A look inside The Jazz Gallery

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The New York Times praises Luis Perdomo for his “strong, uncluttered conviction” as a leader, while also noting that he is an “indispensable supporting player.” The Village Voice sums it up by characterizing Luis as “a rather amazing improviser,” and adds that, regardless of the situation, “he consistently brings whomping rhythmic thrust and a consummate sense of groove.”

A native of Caracas, Venezuela, Luis was surrounded by music from an early age. Though his father’s record collection familiarized Luis with a variety of styles of music, it was the pianism of Bud Powell and Oscar Peterson that caught his attention from an early age. At the age of twelve, Luis was already performing and recording for Venezuelan TV and radio. Soon thereafter, the young pianist began to gravitate towards two experimentalists of the nineteen sixties: John Coltrane and Cecil Taylor.

Luis knew he needed to move to New York to continue his musical journey, and a full scholarship to the Manhattan School of Music provided the opportunity. Before long, the word spread, and the pianist became a first-call sideperson. Most notably, Luis has made significant contributions to bands led by saxophonists Ravi Coltrane and Miguel Zenón, and has also worked with  John Patitucci, David Sanchez, Ben Wolfe, Butch Morris, and Yosvany Terry, to name just a few.

Luis is no stranger to the piano at The Jazz Gallery. He’s performed here as a leader or co-leader upwards of twenty times since 2002, and has also appeared regularly with Ravi and Miguel. In 2007, we commissioned Luis as a part of The Jazz Gallery Composers’ Series. The result was ”Central Coast: Impressions on Afro-Venezuelan Music”, an extended work featuring the twin bass stylings of Boris Koslov and Hans Glawischnig along with reedist Peter Apfelbaum and drummer Eric McPherson. Speaking about the experience in an interview with The Beating Planet, Luis explains:

Some time ago, The Jazz Gallery [asked] me [to write] a work [for] its composers cycle. The venue has been a home [to me] during the last ten years. That’s how I had the opportunity to consolidate a project I had in mind for some time. I called it “Central Coast: Impressions on Afro-Venezuelan music”, which is a ten-piece collection inspired by the music of Venezuela’s central coast. It was very successful, since my idea was to keep the main rhythmic elements and the spirit of that music, but present [it] in a different way. I hired a sax player who played flute, percussion and blow-organ. There were also two acoustic bass players, a drummer and of course piano. It was a very interesting thing that attracted the attention of the audience.

In 2011, Luis participated in a residency as a member of Miguel Zenón‘s quartet, in which the band performed at The Gallery on a monthly basis for over a year. The residency was designed to prepare the group to record their 2011 release, Alma Adentro: The Puerto Rican Songbook, which was recently nominated for a GRAMMY.

On Saturday, Luis will make his first appearance on our new stage (at 1160 Broadway, 5th floor) with his quartet, featuring the saxophonist Miguel Zenón, the bassist Mimi Jones, and the drummer Rodney Green.

Listen to “Berimvela,” a cut from Luis’ 2012 release The Infancia Project on the Criss Cross label.

Photograph by Jimmy Katz

Photograph by Jimmy Katz

“The first time I heard Will Vinson, I was totally blown away,” remarks Joshua Redman, “so much so that I started trying to play alto again. An ill-fated attempt. But I’m still listening to Will every chance I get. And each time, I’m even more inspired, humbled, and, quite frankly, terrified.”

Joshua isn’t the only player of his generation to become captivated with Will’s musicianship. Since arriving in New York in 1999, the reedist has been enlisted by Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Jonathan Kreisberg, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Lage Lund, and Ari Hoenig, among others, and has also worked with Rufus Wainwright, Sufjan Stevens, and Sean Lennon. He has also released four albums as a leader, most recently Stockholm Syndrome (Criss Cross). According to DownBeat, Will’s approach is “marvelous;” it “drills a hole through [the music], boxing like a sprightly Olympic welterweight.”

As a young music enthusiast in London, Will frequently encountered older, more “responsible” influencers who never missed an opportunity to remind the youngster “just how hard it would be to try to pursue a professional future in music.” One instance in particular stood out:

The one counsel I remember most vividly came from my jazz piano teacher in London, a great and inspirational musician and educator called Leon Cohen. I paraphrase slightly, but he said, basically, “don’t do it unless you’d rather be dead than do anything else”. That sounded so romantic and hip that it had the no doubt unintended consequence of helping me make up my mind that this is what I wanted to do.

Of course, Will was also deeply inspired by the music itself; earlier, it was Stan Getz, Lester Young, Bill Evans, Duke Ellington, and Count Basie, and later, Weather Report and Keith Jarrett. Before too long, Will packed his bags and set out on a journey across the Atlantic to New York, one that would lead to many more opportunities to share his sound far and wide. Will concurs: “I try not to forget how lucky I am to be able to not only do the thing I love, but also to be able to do it all over the world.”

Will has been performing at The Gallery since 2006, and we are pleased to have his group, featuring the guitarist Lage Lund, the bassist Chris Smith, and the drummer Jochen Rueckert, performing at our new home (1160 Broadway, 5th floor) on Friday.

Listen to “Dean Street Rundown,” a cut from Stockholm Syndrome.

Photo via

Photo via

The pianist Adam Kromelow has the respect of his elders. Jason Moran notes his “adventurous spirit on the piano,” and Arturo O’Farrill heralds him as a “creative and unique voice.” He’s also starting to earn accolades from the press: All About Jazz has proclaimed that Adam is “the real deal,” and the Philadelphia Inquirer describes his trio, featuring the bassist Raviv Markovitz and the drummer Jason Burger, as “scary good.”

Adam grew up in Wilmette, a suburb north of Chicago, and developed his love of music early on. He began classical piano lessons in elementary school, but his attention shifted after he fell in love with the jazz canon, and rock bands like Genesis, in his high school years. At the age of eighteen, the pianist made the move to New York to study at the Manhattan School of Music, where he furthered his concept under the tutelage of Vijay Iyer and Jason Moran, who he cites as having been “absolutely pivotal” in his development. While in New York, Kromelow has worked with a range of artists including Bob Mintzer, Jon Irabagon, DJ Logic and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

In 2012, Adam’s trio with Raviv and Jason released its debut album, Youngblood, on Arturo O’Farrill’s label, ZOHO Music. The release reached the number fourteen position on the CMJ radio charts and was selected as one of the Top Ten CDs of 2012 by the Philadelphia Inquirer. We look forward to hosting Adam, Raviv, and Jason this Thursday at our new home (1160 Broadway, 5th floor) as part of our debut series.

Watch this video of Adam, Raviv, and Jason performing “Monster Bite” live at Andy’s Jazz Club in Chicago.

Photo via

Photo via

According to WNYC, Alan Ferber creates an “instantly transcendent musical experience.” The Wall Street Journal has characterized his music as “somehow both old school and cutting edge.”

Alan grew up in and around Oakland, California in a musical family. His grandmother was a Broadway actress, and his mother was also a musician, though not by trade. Moreover, Alan found a natural ally in his identical twin brother Mark, a drummer, who remains a frequent collaborator of Alan’s and is equally active on the jazz scene. Both Mark and Alan began their musical training on the piano, around age four. Alan recalls his first musical memory, which involved learning to play a piece from a Suzuki method book:

I remember I was just very attracted to how all these disparate sounds could work together so beautifully. It wasn’t something, obviously, I was analyzing at the time. It was just something I felt. It felt really good to me—particularly when you start on the piano, you are able to play chords, melodies, supporting chords and what not and really get a sense of how music works.

Alan switched to trombone in the fifth grade: “I’m really tall so I was one of the only guys who could reach close to seventh position in fifth grade, so they pretty much just assigned it to me because physiologically it worked.” In high school, he began to gravitate more towards jazz, and discovered three of his most significant influences: John Coltrane, J.J. Johnson and Art Blakey.

After graduating from college in Los Angeles (where his classmates included Gretchen Parlato, Todd Sickafoose, and his brother Mark), Alan made a spur-of-the-moment decision to move from LA to New York. “I was talking to a friend of mine on the phone who lived in New York—he had actually called the house looking for my brother and I happened to pick up on the phone. ‘Hey, you’re Alan—Mark’s brother. Man, you ever thought of moving to NY? There’s an apartment opening up in my building next week and it’s really cheap.'”

Since arriving here, Alan has collaborated with Charlie Hunter, Sufjan Stevens, Kenny WheelerLee Konitz, Dr. Dre,  and countless others. He has also been consistently recognized for his playing, and most recently placed second in the trombone category of the 2012 DownBeat Critics’ Poll. Alan has also released a number of critically-acclaimed recordings of his own music; the most recent, Chamber Songs (Sunnyside), was selected as one of the Best Albums of 2010 by DownBeat. He’s also received commissions from Bang On A Can, the Atlantic Brass Quintet, the Caswell Sisters, and others.

We’re thrilled to welcome Alan and his Expanded Ensemble to our new home (1160 Broadway, 5th floor) this weekend for a two night run. You can prepare by watching this video of the band live at The Blue Whale in Los Angeles, CA. We also recommend this interview with AllAboutJazz (quoted above), which covers Alan’s earliest musical memories, his happenstance move to New York, his most recent album, and what it was like to work with Dr. Dre.

Photo courtesy of The Bridge Trio

Photo courtesy of The Bridge Trio

On the subject of The Bridge Trio, Offbeat Magazine declares, “These three musicians are deeply connected to the roots of New Orleans music while…never shying away from taking the music in new directions… the focus is on making music as an ensemble, gracefully weaving textures over everchanging dynamics that displays a musical maturity far beyond the band’s years.”

The Bridge Trio is collectively-led by the drummer Joe Dyson, the bassist Max Moran, and the pianist Conun Papas. The three musicians met in New Orleans, where they were all raised, and began working together while they were students at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA). It wasn’t long before the leading artists in their city started taking note. Before they were old enough to attend most clubs without supervision, Alvin Batiste granted the band its first performing opportunities at New Orleans’ Snug Harbor. Donald Harrison took the trio out of the country as his backing band before they began their first days of college, and they continue to work with him to this day. The trio’s members have also worked on stage and/or in the studio with the likes of Herlin Riley, Chico Hamilton, Victor Goines, Sean Jones and Delfeayo Marsalis, to name a few.

In 2012, the trio self released an eponymous debut album, which Offbeat describes as “a modern-jazz gem that spotlights a diverse range of original material played with soul, dynamism and musical sensibility.” You can listen to an album preview here.

The Bridge Trio brings its “musical sensibility” to our new home (1160 Broadway, 5th floor) as part of our debut series this Thursday, February 21st. Get your tickets today.