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Jazz & Cabaret News & Reviews

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 ...

Review: Baritone Andrei Bondarenko Brings His Communicative Power To Weill ...

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, December 12, 2017 The voice-police were out in force for Andrei Bondarenko’s performance Friday night at Weill Recital Hall, and from the look of things, they were not most pleased, although candor compels me to note that few of them disdained ...

Review: Violinist Janine Jansen's 'Perspectives' Proves Exciting and Enlightening at ...

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, December 11, 2017 Dutch violinist Janine Jansen’s reverential following is bound to proliferate in the wake of her five-concert Perspectives series this season at Carnegie Hall, the second installment of which took place December 9 at Zankel Hall.  Two days after a ...

Review: Alvin Ailey Is 'Electrifying' In Its Holiday Residency at ...

By Bethany Hopta, Contributing Writer, December 11, 2017 This past Saturday evening's performance of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was electrifying and diverse. [caption id="attachment_48201" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 'Memoria;' photo: Steve Wilson.[/caption] The evening began with Memoria, ...

Review: Philadelphia Orchestra Is In 'Superb Form' Under Nézet-Sé...

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, December 11, 2017 The Philadelphia Orchestra's latest Carnegie Hall appearance under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin began exhilaratingly with the New York premiere of Thomas Adès's newly expanded Suite from Powder Her Face, an orchestral suite appropriating music from ...

Jazz Notes: Two Weeks of Maestro Kenny Barron at the ...

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 ...

Art Break: Combining Elements in 'Mary Frank Pilgrimage' at DC ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, December 11, 2017 A lot of powerful art can be created using the environment as an inspiration but it also can be easy to miss the mark. After all, when you get down to it, the natural world is more complicated ...

Review: 'Pirates' At Play At Skirball

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, December 8, 2017 The first snow of the season is predicted this weekend, and respite from the cold can be found at NYU Skirball Center for the few remaining performances of The Hypocrites' summery version of The Pirates of Penzance. The audience ...

The Magical Evening of Singalong: The Music of Stevie Wonder ...

By Dan Ouellette, ZEALnyc Senior Editor, December 8, 2017 As we are fully entered into the holiday season, the art of song holds sway, ranging from omnipresent secular carols to time-honored Hanukkah folk tunes to the majestic Handel’s Messiah oratorio. But this year as we approach ...

Things Are Running AMOC In Boston (And If All Goes ...

By Doug Hall, Contributing Writer, December 8, 2017 Looking for the re-invention of opera’s traditional image? Look no further, as Boston is becoming a hot-bed of boundary-pushing, inventive, chance-taking artists. Witness the launch of the American Modern Opera Company (AMOC) introducing its first line-up of productions ...

There's A New 'Elf' In Town and You're Going To ...

By Mercedes Vizcaino, Contributing Writer, December 6, 2017 The holiday season is upon us, and this year Madison Square Garden will be dazzling audiences with a new stage adaptation of Elf the Musical. Based on the wildly popular film Elf, starring Will Ferrell, this holiday favorite now ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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, ...

The Best Jazz Festival of the Year Happens to be in NYC

Various locations

http://www.winterjazzfest.com/

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor, December 28, 2016

What started twelve 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, ...

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, ...

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 ...