Workshop Alumni Happenings Nov 24, 2021

By Vail Jazz

Trumpeter Benny Benack III (2008) plays a number of jam sessions over the next couple of weeks: November 24 at Smalls (NYC); November 26 (Benack’s birthday!) at Hemana (NYC); November 27 at Winters Jazz Club (Chicago); November 28 at The Craftsman (NYC); and back at Smalls December 1; then he performs with the Ulysses Owens Jr. Big Band December 2-5 at Dizzy’s (NYC).


On November 27, saxophonist Eddie Barbash (2005) is featured in a pair of “Jazz It Up” classics-meet-jazz concerts with the Sherman Chamber Ensemble, first in New Milford, CT and later that day in Washington, CT, with a follow-up performance on December 28 in Kent, CT.


2007 saxophone alum Hailey Niswanger fronts her band MAE.SUN at C’Mon Everybody, in Brooklyn NY, November 29.


Jazz St. Louis presents Keyon Harrold (1997 trumpet) December 1-5 at The Harold & Dorothy Steward Center for Jazz, in St. Louis.


2001 trumpet alum Curtis Taylor delivers an interactive lecture, sharing song insights and histories along with videos from his performances, on December 1 at the Westfield Memorial Library in Westfield NJ.


Robert Glasper (1997 piano) performs two Colorado gigs with vocalist Cory Henry and special guests (TBA), on December 2 at Boulder Theatre (info/tix here) and on December 3 at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom in Denver (info/tix here). Glasper plays on vocalist Alex Isley’s “Still Wonder,” the final song to be released ahead of her next album.


Saxophonist Grace Kelly (2008) takes the stage December 3 and 4 at the Center for Arts in Natick, MA; and December 5 at Jonathan’s in Ogunquit ME. Kelly is guest saxophonist on The Main Squeeze’s recently-released live rendition of “Dr. Funk,” seen here.


2002 piano alum Gerald Clayton is featured, along with pianists Patrice Rushen and Eric Reed, in National Public Radio’s “A Jazz Piano Christmas” on December 4 at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater in DC.


Pianist Sullivan Fortner (2002) performs duets with 2004 Jazz Kitchen Awards winner Adam Birnbaum (Fortner won in 2015), and solo pieces in two sets, as part of the American Pianists’ Association’s 2021-22 Grand Encounters season at The Jazz Kitchen in Indianapolis on December 4; livestreamed at www.americanpianists.org.


Zaccai Curtis (1999 piano) performs with the Matt Dwonszyk Group during the Manchester (CT) Jazz Festival on December 4 at the Little Theatre of Manchester.


Bryan Carter (2007) is on the drum stand with other musicians in the “Joye To The World!” holiday concert on December 5 at The Etherredge Center in Aiken SC.


Gotham Kings, led by 2004 trumpet alum Alphonso Horne, performs at Chelsea Table + Stage (NYC) on December 5, during its “Badass Brunch” series.


Congratulations to Ambrose Akinmusire (2000) for winning Downbeat magazine’s 2021 Readers Poll for Best Trumpet!


1998 alum David Wong plays bass on Helen Sung’s recently released album, Quartet+; listen to his solo on “Mary’s Waltz.”


Saxophonist Chad Lefkowitz-Brown (2007) and his Global Big Band have released a new album, Open World; the band includes 2010 bass alum Russell Hall and 2007 drums alum Bryan Carter on the album’s opening track, “A Night in Tunisia.”


Founded and led by saxophonist Patrick Bartley, Jr. (2010), J-MUSIC Ensemble is a group that takes on song requests on Twitch; check out Bartley on this recently streamed J-MUSIC live performance of Tekken 7’s “Infinite Azure” stage theme. And watch him here lighting up the stage with pianist Emmet Cohen last week at the Twin Cities Jazz Fest in St. Paul MN.


Season 2 of the Netflix series “Gentefied” launched this month, and the Episode 3 soundtrack includes the song “Never Thought (Quickly, Quickly Remix)” by 2009 saxophone alum Braxton Cook; check it out.


Visions of Your Other, the latest album by trumpeter Adam O’Farrill’s “Stranger Days” quartet, includes Xavier Del Castillo (2010) on tenor saxophone; listen to “STAKRA.”