Dizzy’s Club Jazz Fest, Randy Weston residency
Ron Scott | 9/3/2015, 2:34 p.m.
As the long hot summer sun bows to the shorter brisk days of fall and winter, jazz enthusiasts fold up their leisure chairs as the outdoor free jazz concerts become a warm, swinging memory. Fall marks the beginning of indoor concerts, with enthusiasts venturing out in hats and sweaters to support this music called jazz that personifies a culture and denotes everything that is hip and real.
Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola (Jazz at Lincoln Center, 60th Street and Broadway) will present the first post-summer festival to break out the gate. The sixth annual Coca-Cola Generations in Jazz Festival runs now through Sept. 30. This is a multigenerational meeting of jazz masters and emerging artists coming together in various collaborations, with over 300 musicians in 30 nights.
Sept. 3, for two sets at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., the drummer Louis Hayes performs. Hayes has enjoyed stints with John Coltrane, Curtis Fuller and Horace Silver. For this evening, he will be joined by pianist Victor Gould, trumpeter Bruce Harris, saxophonist Patrick Bartley, bassist Alex Claffy and vibraphonist Joel Ross.
The drummer Jimmy Cobb, most acknowledged for his playing on Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue” and Coltrane’s “Giant Steps,” will perform the following evening. His featured musicians will be pianist Tadataka Unno, saxophonist Javon Jackson and bassist John Webber.
The pianist and composer Kenny Barron, known for his post-bop style and moving ballads, appears Sept. 6. The NEA Jazz Master’s abled accompanists will include bassist Ben Williams, saxophonist Marcus Strickland and drummer Joe Dyson.
If you are looking for expressions and explorations that push jazz to the outer limits then Sept. 8, don’t miss the Revive Big Band, led by Igmar Thomas. The Cookers, an all-star collaborative group, will hold court Sept. 10-13 (two shows each night), featuring pianist George Cables, saxophonist Billy Harper, bassist Cecil McBee, trumpeters Eddie Henderson and David Weiss, saxophonist Donald Harrison, and drummer Billy Hart.
For a complete listing, visit www.jalc.org. For reservations, call 212-258-9595.
Pianist, composer and jazz’s African guru Randy Weston will appear at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music Sept. 10 (7 p.m. to 9 p.m.). He will hold a conversation on “Who Is Randy Weston?” with Robin D.G. Kelley.
This free event is the first in a series that highlights the New School’s announcement of Weston being named the school’s first ever artist-in-residence for academic year 2015-2016. This program will introduce Weston and his long career through a conversation with Kelley (professor of American history at UCLA, author of “Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original,” 2009) with piano demonstrations and video samples.
Weston, who recently returned from Senegal, stated, “This residency is the spirit of the ancestors. This is a spiritual thing that will enhance our culture. When you listen to the music of Africa, you hear everything from jazz to blues.”
Future events will feature various aspects of Weston’s artistry and his major influences, including traditional Gnawa musicians from Morocco (Oct. 13), master drummers from Senegal (Nov. 17), “The Piano Is a Drum: Weston and Senegalese Master Drummers in a Tribute to Doudou N’Diaye Roseas,” well as a symposium in the African drum and a major closing concert (both of which will take place in spring 2016).
As a strong believer in Pan-Africanism, Weston will discuss in each program the influence of African music and culture on his own music, and perform with guest artists.
Weston, who stands at 6-foot-6, has a calming voice that soothes the soul, similar to his piano playing and compositions. Throughout his career that spanned over six decades, he developed lasting relationships and collaborations with Langston Hughes, the musician and arranger Melba Liston, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Coleman Hawkins, Thelonious Monk, Billy Strayhorn and Max Roach. He has also developed relationships with the Cuban percussionist Candido Camero, the Ghanaian jazz artist Kofi Ghanaba, the Gnawa musicians of Morocco and those in Senegal.
In October 2010, Duke University Press published “African Rhythms: The Autobiography of Randy Weston,” composed by Randy Weston, arranged by Willard Jenkins.
The opening event will take place at John L. Tishman Auditorium, University Center, 63 Fifth Ave. (Room U100).