The Black Art Jazz Collective made their debut performance at Dizzy’s in 2013. They will return February 3 for two shows at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. The group consists of founding members trumpeter Jeremy Pelt and tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery along with pianist Victor Gould, trombonist James Burton, III, bassist Rashaan Carter and drummer Mark Whitfield Jr. (drummer Jonathan Blake, no longer in the group, was also a founding member).
Since its inception the BAJC members have been a force in the forefront of the instrumental global jazz community, both as leaders and as invaluable members of ensembles lead by Tom Harrell, Bobby Hutcherson, Kenny Barron, Wayne Shorter, Wallace Roney and Ron Carter. For this performance, the BAJC will perform from their latest album, “Ascension” (HighNote Records). The two sets will showcase compositions celebrating jazz warriors Harold Mabern, Larry Willis and Jackie McLean.
The name Black Art Jazz Collective reflects this art (music) created by Black people in a creative space. “It is more a meeting of the minds where our ideas come together for individual and collaborative compositions, there is no leader, our music reflects who we are,” explained Pelt. The name also embodies their respect and emotional roots to the music, as well as their revolutionary perspective, the fiery beacon inherited from their conscientious elders including; Max Roach, John Coltrane, Oscar Brown Jr. and Randy Weston.
Two compositions “Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921” and “Thirteenth Amendment” are two of the pieces they will perform from the CD. The titles represent horrendous and definitive events in Black history that continue to spark flaming concern and dismay in this turbulent 21st century.
Two shows at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. For reservations visit the website jazz.org. Live streaming tickets are also available. Call 212-258-9595.
Saxophonist and composer Ravi Coltrane will appear in a debut residence at Symphony Space on Manhattan’s Upper West Side (2537 Broadway at 95th Street), on February 3-5. He will appear in a night of Duos one set with pianist James Carney and second set with drummer/percussionist Allan Mednard; a performance by Ravi’s Freedom Trio with bassist Nick Jozwiak and drummer Savannah Harris; and close with a world premiere concert “Cosmic Music” exploring the mystical, intoxicating spiritual music of his parents John & Alice Coltrane. These will be jazz-memorable moments.
For tickets visit the website symphonyspace.org. or call 212-864-5400.
As individuals the members of TRIO3 (bassist Reggie Workman, mult-reeds Oliver Lake and drummer Andrew Cyrille) are innovative, improvisational elder musicians, whose compositions, recordings and entire jazz vocabulary are for eternity embedded in the jazz pantheon. Together with their 130 years of combined musicianship, the piano-less TRIO3 have effectively transcended the sound of jazz to a greater creative space for the last 33 years.
TRIO3, who found an infinite number of ways to express themselves, will make their final appearance together as an ensemble at Dizzy’s jazz club (60th Street and Broadway) on February 4-6. They will be joined by saxophonist Bruce Williams and special guest pianist Vijay Iyer, Lake will also read some of his published poetry.
In their unique tradition, the collaborative leaderless trio turn each performance into an adventurous journey taking uncharted flights mixing original compositions with avant garde, traditional blues, bebop and everything in between. These jazz veterans describe their sound as “futuristic music within the idiomatic continuum of jazz. Like musical alchemists, TRIO3 boldly carries the music forward spinning 3-dimensional jazz, reconfiguring jazz conventions of compositions, harmony, meter and melody,” said Lake.
The trio as inventive musicians, band leaders, composers and educators have played and recorded with such music visionaries as John Coltrane, Mary Lou Williams, Herbie Mann, Art Blakey, The World Saxophone Quartet, Lou Reed, Richard Muhal Abrams and Cecil Taylor among others.
“It’s regrettable that life starts and stops. Life says it’s time to move on,” said Cyrille. “We had a great time playing our music and other composers, it was a good business venture with our three names and experience we were able to get more gigs. It was very rewarding for us.”
In TRIOS’s later years, they invited various pianists to join them such as Jason Moran, David Virelles, Marc Cary, Ethan Iverson, and Geri Allen. The trio recorded at least a dozen albums, many of which are now collector’s items.
“I filled the space that was needed from the decibel of the bass,” says Workman. “We were each one/third of the music contribution in the moment. Everyone brought their own shape and flavor and feelings to the music. The music was the leader.”
Aside from the live performance a livestream will be available on Feb. 6 for both shows. For tickets visit the website jazz.org or call 212-258-9595.
Jazz is Harlem’s DNA, the way folks move, how they groove, their cadence that strut the fashion styles shout out jazz cats from the past whose rhythms float like butterflies in the sky. That traditional ancestral flow lives in The Harlem School of the Arts, where on Feb. 5, their Afternoon Jazz @ HSA series will debut (3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.). In honor of Black History Month, the featured artist will be drummer and composer T.S. Monk, his deliberate genre-crossing Black music dancing in the bosom of jazz has earned him accolades throughout the world. He is the founder of Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz and the son of the genius pianist and composer Thelonious Monk.
The Grammy nominee, pianist/composer Adegoke Steve Colson will lead this new series and the organization’s Jazz Program as HSA’s jazz master and artist-educator artist in residence. Colson was an early member of the Association for Advanced Creative Musicians (AACM) where he explored various paths of music from straight-ahead to avant garde playing both piano and saxophone. The musicians’ collective totally expanded the concept of music in the 20th and 21st century. A significant part of the residency project includes Mr. Colson writing, rehearsing, and performing a newly commissioned piece—an extended work for octet that celebrates the Harlem School of the Arts. The premiere date for this piece will be announced shortly.
His solo piano recording “Tones For”—which reflects on the lives and work of Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, and Frederick Douglass—is his most recent release on Silver Sphinx, the label he co-owns with his wife and musical partner, Iqua Colson.
“The Harlem School of the Arts and our students are extremely fortunate to have Adegoke as artist in residence. This project complements our founder’s mission of enriching the lives of our young people, by engaging artists who reflect the community to provide excellence in arts training. This is in keeping with plans to build our curriculum around Harlem’s rich cultural history, with jazz as a critical part of that legacy,” said Lee Hogans, HSA chief education officer.
This event is free to the public, RSVP is required visit website hsanyc.org.