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Jazz & Cabaret News & Reviews

Review: Catherine Russell Is Thrilling In ‘Harlem On My Mind’ At Zankel Hall

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, November 6, 2017

As predicted, Catherine Russell’s Harlem On My Mind, this past Friday night at Zankel Hall, was….well, ...

Jazz Notes: Dynamic Pianist/Vocalist Eliane Elias Marvels at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall With a Doubleheader of Inspiration

By Dan Ouellette, ZEAL Senior Editor, October 26, 2017

When the Brazil-born, New York-based pianist and vocalist Eliane Elias settles in to Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall on November 3 and 4, she will be reflecting on the spectrum of her career in a ...

Jazz Notes: The Jazz Foundation of America’s 26th Annual Loft Party — A Night for the Soul

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, October 18, 2017

With its motto (“Please help us to save the very people who saved you all these years with their music”), the New York-based Jazz Foundation of America has been raising funds to help and ...

Review: A Magical ‘Brigadoon’ at Encores! City Center

By Christopher Caggiano, Contributing Writer, November 20, 2017 Whatever happened to Brigadoon? Not the place, the musical. Yeah, the place supposedly comes back every 100 years, but it was beginning to look like a century might pass before we saw the musical again in a full-scale professional production. ...

Review: Female-Centric Programming Takes Center Stage with the New York ...

By Megan Wrappe, Contributing Writer, November 20, 2017 Women have always been huge contributors to the arts, from celebrated costume designers, to award-winning writers, directors and producers. This past Friday the New York Pops chose to honor the musical side of the equation with its concert Women ...

Art Break: Another Side of Louise Bourgeois on Display at ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, November 20, 2017 Although Louise Bourgeois is known as a sculptor, she was also an accomplished artist in the areas of drawing, painting and printing. Less known are her works in textiles, often done in collaboration with other artists. Now on ...

Review: Benjamin Grosvenor Dazzles In Recital at 92nd Street Y

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, November 17, 2017 Hailed as a child prodigy who has gone on to a promising solo career, British concert pianist Benjamin Grosvenor dazzled New York audiences on Wednesday at the 92nd Street Y with an ambitious program both rangy and highly rewarding. ...

Review: The Mariinsky Orchestra With Its Massive Sound Is A ...

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, November 17, 2017 At least three things emerge from the Mariinsky Orchestra’s back-to-back concerts at Carnegie Hall this week. First, the Mariinsky is a world treasure. Second, Sergei Prokofiev is arguably the finest writer of music for orchestra since Hector Berlioz. ...

Review: ‘Latin History for Morons’ Is Entertaining and Laced with ...

By Mercedes Vizcaino, Contributing Writer, November 16, 2017 Unapologetic, of-the-moment, matured and funny. Just some of the words that come to mind describing John Leguizamo’s sixth one-man stage production, Latin History for Morons, currently running at the iconic Studio 54 in New York City. Leguizamo’s claim ...

Review: The Swedish Chamber Orchestra Presents A Magnificent 'Missa Solemnis' ...

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, November 14, 2017 Nearly two centuries after its completion, people still pretty much fall into two camps about Beethoven’s Missa solemnis: they think it’s either one of the greatest pieces of music ever written, or the chaotic leavings of a ...

Getting Up Close and Personal With Michelangelo at the Met

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, November 13, 2017 There are times when an artist’s name becomes verbal shorthand for discussing anything that remotely resembles their talent – or when it doesn’t. As a result it’s easy to lose sight of the original reason for ...

Art Break: The Fabric of Our Lives Through the Eyes ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, November 13, 2017 A lot of people dream of travelling the world. They want to experience firsthand the joys of walking down narrow streets surrounded by the colors, smells, and sounds of other lands and cultures. Art Break takes a different ...

Music In the Digital Age Sparks Creation of the Open ...

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, November 10, 2017 Virtuoso pianist Joel Fan, a celebrated champion of new music and member of Yo Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble, is launching the Open Source Music Festival at the Lower East Side's Abrons Art Center on November 16—18. This is a ...

Jazz Notes: Renegade Upright Bassist Miles Mosley Plays Soul to Psychedelic to Jazz With the West Coast Get Down

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, October 16, 2017

Diversity thematically informed the Monterey Jazz Festival last month with the brilliantly designed programming. Main stage acts honored the jazz masters Diz, Monk, Sonny, Ella. These pleasing sets were ...

Jazz Notes: Virtuoso Conguero Pedrito Martinez Opens the 3rd Edition of BRIC JazzFest With a Free Show

The Steps

https://www.bricartsmedia.org/events-performances/outdoor-kickoff-concert-pedrito-martinez-group

300 Ashland Corner of Flatbush and Lafayette Avenues, Brooklyn, NY 11217

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, October 9, 2017

The ambitious and creative BRIC JazzFest (October 14-21) kicks off its third annual festival with a free outdoor concert featuring Cuban virtuoso conguero Pedrito Martinez and his blazing band. The show ...

Jazz Notes: Visionary Arranger John Beasley Brings His Tribute to Thelonious Monk with His MONKestra Big Band at Jazz Standard

By Dan Ouellette, ZEALnyc Senior Editor, October 2, 2017

At the opening night of the North Sea Jazz Festival in July, from the opening angular piano notes followed by clarinets and bass clarinets taking the main melody line on the Afro-Cuban-inflected re-envision ...

Jazz Notes: Berklee Hosts a Gala Honoring Jazz Impresario Fred Taylor and the Stars Come Out

By Doug Hall, Contributing Writer, September 20, 2017

In all his years as the legendary music promoter of the Boston area and cultivator of many renowned jazz musicians and contemporary artists, Fred Taylor hardly expected someone to be promoting musical acts for ...

Jazz Notes: Drummer Matt Wilson Channels Poet Laureate Carl Sandburg at Jazz Standard

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, September 8, 2017

The kinship between jazz and poetry has been a mainstay of the fine arts world, dating back to the 1920s and most prominently spawned during the Harlem Renaissance, the Beat movement and the hip-hop ...

Jazz Notes: Photographer Adriana Mateo’s Exhibit at WBGO Spiritually Shows How She Engages With Her Subject

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, September 5, 2017

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the New York-based photographer since 1992 Adriana Mateo not only engages the viewer with her art work but also in the process of capturing her image makes an intimate ...

Jazz Notes: Guitar Legend Mike Stern’s Latest Album ‘Trip’ Takes Us On a Thrilling Ride

By Denin Koch, Contributing Writer, August 29, 2017

Mike Stern has never been one to take himself too seriously but has also always put out seriously good music. Never has this paradox been more apparent than with his latest effort, Trip, released on the ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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) ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...