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Jazz & Cabaret News & Reviews

The latest news in New York City jazz. From The Apollo to Jazz at Lincoln Center, from the Jazz Standard to the Blue Note, find previews, reviews and commentary here at ZEALnyc.

Richard Skipper Celebrates The Season With Special Guest Kathryn Crosby

ZEALnyc, November 27, 2017 Do you remember all those variety show holiday specials from yesteryear? Well, you can relive that experience on December 3rd at the Laurie Beechman Theater (407 West 42nd Street) when multi-faceted entertainer and arts advocate Richard Skipper hosts one of his ...

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, “thrilling” isn’t quite the right word: it was too happy and sweet for that, and maybe the Carnegie Hall demographic, ...

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 cross-cultural doubleheader of her early ...

New York Renaissance Faire

Life In Focus: It's Fairy-Nice at the New York Renaissance ...

By Juliana Crawford, Contributing Photographer, September 20, 2018   [caption id="attachment_60766" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Consulting a Book of Magic and Spells at the Faire; photo: Juliana Crawford.[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_60771" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] The Villagers of the Renaissance Faire; photo: Juliana Crawford.[/caption]   [...

PermaDeath

The First Video Game Opera, 'PermaDeath,' Receives Its World ...

By Doug Hall, Contributing Writer, September 19, 2018 At first glance, the title of Cerise Jacobs’s upcoming world’s first video game opera PermaDeath seems to imply another dark take or tale using the commercial success and wide-spread popularity of the multiplayer video game phenomenon. But ...

Judson Dance Theater

Roots of Modern Dance Are Traced through MoMA's Current Exhibit ...

By Sheila Kogan, Contributing Writer, September 18, 2018 The current exhibit at MoMA entitled Judson Dance Theater: The Work is Never Done is an homage to the dance artists who created work at the Judson Church in the 60s and 70s. The dancers and choreographers who created ...

The Power of Art

Art Break: The Power of Art Through the Ages at ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, September 17, 2018 This week, Art Break is looking at a wide variety of art movements as well as their purpose and meaning. The oldest material on our list comes from The Frick’s exhibition of fifteenth century religious and devotional ...

There Will Be Blood

Review: Film Soundtracks Take Center Stage in NY Philharmonic's Art ...

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, September 14, 2018 If the New York Philharmonic were to program an evening of music by avant-garde Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, I suspect it would be a tough sell. The audience would be limited, and probably dwindle in number as the night ...

Agnes

Review: 'Agnes' Brings Dramatic and Meteorological Tensions to 59E59 Theater

By Miles Harter, Contributing Writer, September 14, 2018 Agnes is a compelling play about family, friendship, and connections. Set in a three-bedroom New York City apartment, Agnes presents five millennials sheltering themselves from a major storm. The talented playwright, Catya McMullen, adeptly sets up the backstory for ...

Feast of San Gennaro

The Feast of San Gennaro Returns to NYC's Little Italy

ZEALnyc, September 13, 2018 For the 92nd time the Feast of San Gennaro, a faith-based celebration honoring the Patron Saint of Naples, Italy, takes place in the neighborhood of Manhattan affectionately known as "Little Italy" (Mulberry Street between Canal and Houston Streets; the festival stage is located ...

Collective Rage

Review: 'Collective Rage' — a Terrific Play in 5 Betties

By Jil Picariello, Theater Editor, September 13, 2018 How many Betties does it take to make a great play? Five, if the new play from the MCC Theater at the Lucille Lortel is any proof. Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Betties by Jen Silverman, directed by Mike ...

A Day @

A Day @: Williamsburg Provides Uncommon Eating, Shopping, and People Watching

By Anne Marie Kelly, Contributing Writer, September 12, 2018 Williamsburg is yet another one of Brooklyn's neighborhoods which has transformed over the last couple of decades. It morphed from a sad example of urban decay to a much sought-after home to the young and vibrant. It has ...

Scraps

Review: 'Scraps' Explores the Pain of Survival

By Jil Picariello, Theater Editor, September 11, 2018 It’s a story we’ve heard so often that we have to fight complacency: a young man is shot and killed by police, for doing nothing more than being black. Which is why a visit to the Flea ...

Jazz Notes: The Queen of Cabaret Marilyn Maye Dazzlingly Swings Into Jazz at Lincoln Center’s The Appel Room

Jazz at Lincoln Center

www.jazz.org

Jazz at Lincoln Center, 3 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, October 19, 2017 The iconic cabaret singer Marilyn Maye loves to work. In fact, she says with gusto, “I work every day of my life.” As the preeminent singer of the “art of song,” as she calls it, Maye exudes a theatrical flair in conversation. One ...

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 support elderly blues and jazz artists in ...

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 played by bona fides who had festival ...

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 hits on October 14 at The Steps at 300 ...

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 of “Epistrophy” through a ...

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 his benefit. But on the evening of ...

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 generation. Most often, the poets were ...

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 connection with the artists themselves. ...

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 Heads Up imprint of Concord Records. Named ...

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 with John in 2012 for DownBeat on the ...

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 intrigued various European jazz ...

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 Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim is ...

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 all that much jazz. That’s the ...

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 Friday, August 4 through Sunday, August ...

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 account, he was totally surprised when ...

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 Reach, the New Haven, Connecticut-based rising star on the ...

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) or recording albums ranging from solo ...

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 opportunity to perform for large ...

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 this group. Guitarist Jesse Lewis and ...

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 a profile elevation this past year, he still finds that ...

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 centennial of her birth, but it’s a ...

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 Obed Calvaire—to join in with him in what ...

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 did on Friday, May 5 was one better. ...

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 a previously undiscovered recording of these ...

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 Theater in 1934 when she won the ...

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 interplay of the individual voices of the ...

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 volcanic drummer Dennis Chambers, settled ...

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 East West Time Line, however, Kevin ...

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 call-to-action is coming from the aisles of ...

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.” He explained, “It’s my ...

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. This is Rosenwinkel’s version of a rock ...

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 gravitated to tape players and the piano ...

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