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Jazz & Cabaret News & Reviews

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 ...

Review: 'Babes in Toyland'—A Nostalgic Delight with MasterVoices at ...

By Sheila Kogan, Contributing Writer, April 28, 2017 A concert version of Babes in Toyland was presented at the exquisite Carnegie Hall on Thursday evening. First produced in 1903, the Victor Herbert operetta is considered a landmark because it was a bridge between European-style operetta and American musical ...

Review: Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon—Alternating ‘Foxes’ on Broadway

By Christopher Caggiano, Contributing Writer, April 28, 2017 It’s a great marketing ploy: cast two of the strongest actors of their generation opposite each other in an iconic play, and then have them switch off in the two central roles. If things go well, you just ...

Review: 'That True Phoenix' Tells the Tale of Da Ponte, ...

By Miles Harter, Contributing Writer, April 28, 2017 That True Phoenix tells the story of the fascinating and long life of Lorenzo Da Ponte, who is best known for being the librettist of three of Mozart’s greatest operas, Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro, and Così ...

Review: Natalie Dessay Brings Artistry of the Highest Order to ...

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, April 27, 2017 It’s Natalie Dessay’s world; you and I just live in it. Dessay is one of the sovereign communicative artists of our era, whose every moment onstage seems fully lived and completely expressed. She wastes no time on ...

The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) at the Armory This ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, April 27, 2017 TEFAF (The European Fine Art Fair) was founded 30 years ago by a group of art dealers looking to expand their base audience of connoisseurs and collectors. Held in Maastricht, The Netherlands every March, it has become one of ...

Review: 'Bandstand' Dances, But Doesn't Always Deliver

By Sheila Kogan, Contributing Writer, April 27, 2017 There are so many elements to be savored in the new Broadway production Bandstand. First and foremost is the wonderfully inventive choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, who also serves as the show’s director. It was great fun to watch ...

Review: 'Six Degrees of Separation' Sparks a Connection

By Jil Picariello, Theater Editor, April 26, 2017 Oh, that Allison Janney. She can do more with one little finger than most performers can manage with their entire bodies. And that voice. That deep, dry, hilarious, wonderful voice. She’s one of that rare ones who can ...

#MakeItMagnifique: Tea and Cheese at the French Cheese Board in ...

By Natasha Nesic, Contributing Writer, April 26, 2017 Sometimes joy comes sliced between poached pears and baguette. So it is at the French Cheese Board, a tender slice of SoHo at 41 Spring Street. Polyglot gourmand Charles Duque created this permanent pop-up to communicate the creamy wonder of ...

100 Days, Funding and a Shutdown - We've Seen It Before ...

By Mark McLaren with Helaine Feldman, Contributing Writer, April 26, 2017 There is, if you can believe it, even greater scrutiny on President Trump this week as he approaches his first 100 days in office, and as he and Congress haggle over funding a wall, Obamacare, and the ...

Jazz Notes: Jazz Icon Ella Fitzgerald Honored With NYC Mayoral ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...