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.
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.
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.
This Saturday, August 21, The Jazz Gallery is pleased to welcome vocalist Renée Neufville back to our stage. A true lodestar of neo-soul, Neufville’s music effortlessly floats along the jazz-R&B axis. And as founding member of Roy Hargrove’s RHFactor, Neufville has stewarded his legacy, including in this performance of her “Song for Roy,” performed with The Jazz Gallery All-Starts at this summer’s Newport Jazz Festival.
For this special performance at the Gallery, Neufville will be joined by a top-flight band, including saxophonist Jaleel Shaw, pianist Keith Brown, bassist Lonnie Plaxico, and drummer Willie Jones III. (more…)
This Saturday, August 14, trombonist Kalia Vandever returns to The Jazz Gallery stage to present a new project entitled Memories. For this reflective project, Vandever has assembled a rich palette, featuring peers like saxophonist Morgan Guerin, pianist Paul Cornish, bassist Hannah Marks, drummer Connor Parks, and vocalist Melissa McMillan. Looking back at her last interview with Jazz Speaks, one can see the seeds of this project forming, particularly in her use of voice.
I feel more empowered musically and personally than a few years ago when I finished school. I’m happier and more confident in the music I’m making. I’m also really excited about the music my friends are making right now. I’m currently learning the guitar and using that as a compositional tool. I’m also trying to write songs with words, which is really difficult, but something I’ve always been interested in.
Before checking out Memories at the Gallery, take a listen to the patient and nostalgic “Calling Me Back Home,” commissioned and performed by The Westerlies: