Nasheet Waits is a key drummer on today’s jazz scene who has developed into a fiery source of creativity as he explores new territories. His ongoing group, Equality, featuring alto saxophonist Darius Jones, pianist David Virelles and bassist Mark Helias, will perform two shows on Feb. 28 at 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. at the Cornelia Street Cafe in the West Village.

Waits’ Equality is a band whose position and philosophy totally represent its name. All members contribute material and have an equal responsibility for the execution of its content. The group’s first recording, the self-titled “Equality,” was released in 2009 on the Fresh Sound label. That early group included pianist Jason Moran, alto saxophonist Logan Richardson and bassist Tarus Mateen. Regardless of its personnel, Equality will always possess a strong creative edge.

Waits is the son of the late legendary drummer Freddie Waits, who held chairs with McCoy Tyner, Andrew Hill, Kenny Barron and Joe Zawinel. He was also a prominent member and composer in Max Roach’s M’Boom percussion ensemble. Nasheet Waits later had the opportunity to perform with M’Boom.

Waits is well worth seeing, and the music is swinging with an exploratory edge. There is a $10 cover, and the venue is located at 29 Cornelia St.

Chip Shelton, the multi-instrumentalist who favors the alto saxophone and end-blown flute, will celebrate his new CD release, “Moments in Time,” with vocalist Dwight West and the Spirit Life Ensemble, a 14-member orchestra.

The celebration jumps off on Feb. 28 in Newark, N.J., at the Priory Jazz Club & Restaurant, 233 West Market St. (St. Joseph Plaza) from 7 p.m.-11 p.m. There is no cover charge, but food or beverage purchase is required.

Shelton utilizes the entire flute family, from the tiny piccolo, Bb flute, concert flute in C, alto flute, bass flute, (the five-foot) contra-bass flute to the ethnic wood flutes. “These instruments are more difficult to play, but I’m willing to work harder to produce these different sounds that people don’t ordinarily hear,” said Shelton.

Shelton’s arsenal also includes percussion, keyboards and C-tenor and C-soprano saxophones. Similar to his heavy arsenal of instruments, Sheldon’s compositions reflect a varied array of music, from classical to jazz and soul.

Trumpeter Eddie Gale, a native of Brooklyn who has resided in San Jose, Calif., since 1972, has recorded a remake of “Ghetto Music,” his original 1968 Blue Note Records issue. Now, 45 years later, the release of Gale’s “Ghetto Music: The Remake and Beyond,” is available online.

“My music expresses my life in my community before and after I was told I lived in the ghetto during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement.” Gale and his Inner Peace Arkestra features a nine-piece ensemble with a variety of musicians, including harpist Destiny Muhammad, violinist Sandy Poindexter, double bassist Marcus Selby, flutists Teresa Orozco and Brianna Stevens and vocalists Deena Angeletti, Carolyn Jones, Keith Hames and Phil Jacklin.

The original release was critically acclaimed, and this new recording brings another perspective to a recording that was released 45 years ago and is still worth hearing. Because so many jazzheads have not heard the original, this new release will introduce Gale’s music to a new generation.

Gale is a talented trumpeter who has yet to get his just desserts. He has a crisp sound that can stretch to a hard swing and a soulful mute sound that takes ballads to a higher ground. After one spin, listeners will wonder why Gale was not on their jazz radar. The nine tracks will have you returning for more.

Early on, Gale studied trumpet with Kenny Durham. During the early 1960 and 1970s, while still living in New York City, he recorded and toured with Sun Ra. “Playing with Sun Ra was a great experience. He inspired you to play ideas on your instrument that you never imagine,” stated Gale. “His music sparked ideas that one does not find in exercise books.”

Gale, who plays in the free jazz and straight-ahead, has recorded with Cecil Taylor, John Coltrane, Illinois Jacquet and Jackie McLean.

Gale’s CD and vinyl recordings can be purchased at and on iTunes.

The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) will present “Jazz Meets Sports,” connecting jazz artistry and athletic performance, created by artistic advisor and bassist Christian McBride. This program will take place on March 2 at 7 p.m. in NJPAC’s Victoria Theater in Newark, N.J.

McBride will perform with his trio, featuring pianist Christian Sands and drummer Ulysses Owens Jr., with baseball great guitarist Bernie Williams. McBride will also moderate a conversation featuring Williams and NBA icon and jazz lover Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Joining the bassist as a co-host of this “Jazz Meets Sports” conversation is CBS sportscaster Lesley Visser, the first and only woman enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“I wanted to find a way to combine my two passions in life. A lot of people aren’t quite sure how the two relate, but the fact is, when you have a group coming together trying to make something happen, it’s all about teamwork,” said McBride. “It’s all about trusting one another. It’s all about telepathy.”

  • Tickets may be purchased by telephone at 888-466-5722, at the NJPAC box office at One Center Street in downtown Newark or online at