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Posts by Kevin Laskey

Photo by William Brown, courtesy of the artist

This Thursday, August 17th, The Jazz Gallery is pleased to welcome bassist Ricky Rodríguez back to our stage. A native of Ponce, Puerto Rico, Rodríguez came to New York at age twenty and has since made a name for himself playing alongside fellow Puerto Ricans like David Sánchez and Miguel Zenon, as well as the likes of Ray Barretto and Joe Locke, among others. Last year, Rodríguez released Looking Beyond (Destiny Records), a record of sprightly original compositions played by a top-flight quintet featuring the likes of Luis Perdomo and Obed Calvaire.

This Thursday at the Gallery, Rodríguez will reconvene the quintet to perform favorite tunes from the album, as well as a slate of new compositions. Before coming to the Gallery on Thursday, check out Looking Beyond, below.

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Photo courtesy of the artist.

This Tuesday, August 15th, The Jazz Gallery is pleased to welcome harmonica player Grégoire Maret to our stage. Called “the new champ” of harmonica by critic Ted Gioia in The Daily Beast, Maret has shared the stage with a huge range of musical luminaries, from Sting to Pat Metheny to Steve Coleman. In 2016, Maret released his record Wanted on Sunnyside, assembling an all-star cast of players to showcase both his astonishing facility and multifaceted aesthetic. Check out a preview of the album below, including guest appearances from the rapper Koyaki and singer Diane Reeves.
At the Gallery this Tuesday, Maret will convene his band Innervoice, featuring a richly-textured, multi-keyboard rhythm section. To get a sense of the sparks of interplay that can fly with Maret on the bandstand, check out their performance at the 2016 Lotos Jazz Festival, below.
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Photo courtesy of the artist.

This Friday, August 11th, The Jazz Gallery is pleased to welcome pianist Manuel Valera and his trio to our stage. Throughout his career, Valera has been an expert at blending high concept and visceral groove. His recent projects have included a sprawling song cycle based on the writings of José Martí (premiered at the Gallery in 2014) and a suite inspired by Antonio Vivaldi’s famous concerto grosso, The Four Seasons, released on record this past spring.

This Friday at the Gallery, Valera will present another classically-inspired project called “The Planets,” inspired by the Gustav Holst composition of the same name. Like Valera’s José Martí project, “The Planets” was the winner of a Chamber Music America New Jazz Works grant. To get a taste of what Valera has in store, check out the trio—featuring Hans Glawishnig on bass and E.J. Strickland on drums—running through some of the music.

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Photo by Mike Goldstein.

This Thursday, August 10th, The Jazz Gallery is pleased to welcome guitarist Rotem Sivan and his trio back to our stage. A native of Israel, Sivan’s style is marked by a rare grace and intimacy—his athletic lines aren’t just empty chops, but delicate sinews that deftly spin out in surprising ways.

This summer, Sivan released his latest trio record, Antidote (Aima). Featuring his working band of Haggai Cohen Milo on bass, Colin Stranahan on drums, and guest vocalist Gracie Terzian, the tightly-constructed 38-minute record finds the band putting both jazz standards and Sivan-penned originals through their paces.

Sivan will surely draw from this strong material at the Gallery on Thursday evening; before stopping by, check out the original composition “Shahar” in the video below.

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Design courtesy of the artist.

This Wednesday, August 9th, The Jazz Gallery is pleased to welcome alto saxophonist Curtis MacDonald to our stage. With three acclaimed albums under his belt, and a number of commissions from acclaimed dance companies including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Kate Weare Company, MacDonald has established himself as one of New York’s most thoughtful composer-improvisers working in the space between established musical styles. His work has caught the ear of Henry Threadgill—MacDonald is a member of Threadgill’s newest band, Ensemble Double Up, which released its debut record Old Locks and Irregular Verbs on Pi Recordings last year.

For his show at the Gallery this week, MacDonald has convened a new ensemble called Third Sky, featuring his Threadgill compatriot Christopher Hoffman on cello, Sam Harris on piano & keyboards, and Jason Nazary on drums. Before coming to the Gallery to hear the new, adventuresome music that the band has in store, check out MacDonald’s most recent record, Scotobiology, below.

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