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Jan 11+12, 6 Venues in The Village! 70+ Groups Performing All Night! 2013 Winter Jazz Fest Jan 11-12, NYC

Brandee Younger_afroharping

AFRO HARPING Dorothy Ashby Tribute w/ Brandee Younger
Brandee Younger, harp / Casey Benjamin, alto sax / Sharel Cassity, flute / Ameen Saleem, bass / Kim Thompson, drums / Raydar Ellis, DJ

Ashby’s unparalleled musicianship is one reason that the 1968 album “Afro Harping” is a particularly sought after record among producers and beat makers. One of the most progressive artists of her time, Detroit native Dorothy Ashby proved herself a trailblazer, using the concert harp in jazz, r&b and other popular styles.

Ashby, who played bebop lines comparable to a horn player, recorded 10 albums as a leader that featured powerhouse rhythm sections including Art Taylor, Roy Haynes, Jimmy Cobb and Richard Davis. In 1968 she released, with LP producer Richard Evans, “Afro Harping” on the Cadet label. Describing this ground breaking jazz soul album, as “bluesey” & “funky” would be an understatement. Dorothy Ashby took songs of the time, laid African and Afro-Latin grooves underneath them and played soulful and creative lines on top, placing the harp at the forefront. Decades later, hip hop and r&b artists continue to use “Afro-Harping” to enhance their music with its timeless sounds. Music makers such as Pete Rock, Jill Scott, Angie Stone, Kendrick Lamar, GZA and Flying Lotus have all sampled this monumental recording.

New York based harpist Brandee Younger has paved a path all her own using the harp extensively in modern styles, having shared the stage with the likes of Jack Dejohnette, Ravi Coltrane, Charlie Haden & Reggie Workman, as well as performing on tracks by Common, Ski Beats & John Legend. Younger has become one of New York’s most sought after musicians and continues to challenge the role of the current harpist.

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2013 NYC Winter Jazzfest
:: Schedule ::
(subject to change)

Friday January 11th(Le) Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker Street btw Sullivan/Thompson6:00pm – Ibrahim Maalouf
7:15pm – Catherine Russell
8:30pm – Monty Alexander
“Harlem – Kingston Express”
9:45pm – Don Byron
11:00pm – Evolutionary Minded!
The music of Gil-Scott Heron Re-visioned
12:00am – Freedom Party
 + DJ Herbert Holler spins throughout the night
Sullivan Hall
214 Sullivan St. btw Bleecker & West 3rd7:45pm – Marcus Strickland Twi-Life
9:00pm – Revive Big Band led by Igmar Thomas
10:15pm – Dorothy Ashby Tribute feat.
Brandee Younger
11:30pm – Corey King Band
12:45am – CHURCH feat. Mark de Clive-Lowe
  + DJ Rich Medina spins throughout the night
Zinc Bar
82 West 3rd Street btw Sullivan/Thompson6:45pm – Music of Ryuichi Sakamoto by Meg Okura’s
Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble
8:00pm – Dan Tepfer & Lee Konitz
9:15pm – Jaimeo Brown’s Transcendence
w/ JD Allen and Chris Sholar
10:30pm – Eric Revis, Kris Davis, Andrew Cyrille
11:45pm – Felix Pastorius
1:00am – AfroHORN
2:15am – Ernest Dawkins Afro-Straight
The Bitter End
147 Bleecker Street btw Thompson/Laguardia6:15pm – Maria Neckam
7:30pm – Yosvany Terry Quintet
8:45pm – Krystle Warren and The Faculty
10:00pm – Julian Lage & Nels Cline
11:15pm – Roy Nathanson Sotto Voce
12:30am – Charnett Moffett, Marc Cary, Will Calhoun
1:45am – Jason Stein Quartet
                 Culture Project Theater
45 Bleecker Street at Lafayette St7:00pm – Bryan & The Aardvarks
8:15pm – Michael Attias SPUN TREE with
Ralph Alessi, Kris Davis, Sean Conly,
Tom Rainey
9:30pm – Sunny Kim’s Painter’s Eye
10:45pm – The Fringe
12:00am – Nasheet Waits EQUALITY with
Vijay Iyer, Mark Helias, Logan Richardson
1:15am – Seabrook Power Plant
                       Bowery Electric
327 Bowery btw 2nd St and 3rd St6:15pm – Bobby Previte Bari Trio
7:30pm – Erik Deutsch
8:45pm – Jacob Garchik The Heavens
10:00pm – Debo Band
Saturday January 12th(Le) Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker Street btw Sullivan/Thompson6:00pm – Celebrate Great Women of Blues & Jazz
w/ Toshi Reagon & Allison Miller +Friends
7:15pm – The Big Picture featuring David Krakauer
8:30pm – The Cookers
9:45pm – Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Gamak
11:00pm – James Carter Organ Trio
12:15am – Gregory Porter
1:30am – Bugge ‘n Friends with
Erik Truffaz, Ilhan Ersahin, Joaquin ‘Joe’ Claussell
2:45am – ELEW
 + Selector JD (Deadly Dragon Sound)
Sullivan Hall
214 Sullivan St. btw Bleecker & West 3rd7:45pm – Ari Hoenig Group
9:00pm – Dezron Douglas’ Jazz Workshop
10:15pm – Somi
11:30pm – Otis Brown III
12:45am – George Burton Group
2:00am – John Raymond Project
  + DJ Raydar Ellis spins throughout the night
Zinc Bar
82 West 3rd Street btw Sullivan/Thompson6:45pm – Tigran
8:00pm – Donny McCaslin
9:15pm – Alexis Cuadrado Group
‘A Lorca Soundscape’
10:30pm – Omer Avital & His Band of The East
11:45pm – Rez Abbasi Trio
1:00am – Amir Elsafar Quintet
2:15am – JC Hopkins
The Bitter End
147 Bleecker Street btw Thompson/Laguardia6:15pm – Pedrito Martinez
7:30pm – Claudia Acuña
8:45pm – Colin Stetson
10:00pm – Brian Carpenter’s
Ghost Train Orchestra
11:15pm – Hazmat Modine
12:30am – Rafiq Bhatia
1:45am – Oran Etkin
Culture Project Theater
45 Bleecker Street at Lafayette St7:00pm – Michael Formanek
8:15pm – Leo Genovese Trio
9:30pm – Tony Malaby Tuba Trio
10:45pm – Kneebody
12:00am – Jason Lindner Breeding Ground
1:15am – Merger w/ Andrew D’Angelo, Kirk Knuffke,
Ben Street, Nasheet Waits
Bowery Electric
327 Bowery btw 2nd St and 3rd St6:15pm – Frank Lacy’s ’10 32k’
7:30pm – Mario Pavone Trio
8:45pm – 40Twenty feat. Vinnie Sperazza
10:00pm – Red Baraat
10³²K featuring Frank Lacy
Frank Lacy’s, trombone / Andrew Drury, percussion / Kevin Ray, bass10³²K – The Planck temperature. The temperature at which matter ceases to exist, and conventional physics breaks down. According to Nova, at this point, “strange things, unknown things, begin to happen to phenomena we hold near and dear, like space and time”. Also an apt description for what happens when you mix the cerebral flamboyance of Frank Lacy’s trombone with Andrew Drury’s propulsive and kaleidoscopic percussion, and the vibrantly driving bass of Kevin Ray.

The great tradition of Jazz includes the reinterpretation of the works of its master composers. Because of the complexity and originality of the interpretive method, this makes a repertory focused ensemble far more than a “cover band.” But in the case of 10³²K, this approach is highly unique.

Rather than focusing upon the more traditional masters – Ellington, Monk, Miles, etc. – this remarkable trio has, in addition to their own compositions, selected a compelling repertoire from some of the less often played, but powerfully innovative composers and players of modern Jazz. Among these are Sam Rivers, Albert Ayler, Roswell Rudd, Henry Threadgill and Reggie Workman, along with unique takes on Mingus, Strayhorn and Jimi Hendrix.

The members of 10³²K are most qualified to explore this territory, having worked with a veritable who’s-‐who of the modern era. McCoy Tyner, Andrew Hill, Julius Hemphill, Sam Rivers, Henry Threadgill, Oliver Lake, Dizzy Gillespie, Abdullah Ibrahim, Bobby Watson, John Hicks, Lester Bowie, Greg Osby, Charles Gayle and the Mingus Big Band are only a partial list of the great artists with whom the members have performed extensively. 10³²K offers a delightfully singular and most enjoyable voyage in modern Jazz history, while making a good bit of their own on the way.

Vinnie Sperazza 40Twenty

40twenty featuring Jacob Garchik, Jacob Sacks, Dave Ambrosio, & Vinnie Sperrazza
Jacob Garchik, trombone / Jacob Sacks, piano / Dave Ambrosio, bass / Vinnie Sperrazza, drums

Announcing 40twenty: an updated take on the Mad Men-era house band. In the spirit of jazz club engagements of long ago, this Brooklyn quartet booked two weeks of nightly gigs before recording their debut record.
40twenty is a throwback to the age when a band could find its own sound through night after night of experimentation and interaction. In January 2011, amidst a world of “one-nighters”, 40twenty sought out a New York City space where they could set up camp and forge their identity. After 10 nights and 20 sets at Brooklyn’s Ibeam, they headed to the studio to capture the energy they created. Released in November 2012, the group’s debut album is available now at 40twenty.bandcamp.com, and from the band at their 2013 Winter Jazz Fest performance.

AFRO HARPING Dorothy Ashby Tribute w/ Brandee Younger

AFRO HARPING Dorothy Ashby Tribute w/ Brandee Younger
Brandee Younger, harp / Casey Benjamin, alto sax / Sharel Cassity, flute / Ameen Saleem, bass / Kim Thompson, drums / Raydar Ellis, DJ

Ashby’s unparalleled musicianship is one reason that the 1968 album “Afro Harping” is a particularly sought after record among producers and beat makers. One of the most progressive artists of her time, Detroit native Dorothy Ashby proved herself a trailblazer, using the concert harp in jazz, r&b and other popular styles.

Ashby, who played bebop lines comparable to a horn player, recorded 10 albums as a leader that featured powerhouse rhythm sections including Art Taylor, Roy Haynes, Jimmy Cobb and Richard Davis. In 1968 she released, with LP producer Richard Evans, “Afro Harping” on the Cadet label. Describing this ground breaking jazz soul album, as “bluesey” & “funky” would be an understatement. Dorothy Ashby took songs of the time, laid African and Afro-Latin grooves underneath them and played soulful and creative lines on top, placing the harp at the forefront. Decades later, hip hop and r&b artists continue to use “Afro-Harping” to enhance their music with its timeless sounds. Music makers such as Pete Rock, Jill Scott, Angie Stone, Kendrick Lamar, GZA and Flying Lotus have all sampled this monumental recording.

New York based harpist Brandee Younger has paved a path all her own using the harp extensively in modern styles, having shared the stage with the likes of Jack Dejohnette, Ravi Coltrane, Charlie Haden & Reggie Workman, as well as performing on tracks by Common, Ski Beats & John Legend. Younger has become one of New York’s most sought after musicians and continues to challenge the role of the current harpist.

Afro Horn

AfroHORN:The 3rd Incarnation
Aruan Ortiz, piano / Rahsaan Carter, bass / Roman Diaz, percussion / Andrew Daniels, percussion / Francisco Mora-Catlett, drums / Alex Harding, baritone saxophone & bass clarinet / Bruce Williams, alto & soprano saxophone / Salim Washington, tenor saxophone, flute & oboe

Guided by voices that sing of a new music , Afro-Latin drummer/composer Francisco Mora-Catlett maps the secret paths that connect avant-garde jazz to Cuban folklore, African mysticism and Mexican Surrealism. All roads lead to the AfroHORN, a visionary project that gets its name from the celebrated Harlem writer, Henry Dumas, who described the AfroHORN as a rare object of power:
“There are only three Afro-Horns in the world. They were forged from a rare metal found only in Africa and South America. No one knows who forged the horns, but the general opinion among musicologists is that it was the Egyptians. One European museum guards an afro-horn. The other is supposed to be somewhere on the West Coast of Mexico, among a tribe of Indians. Probe grew into his from a black peddler who claimed to have traveled a thousand miles just to give to his son.” – Henry Dumas, “Will The Circle Be Unbroken”

Francisco Mora-Catlett comes to his visionary work naturally: born into a family of illustrious artists (Mexican painter Francisco Mora and African-American sculptress Elizabeth Catlett) he began his musical career in Mexico, where he grew up. He studied music at the Berklee School of Music, and subsequently played Sun Ra’s Arkestra, from 1973 to 1980. He released his first album as a leader, the Latin project Mora!, in 1987 and received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to study drumming and percussion with Max Roach in New York City. Mora-Catelett worked with Roach’s advanced all-percussion ensemble M’Boom, appearing on two Blue Moon LPs, 1990’s “To the Max” and 1992’s “Live at S.O.B.’s New York”.

The AfroHORN project was conceived by Mora-Catlett in Sun Ra’s home during a tenure with the Arkestra in the late 1970s. AfroHORN’s 3rd Incarnation presents a dynamic collaboration between jazz and Latin elements: multi-reed players Alex Harding, Bruce Williams and Salim Washington representing jazz; the explosive rhythm section features the virtuoso Cuban pianist Aruan Ortiz and the celebrated Cuban folklorist/percussionist Roman Diaz, with Andrew Daniels on additional percussion; Rahsaan Carter on bass; Mora-Catlett’s drums the fulcrum of the ensemble.

Alexis Cuadrado ‘A Lorca Soundscape’ w/ Claudia Acuna & Miguel Zenon
Alexis Cuadrado ‘A Lorca Soundscape’ w/ Claudia Acuna & Miguel Zenon
Alexis Cuadrado, bass, compositions / Claudia Acuña, voice / Yosvany Terry, sax / Dan Tepfer, piano / Mark Ferber, drumsLong before terms like “1 percenters” and “Occupy” entered our conversations the great Spanish playwright and poet Federico García Lorca was writing about the inequality he witnessed while in New York City in 1929. Bassist and composer Alexis Cuadrado now presents “A Lorca Soundscape”, a brand new cycle of original jazz protest songs drawn from Lorca’s poetry. With an exceptional band, Cuadrado creates a groundbreaking dialog across time using a unique blend of jazz, flamenco and new music.
Amir Elsafar Quintet
Amir Elsafar Quintet
Amir ElSaffar, trumpet / Ole Mathisen, tenor saxophone / Francois Moutin, bass / Dan Weiss, drums / John Escreet, pianoIraqi-American trumpeter, santur player, vocalist, and composer Amir ElSaffar has distinguished himself with a command of disparate musical styles and a singular approach to combining aspects of Middle Eastern music with American jazz, extending the boundaries of each tradition. Described as “a compositional force to be reckoned with” (Point of Departure), ElSaffar uses the microtones found in maqam music to create a unique approach to harmony and melody, establishing himself as an important voice in an age of cross-cultural music making. ElSaffar has also created new techniques to play microtones and ornaments that are idiomatic to Arabic music but are not typically heard on the trumpet. Additionally, he is an acknowledged performer of the classical Iraqi maqam tradition, and leads the group, Safaafir, which performs for Iraqi and non-Iraqi audiences around the US.ElSaffar has released three albums as a leader: Inana (Pi, 2011), described in Allmusic.com as “a thoroughly engaging, sensual, and enlightening encounter between the ancient and the modern…as seamless continuation in musical history and innovation;” Radif Suite (Pi, 2010), co-led with saxophonist Hafez Modirzadeh, which received a prestigious CHOC award and was featured on the New York Times’ Critic’s Playlist, and his debut, Two Rivers, described as “fresh, deep, intensely performed music…an organic amalgam” by JazzTimes.
Ari Hoenig
Ari Hoenig
Tivon Pennicott, tenor / Wayne Krantz, guitar / Mike League, bass / Ari Hoenig, drumsThe Ari Hoenig Quartet was formed at the end of 2002 while playing every Monday night at the New York Village jazz club Fat Cat.  This band featured Jacques Schwarz-Bart on tenor sax, Jean Michel Pilc on piano and Matt Penman on bass.  They released two records on the Smalls Records label: “The Painter” (2004) and the DVD “Kinetic Hues” (2005).In 2006 Ari signed a multi record deal with Dreyfus Records and released his first record for them called “Inversations.”  “Inversations” (2006) features the trio with Jean Michel Pilc and Johannes Weidenmueller. “Bert’s Playground” (2008), Ari’s second record for Dreyfus, features Ari’s Punk Bop Band joined by Chris Potter. Highlights of this record include Chris’s solo on Moments Notice and Ari jumping around in red pants on the cover.  Jonathan Kreisberg, Matt Penman, Will Vinson, Gilad Hekselman and Orlando le Fleming also represent on this one.

Ari’s Quartet with Tigran Hamasyan, Gilad Hekselman, Orlando le Fleming and Chris Tordini released “Lines of Oppression” (2011) on the Naïve label. This record represents a culmination of Ari’s bandleading, composing and accounting skills.

Currently Ari leads three groups that play his original music.  Besides the Ari Hoenig Quartet and “Punk Bop,” Ari also leads the Ari Hoenig Trio, with Jonathan Kreisberg or Gilad Hekselman covering guitar duties and Matt Penman or Orlando plucking on the bass. He also co-leads a variety of projects, including Pilc, Moutin, Hoenig (“the three headed monster”), Oscillations Quartet and various duo’s with Chris Potter, Edmar Casteneda or Dan Weiss.

Bobby Previte Bari Trio

Bobby Previte Bari Trio
Mike Gamble, guitar / Bobby Previte, drums / Fabian Rucker, baritone saxophone

Bobby Previte’s first stage appearance came in 1956 at the Niagara Falls Talent Show, where, guitar in hand, and adorned in an over-sized suit, he belted out a solo rendition of Elvis Presley’s ‘Hound Dog.’

Eight years later, thinking drumming might be a good way to get girls, he fashioned a bass drum from a rusted garbage can, a kick pedal from a wire coat hanger wedged between two pieces of linoleum and a rubber ball stuck on top, tom toms from upside-down trash bins, cymbals from aluminum pie plates suspended on plungers, and a box of loose junk for a snare – then practiced for a year in his dark basement with a lone spotlight shining on him before eventually starting a band, the “Devil’s Disciples.” But when they finally got a gig at the church he was fired for not having ‘real’ drums. Seeking revenge, he took a job as a paperboy, saved every penny, and a year later bought the Rogers kit he still uses today in concerts all over the world.

Strolling in the East Village one bright 70s afternoon , he peered inside a limo stuck in traffic (crosstown) and suddenly found himself face to face with Jimi Hendrix. Thinking fast, he unfurled the poster of Jimi he had fortunately just acquired, then looked on in astonishment as Hendrix smiled and flashed him the peace sign.

All the rest, as they say, is noise.

Brian Carpenter’s Ghost Train Orchestra
Brian Carpenter’s Ghost Train Orchestra
Brian Carpenter, trumpet, harmonica / Andy Laster, alto, flute / Dennis Lichtman, clarinet / Petr Cancura, clarinet, tenor, alto / Curtis Hasselbring, trombone / Mazz Swift, violin, vocals / Brandon Seabrook, banjo / Ron Caswell, tuba / Rob Garcia, drumsThe Ghost Train Orchestra was formed in 2006 after Brian Carpenter was hired as the music director for an event marking the 90th anniversary of the Regent Theater in Arlington, MA. Since then the band has been performing unearthed music mined from the dusty vaults of a basement record collection, new arrangements of “voodoo music” and spirited stomps from the most incredible of the late 1920s Chicago and Harlem jazz bands. Their debut album “Hothouse Stomp” was released March 2011 and was subsequently featured on NPR’s Fresh Air and All Things Considered, occupying the top 10 of the Billboard Jazz charts for several weeks.The Ghost Train Orchestra is currently developing material for a recording of all new arrangements of late 1930s chamber jazz from Alec Wilder, John Kirby, Reginald Foresythe, and Raymond Scott.

 

Bryan & The Aardvarks

Bryan & The Aardvarks
Chris Dingman, vibraphone / Jesse Lewis, guitar / Fabian Almazan, piano / Bryan Copeland, bass

The whimsically-named, dreamily lyrical quartet Bryan and the Aardvarks, was formed by Texas-born bassist/composer Bryan Copeland in order to explore an inventive new sound that derived from his jazz training as well as his upbringing in pop and country music. The music he writes for the quartet combines a hushed intimacy with memorable, singable melodies and a narrative directness that nevertheless leaves space for expressive improvisation. In pianist Fabian Almazan, vibraphonist Chris Dingman, and drummer Joe Nero, he has assembled a distinctive ensemble able to flesh out his unique compositions.

Copeland hit on the sound of Bryan and the Aardvarks organically, while coping with the death of a close friend from Texas. He sat down at the piano one day and the shimmering melody of “Sunshine Through the Clouds” flowed out of him. “I was having a hard time dealing with the feelings I was having,” Copeland recalls, “and I wasn’t really thinking about what I was playing. Something deep in my subconscious just came out, and that’s still the approach I take with this band. I just close my eyes and let my subconscious write the music.”

It took some time for the band to come fully to terms with this idiosyncratic approach, but the Copeland’s fellow Aardvarks have since cohered into a remarkably fluid and synchronized unit. And while the band was born out of tragedy, its name reflects Copeland’s wit and humor – and is in line with the compositions’ lack of overthinking. Booked for a last-minute gig and asked to come up with a name, Copeland simply blurted out “Bryan and the Aardvarks” – inspired in part by the early-seventies cartoon The Ant and the Aardvark (“I was a cartoon junkie as a kid,” Copeland admits) and partially simply by instinct.

Bugge ‘N’ Friends

Bugge ‘N’ Friends
Bugge Wesseltoft, grand piano, rhodes, synthesizer / Erik Truffaz, trumpet / Ilhan Ersahin, saxophon / Joaquin “Joe” Claussell, beats/electronic & organic percussion / Marius Reksjø, bass / Erik Holm, percussions / Andreas Bye, drums

BUGGE ‘n Friends is a 7 people jazz group consisting of Wesseltofts long time friends and hereos. A multinational all star line up with melodic brass section, a warm sounding rhythm section, electronic percussion and catchy compositions written by Bugge Wesseltoft. True international music with influences from 4 different countries.

The group features piano master, labelboss, producer BUGGE WESSELTOFT himself, innovative french trumpeter ERIK TRUFFAZ from Blue Note, New Yorks Nublu club & festival founder and turkish saxophonist ILHAN ERSAHIN, the US dj/ producer legend JOAQUIN “JOE” CLAUSSELL and a three piece rhythm section. The project might remind of the great success and vibe of New Conception Of Jazz but raised to another level. After a celebrated concert at Oslo Jazz festival September 2011 together with Erik Truffaz, Ilhan Ersahin, Joaquin “Joe” Claussell, the singers Torun Eriksen and Beate Lech (from Beady Belle) the story continued 2012 with touring in Japan and festivals in Europe.

Catherine Russell

Catherine Russell
Catherine Russell, vocals / Matt Munisteri, guitar / Ehud Asherie, piano / Lee Hudson, bass / Mark McLean, drums

Vocalist Catherine Russell is a native New Yorker, born into musical royalty. Her father, the late Luis Russell, was a pioneering pianist/composer/bandleader, and Louis Armstrong’s long-time musical director. Her mother, Carline Ray, has performed with Mary Lou Williams and International Sweethearts of Rhythm. Catherine’s professional life began early. After graduating with honors from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, she embarked upon musical adventures with Carrie Smith, Steely Dan, David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper, Paul Simon, Jackson Browne, Michael Feinstein, Levon Helm, and Rosanne Cash. Her 2006 debut album “Cat”, (World Village/Harmonia Mundi), garnered rave reviews, paving the way for her 2008 sophomore release, “Sentimental Streak”. Catherine was a guest on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien”, PBS-TV’s “Tavis Smiley Show”, and NPR’s “Fresh Air”, “Piano Jazz”, “Mountain Stage”, “World Café”, and “JazzSet”. She has won a prestigious German Record Critics’ Award and a Living Blues magazine’s critics’ poll. L’Acadamie du Jazz in France chose “Sentimental Streak” as finaliste for Prix du Jazz Vocal. Catherine Russell’s third album, “Inside This Heart of Mine”, reached #1 on JazzWeek and Roots Music Report’s radio charts, while also charting on Billboard and reaching #1 on I-Tunes jazz charts. A fourth album, “Strictly Romancin’” was released in February 2012. Catherine Russell won a Grammy Award as a featured artist on the soundtrack album for the HBO-TV series, Boardwalk Empire.

With universal acclaim, Catherine Russell has performed on three continents. She’s been a hit at major Jazz Festivals including Monterey, Newport, North Sea, JazzAscona, Montreal, Bern, Rochester International, Tanglewood, and at sold out venues like The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Scullers in Boston, The Dakota in Minneapolis, Dizzy’s Club in NYC, and Yoshi’s in San Francisco. All Music Guide says, “Russell emerged as a retro old school vocalist for the ages.”

Celebrate The Great Women of Blues & Jazz w/ Toshi Reagon and Allison Miller

Celebrate The Great Women of Blues & Jazz w/ Toshi Reagon and Allison Miller
Toshi Reagon and Allison Miller, music direction / Christelle Durandy, vocals / Tamar Kali, guitar / M, MC / Imani Uzuri, vocals / Mimi Jones, bass / Alex Nolan, guitar / Liza Jessie Peterson, host / Michelle Dorrance, dancer / Shamie Royston, piano / Mayra Casales, percussion, vocals / Tanya Darby, trumpet / Reut Regev, trombone

Celebrate The Great Women of Blues and Jazz. A gathering of some of New York’s best vocalist and musicians in celebration of their musical mothers. Conceived by Toshi Reagon. Musical Direction by Allison Miller & Toshi Reagon. Host Liza Jessie Peterson welcomes you to our “Juke Joint sanctified saloon where we are paying tribute to the Great Grand Dames, the classy and the sassy Queens of Blues Blues Blues, and Jazz Jazz Jazz, and Church Church Church.”

E=MC2–Moffett/Cary/Calhoun

E=MC2–Moffett/Cary/Calhoun
Charnett Moffett, bass / Marc Cary, piano / Will Calhoun, drums

With eleven CD’s as a leader, over 200 recordings as a sideman and countless performances at jazz venues around the world, Charnett Moffett has earned a reputation as one of the most virtuosic, dependable and innovative musicians in jazz. In addition to his twenty-five years with the Manhattan Jazz Quintet, Charnett has performed and recorded with an impressive resume of greats that include Art Blakey, Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Henderson, Herbie Hancock, Pharoah Sanders, McCoy Tyner, Sonny Sharrock, Frank Lowe, Ellis Marsalis, Wallace Roney, Dianne Reeves, Kenny Kirkland, David Sanchez, Babatunde Lea, Arturo Sandoval, Alex Bugnon, Kevin Eubanks, David Sanborn, Harry Connick, Jr. and most recently has been on tour with vocal sensation, Melody Gardot.

Hailed by Down Beat as one of the most, “multi-dimensional keyboard players on the scene today,” whose music reveals those multi-dimensions in sensual living color, Marc Cary’s continual search for his musical identity has brought him to all corners of the earth, quenching his thirst to bring forth indigenous musics in all of their forms.

Will Calhoun, the widely acclaimed drummer from the Bronx, New York, graduated from the Berklee School of Music in Boston, where he received a Bachelors degree in Music Production and engineering. He was also the recipient of the prestigious Buddy Rich Jazz Masters Award for outstanding performance by a drummer. Not many artists have the vision and artistic energy to be Grammy winners and contribute to so many genres: jazz, rock, hip-hop, ambient, et al, while concurrently producing, touring, creating new projects, working on films, and continually pushing the envelope. Will Calhoun has this creative vision, and he is doing an extraordinary job keeping music a spiritual and motivating force in his life.

CHURCH f. Mark de Clive-Lowe
CHURCH f. Mark de Clive-Lowe
Mark de Clive-Lowe, piano, keys, electronic, effects / Nia Andrews, vocalist / Mark Kelley, bass / Jaleel Shaw, alto saxophone / John Robinson, MCCHURCH is a whirlwind mix of live jazz, sampling and a DJ set. Fast becoming the discerning music-lovers’ and musicians’ event of choice, don’t be surprised if you spot the likes of Master at Work Louie Vega or soul legend Leon Ware in the audience; Chris “Daddy” Dave, MC John Robinson or Miguel Atwood-Ferguson on the stage and the likes of Ge-Ology on the decks. The first live set showcases the jazz side of MdCL, blending standards, groove explorations and classic trio interplay with resampling, electronics and live remixing. As the first set draws to a close, the guest DJ takes over, preparing the crowd for MdCL to flip the script with the second set – a unique blend of live electronica and live remixing – the jazz club colliding head to head with the dance floor. Previous installments in Los Angeles and New York have featured talented artists such as Rich Medina, Jose James, Jean Grae, N’Dea Davenport, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Jaleel Shaw and DJ Spinna performing to capacity crowds.
Claudia Acuña

Claudia Acuna
Claudia Acuna, vocals / Pablo Vergara, piano & keys / Mark Kelley, bass / Mike Moreno, guitar / Yayo Serka, drum Chilean singer/songwriter/arranger

CLAUDIA ACUÑA possesses one of the most beautiful and compelling voices in jazz and creative music. While singing primarily in Spanish, her music crosses language barriers to communicate with power and deep feeling.

It was at the original Small’s in Greenwich Village, a hotbed of young talent, that Acuña made the greatest strides, meeting and working with such artists as Jeff Ballard, Avishai Cohen, Frank Hewitt, Guillermo Klein, Jimmie Lovelace, Brad Mehldau, Harry Whittaker and the man who became her musical director and closest collaborator, pianist Jason Lindner. She was given a key to the club, which allowed her to rehearse on what became a daily basis. After initiating an early gig at the Zinc Bar, offers from other Manhattan clubs and restaurants followed. “Everyone was driven to explore, and was so supportive,” she recalls. “It was like a little music gang. I knew then that I had made the right decision, and had arrived at the right place. I wasn’t in school, but every note I heard was a lesson.”

Record companies began to show interest in Acuña after a tape of one of her live performances began to circulate without her knowledge. She was signed to Verve Records in 1999, where she recorded two albums, Wind from the South and Rhythm of Life. A third disc, Luna, was recorded for MAXJAZZ in 2004, and her debut on the Marsalis Music label, En Este Momento, will be released in April 2009. Acuña has also recorded and toured with a host of performers including George Benson, Joey Calderazzo, Billy Childs, Roy Hargrove, Tom Harrell, Christian McBride, Danilo Perez and Pablo Ziegler. Over time, she has performed more of her material in her native language. “I always promised myself that I would honor my background,” she says, “and I’ve gone from the point where there were always one or two songs in Spanish to where there are always one or two in English. But I don’t want to lock myself into a formula because my growth has been organic, like a seed that produces more leaves, branches and flowers with each year.”

Colin Stetson
Colin Stetson
Colin Stetson, bass saxophoneColin Stetson was born and raised in Ann Arbor, MI and earned a degree in music from his hometown school, the University of Michigan, in 1997. Six years in San Francisco followed, then another four in Brooklyn, NY. Over this time, he developed his unique solo voice on saxophones and clarinets, culminating in the release of the album New History Warfare Vol. 1″ on Agoo Records in 2008.Stetson now resides in Montreal, QC, and performs regularly on assorted saxophones, clarinets, cornet, french horn and flute.

His latest solo record New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges” was released Feb. 22, 2011 on Constellation.

Aside from his work as a soloist, Stetson has brought his talents to the stage and studio with dozens of artists over the past decade, including Tom Waits, Arcade Fire, TV on the Radio, Feist, Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed, David Byrne, Jolie Holland, Sinead O’Connor, LCD Soundsystem, The National, Angelique Kidjo, and Anthony Braxton.

Colin is a current member of the band Bon Iver, who will be touring in support of their new record in 2011, on which he also appears.

Corey King and TAFFY
Corey King and TAFFY
Corey King, trombone / Tia Fuller, alto sax / Takuya Kuroda, trumpet / Max Siegel, bass trombone / Jef Matt Stevens, guitar / TBD, bass / Leo Genovese, piano / Jamire Williams, drums / Adam Jackson, percussionSince moving to New York in 2004, Corey King has focused on being adaptable in many musical environments without sacrificing his musical integrity. He is highly respected by his peers for his creativity and compositions which are heavily influenced by many directions in music as well as sources outside. King is a graduate of the Grammy Award-winning High School For The Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA), which has produced an immense amount of talent over the years, such as Jason Moran, Robert Glasper and Beyonce Knowles. After moving to New York, King received a scholarship to study at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, majoring in Jazz Performance.Along with leading his own band, he co-leads ERIMAJ, which is a drummer-lead band by the world-renowned musician and producer, Jamire Williams. Since Corey has been in New York he has had the opportunities to perform/record with notable artists such as Dave Binney, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Jason Moran, Chris Dave, Stokley of Mint Condition, Esperanza Spalding, Mos Def, Gil-Scott Heron, Pharoahe Monch, Phonte (Little Brother), Talib Kweli, Nicholas Payton, Jose James, Bilal, Wyclef Jean, Mary J. Blige, Ledisi, Hercules and Love Affair, Mark Ronson, Maria Daulne (Zap Mama), Lauren Hill and Ludacris, who he performed with on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The David Letterman Show and Saturday Night Live. King is currently on tour with Esperanza Spalding’s Radio Music Society.

 

Dan Tepfer & Lee Konitz

Dan Tepfer & Lee Konitz
Lee Konitz, alto sax / Dan Tepfer, piano & keyboard controller + Harlem String Quartet: Ilmar Gavilán, violin / Melissa White, violin / Jan Miguel Hernandez, viola / Paul Wiancko, cello

Dan Tepfer is a New York-based pianist and composer and one of the most formidable jazz musicians on the international stage — hailed as “brilliant” by The Boston Globe, “remarkable” by The Washington Post, a “player of exceptional poise” by the New York Times, “a singular voice” by Libération (France). By age 29, he has performed the world over in contexts ranging from solo piano to full orchestra, chronicling his talents on the solo disc Twelve Improvisations in Twelve Keys (2009) as well as the trio sessions Before the Storm (2005), Oxygen (2007) and Five Pedals Deep, his 2010 Sunnyside release with bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Ted Poor. Dan has also had the extraordinary privilege of a sustained, ongoing duo partnership with alto saxophonist and jazz luminary Lee Konitz, documented on the acclaimed 2009 Sunnyside CD Duos With Lee (“a benchmark of human potential” – JazzInsideNY). As France’s Jazz Magazine has noted, Dan is “gifted with a heightened sense for form and an extraordinary confidence in his angles of attack.” His playing, whatever the context, is a model of fluidity and steady, effortless motion, immersed in jazz history but creating new history in turn.

Lee Konitz (born October 13, 1927 in Chicago, Illinois) is an American jazz composer and saxophone player. Konitz is sometimes regarded as the preeminent cool jazz saxophonist, because he performed and recorded with Claude Thornhill, Lennie Tristano (both often cited as important cool jazz proponents of the mid 1940s), and with Miles Davis’ on his epochal Birth of the Cool, which gave the form its name. Konitz has also been repeatedly noted as one of the few jazz saxophonists of the late 1940s and 1950s who did not seem imitative of the massively influential Charlie Parker. In the early 1950s, Konitz recorded and toured with Stan Kenton’s orchestra. In 1961, he recorded Motion with Elvin Jones on drums and Sonny Dallas on bass. This spontaneous session, widely regarded as a classic in the cool genre, consisted entirely of standards. The loose trio format aptly featured Konitz’s unorthodox phrasing and chromaticism. In 1967, Konitz recorded The Lee Konitz Duets, a series of duets with various musicians. The duo configurations were often unusual for the period (saxophone and trombone, two saxophones). The recordings drew on very nearly the entire history of jazz, from a Louis Armstrong dixieland number with valve trombonist Marshall Brown to two completely free duos: one with a Duke Ellington associate, violinist Ray Nance, and one with guitarist Jim Hall. Konitz has been quite prolific, recording dozens of albums as a band leader. He has also recorded or performed with Dave Brubeck, Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan, Elvin Jones and others.

Debo Band

Debo Band
Bruck Tesfaye, vocals / Danny Mekonnen, saxophones / Gabriel Birnbaum, tenor saxophone / Danilo Henriquez, trumpet and percussion / Jonah Rapino, electric violin / Brendon Wood, guitar / Marié Abe, accordion / PJ Goodwin, bass / Arik Grier, sousaphone / Adam Clark, drums

Debo Band is an 11-member group led by Ethiopian-American saxophonist Danny Mekonnen and fronted by charismatic vocalist Bruck Tesfaye. Since their inception in 2006, the band have toured Ethiopia twice, having appeared at both the Ethiopian Music Festival in Addis Ababa and Sauti Za Busara in Zanzibar, the largest music festival in East Africa. In North America, they’ve shared stages with Gogol Bordello, The Family Stone, Tilahun Gessesse (one of the great voices of Ethiopian pop since the ‘60s), The Ex with Ethiopian sax legend Getatchew Mekuria, Group Doueh, and Khaira Arby and Her Band. They’ve also performed at Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, The Kennedy Center, Montreal Jazz Fest, globalFEST 2012 at Webster Hall, Joe’s Pub, and World Music Festival: Chicago.

“What’s amazing about Debo Band is that they play that music (Ethiopian pop) without any sort of… precious reverence… They play it like it’s NOW, as music of right now, and they play it with incredible energy and passion and excellence. And it just totally rocks. It’s amazing.”—All Songs Considered, NPR

Dezron Douglas’ Jazz Workshop
Dezron Douglas’ Jazz Workshop
Dezron Douglas, bass / Lummie Spann, alto sax / Josh Evans, trumpet / David Bryant, piano / Chris Beck, drumsBassist Dezron Douglas, known for his musical versatility is one of the most in demand young bassists in jazz today. Composer, educator and bandleader, Dezron has established himself as a musician’s musician, respected not only for his talent but also for his dedication to the authenticity of the music.Dezron began recording in 2005, “Marsalis Music Honors Michael Carvin”, produced by Branford Marsalis, the CD featured Master drummer Michael Carvin. This experience opened up a flood gate of other opportunities. Over the years, he has continued to perform and record with Michael Carvin, Pharoah Sanders, Cyrus Chestnut, Abraham Burton/Eric McPherson, Louis Hayes, Rene McLean, Al Foster, Ravi Coltrane, Billy Drummond, Steve Davis, Winard Harper, Lewis Nash, Kevin Mahogany, Carla Cook, Kenny Garrett, Willie Jones III, Jeremy Pelt, Eric Reed, Papo Vazquez and The Marsalis Bros.

Dezron is a long-standing member of the Cyrus Chestnut trio and Papo Vazquez and the Mighty Pirates. He is currently on tour with the Ravi Coltrane Quartet. He has recorded four albums as a leader: “Walkin’My Baby Back Home” and “Ganbare Nippon” on Venus Records (Japan); “Underground” by the New Jazz Workshop and most recently, “Dezron Douglas, Live at Smalls” on the Smalls Live label.

DJ Raydar Ellis

DJ Raydar Ellis

Brian “Raydar” Ellis is a official professor of hip-hop. Uniting generations of music for our ears, he is a master of tying together strands of like-music from different artists, genres, instruments, and countries. Between teaching the next generation of innovators at Berklee College of Music, deejaying some of the most exciting events around the world, and sharing the stage as an emcee with artists like Marcus Strickland, Ben Williams, Igmar Thomas, Ray Angry, Chris Dave, Robert Glasper, Mos Def, and others, Raydar has cemented himself on the scene as an authority. Be sure to catch Ellis as the official DJ of Revive Music Group’s Winter Jazz Festival Stage.

DJ Rich Medina
DJ Rich MedinaRich Medina cemented his name in the DJ world with his infamous 90’s partnership with Cosmo Baker at The Remedy in Philadelphia. In 1998, his Fun party with DJ Language was part of turning the Lower East Side of Manhattan into the new hot spot for club life. Then came the mother lode, Lil’ Ricky’s Rib Shack, a weekly dance function that started out as a 20-person party at APT in 2001, and evolved into an irreplaceable mid-week NYC institution for over 8 years. There, he connected with fan and hip-hop legend Q-Tip in 2005, eventually combining forces to create the Friday night weekly called Open at the Andrew W.K.-owned Santos Party House in 2007, and was soon considered the hottest Friday night party in NYC for the next 2 years.Rich introduced a new generation of people to Afrobeat music in 2001, with Jump N’ Funk, the first and most consistent US dance party dedicated to the late African musical icon, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Rich and the Jump N’ Funk brand recently traveled to San Francisco, LA, and Atlanta headlining Knitting Factory Records’ Felabrations!, a nationwide series of events promoting the re-release of The Fela Kuti EMI Catalog.

In addition to his own events, Rich has performed in front of crowds of thousands, DJing shows with artists like Lauryn Hill, De La Soul, Erykah Badu, Seun Kuti, Tony Allen, Nathan Haines, Roy Ayers, Gil Scott- Heron, The Roots, Jill Scott, Antibalas, Zap Mama, and Femi Kuti, among many others. From NYC to LA to London to Tokyo, and everywhere in between, music lovers know not to miss a club night when Rich Medina is manning the decks.

Don Byron Quartet
Don Byron Quartet
Don Byron, clarinet / Aruan Ortiz, piano / Cameron Brown, bass / Rudy Royston, drumsThe DON BYRON QUARTET has been a mainstay of the many ensembles Byron has led since his debut album Tuskegee Experiments on Nonesuch in 1991. Its repertoire has been distinguished by an emphasis on Byron’s own compositional work, in contrast to the eclectic repertory character of other projects (e.g. his Thomas A. Dorsey, Junior Walker, Mickey Katz and tributes or the swing-era Bug Music project, among others).In 2004, Byron formed the Lester Young-influenced Ivey-Divey Trio, which, after recording an album immediately recognized as a masterwork and nominated for a Grammy, evolved into the current quartet. Featuring a rotating cast of renowned players from a pool of world-class musicians, the ensemble continues to showcase Byron’s prowess as an original composer of memorable tunes of great depth while mining the work of such Byron idols as Young, John Coltrane, and Eddie Harris for inspiration.
Donny McCaslin
Donny McCaslin
Jason Lindner, keyboards / Mark Guiliana, drums / Fima Ephron, bass / Donny McCaslin, saxophoneAcclaimed saxophonist Donny McCaslin takes a bold leap forward with his tenth album as a leader, Casting for Gravity. McCaslin’s gargantuan tenor sound finds an ideal setting to rampage through in the ferocious grooves and electronic textures of keyboardist Jason Lindner, bassist Tim Lefebvre, and drummer Mark Guiliana. Couching his trademark gift for brawny melodies in lurching dub rhythms, swirling electronica inspired atmospheres, and arena-rock power, McCaslin has crafted a game-changer of an album, fusing a wealth of forward-looking influences into one wholly new modern jazz sound.Casting for Gravity follows on the heels of 2011’s highly acclaimed Perpetual Motion, which found McCaslin experimenting for the first time with merging his hard-charging acoustic sound with more funk-inflected electrified elements. But where that album was a blistering electro-acoustic hybrid, Casting for Gravity soars past fusion into alchemy, forging a visionary voice from eclectic influences.

“I wanted to make a bigger record with more sonic layers,” McCaslin explains. “I wanted to go a lot deeper into the electronic realm and push myself harder.” McCaslin’s initial forays into plugged-in territory were a reflection of his upbringing in Santa Cruz, California, where he was weaned on the deep, deep grooves of Tower of Power and Headhunters bassist Paul Jackson. Those influences remain in the percolating rhythms of “Bend” or the enormous musculature of “Stadium Jazz,” inevitable how deeply ingrained they are into McCaslin’s approach. But he wasted little time casting back into the past for inspiration on this outing, looking instead to ground-breaking contemporary artists.

Eric Revis, Kris Davis, Andrew Cyrille
Eric Revis, Kris Davis, Andrew Cyrille
Eric Revis, bass / Kris Davis, piano / Andrew Cyrille, drumsEric Revis has been making a name for himself working with the likes of Betty Carter, Billy Harper, Lionel Hampton, Branford Marsalis, Peter Brotzmann and McCoy Tyner.In the last few years however he has formed some ensembles of his own. Parallax, the new album with Ken Vandermark, Jason Moran and Nasheet Waits is a testament to Revis’ growth as a composer, bassist and sounding board. Along with Kris Davis and Andrew Cyrille, Revis’ forthcoming Clean Feed release “City of Asylum” promises to be an even further step in his artistic trajectory.

After playing with drum master Andrew Cyrille at the Village Vanguard in October 2011, Revis decided to ask him for a recording, adding the young pianist Kris Davis, whose playing he had been admiring for a while. He thought it would be an interesting meeting of minds – which it proved to be. Their first meeting as a trio took place at a studio in New York, to record ‘City of Asylum’. A two night run at the Jazz Gallery followed last year.

The trio plays mostly improvisations, adding some compositions by Eric Revis and others.

Erik Deutsch
Erik Deutsch
Erik Deutsch, piano / Avi Bortnick, guitar / Jeff Hill, bass / Tony Mason, drumsOne could easily imagine that Erik Deutsch lives inside a piano. Thus it’s no surprise that some of the worlds most demanding performers request Erik for their keyboard accompaniment. If they’re lucky, they can catch him in the rare moments when he’s not leading his own group through a truly modernist take on the jazz tradition.Having first come to prominence as a member of the funk-jazz collective Fat Mama, Erik has taken his talents across the country to play with some of the finest musicians available. Born in Washington D.C. but currently living in Brooklyn, NY, Erik splits his time between his own band and collaborating with artists like Norah Jones, Nels Cline, Rosanne Cash, Allison Miller, Ellery Eskelin, and Theo Bleckmann. Deutsch holds the distinction of being the only keyboardist to tour regularly with 7-string guitar master Charlie Hunter, spent much of 2011-12 on the road with Shooter Jennings in support of their new album Family Man (on which he is prominently featured), and is currently performing across the country with Citizen Cope.

2012 marked the release of Deutsch’s 3rd album Demonio Teclado, a psychedelic blend of retro soul-jazz and rock. Recorded live to 1/4-tape in Erik’s building in Williamsburg, the new songs are a fun, listenable blend of groove, sonic exploration, and modern jazz composition.

Ernest Dawkins
Ernest Dawkins
Ernest Dawkins, sax / Willerm Delsifort, piano / Reggie Nicholson, drums / Tyler Mitchell, bassOne of the life goals of Ernest Dawkins, is for his music and compositions to reflect the evolving collective cultural memory of the American jazz aesthetic. Dawkins is one of the world’s premiere saxophonists and composers. He is an entrepreneur with years of experience working with new media technologies to produce and promote his work and that of the jazz community online and in digital venues. He is leader of several ensembles, including the New Horizons Ensemble, Aesop Quartet, Chicago Trio, Live the Spirit Big Band, and the Chicago 12. He is also a member of the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble. Dawkins has recorded numerous CDs. His publishing company, Dawk Music, has eight releases to date. In 2011, he released two new recordings: 1. New Horizons Ensemble, The Prairie Prophet [Delmark Records]; 2. Chicago Trio (Ernest Dawkins, Hamid Drake, Harrison Bankhead) Live at the Velvet Lounge, Dedicated to Fred Anderson [Rogue Art].Dawkins started his musical journey at the tender age of eight, when he learned how to play the bass and conga drums. At nineteen, he became mesmerized by the sound of the saxophone while listening to his father’s jazz recordings of Lester Young. It was not until he heard the alto sax of Guido Sinclair, however, that he knew this was the instrument he wanted to play. Within a week, he had purchased his first saxophone, clarinet, and flute. Two weeks later, Dawkins got his first lesson from members of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). From there, his illustrious career in music began.

Dawkins was named ‘Chicagoan of the Year’ twice by the Chicago Tribune, most recently in 2001. He received a Meet the Composers Round VII New Residencies grant in 2000 and has been awarded the State of Illinois Governors Fellowship award twice. In 2008, he received a Governor’s International Grant. Dawkins established The Englewood Jazz Festival, now in its 11th year and founded Live The Spirit Residency, a not-for-profit arts organization committed to improving access to creative and improvised music for under-served communities within the city of Chicago.

He has created commissioned works for the Black Metropolis Research Consortium, Sons d’Hiver Festival, Banliues Bleues Festival, the Jazz Institute of Chicago, and the King Arts Complex of Columbus Ohio. Dawkins is an active member in the local arts community and is former Chairman of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. Dawkins has worked with a myriad of music greats including: Ramsey Lewis, Muhal Richard Abrams, Lester Bowie, Roscoe Mitchell, Willie Pickens, Malachi Favors, Henry Threadgill, Amina Claudine Myers, Anthony Braxton, Jack McDuff, Don Moye, Jerry Butler, and The Dells.

Evolutionary Minded! – The music of Gil-Scott Heron
Kentyah Presents: Evolutionary Minded! – The music of Gil-Scott Heron and Brian Jackson Re-visioned – Featuring: M1 (Dead Prez), Brian Jackson and The New Midnight Band (New CD coming in 2013 from Motéma)
M1 (Dead Prez), mc / Brian Jackson (Midnight Band), keys / Kentyah, turntables, percussion, efx / Ron Holloway (Midnight Band/Amnesia Express), sax / Robert Gordon (Midnight Band/Amnesia Express), bass / Martin Luther (The Roots), vocals/guitar / Mike Clark (Headhunters), drums / Will Calhoun (Living Color), drums, percussion / Sanga of the Valley (Baba Olatunji Ensemble), percussion / Juma Sultan (Jimi Hendrix Experience), percussionThe New Midnight Band is a project that asks the question: “What would it sound like if the leading lights of todays’ (re)evolutionary funk-based music were to meet the sonic and conceptual manifestations of leading 70’s progressive music and thought?” Producer/DJ/writer Kentyah Fraser,long time Gil Scott Heron musical director/collaborator Brian Jackson, along with Dead Prez and an all-star cast of supporters answer that question in no uncertain terms with this, their forthcoming Motema Records release. The New Midnight Band provides perspective and, as Brian Jackson is keen to say, “Helps you to have some fun along the way…”Nurtured by the shared vision of Fraser & Jackson, the New Midnight Band is not a “tribute” to the prodigious and influential work that Brian and Gil created together but, instead, a furthering of it. Kentyah explains: “The New Midnight Band is about keeping alive the spirit of funky progressive edutainement that Gil, Brian and the original Midnight Band were pillars of. That spirit lives on in the hearts of all who are a part of this record and will continue to live, breath and be relevant for generations to come. We are celebrating the agency of the funky street griot, not just the legacy of one fallen comrade. We feel this is a far greater tribute because it means the work will and does live on…” This project has received several noteworthy endorsements, chief among them by Dr. Cornel West who, when asked about this project, said: “This is prophetic art at the highest level!” Visionary hip hop. Funk. Edutainment. Upliftment. Inspiration. Joy and healing are all words which easily describe Dead Prez, Brian Jackson and The New Midnight Band.
Felix Pastorius
Felix Pastorius
Chris Ward, sax / Will Tatge, piano / Devin Collins, drums / Felix Pastorius, bass / John Bendy, guitarThe Social Experiment, a band compromised of musical contemporaries Felix Pastorius, Chris Ward, William Tatge and Devin Collins have been playing together for the last year developing their sound in Williamsburg at Cubana Social. They have respectively built their own individual careers on various playing fields and with a blend of indie rock meets jazz are eager to delve into a new social experiment.
George Burton Group
George Burton Group
George Burton, piano / Stacy Dillard, tenor sax / Craig Magnano, guitar / Luques Curtis, bass / Wayne Smith Jr, drumsSeldom does an artist come along with a sound so fresh and hip that it commands the attention of even the most distinguished listeners. From a highly sought-after sideman, pianist, composer, arranger, and educator George Burton emerges as a visionary leader of his Group 5. Together they fuse the chasm between the then, now, and tomorrow of how jazz music is not only heard, but also experienced—leaving no one in the room behind.Group 5, one of George’s two groups playing on the New York jazz scene, is the manifestation of George’s relentlessly creative ear for progressive/modern original music that hinges on jazz influenced by rock. Conceived years ago at Philadelphia’s legendary jazz club, Ortlieb’s Jazzhaus, Group 5 features saxophonist Stacy Dillard, guitarist Craig Magnano, bassist Luques Curtis, and drummer Wayne Smith Jr. Like a punch to the sensory receptors, these master vibe-creators don’t merely walk the genre-crossing edge, but rather run it with hard-bashing, rock-infused chords, heavy with swing, groove, and mood. Their exchange of surprising harmonies, angular rhythms, pointed chords, use of space, and rhythmic elasticity brings deliverance from the traditional rules of engagements, breaking barriers between audience and musician, resulting in a truly organic harmonic symbiosis. As George explains, “The sound comes from a different place. The music is written for people to hear melodies and be able to relate to them. It’s a very open sound but still brings all of the complexities from the jazz idiom. It’s a situation that allows everyone to be themselves.”

Group 5 leaves no one immune to feeling the groove—even daring to unapologetically err on the edge of space so wide open that it exposes the listener to their own pounding heart in anticipation of Group 5’s next move, “I write and play for people who want to experience sound. When I think about a setlist, it is always created for what type of ride we’re going to take. Forward motion is always present in each tune I write—telling a complete story.”

George continues to lead and compose for both Group 5 and his Quintet. Both groups have records slated for release and international touring to match in 2013—submerging audiences in the magic of the journey with the future of jazz as the destination.

 

Gregory Porter

Gregory Porter
Gregory Porter, vocals / Chip Crawford, piano / Emanuel Harrold, drums / Aaron James, bass / Yosuke Sato, sax

Crowned as “….the next big male vocal jazz star” by Allmusic.com, Gregory Porter was born in Los Angeles, raised in Bakersfield, and now lives in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn. He got his start singing in small jazz clubs in San Diego, where he lived while at San Diego State University (which he attended on a football scholarship, as an outside linebacker, until a sidelined by a shoulder injury.) His first studio experience resulted in his being featured on Hubert Laws’ Remembers the Unforgettable Nat King Cole (on “Smile”), a particularly apt start for a young man who, as a child, not only used to sing along to the Nat King Cole records his mother would play, but who would go on to impress theater audiences with a deeply personal one man show, Nat King Cole and Me. That show, which ran for two months at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, was preceded by Porter’s work in It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues. Although he’d only had minimal prior theatrical experience (in the Doo Wop musical “Avenue X”), Porter eventually was cast in one of eight lead roles when the play opened in San Diego, and eventually followed it to Off-Broadway and then Broadway theater, where the New York Times, in its 1999 rave review, mentioned Porter among the show’s “powerhouse line up of singers.” It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues went on to earn both Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations that year.

In 2009, Porter signed with Harlem-based label Motéma Music, releasing his debut CD, Water, in May of 2010. Water has earned Porter incredible accolades from jazz and soul media alike. “Warmth coats every line of Gregory Porter’s intimate jazz and soul debut. Hints of Nat King Cole bleed through Porter’s articulate phrasing, but the weight of Joe Williams and the spiritualism of Bill Withers resonates, too….Porter’s conviction and traditionalism….delivers another refreshing, contemporary male jazz voice worth savoring.” raved Creative Loafing Atlanta. USA Today agreed, concluding an excellent review by stating, “The versatile Porter’s Water leaves you awash in enticing grooves.”

According to the New York Times, ““Gregory Porter has most of what you want in a male jazz singer, and maybe a thing or two you didn’t know you wanted.” Echoing those sentiments was the BBC’s Kevin LeGendre, who said, “Gregory Porter has a voice and musicality to be reckoned with.”

Two videos off of Water have been released, for the songs “Illusion” and the politically charged “1960 What?” Both have received significant airplay around the country, on such national outlets as VH-1.

Hazmat Modine

Hazmat Modine
Wade Schuman, lead vocals, harmonica and guitar / Joe Daley, sousaphone / Steve Elson, sax, clarinet, piccolo / Reut Regev, trombone / Pam Fleming, trumpet, flugelhorn / Michael Gomez, guitar, steel guitar, vocals / Pete Smith, guitar and vocals / Rich Huntley, drums / Rachelle Garniez, accordion, claviola, vocals

Hazmat Modine plays the kind of Blues one might have found in a whorehouse in New Orleans had the city been inhabited by gypsies who performed with Otis Redding and the city had been built on the Black Sea. The band is driven by a pair of dueling harmonicas, backed by tuba, drums, guitars, and a horn section. Occasional guests play such exotic instruments as the claviola, Romanian cimbalom, the contrabass bass sax, and the Elctro-Vox. Front man Wade Schuman, has the appropriately throaty voice of someone who has both hopped freight trains and collaborated with the Throat Singers of Tuva. For the past six years, the band has been touring extensively throughout Europe where they have proved immensely popular. They recently completed their long-awaited follow-up to their first CD Bahamut. The CD is titled CICADA and includes collaborations with the Kronos Quartet, the Gangbe Brass band from Benin, and Natalie Merchant. CICADA was number one on the world music charts summer 2011 in Europe and was voted number 2 for all of 2011 out of over 800 nominees and 150 finalists. The CD was also awarded the Charles Cros Grand Prize in France for best Blues record in 2011. HAZMAT MODINE’s song BAHAMUT is featured in the recent Wim Wenders movie PINA.

In 2008 the band was nominated for the BBC Radio 3 World music award, and was number 3 on the world music charts in Europe. The band’s music has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered live on PRI’s The World, NPR’s Soundcheck with John Schaefer, on Mountain Stage, and on numerous other radio shows including Fresh Air, All Things Considered, Market Place and Morning Edition.

Herbert Holler

Herbert Holler – Freedom Party DJ

Herbert Holler has been a full-time DJ for the last 10 years, playing at just about every dance club in NYC. From the Lower East Side to the Upper East Side, from Brooklyn to the Bronx, Herbert Holler’s seamless, highly sought-after mix of dance music from the ’60s through today continues to be the most buzzed about, hottest set in town, packing dance floors till the wee hours at both posh bottle lounges and big dance clubs alike. A hip-hop kid since “Rappers Delight,” Herbert’s connection to the music and its message is evident through his mix of classic rap, r&b, reggae and rock records from yesterday through today. A disco freak since discovering his dad’s Salsoul vinyl in the attic, Herbert’s sick selection of 70s classics sound as fresh as they did the day they broke, and you won’t even notice when he moves into the 80s, hitting the best records the decade had to offer. Herbert has recently hit the House and Dance scene hard with his own brand of energetic, underground, techy, progressive, global yet always soulful mix of new dance-music must-haves. (His well received “My House Vol 2” mix was featured on MusicChoice’s Dance channel, hitting over four million homes across the US, and “My House Vol 3” has just been released to critical acclaim.) And mashing it up isn’t something new to Herbert: It’s something he’s always done at just about every gig for the better part of the last decade, playing an open-format mix of songs chosen on-the-spot, never pre-mixed or pre-arranged. Today, Herbert Holler continues to wreak havoc at night. The number of “Herbert Holler” recipients continues to grow, as do NYC-based party brands Herbert is responsible for: “The Freedom Dance Party,” NYC’s longest running weekly Friday night dance party, now in its ninth year, recent winner of Papermag’s “Best Party of 2010 (Peoples Choice)” and nominated for “Best Party of 2010” (nationwide) by URB Magazine, and “My House,” Herbert Holler’s new home for house music, electronica, global rhythms and disco classics. In addition, Herbert continues to work with some of music’s biggest artists, spinning for legendary names like Boyz II Men, Blondie, Q Tip from a Tribe Called Quest, Questlove from the Roots, underground house-music maven Lil’ Louie Vega, Anthony Hamilton, Barrington Levy and many more.

Ibrahim Maalouf
Ibrahim Maalouf
Ibrahim Maalouf, trumpet / Mark Turner, tenor sax /  Clarence Penn, drums / Ira Coleman, double bass / Frank Woste, pianoIbrahim Maalouf is a trumpeter who is also a composer and arranger for trumpet. He also teaches trumpet. He was born on December 5, 1980 in Beirut, Lebanon, but now lives in France.Ibrahim Maalouf is the son of trumpeter Nassim Maalouf and pianist Nada Maalouf, a nephew of the writer Amin Maalouf, and the grandson of journalist, poet and musicologist Rushdi Maalouf. He is currently the only trumpet player in the world to play Arabic music with the trumpet in fourth tones, using a technique his father invented in the 1960s. Ibrahim is also the winner of some of the greatest classical trumpet competitions in the world.

His family fled Lebanon in the midst of a civil war and Ibrahim grew up in the Paris suburbs with both parents and his sister Layla, who is two years older than him. He studied until the age of 17 and graduated with a Bachelor’s in General Scientific Mathematics from the Lycée d’Étampes (Essonne).

He began to study the trumpet at age 7 with his father Nassim Maalouf, a former student of Maurice André at the National Conservatory in Paris. His father taught him the classical technique, early music, modern, contemporary and also classical Arabic music and the Arab art of improvisation. In fact, his father was the inventor of the micro-tonal trumpet, so-called quarter-tones, allowing you to play Arab makams on the trumpet. Ibrahim also began playing the piccolo trumpet very young. Since the age of 9, he accompanied his father as a duo throughout Europe and the Middle East, playing a Baroque repertoire by Vivaldi, Purcell, Albinoni, and so on. Thusly, he had his first encounter playing to an audience, and an audience had their first encounter with him. At 17, Ibrahim attracted professionals when in concert with a chamber orchestra, as he interpreted the 2nd Brandenburg Concerto by Bach, considered by many trumpeters as the hardest classical work to play on a trumpet. It was at this same time that Ibrahim met Maurice André, who encouraged him to abandon his studies in mathematics to dedicate himself to music permanently.

Jacob Garchik The Heavens
Jacob Garchik The Heavens: Atheist Gospel Trombone Choir
Jacob Garchik, trombone, compositions / Josh Roseman, Curtis Hasselbring, Reut Regev, Jason Jackson, Alan Ferber, trombones / Brian Drye, baritone horn, trombone / Joe Daley, sousaphone / Kenny Wollesen, drumsJacob Garchik, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and arranger, was born in San Francisco and has lived in New York since 1994. At home in a wide variety of styles and musical roles, he has become a vital part of NYC’s downtown and Brooklyn scene, playing trombone with the Lee Konitz Nonet, Ohad Talmor/Steve Swallow Sextet, The Four Bags, Slavic Soul Party, and the John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble.In 2012, he released the critically acclaimed “The Heavens: The Atheist Gospel Trombone Album”, a 9-part multitracked suite for trombone choir. Since 2006 Jacob has contributed dozens of arrangements and transcriptions for the Kronos Quartet of music from all over the world. His arrangements were featured on “Floodplain” (2009) and “Rainbow” (2010).

As a trombonist Jacob has worked with many of the luminaries of the avant-garde, including Anthony Braxton, Laurie Anderson, Anthony Coleman, Joe Maneri, Frank London, James Tenney, Josh Roseman, Don Byron, Terry Reilly, George Lewis, Henry Threadgill, and Billy Martin. He has also played in ensembles led by rising artists such as Mary Halvorson, Dan Weiss, Miguel Zenon, and Steve Lehman.

 

Jaimeo Brown’s Transcendence

Jaimeo Brown’s Transcendence
Jaimeo Brown, percussion / Chris Sholar, guitarist, soundscapes / J.D. Allen, saxophone

Percussionist and composer, Jaimeo Brown, began his drum career at age 16, growing up in the San Francisco Bay area with a rich musical heritage on both sides of his family. He tagged along with his father, bassist Dartanyan Brown, and mother, pianist and woodwind specialist, Marcia Miget, as they performed all over the country with the National Endowment for the Arts as jazz artists.

He has since performed all over the world with a wide range of musicians including Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana, Wynton Marsalis, Kaamal (aka Q-Tip), Carl Craig, Kenny Garrett, Geri Allen, Steve Turre, Pharoah Sanders and Bobby Hutcherson, with whom he established his national reputation at 19 years of age.

Greatly inspired by the Gees Bend spirituals of Alabama, he brings their music and artwork to light in the upcoming debut album of his band, “Transcendence.”

The innovative album weaves a tapestry of African-American spirituals, along with East Indian concepts, electronic textures, acoustic jazz and blues.

Transcendence is a project that expresses his experiences living in NY for the last 14 years. The songs express his worldview and his own spiritual awakening. Being inspired by the Gees Bend spirituals of Alabama, he wanted to bring light to their music and artwork. He focused on the black spiritual as the root of the material because of its raw unfeigned expression. One may have the best musical education in the world and not be able to express any emotion through music. He intentionally chose not to use a lot of chord changes and odd time signatures to make the point that powerful music comes from the heart not just the intellect. Hope is in abundance in these spirituals.

“Transcendence” also includes guitarist and Soundscape artist Chris Sholar and saxophone titan J.D. Allen. In addition, the album includes special guests Geri Allen, Falu, and Marisha Brown. His father, mother, sister, and daughter can also be heard on the album.

James Carter Organ Trio
James Carter Organ Trio
James Carter, saxophones / Gerard Gibbs, hammond B3 / Leonard King, drumsAn artist long intrigued by contrasts and hybrids, Carter resists comfortable categorization. Born (1969) and raised in Detroit, Carter grew up surrounded by music, soaking up everything from funk and fusion to rock, soul, and various strains of acoustic jazz. It was the late trumpeter Lester Bowie who first brought Carter to New York, inviting him to perform with his New York Organ Combo. The Bowie connection led to Carter’s debut recording, 1993’s JC on the Set, a quartet tour de force that announced the arrival of a superlative new talent equally expressive on alto, tenor, and baritone sax (though he’s added several other horns over the years, most importantly soprano sax).Carter always finds a way into whatever musical situation he finds himself in. “You have to be totally comfortable wherever,” Carter says. “I think there’s tremendous beauty in cross-pollinations of music and influences.” In 2000, he released two albums simultaneously that seemed to proclaim everything fair game: Chasin’ the Gypsy, a voluptuous, lyrical session partly inspired by the timeless collaboration between Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli, and the groove- laden Layin’ in the Cut, which combines harmolodic freedom with a deep reservoir of funk. He explored the music of alt-rock band Pavement (on 2005’s Gold Sounds), and paid loving tribute to Billie Holiday (on 2003’s Gardenias for Lady Day).

He’s reinvented the organ combo with 2005’s Out of Nowhere, in 2009 with John Medeski on Heaven and Earth and in 2011 with At the Crossroads. Featuring the lithe and muscular keyboard work of Detroit’s rising B3 star Gerard Gibbs and the propulsive drum support of veteran Motor City trap master Leonard King Jr., At the Crossroads marks the 10th anniversary of the multigenerational James Carter Organ Trio. A sensational follow-up to the saxophonist’s acclaimed Emarcy release Caribbean Rhapsody, Carter’s 15th album documents his trio’s combustible chemistry, with a Detroit-centric cast of special guests adding fuel to the celebratory fire.

 

Jason Lindner Breeding Ground

Jason Lindner Breeding Ground
Jason Lindner, piano, synth / Panagiotis Andreou, bass / Mark Guiliana, drums / Mazz Swift, violin / Curtis Stewart, violin / Carmel Raz, viola / Will Martina, cello / John Beaty, alto sax / Jorge Continentino, saxes, flute / Rafi Malkiel, trombone / Jeff Taylor, vocals

Keyboardist/composer Jason Lindner’s reputation as the go-to guy for excellence and originality has solidly been in place for nearly two decades. The longtime Musical Director for Claudia Acuña, member of Me’shell Ndegeocello’s most innovative band (during The World Has Made Me The Man of My Dreams album era), and former recording artist for Chick Corea’s label, Lindner has never ceased to be a leading light in the music field. In conjunction with New York City’s Jazz Gallery’s Composers Series and a generous grant from the Jerome Foundation, his latest creation is Breeding Ground – a mosaic blend of big band innovation and the emerging trio project, Now vs. Now.

Breeding Ground focuses on the expansion of ideas initiated in Lindner’s award winning big band (Downbeat Magazine has heralded the group numerous times as one of the best) with an open mind to the options the world of music has to offer. Now vs. Now serves as the engine, the driving force to push the sound onward and upward. Together with Lindner, bassist Panagiotis Andreou and drummer Mark Guiliana pump adrenalin into the delicate sounds and driving body-rocking energy of this 11-piece master ensemble. The trio surprised and delighted both critics and audiences due to its mix of jazz, rock, world, and urban rhythms. Here, that is taken to the next level with horns and strings for a sound that is progressive and dynamic.

Jason Stein Quartet
Jason Stein Quartet
Jason Stein, bass clarinet / Jon Irabagon, alto saxophone / Pascal Niggenkemper, bass / Tomas Fujiwara, drumsJason Stein is one of the few musicians working today to focus entirely on the bass clarinet as a jazz and improvisational instrument. Following three critically acclaimed albums with his trio Locksmith Isidore Stein assembled his quartet to focus more on integrating his freewheeling, organic compositional style with contemporary interpretations of tunes coming from the jazz tradition. Stein’s quartet tackles a variety of under explored compositions by jazz luminaries such as Lee Konitz, Warne Marsh, Lenny Tristano, and Thelonious Monk,  as well as Stein’s original compositions. The quartet seamlessly blends rigorous written material with fierce and imaginative improvisational flights. The debut release of Stein’s quartet, The Story This Time (Delmark 2011) received great critical acclaim, appearing on a number of “Best of 2011” critics lists. Troy Collins of Point of Departure writes “Embracing the lyrical sophistication of a previous era, Stein proves to be a gifted interpreter, imbuing the big horn with a robust sensitivity. Bolstered by his sidemen’s enthusiastic contributions, The Story This Time showcases Stein’s abilities as an astute interpreter of the jazz lineage and a first-rate writer on the rise.”
JC Hopkins

JC Hopkins
Camila Meza, guitar, vocals / Roxy Coss, tenor sax / Dorota Piotrowska, drums / Joanna Sternberg, bass / JC Hopkins, piano

JC Hopkins is a songwriter, bandleader and producer.His exuberant music has pulled from many diverse genres including jazz, bebop, folk, rock, and the American Songbook. Described as a modern day Hoagy Carmichael, such great singers as Willie Nelson, Norah Jones, Victoria Williamshave covered his songs. As a bandleader, his big band, the JC Hopkins Biggish Band, has worked with a wide range of innovative vocalists including Elvis Costello, Justin Bond, Madeleine Peyroux and Martha Wainwright.

Hopkins has twice been nominated for a Grammy. He was nominated for his song Dreams Come True as recorded by Willie Nelson and Norah Jones, and also for his production of John Lithgow’s children’s album of Tin Pan Alley songs, The Sunny Side of the Street.

Aside from his work in music, Hopkins is a filmmaker. His films mix comedy and drama influenced by John Cassavetes, Woody Allen and Charlie Chaplin. His short film,The Goldberg Variations, and his webisode, The Continuing and Seemingly Endless Courtship of Waldo Malone, explore themes of pathos and passion.

Working out of a studio space in Red Hook, Brooklyn, Hopkins is a photographer and painter. His photo of Martha Wainwright was used as the cover of her album, Martha Wainwright’s Piaf Record. Using a mix of enamel and oil on panel or canvas his paintings have been compared to the abstract expressionist painters from the fifties. His paintings share the same feeling of spontaneity and improvisation found in his music and films.

John Raymond Project

John Raymond Project
John Raymond, trumpet / Gilad Hekselman, guitar / Javier Santiago, piano / Ben Williams, bass / Otis Brown III, drums

Labeled “a prepossessing young trumpet player…” (Nate Chinen, New York Times), John Raymond is quickly making a name for himself as an up-and-coming artist to keep an eye on.

A featured artist at this year’s FONT Festival, Raymond has already performed as a leader at some of the nation’s top venues including Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, the Dakota Jazz Club and the Blue Note Jazz Club. He has collaborated and performed with musicians such as John Abercrombie, Chris Potter, Maria Schneider, and Linda Oh. John has also performed at notable events such as the Austin City Limits Music Festival and on NPR’s Toast of the Nation, and he has toured internationally in China, the UK and the Dominican Republic.

His debut album “Strength and Song,” released in February 2012 and produced by legendary trumpeter Jon Faddis, has already attracted national and international attention (“Soaring. A strong early work…very complete and well intentioned” – NextBop.com). The album features Raymond’s carefully-crafted original compositions that draw on jazz, rock and hip-hop influences, creating emotionally engaging music with affecting, memorable melodies.

Raymond’s voice on the trumpet is equally as notable – his expressive sound, intricately-woven melodies and story-like phrasing come together to lead the band to routinely transcend to new heights. Combined with the interplay from a cast of “who’s who” of rising star musicians, Raymond is proving that he is well on his way to becoming a major force in the music industry. “Possessing a forte that few seasoned musicians have attained…a brilliant talent whose luminosity is endless” (Birmingham Times).

Julian Lage & Nels Cline
Julian Lage, Nels Cline
Julian Lage, guitar / Nels Cline, guitar and efxJulian Lage
Julian Lage (born December 25, 1987) is an American jazz guitarist and composer. A child prodigy, Lage began performing in public at the age of six. His talent led him to be the subject of the 1997 Academy Award nominated documentary Jules at Eight. At age 13 Lage performed at the 2000 Grammy Awards. Classically trained at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, he has studied at Sonoma State University, Ali Akbar College of Music, and is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music.  Lage has been a faculty member at the Stanford Jazz Workshop at Stanford University since age 15.Lage has played with such renowned artists as Jim Hall, Gary Burton, Mark O’Connor, Ambrose Akinmusire, Walter Smith III, Taylor Eigsti, Eric Harland, Larry Grenadier, Fred Hersch, Herbie Hancock, Christian McBride, Gretchen Parlato, Béla Fleck, Antonio Sanchez, and Nels Cline, among others.

Lage has also appeared at numerous jazz concerts/festivals including: the Monterey Jazz Festival, the London Jazz Festival, the Umbria Jazz Festival, the Tanglewood Jazz Festival, the Newport Jazz Festival, the North Sea Jazz Festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival, and the San Francisco Jazz Festival. On March 24, 2009 Lage released his debut album Sounding Point on EmArcy Records, to favorable reviews. It was nominated for the 2010 Grammy Award “Best Contemporary Jazz Album.”

Nels Cline
Guitar master-explorer NELS CLINE should need no introduction having held the guitar seat in Wilco for nearly nine years and counting. Combining breathtaking technique with an informed musical intelligence, the self-taught Cline displays a mastery of guitar expression that encompasses delicate lyricism, sonic abstractions, and skull-crunching flights of fancy, inspiring Jazz Times to call him “The World’s Most Dangerous Guitarist.” His recording and performing career – spanning jazz, rock, punk, and experimental – is well into its fourth decade, with over 130 recordings, including at least 30 for which he is leader. Born in Los Angeles in 1956, Cline has received many accolades including Rolling Stone anointing him as both one of 20 “new guitar gods” and one of the top 100 guitarists of all time.

Beyond Wilco, he leads The Nels Cline Singers (featuring Scott Amendola and bassist Trevor Dunn), Fig (a collaboration with Yuka Honda), and a new duo project with former child prodigy Julian Lage. Some of the musicians with whom he has performed and/or recorded include: Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Tim Berne, Jim Black, Yoko Ono, Alex Cline, Mike Watt, Carla Bozulich, Vinny Golia, Marc Ribot, Bill Frisell, Julius Hemphill, Charlie Haden, Wadada Leo Smith, Lydia Lunch and Thurston Moore.

Kneebody

Kneebody
Adam Benjamin, piano / Ben Wendel, sax / Kaveh Rastegar, bass / Nate Wood, drums / Shane Endsley, trumpet

“Cohesion is the truest constant in the music of Kneebody, a band that inhabits the borderland abutted by post-bop, indie-rock and hip-hop, without seeming to give much thought to the borders”  NY Times, 2010

By combining sophisticated compositions and virtuosic improvising, the Grammy nominated group Kneebody has created a diverse, loyal fan base in the United States and Europe. Founded in 2001, Kneebody has built upon an impressive array of individual resumes and conservatory training to create a truly singular voice within the instrumental world.

In 2005 Kneebody released their debut album “Kneebody” on Dave Douglas’ Greenleaf Music Label. In 2007 they followed up with “Low Electrical Worker” on the Colortone Label.  A collection of 13 original songs, “Low Electrical Worker” was hailed by saxophonist Joshua Redman as one of his “favorite albums of 2007”.  In the spring of 2009, Kneebody and vocalist Theo Bleckmann released “12 Songs of Charles Ives” on the Winter & Winter label and received a Grammy nomination in the “classical crossover” category.  Kneebody is presently touring in support of their third studio album, “You Can Have Your Moment,” also on the Winter & Winter label.

Krystle Warren and the Faculty
Krystle Warren & the Faculty
Krystle Warren, vocals guitar / Rich Hinman, pedal steel / Zachary Djanikian, guitar / Solomon Dorsey, bass / Michael Riddleberger, drums / Jonathan Anderson, keys”Warren’s voice is an extraordinary instrument, murmuring with tenderness at times, growling with intensity at others. It vividly recalls Nina Simone in its depth and smokiness, as well as John Martyn and (Jeff) Buckley in terms of virtuosic variety.” – The Guardian”…Krystle Warren, who I think is probably one of the greatest living singers at the moment – I’m very brave to have her in my show because she’s formidable.”  – Rufus Wainwright

“Love Songs: A Time You May Embrace”, Krystle’s latest recording, is the fruit of an exhilarating 13 day recording session in Brooklyn during which 25 tunes were laid down, live (the way her heroes and sheroes did it) by a total of 28 musicians including Krystle’s regular crew, The Faculty, alongside choirs, horn and string sections. Krystle wrote the songs, fired up the players and produced the whole jambalaya. She integrates ragtime and waltz time; evokes Dusty and Krystle-ises William Blake; rubs up against Broadway musical stylings as well as leaving lots of space for songs featuring only her glorious voice alongside acoustic guitar. In a perfect world “Love Songs…” would have come to you on double vinyl with a gatefold sleeve big enough for you to lose yourself in.

Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, Krystle now resides in Paris. In 2009, she gave a jaw-dropping performance of the title track from her debut album, “Circles” on Later… With Jools Holland. Having toured with Rufus Wainwright, Joan As Police Woman; covering the musical spectrum in collaboration with Hercules and Love Affair, Teddy Thompson, as well as being crowned a darling of the British Folk scene, it’s clear that, “…we are certainly in the presence of a mighty talent.” BBC Online
Leo Genovese Trio
Leo Genovese Trio
Leo Genovese, piano & things / Justin Purtill, bass, guitar / Bob Gullotti, drums, voiceLeo Genovese was born in Venado Tuerto, Argentina. He has been playing music for millions of years; he has been getting in touch with the aboriginal weeping souls from around the earth; he has been playing instruments from all ages and places. Leo Genovese is an ant, a rat, and a bird. He tries to practice everyday by cultivating peace between humans and encouraging the natural development of this peace. He doesn’t enjoy wars.  He doesn’t advertise religions against religions.  He is not on Facebook. He wants to be non-conceptual music..
Marcus Strickland Twi-Life
Marcus Strickland Twi-Life
Marcus Strickland, saxes / Raydar Ellis, lyricist / Frank Lacy, trombone / Yuki Hirano, keys / Mark Kelley, bass/ Charles Haynes, drums / Jean Baylor, vocalsDownBeat Critic’s Poll winner Marcus Strickland has steadily proven to be an essential part of the jazz continuum since he stepped on the scene in the early 2000s. He will present his Twi-Life group at The 2013 NYC Winter JazzFest; a highly anticipated annual event which showcases over seventy new and established groups in tandem with the Arts Presenters (APAP) conference. Twi-Life, an electric band with its inception rooted in the soul music Strickland grew up listening to, is a testament to his irrepressible versatility. “It seems, so far, that every Twi-Life band will be significantly different than the next because it is my refuge for trying out my wildest ideas,” says Strickland, who is emerging as one of the most multi-faceted and prolific writers and performers of his generation.His genre-bending propensity has produced fascinating and unconventional collaborations and this time around is no different; the members of this eclectic ensemble have worked individually with artists like Kanye West, Bilal and Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. The group includes the wide-ranging talents of hip-hop lyricist, DJ and Berklee professor, Raydar Ellis; legendary trombonist, Frank Lacy; dexterous keyboardist Yuki Hironao; The Roots’ newest member, bassist Mark Kelley; dynamic drummer Charles Haynes; and special guest, singer-songwriter Jean Baylor, formally of the hit- making 90s R&B duo, Zhané.

Strickland’s development as a producer is the nexus of this project whose music comes mostly from taking his beats and applying acoustic instrumentation and improvisation. “Once you combine the many textures, layers and number crunching of [drum] programming with human spontaneity, the possibilities are infinite and it becomes yet another instrument for human invention.”

Maria Neckam

Maria Neckam
Maria Neckam, voice / Taylor Eigsti, piano / Nir Felder, guitar / Joe Martin, bass / Paul Wiltgen, drums

Maria Neckam is a New York-based vocalist and composer and one of the most original young musical voices on the international stage. She was hailed as “a natural wonder” by Le Monde and “a valiant trailblazer” by The Jazz Times, while DownBeat compares her with Joni Mitchell, Mahler and Schoenberg and says she “functions as a coequal instrumentalist and deft storyteller, using a clear fluid voice to convey raw emotions with philosophical detachment.“ Maria has performed all over the US and Europe with her band that features some of the most sought-after musicians on the New York jazz scene, such as pianist Aaron Parks and bassist Thomas Morgan. In 2010 she made her Sunnyside debut with Deeper, a session that led All About Jazz to name her one of the most significant “New Discoveries” of the year. Describing herself as an artist who uses her vocal and composition skills to cross lines, Maria embraces her youthful energy when she rocks out, but always stays grounded in her musical savvy. As All About Jazz has noted, “She has a natural ability for heartbreaking emotion, in much the same way that Billie Holiday did.” Her new album Unison, released June 6th 2012 on Sunnyside, captures her in all her kaleidoscopic splendor, delivering a program of exceptionally divergent original songs that sound unlike any other singer on the scene.

Mario Pavone Trio
Mario Pavone with Tyshawn Sorey and Dave Ballou
Mario Pavone, bass / Tyshawn Sorey, drums / Dave Ballou, trumpetBassist/composer Mario Pavone has collaborated with both legendary innovators and today’s most respected young musicians to consistently define the cutting edge of jazz for the past 40 years. He has anchored the trios of Paul Bley (1968-72), Bill Dixon (1980’s), and the late Thomas Chapin (1990-97), and co-led a variety of notable ensembles with Anthony Braxton, Wadada Leo Smith, Marty Ehrlich, and Michael Musillami. His list of sidemen past and present includes Steven Bernstein, Gerald Cleaver, Dave Douglas, Peter Madsen, Tony Malaby, Joshua Redman, George Schuller, Michael Sarin, Craig Taborn, and Matt Wilson among many others. And, unlike most artists whose careers span five decades, his most recent recordings are his most widely acclaimed, appearing on best-of-the-year lists from Slate.com, AllAboutJazz.com, AllAboutJazz-New York, Coda, the Village Voice , and the New York Times among others.In 1980, Pavone began an 18-year musical relationship with Thomas Chapin, which would lead to a number of collaborations, most notably Chapin’s seminal trio with drummer Michael Sarin. Around the same time, Pavone recorded his first titles as a leader, 1979’s Digit and 1981’s Shodo on his own Alacra label, crediting Naughton and Smith with motivating him to write his own music and teaching him about open-ended composition. Since Chapin’s untimely death in 1998, Pavone has recorded exclusively with his own bands, with the exception of his son Michael’s 2001 debut, Trio (Playscape). His discography now features 17 recordings as a leader/co-leader, including his acclaimed 2006 release, Deez to Blues, on Playscape Recordings, the label he has called home since 1999. In addition to his ongoing activities as a bandleader, Pavone’s artwork and photography have graced the covers of dozens of recordings since the mid 90’s, and he currently serves as an educator, administrator and board member for the Litchfield Jazz Festival and Litchfield Summer Jazz Camp in Litchfield, Connecticut.

 

Merger w/ Andrew D’Angelo, Kirk Knuffke, Ben Street, Nasheet Waits

Merger w/ Andrew D’Angelo, Kirk Knuffke, Ben Street, Nasheet Waits
Andre D’Angelo, sax / Kirk Knuffke, trumpet / Nasheet Waits, drums

Michael Attias Spun Tree
Michael Attias Spun Tree
Michaël Attias, alto saxophone / Ralph Alessi, trumpet / Kris Davis, piano / Sean Conly, bass / Tom Rainey, drumsThe product of migrations spanning North Africa, the Middle East, Western Europe and the American Midwest, saxophonist Michaël Attias settled in New York City in 1994, where he currently enjoys a teeming and multilayered activity as bandleader, sideman, composer, and improviser. Exposing himself to a wide range of situations and collaborations, he has created a supple, passionate and uncompromising language in which to render the richness of his imagination and commitments. Since 2005, he has released five albums as a leader, including Credo, Renku, Renku in Coimbra, Twines of Colesion, and, in 2012, Spun Tree.Attias has played in groups led by such luminaries as Anthony Braxton, Paul Motian, Oliver Lake, and Anthony Coleman; performed in New York City at the Village Vanguard, the Stone, and countless other venues; appeared at international festivals such as the North Sea, Europa Jazz, and the Istanbul Jazz Festival. As a sideman, he has recorded with some of today´s most compelling and original musicians: Paul Motian, Masabumi Kikuchi, Tony Malaby, Ralph Alessi, Marty Ehrlich, John Hébert, Nasheet Waits, Sean Conly, Ken Filiano, Kris Davis, Taylor Ho Bynum, and many others. His current projects as a leader include his long-standing trio Renku, with John Hébert and Satoshi Takeishi; Twines of Colesion, with Hébert, Takeishi, Tony Malaby, Russ Lossing; and Spun Tree, with Ralph Alessi, Matt Mitchell, Sean Conly, Tom Rainey.

 

Michael Formanek’s Cheating Heart

Michael Formanek’s Cheating Heart
Chris Speed, tenor saxophone and clarinet / Jacob Sacks, piano / Michael Formanek, double bass / Dan Weiss, drums

Michael Formanek’s singular approach to the acoustic bass has led to an impressive range of musical associations. During his thirty-plus year career, he has played and/or recorded with Elvis Costello, Tim Berne, Uri Caine, Freddie Hubbard, Stan Getz, Marty Ehrlich, Chet Baker, Tony Williams, Gerry Mulligan, Bob Mintzer, Fred Hersch, Dave Liebman, Joe Henderson, Mark Isham, Cedar Walton, Attila Zoller, George Coleman, Jane Ira Bloom, Bob Moses, Gunther Schuller, Peter Erskine, Joe and Matt Maneri, Gary Thomas, Harold Danko, Dave Burrell, Joe Lovano,  and many others. In 2010 Michael Formanek’s first CD as a leader and composer in more than a decade was released on the ECM label. The Rub and Spare Change features the amazing group of Tim Berne on saxophone, Craig Taborn on piano, and Gerald Cleaver on drums, and Formanek on bass, and has received numerous accolades including Five Stars in Down Beat Magazine, and a place on many best CD’s of 2010 lists. His second CD for ECM, Small Places was released in 2012, and has also achieved much critical acclaim including another Five Star Downbeat review.

Monty Alexander “Harlem – Kingston Express”
Monty Alexander “Harlem – Kingston Express”
Monty Alexander, piano / Hassan Shakur, acoustic bass / Obed Calvaire, drums / Earl Appleton, electric keyboards / Andy Bassford, guitar / Joshua Thomas, electric bass / Karl Wright, drums
Music of Ryuichi Sakamoto by PACJE
Music of Ryuichi Sakamoto by PACJE
Meg Okura, arrangements, violin, erhu / Jamie Baum, flutes / Helen Sung, piano / Dezron Douglas, bass / E.J. Strickland, drumsAll About Jazz called her “the queen of chamber jazz,” the violinist/composer Meg Okura leads the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble, founded in 2006. Hailed by the New York Times as “vibrant” and “sophisticated,” the ensemble “successfully blends the musical cultures of East and West for a new and exciting direction in modern jazz expression,” (Inside New York Magazine). A native of Tokyo, violinist Okura moved to New York to study at Juilliard after making her solo debut at Kennedy Center as a teen, only to make a difficult switch to jazz upon graduation. She has performed and recorded with many jazz artists including Michael Brecker, Lee Konitz, Tom Harrell, Diane Reeves, Steve Swallow, as well as bands ranging from Pharaoh’s Daughter to Cirque du Soleil, to David Bowie. The self-titled debut album, “Meg Okura’s Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble” was the finalist in the “2006 Best Albums” of the Independent Music Awards, and the group has performed over 50 concerts and festivals including Lincoln Center, Levitt Pavilion (CA), KL International Jazz Festival, and sold-out concerts in Japan. In 2010, Meg Okura & P.A.C.J.E. released their second album, “Naima”, which highlights Okura’s “breathtaking version” (Raul D’Gama Rose, All About Jazz) of Coltrane’s classic, in addition to her original compositions. The ensemble just finished recording the latest album featuring Helen Sung, Anne Drummond, Dezron Douglas and E.J. Strickland, entitled “Music of Ryuichi Sakamoto”– re-imagining his classics from the Yellow Magic Orchestra to the Oscar winning soundtrack, The Last Emperor and beyond.
Nasheet Waits EQUALITY w/ Vijay Iyer, Mark Helias, Logan Richardson

Nasheet Waits EQUALITY w/ Vijay Iyer, Mark Helias, Logan Richardson
Nasheet Waits, drums / Mark Helias, bass / Vijay Iyer, piano / Logan Richardson, reeds

Nasheet Waits’ Equality is a band whose position and philosophy are revealed in the name. All members contribute material and have an equal responsibility for the execution of its content. The group’s first eponymous recording Equality was released in 2009 on the Fresh Sound label. That group included Jason Moran, Logan Richardson and Tarus Mateen. Equality has also been graced with the presence of Stanley Cowell, and Craig Taborn on piano and John Hebert, and Mark Helias on bass. Whatever the personnel, a seamless nature exists. The goal is simply to present creative music with energy and integrity.

Omer Avital & His Band of The East
Omer Avital & His Band of The East
Omer Avital, upright bass / Greg Tardy, tenor saxophone / Jason Lindner, piano / Nadav Remez, guitar / Daniel Freedman, drumsThroughout his ever evolving career, composer and bassist Omer Avital has helmed a handful of genre-defying, jazz based ensembles: Omer Avital Quintet and Ensemble, Yes! Trio (with pianist Aaron Goldberg and drummer Ali Jackson), Third World Love, Yemen Blues, and The New Jerusalem Orchestra. Each group has pioneered fresh modes of jazz expression based on values both traditional and revolutionary. At the heart of each Avital composition and performance is a sense of joy and history shared between musician and audience; a contagious, heart pounding resonance that provides swing and sustenance in equal measure. Revealing yet another thread in the fabric of his wide-ranging music, Avital recently debuted Omer Avital & His Band Of The East. Avital notes:“My new group’s aim is to genuinely bring the earthy essence of Middle Eastern & North African music together with the living tradition of hard swinging, spiritually uplifting Jazz. ”

The Band’s materials include new tunes from the ever-growing Omer Avital songbook. Between the simmering beat of “Eser (Middle Eastern Funk)”, the lushly evocative bittersweet melody of “Neighborhood Song (Shir Schuna)” and the hard-driving Mizrahi rhythm of “Ramat Gan”, Omer Avital & His Band Of The East mix Middle Eastern moods and cerebral intent, performed in a way that is unique to its uncompromising group of musicians.

Oran Etkin Quintet

Oran Etkin Quintet
Oran Etkin, bass-clarinet, clarinet and sax / Curtis Fowlkes, trombone /Tyshawn Sorey, drums / Linda Oh, bass / Surprise Mystery Guest, guitar

Clarinetist, Bass-Clarinetist and Saxophonist Oran Etkin has long drawn on many influences from around the world in his music, developing a unique sound steeped in playful poly-rhythms, flowing dialogues between instruments and a fresh harmonic concept. His debut CD, Kelenia brought together sounds from West Africa, New York and his native Israel. His upcoming 2013 release, which is a reflection on a year of musical journeys around the world, expands that pallet even further. The album features Etkin’s trio with Nasheet Waits and Ben Allison, at times augmented by his long-time collaborators Lionel Loueke and Curtis Fowlkes. It is an exciting new release from an artist described as “great clarinetist, excellent improviser” by New York Times’ Ben Ratliff and “composer of eminent individuality” by his mentor and former teacher, the legendary Yusef Lateef and whose music has been recognized with a GRAMMY Award and two Independent Music Awards.

2012 has been an extraordinary year for Oran Etkin, kicking off with at GRAMMY Award for a benefit CD including his music and continuing with a joyful tour that saw Etkin performing around the world – from Israel to Indonesia, New Orleans to Liege, Tel Aviv to Tokyo, Shanghai to Berlin. As he traveled to each country, he drew inspiration from the culture, colors, smells, the sounds and most of all the people in each country. Often Etkin collaborated with local musicians, learning some of their musical traditions and folk songs and sharing his own music. Now in 2013, Etkin plans to release a new album inspired by these travels. Etkin plays the bass-clarinet on a beautiful song about a wooden flute from Indonesia over a funky rhythm section groove. A traditional Japanese song Oran learned in Nagoya suddenly gets some gospel undertones as Oran reinterprets it in the US, and an old Israeli song that Oran heard growing up is played as a tender dedication to his father. Yet some of the most moving and innovative material on the CD is Etkin’s own music that ties this album together. Some compositions are inspired by specific experiences, like playing in the oldest Synagogue in Belgium or by people Oran met, like At Play, which is dedicated to the children Oran has worked with around the world and their playfulness that he strives to embrace in his music as well.

The core group is Etkin’s trio comprised of Ben Allison on bass, Nasheet Waits on drums and Oran Etkin on clarinet and bass-clarinet. In addition, Etkin draws on several guests including Lionel Loueke and Curtis Fowlkes on trombone. The origin of Etkin’s trio started with some duo concerts he had with Ben Allison in which they found a common rhythmic language full of playfulness with the space within a groove. From there, they added Nasheet Waits, who fit in perfectly into this fluid yet grooving concept of rhythm. Etkin has had a long relationship collaborating with Lionel Loueke, who appears on his Kelenia album as well and Curtis Fowlkes, who plays on Etkin’s Wake Up, Clarient! album. The scope of these long-term musical relationships has only created more depth and trust that is evident in the interweaving lines they improvise together, recalling New Orleans polyphony in a modern age.

Otis Brown III Quartet
Otis Brown III Quartet
Otis Brown, drums / Kris Bowers, piano / Ben Williams, bass / John Ellis, sax
Rafiq Bhatia
Rafiq Bhatia
Rafiq Bhatia, guitar, samples, processing / Jeremy Viner, woodwinds, processing / Jackson Hill, bass / Alex Ritz, drums, processingJust two winters ago, American composer and guitarist RAFIQ BHATIA (rah-FEEK BAH-tia) found himself trudging through the snow to the front door of Greenhouse Studios in Reykjavík, Iceland for the first time. He and his producer and musical accomplice Alexander Overington travelled across the Atlantic to work with Valgeir Sigurðsson, who they sought out on account of his predilection for exposing the new within the known.As the secret weapon in crafting Björk’s Vespertine and Medulla, and, more recently, as co-producer of Feist’s Metals, Sigurðsson knows a thing or two about constructing ornately detailed and highly original sonic universes. Yet, after spending a week helping to realize Bhatia’s combination of driving, glitch-infused beats, blistering improvisation, and expansive production, Sigurðsson remarks that their time together “felt like learning a new language.”

Since making the move to Brooklyn in 2010, Bhatia has “wasted no time grabbing wider attention” (Time Out New York), performing in and out of town with his co-conspirators Jeremy Viner (woodwinds), Jackson Hill (bass), and Alex Ritz (drums). Yet, the most exciting part of Bhatia’s endeavors are the recordings that he and his collaborators have been silently working to perfect for the past two years. This fall, they debut this new sound via two releases on the Rest Assured imprint: the Strata EP and Yes It Will LP.

The Strata EP is a manifesto; a primer in the “new language” that Sigurðsson refers to. The first half features two expansively produced originals (“Sunshower” and “Greenhouse”) propelled by woozy, nod-inducing beats, wall-of-sound orchestrations, and anthemic melodies. On “Statements,” a cameo verse from Anti-Pop Consortium’s High Priest weaves through a maze of constantly shifting trap beats, processed woodwinds, clustered strings, and guitar harmonics. The EP closes with a rendition of Flying Lotus’ “Pickled!”, which reimagines the stacked synthesizers of the original with tiers of processed acoustic sounds. For most bands, attempting a FlyLo cover would be an exercise in futility, but Bhatia and his collaborators use each section of the original as a point of departure into exciting and unexplored territory.

Bhatia’s debut LP, Yes It Will, is one for the crate diggers of today. It’s an album for the album adherents, the champions of the LP format; the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Explosive improvisations are elevated by layers of overdubs and processing to create a lush and highly detailed musical statement. The vast yet intricate, ship-in-a-bottle production of tracks like “Open Spaces; Open Minds” and “Once” is juxtaposed against rawer cuts like “Annihilator Gators,” which features instrumental explorations and sound design that carefully emulate the technical quirks of 60′s Impulse! live recordings. After six originals, the album closes with a cathartic instrumental rework of Sam Cooke’s civil-rights focused classic, “A Change Is Gonna Come.” Special guests Vijay Iyer and Billy Hart, two of Bhatia’s closest musical mentors, deliver standout performances alongside members of the experimental chamber ensembles ICE and JACK, all grounded by the well-oiled machine formed by Bhatia and his bandmates. All of this is framed in a rhythmic lexicon that reconciles Aphex Twin, Madlib, and Elvin Jones. High Priest proclaims, “this is the type of joint that can exist in both beat and jazz canons successfully.”

The first generation American son of East African Indian immigrants, Bhatia was born and raised in North Carolina. As a child, he would sit in front of the radio for hours with a blank cassette ready, waiting to bootleg the latest singles from emcees like The Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes. Bhatia picked up the violin and learned to play it by ear at age six, later switching to guitar. Coming of age in the South in the aftermath of 9/11, Bhatia began to notice a conspicuous absence of people who looked like himself in the arts, and started to see music as a way to represent. College was a blur of performance residencies, recording experiments, and late-night listening sessions with Hill, Ritz, and Overington; groundwork for the vision realized on these releases.

Drawing on and responding to several streams of information – cultural, musical, and generational – the Strata EP and Yes It Will LP represent the culmination of Bhatia’s experiences to date. This is an outpouring of new ideas for a new generation of listeners who hear a common thread in the music of John Coltrane and Flying Lotus, Steve Reich and Tyondai Braxton, Jimi Hendrix and Colin Stetson. Clearly, Bhatia’s music is not a recombination of genres; rather, it’s the sound of a breadth of experiences and influences filtered through a unique perspective: an entirely new beast.

Red Baraat

Red Baraat
Sunny Jain, dhol, MC / Rohin Khemani, percussion / Tomas Fujiwara, drumset / Mike Bomwell, soprano sax / Alex Hamlin, baritone sax / Sonny Singh, trumpet, vocals / MiWi La Lupa, bass trumpet, vocals / Ernest Stuart, trombone / John Altieri, sousaphone, rap

RED BARAAT have made a name for themselves as one of the best live bands playing anywhere in the world. Led by dhol drummer Sunny Jain, the nine piece (comprised of dhol ((double-sided barrel shaped North Indian drum slung over one shoulder)) drumset, percussion, a sousaphone, and 5 horns) melds the infectious North Indian rhythm Bhangra with a host of sounds, namely funk, go-go, latin, and jazz. Simply put, Sunny Jain and Red Baraat have created and defined a sound entirely their own which NPR has called ‘the best party band in years.’ Leading an audience as diverse and joyful as the band itself, Red Baraat has subsumed a plateful of global influence, fused it, and is now exporting it New York-style to the world. The unique ensemble has brought their musical message of global unity to some of the world’s most prestigious stages, including Lincoln Center, London’s Barbican, and have been featured performers at the renowned TED Conference.

It’s a sound so powerful it has left the band in its own utterly unique and enviable class. These days you are as likely to find Red Baraat throwing down at an overheated and unannounced warehouse party in their Brooklyn neighborhood as you are at Lincoln Center. Or the Montreal Jazz Festival. Or the Barbican. It’s a band unquestionably on the ascent playing some of the most prestigious festivals and theatres worldwide, and keeping their chops razor sharp in basements and sweaty sold out clubs across New York City. Leading an audience as diverse and joyful as the band itself, Red Baraat has subsumed a plateful of global influence, fused it, and is now exporting it Brooklyn-style to the world.

The group’s most recent release, BOOTLEG BHANGRA, is the band’s incredibly powerful live show captured at Brooklyn’s Southpaw on the band’s second anniversary. With songs pulled primarily from their debut album, CHAAL BABY, the group was mindful of the challenge to capture a rapturous live sound on record. Well, it happened on this night, and the resulting document places you squarely in that small Brooklyn club jammed from front to back with hip shaking beauties – hands raised to a ceiling dripping with condensation. The band is currently at work on their 2nd studio date, SHRUGGY JI, which should see release in early 2012.

Most recently, the title track, Chaal Baby, is being used as the background music for the promo ads for the hit FX TV show, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. After the group’s performance at the 2011 globalFEST, Red Baraat was a top pick favorite and featured on PRI’s The World, NPR’s All Songs Considered, New York Times, The Village Voice and Mother Jones magazine. The group’s debut CD, CHAAL BABY (Sinj Records) was voted by several music critics as a top world and jazz release of 2010. Since their inception in October 2008, Red Baraat has delivered blistering performances at globalFEST, Montreal Jazz Festival, Sunfest, Festival De Louisiane, Quebec City Summer Festival, Chicago World Music Festival, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, Madison World Music Festival, New Orleans Jazz Festival, Pori Jazz Festival (Finland), Molde Jazz Festival (Norway) and Chicago Folks & Roots Festival, among many others. Red Baraat appeared on John Schaefer’s Soundcheck WNYC-FM 93.9, an NPR affiliate, in which they were picked as a top live radio performance of 2009. They also recorded the credit roll theme song for the movie, The Yes Men Fix the World and performed for the 2009 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (NYC) for Ports 1961 runway models. Red Baraat has been featured in National Geographic, Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Relix and Songlines, among many others.

Revive Big Band led by Igmar Thomas
Revive Big Band led by Igmar Thomas
Igmar Thomas, musical director, arranger, trumpet / Sharel Cassity, alto sax / Godwin Louis, alto sax / Marcus Strickland, tenor sax / Wayne Escoffery, tenor sax / Anthony Nelson, baritone sax / Frank Lacy, trombone /Corey King, trombone / Stafford Hunter, trombone / Max Seigel, bass trombone / Jumaane Smith, trumpet / Jonathan Powell, trumpet / Jean Caze, trumpet / Lee Hogans, trumpet / Jef Lee Johnson, guitar / Ray Angry, keys / Otis Brown III, drums / Mark Kelley, bass / Raydar Ellis, vocals/DJThe Revive Big Band is a “jazz army” (Complex Magazine) of sorts. Packing a punch unlike any other band — big or otherwise — it unites generations of like-minded musicians in presenting a new era of music.Formed in 2010 by composer, arranger, and trumpeter Igmar Thomas, the group’s musical styles, experience, and tastes range widely among the musicians, but their mission universal. “We’re carrying on within the tradition of big bands, what would be relevant today,” Thomas explains. “Modifying the message, and making it translatable and accessible to the people, so that they have something relevant to grasp on to. It represents a bridge.”

The Revive Big Band repertoire features original compositions and arrangements by Thomas as well as inventive orchestrations of selected beats from legendary producers, notable hip-hop tracks and the original jazz records they sampled, all re-imagined and arranged into original works for the big band.

“Our voice is one that has one foot deeply placed in the roots of jazz and the tradition of that — á la Dizzy Gillespie and Count Basie — but also, another foot deeply invested in the present. That’s the direction. Dizzy, Dilla and us,” says Thomas.

Past Revive Big Band performances have included: A Tribute to A Tribe Called Quest (featuring Jarobi of ATCQ, Buckshot, Sadat X, Dres, Dinco D, Charlie Brown, DJ Logic and more), Celebrating the Life of Legendary MC G.U.R.U. (featuring DJ Premier, Roy Hargrove, Greg Nice, Masta Ace, Jeru the Damaja and more), and The Revive Big Band featuring Nicholas Payton and Talib Kweli.

Rez Abbasi
Rez Abbasi Trio
Rez Abbasi, guitar / Michael Formanek, bass / Satoshi Takeishi, drumsRez Abbasi migrated to the US from Pakistan at age four. Ever since, he has immersed himself in both western and eastern music, studying and performing with a variety of Indian classical musicians as well as jazz musicians. His compositions and guitar playing reflect his individuality and create an ideal hybrid of modern jazz and world inflections.For over a decade, Abbasi has been blazing a new trail as a leading figure in South Asian – American cutting edge jazz. His work spans far and wide, performing in award winning groups as Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Indo- Pak Coalition and Kinsmen, Indian vocalist Kiran Ahluwalia’s group along with many others. In 2012, Abbasi was voted #2 Rising Star Guitarist in Down Beat magazine’s prestigious International Critic’s Poll.

Rez has released several albums as a leader, from acoustic guitar driven quartet music, to electrified organ trio featuring Indian vocals. His ultra – modern quintet, Invocation pulls all aspects of his persona into a cohesive, distinctive voice, rarely paralleled in today’s jazz. Including band mates, Mahanthappa, Vijay Iyer, Dan Weiss and Johannes Weidenmueller, Invocation’s debut release, Things To Come (2009) was included in Down Beat magazine’s ‘best albums of the decade’. Subsequently, Abbasi was commissioned by CMA to create new works for Invocation. The follow-up, Suno Suno (enja 2011) focused on a musical form from Pakistan called, Qawwali.

In winter of 2012, Rez released his ninth album and his first ever trio with bassist, John Hebert and percussionist, Satoshi Takeishi. Continuous Beat (enja) ended up #1 on the CMJ radio charts along with Rez featured on the front cover of CMJ magazine. His trio is considered by many to be his most adventurous project to date.

Roy Nathanson Sotto Voce
Roy Nathanson Sotto Voce
Curtis Fowlkes, trombone, vocals / Sam Bardfeld, violin, vocals / Napoleon Maddox, beat box / Tim Kiah, bass, vocalsSotto Voce is the new group from wide-open mind of saxophonist/composer/songwriter Roy Nathanson. The group features his fellow Jazz Passengers Curtis Fowlkes and Sam Bardfeld, along with singing bassist Tim Kiah and human beat-box/singer Napolean Maddox of the Cincinnati hip-hop/jazz outfit Iswhat?! Their first cd, “Sotto Voce” was released in 2006 on Aum Fidelity records. The album featured six infectious new songs and/or stories by Nathanson, as well as an interpolation of Bobby Hebb’s mid-60s R&B/pop smash “Sunny” and a gorgeous reading of great Jazz composer Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s “The Inflated Tear” with new lyrics by Roy Nathanson.From 2003-2006. Roy work-shopped this new group at the Brooklyn club Barbès: Bassist Tim Kiah studied with Ron Carter and also has a deep background in choral music. Tim is able to sing complicated vocal parts while playing the bass in odd time signatures – precisely the kind of skill that has helped this form come alive. By utilizing the violin of Sam Bardfeld, the band increased it’s lyricism as well as allowing for the violin double stops to be the only chordal sound. With the remarkable trombone and vocals of old friend Curtis Fowlkes and the arrival of Napoleon Maddox the sound was finally complete. Napoleon is a marvelously gifted vocalist who is equally at home with “beat–boxing” hip-hop and jazz as he is at singing. By actually singing the rhythm parts, Napoleon functions as a bridge between words and music, allowing the stories to sing and the music to speak. The final exuberant result is, as any elementary education specialist would describe, a “whole language approach” to music.

Their 2nd cd, “Subway Moon” grew from Roy Nathanson’s poetry book of the same name published by Buddy’s Knife Editions. Roy scored his poems with help from a commission from Chamber Music America and the result was the cd, “Subway Moon”(Enja/yellowbird.) Building on the language of the first cd and 4 years of international touring, the group found new ways of combining words, sounds and instrumental and vocal improvisation to tell a range of stories from the NYC subway. Stories of personal memory and observation churn along the musical tracks expressed in a language that has the intimacy of workers who’ve traveled on the subway together for years.

As Roy is also a teacher, he has turned “Subway Moon” into an international collaboration between the Sotto Voce band and high school students in several parts of the world – performing different permutations of the work in Paris, Newcastle and Munich as part of international jazz festivals. Phillip Johnson of the Independent of London called this grand arts/education’s performance at the Gateshead International Jazz Festival in 2011 a “The most inspiring performance I’ve (he’s) seen in years.” group continues to tour actively in Europe and America. Their 3rd cd will be released in September 2013 on Enja/Yellowbird Records.

 

Rudresh Mahanthappa’s GAMAK
Rudresh Mahanthappa’s GAMAK
Rudresh Mahanthappa, alto sax / David “Fuze” Fiuczynski, double-neck guitar / François Moutin, acoustic bass / Dan Weiss, drumsGuggenheim fellow and Downbeat International Critics Poll winner RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA is one of the most innovative young musicians and composers in jazz today. Named “Alto Saxophonist of the Year” four consecutive times from 2009-2012 by the Jazz Journalists Association, Rudresh has incorporated the culture of his Indian ancestry, fusing a myriad of influences to create a truly groundbreaking artistic vision.RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA’S next project, Gamak, slated for release in early 2013, will unveil his new band featuring guitarist David Fiuczynski, bassist François Moutin, and drummer Dan Weiss. Gamak showcases the stunning electric guitar work of David “Fuze” Fiuczynski, Rudresh’s partner in crime in Jack DeJohnette’s current group. Fiuczynski’s unparalleled versatility and virtuosity along with his unique abilities to convey alternate tunings and microtonal ornamentation elevate the possibilities of this ensemble. Combined with Mahanthappa’s frequent bandmates, the ever-inventive Moutin on bass and the expressive Weiss on drums, Gamak is destined to reach great heights in presenting a contemporary American music that synthesizes Western and Non-Western musical forms and concepts. Gamak was created with support from Chamber Music America’s New Works: Creation and Presentation Program, funded through the generosity of the Doris Duke Foundation. Gamak is a sponsored Project of Artspire, a Program of the New York Foundation for the Arts with funding provided by New York State Council on the Arts.

 

Seabrook Power Plant

Seabrook Power Plant
Brandon Seabrook, banjo, guitar / Tom Blancarte, bass / Jared Seabrook, drums

“Tech-metallic squelching converges with Black Flag’s instrumental punk-jazz rave ups and avant-Americana folkwaysian riffage in the maniacal and revelatory trio Seabrook Power Plant.” Brad Cohan

Seabrook Power Plant is a banjo-shredding raucous thrash trio that mixes tweaked out hardcore with art rock improvisation. Seabrook’s aggressively punk appropriation of the  banjo has found a home in both DIY venues and experimental concert halls alike.. In part due to their unique instrumentation, the band’s unyielding vision and superb ability as a musical unit sets them apart from their contemporaries. Alongside Sun City Girls and Henry Flynt, Seabrook Power Plant is crafting a sonic universe of its own through daringly unusual music.  The group’s two self-titled albums, Seabrook Power Plant I (2009) and Seabrook Power Plant II (2011), were released on Brooklyn’s Loyal Label.

Somi
Somi
Somi, voice / Otis Brown III, drums / Toru Dodo, piano & rhodes / Liberty Ellman, guitar / Michael Olatuja, bass / Alicia Olatuja, additional voice / Ayanna George, additional voiceOne year ago, acclaimed East African vocalist & songwriter Somi decided to move to Lagos, Nigeria in search of new inspiration. The result: a new album she calls The Lagos Music Salon that will be released in June 2013 and features a guest appearance by superstar Angelique Kidjo. Working alongside the totally blind yet absolutely brilliant Nigerian producer Cobhams Asuquo and the multi- talented American composer Keith Witty, Somi has written a body of new work that draws from Lagos’ boastful cosmopolitanism, urgent inspiration, and giant spirit – straddling the worlds of African jazz, soul, and pop with a newfound ease and a voice that Vogue Magazine simply calls “Superb!”Born in Illinois to immigrants from Rwanda and Uganda, the African and Jazz legacies are always crucial to her sound. Often compared to the likes of Miriam Makeba and Sarah Vaughn, Somi was curious about how the move back to the African continent might shift her musical perspective and lyrical inspiration. Her new material strives to transcend diasporic romanticization and instead privilege “inside-out” cultural nuance and social narrative. Over the past year, Somi has been able to both locate and articulate that nuance and, indeed, has new stories to share. Mostly drawn from her Lagos travel journal, the songs highlight the musical conversation Somi is having with the city as she contemplates both the ordinary and profound experiences of Lagos living.

The Lagos Music Salon is a highly anticipated follow up to the young singer’s last studio album, If The Rains Come First (ObliqSound) – a stunning collection of self- penned story-based songs which debuted at #2 on the Billboard World Chart and of which The Boston Globe said “glistens with the sheen of an almost impossibly perfect cosmopolitanism.” Singing in English, Yoruba, and Nigerian Pidgin, her artistic evolution is indisputable.

JazzTimes magazine describes her live performance as “the earthy gutsiness of Nina Simone blended with the vocal beauty of Dianne Reeves,” while Billboard calls it “all elegance and awe…utterly captivating.” As her career has taken off, Somi’s talents have been called upon for collaborations and live performances alongside Bobby McFerrin, Baaba Maal, John Legend, Cassandra Wilson, Mos Def, Paul Simon, Idan Raichel, Jennifer Hudson, and many more. Last year, Somi recorded and released her first live album at the legendary Jazz Standard in New York City to critical acclaim.

Somi was also named a 2011 TED Global Fellow, an inaugural Association of Performing Arts Presenters Fellow, and is the founder of New Africa Live, a non-profit organization dedicated to celebrating the very best of contemporary African artists working in the performance, visual, and literary arts.

Sunny Kim’s Painter’s Eye

Sunny Kim’s Painter’s Eye

THE BIG PICTURE featuring David Krakauer (a sneak preview)
THE BIG PICTURE featuring David Krakauer (a sneak preview)
David Krakauer, clarinet / Sara Caswell, violin / Greg Cohen, bass / Adam Rogers, guitar / Michael Sarin, drums / Rob Schwimmer, pianoShow Description: The Big Picture explores the inseparable relationship between music and movies while reminding the audience of their incomparable contribution as co-stars. Clarinetist extraordinaire David Krakauer’s otherworldly interpretations of the music found in a myriad of moviegoer favorites including Sophie’s Choice, Life is Beautiful, The Pianist, Radio Days, and more, will transport the audience to the shores of their memory banks while expanding their appreciation of one of life’s great couples — music and movies.Bio: “For me, it’s like putting on a new suit of clothes,” says Krakauer of The Big Picture. “And this project is also a way for me to connect the dots of all the music I’ve been playing throughout my career. So I’m very excited about this new step we’re taking.”

Having been showered with accolades for his groundbreaking work in classical music and new klezmer, Krakauer now finds himself at an artistic crossroads and is ready to enter into a new phase in his career. His next project, The Big Picture, may be his most adventurous to date. With an all-star crew of fellow musical renegades, Krakauer is reimagining familiar themes by such renowned film music composers as Marvin Hamlisch, Wojciech Kilar and Vangelis, as well as interpreting melodic gems by the likes of Sergei Prokofiev, Ralph Burns, John Kander & Fred Ebb and Jerry Bock that have appeared in popular films. Having already contributed to films by directors Ang Lee and Sally Potter, Krakauer now takes on the challenge of bringing a modernist vision to tunes that resonate on a deeply emotional level with generations of moviegoers.

Only a select few artists have the ability to convey their message to the back row, to galvanize an audience with a visceral power that connects on a universal level. David Krakauer is such an artist. Widely considered one of the greatest clarinetists on the planet, he has been praised internationally as a key innovator in modern klezmer as well as a major voice in classical music. Known simply as “Krakauer” to his fervent following, he is nothing less than an American original who has embarked on a tremendous journey transforming the music of his Eastern European Jewish heritage into something uniquely contemporary.

That journey has led Krakauer to an astounding diversity of projects and collaborations ranging from solo appearances with orchestras to major festival concerts with his own improvisation based bands. He has shared the stage with a wide array of artists such as the Klezmatics, Fred Wesley, Itzhak Perlman, Socalled, Eiko and Koma, Leonard Slatkin and Iva Bitova while being sought after by such composers as Danny Elfman, Osvaldo Golijov, David Del Tredici, John Zorn, George Tsontakis, Mohammed Fairouz and Wlad Marhulets to interpret their works. In addition, he has performed with renowned string quartets including the Kronos, Tokyo and the Emerson and as soloist with orchestras such as the Orchestre de Lyon, the Orquestra Sinfonica de Madrid, the Phoenix Symphony, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Dresdener Philharmonie and the Detroit Symphony, among many others.

Writer Mark Stryker hinted at the visceral nature of Krakauer’s performance in his Detroit Free Press review: “Krakauer played with astounding virtuosity and charisma. A furiously improvised cadenza leapt between low and high registers in a way that suggested John Coltrane, building to an excited peak. After the concerto he also offered an encore, improvising by himself with an air of ritual, before playing a swift klezmer dance with the orchestra.”

The Cookers
The Cookers
Billy Harper, tenor sax / Eddie Henderson, trumpet / David Weiss, trumpet / Craig Handy, alto sax / George Cables, piano / Cecil McBee, bass / Victor Lewis, drumsExperience counts, especially in jazz. The more time musicians spend interpreting tunes and interacting with others, the more articulation an audience can expect. You can hear the fruits of such work in the expressive language The Cookers bring to the bandstand and to their two recent critically acclaimed recordings, “Warriors” and “Cast the First Stone.” This exciting new all-star septet summons up an aggressive mid ‘60s spirit with a potent collection of expansive post-bop originals marked by all the requisite killer instincts and pyrotechnic playing expected of some of the heaviest hitters on the scene today.Billy Harper, Cecil McBee, George Cables, Eddie Henderson, and Billy Hart all came up in the heady era of the mid ‘60s. It was a period that found the dimensions of hard bop morphing from their original designs, and each of these guys helped facilitate the process as members of some of the most important bands of the era. Hart and Henderson were members of Herbie Hancock’s groundbreaking Mwandishi group; Cecil McBee anchored Charles Lloyd’s great ’60s quartet alongside Keith Jarrett and Jack DeJohnette; Billy Harper was part of Lee Morgan’s last group, as well as being a member of Max Roach’s Quartet and Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers; while George Cables held down the piano chair in numerous bands including groups led by Sonny Rollins, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Dexter Gordon and Art Pepper.
The Fringe
The Fringe
George Garzone, saxophone /  John Lockwood, bass / Bob Gullotti, drumsThe Fringe originally formed back in 1971 by tenor-saxophonist George Garzone, bassist Richard Appleman, and drummer Bob Gullotti as an outlet for their free jazz improvisations, The Fringe have entertained and enlightened Boston area jazz audiences for over 35 years. Bassist Appleman left the band in 1985 to become Chairman of the Bass Department at Berklee College and was replaced by veteran bassist John Lockwood. Along with their impressive tenure with The Fringe, Gullotti, Garzone, and Lockwood are in great demand as session players and have played with many of the greats of contemporary jazz. Along with keeping up with a busy performance schedule, each of them are well-respected educators helping to inspire the jazz musicians of tomorrow.I’ve been playing professionally since I was 15. I was 17 when I went to Berklee and got the bug for jazz, and I’ve been pursuing that ever since. The Fringe started our senior year, and we’ve been going ever since. The chairman of the Bass Department, Rich Appleman, was the original bassist, and in 1984 we switched to John Lockwood, withGeorge Garzone and myself, and we’re still going. I think that with the way the economy is, if you’re a good player and you’ve got a good attitude on the bandstand and knowledge of what you’re playing, it’s as stable as any other industry. I think it’s just a matter of getting the concentration and the discipline and the repertoire down and having a good attitude and showing up on time and just being a pro. If you hang with it, you can hack out a living. It can be just as stable as anything else. If you make it big, great. If you just earn a living and survive, then you are successful. I’ve been able to make a living playing my instrument, and that’s what I’m most proud of and happy about.

I basically learned on the bandstand. I got called for these gigs that I shouldn’t have taken, I suppose, looking back. People just proceeded to shout and scream at me, and that’s how I learned. Piecing things together. So when I teach it’s the same thing. A student walks in, I teach them the tune, and—bang—we’re off. It’s pretty much playing all the time. Once we get into it there’s sheets and things like that, but it’s mainly playing and then talking about concepts. To me, it’s the best kind of learning. You learn fast. I want them out there working and playing actively, the sooner the better. If they have problems, they can always come back to me with them. But my goal, more than showing them a lot of different stuff, is to get there out there so they can experience performing in a professional setting. I never think it’s too soon to do that. You’re never really ready. You’ve just got to dive in and hope for the best. You’re going to sweat; you’re going to get scared, but you don’t learn if you’re playing with people who are less than you. I’ve been thrust into situations—I don’t even know how I got into them—that were way above me. But that kind of pulls you up. You sink or swim. When I’m on the road, a lot of my students come to my gigs. We hang out; it’s kind of loose. The great thing is that they’re pretty flexible, so I can make up lessons at any time. Even twelve o’clock at night sometimes. It’s crazy, but it works. Some want more structure, but some like the off-the-wall stuff.

I think tradition is something I learned here at Berklee when I was a student. I think the tradition is responsible for how you play, no matter how far out you go. But at the same time, my job is to get the kids to stretch out. I want to take them away from the tradition. Avant-garde is still a dirty word among a lot of academics. Their attitude is, ‘How can you teach the kids all the crazy stuff, when they don’t even know bebop?’ Well, I give them the tunes sometimes, but then I ask them to go beyond that. I also expose them to something that’s a little different. If you’re going to play free, it’s up to you. You got it. I’m not going to yell directions to the ensemble or the soloists as they play. You got it. If the music stops and you’re flailing, that’s your problem. It’s up to you to pick it up and make it happen. That happens to everyone; the music comes to a settling point and now it’s up to someone to pick the ball up and go with it. You can’t leave it there. So one thing they’re learning is how to keep the momentum going. They’re learning how to keep the music in motion, and it doesn’t have to be with a lot of notes, either. It’s something that transcends paper, the staff, the lines, the key. It’s stuff that a lot of people don’t learn in school. My ensemble gives them an opportunity to do that.

Pedrito Martinez Group
The Pedrito Martinez Group featuring Ariacne Trujillo
Pedrito Martinez, percussion / Jhair Sala, percussion / Alvaro Benavides, electric bassist / Araicne Trujillo, keys, vocalsThe Pedrito Martinez Group has its roots planted firmly in the Afro-Cuban rumba tradition and in the bata rhythms and vocal chants of the music of Yoruba and Santeria. With a home base gig in Midtown Manhattan, the group has built a fan base that includes Steve Gadd, Taj Mahal, John Scofield, Eric Clapton, Roger Waters, Derek Trucks, Steve Winwood, Herlin Riley and Wynton Marsalis.Members include Pedrito Martinz, from Havana, on percussion and vocals; percussionist, Jhair Sala, from Lima, Peru; electric bassist, Alvaro Benavides, from Caracas, Venezuela; and keyboard player/vocalist, Araicne Trujillo, from Havana, Cuba.

Pedro Pablo “Pedrito” Martinez was born in Havana, Cuba, Sept 12, 1973. He began his musical career at the age of 11, performing as vocalist and percussionist with such Cuban legends as Tata Guines and Munequitos de Matanzas. He was brought to Canada in 1998, by Jane Bunnett, to tour with her group, Spirits of Havana. His decision to remain in North America to pursue his career, proved to be an auspicious one when, two years later, the annual Thelonious Monk Institute Competition showcased Afro-Latin Hand Drumming for the first time ever. Pedro entered and won first place.

Since settling in New York City in the fall of 1998, Pedrito has performed, recorded, and/or toured with Paquito D’Rivera; Brian Lynch; Steve Turre; Meshell Ndegeocello; Eddie Palmieri; Arturo “Chico” O’Farrill; Stefon Harris; Bebo Valdés; Cassandra Wilson; Joe Lovano, and Sting, (for his rainforest benefit, with Elton John and Bruce Springsteen), Paul Simon, and Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Pedrito was also featured in the documentary film on Cuban music, Calle 54 and his singing and percussion playing were featured in the 2011, animated feature, Chico and Rita. PMG have been featured in The New Yorker magazine and in the Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Martínez was a founding member of the highly successful, Afro-Cuban/Afro-Beat band, Yerba Buena with which he recorded two albums and toured the world. Pedrito has lent his talents as a percussion player and vocalist to over one hundred records, including albums by Paquito d’Rivera, Issac Delgado, Eliane Elias, Stefon Harris, Steve Turre, Eddie Palmieri, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Edie Brickell and many others. These include six records that have been Grammy® nominated and one, a collaboration between Eddie Palmieri and Brian Lynch, called “Simpatico”, that was awarded a Grammy®.

PMG have appeared The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival, The Umbria Jazz Festival, Momtreux Jazz Festival and the Red Sea Festival, among many others. The group has self-released two live albums recorded at their home gig in NYC. Plans are in the works for a studio album.

Tigran

Tigran
Tigran Hamasyan, piano / Areni Agbabian, vocals / Sam Minaie, bass / Ben Wendel, saxophone / Nate Wood, drums

Tigran’s music teems with his personality and is fired by his passion. His potent jazz improvisation fuses with the rich folkloric music of his native Armenia, resulting in a fresh sound marked by an exploration of time signatures beyond 4/4 into 5/4 and 9/8, charged dynamics, the shifting between acoustic and electric modes of expression, the use of exotic instrumentation including duduk, shvi and zurna, and, in the case of Red Hail, the enlisting of a singer well-versed in Armenia folks songs to deliver alluring vocals that complement the band’s stretch.

“When I was 13, I began to understand the rich culture of Armenia,” says Tigran. “I thought, it’s in my blood. I grew up with this incredible music without realizing it. Slowly I began to listen more to the folk music, and it shocked me how much it had been completely ignored. The more tunes I learned…the more I saw the rich potential for merging those with improvised music. That started me on a lifetime journey.”

Previous to being signed by Universal Jazz in France, Tigran recorded three albums on European labels as a leader—World Passion (2006), New Era (2008) and Red Hail (2009). Based on those discs, he became heralded as a jazz revelation by critics.

Born in Gyumri, Armenia, in 1987, Tigran grew up in a household that was full of music. While a toddler, he gravitated to tape players and the piano instead of regular childhood toys, and by the time he was 3, he was working his way through figuring out songs on piano by pop artists. His jazz tastes early on were informed by Miles Davis’s fusion period, and then around the age of 10 when his family moved to Yerevan, he came to discover the classic jazz songbook under the aegis of his teacher Vahag Hayrapetyan, who had studied with Barry Harris.

After focusing further on jazz and meeting numerous American jazz artists who were touring Europe, Tigran began to win a series of piano competitions, including the top prize at the prestigious Thelonious Monk Jazz Piano Competition in 2006 and in the same year second place in the Martial Solal International Jazz Competition in Paris.

He relocated to Los Angeles with his family where he began to make contact with the jazz community there and linking up with such musicians as saxophonist Ben Wendel and drummer Nate Wood, who continue to play with him today. Tigran kept his European connections, which led to him recording his albums for the France-based label Plus Loin.

For his debut album on Universal Jazz France, A Fable, Tigran delivered a dynamic solo piano collection with lyrical songs that ranged from gracefully refined pieces to energetic experiments with rhythmic and harmonic diversity. The source of inspiration for the album came from traditional Armenian folk music as well as poetry. With all of the songs featuring Tigran’s inventive arrangements, A Fable featured the pianist’s own compositions as well as a wealth of covers, including Armenian melodies and a mystical rendition of the jazz standard, “Someday My Prince Will Come,” as well as music inspired by the poetry of Hovhannes Tumanyan and Gegham Sayyan.

“The title of the album came to me because all of the compositions are telling a story,” says Tigran. “I think people relate to fables because they are simple, yet deep.”

Recorded in Paris, A Fable showcased compositions that Tigran wrote and arranged over the past previous years. The title track, a Tigran original, was written in Armenia six years earlier. “This song was inspired by Armenian folk tales as well as fables written by medieval Armenian fabulists such as Vardan Aygektsi and Mkhitar Gosh,” he says.

As for recording a solo album after three recordings that featured a full band, he says, “A lot of people heard me perform solo concerts and wanted to hear me in this setting. The simple idea of performing alone in a room with an acoustic piano has been one of the most natural, and yet challenging ways to express myself musically. It is challenging because of the fact that the only two ‘band members’ that you can interact with and count on are you and the piano. Yet at the same time the freedom that you have while performing alone is deeply inspiring.”

The album thoroughly won over listeners. While Tigran’s career had been on an upswing up to the point of recording A Fable, the new album proved to solidify his growing stature in the jazz world.

Tony Malaby Tuba Trio
Tony Malaby Tuba Trio
Tony Malaby, tenor sax / Dan Peck, tuba / John Hollenbeck, percussionAn improviser possessing a seemingly infinite store of bracing ideas, 48-year old saxophonist Tony Malaby has quietly ascended the ranks of the jazz elite over the past two decades. He’s contributed to some of the era’s most celebrated ensembles, including Charlie Haden’s Liberation Orchestra, Paul Motian’s Electric Bebop Band, and the Fred Hersch Quintet. As a leader, he’s assembled several bands featuring New York’s “downtown” crème de la crème. The Tuba Trio is one of Malaby’s most flexible ensembles. Playing within rough and tumble forms and without, the trio delivers an ever-evolving conversation marked by quicksilver dynamic shifts, unusual harmonic twists and brusque lyricism.Malaby has been called “A fountain of creative and energized improvising” by the The New York Times and “One of New York City’s most in-demand tenor saxophonists, Tony Malaby has also become one of the most distinctive artists of his time” by All About Jazz.  Malaby also has led several projects of his own, including his Apparitions project with Drew Gress and Tom Rainey, and John Hollenbeck,Tamarindo with William Parker and Mark Ferber,Paloma Trio with Ben Monder and Nasheet Waits,and the 9 piece Novela. 
Yosvany Terry
Yosvany Terry Quintet
Yosvany Terry, alto & soprano saxophones, chekeré / Michael Rodriguez, trumpet / Osmany Paredes, piano / Yunior Terry, bass / Obed Calvaire, drumsYosvany Terry Cabrera. Born in Camagüey, Cuba Mr. Terry is one of the most acclaimed saxophonists on the Jazz and Contemporary music scene in New York. Saxophonist and composer Terry went on to receive his classical music training and graduated from the prestigious National School of Arts (ENA) in Havana, Cuba. Mr. Terry took courses in Composition, Orchestration, Counterpoint and Theory at Julliard and Mannes Schools in New York.  While in Cuba, Yosvany worked with Chucho Valdes, Silvio Rodriguez, Fito Paez, Cubanismo, Orquesta Sensación, pianist Alfredo Rodriguez, Ernan Lopez-Nussa, Andy Palacio, NG La Banda, Bobby Carcasses, Eladio “Don Pancho“ Terry, Indigo Girls, Gema Y Pavel, Dave Koz, Afro-Cuba de Matanzas, Grupo Diákara and Columna “B” among others. Mr Terry moved to New York in 1999 and was immediately recognized as a “spectacular talent“ in the Jazz and Contemporary Music scene, playing with Roy Hargrove, Steve Coleman, Albert “Toothie” Heath, Eddie Palmieri, Branford Marsalis, Dave Douglas, Joe Lovano, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Ravi Coltrane, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, Dafnis Prieto, bassist Avishai Cohen, Meshell Ndgeocello, Cassandra Wilson, Israel Lopez “Cachao“, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Wycliffe Gordon, Kip Hanrahan & Conjure, Eric Reeves, Paquito de Rivera, Taj Mahal, David Murray, Giovanni Hidalgo, Paul Cohen, Claudia Acuña, Xiomara Laugart, Brian Lynch, Omar Sosa, Jason Lindner and the Yosvany Terry Contemporary Ensemble. For more info: http://www.yosvanyterry.com

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