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Tag: winter jazzfest

Winter Jazzfest, New York, January 12, 2019: Late Start, Early Departure

The new “luxury” Public Hotel at 215 Chrystie Street in Chinatown was constructed so cheaply that they didn’t even spend the two hundred bucks it would have cost them to put a sink in the men’s latrine.

The exit door swings open to the inside. There are also no paper towels.

Meaning that if you want to leave, you have to use your bare hand to yank something that many other dudes have yanked earlier in the evening, presumably with bare hands as well.

What relevance does this have to night two of the big marathon weekend of Winter Jazzfest 2019? You’ll have to get to the end of this page to find out.

For this blog, the big Saturday night of the increasingly stratified annual event began not in Chinatown but at the eastern edge of the Bleecker Street strip, which has traditionally traded in its cheesiness for a couple of nights of jazz bliss to accommodate the festival. Less so this year.

What’s the likelihood of seeing a band playing spaghetti western rock two nights in a row? It happened this weekend at Winter Jazzfest. Guitarist/singer Markus Nordenstreng, co-leader of the eclectic Tuomo & Markus took an early stab at defusing a potential minefield. “I know we’re pushing the limits of what you can do at a jazz festival. But we’re Finnish, so we don’t have to play by the rules,” he grinned. The group had just slunk their way through a triptych of slow, lurid, Lynchian soundtrack instrumentals in front of an aptly blue velvet backdrop. Trumpeter Verneri Pohjola took centerstage in a mashup of Angelo Badalamenti and late Bob Belden noir, with a couple of departures into Morricone-esque southwestern gothic. After that, Nordenstreng sang a new wave-flavored tribute to Helsinki pirate radio and then took a turn for the worse into Americana.

In past editions of the festival, the thrill of getting into a coveted set has too often been counterbalanced by the failure to do the same: a festival pass doesn’t guarantee admission, considering how small some of the clubs are. Down the block from Zinc Bar, it was heartwarming to see a long line hoping to get in to catch darkly tuneful pianist Guy Mintus with explosive singer Roopa Mahadevan. It was less heartwarming to have to go to plan B.

Which meant hunkering down and holding a seat for the better part of an hour waiting for Jen Shyu to take the stage at the rundown venerable cramped intimate Soho Playhouse. Shyu’s music inhabits a disquieting dreamworld of many Asian languages and musical idioms. She’s a talented dancer, a brilliantly diverse singer and composer. At this rare solo gig, she played more than competently on Taiwanese moon lute, Japanese biwa, Korean gayageum, American Rhodes piano and Korean soribuk drum, among other instruments.

Shyu’s themes are often harrowing and fiercely populist; this show was a chance to see how unselfconsciously and bittersweetly funny she can be, via a retelling of an ancient, scatological Taiwanese parable about the dangers of overreaching. “Cockfighting,” she mused. “You can laugh. It’s a funny word.” It got way, way funnier from there, but a dark undercurrent persisted, fueled by the devastating loss of a couple of Javanese friends in a brutal car crash in 2016.

Back at Subculture, it was just as redemptive to watch Dave Liebman challenge himself and push the envelope throughout a mystical, hypnotic trio set with percussionists Adam Rudolph and Hamid Drake. Liebman’s meticulous, judiciously slashing modal work on soprano sax was everything a packed, similarly veteran house could have wanted. His trilling wood flute, adventures plucking under the piano lid, and unexpectedly emphatic, kinetic tenor sax were more of a surprise from a guy who’s in many ways even more vital than he was forty years ago – and that says a lot. Rudolph wound up the set playing sintir – the magical Moroccan acoustic bass – and looping a catchy gnawa riff as Drake boomed out a hypnotic beat on daf frame drum.

Even better than two successive nights of spaghetti western music was two nights of Carmen Staaf compositions. The poignantly lyrical pianist shared the stage with the similar Ingrid Jensen on Friday night; last night, Staaf was with polymath drummer Allison Miller and their wryly titled Science Fair band with Dayna Stephens on tenor sax, Jason Palmer on trumpet and Matt Penman on bass. Staaf proved a perfect, hard-hitting rhythmic foil throughout Miller’s compositions, which are as restless as Miller’s drumming would have you believe. We’re not just taking A and B and C sections; we’re talking M and N and maybe more, considering how many fleeting ideas were flickering through her metrically glittering tunes. Palmer started out as bad hardbop cop but got lingeringly Romantic, fast; Stephens stayed in balmy mode, more or less. And Miller’s hyperkinetic, constantly counterintuitive accents added both mirth and mystery to Staaf’s methodically plaintive balladry, a richly bluesy Mary Lou Williams homage and a final, broodingly modal latin-tinged anthem.

That’s where the night ended for this blog; much as it could have been fun to watch tenor sax heavyweights JD Allen and David Murray duke it out, or to hear what kind of juju trumpeter Stephanie Richards could have conjured up alongside reedman Oscar Noriega, sometimes you have to watch your health instead.

Now about that bathroom and how that factors into this story. According to the printed festival schedule, there was a whole slate of hot swing jazz scheduled in a downstairs room – hidden behind an unmarked, locked doorway, as it turned out – at the “luxury” Public Hotel. According to a WJF staffer, a last-minute change of venue two train stations to the north was required when the hotel suddenly cancelled because someone had offered them more money to do a wedding there instead. The result was a lot of mass confusion.

And the Public Hotel staff did their best to keep everybody in the dark. None of the support people seemed to have been briefed that such a room existed, let alone that there was any such thing as Winter Jazzfest – notwithstanding that the hotel had been part of the festival less than 24 hours before. Those who knew that there actually was such a room gave out conflicting directions: no surprise, since it’s tucked away in an alcove with no signage.

It is pathetic how many people will not only kiss up to those they view as bosses, but also emulate their most repulsive characteristics. Cornered by a posse of a half dozen of us, the Public Hotel’s front desk people on the second floor wouldn’t make eye contact. Despite repeated entreaties, they pretended we didn’t exist. Entitlement spreads like herpes.

A floor below, the bar manager couldn’t get his story straight. First, there was no way to the downstairs room other than through the locked outside door. Then, woops, it turned out that there was an elevator, but that we weren’t “allowed to use it.” Likewise, he told us that the venue – whose website didn’t list the night – also didn’t have a number we could call for information.

“A Manhattan music venue without a phone, that’s a first,” a veteran in our posse sneered.

The simpering manager finally copped to the fact that there was in fact a phone, “But it’s private.” Would he call it, or get one of his staff to call it for us and find out what the deal was? No.

“The hotel and the venue are separate places,” he confided – and then enumerated the many types of information the two share. What he didn’t share was what would have sent us on our way. And maybe he didn’t have the answer. What was clear was how much he wanted us to abandon our search, and stay and pay for drinks amidst the Eurotrash.

One tireless member of our posse went down into the basement and opened one of many, many doors marked “private.” Behind it was the kitchen. One of the cooks, a personable individual eating a simple plate of what appeared to be Rice-a-Roni, volunteered to help. First, the cook suggested we go up to the front desk and ask. After hearing how all we were getting was the runaround, the cook was still down for finding an answer: “Let me just finish this and I’ll come up with you.”

As welcome as the offer was, one doesn’t drag people away from their dinner…or into a fiasco that clearly was not going to be resolved. But it was reassuring to know that in the belly of the beast, surrounded by Trumpie Wall Street trash and their enablers who mistakenly think they can get ahead by aping them, that good people still exist.

Winter Jazzfest, New York, January 11, 2019: Tantalizing, Changing Modes

For this blog, night one of this weekend’s Winter Jazzfest marathon, as it’s now called, began with Big Heart Machine at the Sheen Center. Multi-reedman Brian Krock’s careening big band reflected the zeitgeist in more and more large ensembles these days – Burnt Sugar’s unhinged if loosely tethered performance at Lincoln Center Thursday night was much the same. Miho Hazama’s conduction in front of this group followed in what has become a hallowed tradition pioneered by the late Butch Morris, directing dynamic shifts and subgroups and possibly conversations, especially when she sensed that somebody in the band had latched onto something worth savoring.

In the first half hour or so of the band’s set, those included long, sideswiping spots from trombone, trumpet and Olli Hirvonen’s fearlessly noisy guitar. Vibraphonist Yuhan Su launched many pivotal moments with characteristic vigor and grace. Otherwise, methodically blustery upward swells contrasted with tightly circular motives that would have been as much at home in indie classical music, if not for the relentless groove. It would have been fun to have been able to stick around for the whole set.

Winter Jazzfest is a spinoff of the annual booking agents’ convention, from which they have parted for the most part (there was a mini-marathon with a bunch of big names for the talent buyers last weekend). Crowds on the central Bleecker Street strip last night seemed smaller than in years past, although that might been a function of all the stoner fratboy faux-jazz being exiled to the outskirts of Chinatown, and the craziest improvisers being pushed to the edge of SoHo. And a lot of people come out for that crazy improvisational stuff. It also seems that a lot of fratboys get their parents to buy them weekend passes (cost – over a hundred bucks now) for the fusion fodder.

At Zinc Bar a little further west, it was a treat to see trumpeter Ingrid Jensen playing at an early hour, in front of a quintet including the similarly luminous, glisteningly focused Carmen Staaf on piano. It was the best pairing of the night. Jensen has rightfully earned a reputation as a pyrotechnic player, but her own material is more lowlit, resonant and often haunting, with profound roots in the blues. Her technique is daunting to the point that the question arose as to whether, at one point, she was playing with a mute or with a pedal (the club was crowded – it was hard to see the stage). No matter: her precision is unsurpassed. As was her poignancy in a circling and then enveloping duet with Staaf, and a blissful, allusively Middle Eastern modal piece, as well as a final salute with what sounded like a Wadada Leo Smith deep-blues coda.

At the Poisson Rouge, pianist Shai Maestro teamed up for a similarly rapturous, chromatically edgy set with his trio, bassist Jorge Roeder and drummer Ofri Nehemya. Maestro represents the best of the current vanguard of Israeli pianists, with as much of a gift for melodic richness as Middle Eastern intensity. It’s rare to see a piano-led trio where the rhythm section, per se, are so integral to the music. Barely a half hour earlier, Jensen’s guitarist had launched into a subtly slashing, feathery passage of tremolo-picking while the trumpeter went into vintage Herbie Hancock-ish blues. Roeder did much the same with his fleet volleys of chords, way up the scale, while Maestro built levantine majesty with his cascades. Yet there was no way the two acts possibly could have heard each other do that…unless maybe they share a rehearsal space.

With Rachmaninovian plaintiveness, Wynton Kelly wee-hours bluesiness and finally some enigmatically enveloping, hypnotic, reflective pools of sound common to other pianists who have recorded for ECM (Maestro’s debut album as a leader is on that label), the trio held the crowd rapt. And all that, despite all sorts of nagging sonic issues with the stage monitors. It’s not often at the Poisson Rouge that you can hear a pin drop.

Back at the Sheen Center, a tantalizing half hour or so of Mary Halvorson and her quintet reprising her brilliantly sardonic Code Girl album validated any critics’ poll that might want to put her on a pedestal. What a treat it was to watch her shift through one wintry, windswept series of wide-angle chords after another. Trumpeter Adam O’Farrill served as the light in the window, bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Tomas Fujiwara each kicking in a series of waves, singer Amirtha Kidambi channeling sarcasm and wounded righteousness along with some unexpectedly simmering scatting.

A couple of doors down at the currently reopened Subculture, pianist Aaron Parks packed the house with his Little Big quartet, featuring Greg Tuohey on guitar, Jesse Murphy on bass and Tommy Crane on drums. Hearing Tuohey bend the wammy bar on his Strat for a lurid, Lynchian tremolo effect on the night’s third number made sense, considering the darkly cinematic tangent Parks had been taking. The first half of the set was a mashup of peak-era 70s Pink Floyd, late 60s Santana and P-Funk that grew more devious and metrically challenging as the night wore on. A slow, distantly ominous, methodically swaying border-rock theme – Lee Hazlewood via the Raybeats, maybe? – was a highlight. From there they edged toward Santana as Weather Report might have covered him, complete with all sorts of wry Bernie Worrell-ish synth textures.

And that’s where the night ended, as far as this blog is concerned. The lure of Miles Okazaki’s solo guitar reinventions of Thelonious Monk, or psychedelic Cameroonian guitarist Blick Bassy’s reinventions of Skip James were no match for the prospect of a couple of leisurely drinks and some natural tetracycline to knock out the nasty bug that almost derailed this report. More after tonight’s big blowout – if you’re going, see you at six on the LES at that hastily thrown up new “luxury” hotel at 215 Chrystie for clarinetist Evan Christopher’s hot 20s jazz quartet.

How to Do Winter Jazzest 2016

A decade ago, Winter Jazzfest first spun off of the annual APAP booking agents’ convention by turning a bunch of cheesy Bleecker Street clubs into jazz venues for a couple of nights. This year’s marathon weekend festival on January 15 and 16 has a couple of exciting new developments: for one, it’s expanded further than ever beyond those clubs’ cramped confines, with a more expanded lineup than ever. Which promises to make this year’s arguably the best ever, considering that the number of venues involved now make up a grand total of eleven, most likely eliminating the lines that would often make it impossible to get into the most popular shows later in the evening as crowds reached critical mass.

Perhaps in order to drive attendance at the related bills at the Poisson Rouge (whose management also program the festival) on on the 13th and 17th, the best deal for tix is the five-day, $145 full-festival pass. That’s an even steeper commitment timewise than moneywise, but it not only gets you into any show you’d like to see Friday and Saturday night, but also to the January 13, 7:30 PM show with the rampaging low-register duo of whirlwind bass saxophonist Colin Stetson and bassman Bill Laswell and Dutch no wave rock legends the Ex (the latter of whom are also at the Greene Space at 11 on Friday night), as well as the 6 PM concert on the 17th with purist guitarist Julian Lage‘s trio followed by sax quartet Rova teaming up with guitarist Nels Cline, playing Coltrane material.  There are other options, but the cost is intimidating. Getting tickets in advance at the Poisson Rouge box office is your best bet; otherwise you can pick them up starting at 5 at Judson Church at 55 Washington Square Park South, each day.

On Friday night, you could start the evening by checking out a solo guitar set by downtown stalwart David Torn at the New School’s first-floor auditorium at 63 5th Ave., or irrepressible sax improviser Matana Roberts at the same time at Subcultlure, or hit the Poisson Rouge at 6:20 for what could be a mind-blowing trio show with drag queen Joey Arias – who is hilarious, and does a mean Lady Day impersonation – backed by guitar shredmeister Brandon Seabrook and pyrotechnic drummer Allison Miller.

Otherwise, the big New School auditorium at 66 W 12th St. just east of 6th Ave. is where the festival is hiding all the big names (in order: Roy Hargrove; James “Blood” Ulmer; Christian McBride; Forro in the Dark playing their duskily enchanting versions of Spy vs. Spy-era John Zorn material, and then at 1 AM Ilhan Ersahin and the Nublu Jazz Orchestra improvising their way through a Butch Morris tribute). Hot jazz is relegated both nights to Greenwich House Music School over on Barrow St. (charming oldtimey swing crew the Bumper Jacksons are on at 7:20 on Friday)  Other day one highlights are back at the Poisson Rouge at 7:40 with downtown trumpet fixture Steven Bernstein and Sexmob and then thunderingly funky live bhangra outfit Red Baraat;  piano icon Vijay Iyer and his trio at the first-floor theatre at the New School at 11:20 (not 11:30, ostensibly), and you might actually be able to get into Zinc Bar to see the perennially adrenalizing, soulful Yosvany Terry leading his quintet followed by chanteuse Rene Marie and her combo and then the mighty, accordion-spiced Gregorio Uribe Big Band.

Saturday night, the 63 5th Ave auditorium progarm opens auspiciously with bassist Michael Formanek’s huge improvisational ensemble (conducted by another four-string guy, Michael Attias). Other enticing early choices are indie classical adventurers the Mivos Quartet with Dan Blake at the Poisson Rouge, or a solo set by dazzling pianist Christian Sands at Greenwich House at 6. Good bets for later on include haunting Franco-Lebanese trumpeter Ibraham Maalouf at the W 12th St. hall at 7:40; another darkly virtuosic trumpeter of Middle Eastern descent, Amir ElSaffar with his epic, breathtaking Two Rivers ensemble at Subculture at 9:40; Jamaican piano legend Monty Alexander and his reggae-jazz orchestra the Harlem-Kingston Express back on 12th Street, a show you probably should get to earlier than the 11:40 scheduled start time if you want to get in, considering how packed the Poisson Rouge was when he last played there; and ageless EWI shredder Marshall Allen leading the Sun Ra Arkestra at Judson Church at midnight.

Previous years’ festivals have featured many non-jazz acts as well. This year, there are fewer than usual, scattered throughout the evening at a few spots. Friday night at 9:40 at the fifth-floor theatre at the New School at 55 W 13th St., chanteuse Charenee Wade puts a more purist jazz spin on Gil Scott-Heron, followed by pianist Marc Cary in funkmeister mode and then saxophonist Sharel Cassity and Elektra taking the night back in a more trad direction. On Saturday, hypnotic postrock trio Dawn of Midi are at WNYC’s tiny Greene Space, 44 Charlton St. just east of Varick, at 11, another show that might be worth getting to early if a live dancefloor thump is your thing.

Be sure to check the schedule for updates: as with any festival of this magnitude, there are bound to be tweaks.

Winter Jazzfest 2015, Night One: More and Less Transcendent Moments

What’s the likelihood of seeing both the ICP Orchestra and Dave Douglas on the same night? If you’re at the Rotterdam Jazz Festival, that’s hardly out of the question. And that’s why, despite its many issues, Winter Jazzfest is always worth coming out for.

“We’re the Instant Composers Pool, from Amsterdam,” bassist Ernst Glerum almost gleefully told the crowd who’d gathered close to the stage yesterday evening at le Poisson Rouge for a rare US appearance by the ten-piece surrealistic swing unit. That pun is intentional: their closest US counterpart is the Microscopic Septet, although where the two groups share an irrepressible wit, the Instant Composers are heftier and a lot trippier, given to absurdist call-and-response, round robin hijinks that can either be deadpan or completely over the top, and long dissociative interludes. There was plenty of that in their all-too-brief, roughly 45-minute set, but there was also a lingering, disquieted, crepuscular quality as well.

When he wasn’t dancing around the stage and directing split-second bursts from the horns and the reeeds, cellist Tristan Honsinger traded incisively airy lines with violinist Mary Oliver. Pianist Uri Caine, subbing for octogenarian legend Misha Mengelberg – chilling back in Holland – stayed pretty much within himself while the horns pulsed and sputtered and then pulled together with a wistfully ambered gleam. Extrovert drummer Han Bennink – who has more than a little Mel Taylor in him – threw elbows and jabs on his toms to keep the audience on their toes, especially in the most trad moments. What distinguishes this crew from the other satirical acts out there is their command of swing, and the gravitas that was in as full effect as the comedic bits. The audience screamed for an encore and were treated to a tantalizingly austere, string-driven miniature.

Douglas is another guy who infuses his music with plenty of wit, if it’s more on the dry side. On a night where a lot of the best acts were off limits, interminable lines stretching down the sidewalk outside several venues, what a treat it was to go up the stairs into Judson Church to see the trumpeter doing his usual mix of melodic splendor along with the pastoral soul that’s become part and parcel for him lately. Pianist Matt Mitchell colored both the Americana and the spiritual-based material with an upper-register, reflecting-pool gleam as Douglas and tenor saxophonist Troy Roberts ranged from homespun reflection to judiciously placed flurries of bop. Both bassist Linda Oh and drummer Rudy Royston kept their cards close to the vest as the rhythms would stray outside and then return to within the lines. And how cool was it to watch Royston feel the room, letting its natural reverb do the heavy lifting throughout his shuffles and spirals? Extremely. The highlight of the set was JFK: The Airport – “Not an endorsement,” Douglas said emphatically – a bristling, hypercaffeinated clave-cinema theme whose understated exasperation, channeled by Douglas and guest trumpeter Avishai Cohen, was characteristically spot-on.

Because Winter Jazzfest has such an embarrasment of riches to choose from, it’s hard not to be greedy: when an enticing set is sold out, as many tend to be, you have to be resourceful and willing to roll with the punches. Marc Ribot’s set with a string section at one of the off-Broadway theatres had a ridiculously long line of hopefuls waiting in vain to get in. But back at the church, Battle Trance were more than an impromptu Plan B. What a revelation the tenor sax quartet – Travis Laplante, Matthew Nelson, Jeremy Viner and Patrick Breiner – turned out to be. Beginning with barely a whisper, negotiating their way calmly and envelopingly through a baroque-tinged, cleverly polyrhythmic, interlocking minimalist sonic lattice, they rose to a mighty exchange of glisses (Coltrane would call them arpeggios), an understated display of extended technique and circular breathing. Throughout their set, they literally breathed as a single entity. In its most vigorous moments, their performance had the same raw power and chops that bass saxophonist Colin Stetson showed off at last year’s festival.

As for the rest of the night, there seemed to be more non-jazz acts than usual on the bill. An ensemble playing a Donald Byrd tribute opened for the ICPs, vamping on a chord or two, one of the jams sounding like a bluesier take on Pink Floyd’s The Great Gig in the Sky. Which wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t jazz either. Up the block, Brandee Younger – who’s made a lot of waves at her recent slate of shows at Minton’s uptown, being heralded as the next Dorothy Ashby – shared the stage with a tightly swinging if generic funk band whose own vamps subsumed the jazz harpist’s tersely ringing, starkly blues-drenched phrasing. There was no small irony in the fact that even such a stereotypically Bleecker Street band would have probably had a hard time getting a gig there under usual circumstances, considering their slightly unorthodox instrumentation. Perish the thought that the Jersey tourists would have to contend with something they’d never heard before. “Is that a hwawp?”

Winter Jazzfest continues tonight, Saturday, Jan 10 starting a little after six PM: ticket pickup starts a half-hour beforehand at Judson Church. If you’re going you’d best get there on time.

How to Do Winter Jazzfest 2015

Winter Jazzfest turns the cheesy Bleecker Street strip into a jazz mecca on Friday night, Jan 9 and then Saturday, Jan 10. Tickets are not cheap, but considering what you get, it’s still a considerable bargain. The best deal is the $55 two-day pass for Friday and Saturday, which if you choose wisely, will get you in to see $200 or more worth of talent, at jazz club prices anyway. Getting tickets in advance at the Poisson Rouge box office is your best bet; otherwise you can pick them up starting at 5 at Judson Church on Washington Square Park South, each day.

Your second-best deal is the one-night $35 pass. At the top end, there’s a $145 package available that gets you Friday and Saturday plus an all-star show to benefit organist Mike LeDonne’s disability charity on Jan 8 at 7 PM at the Quaker Friends Meeting Hall, 15 Rutherford Pl. north of 15th St., across the park from 3rd Ave., with LeDonne joining a hall of fame lineup including Ron Carter, Renee Rosnes, Russell Malone, Brad Mehldau, George Coleman, Benny Golson, Jimmy Cobb, Peter Bernstein, Buster Williams, Harold Mabern, Bill Charlap, Kenny Washington and others.

Usually this annual festival is backloaded with a killer Saturday night lineup, but this year, Friday’s is stronger. Keep in mind that your pass does not guarantee entry if a venue is filled to capacity, so if there’s an act you really must see, it’s worth getting there early – maybe a couple of hours early at the smaller clubs. The Friday crowds tend to be smaller than the Saturday mobscene.

On Friday night the Poisson Rouge lineup is especially choice and will be very popular with a younger crowd, since Kneebody is headlining at 9. A Donald Byrd repertory band kicks off the night at 6:30 followed by a rare US appearance by fearless and often surrealistically comedic Dutch big band the ICP Orchestra. Obviously, it’s tempting to stick around for Kneebody, but their set may be on the short side since the club will want to clear the room to accommodate the Jersey tourists lined up to see the Miley Cyrus cover band playing afterward.

Which gives you a perfect opportunity to beat the crowds and hightail it around the corner to the Minettta Lane Theatre, where David Murray is playing two sets starting at 7:30: a “clarinet summit” and then fronting a trio with Geri Allen and Terri Lyne Carrington. Oliver Lake leads a sax trio with Reggie Workman and Andrew Cyrille there at 10 followed by Marc Ribot with a string section (!!!) at around 11:15 and then sometime after midnight there’s a tribute to John Lurie and the Lounge Lizards with what will undoubtedly be a big Tonic crowd.

Saturday‘s early sets offer plenty to choose from. You might want to start at Subculture at 6 PM with trombonist Ryan Keberele’s reliably adventurous Catharsis, then head west to the Poisson Rouge to catch spectacular Colombian harpist Edmar Castaneda at 6:45. Meanwhile, luminous pianist Myra Melford’s Snowy Egret are at Zinc Bar at 6:30, while intriguing, Indian-inspired chanteuse Kavita Shah sings at 6:15 followed by Amina Claudine Myers’ trio, then sizzling postbop supergroup the Cookers, followed at around 10 by Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Charlie Parker project at the Minetta Lane Theatre. And percussionist Jaimeo Brown’s hauntingly atmospheric Transcendence,  who reinvent old spirituals, will be at Bowery Electric at 6:30. Just be aware that if you want to catch Rudresh’s set, or JD Allen’s explosive trio at half past midnight or so at Subculture, you are very strongly advised to get there early: a couple of hours early wouldn’t be too soon.

Last year’s festival featured several non-jazz acts at the end of the night at some venues. This year, they’re scattered throughout the evening at a few spots, and they’re not nearly as good. Other than postrock instrumentalists the Cellar & Point (at the Players Theatre, 1:30 AM-ish on Saturday), soul chanteuse Mavis Swan Poole and her band (the Bitter End, 8:45 on Saturday) and guitarist Stephane Wrembel (who’s gone further into Pink Floyd territory lately, also 8:45 on Saturday, way over on Barrow Street at Greenwich House Music School), that’s the only stuff beyond the jazz that’s worth seeing.

The complete lineup is below: be sure to check the schedule for updates, as there’ve been new venues added in the past week.


LE POISSON ROUGE 158 Bleecker Street NY NY 10012
6:30pm Donald Byrd Acoustic Electric Sessions
7:45pm ICP Orchestra
9:00pm Kneebody + Daedelus

MINETTA LANE THEATRE 18-22 Minetta Lane New York, NY 10003
6:15pm TBA
7:30pm David Murray Clarinet Summit w/ Don Byron, David Krakauer, and Hamiet Bluiett
8:45pm David Murray w/ Geri Allen and Terri Lyne Carrington
10:00pm TRIO 3 w/ Oliver Lake, Reggie Workman, Andrew Cyrille and special guest TBA
11:15pm Marc Ribot & The Young Philadelphians with Strings
12:30am Strange and Beautiful: The Music of John Lurie and The Lounge Lizards

JUDSON CHURCH 55 Washington Square Park South
6:45pm Jason Miles & Ingrid Jensen “Kind Of New”
8:00pm Russ Johnson’s Still Out To Lunch (Music of Eric Dolphy)
9:15pm Dave Douglas Quintet
10:30pm Travis Laplante’s Battle Trance
11:45pm So Percussion feat. Man Forever
1:00am Improvised Round Robin Duets

SUBCULTURE 45 Bleecker Street NYC
6:00pm Arturo O’Farrill’s “Boss Level” Septet
7:15pm Linda Oh’s Sun Pictures
8:30pm Taylor Eigsti’s Free Agency
9:45pm Tyshawn Sorey Piano Trio
11:00pm Kris Davis Infrasound
12:15am Uri Caine / Han Bennink
1:30am Aaron Parks Little/Big

THE BITTER END 147 Bleecker Street NYC (Revive Music Stage)
6:15pm Wallace Roney Quintet
7:30pm The Baylor Project feat. Jean Baylor and Marcus Baylor
8:45pm AFRO HARPING: Brandee Younger’s Tribute to Dorothy Ashby feat. Mark Whitfield
10:00pm Igmar Thomas and The Cypher
11:15pm Marcus Strickland’s Twi-Life feat. Jean Baylor
12:30am Raymond Angry – Celebration of Life Suite
1:45am Nate Smith + KINFOLK

7:00pm Joe Locke ‘Love Is A Pendulum’
8:15pm Oran Etkin ‘Reimagining Benny Goodman
9:30pm Mike Pride’s From Bacteria To Boys
10:45pm Jen Shyu’s ‘Solo Rites: Seven Breaths’
12:00am Marquis Hill Blackout
1:15am Michael Bates Northern Spy

ZINC BAR 82 West 3rd Street NYC
6:30pm TBA
7:45pm Alicia Olatuja
9:00pm Allan Harris
10:15pm Dafnis Prieto Sextet
11:30pm Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom
12:45am Bria Skonberg
2:00am TBA

6:30pm TBA
7:45pm The MazzMuse Breakdown
9:00pm Jungle Funk
10:15pm Zongo Junction

CARROLL PLACE 157 Bleecker Street NYC
6:00pm Jovan Alexandre & Collective Consciousness
7:15pm Chris Washburne SYOTOS plays Acid Mambo
8:30pm Anthony Pirog
9:45pm Jay Rodriguez SEVEN
11:00pm Todd Clouser A Love Electric
12:15am Silver with Eddie Henderson
1:30am Frank Catalano


LE POISSON ROUGE 158 Bleecker Street NY NY 10012
6:30pm Edmar Castaneda Trio w/ Andrea Tierra
7:45pm TBA
9:00pm David Murray Infinity Quartet with Saul Williams

MINETTA LANE THEATRE 18-22 Minetta Lane New York, NY 10003
6:15pm Kavita Shah
7:30pm Amina Claudine Myers Trio
8:45pm The Cookers
10:00pm Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Bird Calls (The Charlie Parker Project)
11:15pm TBA
12:30am Nicholas Payton Trio

JUDSON CHURCH 55 Washington Square Park South
6:45pm Theo Bleckman Quartet w/ Ambrose Akinmusire
8:00pm Ken Vandermark – Nate Wooley Duo
9:15pm Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet
10:30pm The Campbell Brothers – A Sacred Steel Love Supreme
11:45pm TBA

SUBCULTURE 45 Bleecker Street NYC
6:00pm TBA
7:15pm Alfredo Rodríguez Trio
8:30pm Lionel Loueke Trio
9:45pm SFJAZZ Collective: Originals and the Music of Michael Jackson
11:00pm Harriet Tubman
12:15am JD Allen Trio w/ Gregg August & Rudy Royston
1:30am TBA

THE BITTER END 147 Bleecker Street NYC (Revive Music Stage)
6:15pm Oliver Lake Organ Quartet
7:30pm Matthew Stevens
8:45pm Soul Understated feat. Mavis Swan Poole
10:00pm Mad Satta
11:15pm Butcher Brown
12:30am Taylor McFerrin
1:45am Walter Smith III

7:00pm Dan Weiss Large Ensemble
8:15pm Darius Jones Quartet
9:30pm Tomas Fujiwara & The Hookup
10:45pm Ryan Keberle & Catharsis
12:00am Eivind Opsvik’s Overseas
1:15am The Cellar and Point

ZINC BAR 82 West 3rd Street NYC
6:30pm Myra Melford’s Snowy Egret
7:45pm Mark Turner Quartet
9:00pm Hadar Noiberg Trio
10:15pm Kellylee Evans
11:30pm Mino Cinelu World Jazz Ensemble
12:45am Nasheet Waits Equality Quartet
2:00am Loston Harris Trio

6:30pm Jaimeo Brown Transcendence: Work Songs
7:45pm Dana Leong Trio
9:00pm Ilhan Ersahin’s Istanbul Sessions
10:15pm Troker

CARROLL PLACE 157 Bleecker Street NYC (Hot Jazz Festival Night)
6:15pm Martina DaSilva’s Ladybugs with Kate Davis
7:30pm Dan Levinson’s Gotham SophistiCats
8:45pm Stephane Wrembel Band
10:00pm Catherine Russell
11:15pm David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band
12:30am Frank Vignola and Friends
1:45am Cynthia Sayer & Her Joyride Band

6:15pm Martina DaSilva’s Ladybugs with Kate Davis
7:30pm Dan Levinson’s Gotham SophistiCats with Blind Boy Paxton
8:45pm Stephane Wrembel Band
10:00pm Catherine Russell
11:15pm David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band