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Photo via Facebook

This Saturday, September 28th, we’re proud to host a special benefit concert for tenor saxophonist Dayna Stephens, produced by The Jazz Gallery with the help of Linda Oh and Pascal Le Boeuf. His début record The Timeless Now was named by NPR as one of the “Top 10 Jazz Jewels of 2007,” alongside albums by Brad Mehldau, Maria Schneider, and Robert Glasper, and his most recent release from April, That Nepenthetic Place, features long-time associates Gretchen Parlato (voice), Ambrose Akinmusire (trumpet), Jaleel Shaw (saxophone), Taylor Eigsti (piano), Joe Sanders (bass), and Justin Brown (drums). 

The concert will raise money to assist Dayna with exorbitant medical costs resulting from focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, a rare kidney disease that has affected him for several years. Please consider joining us for this all-star event, which will feature the likes of Joe Lovano, Donny McCaslin, Mark Turner, Linda Oh, Pascal Le Boeuf, Rudy Royston, Becca Stevens, Judi Silvano, Aaron Parks, and others; or, spreading the word via “Help Dayna Stephens.” If you’d like to read more about Dayna, NPR’s A Blog Supreme published this thoughtful profile in July.

A benefit concert for Dayna Stephens will be presented at The Jazz Gallery this Saturday, September 28th, with Joe Lovano, Judi Silvano, Donny McCaslin, Mark Turner, Dayna Stephens, Aaron Parks, Pascal Le Boeuf, Linda Oh, Rudy Royston, Becca Stevens, and others. Sets at 9 and 10:30 p.m., $30 for all. Purchase tickets here.

Photo via Facebook

Photo via Facebook

This Friday, September 27th, The Jazz Gallery welcomes tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana back to our stage with her group The Crash Trio, with bassist Pablo Menares and drummer Francisco Mela.

If you’ve been tuned in to the jazz sphere recently, this probably isn’t the first you’ve heard of Aldana—just last week, Aldana was named the winner of the 2013 Thelonious Monk Competition, making her the first female instrumentalist to win the competition since it began in 1987 and also earning her $25,000 in scholarship money and a recording contract with Concord Music Group. The first project on her list, in fact, is recording the music of The Crash Trio, featured in her performance at the Gallery this week. (more…)

Photo by Michael Hoefner (via Wikimedia Commons)

On any given night in New York, you could run into trumpeter Peter Evans just about anywhere. He could be playing downtown with the acclaimed “bebop terrorist band” Mostly Other People Do the Killing. He could be playing uptown at Lincoln Center with the International Contemporary Ensemble. Or, he could be playing at a Brooklyn club like Zebulon, with his own trio.

As a trumpeter with prodigious technique and catholic tastes, there’s no style or instrumentation that  Evans won’t try. On Thursday, Evans brings his Zebulon trio with bassist John Hébert and drummer Kassa Overall to The Jazz Gallery for two sets. Since trumpet-bass-drums trios aren’t particularly common in jazz, we caught up with Peter via email to talk about why he put this group together and the challenges of the format. (more…)

Photo by Álvaro Felgueroso

Photo by Álvaro Felgueroso

Bassist Alexis Cuadrado speaks many musical languages. He grew up loving rockers like Dire Straits and Supertramp, before falling for the sound of Jaco Pastorius’s fretless bass. He studied jazz in his native Barcelona and classical bass in Paris before relocating to New York in 1999. You can hear everything from classical chamber music to Sting in Cuadrado’s work, even when he explores new mediums and unfamiliar styles as he did on his flamenco-inflected 2011 album Noneto Iberico.

Cuadrado is always searching for new artistic challenges, and in his new project “A Lorca Soundscape,” which will be performed this Friday and Saturday at The Jazz Gallery, his challenge is the poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca. In the piece, Cuadrado sets to music a selection of Lorca’s New York poems, written when the writer lived in the city from 1929 to 1930. The poems feature Lorca’s observations of New York’s rampant economic inequality and the destruction leveled by the Great Depression. For Cuadrado, Lorca’s images still hold immense power in our age of recession and the “1%.” By appropriating them for his artistic expression, he helps us hear the poems in a new way.

The setting of poetry to music isn’t an especially common practice in the jazz world, although there are numerous precedents. Before you come out to hear Cuadrado’s new explorations of Federico Garcia Lorca’s words, consider checking out some of these other thoughtful jazz interpretations of poetry.

1. Fred Hersch — “The Sleepers,” from Leaves of Grass

On his 2005 album Leaves of Grass, pianist Fred Hersch takes favorite poems by Walt Whitman to create a piece that’s nearly operatic in scope. On “The Sleepers,” vocalist Kurt Elling’s falsetto and tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby’s fluttering asides conjure a vision of ghostly beauty.


Vitor Gonçalves via (left); Sandro Albert by Jimmy Katz (right)

Vitor Gonçalves via (left); Sandro Albert by Jimmy Katz (right)

The Jazz Gallery is pleased to present the Vitor Gonçalves Quartet and the Sandro Albert Quartet on Thursday, September 19th as part of the Savassi Festival. This year marks the first New York festival (Savassi originated in Belo Horizonte, Brazil in 2003), and will feature interpretations of Brazilian music composed by legends like Hermeto Pascoal, Milton Nascimento, Toninho Horta, and Paulo Moura, as well as more contemporary works.

The festival continues through September 25th, with performances at venues all over the city, including  Smalls Jazz Club , Shapeshifter Lab, The Bitter End, Cornelia Street Café, Le Poisson Rouge, and more. For a complete listing of Savassi-related performances, workshops, and other goings-on, take a look at their schedule here.

The Vitor Gonçalves Quartet and the Sandro Albert Quartet perform at The Jazz Gallery this Thursday, September 19th, as part of the Savassi NY Festival. The Vitor Gonçalves Quartet, performing “A Tribute to Hermeto” at 9 p.m., is Vitor Gonçalves (piano), Todd Neufeld (guitar), Thomas Morgan (bass), and Richie Barshay (drums).

The Sandro Albert Quartet, performing at 10:30 p.m., is Sandro Albert (guitar), James Weidman (piano), Rich Hammond (bass), and Ari Hoenig (drums). Sets at 9 and 10:30 p.m., $20 general admission and $10 for Members. Purchase tickets here.