A look inside The Jazz Gallery

Photo by James Matthew Daniel, courtesy of


Happy New Year and welcome to Jazz Speaks, the official blog of The Jazz Gallery!

Through multiple postings each week, Jazz Speaks will offer glimpses into the inner workings of “the most imaginatively booked jazz club in New York” (according to The New York Times, anyway). We invite you to visit us regularly for backstage looks at our latest activities and exclusive features from our artists.

We’re kicking off the new year by welcoming Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society back to The Jazz Gallery on January 6th & 7th. Darcy and his 18-piece steampunk big band are veterans of The Jazz Gallery; they’ve graced our stage at least a dozen times dating back to 2007, including a featured performance of new work written by Darcy as part of our 2008-2009 Large Ensemble Commissioning Series.

Immediately following the premiere of his Jazz Gallery commission, Darcy took Secret Society into the studio to record his debut album, Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam), which landed on over 100 Best-of-the-Year lists, earned the distinction of “Best Debut” in the 2009 Village Voice Jazz Critic’s Poll, and received a GRAMMY nomination for “Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album”. Read Darcy’s full bio here.

In addition to selections from Infernal Machines, the program this weekend will feature unrecorded works, including excerpts from the score to Brooklyn Babylon. A “multimedia extravaganza” commissioned by and premiered at the 2011 BAM Next Wave Festival, Brooklyn Babylon is the result of over a year of collaboration between Argue and graphic artist Danijel Zezelj. Here is a partial selection of reviewer’s comments about Brooklyn Babylon:

  • “a true audio-visual treat” (Mia Drane-Maury, Beyond Race)
  • “a fully staged, fully integrated sight-and-sound performance” (Peter Matthews, Feast Of Music)
  • “visual splendor and musical majesty of the type not often experienced” (Ralph A. Miriello, Huffington Post)
  • “originality, power, and beauty that left an audience slack-jawed” (David Krasnow, WNYC’s Studio 360).

Can’t get enough? Check out a video preview of Brooklyn Babylon here (courtesy of BAM) and read previews in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Don’t miss out! Reserve your tickets for Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society on January 6th & 7th here.




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