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A look inside The Jazz Gallery

Posts by Kevin Laskey

Clockwise from top left: Maria Grand, Baden Goyo, Carolina Mama, Zack O’Farrill, and Ben Tiberio. Photos courtesy of the artists.

This past January, the city of Havana, Cuba was hit by a devastating storm, featuring a tornado and pounding rain. Three residents died, hundreds were injured, and the city suffered significant damage. Since our early days, The Jazz Gallery has been a home for Cuban music and musicians, and so this Saturday, March 30, we are proud to host a concert benefitting the rebuilding efforts in Havana. The concert will feature a special, one-off quintet of saxophonist Maria Grand, pianist Baden Goyo, vocalist Carolina Mama, bassist Ben Tiberio, and drummer Zack O’Farrill. The group will be joined by surprise special guests in the second set. (more…)

Photo courtesy of the artist.

This Friday, March 29, The Jazz Gallery is pleased to welcome saxophonist Tivon Pennicott back to our stage. For the evening, Pennicott has convened a quartet of regular collaborators, including trumpeter Philip Dizack, bassist Dean Torrey, and drummer Kenneth Salters. In an interview with Jazz Speaks earlier this year, Pennicott spoke about the new album he is working, where he channels a classic jazz sound from top to bottom:

First, I decided to do an album on tape, the purist way. My initial desire was to get that sound of the 50s and 60s, the way they recorded it, get into the spirit and process they went through. There’s still so much new music where people still pay tribute to those old classic sounds, whether it’s in the writing, recording, or using samples. I wanted to recreate that sound from the ground up because man, every time I hear the old stuff, there’s just nothing like it. Also, I fantasize about what it would be like to have lived in the 50s and 60s. What I would do, how would my music sound, how would I have interacted with those people? This album came out of all that thinking. We did it in Studio G in Williamsburg, where they have a really good tape machine and a big room, with everyone in one room, and did it the way they did it.

Before checking out Pennicott and company at the Gallery on Friday, take a listen to a recent performance with Pennicott’s long running Sound Quartet.

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Nathaniel Morgan, Dustin Carlson, and Kate Gentile. Photos courtesy of the artists.

This Saturday, March 23, The Jazz Gallery welcomes the band Secret People to our stage for two set. Featuring saxophonist Nathaniel Morgan, guitarist Dustin Carlson, and drummer Kate Gentile, the collaborative trio balances extended improvisation with deftly-constructed compositions. Reflecting their diverse backgrounds in an array of musical practices, Secret People’s music can simultaneously evoke the noisy intensity of Merzbow, the serpentine explorations of Tim Berne, and the quirky subversions of Thelonious Monk.

Before coming to the Gallery for Saturday’s performance, check out some of Secret People’s recent performance at Outskirs Music Series in Brooklyn, below.

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Design courtesy of Indiana University.

This week, The Jazz Gallery is pleased to welcome Indiana University’s Plummer Ensemble back to our stage for two nights of performances. Under the direction of saxophonist Walter Smith III, the group features top students from Indiana University’s jazz department, hailing from across the United States. To get a sense of students’ impressive artistry, take a listen to last year’s Plummer Ensembles, recorded live at WBGO.

For these performances, the ensemble will be joined by acclaimed saxophonist Ben Wendel. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see these young, talented musicians spar with one of New York’s leading soloists. (more…)

From L to R: Ralph Alessi, Mary Halvorson, Tomas Fujiwara, Brandon Seabrook, Taylor Ho Bynum, Gerald Cleaver. Photo courtesy of the artist.

This Saturday, March 9, The Jazz Gallery welcomes drummer Tomas Fujiwara’s band Triple Double back to our stage. The band has grown and developed on the Gallery stage, performing before their debut recording session in 2016, then returning to celebrate the record’s release in 2017. In an interview with Jazz Speaks, Fujiwara spoke of his motivations for bringing together the ensemble’s particular combination of musicians together:

I have a trio with Ralph [Alessi] and Brandon [Seabrook] that I had put together a year before Triple Double. I was really enjoying the gigs we had done, and we made a live record (Variable Bets on Relative Pitch Records). With most of the ensembles I’ve led, from The Hook Up to the trio with Ralph and Brandon, one of my main interests has been new combinations of musicians. In the case of Ralph and Brandon, they had never played together before. There were members of the original Hook Up that had never played together before. Taylor and Ralph had never played together, me and Gerald had never played together, so there were also a lot of first times. It was cool to see those relationships develop over time within this group.

This weekend, Triple Double is celebrating the vinyl release of their record—a beautifully-packaged double album with two new bonus tracks. With the band’s original lineup in tow, Fujiwara and Triple Double will perform music from their debut album (which you can listen to below), as well as new material to be released in 2020.

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