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A look inside The Jazz Gallery

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Photo by Jimmy Katz, courtesy of the artist.

With the COVID-19 pandemic sapped jazz of its lifeblood—live, in-person audiences—musicians improvised new ways of connecting. For guitarist Mike Moreno, that meant starting a podcast and livestream series. From his New York apartment, Moreno and a special guest would chat about life and music, followed by live duo set. Since starting the series in Fall 2020, Moreno has played with a who’s who of jazz guitarists, including the likes of Mike Stern, Mark Whitfield, Ben Monder, Marvin Sewell, Ben Monder and beyond.

But while Moreno stretched his work into a new medium, he leaned on a reliable musical foundation—jazz standards. In particular, Moreno dove deep into jazz standards from classic films, teaching an online course, and performing them solo in concert, below:

Moreno’s interviews and performances have drawn listeners from all around the world, sustaining a sense of community during a time of isolation.

This Friday, September 24, Moreno returns live to The Jazz Gallery stage, playing two sets alongside frequent collaborators Jon Cowherd on piano, Matt Brewer on bass, and Obed Calvaire on drums. To get a sense of what’s in store, check out the quartet performing at Smalls last month, with Taylor Eigsti filling in on piano.

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Photo courtesy of the artist.

This Thursday, September 16, The Jazz Gallery is pleased to welcome bassist Ben Tiberio and his quintet to our stage for two sets. Not only is this Tiberio’s first time at the Gallery as a leader (after playing here alongside the likes of Joel Ross, Immanuel Wilkins, and Sasha Berliner), it also marks the almost-release of his debut album, Rare Piece (Outside in Music). The album features 10 original compositions by Tiberio, written across a decade, a decade which saw him finish college, move to New York City, and become an integral member of his improviser peer group.

The compositions are deeply personal, representing what Tiberio calls his “deep perception of the emotional auras of people around me.” This kind of raw connection is reflected in Tiberio’s own wordless vocals on these tracks, including the lead sing “[e]motion,” which you can check out below.

For this release show at the Gallery, Tiberio will be joined album collaborators Nathan Reising on alto saxophone, Lex Korten on piano, and Evan Hyde on drums, as well as tenor saxophonist Dayna Stephens. Come to the Gallery this Thursday to experience what Tiberio describes as “this unifying force, which is pervasive and essential in music, provides us with sanctuary and fills us with hope.” (more…)

Yosvany Terry

Photo courtesy of the artist.

This Saturday, September 11, The Jazz Gallery is pleased to welcome saxophonist Yosvany Terry and his quintet back to our stage. Terry has deep roots at The Jazz Gallery, leading the “Jazz Cubano” series house band in the year 2000, and working with bassist Darryl Johns as part of the Gallery’s Mentoring Series in 2017.

For this performance, Terry has convened his working quintet, alongside longtime collaborators like bassist-brother Yunior Terry, and pianist Osmany Paredes. Before hearing the band at the Gallery, take a listen to their scintillating performance as part of Harvard University’s African & African American Studies 50th anniversary symposium, back in February 2020.

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Caroline Davis Portals

Photo courtesy of the artist

In a new book called Generation Disaster, psychologist Karla Vermeulen examines how the compounding traumas of the past twenty years—wars, mass shootings, financial crises, climate calamities, pandemics—have impacted the lives of American young adults. In an interview with writer Anne Helen Petersen, Vermeulen discusses the notion of “getting back to baseline functioning,” and what that means for people who have lived with trauma after trauma. “It seems more like the world is constantly undermining and eroding their personal baselines rather than shoring them up,” Vermeulen says.

Saxophonist Caroline Davis’s new record Portals, Volume 1: Mourning (Sunnyside) emerges from a time in her life where her personal baselines were deeply eroded. In 2019, Davis lost her father unexpectedly, a trauma compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The music on this record is the result of a process of channelling mourning through composition and reflection. The compositions explore multiple experiences of grief—the intellectual, emotional, and bodily—and how they intersect through memory. With her working quintet and a quartet of improvising string players, Davis is able to transform these experiences into potently expressive music.

This Friday, September 10, Davis will celebrate the release of Portals, Volume 1 at The Jazz Gallery alongside many members of the album lineup. Before hearing this music live, take a listen to the full album, below.

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Sara Caswell

Photo by Emma Mead, courtesy of the artist.

This week, The Jazz Gallery starts up the fall season with a performance from violinist Sara Caswell’s quartet. The child of musicologists, Caswell grew up in Bloomington, Indiana listening to and learning all different kinds of music. These wide-ranging musical interests bloomed into Caswell’s distinct style, grounded in classical, jazz, and folk idioms alike.

Last month marked the release of Omegah, the latest album from Caswell’s collaborative trio 9 Horses with mandolinist Joe Brent and bassist Andrew Ryan; it was featured on Bandcamp’s Best New Jazz of August 2021. For her gig at the Gallery, however, Caswell has convened her longtime quartet, featuring guitarist Jesse Lewis, bassist Ike Sturm, and drummer Jared Schonig. Before welcoming the group back to the Gallery stage for the first time since 2012, check out the quartet’s new video of Ike Sturm’s meditative composition “Stillness,” below.

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