On Stage

The Messenger Legacy featuring the Music of Ralph Peterson Jr.

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The Messenger Legacy band honors the enduring influence of jazz great Ralph Peterson, shining a light on the iconic jazz drummer. An all-star sextet of Messenger Legacy and Jazz Messenger alumni celebrate the musical alchemy of Ralph Peterson: timeless drummer, bandleader, composer, and educator. The sextet comprises a mix of former Jazz Messengers and Messenger Legacy stalwarts, including some of the best and most versatile players now on the jazz scene: tenor saxophonist Bill Pierce, trumpeter Brian Lynch, trombonist Robin Eubanks, bassist Lonnie Plaxico, pianist Anthony Wonsey and drummer Kush Abadey.

The concert will showcase compositions by Peterson and members of the forward-thinking Messenger Legacy band and include tunes from 2020’s Onward and Upward—Peterson’s 25th release as a leader, and recently penned material from band members.

The concert date, May 20th, would have been the 61st birthday of drummer Ralph Peterson, who passed away in March 2021. Ticket pricing: $35 General Admission, $25 WPU Faculty/Staff/Seniors, and $10 all students with valid ID.

Live Jazz Every Tues & Thurs 7-10 pm
Tavern on George
361 George St. New Brunswick

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New Brunswick Jazz Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to presenting world class jazz performances in downtown New Brunswick & other Central Jersey venues. Since its inception in 2010 NBJP has gone from presenting two jazz performances a month, to offering FREE year around shows, four nights every week. The Jazz Project has successfully fostered a supportive environment for regular live jazz performance in New Brunswick and has presented more than 700 events featuring over 1000 acclaimed national and international jazz leaders, sidemen and special guests, including among many others: Arturo O’Farrill, John Lee, Ed Cherry, Dave Stryker, Akiko Tsuruga, Roseanna Vitro, Mimi Jones, Jerry Weldon, Rudy Royston, Virginia Mayhew, Luis Perdomo, Dezron Douglas, Joe Magnarelli, Ralph Peterson, Steve Williams, Kenny Davis, Tia Fuller, Orrin Evans, Jared Gold, Tim Ries, Victor Lewis, Conrad Herwig, and Ravi Coltrane.

NBJP also regularly partners with the New Brunswick Public Schools and the Hub Teen Center to provide after-school enrichment programming in the form of jazz performances with student participation and talk backs.

Summer Arts and Jazz Programs for Kids!

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Be a part of NJPAC’s legendary Performing Arts Summer Programs, part of the Colton Institute for Training and Research in the Arts. This dynamic initiative supports and advances NJPAC’s Arts Education programs including our best-in-class hip hop, jazz & poetry and theater classes happening this summer.

Registered students can enjoy: Community Meeting: Daily social check-in with your classmates (included as part of your class time).
In The Mix: A student-driven, collaborative and multidisciplinary program with a civic engagement focus. It’s a safe space for students to discuss and produce art as activism while building their social and emotional skills (free add-on).
Creative Coaching: One-on-one mentorship with a professional NJPAC teaching artist (free add-on). Parents and guardians are invited to participate in our parent committee:

NJPAC Arts Education offers families an opportunity to strategize with a collective of parents, guardians and caregivers and assist in the development of activities that nurture their child’s development, showcase teaching artists and build community at the Center for Arts Education. financial aid is available! No student is turned away for financial needs. 10% sibling program discount. For more information about our enrollment policy visit njpac.org/summer.

Happening In New York

Smoke - Premier New York Jazz Club Returns!

One of New York City’s premier live music venues, Smoke Jazz Club, recently announced its long-awaited reopening. After two years spent reorienting to the pandemic with modified operations including livestreams, sidewalk concerts, and outdoor dining, Smoke Jazz Club has made a momentous return as a world-renowned destination for the best in classic and modern jazz. Acclaimed for its essential music programming and inspired setting, this revered institution has undertaken an impressive expansion and renovation that readies the venerable club for the post-pandemic 21st century. Despite being closed to indoor performances and dining for over two years, Smoke has survived with a renewed sense of mission and now with a spectacularly renovated, newly expanded space. Smoke’s return brings much-needed hope and rejuvenation to the city and the music community. “Smoke Jazz Club has so much history,” says husband and wife co- owners Paul Stache and Molly Sparrow Johnson. “Despite the struggles of the last few years, we just knew that the music couldn’t stop here. The past couple of years have not been easy for anyone, but having live music back in the club with everyone together, musicians and listeners, seems like a turning point. We are very excited to take this next step.”
Guided by their initial attempts to operate under mandated occupancy restrictions, social distancing regulations, and safety protocols for the staff, musicians, and patrons, Smoke’s expansion achieves all of those goals while still retaining its vibrant atmosphere. “We had already agreed, in principle, with our landlord to take on the two adjacent storefronts before the pandemic,” recounts Johnson, “but it quickly became obvious that combining the new spaces with the jazz club was not only a priority but really a necessity to operate safely.” -more- “We feel very fortunate that our landlord has been so supportive these last two years.” The addition of these smaller combined spaces serves as an attached lounge featuring the relocated, historic, full-length bar providing more space for audiences and a larger stage for performers in the main listening room– all while preserving the club’s familiar warm ambiance.
About SMOKE - Located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side at the junction of Broadway and 106th Street (aka Duke Ellington Boulevard), Smoke Jazz Club is one of New York City’s premier live music venues. Renowned for offering top-notch programming of accessible, timeless jazz featuring legendary performers, modern masters and rising stars, Smoke stands apart with its candlelit dining room, stellar acoustics, and classic American cuisine. Founded in 1999, SMOKE also boasts a GRAMMY-nominated label, Smoke Sessions Records, and a celebrated streaming concert series, Smoke Screens. For everything else, visit SMOKEjazz.com.

Jazz Currents & Education
Global Jazz 

RSS The Free Jazz Collective
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    By Stuart Broomer Pianist Alister Spence would likely be far better known if he didn’t reside in Australia; conversely, he might not have developed the distinctive and particular style and rich depth that he shows here and on his previous recordings. There’s a special sense of space, though distinct in each musician, amongst Australian improvisers. […]

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    Last week in The Wall Street Journal, I interviewed comedian-actor Ana Gasteyer for my "House Call" column in the Mansion section (go here). The Saturday Night Live alum stars in the NBC sitcom American Auto, which follows the employees of...Click the icon below to listen.      Related StoriesBill Le Sage: New Directions in JazzCaroline, Sy and […]
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Reviews & CD Picks
ridl stds
The Jim Ridl Trio - Standards Live

Released 2022, this is a live recording of standards and  originals with Jim Ridl piano, Tim Lekan bass, Bob Shomo drums.
Bill O'Connell Latin Jazz

This ensemble embraces a broad stylistic swath of jazz, Latin and Brazilian idioms and experiments with  intimate to large groups. 
Bill O’Connell – piano and Fender Rhodes, Lincoln Goines – bass, Robby Ameen – drums with special guests Randy Brecker – flugelhorn, Craig Handy – alto sax, Conrad Herwig – trombone, Andrea Brachfeld – flute, and Dan Carillo – guitar.

Steve LaSpina - A Change in the Weather

This is bassist, Steve LaSpina’s 12th album as a leader, and explores some of his old tunes, as well as new works. It gives the listener a rare opportunity to experience how original compositions in jazz develop after decades of live performance. PERSONNEL: Steve LaSpina - bass, Joel Frahm - tenor & soprano saxophone, Luis Perdomo - piano, and Eric McPherson - drums.

Reggie Quinerly New York Nowhere

Drummer, Reggie Quinerly, offers his latest album as a fond good-bye as he relocates to Los Angeles.  The quintet of trumpeter Antoniene Drye, tenor saxophonist John Ellis, pianist John Chin, and bassist Sean Conly,  recorded their seven tracks together in one room, old school.

Arturo O'Farrill - Four Questions

Four Questions is a 2020 album by Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra. It won the 2021 Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album.  Label: Zoho Music

Andy Fusco - Remembrance

Veteran alto man Andy Fusco has appeared on many sessions over the years including his work with the Buddy Rich big band and sideman duties with the likes of Walt Weiskopf and drummer Steve Smith. Bravo to Steeplechase Records who have given him the opportunity to record an album a year with this being his fifth release.

George Coleman in Baltimore

Previously Unreleased Live Tenor Sax Giant George Coleman from The Ballroom in Baltimore,1971

Matt Aronoff
Morning Song
Composer: Matt Aronoff (b. 1980)
Label: Adhyâropa Records
Performers: Matt Aronoff (bass), Jason Rigby (tenor sax), Yago Vazquez (Frender Rhodes), Henry Cole (drums)
Helping Hands
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Ken Peplowski Fund Raiser Wrap-up

Downbeat Magazine called Ken Peplowski "brilliantly entertaining" and his fans around the world agree. Ken is as at home on the concert stage as he is an intimate jazz club. Wherever you have seen him, he has given each of us tremendous pleasure with his masterful clarinet and saxophone playing and his warm, funny personality.

A dear friend and renowned jazz guitarist, Frank Vignola, created a Go Fund Me Campaign to help Ken that is now completed with over $125,ooo raised. Ken thanks everyone who contributed and we feel happy that he is on the road to recovery.