Emmet Cohen & Jimmy Cobb
After receiving wide acclaim for his inaugural album In the Element (2011), recorded at the age of twenty one, and an equally successful follow up collaboration with trumpeter Brian Lynch, entitled Questioned Answer (2013), Emmet Cohen has embarked on an important new mission: to celebrate the last remaining legendary jazz artists from an era long gone, by documenting, featuring, and preserving their artistry and excellence in the later stages of their careers.
Cohen, who separate from leading the Emmet Cohen Trio, conceived of The Masters Legacy Series, intended to be a multi-album project, the first of which is dedicated to drummer, Jimmy Cobb. Cobb’s most famous work on Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue (1959), bears no introduction. Fast forward almost 60 years and Cobb is the last surviving member of Davis’ band, residing in Harlem. Cohen, a fellow Harlemite, considers himself fortunate for having met Cobb in a private session while Cobb was teaching at the New School.
“By playing with Mr. Cobb on a regular basis, I absorb something that can’t be gained from practicing my craft, listening to any recording on repeat, or reading any book or historical document. Mr. Cobb deserves to be honored for his excellence and humanity he manifests today, not just for his work from fifty and sixty years ago. He is a living legend of the jazz world and a historical treasure.” — Emmet Cohen
To celebrate Cobb’s ripened mastery of the drums, Cohen carefully curated selections for the album that would feature Cobb’s indomitable swing groove. “When I Fall in Love,” “If This Isn’t Love,” and “Hard Times” are all tunes Cobb played throughout the decades with the likes of Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderley, and Wynton Kelly. Cohen’s own compositions, “Folk Song,” “Mr. Robinson,” written in tribute to Jackie Robinson, and “Concerto for Cobb” expressing genuine affection and respect for Jimmy himself, all display a dynamic sense of exuberance and optimism from deep within.
“What sets Emmet Cohen apart is that he plays with maturity beyond his years, demonstrating technical expertise and sophistication in musical choices. In this recording, Emmet’s own compositions and chosen repertoire display a nuanced appreciation for who Jimmy Cobb is as a drummer and a man.” — Christian McBride
Cohen’s revelation, having pursued a formal music education at both Miami University’s prestigious Frost School and the elite Manhattan School of Music, is that the majority of his fellow young jazz musicians these days are largely concerned with their own technical “chops” or with creating new esoteric or contrived themes for the idiom of jazz. Cohen rebukes these notions and has chosen to focus his current musicianship on harnessing the intergenerational transfer of knowledge between living jazz masters and emerging jazz artists to preserve America’s jazz lineage, historical context, and spirit.
“Miles told him to “play soft and make it feel like it’s floating”. Mr. Cobb uplifts any band he’s playing with by creating a feeling of floating and soaring. He breathes life and motion into every beat with his distinctive swing feel. He brings to life his predecessors- everyone from Baby Dodds to Papa Jo Jones to Philly Joe Jones, and plays with the nuance and intrepidity that influenced those who came after him like Tony Williams and Jack DeJohnette. — Emmet Cohen
Emmet Cohen’s Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 featuring Jimmy Cobb was recorded in front of a live studio audience on March 16, 2016 at The DiMenna Center in New York City.
B.J. Jansen Common Ground
B.J. Jansen – Baritone Sax/Leader
Duane Eubanks – Trumpet
Delfeayo Marsalis – Trombone
Zaccai Curtis – Piano
Eric Wheeler – Bass
Vincent Ector – Drums
Respected baritone saxophonist, composer and bandleader B.J. Jansen is back with “Common Ground”, his tenth project as a leader. Over the course of a dozen carefully chosen selections,the appropriately titled “Common Ground” aims to explore the musical commonalities among six musical titans who each bring with them their diverse backgrounds and distinctive musical legacies. “We had a common interest in keeping with the tradition while still pushing the boundaries,” says Jansen. On “Common Ground”, this musical melting pot gives way to an eclectic program that offers a little something for everybody. “When I wrote the music, I made sure there was something for each musician to latch on to,” says Jansen. For the album’s two-day recording session last summer, Jansen’s approach was decidedly “hands off” as he allowed each musician to find their own groove.With “Common Ground” clocking in as project number 10 for the 36 year old, it can surely be considered something of a milestone- one that is commemorated with an all-star band. In addition,“Common Ground” also speaks to Jansen’s tenacity to keep making music even when the current climate doesn’t make it so easy to do so. Ralph Peterson recalls: “The first thing I noticed about B.J. was his hustle game. He’s quite the hustler and I respect that.”With the superb “Common Ground”, it seems that Jansen’s relentless hustle might just be paying off.
“Bari sax player B.J. Jansen leads an impressive hard bop group featuring Delfeayo Marsalis (trombone), Duane Eubanks (trumpet), Ralph Peterson Jr (drums), Dezron L Douglas (bass) and Zaccai Curtis (piano) through six of his compositions and three other tunes. It seems that the group gets deeper in the groove as they move from one song to the next and the groove is their most effective quality. The ensemble work is very tight.” – WTJU Radio
Davina and the Vagabonds
DAVINA SOWERS AND THE VAGABONDS have created a stir on the national music scene with their high-energy live shows, level A musicianship, sharp-dressed professionalism, and Sowers’ commanding stage presence. With influences ranging from Fats Domino and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to Aretha Franklin and Tom Waits, the band is converting audiences one show at a time, from Vancouver to Miami and across Europe. In 2011 Davina released her first full length, all original album Black Cloud . It was named one of the 10 best releases of the year by the Minneapolis Star & Tribune and awarded 4 ½ stars from Downbeat Magazine. Their next release in 2014, Sunshine, hit number 13 in the Billboard Blues Chart and led them to landing a performance on the hit BBC2 show, Later with Jools Holland.
DATV’s shows are filled with New Orleans charm, Memphis soul swagger, dark theatrical moments that evoke Kurt Weill, and tender gospel passages. Davina’s voice and stage presence defy category in a different way. Davina has been compared to Etta James, Amy Winehouse, Janis Joplin, Billie Holiday and Betty Boop, but comparisons don’t suffice: Sowers is a true original.
Bringing you 100 years of American music and Davina’s originals, which lend themselves to the American Songbook, the band brings edgy nostalgia to older generations and fresh new music to younger ears. This rollicking quintet is held together by Sowers’ keyboard playing, with acoustic bass, drums, and a spicy trumpet and trombone horn section. The group’s focused, clean sound and emphasis on acoustic instruments is novel to both blues and jazz worlds, and sets the show closer to New Orleans than to Chicago. This has set the Vagabonds apart at festivals in Thunder Bay, Ontario; Sighisoara, Romania; Sierre, Switzerland; Kemi, Finland; the 2012 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and 2013 Monterey Jazz Festival ( in 2014 was asked back to play their main stage in 2014, Vache de Blues in France, and North Sea Jazz Festival. Catch this one-of-a-kind live show while they are in town!
“…One of the greatest singers of all times!… As if it weren’t enough, Joyce is a great composer and plays ace guitar! What an amazing woman!” — Antonio Carlos Jobim, 1987.
“Brazilian composer, guitarist and singer Joyce is a young lady who can only be described as a genius” – Claus Ogerman, 1999
“Joyce is a Brazilian treasure” — DownBeat magazine, USA, 2010.
“Her musical capacity surprised me when, years later, she reemerged playing guitar like the best (in the land of João Gilberto, Dori [Caymmi], [Gilberto] Gil, and João Bosco, this is not a bagatelle), her singing precisely tuned, writing songs with original harmonic and melodic imagination. ” – Caetano Veloso – 2011
Born in Rio de Janeiro, the singer, composer, arranger and instrumentalist JOYCE MORENO has in her portfolio over 400 recordings of songs she has authored, interpreted by the greatest names in Brazilian popular music: Elis Regina, Gal Costa, Maria Bethânia, Milton Nascimento, Ney Matogrosso, Edu Lobo, Emilio Santiago, Boca Livre, Nana Caymmi, Zizi Possi, Elizeth Cardoso, Simone, Leny Andrade, Mônica Salmaso, and many others. Beyond Brazil, Joyce’s work has been recorded by Annie Lennox, Wallace Roney, Omara Portuondo, Black Eyed Peas, David Sanchez, Jon Lucien, Claus Ogerman, Gerry Mulligan, Till Brönner, Flora Purim, to name a few. Joyce’s compositions have been featured in film soundtracks (e.g., The Player by Robert Altman and Legally Blonde by Robert Luketic), animations (the Japanese anime Wolf’s Rain, in partnership with composer Yoko Kanno), TV programs, and theatrical productions. Since the beginning of her career, Joyce’s registered trademark has been the first-person feminine voice, which she pioneered; she was the first Brazilian female songwriter to express herself in this form, opening the way for countless other artists who followed.
Joyce received four nominations for the Latin Grammy. To date, she has released 34 personal CDs and two DVDs, in addition to numerous compilations and guest appearances. Currently, her work takes her all over the world; she makes annual tours and records new albums in various countries, never losing her feminine Brazilian identity. Each year she performs on the Japanese Blue Note circuit and tours jazz festivals and other venues in Europe and North America.
Steve Kroon Sextet
Steven Kroon has been a professional musician for more than 45 years. Born in Harlem, percussionist Steven Kroon is mostly noted for adding his percussion sounds to the great late vocalist Luther Van Dross from, 1981 to 2001, as well as recording and touring with Ron Carter. He has also recorded and performed with much of the “Who’s Who” in the music business, such as Stanley Turrentine, Roberta Flack, Bette Midler, Aretha Franklin, Diana Krall, Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga, just to name a few. Adding to his credits, he has five CD’s released in his name: “In My Path,” “Senor Kroon,” “El Mas Alla” (Beyond), “Without A Doubt” (Sin Duda), and his latest “On The #1,” all under his own record label “Kroonatune Records, LLC.” Kroon was also nominated for the Downbeat Critics poll Rising Star for 2016. This group is a high-energy electrifying Latin Jazz Sextet performing Jazz with a blend of Afro Cuban and Brazilian music.
Brian Charette’s Kurrent
Brian Charette: organ, synths
Vic Juris: guitar
Jordan Young: drums
Brian Charette a Grammy Nominated, Hammond endorsed, Positone recording artist who has played with many well known artists including Joni Mitchell, Chaka Khan, George Coleman and Lou Donaldson. His new album, Once and Future was recently in the Jazz Week and Itunes New Music Top 20. Brian is currently #4 on the Downbeat Critic’s Poll for organ and writes regularly for Keyboard Magazine.
Dr. Lonnie Smith
Dr. Lonnie Smith is an unparalleled musician, composer, performer and recording artist. An authentic master and guru of the Hammond B-3 organ for over five decades, he has been featured on over seventy albums, and has recorded and performed with a virtual “Who’s Who” of the greatest jazz, blues and R&B giants in the industry. Consequently, he has often been hailed as a “Legend,” a “Living Musical Icon,” and as the most creative jazz organist by a slew of music publications. Jazz Times magazine describes him as “a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a turban!” Always ahead of the curve, it is no surprise Dr. Smith’s fan-base is truly worldwide.
Born in Buffalo, New York, Lonnie was blessed with the gift of music. Through his mother, he was immersed in gospel, blues and jazz at an early age. In his teens, he sang in several vocal groups including his own–the Supremes–formed long before Motown’s eventual iconic act of the same name. Lonnie also played trumpet and other instruments at school and was a featured soloist. In the late ‘50s– with the encouragement of Art Kubera, who owned a local music store that he would visit daily–young Lonnie was given the opportunity to learn how to play a Hammond organ. By completely immersing himself in the records of organists such as Wild Bill Davis, Bill Doggett and Jimmy Smith, as well as paying rapt attention to the church organ, a young Lonnie began to find his musical voice. “Even though I didn’t know how, I was able to play right from the beginning,” Dr. Smith reflects. “I learned how to work the stops and that was it. It’s a passion for me, so everything else came naturally.” Because of Mr. Kubera’s kindness, Dr. Lonnie often refers to Art as his “angel.”
The Doctor’s first gigs were at Buffalo’s hottest jazz club, the Pine Grill, where he rapidly garnered the attention of folks like Jack McDuff, Lou Donaldson, George Benson and the booking agent Jimmy Boyd. George Benson was looking for an organist for his quartet and enlisted Lonnie. The group soon relocated to New York City, where they quickly established a reputation as innovators in Harlem clubs and throughout the area. After appearing on several Benson albums, Lonnie went on to make his first recording as a leader—Finger Lickin’ Good–for Columbia Records in 1966. Shortly thereafter, Smith was scooped up to record by saxophonist Lou Donaldson, for whom Lonnie would appear on several epic Blue Note LPs, including the million-seller, Alligator Boogaloo. Blue Note clearly liked what they heard and inked the organist to his own recording contract, a deal which would produce the soul jazz classics Think!, Turning Point, Move Your Hand, Drives and Live at Club Mozambique (released many years later).
Since leaving the Blue Note stable in the ‘70s, Dr. Smith has recorded for a slew of record labels, including Kudu, Groove Merchant, T.K., Scufflin’, Criss Cross and Palmetto, ascending the charts many times. His unpredictable, insatiable musical taste illustrates that no genre is safe, as Lonnie has recorded everything from covers of the Beatles, the Stylistics and the Eurythmics, to tribute albums of Jimi Hendrix, John Coltrane and Beck–all by employing ensembles ranging from a trio to a fifteen-piece big band. Moreover, many of Doc’s recent compositions reflect dramatic ethereal qualities and orchestration that elicit movie scores or soundtracks.
Dr. Smith has been amused to find himself sampled in rap, dance and house grooves while being credited as a forefather of acid jazz. When questioned about his consistent interest in music some consider outside the jazz “mainstream,” Lonnie shrugs. “Jazz is American Classical,” he proclaims. “And this music is a reflection of what’s happening at the time… The organ is like the sunlight, rain and thunder…it’s all the worldly sounds to me!”
In 2012, Dr. Smith launched his own record label Pilgrimage Inc., and in 2015, resigned with the iconic Blue Note Records label. Dr. Lonnie Smith’s latest CD has been released on Blue Note. (2016)
Many awards have followed since 1969, when Downbeat magazine named Dr. Lonnie Smith “Top Organist” of the year. 2003-2014 he was awarded “Organist/Keyboardist of the Year” by the Jazz Journalist Association. The Buffalo Music Hall of Fame and Jazz Organ Fellowship have also inducted Dr. Lonnie, and in 2015 he received the Village Music Legends Award. He is scheduled to receive the NEA Jazz Masters Award, the highest honor in jazz, on April 3, 2017.
Tamir Hendelman: piano
Marco Panascia: bass
Matt Wilson: drums
With his hard-swinging approach and feather light touch, pianist Tamir Hendelman has emerged as one of the most intriguing jazz talents to arrive on the scene in quite some time. On top of his own trio outings as a leader, the Israeli-born artist is known for his outstanding work with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra.
Hendelman first came to prominence in 2001 when he joined the Grammy-nominated Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra (CHJO), a long-running L.A.-based big band. With the CHJO, Tamir has recorded for John Pizzarelli, Gladys Knight and Diana Krall among others. For his own trio, the award-winning Hendelman explores standards, Brazilian music, blues and his Israeli roots. He’s released two acclaimed records as a leader, 2008’s Playground and 2010’s Destinations, the latter boasting the great Lewis Nash on drums.
Tamir’s musical path began early, studying piano from age six in Tel Aviv. After moving to the US is 1984, Hendelman won Yamaha’s national keyboard competition two years later at age 14. Concerts in Japan and the Kennedy Center followed. Tamir then studied at the Tanglewood Institute in 1988 and received a Bachelor of Music Composition degree from Eastman School of Music in 1993. He then became the youngest musical direcdtor for Lovewell Institute, a national arts education non-profit organization.
Since returning to LA in 1996, Tamir has been in steady demand as pianist and arranger, touring the US, Europe and Asia, and receiving awards from ASCAP and National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. In 1999 Tamir was a guest soloist with the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra.
Tamir joined the Jeff Hamilton Trio in 2000, contributing arrangements, recordings and touring worldwide. Hendelman also toured Europe with Tierney Sutton and the Bill Holman Big Band, musically directed Julia Migenes’s ALter Ego and played/arranged on Roberta Gambarini’s Easy To Love. He is also featured on Natalie Cole’s Still Unforgettable and Barbra Streisand’s Love Is the Answer and One Night Only (Live at the Village Vanguard.) In 2013 Tamir performed Rhapsody In Blue with the Winston-Salem Symphony Orchestra, and he will perform it again in 2018 with the AZ Music Fest Orchestra.
Eric Person Trio
Eric Person: saxophone
Alex Smith: organ & piano
Tony Jefferson: drums & vocals
Saxophonist Eric Person is a renowned performer, composer, arranger and bandleader; who over the years has had the good fortune to experience a variety of fulfilling musical situations with the masters of modern music consisting of McCoy Tyner, Dave Holland, Houston Person, Donald Byrd and Chico Hamliton, just to name a few. Eric’s music has far reaching harmonic and melodic beauty which is delivered with cutting edge intensity. His music transcends the common terrain of contemporary jazz. As a saxophonist, he takes his alto and soprano saxophones into the stratosphere with soaring solos that reveal the element of surprise, a sought after lyricism, only surpassed by his unfettered imagination.
Eric Person’s ten CD releases as leader on Soul Note and his own Distinction Records label have all garnered great reviews from the critics. In Jazztimes, Critic Bill Milkowski reviewing his Rhythm Edge CD called Eric “a risk-taking improviser, accomplished composer and inveterate swinger.” Critic Russ Musto of All About Jazz Magazine while reviewing his Live at Big Sur CD said “Person is more then fine; he’s a major talent of his generation.”
This performance will feature Eric and his trio, a core group of dynamic, rhythmic and harmonically open artists consisting of Alex Smith on organ/piano and Tony Jefferson on drums/vox.
Theo Hill Trio
Rashaan Carter – bass
Darrell Green – drums
Theo Hill – piano, synthesizers
Hailed by the New York Times as “a painterly young pianist with a chamber-like approach to composition and a fine recent album on the SmallsLive label” Theo Hill is emerging as one of the top young voices in jazz piano. Born in Albany, New York, he began to study classical piano with Taubman Technique specialist Mary Moran at the age of five. He gravitated toward jazz studying piano at age twelve with Lee Shaw. By age sixteen, he was performing at clubs in the tri-city area and made his first New York City appearance sitting in at Smalls Jazz Club.
He was accepted into the Jazz Conservatory at SUNY Purchase where he studied jazz piano with Charles Blenzig and Hal Galper. After graduating cum laude in 2004 he moved to New York City to immerse himself in the vibrant jazz culture. Theo has since performed in hundreds of venues including Dizzy’s Club at Lincoln Center, The Blue Note, Birdland, Carnegie Hall, Smalls, 55 Bar, The Iridium, Jazz Standard, Zinc Bar, Lenox Lounge, Minton’s, Bill’s Place, Smoke, St. Nick’s Pub, Cleopatra’s Needle, Fat Cat, Shapeshifter Lab, Nublu, and The Jazz Gallery. Hill has toured in over 30 states in the U.S. as well as international appearances in Australia, Austria, Canada, Costa Rica, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Qatar, Romania, South Korea, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
As a sideman Theo has had the opportunity to perform with Jeff “Tain” Watts, Charles Tolliver, Wallace Roney, Jeremy Pelt, Bobby Watson, Victor Bailey, Lenny White, Roy Ayers, Frank Lacy, Essiet Essiet, T.S. Monk, Victor Jones, Bill Saxton, J.D Allen, Tim Green, Willie Jones III, Curtis Lundy, David Weiss, Carmen Lundy, Gregory Porter as well as many other master musicians. Theo has performed with The Charles Tolliver Big Band, The Captain Black Big Band, The Josh Evans Big Band and is currently a member of The Mingus Big Band.
He has also performed or recorded with Eddie Henderson, Nicholas Payton, Josh Evans, Dave Liebman, Vincent Herring, Steve Wilson, Marcus Strickland, Stacy Dillard, Logan Richardson, Gerald Cannon, “Burniss” Earl Travis, Ben Williams, Lewis Nash, Ralph Peterson, Winard Harper, E.J. Strickland, Marcus Gilmore, Obed Calvaire and Justin Brown. Theo works as a bandleader and as an in demand sideman performing, composing, recording and touring around the world. Theo also conducts master classes, teaches privately and works as a private lesson instructor at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music and at the Collective School of Music.
Matt Wilson Quartet
New York based drummer and Grammy nominee Matt Wilson is one of todays most celebrated jazz artists. He is universally recognized for his musical and melodic drumming style as well as being a gifted composer, bandleader, producer, and teaching artist. Matt’s positive energy, sense of humor and ability to explore a broad range of musical settings keeps him in constant demand. In addition, Wilson’s dedication to jazz has helped establish him as a beloved world ambassador for the music, on and off the bandstand.
Recently, Matt performed at the White House as part of an all-star jazz group for a State Dinner concert hosted by President Obama. Other performers included Herbie Hancock, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dianne Reeves, Chris Botti, Randy Brecker, Antonio Hart and James Genus. Matt was named the artist in residence at the Litchfield Jazz Festival where he conducted a much-heralded public interview with Dave Brubeck. In 2010, Wilson conducted over 250 outreach programs promoting jazz including an acclaimed Jazz for Young Peoples concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Wilson leads the Matt Wilson Quartet, Arts and Crafts, Christmas Tree-O and the Carl Sandburg Project. Matt is integral part of bands led by Joe Lovano, John Scofield, Charlie Haden, Lee Konitz, Bob Stewart, Denny Zeitlin, Ron Miles, Marty Ehrlich, Ted Nash, Jane Ira Bloom and Dena DeRose among others. He has performed with many legends of music including Herbie Hancock, Dewey Redman, Andrew Hill, Bobby Hutcherson, Elvis Costello, Cedar Walton, Kenny Barron, John Zorn, Marshall Allen, Wynton Marsalis, Michael Brecker, Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell and Hank Jones. Wilson has appeared on 250 CDs as a sideman and has released 9 as a leader for Palmetto Records as well as co-leading 5 additional releases.
Matt was featured on the covers of both Downbeat and JazzTimes magazines in November 2009 and was for 5 consecutive years voted #1 Rising Star Drummer in the Downbeat Critic’s Poll. The readers of JazzTimes recently chose him as one of the top 4 drummers in the 2010 Readers Poll. In 2003, he was voted Drummer of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association.
Matt resides in Baldwin, NY with his wife Felicia, daughter Audrey and triplets sons Henry, Max and Ethan.
Dave Stryker Quartet
Dave Stryker: guitar
Monte Croft: vibraphone
Jared Gold: organ
McClenty Hunter: drums
The notion of moving forward by triangulating a space between creative and pragmatic imperatives is a consistent thread throughout Dave Stryker’s four decades in the jazz business, not least on Strykin’ Ahead, his 28th CD as a leader. For this Sidedoor engagement Stryker augments his working trio of Jared Gold on organ and McClenty Hunter on drums with vibraphone player Monte Croft. The Quartet will be playing music from Dave’s last 2 Eight Track recordings (his take on 70’s pop classics, as well as material from the new CD.
Stryker a preternaturally flexible and in-the-moment improviser with deep roots in the tradition who knows how to push the envelope without damaging the contents. Stryker internalized those imperatives on a 1984-1986 run with Brother Jack McDuff, and he received further invaluable training in the art of musical communication during a decade on the road with Stanley Turrentine, to whom he paid homage on the 2015 release Don’t Mess With Mister T.
In contrast to his Eight Track II conception of putting his spin on pop hits of his formative years, Stryker returns to his long-standing practice of presenting originals and reharmonized standards from the jazz and show music songbooks. “Shadowboxing” is a burning 14-bar minor blues; his well-considered chordal variations on Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints” proceed to a simmering 5/4 figure. Next is “New You” (a stimulating Stryker contrafact of the oft-played “There Will Never Be Another You”). He personalizes Billy Strayhorn’s “Passion Flower,” set to Hunter’s insinuating bossa-funk groove. The title track “Strykin’ Ahead” has a Cadillac-racing-down-the-freeway-feel; he imbues the lovely melody of “Who Can I Turn To” with the full measure of his plush, inviting tone.
That Stryker knows his Albert King is evident on the slow-drag “Blues Down Deep,” which evokes wee-hours third sets in the inner city grills and lounges of Stryker’s apprentice years. He knows his bebop, too. On Clifford Brown’s “Joy Spring,” the solo flights over Stryker’s “modernized” progressions transpire over Hunter’s drum-bass beats and crisp, medium-up four-on-the cymbal; on the chopbusting “Donna Lee,” all members springboard off a churchy vamp and Hunter’s funk-infused swing.
“I’ve always wanted to write vehicles that are fun and interesting to blow over,” Stryker says. “Trying to come up with a beautiful melody that lasts is very fulfilling. Writing is a big part of my voice in this music.” Stryker is too modest to say that his voice is also a big part of jazz, to which he’s devoted a career marked by consistent application of the values that he espouses. But that’s all right—I’ll say it for him.
Ted Panken (from the liner notes for Strykin’ Ahead)
Thana Alexa Project
Thana Alexa – vocals
Carmen Staaf – piano & keyboards
Ben Williams – acoustic & electric bass
Clarence Penn – drums
By the time an artist discovers their own voice, they’ve been shaped by countless influences. On her debut album, Ode To Heroes, vocalist THANA ALEXA pays tribute to the personalities both personal and musical who have impacted her on the path to forging her own distinctively individual voice. It’s a telling list that encompasses her own family; jazz giants like Wayne Shorter, Charles Mingus, and Paul Desmond; and the stellar musicians who collaborate with her on the album, including drummer and coproducer Antonio Sanchez, saxophonists Donny McCaslin and Lenart Krecic, bassists Jorge Roeder and Scott Colley, pianist Sergio Salvatore and vibraphonist Christos Rafalides. The release of Ode To Heroes, via Harmonia Mundi/Jazz Village, marks the arrival of a rising star on the modern vocal jazz scene. The album mainly features her engaging original compositions, along with vibrant takes on jazz standards like Shorter’s “Footprints,” Mingus’ “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat,” and Desmond and Dave Brubeck’s “Take 5.” Most importantly, it spotlights Alexa’s ability to engage in rewarding and illuminating conversation with some of the music’s most renowned and forward-thinking players.
Since dedicating herself to music, Alexa has performed and recorded with Antonio Sanchez on his album New Life and his upcoming album The Meridian Suite – performances have included Red Sea Jazz Festival and Montreal Jazz Festival – with legendary drummer Bernard “Pretty” Purdie and two albums with guitarist Gene Ess. She came in 2nd place in the 2014 Made in New York Jazz Competition and won the 2011 Jazzon Alpe-Andria International Competition for “Ode To Heroes,” while her composition “Siena” was nominated for a Best Jazz Composition award by PORIN, the Croatian Music Academy, an honor equivalent to the Grammy Awards in America.
“…a jazz singer with a global perspective…” – The New York Times
“…Thana Alexa stood out, turning a style of scatting that’s become cliche into something entirely new, evocative, and exhilarating!” – Billboard
“A radiant voice… sparkling artistry and unerring confidence… Ascendant Singer… young and chic possessing an electric stage presence… a warm-hearted chanteuse with old-school charm.” – Downbeat
“Enchanting… Her voice is enthralling, her compositions are heart-warming and her arrangements are heart-stopping.” – JazzTimes
“Thana rules with precision and brilliance… If jazz singing can be riveting, then here is its definition… This lady excites in a multitude of ways. She’s fresh, creative and yet with a stiletto’d heel in the tradition.” – All About Jazz
OLD LYME INN
85 Lyme Street
Old Lyme, Connecticut 06371
At The Show
Doors at 7:30pm for cocktails and seating
Shows begin at 8:30pm
unless otherwise advertised
Pre-show dinner reservations available at
The Old Lyme Inn
(food is not served at the club, full bar service available)
No unauthorized audio or video recording is permitted during performance. This includes cell phones. Photos restricted to first set per artist request.
Enjoy overnight discounts with your tickets
VOTED BEST LIVE JAZZ BY CT MAGAZINE 2014 AND 2015! Come check out why.....
TS Monk Sextet
Donald Vega Trio
Ravi Coltrane Quartet
Big Chief Donald Harrison
Bucky Pizarelli | Russell Malone | Ed Laub
Ken Kitchings | SideDoor Jazz
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NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL
Founded in 1954, the Newport Jazz Festival® was the first annual jazz festival in America. It has been host to numerous legendary performances by some of the world’s leading established and emerging artists.
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Garde Arts Center
Performing arts theater presenting Broadway shows, opera, film and other events. New London, Connecticut.
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Established in 1994, JazzReach is a nationally recognized New York City-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion, performance, creation and teaching of jazz music.
The Artists Collective
The Artists Collective is a cultural institution serving the Greater Hartford region, providing year-round professional training in dance, music, drama, visual and martial arts emphasizing the arts and culture of the African Diaspora.
The Hartt School of Music
The Hartt School is the comprehensive performing arts conservatory of the University of Hartford. Hartt offers innovative degree programs in music, dance, and theatre.
Newport Festivals Foundation
To continue the Newport Jazz Festival® as it has been since 1954 in the presentation of the greatest jazz performers who follow the traditions of New Orleans, swing, bebop and modal as the core and heart of jazz music.
Innovators of the finest musical instrument and mic stands for 35 years, The Music People! Inc. has been one of the nation’s leading suppliers of microphones and pro audio equipment.
The Sidedoor jazz club is the realisation of a long cherished dream. Ken Kitchings has always been a true fan of jazz music and brought many great artists to The Garde Theatre in New London, CT during his time there.
In 2011 Ken and his wife Chris bought the beautiful, but sadly neglected, Old Lyme Inn and put their hearts and souls into bringing its former glory to life. Once the inn became an established part of the community, Ken set his sights on an unused “side door” space attached to the inn, visualizing the perfect jazz venue: Intimate, welcoming, elegant and a quality, great sounding room that the very best jazz artists would be happy to play in!
On May 10th, 2013 its door and stage was opened by none other than the venerable George Wein and his Newport All Star band, cutting the ribbon and giving his blessing to an awestruck Ken Kitchings! An incredible gala night opening to be remembered – setting the standard and placing The Sidedoor firmly on the jazz venue map!
PHOTO: DOLORES MAURISU, KEN KITCHINGS
“Thank you for treating us so well. I’m happy that The Side Door brings quality, art and celebration to the community, thank you for inviting me to be a part of the magic! Sending love and wishing you health and joy, thank you. Benny”~ Benny Green 4/18/14
“This is the real deal! You’re right in the cross hairs of the NY and Boston music scene… This is every bit as great as playing the Vanguard!”~ Kenny Werner
This is the best thing to happen to the Connecticut shoreline since the Baldwin Bridge!~ Robin Whitney, Side Door VIP
Intimate room, good bar service and superb jazz band! A great place to go after dinner on the weekend in Old Lyme or Essex near the CT shore.~ TripAdvisor User: Glenn C
very excited to see this has opened – just what we need in this area!!~ Facebook User: Carrie Leber
As shepherded by Ken Kitchings – who owns the Old Lyme Inn with his wife, Christine, and is a booking force at the Garde Arts Center – the SideDoor will be an intimate venue dedicated to showcasing the finest touring jazz musicians as they negotiate the I-95 corridor.~ RICK KOSTER, The Day
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