A look inside The Jazz Gallery

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Jorge Rossy‘s career has been filled with sharp turns. The Barcelona-born multi-instrumentalist got his start on the drums at the age of eleven, and before long was performing around Europe with the likes of Woody Shaw and Kenny Wheeler. After sharing the bandstand with those two great trumpeters, Jorge made the move to the United States, enrolling at Berklee College of Music to study the trumpet. However, the city soon learned of Jorge’s talents behind the drum set, and he became the first call for many of his peers, as well as more established artists like Danilo Pérez and Paquito D’Rivera.

After graduating from Berklee, Jorge migrated south to New York, where he continued his prolific performance output in the bands of Kurt RosenwinkelMark Turner, Chris Cheek, Ethan Iverson, Reid Anderson, and Seamus Blake, among others. It wasn’t long before he began a lengthy association as the drummer of the seminal Brad Mehldau Trio, a group with which he performed and recorded for a decade.

As his career as a drummer was on the rise, however, Jorge changed course once again. He moved back to Barcelona once again in 2000 to start a family and focusing on the piano. A decade later, Jorge has released two albums as a pianist under his own name, Wicca (Fresh Sound), and Ivlianvs Suite (ContraBaix / Karonte) with a band featuring the organist Albert Sanz, the drummer RJ Miller, as well as (on Ivlianvs Suite) the tenor saxophonist Chris Cheek and Jorge’s son, the trumpeter Félix Rossy. He has also performed and recorded on piano with artists such as Guillermo KleinJordi Matas, and Joe Smith. Jorge still performs on the drums occasionally, with Ethan Iverson, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Joe Lovano, as well as a trio featuring Brad Mehldau and Charlie Haden, among others. He recently toured Europe with Wayne Shorter‘s quartet.

Jorge will take our stage with his own group this Wednesday, October 17th. The lineup features the trumpeter and cornetist (and Jorge’s son) Felix Rossy, the saxophonist Raffi Garabedian, the bassist Ben Street, and the drummer RJ Miller.

Stream part of  Ivlianvs Suite below via SoundCloud:

Photo by Mark Niskanen

We are pleased to announce that The Jazz Gallery has been featured in two videos from the Rockefeller Brothers FundArtists in Motion and A Pivotal Role: Arts in New York City!

Founded in 1940, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund operates on a mission to advance “social change that contributes to a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world.” The organization supports work in the areas of “Democratic Practice,” “Peacebuilding,” and “Sustainable Development,” and is active in three regions of the world: New York City, Western Balkans, and Southern China. The Jazz Gallery is supported by the Charles E. Culpeper Arts & Culture Grants, which are a part of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund’s New York City Pivotal Places initiative. The Culpeper grants “support the creative process, build the capacity of small and mid-size arts and cultural institutions, and support the pursuit of the creative life.”

The videos spotlight The Gallery and three other beneficiaries of Rockefeller Brothers Fund support – Creative Time, Gallim Dance, and the Spanish Theatre Repertory Company – all of whom are enabled by Culpeper Arts & Culture Grants.

Watch both videos, which feature the vocalist Claudia Acuña and The Jazz Gallery’s Executive Director Debbie Steinglass, here.

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When asked about the saxophonist Ben van Gelder, the pianist Aaron Parks describes him as “just a monster. One of my favorite alto players around today, period.” JazzTimes praises his “flowing facility on the horn and fresh ideas,” and ArtsJournal proclaims, “he is one of those rare young musicians who establishes his individuality in three or four notes.”

Ben was born and raised in the Netherlands by a musical family. He studied at the Conservatory of Amsterdam and The New School, the latter of which included lessons with the master reedist Lee Konitz. It wasn’t long before the saxophonist started making waves in the local scene, sharing the stage with artists like David Binney, Ambrose Akinmusire, Aaron Parks, and John Escreet, among others. Ben’s talents have also been recognized by institutions; he was an NFAA Stan Getz/Clifford Brown Fellow in 2005, and received the Deloitte Jazz Award in 2008.

Last year, Ben self-released his debut album as a leader, Frame of Reference, which features the pianist Aaron Parks, the vibraphonist Peter Schlamb, the bassist Rick Rosato, the drummer Craig Weinrib, as well as guests Ambrose Akinmusire (trumpet) and Kyle Wilson (tenor saxophone). Praised for making a “strong impression” by JazzTimes, the album has received accolades from the international press.

On Saturday, Ben returns to The Gallery with the same core quintet from Frame of Reference, except with Glenn Zaleski occupying the piano chair.

Watch a video of Ben’s quintet performing the Thelonious Monk composition, “We See.”

Photo by Rafiq for Jazz Speaks

In an article about his recent Jazz Gallery residency, JazzTimes declares that Matt Brewer has “established himself as a leading bassist.”

Raised in Albuquerque, NM, Matt took to the bass early with encouragement from his father, Paul. The child prodigy was performing professionally on the local scene at the young age of twelve, and performed at the Grammy awards when he was just sixteen. A graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy, Matt completed two years at the Juilliard School before leaving to pursue his increasingly busy professional career. One of the most in-demand bassists on the scene, Matt has performed internationally with groups led by Greg Osby, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Steve Coleman, Ambrose Akinmusire, and countless others. His artistry was further recognized when he took third place in the 2009 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Bass Competition.

After years of performing at The Gallery in various configurations, we commissioned Matt as a part of our 2012 Composers’ Series, Leading From the Bass (more info here). You can read two short interviews (here and here) that we conducted with Matt about his experiences, inspirations, and thought process during this period.

Over the course of the residency, Matt developed a body of work he is likely to build on in his performance here this Friday. The group features similar instrumentation and collaborators to the one who premiered Matt’s new works at the end of his residency: the saxophonists Steve Lehman and Kyle Wilson, the guitarist Mike Moreno, the pianist David Virelles, and the drummer Craig Weinrib.

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Anticipation (Capri), the debut album from the trio collectively led by the drummer Colin Stranahan, the pianist Glenn Zaleski, and the bassist Rick Rosato has been described by The New York Timesas “an estimable album… [with a] meticulously flowing sound.” The Ottawa Citizen remarks that the album should be “required listening,” and that the band “helps set the standard high for not only jazz 20-somethings, but for musicians of all ages.”

All three members of the trio are active sidemen and have received independent recognition for their work. Colin performs with Kurt Rosenwinkel, Jonathan Kreisberg, Dan Tepfer, Maria Neckam, and others, and recently took third place in the 2012 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Drum Competition. Glenn can be heard with the likes of Ravi Coltrane, Lage Lund, and Ben van Gelder. The pianist was a finalist for the 2011 APA Cole Porter Fellowship in Jazz, and a semi-finalist in the 2011 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition. Rick’s performance credits include work alongside Ari Hoenig, Aaron Goldberg, Aaron Parks, and Tigran Hamasyan, among numerous others.

Colin, Glenn, and Rick have all appeared at The Gallery both separately and together numerous times over the past few years, and we look forward to their performance on Thursday night.

Watch Stranahan/Zaleski/Rosato perform the title track from Anticipation.