In most history books, when it comes to jazz, New York City shines above all the rest. However, Brooklyn was a big jazz borough with hot spots like Club La Marchal and native Brooklynites like Randy Weston, Betty Carter, Betty Roche, Cecil Payne, Max Roach, Cal Massey and Gigi Gryce, among others.
Brooklyn continues to swing with regular live shows, and on Sept. 28, the air will be filled with music at three venues. First, there’s the Keyatta Beasley Band at JAZZ966 at 966 Fulton St. at Grand Avenue, 8 to 10 p.m. Admission is $15 per person. Secondly is BrownstoneJAZZ at Sankofa Aban Bed & Breakfast, from 9 to 11 p.m., at 107 Macon St. and Nostrand Avenue. For more information, call 917-704-9237.
The evening closes with an open jam session featuring the Gerry Eastman Quartet at the Williamsburg Music Center, 367 Bedford Ave., near the Williamsburg Bridge. There is a two-drink minimum but no cover charge. For information, call 718-607-4296 or visit www.wmcjazz.org.
On Sept. 29 at 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., longtime Brooklyn resident Vanessa Rubin, a superb vocalist who has never received her just due, will perform at Sistas’ Place, 456 Nostrand Ave. at Jefferson Street. Tickets are $20 advance, $25 at the door. For more information, call 718-398-1766 or visit www.sistasplace.org.
On Sept. 30, from 3 to 4:30 p.m., it’s Jazz Vespers with Naomi Johnson and Debbie Carter, featuring the JazzSoetry Trio with pianist Aziza, bassist Stanley Banks and drummer Dion Parson at Emmanuel Baptist Church, 279 Lafayette Ave. Visit www.ebconnects.com for more information.
A fundraiser for Brooklyn borough president candidate Eric Adams, sponsored by United Music Makers and Up Over Jazz, takes place on Oct. 3, 6 to 10 p.m. with live music and the presidential debate at 9 p.m. Sugar Hill Restaurant, 609 DeKalb Ave. For more information, call 718-467-1527 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the great soul saxophonists, Lonnie Youngblood will bring an extra sense of soul to JAZZ966 on Oct. 5, 8 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person. For more information, call 718-638-6910 or visit www.jazz966.com.
The TK Blue Quartet and Mostly Monk perform at Sistas’ Place on Oct. 6, with sets at 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.
For a complete listing of all live music through November, contact Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium at 718-467-1527 or visit infoacbjcjazz.org.
Dorthaan Kirk is one of the hardest working ladies in jazz as the manager of community relations and special events at WBGO-FM (88.3 JazzRadio). After spending 30 years at the radio station, it’s clear that many jazz projects come knocking at her door, as her reputation precedes her in the jazz world.
The Courtney Bryan Band begins on Oct. 6, which marks Kirk’s 13th season presenting Jazz Vespers at Bethany Baptist Church, where she has been a member for some years. The vespers take place the first Saturday of every month from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and the event is free to the public. The address is 275 Market St. in Newark, N.J.
Bryan, a native of New Orleans, is the organist and director of the Institute for Sacred Music at Bethany Baptist. A pianist, composer and arranger, her compositions range from solo works to large ensembles in jazz and other music idioms. For a complete listing, please visit www.bethany-newark.org.
Past performers have included Jimmy Heath, Randy Weston, Liz Wright, Joe Locke and Jazzberry Jam, Sonny Fortune, Mulgrew Miller and Junior Mance, among others.
President Barack Obama seems ahead in the polls, but the past tells us that nothing is assured until the last vote is counted, and even then, as in the Bush-Gore battle, it can still be stolen.
At the Republican National Convention, organizers pulled out their special speaker, Clint Eastwood. Eastwood said before that he was “not politically affiliated with Mr. Obama.” Months later, the actor endorsed Mitt Romney and earned himself an invitation to speak at the Republican convention on the night Romney would be officially nominated as candidate. Although his many movies stand out, my last memory of him is speaking to an empty chair that represented Obama at the RNC.
For this reason, it is extremely important that we all get out and vote. The celebrities on the Democratic side, like Jay-Z, Beyonce and Sarah Jessica Parker, have been doing their share by hosting expensive dinners for the president. Likewise, Hansel Tookes, a graduate of Evander Childs H.S. now residing in West Palm Beach, hosted a $10,000 luncheon for the president.
We need to vote like our lives depend on it and, in a matter of speaking, it does. Jazz for Obama 2012 will take place on Oct. 9, at Symphony Space (2537 Broadway at 95th Street in Manhattan) at 7:30 p.m. An all-star cast of jazz musicians who are donating their time will unite to demonstrate through their music how important this election is.
Musicians for the evening will include Ron Carter, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Jim Hall, Roy Haynes, Kenny Barron, Joe Lovano, Kenny Garrett, Christian McBride, Jimmy Heath, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Claudia Acura, Ravi Coltrane, Gretchen Parlato and very special guests. “This is my way of being heard by expressing my view on the drums,” stated the incredible drummer Roy Haynes. “We all need to try and help out and be included by voting.”
Tickets are $100, and $50 for seniors and students. VIP tickets are $250, which include reserved seating and a post-concert reception. Tickets are available at jazzforobama2012.com. The concert is produced by Jazz for America’s future. All proceeds benefit the Obama for America presidential campaign.