Archives for posts with tag: Winter Jazz Fest 2017

DSC_0136Words by Hank Williams. Photos by Joyce Jones/SugaBowl Photography. | MAIN PHOTO: Jamaladeen Tacuma of the Young Philadelphians. Used with Permission. Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons CC-NC-BY-ND.

The 13th edition of the annual Winter Jazz Fest officially wrapped up Tuesday night, bringing to an end a six-day extravaganza of music with a performance by the Liberation Music Orchestra closing the year’s festivities.

The festival clustered, as usual, around several different venues scattered throughout Greenwich Village. The historic center has been near Le Poisson Rouge and Zinc Bar on Bleecker Street. For the second year in a row, The New School provided several performance spaces, which are a welcome addition to the ever-expanding event. Smaller clusters of venues in both the East and West Village rounded out the list and had festival goers crawling between the different spots, adding somewhat of a logistical challenge to festival goers intent on seeing multiple acts.

The 2017 edition ran from January 5-10, with most the performances scheduled on the “marathon nights” Friday and Saturday the 7th and 8th.

This year also saw the addition of a festival theme: social justice and the Black Lives Matter movement. According to festival organizer Brice Rosenbloom, inspiration for the theme came from the musicians themselves since so many sent proposals for performances that addressed the topic in one way or another. A festival-related Tumblr feed collected artists’ statements on contemporary political issues and an official festival statement explicitly staked out the political turf in the program guide, affirming that it “explicitly supports social and racial justice by presenting socially engaged artists who have urgent and beautiful messages to share.” In a nod to history, the statement also noted that “[p]rotest and resistance are central to jazz’s existence from its beginnings as the music of marginalized black Americans.”

Other touchstones were the celebration of pianist Thelonious Monk’s 100th birthday, which was officially acknowledged with an event on Sunday the 9th, with a dozen musicians, including guitarist Marc Ribot, pianist David Virelles, and drummers Hamid Drake and Andrew Cyrille interpreting Monk’s Solo Monk album in a variety of combos.

Lastly, Andrew Cyrille was this year’s artist in residence and the subject of an interview by a former student of his: fellow drummer Jonathan Blake. Cyrille also had several performances, including leading Haitian Fascination; a duo with saxophonist Bill McHenry; and a solo performance.

The official festival kickoff on Thursday evening started with two events in different venues. For the third year in a row, the festival hosted a Disability Pride benefit concert featuring several musicians raising funds to support the organization that works to instill a sense of pride in disabled people and create wider awareness for the issues they face. The brainchild of pianist Mike LeDonne, the organization’s key event is a summertime parade.

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Shabaka and the Ancestors

Thursday night also featured a concert at Le Poisson Rouge linking two generations of saxophonists: London-based Shabaka Hutchings, who opened the evening with his new group Shabaka and the Ancestors; followed by the legendary Pharaoh Sanders. The concert sold out early and left potential attendees scrambling for tickets; a sign that it should have been held in one of the festival’s larger venues, which is something that the organizers need to consider in the future since space concerns have dogged the festival as its popularity has risen.

The show was Hutchings’s first US appearance and the first of two performances, as they had a repeat appearance on Saturday night in the same space.

Hutchings’s Saturday performance was a fiery one before a crowd that again filled the space. Buoyed by Siyabonga Mthembu’s ethereal poetic vocals and Ariel Zomonsky’s frenetic, expressive bass, the group got the audience dancing—at least those who had enough space to do so. At the end of the set, Hutchings expressed gratitude for their embrace by the US audience. Hopefully we won’t need to wait long for their return.

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Pharaoh Sanders

In Sanders’s set, he again showed why he’s rightfully earned a solid place in jazz history and is still worth seeing, as he’s capable of playing with an astonishing combination of finesse and sheer, room-clearing power when he sees fit. Sanders’s current shows can involve a wide range of material and vary according to his mood and who accompanies him. A 2016 appearance at Dizzy’s saw a somewhat subdued, contemplative Sanders, while a spring set at the Red Bull Music Academy’s “Night of Spiritual Jazz” featuring the impressive lineup of Sanders, the Sun Ra Arkestra, and Kamasi Washington (another show that, frustratingly, sold out quickly, though was simulcast online) brought a Sanders who seemed inspired by the occasion and performed a stunning cover of John Coltrane’s “Olé”. Which one would appear at the festival?

It was the latter Sanders who took the stage. Sanders, buoyed by longtime pianist William Henderson, bassist Dezron Douglas, and drummer Jonathan Blake, had the backup he needed for an inspiring set and he delivered. Vocalist Tony Hewitt came onstage for a pleasantly mellow take of “The Creator Has a Master Plan”, though one without some of the edge and soul of the Leon Thomas original.

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Ravi Coltrane (left) and Pharaoh Sanders

The highlight of the set, however, was the performance of “Olé”, which had the touching addition of Ravi Coltrane, who Sanders spotted in the audience and called to the stage. Coltrane, prepared with soprano saxophone brilliantly played off Sanders’s sax while Henderson and Douglas’s rhythm section dutifully kept things in check as the dueling saxes explored. It was indeed a performance for the ages and a fittingly symbolic closing of the circle as they expertly worked through a composition of one of Sanders’s key mentors with the addition of Coltrane’s son, now a leader in his own right who’s also found his own voice as a player. It was the aural equivalent of seeing three generations of sax masters.

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Craig Harris

On Saturday night, trombonist Craig Harris found himself at the front of the stage and armed with sheet music and conducting duties instead of his instrument. His role was melding a cohesive sound from a collection of the roughly 3 dozen musicians and artists who answered his call last fall to “make[e] a sonic statement in response to current injustices inflicted on African American people”.

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Craig Harris’ Breathe fills the stage

“Breathe” had its premiere in October, 2015 and is a stunning multidisciplinary work of art. An expansive big band was accompanied by performance poet and multi-instrumentalist Ngoma Hill and a slide show by Bill Toles projected on a screen above the stage.

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Saxophonist Ras Moshe (left) and Ngoma Hill.

Hill read excerpts from his works “Blacktastik Funk Suite,” “Keep Calm,” “Cerebral Calisthenics,” and “I Need a Poem.” The words, images, and swirling sounds created an immersive experience that the audience into the interconnected suite.

Later, in the New School’s 12th Street auditorium, saxophonist David Murray’s set directly engaged the festival theme. Leading a version of his Class Struggle ensemble, Murray’s expressive sax playing was outstanding. Murray closed the set with a nod to the late Amiri Baraka, who he collaborated with on album releases and plays. “Class Struggle in Music” titled after one of Baraka’s famous poems, began with riffs of “Amazing Grace,” a fitting homage to the longtime activist writer.

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Zig Zag Trio.

Over in the West Village, the Zig Zag Trio of electric guitarist Vernon Reid, electric bassist Melvin Gibbs, and drummer Will Calhoun closed out the evening at SOB’s and provided one of the festival’s highlights. With two members drawn from the rock group Living Colour (Reid and Calhoun) and their common background in the Brooklyn based Black Rock Coalition, an electrifying set was a foregone conclusion.

According to Gibbs, Zig Zag resuscitates a combination that hadn’t played together since the 1990s and grew out of Reid’s curation of a series at the Iridium club. Reid thought it would be good for the three friends to play together again, thus the birth of the current trio roughly two years ago.

The vibe was similar to what it’s been in the previous shows: more like a jam session than an actual set. But with musicians like these who have been playing together for so long, the communication between them makes the process seem fluid and organic.

While the obvious connection is their rock heritage, ties to various musical forms are just as deep, which is reflected in their playing and the song selection. The late drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson is a major influence, as is the Blues, and the late avant garde jazz guitar mad scientist Sonny Sharrock. Reid and Gibbs are both alumni of Jackson’s band. Reid explained from the stage that they “always play a couple of Jackson’s pieces because Ronald changed our lives.”

The set started with a cover of bluesman Junior Kimbrough’s “I Love Ya’ Baby”.

That was followed one of the hardest rocking covers of Pharaoh Sanders’ “Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt” ever done. The infectious melody of the original soon fell away to Reid’s virtuosic improvisations on guitar, backed by Calhoun’s wide-open hard-hitting drumming. Gibbs, meanwhile was somehow able to resist the allure of going totally out with his band mates in the mayhem and kept a steady bass line that formed the heart of the piece. The trio created space for one of Calhoun’s stage-rattling drum solos near the end before the final statement of the theme.

There was a deeper meaning behind nearly every song in the set and that was true of “Upper Egypt.” It was one of the songs in Sonny Sharrock’s setlist and Gibbs played it several times with Sharrock’s band before he had deeply listened to the original. The song’s choice was both a tribute to Sharrock and a nod to Sanders, whose set opened the festival.

The trio gave a nod to Monk’s centennial with a cover of “Epistrophy” which was subjected to a similar treatment after a slight false start.

Gibbs was tasked with starting off the next piece: a cover of “King Tut Strut” that was the contribution of Will Calhoun. Again, his steadying rhythm at the center held things together for Reid to explore. Halfway through, the roles switched and Gibbs’s steady hand was rewarded with time to explore on his own while Reid temporarily assumed the rhythm duties. When Calhoun’s turn to solo came, the master drummer showed why his latest release as a leader is a tribute to the late drum great Elvin Jones. Like Jones, Calhoun plays with volume — but also impeccable finesse — and has the uncanny ability to create solos with narratives that can go on seemingly forever and still sound fresh.

Elements of the blues, jazz, rock, rhythm and blues, and West African traditions all comfortably fit—and peacefully coexist—within the framework of the Zig Zag Trio.

The set was easily one of the hardest rocking ones of the festival, yet, if one looks closer, underscores the range of the players and the Black musical tradition that they draw from. Elements of the blues, jazz, rock, rhythm and blues, and West African traditions all comfortably fit—and peacefully coexist—within the framework of the Zig Zag Trio. It’s the type of project that could only succeed with players this proficient and with the level of comfort and trust they have in each other, which is clear on stage.

A live recording session is planned sometime for the spring at Woodstock Studios, though has to be shoehorned between Reid and Calhoun’s busy Living Colour tour schedule and Calhoun’s own dates as a leader for his Elvin Jones tribute. Additional live dates are probably on hold until fall 2017, but they’re well worth looking out for.

Saturday night tested the stamina of festival goers with persistent snowfall extending halfway through the evening. While it didn’t pile up too much, it was enough to make things slippery, walking slow going, and shuttling between locations a bit of a slog.

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Jaimeo Brown and Transcendence

Fortunately, Jaimeo Brown and Transcendence braved the weather and took the stage at SOB’s for their early set with a stunning multimedia collage.

Brown’s released two thematically similar CDs: Transcendence and Work Songs.

Work Songs is an audio collage combining actual sampled work songs that was a very successful release and critically acclaimed. While the samples form the base of the audio collage, they function as a vehicle for Brown and his collaborators to improvise around, not a crutch as they might elsewhere.

Live, the content was even more powerful than expected. Brown and company presented a multimedia spectacle, with video and some of the sampled sounds from both releases accompanied by Jaleel Shaw’s sax solos, Brown’s drumming, and Chris Sholar’s electric guitar work.

“Be So Glad” from Work Songs started the set. Shaw’s soaring sax solos that melted into the audio collage and seemed to float at times with the addition of a touch of reverb while a continuously shifting photo stream played in the background.

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D.C. Focus and Transcendence

The addition of D.C. Focus’s dancing halfway through the set complemented the larger narrative in Transcendence of the African American experience as a complex journey of grit, struggle, pain and joy: sometimes juxtaposed or simultaneous. While popping, locking, and even crawling as a counterpoint to the music in front of the band, Focus seemed to amplify the intensity of the performance.

Musically, Brown’s work defies simple categorization (as if those were even simple to begin with) between hip hop, blues, work songs, electric blues, and jazz as they all blurred together. The result though was–as promised—a set that felt truly transcendental.

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The Young Philadelphians

Saturday night also marked the return of Marc Ribot and the Young Philadelphians to the festival. 2017 was their third appearance and showed how far the ensemble has come, as this time they came to the stage with a world tour under their belts and a CD release culled from live shows in Tokyo.

The Young Philadelphians could only be the brainchild of someone like Ribot. The group reworks classic 1970s disco and soul tunes through the lens of electric guitar leads Ribot and Mary Halvorson with backing from two alums of late saxophonist Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time bands: electric bassist Jamaladeen Tacuma and drummer G. Calvin Weston. The entire cast of characters is then melded with a string section—Joanna Mattley (viola), Amy Bateman (violin), and Jeremy Harmon (cello)—in this case. As I said in my preview, it’s an idea that seems too crazy to work, but indeed it does.

Ribot, Tacuma, and Weston are steeped in Coleman’s signature Harmolodic musical approach while Halvorson adds coloring touches and density and the strings replicate their role in the original songs while their lushness acts in counterpoint to the sharpness of the guitars.

The Philly soul classic “TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)”–known to many as the theme song from the TV show Soul Train –exemplifies the Young Philadelphians’ approach. The song began with a long introduction before the statement of the familiar melody. A signal from Ribot marked the spot for a Weston drum solo followed by a string section solo before the mayhem resumed.

Ribot strips the lyrics to their bare essence, delivering them like chants. “Let’s get it on! It’s time to get down” takes on a different meaning in the current climate and given the festival theme. Instead of the joyous invitation to party, they seem more like marching orders for the audience.

The Ohio Players’ high octane “Love Rollercoaster” followed immediately and provided ample space for a string solo in the middle followed by a Tacuma bass solo and a call-response section between bass and drums.

The disco hit “Fly Robin Fly” from the unlikely German group Silver Convention was next. Like most tunes in their repertoire, it took a sweet, innocuous pop song exploded it, then re-assembled into a full tapestry. The chant-like lyrics “Fly, robin, fly/ Way up to the sky!” were treated as a call and response by the band members and the sparse lyrics of the original are the perfect platform the Young Philadelphians’ treatment. Halfway though, the song broke down into a free-for-all with strings and guitars all improvising before re-assembling for the end.

“Love TKO” began as an antidote to the above, and remains a ballad with funked – up bass lines, though eventually that even succumbed at the end of the song to Ribot and Halvorson’s excursions.

An extended, melodious intro to “Do the Hustle” emphasized the lushness of the strings before Ribot’s angular interpretation of the theme, reliably set off, as usual, by Halvorson’s looping improvisation. The song ended with a majestic-sounding restatement of the intro theme, closing with a final cymbal clash by Weston.

“Love Epidemic” read as yet another command for the times. If there was ever a time it was needed the time is right now. Almost deliberately, the song preserved more of the original lyrics than others: “There won’t be no need for medication /There won’t be no discrimination/ All we need is your participation / Then we’ll be united as a nation!” sent out a corresponding call to “It’s time to get down”: if indeed it’s time to fight, then the love epidemic might be what we want to fight for.

Much of the Young Philadelphians’ appeal comes from their successful reworking of bygone hits, but with a sense of the larger than life, nearly epic scope of the 1970s soul era

If you were old enough to remember the original songs, they had one meaning that reached back to the memory bank. If not, it didn’t matter to the nearly packed crowd of various ages because they rock hard enough to move the crowd. Much of the Young Philadelphians’ appeal comes from their successful reworking of bygone hits, but with a sense of the larger than life, nearly epic scope of the 1970s soul era; one that’s best captured by live instrumentation and embrace of the outrageous, sometimes over-the-top performance style of the originals. Here, that’s transformed into avant garde improvisation.

The one disappointment of the festival was missing the performance of the AfroHORN Superband, led by drummer/ percussionist Francisco Mora Catlett. While a press pass got me into Zinc Bar ahead of a few others on line, I gave up and walked out. Packed to the gills, Zinc made an inhospitable place to hear the music: assuming you could even get close enough to the back room to do so. Actually seeing the performance was out of the question, as was taking any sort of notes.

Quite frankly, the festival needs to drop Zinc as a venue and has needed to for several years since lines outside the small space are routine. One can understand the possible reluctance: after all, Zinc presents jazz several nights a week throughout the year, not just when the big crowds are out, which is an ongoing commitment to the music. Unfortunately, Winter Jazz has simply gotten too big for it, and it’s time to move on.

The 2017 Winter Jazz Fest still must be looked at as a resounding success. The quality and variety of acts it attracts is top notch, the audience support is enthusiastic, as evidenced by the sold-out events and solid crowds even on the second marathon night with sketchy weather, and organization has improved every year.

How deeply the festival ingests and repeats this year’s commitment to social justice remains to be seen–the late spring-summer Vision Fest has that as an embedded part of its DNA—but the willingness to read and react to artists’ own messages says quite a lot. Nevertheless the Winter Jazz Fest still boldly forges ahead artistically and creatively year after year with a finely curated collection of artists who push and stretch the boundaries of jazz while staying firmly rooted in the musical traditions.
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Hank Williams is an associate producer for Suga’ in My Bowl on WBAI Radio and webmaster for the Suga’ and Behind the Mic sites. He is also a PhD candidate in English and Africana Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center and teaches at Hunter and Lehman Colleges and The City College of New York. Find him on Twitter @streetgriot

bandstand_picPhoto Credit: Hank Williams

Welcome to Suga in My Bowl radio‘s weekly feature, On The Bandstand, where we collect upcoming NYC area shows from current and past Suga’ guests. We’re online weekly and on the air on NYC’s WBAI-FM radio alternate Sunday nights from 11 PM -1 AM. Keep up with us via Facebook, the blog here, or our main website, or Twitter and we’ll keep track of the schedule for you.
 
This week’s show concludes our 2017 2017 Winter Jazz Fest coverage with return visits by low brass specialist Joe Daley and Ruth Cameron, Charlie Haden’s widow and producer of several Haden albums. The Liberation Music Orchestra closes the Winter Jazz Fest on Tuesday January 10 at Le Poisson Rouge with pianist Geri Allen as a special guest. Ruth Cameron will be part of a panel discussion right before the show in the same location. Daley will be at Terra Blues with Hazmat Modine on the 21st. You can see our review of the Winter Jazz Fest right here later this week. Now on to the rest of the week’s events.
 
Bassist Mimi Jones hosts a jam session in the late set at Smoke on January 9th.
 
Bassist William Parker and drummer Hamid Drake team up for a Roy Campbell tribute on January 9 and again on the 16 and 18 at the Clemente Soto Velez Center as part of Arts for Art’s Justice is Compassion series.
 
Bassist Christian McBride has a 2-week run at the Village Vanguard, leading a trio from January 10-15 and returning with a quartet from the 17-22nd.
 
Drummer JT Lewis is at The Cell Theatre in Manhattan on the 11th with Harriet Tubman.
 
Pianist Harold Mabern leads a trio at Smalls on the 18th.
 
Drummer/ percussionist Francisco Mora Catlett leads AfroHORN at Clemente Soto Velez Center on the 19th.
 
Drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts leads a quintet with Ravi Coltrane on saxophone at the Jazz Standard from the 19th-22nd.
 
Guitarist Pat Metheny leads a quartet with drummer Antonio Sanchez at the Ridgefield Playhouse in CT on January 20th and at the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank, NJ on the 22nd.
 
Vocalist Kurt Elling is with saxophonist Branford Marsalis’s quartet at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater on the 20-21st.
 
Drummer and percussionist Bobby Sanabria is at Lehman Center for the Performing Arts in The Bronx with Larry Harlow on the 21st.
 
Guitarist Marc Ribot is at The Stone on January 22nd with fellow guitarist James Moore.
 
Drummer and percussionist Will Calhoun has a CD release event for his Elvin Jones tribute at the Blue Note from the 24-26. Saxophonist Ravi Coltrane joins Calhoun as special guest on the 24th.
 
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Not to be outdone by the Winter Jazz Fest, Vision Fest promoters Arts for Art is again sponsoring a nearly monthlong series from January 2-22nd of music, poetry, dance, and visual art titled “Justice is Compassion/ Not a Police State” at the Clemente Soto Velez Center on the Lower East Side. Poet Jesus Papoleto Melendez, bassist William Parker, drummer Hamid Drake, drummer/percussionist Francisco Mora Catlett’s AfroHORN, and dancer Patricia Nicholson Parker are just a few of the many involved. See the full schedule of 65 performances at their website.
 
Drummer and percussionist Will Calhoun’s gallery exhibit of his visual art collaboration Aza is on view at the Bronx Music Heritage Center through February 11. We reviewed the show earlier this year.
 
That’s all for now. Suga’ in My Bowl is scheduled to be back on WBAI‘s airwaves on January 22nd. We’ll also have another edition of “On the Bandstand” online next Sunday with a fresh set of listings.
 
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Hank Williams is an associate producer for Suga’ in My Bowl on WBAI Radio and webmaster for the Suga’ and Behind the Mic sites. He is also a PhD candidate in English and Africana Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center and teaches at Hunter and Lehman Colleges and The City College of New York. Find him on Twitter @streetgriot

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Words by Hank Williams
 
This week, the Winter Jazz Fest is blowing back into town. The 13th edition of the ever-expanding annual showcase follows a familiar format: two marathon nights of music in venues scattered around the heart of Greenwich Village, with a few standalone opening and closing events – some of which are already sold out — and we’re told that tickets for even the marathon nights are going fast.

As we’ve done for the past few years, we’ll go through a shows with a viewers’ guide to some of our preferred picks, with an admitted lean toward former guests on the Suga in My Bowl radio show. Speaking of our show (shameless self-promotion time): you can catch our coverage featuring talks with pianist David Virelles and WJF promoter Brice Rosenbloom or drummer/percussionist Francisco Mora Catlett and trombonist Craig Harris.

I’ll point you toward the full schedule and artist lineup, but hopefully this will help wade through the myriad choices available each night. Obviously, there are several ways to experience the festival. You can either pick and choose key acts, take a more eclectic approach and see what you find, or some combination of the two. It’s all good.

FESTIVAL THEME AND FOCUS

This year’s theme is social justice and support of the broader discussion around Black Lives Matter, a theme that festival organizer Brice Rosenbloom notes came from the artists themselves: so many of them submitted proposals along those lines that it made sense to simply make the official festival theme reflect their work.
 
Andrew Cyrille 2017 WJF Resident Artist Andrew Cyrille | Photo credit: Joyce Jones
 
Other festival highlights are programming around groundbreaking pianist Thelonious Monk as 2017 marks the centennial of his birth and the selection of drummer/percussionist Andrew Cyrille as this year’s artist in residence. In addition to playing at the festival, Cyrille will be in conversation about his career and jazz on Saturday the 8th at 1 PM at The New School where he teaches. There are several other talks as well and you can browse the entire schedule to see what’s on offer.

If you (understandably) don’t want to wade through the wall of words here, you can jump directly to Thursday’s concert, picks for the first marathon day on Friday, second day on Saturday, or the Sunday-Tuesday sets.

TICKETS AND ADMISSION

WJF has several options available for the standalone shows, marathon nights (either one or both) or full festival passes for the hardcore enthusiasts. The one constant is that we strongly recommend getting tickets in advance, since even with the expanded venues at the New School, it’s possible to get closed out of nights. The “marathon” nights on Friday the 6th and Saturday the 7th are sold for the entire night only: not for individual shows. They’re still a pretty good deal for how much music you get if you see more than a single show, and there’s likely something to suit almost everyone’s taste. 2-day passes and full festival passes get entrance to the marathon days as well. Separate tickets are necessary for the opening and closing events, with the exception of events that sell out, such as Pharaoh Sanders’ show on Thursday the 5th.

LOCATIONS AND LOGISTICS

The WJF’s heart is still in the center of the Village: with venerable institutions Zinc Bar, The Bitter End, and Le Poisson Rouge returning. Gone is the historic Judson Memorial Church, which has served as a check-in location and performance venue for the past two years. The New School continues as a festival sponsor and provides several spaces for the festival in its campus clustered around 13th Street off Fifth Avenue, including some much needed larger venues. All of these are close enough to comfortably (though maybe briskly) walk between for sets. Zinc Bar is small and popular, so be warned that seeing an act scheduled there means getting there very early, and possibly skipping something else in the process.

On the western frontier of the Village and Tribeca are SOB’s and the Django at the Roxy Hotel.

Nublu, the East Village mainstay, serves up their new satellite location at 151 Avenue C, between 9-10 Streets. It’s a brisk walk or quick bus or L train ride away from the action clustered near the center.

Bowery Electric, Subculture, and Bowery Ballroom are clustered together on the Lower East Side and round out this year’s venues.

Obviously, figuring out what one wants to see also means taking into account the logistics of who’s playing where and getting between venues.

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Photo credit: Winter Jazz Fest (screenshot)
 

THURSDAY JANUARY 5

The festival kicks off with the returning Jazz Legends for Disability Pride benefit concert at the Quaker Friends Meeting Hall. It’s the brainchild of pianist/organist Mike LeDonne, whose made it his mission. There’s a solid lineup on offer, including veteran pianist Harold Mabern.
 
Pharaoh Sanders | Joyce Jones Photo
Pharaoh Sanders | Joyce Jones Photo
 
Our pick for the night, however is the concert with saxophonist Pharaoh Sanders, with Shabaka and the Ancestors as opening act. Unfortunately, tickets are sold out, but it’s worth following the event’s Facebook page for possible last minute ticket releases or a wait list.

If you have tickets (or are willing to go the standby route), there’s the possibility of an extremely inspired and definitely memorable show by a jazz legend who’s earned his stripes and still plays with incredible intensity at times considering his age and the demands of his instrument.

Sanders is known for his early career work with Sun Ra, his appearances on John Coltrane’s later albums, followed by work with Alice Coltrane and his own solo career work. His signature style seemed to pick up where Coltrane left off with avant garde pieces of an epic scale and unrestrained playing that saw him push the limits of the instrument.

Sanders’s current playing has mellowed somewhat, but still shows the sings of his virtuosity and incredible command of the saxophone

Sanders’s current playing has mellowed somewhat, but still shows the sings of his virtuosity and incredible command of the saxophone, whether he’s going through his own work or covers of other artists. Not surprisingly, Coltrane covers appear regularly on his set list, but you might hear anything from the Blues (BB King’s “Every Day I Sing the Blues”) to versions of his own work, including “You’ve Got To Have Freedom” and crowd favorite “The Creator Has a Master Plan”. Last year, his performance at the Red Bull Music Academy’s “Night of Spiritual Jazz” seemed to inspire Sanders to pull out all the stops, including a searing version of Coltrane’s “Olé”, which matched anything he’s done recently. For a deeper dive see our show with him.

FRIDAY JANUARY 6

Pianist/vocalist Amina Claudine Myers takes the stage at 6:40 PM at New School’s 12th Street Auditorium. Myers is comfortable playing both highly improvised music as well as more straight ahead jazz. With a solo performance scheduled, we’d expect a lyrical, melodic set from Myers. For a deeper dive into her work see our show and interview with her.

Meanwhile, trombonist Craig Harris takes the stage at 7 PM around the corner in the appropriately expansive New School Tishman Auditorium for an epic work he titled “Breathe” in a clear nod to the late Eric Garner, who was choked to death by the NYPD. Harris put out a call last fall for musicians to collaborate with him on the work and the response was overwhelming and resulted in an electrifying performance that you can catch a version of. The 23-person ensemble includes Dick Griffin and Joe Daley (trombones).

In Tribeca at SOB’s at 7 PM, Brooklyn Raga Massive’s Coltrane Tribute is worth a look. Coltrane began looking toward the East–both spiritually and musically—and BRM looks at ‘Trane from the opposite direction, with an Indian-inflected look at Coltrane’s work with a heavy does of improvisation that’s the basis for both musical traditions. Pianist/keyboardist Marc Cary and harpist Brandee Younger join the collective this time for what should be a particularly raucous set of music.

Back at New School’s Tishman Auditorium at 8:20 PM, drummer Andrew Cyrille and saxophonist Bill McHenry take the stage. The two collaborated on the 2016 Proximity (Sunnyside) release, which should be a good guide for their set. The interplay between the two creates a very intimate space that lets them go between far-out avant garde playing, and more introspective, contemplative work.

Following that set, Songs of Freedom takes the Tishman Auditorium stage at 9:40 PM with vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater offering her take on the festival theme. One could do worse than simply camping out in that venue for the evening.
 
David Murray
David Murray at the 2016 WJF | Photo credit: Hank Williams
 
Around the corner, saxophonist David Murray leads his Class Struggle ensemble at New School’s 12th Street Auditorium at 10:40 PM. Murray was a featured performer at last year’s WJF, where he was workshopping some new material along with existing pieces. Expect a hard-hitting set from the ensemble here from the versatile Murray, who is as comfortable playing “out” as he is swinging hard. Here he is at the Vision Fest a few years ago.


 
There’s a tough call for the late set, so I’ll present both possibilities. At 12:20 AM at SOB’s, guitarist Vernon Reid’s Zig Zag Trio with drummer/percussionist Will Calhoun and bassist Melvin Gibbs promises a memorable set for fans of fusion or rock, which is to be expected from a trio with members drawn from Living Colour and Harriet Tubman. However, they’re equally influenced by the work of the late drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson and the electric blues as well. I’ll point you to my write-ups from their winter and summer shows last year at Iridium for more details, but it’s a show not to be missed. There are plans for a recording session this spring, but until then, you’ll have to settle for catching them live. Here they are in a live show last year.


 
Closer to the center of the action, a quartet anchored by the incredibly prolific bassist William Parker, who leads one of the many permutations of his In Order to Survive ensemble with frequent collaorator drummer/percussionist Hamid Drake, go onstage at New School’s 12th Street Auditorium in the slightly earlier midnight slot. Expect a highly avant garde, improvised set from the quartet, who are all vets of Arts for Art’s Vision Fest. You can go to our show with Drake for a deeper look at his work or see the video of them raising the roof at the 2012 Vision Fest.

SATURDAY JANUARY 7

Drummer Jaimeo Brown’s Transcendence kicks off the evening set at SOB’s. Their 2016 Worksongs (Motéma) release was a stunning example of Jazz, hip hop, Blues, and pop done right. The release mixed classic prison worksongs with sampled/ looped sounds and the improvisation of Brown’s ensemble laid on top of it all. This set is one that should appeal to listeners who lean more toward the pop and hip hop end of the spectrum, while possibly drawing in a few who can appreciate thoughtful contemporary reworkings of the classics. What they do is easy to mess up and difficult to do right. Transcendence nailed the balance with this one.


 
If your tastes swing more to the avant garde and electric end of the scale, then consider guitarist Mary Halvorson Octet’s 7 PM set at The New School’s 5th Floor Theater. Halvorson’s been gigging around New York City for a while now and is starting to emerge as a leader in her own right. (A recent profile by NPR’s Joel Rose should help her cause too.) The group features an ensemble of emerging young players who work together on various projects. Halvorson’s enticing electric guitar combined with Susan Alcorn’s steel pedal guitar should yield yet another highly experimental, innovative set. It’s one of WJF’s smaller spaces, so the hot tip is to get there early.

Saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings and the Ancestors are at Le Poisson Rouge at 7:40 PM. If you didn’t get a ticket for Thursday’s show, then you have another shot to catch them.

At 8:40 PM, there are two groups going head to head that you might consider. Saxophonist Ravi Coltrane and pianist David Virelles team up for a duo at New School’s Tishman Auditorium. Expect a melodic set from the duo with contemplative passages and occasional bursts of fire.

Also on tap in the 8:40 PM slot is percussionist Adam Rudolph’s Moving Pictures who are at Subculture. The ensemble includes incredibly versatile drummer/percussionist Hamid Drake and Graham Haynes on cornet.

In a different direction, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington leads Social Science at SOB’s in the 9:20 PM set. Carrington’s no stranger to the WJF, having previously performed with David Murray and Geri Allen. This time, Carrington’s teamed up with keyboards, vocals, and a DJ, so we expect a set that’ll lean in the pop direction.

Later on in the evening, Zinc Bar hosts two sets featuring current and former members of the Sun Ra Arkestra at 10:20 and 11:40 PM under the “OUT OF RA” banner. George Burton’s Quintet has the earlier set, while drummer/percussionist Francisco Mora Catlett’s AfroHORN Superband has the later set. An expanded AfroHORN features poet Abiodun Oyewole whose probably best known for his work with The Last Poets and fellow Arkestra alum Ahmed Abdullah on trumpet. Look for extremely improvisational free-form sets with both groups using the concepts of the Arkestra as springboards for their own work. The issue with both of them will likely be getting into Zinc, since it’s one of the smallest WJF spaces and known for lines. Seeing either of these groups might mean sacrificing an earlier set or a dinner break to line up.


 
If the above doesn’t work out, then a solid backup plan for the 10:20 PM set is another performance by WJF artist-in-residence Andrew Cyrille, this time with Haitian Fascination at the spacious New School 12th Street Auditorium.

Marc Ribot and the Young Philadelphians: It’s an idea that seems too crazy to work, but work indeed it does

Yet another pick (and probably where I’ll end up) is the 10:40 PM set at SOB’s with guitarist Marc Ribot and the Young Philadelphians. The group—one of many different combinations Ribot is involved with—reworks classic 1970s hits from the disco era into improvisational masterpieces with a dual electric guitar attack by Ribot and Mary Halvorson with backing by bassist Jamaladeen Tacuma and drummer G. Calvin Weston and a string section. It’s an idea that seems too crazy to work, but work indeed it does. Weston and Tacuma are alums of Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time ensembles, so there’s a healthy does of harmolodics as well. They brought the house down the last two times they appeared at WJF with their high energy level is high and infectiously good grooves.


 

If you can manage to stay up late again, harpist Brandee Younger leads a trio at Nublu that’s worth a look. Last year, Younger’s WJF set was dedicated to the late Jazz harp pioneer Dorothy Ashby, whose work had a large influence on her. This year, you’ll probably still hear some Ashby, but some Alice Coltrane and some of her own compositions are likely on tap as well.

SUNDAY-TUESDAY SETS

If all that weren’t enough already, the WJF has standalone sets on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday with separate admission for each. Sunday, the show goes on the road to Littlefield in Brooklyn and is all about Monk, with 12 different musicians interpreting his Solo Monk album. Marc Ribot, Andrew Cyrille, David Virelles, and Hamid Drake are some of the ones tasked with interpreting Monk’s angular stylings.

Monday and Tuesday finds WJF back in the Village at Le Poission Rouge. Andrew Cyrille has a solo set on Monday.

On Tuesday, WJF goes out swinging hard with the Liberation Music Orchestra, led this time by pianist Geri Allen. The LMO was a project of the late bassist Charlie Haden and took an explicitly political tone in its work. Like the Sun Ra Arkestra, it’s being kept alive by its members (and is usually helmed by pianist Carla Bley). Expect a rousing set to close out the festival.

We’ll be wrapping up our radio coverage of this year’s event on Sunday January 8 at 11 PM on WBAI Radio (99.5 FM or streaming online) with a preview of the Liberation Music Orchestra’s performance and an interview with Joe Daley.

Are you planning to go? Who are you looking forward to seeing? Let us know in the comments.
 
—-
Hank Williams is an associate producer for Suga’ in My Bowl on WBAI Radio and webmaster for the Suga’ and Behind the Mic sites. He is also a PhD candidate in English and Africana Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center and teaches at Hunter and Lehman Colleges and The City College of New York.

bandstand_picPhoto Credit: Hank Williams

Welcome to Suga in My Bowl radio‘s weekly feature, On The Bandstand, where we collect upcoming NYC area shows from current and past Suga’ guests. We’re online weekly and on the air on NYC’s WBAI-FM radio alternate Sunday nights from 11 PM -1 AM. Keep up with us via Facebook, the blog here, or our main website, or Twitter and we’ll keep track of the schedule for you.
 
We’re off this week, but head on over to our archives for last week’s show with drummer/percussionist Francisco Mora Catlett and a quick discussion with trombonist Craig Harris and nearly 7 years of archived shows. Catlett and Harris are both at this year’s 2017 Winter Jazz Fest, which is the big news this week. You can see Harris lead his “Breathe” composition on the first marathon night of music on January 6th at the New School’s Tishman Auditorium. Catlett leads AfroHORN on the second marathon night at Zinc Bar on the 7th and later in the month at Clemente Soto Velez Center on the 19th. We recommend getting to Zinc Bar extremely early for the Catlett show and we’re told that WJF tickets are selling out fast. Check back on Monday for our annual in-depth Cheat Sheet festival preview! Now on to the rest of the week’s events.
 
Bassist Mimi Jones hosts a jam session in the late set at Smoke on January 2.
 
Pianist Harold Mabern joins Brandi Disterheft’s trio at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club on January 4.
 
Saxophonist Billy Harper leads a quintet at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club on January 4 and at Smoke on January 6.
 
Poet Jesus Papoleto Melendez reads and dancer Patricia Nicholson Parker performs in separate sets on January 7 at the Clemente Soto Velez Center as part of Arts for Art’s monthlong Justice is Compassion series.
 
Bassist William Parker and drummer Hamid Drake team up for a Roy Campbell tribute on January 9 and again on the 16 and 18 at the Clemente Soto Velez Center as part of Arts for Art’s Justice is Compassion series.
 
artsforart_jan2016_banner_crop

Not to be outdone by the Winter Jazz Fest, Vision Fest promoters Arts for Art is again sponsoring a nearly monthlong series from January 2-22nd of music, poetry, dance, and visual art titled “Justice is Compassion/ Not a Police State” at the Clemente Soto Velez Center on the Lower East Side. Poet Jesus Papoleto Melendez, bassist William Parker, drummer Hamid Drake, drummer/percussionist Francisco Mora Catlett’s AfroHORN, and dancer Patricia Nicholson Parker are just a few of the many involved. See the full schedule of 65 performances at their website.
 
The annual Winter Jazz Fest blows through town from January 5-10. We already mentioned Francisco Mora Catlett and AfroHORN and Craig Harris’s “Breathe”. Other festival highlights include an opening concert by saxophonist Pharaoh Sanders on the 5th, a closing performance by the Liberation Music Orchestra led by pianist Geri Allen on the 10th as a tribute to the late bassist Charlie Haden, and two marathon nights of music on the 7th and 8th. Drummer Andrew Cyrille is artist in residence and the festival theme is social justice. There are way too many former show guests there to mention, the full schedule is already up and we’ll have our own annual Cheat Sheet festival guide up right here on Monday January 2nd.
 

 
Bassist Christian McBride has a 2-week run at the Village Vanguard, leading a trio from January 10-15 and returning with a quartet from the 17-22nd.
 
Drummer JT Lewis is at The Cell Theatre with Harriet Tubman on the 11th.
 
Drummer and percussionist Will Calhoun’s gallery exhibit of his visual art collaboration Aza is on view at the Bronx Music Heritage Center through February 11. We reviewed the show earlier this year.
 
That’s all for now. Suga’ in My Bowl is scheduled to be back on WBAI‘s airwaves on January 8th. We’ll also have another edition of “On the Bandstand” online next Sunday with a fresh set of listings.
 
—-
Hank Williams is an associate producer for Suga’ in My Bowl on WBAI Radio and webmaster for the Suga’ and Behind the Mic sites. He is also a PhD candidate in English and Africana Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center and teaches at Hunter and Lehman Colleges and The City College of New York.

bandstand_picPhoto Credit: Hank Williams

Welcome to Suga in My Bowl radio‘s weekly feature, On The Bandstand, where we collect upcoming NYC area shows from current and past Suga’ guests. We’re online weekly and on the air on NYC’s WBAI-FM radio alternate Sunday nights from 11 PM -1 AM. Keep up with us via Facebook, the blog here, or our main website, or Twitter and we’ll keep track of the schedule for you.
 
This week’s show continues our 2017 Winter Jazz Fest coverage with percussionist Francisco Mora Catlett and a brief visit by trombonist Craig Harris. You can see Harris lead his “Breathe” composition on the first marathon night of music on January 6th at the New School’s Tishman Auditorium. Catlett leads AfroHORN on the second marathon night at Zinc Bar on the 7th and later in the month at Clemente Soto Velez Center on the 19th. We recommend getting to Zinc Bar extremely early for the Catlett show.
 
Pianist Harold Mabern closes out the year at Smoke with a John Coltrane tribute through January 1st. Trombonist Steve Turre joins him as a special guest on the 29-30.
 
Blues vocalist Alexis P. Suter is at Iridium on the 27th.
 
Dr. Leonard Jeffries has 3 appearances this week at Kwanzaa events. You can catch him on the 27th in Harlem at the New Amsterdam Music Association and in Queens on the 30th at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center, and on New Year’s Eve at the Dr. John Henrik Clarke House in Harlem.
 
Hammond B3 organ master Dr. Lonnie Smith leads an octet at the Jazz Standard from December 28-January 1.
 
Bassist Mimi Jones hosts a jam session in the late set at Smoke on January 2.
 
Pianist Harold Mabern joins Brandi Disterheft’s trio at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club on January 4.
 
Saxophonist Billy Harper leads a quintet at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club on January 4 and at Smoke on January 6.
 
Poet Jesus Papoleto Melendez reads and dancer Patricia Nicholson Parker performs in separate sets on January 7 at the Clemente Soto Velez Center as part of Arts for Art’s monthlong Justice is Compassion series.
 
Bassist William Parker and drummer Hamid Drake team up for a Roy Campbell tribute on January 9 and again on the 16 and 18 at the Clemente Soto Velez Center as part of Arts for Art’s Justice is Compassion series.
 
Drummer and percussionist Will Calhoun’s gallery exhibit of his visual art collaboration Aza is on view at the Bronx Music Heritage Center through February 11. We reviewed the show earlier this year.
 
artsforart_jan2016_banner_crop

Not to be outdone by the Winter Jazz Fest, Vision Fest promoters Arts for Art is again sponsoring a nearly monthlong series from January 2-22nd of music, poetry, dance, and visual art titled “Justice is Compassion/ Not a Police State” at the Clemente Soto Velez Center on the Lower East Side. Poet Jesus Papoleto Melendez, bassist William Parker, drummer Hamid Drake, drummer/percussionist Francisco Mora Catlett’s AfroHORN, and dancer Patricia Nicholson Parker are just a few of the many involved. See the full schedule of 65 performances at their website.
 
Finally, the annual Winter Jazz Fest blows through town from January 5-10. We already mentioned Francisco Mora Catlett and AfroHORN and Craig Harris’s “Breathe”. Other festival highlights include an opening concert by saxophonist Pharaoh Sanders on the 5th, a closing performance by the Liberation Music Orchestra led by pianist Geri Allen on the 10th as a tribute to the late bassist Charlie Haden, and two marathon nights of music on the 7th and 8th. Drummer Andrew Cyrille is artist in residence and the festival theme is social justice. There are way too many former show guests there to mention, the full schedule is already up and we’ll have our own annual Cheat Sheet festival guide up right here after New Year’s.
 

That’s all for now. Suga’ in My Bowl is scheduled to be back on WBAI‘s airwaves on January 8. We’ll also have another edition of “On the Bandstand” online next Sunday with a fresh set of listings.
 
—-
Hank Williams is an associate producer for Suga’ in My Bowl on WBAI Radio and webmaster for the Suga’ and Behind the Mic sites. He is also a PhD candidate in English and Africana Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center and teaches at Hunter and Lehman Colleges and The City College of New York.

bandstand_picPhoto Credit: Hank Williams

Welcome to Suga in My Bowl radio‘s weekly feature, On The Bandstand, where we collect upcoming NYC area shows from current and past Suga’ guests. We’re online weekly and on the air on NYC’s WBAI-FM radio alternate Sunday nights from 11 PM -1 AM. Keep up with us via Facebook, the blog here, or our main website, or Twitter and we’ll keep track of the schedule for you.
 
We’re off this week, but head on over to our archives for last week’s show with pianist David Virelles and nearly 7 years of archived shows. And let’s get to our music listings.
 
Saxophonist Gary Bartz‘s John Coltrane tribute at Smoke ends December 19th.
 
Pianist Vijay Iyer is at the Harlem Stage Gatehouse with trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith on the 19th and the duo repeats the next night at Brooklyn’s National Sawdust on the 20th.
 
Looking ahead, saxophonist Ravi Coltrane is with the James Carney Sextet at the Jazz Gallery on the 21st.
 
Organist John Medeski is at The Stone with Simulacrum from December 21-23.
 
Trombonist Craig Harris is at Harlem’s Mt. Olivet Baptist Church for a production of the James Weldon Johnson classic God’s Trombones on December 22-23.
 
Pianist Harold Mabern leads a trio at Smalls on the 21st then closes out the year at Smoke with a John Coltrane tribute from December 22nd-January 1st. Trombonist Steve Turre joins him as a special guest on the 29-30.
 
Hammond B3 organ master Dr. Lonnie Smith leads an octet at the Jazz Standard from December 28-January 1.
 
Drummer and percussionist Will Calhoun’s gallery exhibit of his visual art collaboration Aza is on view at the Bronx Music Heritage Center through February 11. We reviewed the show earlier this year.
 
artsforart_jan2016_banner_crop

Not to be outdone by the Winter Jazz Fest, Vision Fest promoters Arts for Art is again sponsoring a nearly monthlong series throughout January of music, poetry, dance, and visual art titled “Justice is Compassion/ Not a Police State” at the Clemente Soto Velez Center on the Lower East Side. Poet Jesus Papoleto Melendez, bassist William Parker, drummer Hamid Drake, and dancer Patricia Nicholson Parker are just a few of the many involved.
 
Finally, looking much further ahead, the Winter Jazz Fest has released a teaser and preliminary lineup for the 2017 shinding from January 5-10! We’ll have a lot more to say about it, but for now, we’ll point you to their promo video with the highlights.
 

That’s all for now. Suga’ in My Bowl is scheduled to be back on WBAI‘s airwaves on December 25 (yes, we’re working on Christmas Day). We’ll also have another edition of “On the Bandstand” online next Sunday with a fresh set of listings.
 
—-
Hank Williams is an associate producer for Suga’ in My Bowl on WBAI Radio and webmaster for the Suga’ and Behind the Mic sites. He is also a PhD candidate in English and Africana Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center and teaches at Hunter and Lehman Colleges and The City College of New York.

bandstand_picPhoto Credit: Hank Williams

Welcome to Suga in My Bowl radio‘s weekly feature, On The Bandstand, where we collect upcoming NYC area shows from current and past Suga’ guests. We’re online weekly and on the air on NYC’s WBAI-FM radio alternate Sunday nights from 11 PM -1 AM. Keep up with us via Facebook, the blog here, or our main website, or Twitter and we’ll keep track of the schedule for you.
 
david_virelles_antenna_200pxThis week’s show features pianist David Virelles and a return visit by Winter Jazz Fest promoter Brice Rosenbloom. You can see Virelles on January 7th at the Winter Jazz Fest with Tomasz Stanko’s quartet and in a duo with saxophonist Ravi Coltrane. Stay tuned for our upcoming annual cheat sheet with an in-depth preview. We also have a few autographed vinyl copies of Virelles’s brand new release titled Antenna, courtesy of ECM Records as a thank you gift for a $35 pledge to support WBAI Radio. You can call in while we’re on air at 516-620-3602 or pledge online anytime during the next week while the mini December Fund Drive is going on, although it really helps if you pledge while we’re on air. Now let’s get to our music listings.
 
Bassist Mimi Jones leads a jam session in the late set at Smoke on December 12th.
 
Pianist Vijay Iyer is at the Asia Society on the 15-16th and Harlem Stage Gatehouse with trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith on the 19th.
 
Bassist Richard Bona is at Club Bonafide on December 16th.
 
Drummer Michael Carvin leads the Michael Carvin Experience at Kitano from December 16-17th.
 
Saxophonist Gary Bartz leads a John Coltrane tribute at Smoke from December 16-19th.
 
Looking ahead, saxophonist Ravi Coltrane is with the James Carney Sextet at the Jazz Gallery on the 21st.
 
Organist John Medeski is at The Stone with Simulacrum from December 21-23.
 
Trombonist Craig Harris is at Harlem’s Mt. Olivet Baptist Church for a production of the James Weldon Johnson classic God’s Trombones on December 22-23.
 
Pianist Harold Mabern closes out the year at Smoke with a John Coltrane tribute from December 22nd-January 1st. Trombonist Steve Turre joins him as a special guest on the 29-30.
 
Hammond B3 organ master Dr. Lonnie Smith leads an octet at the Jazz Standard from December 28-January 1.
 
Drummer and percussionist Will Calhoun’s gallery exhibit of his visual art collaboration Aza is on view at the Bronx Music Heritage Center through February 11. We reviewed the show earlier this year.
 
Finally, looking much further ahead, the Winter Jazz Fest has released a teaser and preliminary lineup for the 2017 shinding from January 5-10! We’ll have a lot more to say about it, but for now, we’ll point you to their promo video with the highlights.
 

That’s all for now. Suga’ in My Bowl is scheduled to be back on WBAI‘s airwaves on December 25. We’ll also have another edition of “On the Bandstand” online next Sunday with a fresh set of listings.
 
—-
Hank Williams is an associate producer for Suga’ in My Bowl on WBAI Radio and webmaster for the Suga’ and Behind the Mic sites. He is also a PhD candidate in English and Africana Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center and teaches at Hunter and Lehman Colleges and The City College of New York.

bandstand_picPhoto Credit: Hank Williams

Welcome to Suga in My Bowl radio‘s weekly feature, On The Bandstand, where we collect upcoming NYC area shows from current and past Suga’ guests. We’re online weekly and on the air on NYC’s WBAI-FM radio alternate Sunday nights from 11 PM -1 AM. Keep up with us via Facebook, the blog here, or our main website, or Twitter and we’ll keep track of the schedule for you.
 
We’re off this week, but head on over to our archives for last week’s show with bassist Dave Holland and nearly 7 years of archived shows. And let’s get to our music listings.
 
Bassist Mimi Jones leads a jam session in the late set at Smoke on December 5th and continuing on Monday nights. She’s also leading an ensemble at Spanish Manor in Newark NJ on the 6th as part of the Blues People Festival.
 
Pianist and keyboardist Marc Cary is at Nublu in the East Village on the 5th as part of the Nublu Jazz Fest.
 
Saxophonist Gary Bartz is at The Blue Note on December 5-6 with pianist McCoy Tyner.
 
The documentary film The Amazing Nina Simone will be shown at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem on December 6.
 
Pianist Barry Harris leads a trio at the Village Vanguard from December 6-13.
 
Drummer JT Lewis is at Nublu in the East Village with Harriet Tubman on the 7th as part of the Nublu Jazz Fest.
 
Vocalist/guitarist Toshi Reagon will be at HarlemStage from December 7-11 for “Can I Get a Witness: The Gospel of James Baldwin”.
 
Drummer and percussionist Bobby Sanabria is at the Baruch College Performing Arts Center with Gene Marlow’s Heritage Ensemble on December 8.
 
Saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin is at Lincoln Center’s Rubenstein Atrium for a free concert on December 8th.
 
The Sun Ra Arkestra led by Marshall Allen returns to Earth with two sets at Nublu in the East Village on the 9th as part of the Nublu Jazz Fest.
 
Saxophonist Billy Harper is at Nublu in the East Village on the 11th as part of the Nublu Jazz Fest.
 
Bassist Richard Bona is at Club Bonafide on December 16th.
 
Drummer Michael Carvin leads the Michael Carvin Experience at Kitano from December 16-17th.
 
Saxophonist Gary Bartz leads a John Coltrane tribute at Smoke from December 16-19th.
 
Pianist Vijay Iyer is at the Asia Society on the 15-16th and Harlem Stage Gatehouse with trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith on the 19th.
 
Drummer and percussionist Will Calhoun’s gallery exhibit of his visual art collaboration Aza is on view at the Bronx Music Heritage Center through February 11. We reviewed the show earlier this year.
 
Finally, looking much further ahead, the Winter Jazz Fest has released a teaser and preliminary lineup for the 2017 shinding from January 5-10! We’ll have a lot more to say about it, but for now, we’ll point you to their promo video with the highlights.
 

That’s all for now. Suga’ in My Bowl is scheduled to be back on WBAI‘s airwaves on December 11. We’ll also have another edition of “On the Bandstand” online next Sunday with a fresh set of listings.
 
—-
Hank Williams is an associate producer for Suga’ in My Bowl on WBAI Radio and webmaster for the Suga’ and Behind the Mic sites. He is also a PhD candidate in English and Africana Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center and teaches at Hunter and Lehman Colleges and The City College of New York.

bandstand_picPhoto Credit: Hank Williams

Welcome to Suga in My Bowl radio‘s weekly feature, On The Bandstand, where we collect upcoming NYC area shows from current and past Suga’ guests. We’re online weekly and on the air on NYC’s WBAI-FM radio alternate Sunday nights from 11 PM -1 AM. Keep up with us via Facebook, the blog here, or our main website, or Twitter and we’ll keep track of the schedule for you.
 
This week’s show features bassist Dave Holland! You can see him at Birdland this week from November 29th to December 3rd. And let’s get to our music listings.
 
Bassist Mimi Jones leads a jam session in the late set at Smoke on November 28th, December 5th, and continuing on Monday nights.
 
Drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts is at St. Peter’s Church in Manhattan on November 29 with several other musicians for a benefit concert for the Syrian American Medical Society.
 
Guitarist Marc Ribot has a residency at The Stone from November 30 – December 4. Bassist Henry Grimes joins him for a trio on the 1st and drummer Milford Graves joins him for the late set on the 3rd.
 
Also joining Chick Corea at The Blue Note is saxophonist Ravi Coltrane for a Return to Forever tribute from the 30th-December 4th.
 
Drummer Terri Lyne Carrington is at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem on December 1st for a discussion about her music.
 
Saxophonist David Murray is at Lincoln Center’s Rubenstein Atrium for a free concert on December 1st.
 
Pianist and keyboardist Marc Cary leads the Harlem Sessions at Ginny’s Supper Club on December 1st.
 
Pianist Randy Weston leads the African Rhythms Quintet with bassist Alex Blake and saxophonist Billy Harper at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club on the 2nd.
 
Saxophonist Gary Bartz is at The Blue Note on December 5-6 with pianist McCoy Tyner.
 
The documentary film The Amazing Nina Simone will be shown at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem on December 6.
 
Pianist Barry Harris leads a trio at the Village Vanguard from December 6-13.
 
Vocalist/guitarist Toshi Reagon will be at HarlemStage from December 7-11 for “Can I Get a Witness: The Gospel of James Baldwin”.
 
Drummer and percussionist Bobby Sanabria is at the Baruch College Performing Arts Center with Gene Marlow’s Heritage Ensemble on December 8.
 
Saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin is at Lincoln Center’s Rubenstein Atrium for a free concert on December 8th.
 
Drummer and percussionist Will Calhoun’s gallery exhibit of his visual art collaboration Aza is on view at the Bronx Music Heritage Center through February 11. We reviewed the show earlier this year.
 
Finally, looking much further ahead, the Winter Jazz Fest has released a teaser and preliminary lineup for the 2017 shinding from January 5-10! We’ll have a lot more to say about it, but for now, we’ll point you to their promo video with the highlights.
 

That’s all for now. Suga’ in My Bowl is scheduled to be back on WBAI‘s airwaves on December 11. We’ll also have another edition of “On the Bandstand” online next Sunday with a fresh set of listings.
 
—-
Hank Williams is an associate producer for Suga’ in My Bowl on WBAI Radio and webmaster for the Suga’ and Behind the Mic sites. He is also a PhD candidate in English and Africana Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center and teaches at Hunter and Lehman Colleges and The City College of New York.

bandstand_picPhoto Credit: Hank Williams

Welcome to Suga in My Bowl radio‘s weekly feature, On The Bandstand, where we collect upcoming NYC area shows from current and past Suga’ guests. We’re online weekly and on the air on NYC’s WBAI-FM radio alternate Sunday nights from 11 PM -1 AM. Keep up with us via Facebook, the blog here, or our main website, or Twitter and we’ll keep track of the schedule for you.
 
We’re off this week, but head on over to our archives for last week’s John Coltrane-focused show and nearly 7 years of archived shows. You can also pledge for the Pacifica Radio Archives-produced 2-CD John Coltrane audio documentary that features a rare, famous interview with Coltrane by Frank Kofsky. And let’s get to our music listings.
 
Saxophonist Gary Bartz is at The Blue Note on November 21st with trumpeter Wallace Roney and on December 5-6 with pianist McCoy Tyner.
 
Vibraphonist Gary Burton joins pianist Chick Corea at The Blue Note for a Miles Davis tribute from November 22-23.
 
Also joining Chick Corea at The Blue Note is saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, from the 25-27th and for a Return to Forever tribute from the 30th-December 4th.
 
Bassist Henry Grimes is at Harlem’s Rendall Memorial Presbyterian Church on the 25th.
 
Low brass specialist on tuba Joe Daley will be at Terra Blues with Hazmat Modine on November 26th.
 
Drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts is at St. Peter’s Church in Manhattan on November 29 with several other musicians for a benefit concert for the Syrian American Medical Society.
 
Guitarist Marc Ribot has a residency at The Stone from November 29 – December 4. Drummer Milford Graves joins him for the late set on the 3rd.
 
Also at The Blue Note is saxophonist Kenny Garrett as part of pianist Chick Corea’s Miles Davis tribute from October 26-30.
 
Drummer Terri Lyne Carrington is at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem on December 1st for a discussion about her music.
 
Pianist and keyboardist Marc Cary leads the Harlem Sessions at Ginny’s Supper Club on December 1st.
 
Drummer and percussionist Will Calhoun’s gallery exhibit of his visual art collaboration Aza is on view at the Bronx Music Heritage Center through February 11. We reviewed the show earlier this year.
 
Finally, looking much further ahead, the Winter Jazz Fest has released a teaser and preliminary lineup for the 2017 shinding from January 5-10! We’ll have a lot more to say about it, but for now, we’ll point you to their promo video with the highlights.
 

That’s all for now. Suga’ in My Bowl is scheduled to be back on WBAI‘s airwaves on November 27. We’ll also have another edition of “On the Bandstand” online next Sunday with a fresh set of listings.
 
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Hank Williams is an associate producer for Suga’ in My Bowl on WBAI Radio and webmaster for the Suga’ and Behind the Mic sites. He is also a PhD candidate in English and Africana Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center and teaches at Hunter and Lehman Colleges and The City College of New York.

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