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Jazz & Cabaret News & Reviews

Jazz Notes: Drummer Matt Wilson Channels Poet Laureate Carl Sandburg at Jazz Standard

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, September 8, 2017

The kinship between jazz and poetry has been a mainstay of the fine arts world, dating back to the 1920s and most prominently spawned during the Harlem Renaissance, the Beat movement and the hip-hop ...

Jazz Notes: Photographer Adriana Mateo’s Exhibit at WBGO Spiritually Shows How She Engages With Her Subject

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, September 5, 2017

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 ...

Jazz Notes: Guitar Legend Mike Stern’s Latest Album ‘Trip’ Takes Us On a Thrilling Ride

By Denin Koch, Contributing Writer, August 29, 2017

Mike Stern has never been one to take himself too seriously but has also always put out seriously good music. Never has this paradox been more apparent than with his latest effort, Trip, released on the ...

Review: American Classical Orchestra Excels in a Revelatory Concert at ...

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, September 18, 2017 Let’s cut right to the chase: the American Classical Orchestra is one terrific outfit, and their concert this past Saturday evening at Alice Tully Hall was a mind-blower. This is a “period-instrument ensemble,” using “era-specific performance techniques” proper ...

Art Break: Water-Inspired Works by Maya Lin at Pace Gallery

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, September 18, 2017 This week Art Break is highlighting Maya Lin, a unique voice in contemporary art. Among her many strengths as an artist is the ability to use unusual materials, such as water, to invoke a mood or state of ...

The Arts Converge at the 12th Annual NY Art Book ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, September 15, 2017 The NY Art Book Fair is a great way to kick off the fall season of art fairs in New York City. Now in its twelfth year with over 370 vendors from 28 countries, this free event showcases the intimate ...

Carnegie Hall Prepares for a Powerful Season of Exciting Programming

By Christopher Johnson, September 14, 2017 Carnegie Hall opens its 2017-2018 season on October 4, with the annual gala in the main hall, this time featuring the Philadelphia Orchestra and a whole slew of bold-face names, including Yanick Nézet-Séguin, Chick Corea, and Lang Lang. Like much ...

ZEALnyc FALL PREVIEW: Arts and Culture in Canada

By Caitlin Leonard, Contributing Writer, September 13, 2017 This fall, Canada’s arts scene is going strong with international ballets, film festivals, and tons of outdoor performances and activities. Venture up North to catch the biggest names in music, art, and the movies, and enjoy the fall ...

Celebrate All Things Italian at San Gennaro

ZEALnyc, September 12, 2017 For the 91st time the Feast of San Gennaro, a faith-based celebration honoring the Patron Saint of Naples, Italy, takes place in the neighborhood of Manhattan affectionately known as "Little Italy" (Mulberry Street between Canal and Houston Streets; the festival stage is located ...

ZEALnyc FALL PREVIEW: Classical Music

ZEALnyc, September 12, 2017 The fall season typically signals a time of new beginnings, as well as the commencement of performances that we've been anticipating since they were first announced months ago, and this year is no exception. This season heralds the initial centennial celebrations for legendary ...

Art Break: All You Need is Love (And Some Great ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, September 11, 2017 This week, Art Break is thinking about what artists do to show love, so our choices feature artists who are passionate about creating and connecting with others. Robert Rauschenberg’s friendships, Leon Polk Smith’s joyous colorful forms, ...

Review: NYCO Brings the Old West to Life in Puccini's ...

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, September 8, 2017 New York City Opera has not only successfully risen from the ashes, but is doing so through stimulating programming that fills a needed niche. They have opened this season with Puccini's overlooked, but heavenly, La fanciulla del West, and ...

Jazz Notes: Drummer Matt Wilson Channels Poet Laureate Carl Sandburg ...

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, September 8, 2017 The kinship between jazz and poetry has been a mainstay of the fine arts world, dating back to the 1920s and most prominently spawned during the Harlem Renaissance, the Beat movement and the hip-hop generation. Most often, the ...

Jazz Notes: Improviser Par Excellence, Guitarist John Abercrombie Passes Away August 22

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, August 25, 2017

After a long fullness, guitarist John Abercrombie passed away peacefully in the presence of his family on August 22 at Hudson Valley Hospital outside of Peekskill, NY, not far from where he lived. I spoke ...

Jazz Notes: Discovering the U.K. Jazz Underground With Shabaka Hutchings

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, August 22, 2017

In the past couple of years, there has been an excitement in the jazz underground of the U.K., finally getting recognition across the pond with its dynamic acts that have wowed the home crowd as well as ...

Jazz Notes: Guitarist John Pizzarelli Celebrates Frank Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim on New Recording

By Denin Koch, Contributing Writer ZEALnyc, August 3, 2017

American Frank Sinatra and Brazilian Antonio Carlos Jobim are arguably the most important figures in the history of the pop music of their respective countries. Their 1967 collaboration Francis Albert ...

Jazz Notes: Umbria Jazz Festival In Perugia, Italy Brings Out the Stars

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, August 1, 2017

Fact of the matter: There are dozens of top-tier jazz festivals spread around the globe—especially in the U.S. and European countries—that attract modest to huge crowds to a lineup that isn’t always ...

Jazz Notes: What To Look Out For at This Year’s 63rd Annual Newport Jazz Festival

By Doug Hall, Contributing Writer, July 25, 2017

The Newport Jazz Festival celebrates its 63rd anniversary this summer, promising three full days of exceptional live musical performances across multiple stages at Fort Adams Park in Newport, Rhode Island from ...

Jazz Notes: Passing the Newport Jazz Festival Baton from Founder George Wein to New Artistic Director Christian McBride

By Doug Hall, Contributing Writer, July 19, 2017

As the new artistic director of the Newport Jazz Festival, Christian McBride has put his stamp on this year’s lineup for the 2017 performances, adding a mix of incredibly diverse musicians—though, by his own ...

Jazz Notes: Rising-Star Pianist Christian Sands ‘Reaches’ for New Horizons in the Jazz Cosmos

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, July 11, 2017

Pianist Christian Sands’ debut Mack Avenue recording, Reach, pretty much tells the evolving story of a 28-year-old artist who is embracing the vanguard of expansive expression.

On ...

Jazz Notes: Guitarist Mary Halvorson Is the Avant-Leaning Artist for the New Generation

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, July 7, 2017

Mary Halvorson has been heralded as the next “new” guitarist who has been captivating listeners for the last decade, whether it’s sitting in (i.e., joining Marc Ribot’s band the Young Philadelphians) ...

Jazz Notes: Jazztopad Festival Presents Its Third Annual Best of Polish Jazz Bash

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, June 15 2017

For the past thirteen years, the Jazztopad Festival has taken place at the National Forum of Music in Wroclaw, Poland. It’s commissioned genre-stretching new works as well as given young musicians the ...

Jazz Notes: The Duo Project ‘Endless Field’ Celebrates Its Genre-Resistant Debut Album

By Denin Koch, Contributing Writer, June 13, 2017

Endless Field gives new meaning to the term “genre-resistant music.” It is at once ambient music, jazz music, pop music, and yet to call it any one of these things alone would fail to capture the breadth of ...

Jazz Notes: Project Grand Slam Bandleader Robert Miller Talks About Its Post-Fusion of Jazz and Rock

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, May 25, 2017

On the eve of new fusion ensemble Project Grand Slam’s fifth recording, The PGS Experience, founder and leader Robert Miller says that even though his 11-year-old group experienced ...

Jazz Notes: Virtuoso Violinist Regina Carter Brings Positive Vibes to Jazz Standard With the Music of Ella Fitzgerald

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, May 22, 2017

Last month, virtuoso violinist Regina Carter released her tenth album, Ella: Accentuate the Positive, on SonyMusic Masterwork’s imprint OKeh. It’s not only a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald’s in the ...

Jazz Notes: Trumpeter Sean Jones Plays It Live and Raw for His Album Release Party at Jazz Standard

By Dan Ouellette, ZEALnyc Senior Editor, May 17, 2017

For his NYC record release party for Live at the Jazz Bistro at Jazz Standard, trumpeter Sean Jones brings his longstanding sparkplug quartet—pianist Orrin Evans, bassist Luques Curtis and drummer ...

Jazz Notes: Spirited African Songbird Angélique Kidjo Channels Talking Heads and Burns Down the House at Carnegie

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, May 10, 2017

It’s not unusual for crowds at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium to give standing ovations to well-deserving artists at the finale of a superb performance. But what the striking vocalist Angélique Kidjo ...

Jazz Notes: Wes Montgomery and Wynton Kelly Star in a Newly Discovered Recording

By Denin Koch, ZEALnyc Contributing Writer, May 9, 2017

Guitarist Wes Montgomery and pianist Wynton Kelly trio’s 1965 masterpiece Smokin’ at the Half Note is considered by many to be the greatest jazz guitar album of all time. As such, the release of ...

Jazz Notes: Jazz Icon Ella Fitzgerald Honored With NYC Mayoral Proclamation on Her Birthday

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, April 25 2017

Even though the legendary Ella Fitzgerald died in 1996 at her home in Beverley Hills, she was a bona fide New Yorker throughout her remarkable career. Her story as The First Lady of Song began at the Apollo ...

Jazz Notes: 4 Stars for Guitarist Ralph Towner’s New ECM Solo Album ‘My Foolish Heart’

By Denin Koch, Contributing Writer, April 19, 2017

It’s been more than ten years since guitarist Ralph Towner’s last solo album, but his latest release on ECM, My Foolish Heart, has made the wait worth it. On this album, Towner seeks out the delicate ...

Jazz Notes: The Young Legend of the Hammond B-3—Joey DeFrancesco Continues to Revitalize the Power and Grace of the Organ in Jazz With His New Album ‘Project Freedom’

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, April 12, 2017

The first time I saw Joey DeFrancesco play the Hammond B-3 organ he was 22 and performing the globe with the electrifying guitarist John McLaughlin’s trio called The Free Spirits. The band, including ...

Jazz Notes: Review of Kevin Eubanks’ Superb New Recording: ‘East West Time Line’

By Denin Koch, Contributing Writer ZEALnyc, March 23, 2017

Too often, jazz concept albums are so dedicated to their premise that the music suffers. The tunes aren’t interesting, the rhythm section doesn’t groove, and the soloists are phoning it in. With ...

Jazz Notes: Trumpeter Maurice Brown’s ‘Mobetta Tuesdays’ Residency at Jazz Standard—A Terrific Shot in the Arm for a Stale Jazz Landscape

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, March 10, 2017

A common shout-out in the jazz community shakes down to “Keep Jazz Alive!” (Have you heard this term being overused on jazz radio stations during fundraising time?) But too often that ...

7th Annual Alternative Guitar Summit Features Headliner Pat Metheny

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, March 7, 2017

Last year in talking to the founder and producer of the annual Alternative Guitar Summit, Joel Harrison called the event a labor of love that he likens to the idea of having a “musical commons.” ...

Jazz Notes: Album Review of Kurt Rosenwinkel’s Adventurous New Recording ‘Caipi’

By Denin Koch, Contributing Writer ZEALnyc, March 6, 2017

Here’s the thing about Kurt Rosenwinkel’s newest release, Caipi: if you approach it expecting to hear the Rosenwinkel that fans have come to know over the years, this album will let you down. ...

Jazz Notes: Profile of Tigran Hamasyan—The Best Jazz Pianist You’ve Never Heard Of…But Should

By Dan Ouellette, ZEALnyc Senior Editor, March 1, 2017

Born in Gyumri, Armenia, in 1987, Tigran Hamasyan grew up in a household that was full of music—his father more of a rock fan while his uncle was a huge jazz buff. When he was just a toddler, Tigran ...

Jazz Notes: Keyboardist Craig Taborn Makes a Rare Village Vanguard Appearance to Deliver His New ECM Recording

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, February 23, 2017

The best jazz is the music that’s embedded with surprise. That’s the modus operandi of pianist/keyboardist Craig Taborn who’s going to be making only his second six-night showcase at ...

Jazz Notes: Graceful—Album Review of Guitarist Mark Whitfield’s New Album

By Denin Koch, Contributing Writer ZEALnyc, February 13, 2017

Review of guitarist Mark Whitfield’s new recording, Grace, which he will be celebrating for two nights, February 17-18, at The Django, Tribeca, NYC.

Considering that Mark ...

Jazz Notes: Pedrito Martinez—A Look Back on the Journey Thus Far

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, February 9, 2017

Unless something unexpected happens (and given this political season, it’s a great possibility), 2017 will fill the air with more Cuban music by the best the island nation has to offer. Cuba has quickly ...

Jazz Notes: Cuba’s Pedrito Martinez Looks to the Future

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, February 8, 2017

In anticipation of percussionist Pedrito Martinez collaborating with pianist Alfredo Rodriguez at Jazz Standard (February 9-10), the following is ...

Jazz Notes: Cuba’s Pedrito Martinez Returns Home to Record

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, February 7, 2017

In anticipation of percussionist Pedrito Martinez collaborating with pianist Alfredo Rodriguez at Jazz Standard (February 9-10), the following is ...

Jazz Notes: Cuba’s Pedrito Martinez Moves to the U.S.

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, February 6, 2017

In anticipation of percussionist Pedrito Martinez collaborating with pianist Alfredo Rodriguez at Jazz Standard (February 9-10), the following is ...

Jazz Notes: Cuba’s Pedrito Martinez on His Cuban Childhood and Influences

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, February 3, 2017

In anticipation of percussionist Pedrito Martinez collaborating with pianist Alfredo Rodriguez at Jazz Standard (February 9-10), the following is ...

Jazz Notes: Cuba’s Pedrito Martinez—Percussionist and Vocalist Extraordinaire

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, February 2, 2017

In anticipation of percussionist Pedrito Martinez collaborating with pianist Alfredo Rodriguez at Jazz Standard (February 9-10), the following is ...

Virtuoso Pianist Marcus Roberts Uplifts the Art of Jazz With His Simpatico Trio at Miller Theatre

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, January 23, 2017

When pianist Marcus Roberts and his longtime simpatico trio of bassist Rodney Jordan and drummer Jason Marsalis settle into Miller Theatre for the first time, they’ll be transcending beyond a typical ...