A couple of weeks ago, New York Times jazz critic Nate Chinen did some major club-hopping during this year’s Winter Jazz Festival, checking out new artists rather than old favorites. At the New School’s Glass Box Theater, Chinen took in a set by James Francies’ Kinetic, featuring vibraphonist Joel Ross. Chinen was impressed by what he heard, noting that Ross is on a “…rocket-like trajectory,” and that “he’s somebody I’ll keep an eye on in the coming months.”
Ross hails from Chicago, Illinois and is an alumnus of the prestigious Brubeck Institute. He currently studies at the New School, but has already been making a name for himself in the greater New York scene. He not only plays with talented peers like James Francies, but was recently featured with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra playing the music of George Gershwin.
Ross swings effortlessly on the vibraphone, sometimes opting for a brittle sound reminiscent of Lionel Hampton, other times creating smooth and expressive lines in the vein of Milt Jackson. Yet while Ross’s sound is grounded in tradition, his rhythmic approach is very contemporary—intensely syncopated and excitingly abstract. Just check out his shape-shifting version of the standard “Stablemates” below.
This Tuesday, February 2nd, Ross will make his Jazz Gallery debut as a leader along with a band of his talented peers. Come and check out this rising talent before the word gets out.Joel Ross and Good Vibes play The Jazz Gallery on Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016. The group features Mr. Ross on vibraphone, Immanuel Wilkins on alto saxophone, Jeremy Corren on piano, Ben Tiberio on bass, and Jalon Archie on drums. Sets are at 7:30 and 9:30 P.M. $15 general admission (FREE for members) for each set. Purchase tickets here.