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A look inside The Jazz Gallery

Left: Johnathan Blake, photo by Ingrid Hertfelder; Right: Joe Dyson, photo by Eric Waters.

Left: Johnathan Blake, photo by Ingrid Hertfelder; Right: Joe Dyson, photo by Eric Waters.

This Tuesday, December 1st, The Jazz Gallery is proud to launch the final edition of our 2015 Mentorship Series, featuring drummers Johnathan Blake and Joe Dyson. Both drummers come from musical families and have forged deep connections to the musical histories of their respective hometowns. Hailing from Philadelphia, Johnathan Blake is the son of master jazz violinist John Blake, Jr. One of the busiest sidemen working in jazz today (he’s been on over 50 albums), Blake has carried forward the sound of Philadelphia drummers like Philly Joe Jones and Mickey Roker, a sound described by critic Aidan Levy as “the vertiginous sensation of being both slightly behind the beat and hurtling into the next measure.” Blake is seemingly always on the road with a huge array of groups—at the Village Vanguard with Tom Harrell in October, the Maria Schneider Orchestra this month, the Chris Potter New Trio next—showing his unparalleled musicianship and flexibility. Definitely check out this scintillating solo with pianist Kenny Barron.

Joe Dyson grew up in New Orleans and first played drums in the church where his father was pastor. While Dyson went to school at Berklee and now lives in New York, New Orleans is still very much a part of him musically. Dyson is one third of the Bridge Trio, along with his high school friends Max Moran on bass and Conun Pappas on piano. Their comfort and rapport are immediately apparent in this performance at 92Y Tribeca, below.

Dyson also plays regularly with New Orleans natives Donald Harrison and Christian Scott Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah. Although he has a command of many modern drumming styles, Dyson always filters those influences through a distinctive New Orleans swing.

Mssrs. Blake and Dyson will be joined by saxophonist John Ellis and bassist Dezron Douglas on Tuesday evening—two exploratory musicians who are also deeply rooted in jazz traditions. Prepare for two sets of slippery rhythms and deep grooves with this group.

Johnathan Blake and Joe Dyson play The Jazz Gallery as part of the 2015 Mentorship Series, this Tuesday, December 1st, 2015. The two drummers will be joined by saxophonist John Ellis and bassist Dezron Douglas. Sets are at 7:30 and 9:30 P.M. $15 general admission ($10 for members) for each set. Stay tuned for more performances with the group this month, both at the Gallery and SEEDS in Brooklyn. Purchase tickets here.