A look inside The Jazz Gallery

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Photo by Federico Rodriguez Caldentey.

In what has become an annual tradition, bassist & composer Pedro Giraudo will bring his acclaimed tango and large jazz ensembles to The Jazz Gallery for a weekend of shows. Since moving to New York in 1996, Giraudo has released 10 albums as a leader or co-leader, including 2018’s An Argentinian in New York (Zoho) with the WDR Big Band of Köln, Germany. Giraudo leads a double life in the New York jazz and tango worlds, and spoke with Jazz Speaks about his approach to working in these different musical idioms:

I don’t believe that people must only do one thing. For me as a composer, when I write in any context, it’s all my music. I actually re-arranged some pieces for WDR big band that were originally written for my Tango ensemble: I love both versions, and I feel they’re both true to who I am. I’ve done things the other way around too, with pieces I wrote for the big band that I later adapted for the Tango quartet. It’s all my music. If you hear my Tango band and the big band, the way the music is played and the instrumentation makes things sound so different, but from an aesthetic and emotional point of view, it comes from exactly the same place.

Before coming out to Giraudo’s tango ensemble on Friday and big band on Saturday, check out the WDR Big Band performing Giraudo’s compositions in the video below:


Photo by Kuo Heng-Huang, courtesy of the artist.

This Saturday, April 6, The Jazz Gallery is pleased to welcome bassist Ricky Rodriguez and his New Quintet to our stage for two sets. A native of Puerto Rico, Rodriguez has developed a conspicuous presence in the New York jazz scene for nearly 15 years, playing with the likes of David Sánchez, Miguel Zenon, and Michael Camilo (check a recent Rodriguez performance with Camilo below).

In an interview with Jazz Speaks, Rodriguez spoke about how the city has affected his life and music:

My personality has changed a lot. Coming from a Caribbean island, with all my family back there, I arrived in New York by myself. I wanted to grow up more in the music scene, get better, and follow my dreams. I’ve toured with as many people as I can, and now I have my own band, so it’s a dream come true. The city makes me angry sometimes, because of the winter, the subway, the people. It’s stressful. I would be trying to deal with that, because when I’d go back to Puerto Rico, I’d be talking to people and find myself yelling and being mad all the time. My family would say, “Wow, I guess New York changed you!” It opened my eyes to another part of the real world. Back in Puerto Rico, things are so chill, people relax on the beach and walk so slowly. I want to push people and say “Hey, why are you walking so slow?!”

For this show at the Gallery, Rodriguez will be joined by collaborators old and new, including saxophonist John Ellis, pianist Fabian Almazan, vocalist Thana Alexa, and drummer Samvel Sarkisyan. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear Rodriguez before he heads back out on the road with Michel Camilo later this month. (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.


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.


Photo courtesy of the artist.

This Thursday, March 7, drummer Jeremy Dutton returns to The Jazz Gallery to present a new project called Systems. Systems features a top-notch quartet of collaborators old and new—saxophonist Maria Grand, guitarist Charles Altura, and bassist Burniss Earl Travis. In a recent interview with the video podcast Underground Drummer, Dutton speaks about his changing approach on the drums—an approach of increased clarity, emphasizing gestures and phrases that communicate clearly through the band. This approach is on full display in a recent performance with pianist (and fellow Houstonian) James Francies, recorded live at WBGO. Dutton unfurls the different colors of his drum kit gradually, creating a satisfying shape over the tune’s slippery vamp.

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear Dutton’s growing voice as a drummer, composer, and bandleader, alongside some of his impressive peers. (more…)