Brandee Younger’s ‘Soul Awakening’

When: Sat. January 11th 2020, 7pm
Where: Webster Hall, 125 E 11th Street, NYC

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Surfacing six years after its completion in 2013, Soul Awakening was recorded in 2012 under the direction of producer and bassist Dezron Douglas, and embodies the ambition, vigor and aesthetic ideals of The Brandee Younger Quartet, at and since its inception. A benchmark recording that captures the group’s collective brilliance in its infancy, Soul Awakening is a synthesis of the people, places and moments that impacted Younger most, ahead of the album’s creation. The very first album recorded by the ensemble, Soul Awakening marks the birth of Brandee Younger’s artistic signature and the reemergence of the harp as a pillar of modern popular music.

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“In terms of both production value and musical substance, it feels like an artifact of our moment: celestial, groove-forward, unabashed about its alchemies of style.”
– Nate Chinen, NPR

“…she was well ahead of the curve; the enchanting record, which is set for release next month, contains a mix of mystic inquisition and breezy swagger that feels wholly au courant in 2019.”
– Giovanni Russonello, The New York Times

Lakecia Benjamin Presents ‘Pursuance’: The Music of the Coltranes w/ Reggie Workman, Regina Carter + more

When: Sat. January 11th 2020, 7:45pm
Where: LPR, 158 Bleecker St, NYC

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In March 2020, the indisputably dynamic, charismatic and virtuosic saxophonist/bandleader, Lakecia Benjamin will release a 13-track collection of tunes originally penned by two of the most influential jazz figures of the 20th and 21st century: Alice and John Coltrane. With the highly-anticipated release of Pursuance, the New York City-native is not only honored to pay homage to this tour-de-force pair, but is thrilled to do it in the company of what can only be described as sheer jazz elite: Reggie Workman, Ron Carter, Gary Bartz, Dee Dee Bridegwater, Meshell Ndegecello, Regina Carter, Bertha Hope, Last Poets, Greg Osby, Steve Wilson, John Benitez, Marc Cary, Marcus Gilmore, Keyon Harrold, Marcus Strickland, Brandee Younger, Georgia Anne Muldrow and Jazzmeia Horn.

See Lakecia in this weeks’ New Yorker Magazine

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Steven Bernstein’s MTO @ 20 w/ Catherine Russell 

When: Fri. January 10th 2019, 7:45pm
Where: LPR, 158 Bleecker St, NYC

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World renowned vocalist Catherine Russell has seen a meteoric rise since the release and subsequent GRAMMY® nomination of her seventh album as a leader, Alone Together, on March 1st via Dot Time Records. After sitting atop the JazzWeek Radio Chart for five weeks in a row, entering the Billboard Jazz Chart at #6, having been heard on CBS Sunday Morning, and generating rave reviews from Downbeat Magazine, Mercury News, WBGO, Jazz Journal, and other top-tier media outlets, Alone Together has cemented Russell’s place as the preeminent song interpreter of her day.

★★★★
“Alone Together pulls together a baker’s dozen that forms a cohesive narrative with the singer as the lead character…With an unerring ear for great material and a voice that sounds timeless, Russell is making up for lost time.”
– James Hale, Dowbeat

JAZZIZ
Track by Track: Catherine Russell, Alone Together – Check out full feature piece here!

Eubanks Evans Experience

When: Mon. January 13th 2020, 7:30pm
Where: LPR, 158 Bleecker St, NYC

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Imani Records is excited to announce the forthcoming release of EEE: The Eubanks/Evans Experience, the debut duo recording by two of jazz’s most acclaimed and eclectic artists. EEE brings together guitar great Kevin Eubanks with adventurous pianist Orrin Evans for a set that’s as wide-ranging and unpredictable as audiences have come to expect from these two risk-takers. Created in an atmosphere of spontaneity and try-anything experimentation, the repertoire veers from gut-rumbling blues to delicate, airy impressionism, mixing up on-the-spot originals with funk-jazz deep cuts and classic tunes by jazz masters. Eubanks and Evans share more than their Philly roots – though that’s not an aspect that can be discounted, and the city’s tension between brotherly love and gritty attitude courses through the album’s veins. Both also bring a wealth of experience to the table, along with a friendship of long standing. Eubanks, middle brother of the well-known jazz family, made his name through a series of electrifying releases in the 1980s before spending a decade and a half as bandleader for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Since that stint ended in 2010, he’s reemerged as a vital voice on the modern jazz scene leading his own bands along with resuming his partnership with bassist Dave Holland in the band Prism. Nominated for a 2018 Grammy Award for his Captain Black Big Band, Evans has been splitting his time recently between his own prolific career and his work with the singular trio The Bad Plus.

Artists Sharing Stories of Substance Abuse, Addiction, Depression & Mental Health:
Jennifer Leff, Meghan Stabile & Ralph Peterson

When: Sun. January 12th 2020, 4:00pm
Where: Bowers & Wilkins Sounds Lounge at The Moxy Hotel East Village,
112 E 11th St, NYC

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The world has lost some of the greatest musicians of our time to issues arising from substance abuse, depression, mental health, addiction, and related complications. In an effort to both acknowledge those lost and to provide support for those currently facing these issues, these panelists share stories of their battles, struggles (some for the first time), and recovery around these most important and relevant issues.

Jennifer Leff (Director at Grammy MusiCares) moderates a conversation with Meghan Stabile (Founder, Revive Music) and Ralph Peterson (drummer, composer, educator).

Michael Olatuja’s ‘Lagos Pepper Soup’

When: Fri. January 10th 2020, 12:30pm
Where: Subculture, 45 Bleecker St, NYC

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With “a singular voice that taps all the cultures from which it is born” (BBC), British/Nigerian bass virtuoso and composer Michael Olatuja has been applauded by audiences worldwide for his artful amalgamation of sound and culture.

Now Olatuja will front band Lagos Pepper Soup. The forthcoming album features Dianne Reeves, Joe Lovano, Laura Mvula, Lionel Loueke, Regina Carter, Gregoire Maret and moreThese musicians will take their audience on a journey through the worlds of music that bring them together.

Laila Biali
When: Fri. January 11th 2020, 6:15pm
Where: Subculture, 45 Bleecker St, NYC

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Multi award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter, pianist and CBC Music national radio host Laila Biali has headlined festivals and venues spanning five continents from New York City’s Carnegie Hall to Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts, and supported international icon Sting. In 2019, Laila’s eponymous release won her a JUNO (Canada’s GRAMMY) for “Vocal Jazz Album of the Year.” The year before that, she was awarded top prize at the Canadian Songwriting Competition in the Jazz category. Laila was also the youngest-ever double winner at Canada’s National Jazz Awards when she was named “SOCAN Composer of the Year” and “Keyboardist of the Year.” She received her first JUNO nomination for Tracing Light (2011), and a spot on DownBeat Magazine’s “Best Albums of the Year” for Live in Concert (2013). In September of 2017, Laila was brought on as the host for CBC Music’s national radio show, Saturday Night Jazz, a weekly show broadcast to listeners across Canada. While Laila continues to earn high honours in the Jazz world, her signature sound transcends genre as she “masterfully mixes jazz and pop, bringing virtuosity and unpredictability to songs that are concise and catchy” (Washington Post). Laila’s highly anticipated album, Out of Dust, which features multiple GRAMMY nominees and winners including Lisa Fischer, Alan Ferber, John Ellis, and Larnell Lewis, will release March 27, 2020. 

Aaron Whitby Presents:
Cousin From Another Planet

When: Fri. January 10th 2020, 9:15pm
Where: The Bitter End, 147 Bleecker St, NYC

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Award-winning record producer, composer, songwriter, pianist, engineer and educator Aaron Whitby is proud to present his debut as a bandleader, Cousin From Another Planet.  Released by Ropeadope, this heavy-hitting, funk, fusion and prog influenced epic, described by noted music writer Greg Tate as “percolating, stimulating and motor-booty activatin’…one of this era’s hardiest re-dedications and festival-tent revival of soulful and exploratory jam-gnocity”, is sure to impress audiences with Whitby’s serious compositional construction and the ensemble’s lowdown improvisational bravura.  Cousin From Another Planet makes bold statements about unity and activism without losing the humor and playfulness that the artist was striving for upon the album’s composition.

“Without sacrificing the funk, Whitby whips up a few dazzling ensemble flourishes worthy of Frank Zappa, some heavily-produced, oneiric sounds redolent of 1970s art-rock, and jazzy mazes of soloing in which one can happily lose one’s self.”
– John Shand, The Sydney Morning Herald

“Whitby has potentially delivered his tour de force. This could be the record he’s longed to make – the project that serves as the culmination of years of studio and live collaborations, a homage to his own influences as well as the chance to establish Whitby’s own name amongst these masters.” 
– Imran Mirza, UK Vibe

Kristina Koller

When: Fri. January 10th 2020, 6:45pm
Where: The Bitter End, 147 Bleecker St, NYC

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Always innovative and pushing the limit, Kristina Koller is making her mark in the music world. As a vocalist, arranger and songwriter Kristina utilizes a wide range of music genres to create her unique sound. Her eclectic latest album Stronger blends art rock with R&B, indie-pop and jazz. The thematic & powerful songs radiate mental strength dealing with and breaking through the claustrophobic isolation and loneliness of city life – projecting empowerment through self-discovery & awareness. The music marks a turn for Kristina to a more diverse sound away from her jazz-oriented previous efforts of her widely acclaimed debut album Perception, which was released in 2018.

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