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Jazz & Cabaret News & Reviews

Jazz Notes: Distinctive Cuban Pianist David Virelles Highlights ECM Records’ ‘Unroutine’ Showcase Evening at Winter Jazzfest

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, December 22, 2016

Each year as Winter Jazzfest expands, you can expect new twists in the mix. One of the most prominent this season is the one-night record imprint showcase of Germany-based ECM Records (Saturday, January ...

Jazz Notes: Top 5 Sizzling Hot Winter Music Festivals in Frigid New York City

(l. to r.) Andrew Cyrille; photo: Petra Cvelbar; Thelonious Monk (1966); photo: Everett Collection

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, December 19, 2016

Think the brutal cold and sometimes snow or freezing rain of ...

The Twin Flute Adventure Seekers ‘Flutronix’ Bring Their ‘Urban Pop Art’ to Baruch PAC for Milt Hinton Jazz Perspective Series

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor, November 21, 2016

It’s about time. The flute is coming back.

The instrument best known in the classical world had been an emotive, fiery and dreamy component of the pop and jazz worlds in the ‘60s and ‘70s. In jazz, ...

Catch the Final Summer Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governor's ...

ZEALnyc, August 23, 2017 It's easy to be swept away in the romanticism of the parties and lifestyle depicted in F. Scott Fitzgerald's iconic The Great Gatsby. Over the years, events and celebrations evoking this 'devil may care' sensibility and featuring period jazz band music and dancing ...

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

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 ...

End of Summer Museum Round-up: Part 1

A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, August 21, 2017 As we edge toward the end of summer we often find ourselves wanting to get that last bit of pleasure and enjoyment out of season. August can be one of those times of year when you just don't want ...

Review: Schumann and Brahms Shine Bright at Mostly Mozart

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, August 18, 2017 This has been quite the year for New York audiences to revisit the music of Robert Schumann, and this former sceptic has been finding great art therein. Recent concerts at Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival presented an opportunity to ...

Review: A Glimpse Behind the Canvas in 'Van Gogh's Ear'

By Megan Wrappe, Contributing Writer, August 18, 2017 In the world of art, you often hear about Van Gogh’s style of painting described as revolutionary when compared to his Impressionist counterparts. And at the time it was, and still is. The sad part is the artist ...

Commentary: Thoughts on Polymath's Exploration of Music and Philosophy

By Leonard Bopp, Contributing Writer, August 17, 2017 This past Sunday there was a summer lab project performance at National Sawdust involving the combined forces of Found Sound Nation and Polymath Club. In order to appreciate the work of Polymath Club, a research/creation collective that explores ...

Review: A Well-Cast ‘Company’ at Barrington Stage

By Christopher Caggiano, Contributing Writer, August 16, 2017 One of the best places to see top-quality theater outside of New York City has got to be the Berkshires. From the Williamstown Theater Festival to the Berkshire Theatre Group to Shakespeare & Company, Western Massachusetts has plenty for ...

Review: 'Curvy Widow' Is Creaky and Coarse

By Christopher Caggiano, Contributing Writer, August 14, 2017 As I stood in the lobby of the Westside Theatre, a diminutive women of a certain age came up to me and my theatergoing companion, shook our hands, and introduced herself as Bobby Goldman, the author and subject of ...

Review: 'Macbeth' Proves To Be a Moving Experience—Quite Literally

By Megan Wrappe, Contributing Writer, August 14, 2017 As someone who frequents the theatre, I’m accustomed to taking my seat and remaining there for two hours, maybe longer. This isn’t exactly how the New York Classical Theatre presents their productions. Under the leadership of Artistic ...

Art Break: 'All The World's A Stage' For Hilary Knight

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, August 14, 2017 This week, our focus is on Hilary Knight, an artist with a wide ranging career in book illustration, stage and costume design, and writing. From his expressive pen came Eloise, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Wallace, the Algonquin Cat, and so ...

Jazz Notes: With History Behind Him, Christian McBride Celebrates James Brown, the Godfather of Soul

By Dan Ouellette, ZEAL Senior Editor, November 9, 2016

In the mid ’90s when he was a young, frisky jazz guy from Philadelphia who was taking New York by storm, bassist Christian Scott talked to me for an article in Strings magazine about some of ...

Jazz Notes: Dynamic Duo of Jazz Piano Improvisation: Herbie Hancock Converses Musically With Chick Corea in His Birthday Engagement at the Blue Note

Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea (late 1970s); courtesy of artists

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, November 1, 2016

“It’s special playing with Chick,” said Los Angeles-based musical polyglot ...

Jazz Notes: The Young Elder Norah Jones and the New Upstart Kandace Springs Bring Fresh Vocal Life to Blue Note Records

By Dan Ouellette, ZEALnyc Senior Editor, October 20, 2016

Entering into the elegant 274-seat neoclassical proscenium Loreto Theater at the Sheen Center for Thought & Culture in the East Village to hear the singular-voice Norah Jones officially launch her national and ...

Jazz Notes: Arturo O’Farrill Leads His Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra With Sizzling Rhythms and Subversive Politics

By Dan Ouellette, ZEALnyc Senior Editor, October 5, 2016

Earlier this year at one of his concerts, Arturo O’Farrill thanked the crowd with his credo of music. “We’re so anti-war, so anti-Congress, so anti-consolidation. We are so [counter],” the ...

Jazz Notes: Mega Jazz Action Coming To New York This Fall

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor, September 3, 2016

After a summer’s worth of primo jazz festivals spread all over the city of New York and throughout North America and Europe, you’d think that the end of August would signal the shuttering of 2016’s jazz ...

Jazz Notes: Young Vocalist/Composer Cécile McLorin Salvant Plays Jazz on Her Own Terms—From Eclectic Styles to Feminist Backlash

By Dan Ouellette, ZEALnyc Senior Editor, August 30, 2016

For the dynamic and creative jazz vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant to be largely unaware that the idiom was still vitally alive as she grew up is part of the good news of her ascent as the top singer in the ...

Jazz Notes: Bird Lives Forever—Modern Graffiti Makes Its Debut in New York

By Dan Ouellette, ZEALnyc Senior Editor, August 22, 2016

Modern graffiti was born when bebop king Charlie Parker tragically died at the age of 34 on March 12, 1955.

While the jazz saxophonist nicknamed Yardbird (or Bird for short) lived a relatively brief ...

Jazz Notes: ‘Enjoy the View’—The Final Recording by Jazz Master Bobby Hutcherson / 1941-2016 (Part 2)

By Dan Ouellette, ZEAL Senior Editor, August 19, 2016

In 2014 NEA Jazz Master Bobby Hutcherson made his triumphant return to Blue Note Records, where the virtuoso vibraphonist had started his career in the early ‘60s, with the superb album, Enjoy the ...

Jazz Notes: California Dreamer Jazz Master Vibraphone Virtuoso Bobby Hutcherson Passes Away at 75 (Part 1)

By Dan Ouellette, ZEAL Senior Editor, August 19, 2016

The jazz world lost a legend on Monday when 75-year-old vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson passed away at the home that he built in northern California, losing his long fight against emphysema. He had been awarded ...

Jazz Notes: Seven-String Jazz Guitarist Charlie Hunter Returns With Another Winner

By Dan Ouellette, ZEAL Senior Editor, July 22, 2016

Whether he’s been high profile or low profile on the music scene, seven-string guitarist Charlie Hunter has spent a quarter century honing his art as a jazz artist, a groove master and a blues-fueled ...

Jazz Notes: The Top 5 Summer Jazz Festivals Across the Northeast

Photo: Newport Jazz Festival

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor, Summer 2016

When the sun boldly arrives after the winter turns into a tentative spring, tomato and basil plants applaud in the verdant fields; short sleeves and shorts become the de ...

Jazz Notes: On the NYC Jazz Front, 6 Summer Festivals That Are Trending

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor, Summer 2016

OK, the winter wasn’t so very horrific this year (except for the record-breaking 29 inches of blizzardy snow), but it does seem like it’s taken summer a long time to arrive. Here we are at the brink of the ...

There’s a ‘Fascinating’ Brit Off Broadway

59E59 Theaters

http://www.59e59.org

59 East 59th Street

By Don Adkins, Managing Editor, June 10, 2016

I’ve read that there’s a large percentage of Americans who are Anglophiles, either openly or somewhat closeted, who love everything British, from their wonderful comedy series, movies, and probably some ...

Jazz Notes: Finger Lickin’ Soul Jazz by Young-Forever Hammond B-3 Bomber Dr. Lonnie Smith

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor, June 9, 2016

These days, it’s all about going home for 73-year-old Dr. Lonnie Smith, jazz’s preeminent Hammond B-3 organist, in light of his long-in-coming return after 45 years to Blue Note Records, the label that essentially ...

Jazz Notes: Forever Ellington Auction of the Duke’s Personal Treasures at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, May 13, 2016

In 1999, jazz scribe Bob Blumenthal wrote in The Boston Globe: “In the century since his birth, there has been no greater composer, American or otherwise, than Edward Kennedy Ellington.” Ten years ...

Jazz Notes: Violinist/Vocalist Jenny Scheinman Launches Into Mischief & Mayhem With Guitarist Nels Cline at Le Poisson Rouge

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, May 6, 2016

Four years ago when violinist, songwriter and bandleader Jenny Scheinman put together her Mischief & Mayhem band with guitarist Nels Cline, bassist Todd Sickafoose and drummer Jim Black, she knew that ...

Jazz Notes: Joel Harrison-Produced Alternative Guitar Summit Celebrates Its Sixth Season With Shows at National Sawdust and DROM

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, May 5, 2016

The founder and producer of the annual Alternative Guitar Summit, Joel Harrison calls the two-day, two-venue event a labor of love that he likens to the idea of having a “musical commons.” ...

Jazz Notes: On May 9 The Jazz Gallery Gala Celebrates the Maestro of Bebop: Todd Barkan


By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, April 29, 2016

Since 1995 The Jazz Gallery has been a jazz artist incubator where brilliant music has been created and supported—from MacArthur Fellow Steve Coleman to rising-star pianists such as Aaron Parks and ...

Jazz Notes: Pianist Kenny Barron Gives a Lesson on Intuition at Jazz Standard

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, April 25, 2016

Remarkably, while piano maestro Kenny Barron has recorded more than forty albums as a leader (and countless others as a valued sideman), he had never documented his impressive working trio of bassist Kiyoshi ...

Jazz Notes: Trumpeter Avishai Cohen Introduces His Brilliant New Album of Reflection and Celebration at Jazz Standard

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, April 25, 2016

Artists create in a variety of settings with a full spectrum of circumstances. Their works could be a gut-wrenching response to chaos and uncertainty. Or they could come alive in the placid midst of peace ...

Jazz Notes: 2016’s Most Buzzed About Newcomers, GoGo Penguin, Come to Le Poisson Rouge After Playing Coachella

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, April 18, 2016

While many people want jazz to stay mired in a straightahead, neotraditional realm, on the fringes meanwhile, a plethora of musicians have been applying the evolution factor—taking jazz into the future ...

Jazz Notes: Part 3 of Harlem Series—The National Jazz Museum in Harlem Reopens in New Space

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, April 15, 2016

In its nearly twenty-year history as an essential institution of America’s indigenous music, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem finds itself in a spanking new space in a reinvigorated area of the ...

Jazz Notes: Grégoire Maret Takes the Harmonica Into a World It’s Never Been Before


By Dan Ouellette, ZEAL Senior Editor, March 31, 2016

It can fit into your pocket (an iPhone of sound), and it can de dismissed as a toy instrument that someone gifted you with when you were a child. A zip of notes and it’s set aside for something ...

Jazz Notes: Taking the Role of Charlie Parker, Bel Canto Tenor Lawrence Brownlee Brings Opera to the Apollo

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, March 28, 2016

Saxophone legend and bebop co-founder Charlie Parker played at the Apollo Theater in Harlem many times in his short but charged career, including his first date there with the Earl Hines Orchestra in ...

Jazz Notes: Rock Hall of Famer Steve Miller Debuts “Out of This World—Ma Rainey Meets Miles Davis” at Jazz at Lincoln Center

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, March 24

A seminal rocker from the late ’60s/early ’70s San Francisco music scene, guitarist/vocalist Steve Miller not only perfected a catchy psychedelic blues vibe but also scored big AM radio hits with it ...

Jazz Notes: As the Rising Star of the Tenor Saxophone, the 27-Year-Old Chilean Native/New York-Based Melissa Aldana Delivers Her Impressive New Recording, “Back Home”

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, March 21, 2016

At the young age of 27, tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana has already matured into a major jazz star, possessing a singular voice on her instrument and a developing style of leading a trio. That’s evidenced ...

Jazz Notes: Jazz Master Tenor Saxophonist Jimmy Heath Helps to Induct Bebop Founder Charlie Parker Into Apollo Theater’s Walk of Fame

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEAL.nyc, March 16, 2016

“Charlie Parker is still the true icon of African-American music—jazz,” says tenor saxophonist Jimmy Heath, who played with and had a friendship with his mentor. He’ll be an integral figure on March ...

Jazz Notes (No. 2 in the Harlem Series): The Apollo Theater Launches a Celebration of Charlie Parker Ranging From Walk-of-Fame Induction to a New York Premiere of an Opera

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, March 15, 2016

Charlie Parker was an original, an innovator and as such was a pure artist. Along with his trumpeting buddy Dizzy Gillespie, the alto saxophonist broke all the rules of jazz in the mid ‘40s by upending ...

Jazz Notes: NEA Jazz Master Vocalist and National Treasure Sheila Jordan Revisits Material From a 1991 Recording at National Sawdust

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc.com, March 11, 2016

What’s impressive about her performance at National Sawdust (curated by vocalist Theo Bleckmann) on March 17 is that the 87-year-old vocalist treasure Sheila Jordan will be revisiting material ...

Jazz Notes: Virtuoso Guitarist Julian Lage Returns to New York at Rockwood With His New Album

By Denin Koch, Contributing Writer ZEALnyc, and Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, March 1, 2016

The last major gig guitarist Julian Lage played in New York was in October at Zankel Hall. He returns to the city to celebrate his new album Arclight with ...

Jazz Notes: Celebrated Pianist Marcus Roberts Debuts Songs About Presidential Candidates With His Trio at Birdland

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, February 29, 2016

In his five-evening residency at Birdland, pianist Marcus Roberts with his trio will be debuting music from an EP of songs, Race for the White House, inspired by four presidential ...

The Magic of Trending Jazz Star Saxophonist Kamasi Washington

Dan Ouellette, Sr. Editor, February 26, 2016

Thanks to his association with 2015’s breakout pop star Kendrick Lamar (he played sax on his To Pimp a Butterfly album that the Village Voice’s Pazz & ...