The 2013 NYC Winter Jazzfest is now. It’s in the moment, raging with improvisational excitement that will set you free from the jazz police or anyone who brings up the silly notion that jazz is dead or dying.
The Winter Jazzfest, where there is never a dull note, will hit on Jan. 11-12, covering six jazz venues (bars, clubs and theater spaces) in the West Village that are so close together you can stumble out of one spot blindfolded and still find your next musical destination within minutes. During this jam-packed weekend there are over 70 acts so your best bet is a two-day pass for $45 or one-day for $35.
For this weekend, it’s the best jazz price on the planet. The shows start around 6 p.m. and roar on until the early morning hours.
Brice Rosenbloom (BOOM Collective), the producer and founder of the festival, has made it an annual must for fans seeking a jazz excursion that will surely take them beyond the realms of traditional space. The festival is now in its ninth year and just gets better.
The young jazz harpist Brandee Younger will provide a unique journey with alto saxophonist Casey Benjamin, Sharel Cassity on flute, bassist Ameen Saleem, drummer Kim Thompson (who has covered a lot of territory since her early teen days in the Apple) and DJ Raydar Ellis.
Flamenco, a blend of jazz and new music, comes together under the direction of bassist-composer Alexis Cuadrado with vocalist Claudia Acuna, saxophonists Miguel Zenon and Yosvany Terry, pianist Dan Tepfer and drummer Mark Ferber, presenting original protest songs from the poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca. Meanwhile, the trio E=MC2, featuring pianist Marc Cary, bassist Charnett Moffett and drummer Will Calhoun, is a musical form of combustion waiting to happen.
Jason Linder, a young pianist and composer who keeps finding musical excursions to explore, will hit the stage with his 11-piece big band Breeding Ground. “Most jazz festivals bring in talent from elsewhere, but this is a New York concert, a roundup of an immense group of talent,” stated Linder. “All the industry people from APAP are here so it’s great exposure.”
Marcus Strickland has found his way into the upper echelon of jazz since arriving in New York from Florida. The saxophonist will showcase the latest version of his Twi-Life ensemble with lyricist Raydar Ellis, trombonist Frank Lacy, bassist Mark Kelley, Yuki Hirano on keyboards, drummer Charles Haynes and vocalist Jean Baylor.
“Opportunities like this are very limited these days. Festivals today don’t have the budget to invest in unknown talent so they usually use the big names,” noted Strickland. “This festival offers musicians who probably don’t get a chance to showcase their talent to a mass audience like this. Here people are looking for the next new thing in music.”
For more information and a complete schedule, visit winterjazzfest.com.