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Album art courtesy of the artist.

The Jazz Gallery’s weekend of big bands continues on Friday, November 1, and Saturday, November 2, with a pair of album release concerts by saxophonist Remy LeBoeuf’s Assembly of Shadows. The eponymous album traverses LeBoeuf’s development as a big band composer, from the album’s opening track “Strata” (his first major big band commission from 2015; you can hear it below), to the five part “Assembly of Shadows” suite, premiered at The Jazz Gallery last December.
With composers like Charles Mingus and Aaron Copland as touchstones, LeBoeuf is unafraid of grand musical gestures. In a previous interview with Jazz Speaks, LeBoeuf talks about his penchant for epic musical moments:

I find myself writing a lot of epic things. I have one particular friend who always notes the “Lord of the Rings” moments I have in my music: There was a time in my life where, instead of drinking coffee or tea to get focused, I would watch exciting parts of movies to release endorphins in my brain before sitting down to write. When you’re in a movie, you might cry at a denouement moment, it’s just so emotional, which is a great state to be in while composing. You really feel the weight behind every melody, every texture. There was a while when I didn’t have a streaming service and I had the “Lord of the Rings” films on DVD, so I would watch those to get excited [laughs].

For the album release shows, LeBoeuf will be joined by many of his original collaborators from the studio album. Don’t miss this chance to hear LeBoeuf’s full-throated music envelope the Gallery space. (more…)

Photo by Desmond White, courtesy of the artist.

This weekend at The Jazz Gallery, the stage will be filled to capacity as we present three nights of new music from young big bands. On Thursday, October 31, saxophonist and composer Brian Krock reconvenes his Big Heart Machine for a night of live recording. The band’s eponymous debut from 2018 showed that Krock and company were unafraid to mix things up, balancing sharp dissonance and flights of fancy (like the sax section doubling on recorders). If you haven’t given the album a listen yet, check it out below.

For this week’s performance at the Gallery, the band will be recording unreleased, revised tunes from their back catalog, as well as three brand new compositions. Krock himself says that one “…is the most special piece of music I’ve ever worked on in my life for a variety of reasons (more on that later).”  (more…)

Photo via New York Rag.

The purpose of the Jazz Gallery’s Mentoring Program is to provide aspiring musicians with the chance to learn under the guidance of their contemporary heroes. What they learn, and how they learn it, becomes a unique product of the relationship cultivated over a series of collaborative performances and workshops.

This Tuesday, the second mentor/mentee pair of our sixth Mentoring season—mentor drummer Kendrick Scott and mentee bassist Kanoa Mendenhall—kick off their experience with a performance at The Jazz Museum in Harlem. But before you head uptown to hear Scott & Mendenhall, check out our conversation with drummer Savannah Harris about her experience with mentor bassist Harish Raghavan.

Over the course of four performances, the focus of Raghavan’s mentorship became the discussion of freedom within the musical roles dined by your instrument. In our first interview with Harris and Raghavan, topics that arose were performance anxiety, preoccupation while on the bandstand, and the paradox of providing supportive accompaniment while maintaining expressive freedom.

After performances at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, Owl Music Parlor in Brooklyn, and Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, we spoke with Harris again to discover how her thoughts had expanded and evolved throughout the performance and workshopping experience. According to Harris, the final gig at Dartmouth (which culminating in a full day of teaching and performance) encouraged her to ask some challenging yet exciting questions about what’s next for her own career.

The Jazz Gallery: You did four shows over the course of this mentorship at The Jazz Gallery, the Jazz Museum, the Owl, and Dartmouth. The Jazz Gallery space is such an incubator, a little laboratory of discovery: Did the Jazz Museum feel a little more real-world? Did those shows feel different to you?

Savannah Harris: I’ve played at The Jazz Museum a bunch of times, so it was interesting to play this kind of music at The Jazz Museum. Usually, the times I’ve played there, the music has been much more traditional, if I can use that word, or at least coming from that language. It was interesting to play the out shit there, and it was really fun. In terms of my own performance, that show felt the worst for me… I was least at ease at that show than at any of the other four.

It had to do with something useful that Harish told me. Basically, whatever energy you’re bringing in to the gig, you need to discover how to neutralize it, so that you can be musically open. To be honest, I felt a bit closed off at that show. I got in my head. That space is an interesting room. You can’t play loudly in that space, because the instruments are already so loud, so you have to navigate your volume control while maintaining intensity, which is a lot to consider. So if you’re also coming into it with a personal blockage, it makes it hard to let loose at the gig.

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Ryan Keberle, Camila Meza, Pedro Giraudo. Photos courtesy of the artists.

This past June, Ryan Keberle released The Hope I Hold (Greenleaf), the trombonist’s fourth album with his working band, Catharsis. The album finds Keberle in his favored exploratory mode, writing music that draws from diverse practices and keeps its eye fixed on greater socio-political issues. The album is composed of two contrasting “sets” so to speak—the opening “Hope I Hold Suite,” featuring the full band plus guest multi-instrumentalist Scott Robinson, and a set of tunes for a stripped down Catharsis trio, featuring Keberle, bassist Jorge Roeder, and guitarist/vocalist Camila Meza. Take a listen to Roeder’s evocative composition “Peering,” performed live in the studio, below.

This Tuesday, October 29, Keberle and the Catharsis Trio will come to The Jazz Gallery for two sets. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear the band’s wide ranging and passionate music in an intimate space. (more…)

Photo by Laura Razzano

This Saturday, October 26, The Jazz Gallery welcomes the Bohemian Trio back to our stage for two sets. Featuring Yosvany Terry on saxophone & percussion, Orlando Alonso on piano, and Yves Dharamraj on cello, the music of Bohemian Trio is grounded in the folkloric traditions of Latin America, jazz improvisation, and western chamber music. Their acclaimed 2017 debut record Okónkolo (Innova) features compositions by Terry and like-minded contemporary composer-improvisers including Miguel Valera and Pedro Giraudo, plus arrangements of works by Andre Previn and Maurice Revel.

Before checking out their playful approach to repertoire and fleet-footed interplay at the Gallery, take a listen to their recent set at Innova Records Inn-Fest at National Sawdust in Brooklyn.

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