This Friday, June 23rd, The Jazz Gallery is pleased to welcome saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins back to our stage for two sets. A native of Philadelphia and a current Juilliard student, Wilkins has already been making a name for himself in the New York scene, building strong relationships with both peers like vibraphonist Joel Ross and bassist Daryl Johns, as well as established veterans like Shai Maestro and Nasheet Waits.
Last month, Wilkins played a key role in Ross’s Jazz Gallery commission project, “Being a Young Black Man.” Wilkins not only provided incendiary playing throughout, but he also contributed an original composition of his own to the project—”Dad’s Song.” As both a preview of the music in store for this Friday and a belated Father’s Day gift, check out the group’s performance of Wilkins’s tune below.
This Thursday, June 15th, The Jazz Gallery is proud to welcome drummer Kenneth Salters and his band Haven back to our stage for two sets. Salters has established himself as one of the true chameleons in New York’s music scene, as comfortable playing with jazz groups, hybrid new-music groups like Andy Akiho’s Foundry, and even the Boston Pops Orchestra with Tony award-winning singer Leslie Odom, Jr.
As a composer, Salters’s main outlet is Haven, a group filled with similarly-versatile instrumentalists that allow Salters to explore myriad musical ideas and forms. Before coming to the Gallery to check what new material the group has been working through, check out our previous interview with Salters and the video describing Haven’s debut record, Enter to Exit, below.
This Thursday, June 8th, The Jazz Gallery is proud to welcome the Samurai Mama Big Band to our stage for the first time. Under the direction of Aakash Mittal, the big band is a project from the Kaufman Center’s Face the Music program, which features youth ensembles dedicated to performing the work of living composers.
Since their inception, the ensemble has tackled exciting and challenging works by the likes of Darcy James Argue, Anthony Braxton, John Hollenbeck, and Maria Schneider. Before seeing these talented young New Yorkers at the Gallery this Thursday, check out their performance of Schneider’s “The Pretty Road,” below.
This Tuesday, June 6th, The Jazz Gallery continues The Acoustic Series with tap dancer Savion Glover. For this week’s show, Glover will be joined by multi-reedist (and bari sax specialist) Patience Higgins. Higgins has had a long and varied career, working in Broadway pits and forward-thinking big bands led by the likes of Muhal Richard Abrams and David Murray.
To get a sense of the creative sparks that can ignite in this dialogue of improvised music and dance, check out Glover dancing with drummer Marcus Gilmore at the opening Acoustic Series concert, below.
This weekend at The Jazz Gallery, bassist Alexis Cuadrado will return to our stage for two nights of performances of his project, “A Lorca Soundscape.” Originally commissioned by Chamber Music America’s New Jazz Works program in 2011, the project features settings of poems that Federico Garcia Lorca wrote when he lived in New York in the 1930s. Cuadardo was inspired by Lorca’s unflinching descriptions of the city’s inequalities at a time defined by Occupy Wall Street, descriptions whose power and timeliness have only deepened in the intervening years.
In the poem “Aurora,” performed by Cuadrado and company below, Lorca describes the waking residents of New York as if empty sea shells washed up on a beach. The stark and unhurried groove in Cuadrado’s setting captures the text’s raw, waking feeling, while the images of empty sea shells inspire an elegantly-designed crab canon, where the contrapuntal lines are palindromes of one another.