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Jazz & Cabaret News & Reviews

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 with John in 2012 for DownBeat on the ...

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 intrigued various European jazz ...

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 Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim is ...

Thomas Bayrle, American Dream, 1970.

Art Break: Must-sees at the New Museum, Eldridge Street and ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, June 18, 2018 This week, Art Break shines the spotlight on the New Museum of Contemporary Art, located on the Bowery. Since its founding in 1977, the institution has given New Yorkers a front row seat to the international contemporary art scene, ...

Bill Frisell

Versatility Rules at the Eclectic Alt-Guitar Summit, Starring Bill Frisell ...

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 ...

Steve Tibbetts

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

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 “sequel” to 2010’...

Anika Noni Rose

'Carmen Jones' Is Back — And She's Still Smokin' Hot

By Helaine Feldman, Contributing Writer, June 13, 2018 'Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?' She’s still the fictional character in a popular series of mystery video games that have been around since 1985. A question for 2018 might be: Where in the world is Carmen Jones? ...

SLK dancer

Life In Focus: Preparing for Performance in Ballet Class

By Juliana Crawford, Contributing Photographer, June 13, 2018   [caption id="attachment_55885" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] A stretch before class begins; photo: Juliana Crawford.[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_55889" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] At the barre; photo: Juliana Crawford.[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_55886" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] It's changement ...

Harlequinade at ABT

Review: A Nearly Forgotten 'Harlequinade' Leaps Again at American Ballet ...

By Sheila Kogan, Contributing Writer, June 12, 2018 The choreography of Marius Petipa is practically synonymous with classical ballet. His ballets Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and Don Quixote are part of the repertoire of major and minor ballet companies all over the world and are frequently ...

Ariel DeAndrea: Crane 45

Art Break: Ariel DeAndrea's Photorealism at Louis K. Meisel and ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, June 11, 2018 Art Break has been reflecting on the phrase ‘thinking outside the box’ and the ways it can be interpreted. For instance, you could think outside the box if you decided to measure time in images instead of numbers. ...

Russell Malone © Chris Drukker

Jazz Notes Intel: Guitarist Russell Malone Gets Saluted; Dafnis Prieto ...

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 his ...

Kariné Poghosyan

Review: Pianist Kariné Poghosyan Finds Unexpected Connections to New York ...

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, June 8, 2018 You might not expect works by Bartok, Rachmaninoff, and Khachaturian to be included in a recital purporting to celebrate New York, but pianist Kariné Poghosyan would remind you that the first two composers both emigrated to the Big Apple ...

Charles Strouse

TODAY: Composer Charles Strouse Celebrates His 90th Birthday

By Don Adkins, Managing Editor, June 7, 2018 The headline could read "Home Town Boy Makes Good." Ninety years ago today Charles Strouse was born in New York City and would go on to become one of the most iconic musical theater composers of the last half ...

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 all that much jazz. That’s the ...

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 Friday, August 4 through Sunday, August ...

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 account, he was totally surprised when ...

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 Reach, the New Haven, Connecticut-based rising star on the ...

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) or recording albums ranging from solo ...

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 opportunity to perform for large ...

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 this group. Guitarist Jesse Lewis and ...

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 a profile elevation this past year, he still finds that ...

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 centennial of her birth, but it’s a ...

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 Obed Calvaire—to join in with him in what ...

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 did on Friday, May 5 was one better. ...

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 a previously undiscovered recording of these ...

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 Theater in 1934 when she won the ...

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 interplay of the individual voices of the ...

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 volcanic drummer Dennis Chambers, settled ...

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 East West Time Line, however, Kevin ...

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 call-to-action is coming from the aisles of ...

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.” He explained, “It’s my ...

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. This is Rosenwinkel’s version of a rock ...

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 gravitated to tape players and the piano ...

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 Village Vanguard in his career that ...

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 Whitfield began his career under the influence of Wynton ...

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 become a destination for musical ...

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 the life-story bio of the Cuba-born maestro of the beats (in five parts). Part 1: Percussionist ...

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 the life-story bio of the Cuba-born maestro of the beats (in five parts). Part 1: Percussionist ...

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 the life-story bio of the Cuba-born maestro of the beats (in five parts). Part ...

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 the life-story bio of the Cuba-born maestro of the beats (in five parts). Part ...

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 the life-story bio of the Cuba-born maestro of the beats (in five parts). PART 1: In July 2016, ...

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 jazz date in the stately Columbia ...

A new concert series ‘Voices on the Hudson’ premieres next week at City Vineyard

ZEALnyc, January 17, 2017 Do you ever think ‘where can I get a great glass of wine, good food AND hear great music?’ Well, City Winery has got you covered. In 2008, Michael Dorf (founder of the Knitting Factory) opened City Winery (155 Varick Street) as a way to showcase two of his ...

Jazz Notes: Maestro Composer/Arranger Miho Hazama Leads Her Superb m_unit Ensemble in a Wonderland of Energetic Jazz

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, January 10, 2017 When Miho Hazama headlined Jazz Standard on September 30, 2015 in celebration of her spirited second album, Time River, her authentic music and graceful poise as the conductor of her 13-piece chamber band called m_unit proved to be the ...

Chicago-Based Cellist Ian Maksin Performs a Compelling Eclectic Solo Show at Le Poisson Rouge

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor, January 3, 2017 Unknown to many people, the legendary jazz bassist Ron Carter began his string career playing the cello, the low-register voice of a standard string quarter. In talking about the four cellos in his nonet ensemble, he said, “I love the sound of ...

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