From the very beginning the saxophonist, flutist, composer and arranger Henry Threadgill performed his perception jazz on the outer limits of its parameters.
Since 1925, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem has been one of the world’s leading cultural institutions through the Harlem Renaissance to preservation, and exhibition of materials (arts and culture) focused on global Black history, African diaspora and African American experiences.
The votes are in: 87,000 were counted for the upcoming 6th New York City Readers Jazz Awards to be held on Nov. 24 at one of Manhattan’s busiest jazz hubs Birdland (315 West 44th Street), at 4 p.m. Some of these awardees/winners will perform.
The Nublu Jazz Festival now in its 10th year can be described as an exhilarating roller coaster ride but much hipper than that Coney Island trip.
The recent 22nd annual Joy of Jazz Festival held in Johannesburg, South Africa was an extended industrious program that began in New York City at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall “South African Songbook Celebrating 25 Years of Democracy”
The BRIC JazzFest, which has been running since Oct. 19 in Brooklyn, culminates with its well-anticipated three-day Marathon, Oct. 24-26. It features more than 20 artists, who are well worth seeing although some of their names may not be familiar but like them you have to be adventurous and check them out.
When one mentions great trumpeters in jazz history like Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Clifford Brown and Freddie Hubbard, the name of Roy Hargrove must be included. He was the best trumpeter of his generation, as well as the most influential.
One year after pianist and composer Randy Weston was called by the ancestors his neighborhood street, the corner of Lafayette and Grand Avenues in Brooklyn was co-named Randy Weston Way on Sept. 29.
As the summer sun transforms to autumn leaves, Jazzmobile at Minton’s Playhouse (206 West 118th Street) continues on Sept. 19
From September 12-14, “The South African Songbook: Celebrating 25 Years of Democracy” proudly continues at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola (60th Street and Broadway) with special South African guest pianists; the established composer Hilton Schilder and the young gun Bakari Dyer.
The Harlem Jazz Boxx, presenting the most adventurous jazz series in Harlem, continues with its Sept. 3, 10, 17, and 24 lineup featuring Craig Harris and Harlem Nightsongs Big Band.
The Harlem Jazz & Music Festival began Aug. 10 and runs through Aug. 31. This first annual festival is being presented in a variety of venues throughout Harlem.
On Aug. 23 Jazzmobile at Marcus Garvey Park swings with Harlem 100: Mwenso and the Shakes, vocalist Brianna Thomas, South African vocalist Vuyo Sotashe and special guest saxophonist Fred Wesley (James Brown band), and drummer Winard Harper & Jeli Possewith a show 7 p.m.-9 p.m.
On Aug. 8, Bronx Music Heritage Center at 1303 Louis Nine Blvd., will present its new series New Voices in Latin Music, at 7 p.m. New Bojaira (Bo-hi-ra) blends jazz improvisation with flamenco rhythms and singing to create a combination a multi-cultural excursion.
Summertime for jazz lovers offers as many opportunities to see great outdoor concerts and festivals as birds chirping their favorite songs.
These opening weeks for Jazzmobile are a testimony to why the nonprofit organization has maintained its reputation as the best jazz Summerfest in the Big Apple.
Despite the metamorphoses of Harlem—or plain old forced gentrification—there has been one constant mainstay in Harlem and that is Jazzmobile, since 1964.
The vocalist, songwriter Somi, whose music has become a definitive source in the realm of jazz, will present her second ongoing performing arts program, Salon Africana.
Monday Night Jam sessions return to Patrick’s Place Restaurant & Lounge (2835 Frederick Douglass Blvd. on 151st Street) with the Benny Rubin Band,7 p.m.-10 p.m., no cover just great music. Berta the producer of this event tells me Rubin, a 19-year old alto saxophonist, is a smokin’ young gun.
The Jazz Power Initiative is one of the significant organizations filling the void left by New York City’s public schools not offering all students classes in the arts from theater, dance and music.
James Reese Europe was a pioneering phenomenon in the world of Black music that translated into ragtime and early jazz.
Arturo O’Farrill & the Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble featuring the French American singer, lyricist Malika Zarra will appear at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem (58 West 129th Street) April 18 at 8 p.m.
To carry on the legacy of his former band mate, Sonny Fortune, the trumpeter Kamau Adilifu Quartet will present a concert in his honor March 22 at 7:30 p.m. at The Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Symphony Space (West 97th Street & Broadway, Manhattan).
The women of Havana, Cuba move with a lyrical flow as they walk down those hot busy streets with a destination in mind but no neurotic effort to get there.
The pianist and composer Christian Sands has grown from a rising young musician to watch to a seasoned 29-year-old to be seen whenever he hits town.
The deed, the project, the incredible body of music by the trombonist, composer and arranger Craig Harris is complete.
In an effort to get you kicked started into the new year, here is a short list of New Year’s Eve happenings in the Big Apple.
The saxophonist/flutist and composer Charles Lloyd is one of our iconic elders.
Daa’iya El-Sanusi, who hosted one of the most important live radio shows in Harlem that streamed around the world, died Nov. 11 in New York. She was 63.
Sonny Fortune, who played alto saxophone like an erupting volcano, with a flute sound reminiscent of a mysterious night covered by a full moon, died.
Hamiet Bluiett, the innovative musician and composer who gave new definition to the relevance of the baritone saxophone, died Oct. 4, at his home in Brooklyn, Ill. He was 78.
After the Joy of Jazz fest, Kevin Naidoo, the owner of The Orbit jazz club, a major Johannesburg jazz venue, had a “post jam session” for the remaining musicians in the city, as well as festival participants and local jazzheads. Those dynamic festival highlighters, the Nairobi Horns from Kenya, performed, and they were still fired up. “This is our first time playing in such a large festival and now Orbit,” said MacKinlay Mutsembi, the trumpeter and co-founder. “This is fantastic!”
As Mayor Herman Mashaba of Johannesburg stated, “What better place to have a jazz festival than in the heart of this great city, where music is a part of our life?”
Jerry Gonzalez, the Latin jazz innovator, whose multi-instrumental talent effortlessly merged the genres of Afro-Cuban jazz, straight-ahead jazz, salsa and Latin jazz, died around midnight Oct. 1. He was 69.
By the end of the 1940s into the 1950s, the smoky tenor-textured voice of Nat King Cole had all the young bobby-sox girls mesmerized.
The all-star ensemble will feature alto saxophonists Greg Osby, Vincent Herring and Jaleel Shaw and tenor saxophonist Jon Irabagon, with pianist Helen Sung, bassist Lonnie Plaxico and drummer Matt Wilson.
Randy Weston, the Brooklyn native and son of Africa, died peacefully Sept. 1, at his brownstone in Brooklyn. He was 92.
Randy Weston, the Brooklyn native and son of Africa, who made the history of the motherland a prerequisite to his live performances and many albums such as Uhuru Africa (1960) died peacefully Sept. 1, at his brownstone in Brooklyn. He was 92.
What happened? Summer is over already? Not fair. The winter seems to hang on like a hungry alligator, but the summer sun fads into the wintry night like a Billie Holiday blues song.
Camille Thurman was the second place winner of the Sarah Vaughan Vocal Competition, but the rising composer, tenor saxophonist and flutist assured me the brass instrument is her first love.
Aretha Franklin, the singer and pianist who, from her musical pulpit, spun her gospel upbringing into a spirited soulful sound, died August 16 at her home in Detroit. She was 76.
Since Harlem Week’s inception as “Harlem Day” in 1974, its metamorphosis has gradually blossomed into Harlem Month, from July 29 through Aug. 25.
The mezzo-soprano keys of Alicia Olatuja’s vocal instrument can easily dissolve into a rich honey flavored texture as she swings into her jazz element.
Covering the Umbria Jazz Festival was somewhat of a surreal experience.
Most recently, Umbria Jazz 18 celebrated its 45th anniversary as one of the most popular jazz festivals in the world. Aside from its wealth of participating musicians, the picturesque Perugia is the capital city of both the region of Umbria in central Italy, crossed by the river Tiber, and the province of Perugia (that dates back to 310 B.C.).
One Harlemite who keeps that jazz torch burning is Berta Indeed.
There was an abundance of Black-owned jazz clubs during the blood-drenched years of segregation, but now, because of that trickle down economy, Black clubs have dwindled drastically in this 21st century of openness, cloaked under smiling faces of eager racism.
No pianist has the distinctive soft percussive ever-roving touch like the eminent elder statesman Barry Harris.
Lorraine Gordon, owner of the iconic Village Vanguard jazz club in New York, and one of the few non-musicians to be named an NEA Jazz Master, died June 9, at Beth Israel Hospital in Manhattan.
The guitarist Russell Malone, whose pronounced pitched sound has caught the ear of anyone who listens, from New York to Europe, will be honored by Jack Kleinsinger’s “Highlights in Jazz.”