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Jazz & Cabaret News & Reviews

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 ...

Shakespeare Reigns (Even When It Rains) In Outdoor Productions Around ...

ZEALnyc, June 23, 2017 Presenting Shakespeare’s plays in outdoor settings during the summer months has become a veritable institution in America and around the world. New Yorkers have been privileged with the Public Theater having started their tradition in Central Park in the early 60’s, and ...

The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Summer Theater

ZEALnyc, June 23, 2017 The phrase "summer theater" conjures up images of everything from small converted barns and non-typical performing spaces showcasing the talents of youthful, up-and-coming performers, all the way to prestigious, highly-regarded festivals bringing together high-profile star-dotted casts and directors; thereby enabling us to while ...

Berkshire Theatre Group Brings Musicals, Dramas and Farce to Multi-Venue ...

By Doug Hall, Contributing Writer, June 22, 2017 What do famous Hollywood legends and current film stars have in common with Western Massachusetts? A history and a connection to the Berkshire Theatre Group. Gracing the stage of the Colonial Theatre from when it first opened its doors ...

Kick Up Your Heels at Lincoln Center's Midsummer Night Swing

ZEALnyc, June 22, 2017 Certain events and traditions help us celebrate the changing seasons. While during most of the year activities take place indoors in concert hall venues and theaters, we know it's summer when everything starts moving outdoors. For three weeks each summer the plaza in ...

Review: 'Fulfillment Center,' A Quietly Moving Character Study

By Jil Picariello, Theater Editor, June 21, 2017 There's a long strip of a stage. A folding chair. And six orange cones. But something is missing in the lives of the folks in the new Manhattan Theatre Club production Fulfillment Center by Abe Koogler. Oh yes, fulfillment. ...

Summer on the Hudson: Sponsoring Free Events All Summer at ...

ZEALnyc, June 21, 2017 Summer on the Hudson, sponsored by the NYC Parks department, features an unbelievable number of special events and full day festivals for individuals, as well as the whole family. Dividing Riverside Park into sections, each area sponsors a whole range of performances and ...

Review: The Laudable But Rambling Path of ‘Bella: An American ...

By Christopher Caggiano, Contributing Writer, June 20, 2017 There aren’t nearly enough women or African Americans writing musical theater. Not by a long shot. So when someone comes along who is both, it’s really something to celebrate, even if the results don’t always measure ...

Patrick Wilson Replaces Steven Pasquale in New York City Center ...

ZEALnyc, June 20, 2017 While the 2017 Tony Awards are still fresh, New York's new theater season begins. Early and with turmoil. 1984, fresh from a successful run at London's Almeida Playhouse opens this week with a dystopian look at society that could speak to the import of social ...

'1984'—The First Broadway Production of the 2017-2018 Season

By Helaine Feldman, Contributing Writer, June 20, 2017 It’s a book; it’s a film, and now it’s a play. It’s George Orwell’s classic 1984, written in 1949, which gives a chilling look at a future marked by war, government surveillance and public mind control. ...

Review: NYCO Celebrates the LGBT Community With 'Angels in America'

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, June 19, 2017 Commencing a new annual tradition of programming in honor of LGBT Pride in June, New York City Opera recently presented the New York premiere of Hungarian composer Pétér Eötvös's 2004 operatic adaptation of Tony Kushner's great ...

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 ...

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 & ...

Jazz Notes: The Beginnings of Marc Ribot’s Brilliant Los Cubanos Postizos

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

Before he formed his brilliant band Los Cubanos Postizos in circa 1997, guitarist Marc Ribot had never stepped foot in Cuba. He doesn’t have an ounce of Latino blood flowing through his veins. And ...

Jazz Notes: Gin Fizz Brings Back the Spirit, Soul and Innovation of an Old-Time Speakeasy in Harlem

Photos by  Caroline Conejero.
Left: Marc Cary’s band; right, Francesco Pini

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, February 12, 2016

It’s a Thursday night in Harlem at 125th Street and Lenox Avenue (aka Malcolm X Boulevard) and ...

Sweet Spots in Harlem—Gin Fizz Speakeasy: Second in ZEALnyc Harlem Neighborhood Series

Photos by Caroline Conejero.

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, February 12, 2016

It’s a Thursday night in Harlem at 125th Street and Lenox Avenue (aka Malcolm X Boulevard) and juicy uptown jazz is ready to cook. The street is relatively ...

Jazz Notes: Clarinet Virtuoso David Krakauer Talks About His Life in Music as a Backgrounder for His Show at Le Poisson Rouge

Photo by GMD

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, February 2, 2016

David Krakauer is a marvel…as a virtuoso clarinetist, as an adventurous spirit who’s steeped in his Eastern European Jewish heritage, as a musical boundary breaker ...

Jazz Notes: Pianist Aaron Goldberg Tells the Story of How Expatriate Drummer Leon Parker Returns and Begins His Next Chapter at National Sawdust

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEAL.nyc, February 1, 2016

“Leon Parker was the cat who was starting to push the boundaries of what it meant to be a jazz drummer in the early ‘90s,” recalls pianist Aaron Goldberg who at ten years younger was a keen observer ...

Jazz Notes: Saxophonist Charles Lloyd Brings in the Guitars for His New Recording

By Dan Ouellette, ZEAL Senior Editor January 25, 2016

In 2015, iconic saxophonist/flautist Charles Lloyd continued his innovative trajectory into the upper spheres of jazz and the spiritual realms of wonder and beauty. It was a banner year for the veteran jazz ...

Jazz Notes: David Bowie Collaborators Saxophonist Donny McCaslin and His Trio at Village Vanguard

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

On January 11 that day after David Bowie died, Billboard interviewed tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin, who had been a major figure in the recording of the pop icon’s finale, Blackstar. A ...

Jazz Notes: Saxophonist/Composer Adam Larson Tells Stories by Choosing Marathon Over Sprint

By Dan Ouellette, ZEALnyc Senior Editor, January 11, 2016

In the midst of his still-young career, saxophonist/composer Adam Larson has had to learn the difficult challenge of choosing between the sprint and the marathon. “I’m a go-getter person and I want ...