streams, the proud New Orleans, LA quintet—Ben Ellman [saxophone, harmonica], Robert Mercurio [bass], Stanton Moore [drums, percussion], Jeffrey Raines [guitar], and Richard Vogal [keyboards]—have kept the torch burning. 

They laid the groundwork for this future upon coming together in 1994. Along the way, they released seminal albums such as 2007’s From the Corner to the Block, boasting collabs with the likes of Chali 2na, Juvenile, Trombone Shorty, DJ Z-Trip, and Boots Riley. During 2015, Into The Deep marked their first debut in the Top 25 of the Billboard Top 200 and second straight #1 bow on the Billboard Top Contemporary Jazz Albums Chart. Not to mention, it boasted the title track “Into The Deep” [feat. Macy Gray], racking up nearly 20 million streams and counting. Along the way, they performed alongside the likes of Dave Matthews Band, The Roots, Jack Johnson, Talib Kweli, the Allman Brothers Band, Widespread Panic, B.B. King, Counting Crows, James Brown, and many more.  They’ve also recorded and performed with the likes of Allen Toussaint [“Bacchus”] and Big Freedia [“Double It”].

Karl Denson Project (Feb 23 - 26)


Band line up will include:

  • Feb 23 - 26: Keyon Harrold, James Francies, Burniss Travis & Blaque Dynamite


Saxophonist Karl Denson met Lenny Kravitz during a recording session in 1988. The following year, Kravitz called Denson and asked him to do the solo on the single “Let Love Rule” from Kravitz’s album of the same name. As it turned out, Denson played on the whole album, joined the band for the supporting tour, and was invited back to play on and tour in support of the next two Kravitz albums. In 1994, Denson became one of the founders and leaders of San Diego’s Greyboy Allstars as saxophonist, flutist, and singer. Eventually Denson formed a new band, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe (commonly referred to by jam/groove band fans as KDTU). KDTU’s all-night, sold-out concerts during Jazzfest in New Orleans have featured sit-ins by everyone from Lenny Kravitz & Steve Winwood (with whom Karl has also recorded and toured) to avant garde luminaries Marc Ribot & Boyfriend. Chuck Leavell and Bernard Fowler (Karl’s bandmates in The Rolling Stones where Karl replaced the great Bobby Keys as saxophonist in 2014) have joined onstage and on record, as have Lukas Nelson, John Oates, Michael Franti, Warren Haynes, Ivan Neville, Anders Osborne, Big Daddy Kane, Roy Hargrove, Maceo Parker, Fred Wesley, Joshua Redman, Marcus King, and Bernie Worrell, among others. Touring the country with the Allman Brothers, My Morning Jacket, D'Angelo, The Roots, Public Enemy, Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead, Parliament Funkadelic, Slightly Stoopid, Widespread Panic, very few concert goers have been untouched by the Tiny Universe live.

Krasno Moore Project ft. Eric Finland (March 16 - 19)


Soulive and Lettuce co-founder, Eric "Kraz" Krasno is a New York-based Grammy-winning guitarist, songwriter, recording artist, and producer. His own musical roots lie in funk, jazz, rock, and hip-hop, and he has written songs and produced records for a variety of artists in a range of genres including Norah Jones, Aaron Neville, Talib Kweli, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Ledisi, 50 Cent, and Matisyahu. Krasno began his career as a producer on Kweli's Quality in 2002. His reputation spread among hip-hop artists, and under various monikers he worked with a variety of rappers including Redman and Pharoah Monche, and R&B, jazz, pop, and rock artists including Keyshia Cole, Allen Stone, Dave Matthews Band, Justin Timberlake, and Nigel Hall. As a guitarist, Krasno's work has graced albums and tours by everyone from the Beatnuts, Snoop Dog, and Sonya Kitchell to Vieux Farka Toure, Christian McBride, Joshua Redman, and Dr. Lonnie Smith. Krasno issued Reminisce, his debut solo album in 2010 on SOI, and toured with his own group while continuing to play and record with Lettuce and Phil Lesh & Friends. 

Butcher Brown with Special Guests (May 8 - 10)

Pulsing from the nerve center of Jellowstone Studios in Richmond VA, Butcher Brown takes careful note of the history and legacy of jazz and throws caution to the wind. Their musical vibe blends jazz with hip hop, funk, rap, rock and soul. The group honors each musical genre and, at the same time, challenges traditional musical boundaries. The result is their most exciting collection of tracks to date. Butcher Brown features Tennishu, Morgan Burrs, Corey Fonville, Andrew Randazzo, and DJ Harrison.

Antibalas (May 18 - 21)

It’s hard to believe that more than twenty years have passed since Antibalas’s humble beginning as a neighborhood dance / protest band in the block parties and underground parties in pre-gentrified Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Over the past two decades they have evolved into what The Guardian called “one of the world’s finest Afrobeat bands” while enjoying equal renown for their cross-genre collaborations with legends of popular music. With a heavy balance of experience and new blood, the group leaps into 2020 with their new Daptone Records full-length “Fu Chronicles.” Antibalas has also served as the house band for several star-studded tribute shows at Carnegie Hall and the Apollo Theater paying tribute to the music of Aretha Franklin, David Byrne, Paul Simon, and Billie Holiday, backing dozens including Allen Toussaint, Cee Lo Green, Sharon Jones, Santigold, and Angelique Kidjo. 

Ghost Note (June 1 - 4)


Headed by Snarky Puppy’s multi-Grammy–winning percussion duo of Robert “Sput” Searight and Nate Werth, Ghost-Note is an explosion of sound. With an expansive roster of next-level musicians—representing members of Prince, Snoop Dogg, Erykah Badu, Herbie Hancock, Kendrick Lamar, Marcus Miller, Toto, Justin Timberlake, and more—the band is pushing funk music into the future, building on the uplifting, pioneering foundations laid out by the likes of James Brown and Sly & The Family Stone and infusing their fresh take with tastes of afrobeat, hip-hop, psychedelia, world folklore, and more. 

Lettuce (June 8 - 11, Festival)


Lettuce, a sextet composed of Adam Deitch (drums), Ryan Zoidis (saxophone), Adam Smirnoff (guitar), Erick Coomes (bass), Nigel Hall (keyboards/vocals), and Eric ‘Benny’ Bloom (trumpet), is approaching thirty years since its humble Boston Beginnings. The relentlessly soulful funk outfit has essentially lived on the road, embodying, night after night, the sly wink of its moniker: Let us play!  They have played on the Royal Family Ball tour with Soulive and accompanied the likes of Soul Rebels Brass Band and Rashawn Ross of the Dave Matthews Band. Their members have worked independently to span genres and play with artists from Norah Jones to Justin Timberlake, from Lady Gaga to The Game.

Soulive (June 15 - 18 & 29 - July 2)


Soulive has never made any bones about what they do best; it's right there in their name. Since forming in 1999, the trio of guitarist Eric Krasno, drummer Alan Evans and keyboardist Neal Evans has carried the torch for the soul-jazz organ trio -- that venerable, funky institution pioneered by the likes of Jimmy Smith, Brother Jack McDuff and Groove Holmes in the late '60s. In their 20 years together, Soulive has followed the muse in the direction of hip-hop, R&B, blues and rock, collaborating with the likes of Chaka Khan, Dave Matthews, Talib Kweli, John Scofield, Derek Trucks, Maceo Parker, Susan Tedeschi, Robert Randolph, Joshua Redman, Kenny Garrett, Fred Wesley, The Roots, Ivan Neville and so many others, even going so far as to record a full album of covers by The Beatles (Rubber Soulive). But, no matter how they push the limits of the organ trio, they always come back to their bread and butter: blistering solos and grooves that don't quit.