In an interview with Ethan Iverson, pianist Fred Hersch spoke about how he turned many of his earliest New York gigs into masterclasses:
When I first started getting trio gigs, if the gig paid 200 dollars, I would hire [bassist] Buster Williams and [drummer] Billy Hart, and give them each 100 dollars.
The conventional wisdom in jazz is that experienced elder statesmen find up-and-comers to hire and mentor, not the other way around. But like Hersch and many others, pianist Samora Pinderhughes is hungry for musical growth and has sought out these kind of bandstand learning experiences.
This past winter, Pinderhughes showed himself to be an able and enthusiastic student through a series of Jazz Gallery mentorship concerts with vocalist Claudia Acuña. This Thursday, March 24th, Pinderhughes returns to the Gallery with two hard swinging elders for another masterclass—bassist Ben Wolfe and drummer Donald Edwards. Both Wolfe and Edwards and deeply steeped in the jazz tradition. Wolfe has performed with the likes of Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, as well as top-tier vocalists like Diane Schuur, Diana Krall, and Harry Connick, Jr. Edwards is a regular in the Mingus Big Band and Dynasty band and has helped propel pianist Orrin Evans’s bands for many years.
Through his work as both a leader and sideman, Samora Pinderhughes has exhibited a musical maturity that belies his young age. Comes see that maturity on full display at The Jazz Gallery this Thursday.
The Samora Pinderhughes Trio plays The Jazz Gallery on Thursday, March 24th, 2016. The group features Mr. Pinderhughes on piano, Ben Wolfe on bass, and Donald Edwards on drums. Sets are at 7:30 and 9:30 P.M. $15 general admission (FREE for members) for each set. Purchase tickets here.