Stage presence has always been a questionable affair when it comes to jazz musicians.
With “Counting Descent,” writer, teacher, Harvard Ph.D. candidate and award-winning poet Clint Smith explores the cognitive dissonance that results from belonging to a community that unapologetically celebrates Black humanity while living in a world that often renders Blackness a caricature.
The seventh annual Coca-Cola Generations in Jazz Festival brings together legendary jazz masters and emerging artists from Sept. 1 to Oct. 2 at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola (60th Street and Broadway).
Bobby Hutcherson, who changed the vernacular of jazz vibraphone and influenced generations of aspiring musicians in the process died Aug. 15 at his home in Montrara, Ca. He was 75.
The vocalist Tulivu-Donna Cumberbatch, whose singing ability offers her the inventiveness to journey through the windows of blues, soul and jazz, has caught the attention of audiences from Brooklyn to Europe.
The tenor saxophonist, composer, arranger and big band leader Jimmy Heath will celebrate his 90th birthday in October, but on Aug. 13, he will start his major birthday celebration early at “Great Jazz on the Great Hill” in Central Park (106th Street and Central Park West).
Established jazz clubs such as Dizzy’s very seldom venture past the traditional gates of jazz.
Blazing sun rays are in full force, radiating this summer’s first heatwave as jazz fans lie peacefully in wait for early evening to make their way to Jazzmobile.
Vaughn Harper, the man who lent his velvet voice to the airways of WBLS-FM while inspiring and helping so many, died peacefully July 9 after a long, courageous battle with type 2 diabetes.
Suddenly, the television flashes a video of a young Black man, Alton Sterling, shot by a white police officer in Baton Rouge, La., Monday.
As a tourist in Cuba when President Obama made the announcement that America was ready to reestablish positive relations with Cuba after 57 years, Dec. 17, 2014, was a memorable moment for me.
There was a time when innovative jazz, Latin jazz musicians and the Salsa kings called the Bronx their home.
Dr. Lonnie Smith, the ever swinging organist and composer, brings his Hammond B-3 to the Jazz Standard (116 E. 27 St.) June 28 to July 3. Smith’s audience prescription for his engagement will be plenty of national hip rhythms from blues to soul and straight jazz, no chaser.
It’s not the norm, a jazz gig held at 4 p.m. in the afternoon June 18 at the Blue Note jazz club (131 W. 3rd St.), featuring the renowned poet Sonia Sanchez, accompanied by her friend, the brilliant alto saxophonist/composer Gary Bartz.
If you make one commitment for this early summer season, make it to see Joe Morton in “Turn Me Loose,” the greatest role of his acting career to date, as he portrays the comedian and activist Dick Gregory.
Last week, while visiting Atlanta, I was introduced to a nice little jazz club on that scene called Kat’s Cafe.
In today’s cluttered world of flying plastic bags, where the paparazzi are idolized for stalking celebrities, photographers such as Coreen Simpson and Chuck Stewart take their world-renowned photographs the old fashioned way—with permission and creativity.
Prince, the prolific artist who elevated the genres of funk, R&B, rock, blues and pop to greater explosive heights while implementing salacious sexual lyrics, love desire and political awareness died April 21, at his Paisley Park estate in Chanhassen, Minn.
On April 14 the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, celebrating its 120th anniversary and New Heritage Theatre Group, celebrating its 52nd anniversary join forces with the Eastern Mediterranean Business Cultural Alliance to present a first-time gathering of Eastern Mediterranean musicians and blues singers from Harlem.
There is a 10-feet high bust of Charlie “Yardbird” Parker, the legendary alto saxophone player in his hometown of Kansas City, Kan. On March 30 Parker’s spirited presence became a mainstay in Harlem as he was inducted into the Apollo Theater’s Apollo Walk of Fame.
“Dare to Be Black: The Jack Johnson Story,” now playing at the Theater for the New City (155 First Ave. between Ninth and 10th streets), is one of the most important plays of 2016.
The Brits and some Americans became quite upset upon hearing whispers that the British actor Idris Elba could possibly become the first Black James Bond, the popular worldwide fictional secret agent 007, martini’s shaken, not stirred.
Harlem native Onaje Allan Gumbs and New Vintage (featuring Trio Plus) will be returning to BamCafe at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Natalie Cole, the soulful, Grammy Award-winning jazz singer who, like her legendary father Nat King Cole, carried a distinctive sound, died Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015, in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. She was 65.
Rome Neal’s homemade banana puddin’ has become a staple in the jazz community just as soul food is the staple of Sylvia’s Restaurant.
The bassist Richard Bona, whose music is tinged with world beats and jazz, will bring in the new year at his co-owned Club Bonafide (212 E. 52nd St.) for two sets at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Following Bona Group’s later set, the percussionist and vocalist Davi Vieira and Bondafide Brazilian Band will perform.
With the graffiti painting and life-sized artwork of Charlie Chaplin on the steel gray door, who would think this is the home of Nublu, one of the hippest little music venues on the Lower East Side.
The vocalist Catherine Russell has a fresh, vibrant sound formulated in the blues and jazz tradition that has become an enticement to her ever-growing fan base.
Allen Toussaint, the pianist, songwriter, arranger and record producer whose whimsical, funk-laced songs influenced the New Orleans R&B scene, died Nov. 10 while on tour in Madrid.
Henry Grimes, the revered bassist who played a role in expanding the jazz language in the 1950s, along with Albert Ayler, Sonny Rollins, Charles Mingus and Cecil Taylor, recently celebrated his 80th birthday on the Upper East Side at Jan Hus Neighborhood Center.
Sistas’ Place in Brooklyn is more than a jazz club. It is a jazz family that supports the music and is involved in community activism.
Jazzmobile the nonprofit organization founded in the 1960s to bring live jazz to New York City communities, has moved indoors for the fall. Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m., its benefit concert “Keep the Music Playing” takes place at the Sanctuary in First Corinthian Baptist Church (FCBC), 1912 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. at 116th Street.
Since the early 1960s, Los Angeles has been acknowledged for its West Coast cool jazz sound perpetuated by the composer-pianist Dave Brubeck and the vibraphonist Cal Tjader.
Tiny pin-lights adorn the steep narrow staircase ascending to the top, where a young lady sits, politely greeting and taking cash ($10). As one pays, a thick black curtain blocks the view from the inside, although the enticing music, cheerful chatter and clinking glasses can be heard, which only peaks your anticipation of getting behind that curtain.
The 1960s were heavily colored with shaded overtones of rebellious youth implementing revolutionary tactics against an indifferent government.
With the generational influence of Brooklyn native musicians Cecil Payne, Max Roach and Randy Weston, the keeper of African music and culture, the borough will present its first installment of the BRIC JazzFest.
With the summer dispersing, it’s fast leaving us with just memoires of those wonderful outdoor jazz concerts that featured the sounds of nature with Gotham’s chirping bird solos and those long improvised notes of the crickets that sometimes persisted for hours.
Over the years, there has been an abundance of information written on the Black Panthers, as well as a few off-Broadway plays and short film clips.
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.
Gary Keys, the producer, writer and director who brought history and a lively perspective to his many popular documentaries on Count Basie and Duke Ellington, died Aug. 9 in Manhattan.
The phrase “Bird lives” refers to Charlie “Bird” Parker’s iconic life as the most influential alto saxophone player in jazz.
The pianist, arranger and composer Danny Mixon is underrated on the jazz radar screen, but his music and contributions to the field are a big deal.
Before 1954, Newport, R.I., was a quiet resort town for the rich who loved sunshine, tennis, their sailboats, yachts and, of course, fresh seafood.
The swinging bands of salsa flourishing with its big brass sound leaked out into the streets from social clubs to Bronx spots such as the Carlton Terrance and Concourse Plaza to Manhattan’s Corso and Riverside Plaza.
Don’t let his wild dyed-blond Afro fool you, pianist Axel Tosca Laugart from Cuba has skills.
If you are looking for a jazz scene that scares the jazz police and causes those smooth jazz heads to run in the opposite direction, then the Vision Jazz Festival is the place.
Charenee Wade, for her debut release on Motema Music, took a bold leap by recording her interpretation of the music of Gil Scott-Heron, titled “Offering: The Music of Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson.”
Recently, the diva soprano Kathleen Battle brought her multi-octave angelic voice to the hip Blue Note jazz club.
Ornette Coleman, the multi-instrumentalist, composer and innovator whose harmonic concepts pointed jazz in a new direction, died June 11 in Manhattan.
While institutions like the Village Gate, Mikel’s and the JVC Jazz Festival have become a subject of the past tense, the tradition has continued with Jack Kleinsinger’s “Highlights in Jazz,” New York’s longest running jazz concert series.