Workshop Alumni Happenings Feb 2, 2022

By Vail Jazz

Pianist James Francies (2012) continues a world tour as a member of guitarist Pat Metheny’s Side-Eye trio, which has a number of national gigs remaining before heading to Europe this spring. Among these is a February 4 date at the Ferguson Center for the Arts in Newport News VA; February 5 at Jefferson Center in Roanoke VA; February 7 at Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville TN; February 8 at U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville NC; February 9 at Carolina Theatre in Durham NC; February 11 at Knight Theater in Charlotte NC; February 12 at Variety Playhouse in Atlanta GA; February 13 at Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center in Birmingham AL; and February 14 at Charleston Music Hall in Charleston SC. Later this month (February 25), the band performs in Francies’s Houston TX birthplace, at the Cullen Theater. For the full tour schedule, go to https://www.jamesfranciesmusic.com/calendar. And click here to watch Side-Eye perform Metheny’s composition “Bright Size Life.” 


Saxophonist Ravi Coltrane’s Freedom Trio, with 2004 alum Nick Jozwiak on bass, performs February 4 at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theater in NYC.


Workshop alumni Corey Fonville (2006 drums) and Kenny Banks, Jr. (2004 piano) accompany vocalist Kurt Elling and guitarist Charlie Hunter in a February 4 performance (including tunes from Elling’s Grammy-nominated SuperBlue album) at Newmark Theatre, NYC.


Alphonso Horne (2004 trumpet) leads The Gotham Kings in NYC appearances at Django on February 5 and at Chelsea Table on February 6; then Horne performs at Mona’s (NYC) on February 15.


Bassist Russell Hall (2010) forms part of tenor saxophone player Charles Owens’s trio for two shows at Smalls (NYC) on February 6. Congratulations to Hall, as a member of the Emmet Cohen Trio, which was a top five Acoustic Small Group/Artist in the recently released Jazz Times 2021 Readers’ Poll!


2002 piano alum Sullivan Fortner performs with vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant at the Berkley Theater, Greenwich Library on February 6 in Greenwich CT. They follow that with four shows at SFJAZZ in San Francisco, February 10-13.


Trumpeter Anthony Hervey (2014) plays with the Barry Stephenson Sextet on February 11 at Django in NYC and returns to that venue on February 12 leading his quartet. Hervey is with Svetlana’s Big Band for a Valentine’s Eve show at Birdland (NYC) on February 13.


Chris Fishman (2014 piano) is featured in the musical line-up at the GroundUp Music Festival in Miami Beach FL, February 12-13.


1997 saxophone alum Terrace Martin, performing as Terrace Martin & Friends, has a multi-night gig with two shows nightly at the Blue Note (NYC) February 15-20.


Evan Sherman (2009) plays the drums in a quartet led by vocalist Anna Kolchina for two shows at Smalls (NYC) on February 15.


Trumpeter Benny Benack III (2008) is featured with the Alex Claffy Quintet at the Royal Room in Seattle WA on February 8, and again February 9-10 at The 1905 in Portland OR. Benack and his quartet then perform on February 15 in the Friends of Nanaimo Jazz Society’s Welcome Back concert series at Vancouver Island Conference Center’s Shaw Auditorium.


Jazz/rock/soul band Sammy Rae & The Friends, including Max Zooi (2009) on tenor sax and synths, have been named one of NPR’s Slingshot’s 2022 Artists to Watch. Check out this recent live performance of their song “Follow Me Like The Moon” from Brooklyn Steel in Brooklyn NY.

Singer-songwriter Samm Henshaw’s debut album, Untidy Soul, features 1997 trumpet alum Keyon Harrold on “Still Broke.” Watch the video here.