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A look inside The Jazz Gallery

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Photo courtesy of the artist.

This Friday, The Jazz Gallery is pleased to welcome saxophonist Godwin Louis and his Global project back to our stage. Starting as a Jazz Gallery commission in 2014, Louis’s project has taken him around the world, tracing the African musical diaspora in its many forms. This year marked the release of the project’s album, a sprawling music manifesto of sorts.

For this week’s performance at The Jazz Gallery, Louis will be joined by Axel Tosca Laugart on pianoKareem Thompson on steel pan, Giveton Gelin on trumpet, Dion Kerr on bass, and Jonathan Barber on drums. In the meantime, take a listen to Louis performing the exuberant and athletic tune “Siwel,” live on WBGO’s The Checkout.

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Photo courtesy of the artist.

This Wednesday, October 9, The Jazz Gallery is pleased to welcome guitarist Olli Hirvonen and his band New Helsinki to our stage for two sets. Hailing from the city of Lappeenranta in Finland, Hirvonen has called New York home for nearly a decade. Hirvonen’s been a longtime collaborator of drummer Tarun Balani and saxophonist Brian Krock, and has put out three records under his own name.

New Helsinki—with pianist Luke Marantz, bassist Marty Kenney, and drummer Nathan Ellman-Bell—is Hirvonen’s primary outfit. In August, the band released Displace (Ropeadope), featuring seven tracks that showcase Hirvonen’s expansive range of expression and references. Before hearing Hirvonen and company perform material from Dispace at the Gallery on Wednesday, take a listen to the evocative and noirish “Nodescript,” below.

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Photo courtesy of the artist.

This Saturday, October 5, The Jazz Gallery is pleased to welcome pianist Fabian Almazan back to our stage for two sets. Back in June, Almazan released his latest album, This Land Abounds with Life (Biophilia). While Almazan’s working trio with bassist Linda May Han Oh and drummer Henry Cole is the album’s core, Almazan places the ensemble inside a veritable terrarium of sound, featuring digital effects and Almazan’s own field recordings from Cuba. The result is an album with both a clear sense of place and a fantastical imagination.

For his Gallery performance this week, Almazan will be joined by Oh and drummer Rudy Royston. Before checking out this music live, take a listen to the evocative track “The Poets,” below.

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Photo courtesy of the artist.

Through three decades of performing, violist Mat Maneri has expanded the musical practices of his instruments. While playing with luminaries including Cecil Taylor, Joe Morris, and Matthew Shipp, Maneri has cultivated a fearless improvisation style that builds on his father Joe Maneri’s explorations of microtonality.

This Friday at The Jazz Gallery, Maneri celebrates his 50th birthday with two sets of music performed with many of his longtime collaborators. at 7:30 P.M., Maneri convenes his Dust Quartet, featuring pianist Lucian Ban, bassist Brad Jones, and drummer Randy Peterson. At 9:30, Maneri will join an expanded ensemble for a set of free improvisation, featuring Morris and Shipp, plus pianist Craig Taborn, saxophonist Tony Malaby, and fellow violist Tanya Kalmanovitch.

Before coming out to this celebration of Maneri’s music, check out this performance of Maneri with drummer Ches Smith’s trio, featuring Craig Taborn.

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Photo by Kasia Idzkowska, courtesy of the artist.

This weekend, The Jazz Gallery is thrilled to team up with Brooklyn Raga Massive to present two nights of BRM’s Coltrane Raga Tribute. The project first performed at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn in September 2015, highlighting the influence of Indian classical music on Coltrane’s work. Under the direction of percussionist Sameer Gupta, the group features a cast of musicians performing on both Indian and jazz instruments. To get a sense of the project’s rich sonic landscape, check out their version of Coltrane’s “Alabama” from their debut performance.

For this special performance at The Jazz Gallery, the ensemble features Marcus Strickland on woodwinds, Abhik Mukherjee on sitar, Jay Gandhi on bansuri, Sharik Hasan on piano & keyboards, Rashaan Carter on bass, and music director Sameer Gupta on drum set & tabla. (more…)