JULY 2024

Our Calendar

LAtest List Of JULY 2024 Events


03:00 PM

Marjorie Eliot Band & spec guests

Upper Manhattan

Parlor Entertainment,555 Edgecombe Ave, #3F, New York, NY 10032


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12:00 PM

Brunch ft. Boncellia Lewis

Upper Manhattan

Patrick's Place,2835 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10039



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03:00 PM

Afternoon Tea w/Live Jazz

Midtown Manhattan

Winnie's Jazz Bar,63 W 38th St, New York, NY 10018



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Featured Artists

Kenny Barron

The Poet Laureate of the Piano, by Eugene Holley, Jr.

These days, it’s good to be the 81-year-old pianist, composer, bandleader, educator and NEA Jazz Master Kenny Barron. He just released Beyond This Place (Artwork), a sublime quintet recording featuring longtime bandmates, Kiyoshi Kitagawa and vibraphonist Steve Nelson, with Kenny’s young Philadelphia homeboys, drummer Johnathan Blake and alto saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins. And this month, Kenny is the headliner for the opening night of 92nd Street Y’s Jazz in July series, which features new Artistic Director Aaron Diehl, and several other pianists including Helen Sung, Joe Block and Bennie Green.

They will gather to celebrate Kenny’s astonishing six decades of jazz excellence, as a steady sideman with a stellar constellation of musicians including Dizzy Gillespie, Yusef Lateef, Freddie Hubbard and Stan Getz; as compelling composer of modern jazz standards including “Sunshower,” “Calypso” and “What If”; his 40+ recordings as a leader, and his role as a revered educator.

Kenny attributes his staying power to his singular approach to jazz piano. “I'm not trying to pander to any particular kind of group,” Kenny says. “It's just music that I grew up listening to and playing. I loved bebop. [And] I've been influenced by blues and gospel music; I used to play in church when I was a teenager.”

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Nicole Zuraitis

Glorious Metamorphosis - by Raul da Gama – with interviews by Paula Edelstein

Nicole Zuraitis morphed from the proverbial caterpillar into an artistic butterfly; yet she has given wings to music in an altogether different manner. Fluttering high above, Nicole’s alluring mezzo-soprano captivated audiences when she first ventured out into the world of music. As a soloist with the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra and the storied, Pulitzer-winning Ashville Symphony Orchestra, Nicole joined a revered list of performers such as Emmanuel Axe, Midori, Simone Dinnerstein, and Daniil Trifonov.

Already in the heady realms of opera, she seemingly reached out for the fly bar of a winged trapeze and swept away from the opera world to the equally lofty realms of jazz, a glorious success.

How do we know? Well, just five albums later, Nicole is celebrated for her magical recording How Love Begins (Outside In Music, 2024). Make no mistake, she has deserved every accolade that has come her way for the album, especially the coveted award for Best Jazz Vocal Album at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards – this after being nominated twice before for Grammys. Truth be told, however, the 2024 award really celebrates but one aspect of Nicole’s artistry – her monumental vocal artistry.

After being an independent artist for nearly 15 years, a full-time vocalist and songwriter, singing in various musical dialects, and even adding teaching to her artistic portfolio, Nicole’s career in music was still a leap of faith. The residency at the 55 Bar in Greenwich Village, and the encouragement from the drummer and husband Dan Pugach gave her the impetus she needed. Her proverbial high-wire act – her switch to jazz music, seemingly without a net – was a magically successful one.

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‘Sweet and Funky’ Hammond Organ Player by John Zaff

Watching Akiko Tzuruga work the keys and pedals of the Hammond B3, one is struck by two converging observations: she is an artist who has completely mastered her instrument and a musician playing at the highest level. Akiko knows how to work every nook, cranny and lever of her instrument and as her virtuosity takes center stage, she rocks the bandstand with solos that slowly build to a cathartic crescendo. Akiko’s fingers become a blur on the keys, she embodies the spirit of joie de vivre. An infectious smile lights up her face as she senses the music coming together, genuinely relishing the interplay with the other musicians.

The instrument Akiko has spent a lifetime mastering the Hammond B3. Unique among instruments for its double keyboard, foot pedals for bass and sliding drawbars for tone control, the Hammond B3 can create swells and percussive sounds which lend it distinct expressiveness. Coordinating hands and feet takes intense concentration and, of course, years of practice. The early masters of the instrument created an entire genre of jazz based on the organ trio. Legendary players such as Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, Shirley Scott and Dr. Lonnie Smith are the musical pioneers on whose shoulders Akiko stands.

Hailed by Downbeat Critics Poll as a rising star, Akiko’s debut album, Sweet and Funky, was released on the 18th and Vine label and deemed “Best Jazz Album of the Year” in 2007. Akiko is proficient in many different styles of organ jazz, from classic ‘60s organ trio to straight ahead and bebop styles. She excels in the funk and blues genres, but whichever the style, Akiko always swings in a most soulful way. Today, Akiko is on virtually every jazz critic’s list of top organ players.

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I met Thandiswa Mazwai, or “King Tha,” on Mandela Day: a 46664 Celebration Concert, in 2009 at Radio City Music Hall marking Nelson Mandela’s 91st birthday. Thandiswa performed "Ibokwe," the title selection from Ibokwe (Gallo, 2009), her second release as a solo artist. She already had a relationship with the Nelson Mandela Foundation when she was invited to the Radio City Music Hall event, coinciding with Ibokwe’s release. Thandiswa’s first solo release, Zabalaza (Gallo, 2004), “had already done the work of kind of cementing my place as an artist of the day, and I guess it made sense to have me there,” she says.

Released 20 years ago, Zabalaza (meaning rebellion or protest), is special to Thandiswa. “It’s an incredible thing to look back at your career and realize that you have made something that feels like it has been of service,” she says. “It’s done its work of being of service to the community that I serve, the people that I serve. Zabalaza is one of those albums in South Africa where it’s really a very big part of how people see themselves post-apartheid and the journey towards this kind of return to self, your cultural self, your cultural identity that apartheid labored really hard to try and erase. So, there’s this unpacking who we are outside of this oppression, and I was blessed enough to have created the kind of work that gave us the opportunity to unpack those things and celebrate ourselves.

Born to Pan African journalists (mother Belede, transitioned when Thandiswa was 16, and father Thami) in the year of the Soweto uprising in the Eastern Cape and raised almost entirely in Soweto, Thandiswa/King Tha became a “Daughter of the Soil.”

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