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A look inside The Jazz Gallery

Photo by Robert Stolarik for The New York Times

Amidst the whirlwind of recent activity at The Gallery, we’ve found ourselves in the press quite a bit. Two of our recent concerts received reviews in The New York Times: Kris Bowers and Tony Malaby’s “Novela”. Additionally, we were spotlighted in this profile from Rebecca Dalzell in The Boston Globe:

If there is one place where you can reliably catch the breadth and energy of the scene, it is the Jazz Gallery. The second-floor space feels like a listening loft, with art on the walls, folding chairs, and no bar. A 17-year-old nonprofit, it fosters young musicians and commissions new works. This winter it will host a residency for bassists and open its doors for rehearsals during off-hours, a project funded by Kickstarter donations.

The Gallery has an impressive track record for spotting new talent: three MacArthur grant recipients have frequented its stage, including Miguel Zenón, a resident artist last year. Trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, a recent Blue Note Records signee, once worked the door. Musicians graduate from here to bigger things.

“We’re focused on nurturing the future,’’ says Deborah Steinglass, executive director. “There are no artistic constraints, so musicians can take risks and bring different material here than they would elsewhere.’’

Maybe it’s the homey atmosphere, but you get a sense of community at the Gallery. Students come to support their friends, audience members talk to one another, and bands onstage clearly have fun. “Jazz musicians are so invested in each other, and that feeling infuses the environment,’’ says Steinglass. She has watched mentorships grow, citing a show when Akinmusire invited an unknown saxophonist, Adam Larson, onstage; Larson has since brought his own band to the Gallery’s Thursday-night debut series.