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Jazz & Cabaret News & Reviews

The latest news in New York City jazz. From The Apollo to Jazz at Lincoln Center, from the Jazz Standard to the Blue Note, find previews, reviews and commentary here at ZEALnyc.

Newport Jazz Festival Showcases Women Artists and Emerging Talents

By Doug Hall, Contributing Writer, August 10, 2018 This year’s Newport Jazz Festival highlighted an incredibly diverse selection of women performers and women ensemble groups. The festival’s founder George Wein, in his newsletter “Notes from the Wein Machine” (March, 2018), was very direct ...

Jazz Notes Intel: ‘West Side Story’ Reimagined With Bobby Sanabria’s Polyrhythmic Latin Twist; Clarinet-Guitar Duets With Anat Cohen and Marcello Gonçalves; Women Big Band Conductors

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, August 3, 2018 Last year marked the 60th birthday of composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein’s classic Broadway show West Side Story, famously made into a 10 Academy Award-winning movie version in 1961 starring among others the Puerto Rico-born actress Rita ...

Umbria Jazz Festival

Jazz Notes: Umbria Jazz Festival Celebrates 45 With a Wonder of Italian Jazz, a Round of Top-Tier American Jazz All-Stars and a Genius Bolt of David Byrne’s Decidedly Non-Jazz Universe

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, July 31, 2018 At this summer’s 45th annual Umbria Jazz Festival in the ancient central Italian town of Perugia, the party atmosphere was omnipresent. It was hot in temperature and the songs were broiling. Musically the scene captured a rare meeting of ...

BSO at Tanglewood

Review: Boston Ballet's 'Fancy Free' Highlights an All-Bernstein Night at ...

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, August 21, 2018 In 1940, then 22-year-old Leonard Bernstein, the musical wunderkind now being celebrated for his inimitable significance in American classical music, as well as Broadway musical theatre, attended the inaugural season of the Berkshire Music Center. Throughout Bernstein's career, the Boston ...

Philadelphia museums

Art Break: Love (and Art) Abounds in Philadelphia, So Plan ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, August 20, 2018 Sometimes at Art Break we feel the need to get out of town but not wander too far. We want to keep the conveniences of great food, interesting art, and cool people – you know, everything we have here, ...

Be More Chill

Review: Could ‘Be More Chill’ Be More Shrill?

By Christopher Caggiano, Contributing Writer, August 17, 2018 The musical Be More Chill was already a bit of a sensation even before it recently opened Off-Broadway at the Pershing Square Signature Center. The show had its world premiere in Redbank, NJ in 2015 at the Two River Theater, ...

José James in concert

Life In Focus: José James in Concert at Lincoln Center ...

By Juliana Crawford, Contributing Photographer, August 15, 2018   [caption id="attachment_59953" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Kori Whithers (vocals) and José James (guitar, vocals); photo: Juliana Crawford.[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_59954" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Kori Whithers; photo: Juliana Crawford.[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_59959" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] ...

Mark Morris Dance Group

Review: Mark Morris Dance Group Excels in Various Chamber Music ...

By Sheila Kogan, Contributing Writer, August 15, 2018 The Mark Morris Dance Group, which has a long association with the Mostly Mozart Festival, presented a World Premiere for this year’s season at the Rose Theater of Lincoln Center. The company danced to the popular chamber music ...

Getting the Band Back Together

Review: The Amiable Schlock of 'Gettin' the Band Back Together'

By Christopher Caggiano, Contributing Writer, August 14, 2018 Sometimes shows come to Broadway that automatically get the online theater wags sharpening their knives. Before a show has even played its first preview, the theaterati start taking bets on when it will close, and polishing off their “What ...

Moulin Rouge

Review: 'Moulin Rouge' Gets a Lavish Pre-Broadway Tryout in Boston

By Christopher Caggiano, Contributing Writer, August 13, 2018 Before the 1980s, Boston was a major out-of-town stop for plays and musicals before they went to Broadway. The economics of such tryouts have changed drastically, as has the standard model for developing new plays and musicals, and Boston’...

Hudson Valley museums

Art Break: Just a Short Journey North, The Hudson Valley ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, August 13, 2018 The Hudson Valley has a special place in the heart of Art Break. So many of our favorite artists spent their summers in the region with friends and family, working on projects, and enjoying the beautiful landscape, just ...

Newport Jazz Festival Showcases Women Artists and Emerging Talents

By Doug Hall, Contributing Writer, August 10, 2018 This year’s Newport Jazz Festival highlighted an incredibly diverse selection of women performers and women ensemble groups. The festival’s founder George Wein, in his newsletter “Notes from the Wein Machine” (March, 2018), was very direct in his statement ...

Beloved; photo: Kait Ebinger

Review: A Young Woman's Quest for Love and Passion in ...

By Megan Wrappe, Contributing Writer, August 9, 2018 Discovering how life works is what resonates the most in Lisa Langseth’s one-woman show Beloved, starring Ellinor DiLorenzo and directed by Kathy Curtiss. The play begins with the character Katarina rummaging around her grandmother’s cottage, putting things ...

Jazz Notes: Photographer Adriana Mateo Exhibits an Inspiring Solo Show at Perugia, Italy and Munich, Germany

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, July 19, 2018 Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the New York-based photographer since 1992 Adriana Mateo not only engages the viewer with her art work but also in the process of capturing her image makes an intimate connection with the artists themselves. ...

Carnegie Hall’s Inaugural Youth Jazz Orchestra Directed by Trumpeter Sean Jones Debuts at Stern Auditorium

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor, July 18, 2018 Carnegie Hall debuts its National Youth Orchestra Jazz—22 members between the ages of 16-19 from 16 states—on July 27 at Stern Auditorium. What promises to be a rousing concert of teenage jazz spirit will be directed by renowned trumpeter Sean ...

Montreal Jazz Festival

Montréal Jazz Festival Embraces All the Colors of the Musical Palette

By Doug Hall, Contributing Writer, July 10, 2018 Celebrating its 39th year, the Montréal Jazz Festival has remained true to its mission as stated by president/director general Jacques-André Dupont to offer “a massive festive urban event with a major component of free programming” while also ...

Umbria Jazz Festival Turns 45; a 'Lost' Coltrane Album; Polly Gibbons

Jazz Notes Intel: Italy’s Umbria Jazz Festival Turns 45 With a Bolt of Italian Jazz; Unearthing the ‘Lost’ John Coltrane Album; and a Live Recording by Vocalist Polly Gibbons

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, July 6, 2018 In the late ‘80s, I was still relatively a jazz rookie after having followed the many veins of rock and pop beforehand. But jazz was always sneaking in during that time until the flood gates opened when I was asked to cover the Chicago Jazz ...

Montreal Jazz Festival Canada

Montréal Jazz Festival Ignites With a Summer Extravaganza of Music

By Doug Hall, Contributing Writer, June 22, 2018 In a recent conversation, André Ménard, co-founder and artistic director of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, gives an overview of the breadth and scale of the outdoor and indoor venues and range of musicians (over 3,000) and concert ...

Bassist William Parker in a Five-Night Residency at The Stone

Bassist William Parker Probes the Secrets of the Tone World Life With His Five-Night Improvisational Residency at The Stone

By David Rubien, Contributing Writer, June 21, 2018 A pillar of the New York improvised music community since the 1970s, bassist-composer William Parker is leading a residency at the Stone June 26-30. He says he will be exploring life in its component terms: vibrations, light, love. That has been ...

Introspection album by guitarist Roni Ben-Hur and bassist Harvie S

Special Straight-Ahead Musings by Guitarist Roni Ben-Hur and Bassist Harvie S

By Denin Koch, Contributing Writer, June 20, 2018 On their 2018 release Introspection on Jazzheads Records, guitarist Roni Ben-Hur and bassist Harvie S succeed in presenting a guitar trio record that captures the timeless tradition of the ensemble while also producing exciting new sounds and ...

versatility-rules-at-the-eclectic-alt-guitar-summit-starring-bill-frisell-and-many-more

Versatility Rules at the Eclectic Alt-Guitar Summit, Starring Bill Frisell and Many More

By David Rubien, Contributing Writer, June 15, 2018 When a large percentage of jazz guitarists under the age of 50 tell you that their primary influence was Jimi Hendrix, you know something interesting is going on. While the guitar has become as prevalent in jazz as almost any other axe, it is also ...

Steve Tibbetts's 'Life Of' Is Both Endlessly Expansive and Deeply Intimate

Steve Tibbetts’s ‘Life Of’ Is Both Endlessly Expansive and Deeply Intimate

By Denin Koch, Contributing Writer, June 14, 2018 Guitarist Steve Tibbetts’ long association with ECM has produced nine albums that span influences from Southeast Asian gamelan to Americana to jazz fusion. His 2018 release, Life of, is a quiet, meditative record that Tibbetts describes as a ...

Guitarist Russell Malone, Dafnis Prieto, Marcia Ball and Django Bates

Jazz Notes Intel: Guitarist Russell Malone Gets Saluted; Dafnis Prieto Big Band Latin Marvel; Roots Flair With Marcia Ball and Irresistible Trio Pianism by Django Bates

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, June 8, 2018 Maestro guitarist Russell Malone thanks six-string elder Kenny Burrell for giving him invaluable advice thirty years ago to advance his career. “Kenny told me to always be consistent,” the 54-year-old Malone said in a phone conversation from ...

Jazz Notes: Iconoclastic Jazz Master Ornette Coleman Receives a Rousing Tribute by Jazz at Lincoln Center

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, May 8, 2018 Ornette Coleman, who dared to step to the edge of jazz boundaries and break the rules in search of improvisational freedom with his free jazz, was once considered a renegade and outsider. In testament to his alto saxophone and composer genius, in ...

Fred Hersch; Jazz and Rothko; Henry Threadgill; Archival Ella and Pops

Jazz Notes Intel: Long Live Fred Hersch; Artist Mark Rothko Treated to the Jazz Vibe; New Henry Threadgill and Archival Ella and Pops

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, May 4, 2018 At my first attempt to contact piano master Fred Hersch, an email message popped up on my screen: “I am on silent retreat…I will have no access to any electronic devices.” However, during his retreat at Insight Meditation Society in ...

Jazz Notes: Tablas Genius Zakir Hussain and Legendary Bassist Dave Holland Propel Crosscurrents To Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, April 30, 2018 When virtuoso tabla master Zakir Hussain served as one of SFJAZZ’s artistic directors in 2015-2016, he told an audience gathered to hear his reflections on the power of artistic expression: “Music is a force, it’s something that is a ...

Jazz Notes: On April 20, Jazz Foundation of America Returns to the Apollo Theater for Annual Gala Benefit and Baton Rouge Flood Recovery

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, April 16, 2018 Every year, New York’s nonprofit the Jazz Foundation of America—whose motto is “Saving jazz and blues…one musician at a time”—helps to be a key factor for helping musicians who have faced natural disasters and other downtowns due ...

Jazz Notes: Clarinetist / Saxophonist Mike McGinnis Returns to Jazz Standard With His Dream Trio — Art Lande and Steve Swallow

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, April 11, 2018 In 2017, then-44-year-old clarinetist/saxophonist Mike McGinnis experienced his longtime fantasy of forming a trio with two of his elder-jazz heroes, pianist Art Lande and electric bassist Steve Swallow. It became a striking reality of ...

Nels Cline Expands With NC4; Mary Halvorson Introduces Code Girl

Jazz Notes Intel: Nels Cline Expands With NC4, Mary Halvorson Introduces Code Girl, Composer Brilliance at Three Dot Lounge

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, April 5, 2018 Deemed as one of the greatest guitarists of all time thanks in part to his high-profile gig with rock band Wilco since 2004, Nels Cline can be an experimental monster as an intrepid slayer of strings. While he can burst with blasts and surge ...

Jazz Notes: A Retrospective on Legendary Pianist Abdullah Ibrahim Prior to Upcoming Gig With the Jazz Epistles at BAM

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, March 15, 2018 When BAM and the World Music Institute present legendary pianist Abdullah Ibrahim, the show will focus on his return to the Jazz Epistles, the bebopping group he co-founded and co-led in the apartheid-strangled South Africa that recorded its ...

Internet Sensation Camille Bertault; Stephanie Chou

Jazz Notes Intel: Internet Sensation Camille Bertault Sprinkles Magic; Stephanie Chou Digs Into Her Cultural Heritage; Marriage of Jazz and Poetry

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, March 9, 2018 To illustrate how topsy-turvy the modern music world is today, consider 31-year-old rising-star vocalist Camille Bertault, who will perform for two nights at Jazz Standard, March 20-21. Instead of being discovered by a savvy record company ...

Eclectic French Violinist Scott Tixier; Pianist George Burton

Jazz Notes Intel: Eclectic French Violinist Scott Tixier Soars; Pianist George Burton Explores Complexity at Dizzy’s; and Three Dot Lounge . . .

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, February 22, 2018  (No. 1) In a Saturday early-afternoon conversation, Scott Tixier stresses that he’s beyond busy. “I get distracted easily,” said the rising-star France-born, Brooklyn-based jazz violinist and composer when asked if he were ramping ...

Aaron Tveit In Concert With Lincoln Center’s American Songbook: All That and Opera Too!

By Jil Picariello, Theater Editor, February 12, 2018 In case we’ve never met, there’s something you should know about me: I’m a little loony on the subject of Aaron Tveit. It all started a decade ago when I snagged a $10 preview ticket to an off-Broadway show I knew nothing about. For ten ...

What’s Coming Up at JALC’s Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola This Month

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, February 9, 2018 Jazz at Lincoln Center’s ideological goals could not be more evident from merely perusing the upcoming event listings for the most intimate space in its arsenal, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola. The nightspot runs on a daily basis with ...

Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola Features Legends, Established Artists and Emerging Talent

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, February 9, 2018 After the dust had settled from the 2000 demolishing of the once-touted, then-mocked New York Coliseum at Columbus Circle, the majestic twin-towered Time Warner Center rose from the ashes a few years later and revitalized the neighborhood as ...

Jazz Notes: Celebrated Jazz Vocalist Dianne Reeves Returns to Jazz at Lincoln Center for Her Valentine’s Blessings on February 9 and 10

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, February 7, 2018 It’s become a tradition. Dianne Reeves, jazz’s esteemed reigning vocalist, returns to Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall to celebrate Valentine’s Day, even though her two-night showcase takes places the weekend before the Lover’s ...

Jazz Notes: Pianist David Virelles Contemplates With a Rich Polyrhythmic Groove at Jazz Standard

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, February  5, 2018 When the Cuban-born, New York-based David Virelles took the stage at the Jazz Standard on January 30, he exuded a confident air of upending the typical piano-led ensemble. He didn’t pose with long runs of bombast or stretch out with ...

Jazz Notes: Umbria Jazz Festival, Orvieto Dazzles In Its 25th Anniversary

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, January 8, 2018 As a result of his successful summer jazz festival founded in 1973 in the Umbria region of Italy, Carlo Pagnotta, the artistic director of the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, started a new festival twenty-five years ago in the historic ...

Jazz Notes: Winter Jazzfest—The Best Jazz Festival of the Year in NYC in a Variety of Venues

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, January 5, 2018 What started 13 years ago as an inspired goal of giving voice to the plethora of relatively unknown but immensely talented jazz musicians toiling in the multitude of the New York’s tiny and obscure clubs, the NYC Winter Jazzfest (January ...

Jazz Notes: Mike Stern Band In Residence at Iridium for the Holidays

ZEALnyc, December 19, 2017 Legendary guitarist Mike Stern will be joined by Randy Brecker (trumpet), Tom Kennedy (bass guitar) and Dennis Chambers (drums) for the week leading up to Christmas, and we’re sure this residency will make the season bright. Beginning on Tuesday, December 19 through ...

Big Band Holidays Offers the Sweetest, Kindest, and Best in Human Spirit at Jazz at Lincoln Center

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, December 15, 2017 For all that it’s alleged to be Central Command for the War on Christmas, New York City sure goes ape for the holidays. In the month of December alone, New York probably fields more performances of Messiah than South Dakota has ...

Jazz Notes: Two Weeks of Maestro Kenny Barron at the Village Vanguard

By Dan Ouellette, ZEALnyc Senior Editor, December 11, 2017 Two years ago Kenny Barron brought his piano magic to the Village Vanguard in the holiday season. This year he’s aboard for two six-day stands at the club he calls home. The National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master (class of ...

Jazz Notes: Pianist Jason Moran Takes His Trio Bandwagon on a Vibrant Ride at Village Vanguard

By Dan Ouellette, ZEALnyc Senior Editor, November 30, 2017 While top-tier pianist Jason Moran has had a busy year working with a big band—most notably his strikingly reimagined tour celebrating the historic Thelonious Monk Town Hall Concert in 1959—he slimmed down his format to trio for his ...

Richard Skipper Celebrates The Season With Special Guest Kathryn Crosby

ZEALnyc, November 27, 2017 Do you remember all those variety show holiday specials from yesteryear? Well, you can relive that experience on December 3rd at the Laurie Beechman Theater (407 West 42nd Street) when multi-faceted entertainer and arts advocate Richard Skipper hosts one of his ...

Review: Catherine Russell Is Thrilling In ‘Harlem On My Mind’ At Zankel Hall

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, November 6, 2017 As predicted, Catherine Russell’s Harlem On My Mind, this past Friday night at Zankel Hall, was….well, “thrilling” isn’t quite the right word: it was too happy and sweet for that, and maybe the Carnegie Hall demographic, ...

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