Russell Malone (263770)
Credit: Contributed

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.”

On June 21, Malone will take the honoree’s spotlight at the Borough of Manhattan City College’s Tribeca Performing Arts Center in Lower Manhattan at 199 Chambers St., at 8 p.m. Malone follows a long list of honorees, including Lionel Hampton, Roy Haynes, Clark Terry and Kenny Burrell, Malone’s mentor.

Malone will be accompanied by his abled quartet of pianist Rick Germanson, bassist Luke Sellick and drummer Willie Jones III. The concert will also include the top precision sounds of saxophonists Houston Person and George Coleman (a sub for Jimmy Heath, who is ill), along with drummer Lewis Nash, vibraphonist Steve Nelson and trumpeter Jeremy Pelt. Malone has also invited another noted guitarist, Gene Bertoncini.

Malone has a swinging band that consistently brings out new material and rearrangements of standard and not so standard tunes that move in another direction with a new kind of hipness that only Malone can bring into effect. Perhaps it has something to do with him being an explorer, crossing genres into blues, gospel, and even country, and he often brings some humor into the package, such as his recording of “The Odd Couple.” He has recorded 14 albums as a leader and is the go-to guitarist when master musicians are looking for a creative force.

For tickets, visit

The pianist, composer and arranger Dayramir Gonzalez was a big deal before he arrived in New York from his homeland Cuba. Since that time, he has proved his musical skills in the competitive ocean of the jazz capital of the world on both the jazz and the Latin scenes.

On June 21, Gonzalez will celebrate his latest CD, entitled “The Grand Concourse,” which he describes as his journey from Havana to New York to Carnegie Hall. He performs at the Ideal Glass (22 E. Second St.) on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

This concert will feature guests from the album, including Cuban and Grammy Award-winning flutist and composer Oriente Lopez and the jazz songstress Nadia Washington. They will be accompanied, as on the album, by the Cuban-inspired contemporary string ensemble, String Bembe.

Gonzalez appropriately named the CD “The Grand Concourse” based on his experiences and all the various sounds he heard while residing in the Bronx. Two prominent contributors to this CD include his native Cubans, the percussionist Pedrito Martinez and saxophonist Yosvany Terry. It’s the sounds of Cuba, the roots of the congas, jazz vocals, a flowing string quartet and the outward imagination of Gonzalez, who continues to surprise.

There are two shows, at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. For tickets, visit

Barbara Jordan was a strong, powerful voice during her life (Feb. 2, 1936-Jan. 17, 1996). She was the lone Black warrior as the first Black woman in the Texas State Senate. In 1973, she and Andrew Young from Georgia became the first African-American Congresspersons elected from the Deep South since the Reconstruction Era. Jordan served in the House of Representatives from 1973 to 1979.

On June 23, you can get a more precise insight into the contributions and tenacity of Rep. Jordan by seeing the play “Barbara Jordan: I Dared to Be Me,” written by Michael Green and Karen Brown, and directed by Nora Cole, at the Harlem Hospital Cave Auditorium (506 Lenox Ave. at 135th Street) at 3 p.m.

It’s unfortunate that bills Jordan supported remain concerns in today’s political climate, such as the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, legislation that required banks to lend and make community services available to underserved poor and minorities. She supported the renewal of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and expansion of that act to cover language minorities, extending protection to Hispanics in Texas. She was the first woman and the first African-American to deliver the keynote address to the Democratic National Convention.

The production is being presented by the Shades of Truth Theatre, celebrating its 14th season. General admission tickets are $20 at the door.

The guitarist Grant Green (June 6, 1935-Jan. 31, 1979) mixed soul, funk and jazz into one hard swinging package. When he played the blues, it seemed as though he was pluckin’ your heartstrings as opposed to his guitar, and it was similar blues chords that added a taste of funk to his entire repertoire.

June 28 to June 30, The Jazz Standard (116 E. 27th St. and Park Avenue South) hails the master guitarist as his son Grant Green Jr. brings in a motivated all-star cast to present “Grant Green: Evolution of Funk.” The group consists of the saxophonist Donald Harrison Jr., keyboardist Mark Cary and drummer Mike C.

The native of St. Louis recorded more than 30 albums as a leader for Blue Note Records, where he was also the house guitarist. Like John Coltrane or Miles Davis, he has a distinct sound that one can recognize in three notes or less. Some of his albums that, in my opinion, require repeat listening are “Carryin’ On,” “Street of Dreams,” “Talkin’ About,” “Mellow Madness,” “Funk in Paris” and “His Majesty King Funk” (Verve, 1965).

The event celebrates the guitar mastery of Green and the new release on Resonance Records of “Grant Green: Evolution of Funk,” a CD of previously unissued live sessions of Green’s gems.

For reservations, call 212-576-2232 or check the website