Workshop Alumni Happenings Feb 16, 2022

By Vail Jazz

Gerald Clayton (2002 piano) has announced the April 1 release of his second Blue Note Records album, Bells on Sand, which includes bass contributions from his Dad, VJW Director of Education John Clayton; listen to this track, “Water’s Edge,” from the album. The younger Clayton performs with his sextet on February 17 at The Soraya, the Valley’s Center for the Performing Arts in Northridge CA; and he’s featured – along with 2017 bass alum Ben Feldman — with the Domo Branch Trio in the BIAMP PDX Jazz Festival at Portland OR’s Star Theater on February 25.


Vocalist Rayana Jay’s latest release, Last Call, features 2009 saxophone alum Braxton Cook on “Unfair.” Cook performs on flute with the Adi Meyerson Band at Mr. Musichead Gallery in L.A. on February 16.


Armstrong Now! – an evening of music, spoken word, and tap dance – features trumpeter Alphonso Horne (2004) on February 17 at The Hudson Opera House in NYC. Horne then joins a Jazz Celebration of the Allman Brothers Band in performances at Carolina Theatre in Durham NC on February 20, Tarrytown Music Hall in Tarrytown NY on February 24, Music Hall in Portsmouth NH on February 25, Sugar Loaf Performing Arts Center in Chester NY on February 26, and Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway NJ on February 27.


Trumpeter Summer Camargo (2018) backs jazz vocalist Deborah Silver at the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in NYC on February 17.


2014 saxophone alum Morgan Guerin is at SFJazz on February 17 with Terri Lyne Carrington & Social Science. The band performs New Standards there again on February 18, with Elena Pinderhughes (2011 saxophone) and Ambrose Akinmusire (2000 trumpet). Pinderhughes performs with trombonist Steve Turre in an All-Star Sextet at Geoffrey’s Inner Circle in Oakland CA on February 20. She played flute on saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins’s recently-released album, The 7th Hand (see below); check her out on this track, “Witness.”


Ambrose Akinmusire (see above) performs on February 17 in the West Coast premiere of “Two Wings: The Music of Black America in Migration,” at Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley CA. Akinmusire later explores the expressive sounds of sculptor Harry Bertoia’s works at The Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas TX on February 23, during “Trumpet Night” in the “Sculpting Sound: Twelve Musicians Encounter Bertoia” series of concerts. His Workshop colleague Marcus Gilmore (2002 drums) follows on February 26, during “Drums/Percussion Night” as part of the same concert series. And both of these follow a February 22 performance by Gilmore, with bassist Ben Williams and Baylor Project vocalist Jean Baylor, in a Detroit weekly television series, “The Carr Center Presents.”


Sullivan Fortner (2002 piano) leads a trio in the Starlight Jazz Club series at Walton Arts Center, Fayettville AR, February 18. Fortner and his trio are at Murry’s, as part of Columbia MO’s “We Always Swing” Jazz Series, on February 20.


Alto saxophonist Terrace Martin (1997) has a three-night engagement as Terrace Martin & Friends at the Blue Note in NYC February 18-20, with two shows nightly.


Fresh off his recently-released album, The 7th Hand, saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins is touring with his band featuring 2013 piano alum Micah Thomas and 2011 bass alum Daryl Johns. They perform at: SFJazz in San Francisco CA on February 18; Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, Half Moon Bay CA, on February 20; Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz CA on February 21; the Portland Jazz Festival in Portland OR on February 22; the Just Jazz Series in Los Angeles CA on February 23; and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC on February 26.


2004 saxophone alum Khris Royal performs with Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue and other musicians in Shorty Gras 2022 at Mardi Gras World in New Orleans on February 19.


1997 piano alum Robert Glasper and his Workshop classmate Terrace Martin (see above) provide the soundtrack for Bel-Air, the streaming series (on Peacock) re-boot of the classic NBC TV series Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Glasper, with singer-songwriter Tahirah Memory, appears on February 23 at Moda Center in Portland OR. Glasper then performs at a new music venue, The Guild Theatre, in Menlo Park CA on February 25, coinciding with the release date of his new album, Black Radio III. Glasper and Workshop colleague Lakecia Benjamin (1999 saxophone) perform separately at the PDX Jazz Festival in Portland OR on February 26 and then he takes the stage at the Moore Theatre in Seattle WA on February 27.


Trumpeter Josh Evans (2002) takes the stage on February 24 and 25 at Dizzy’s Club (NY), performing his complete evening-length Mansa Mali suite for quintet.


Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah (2001 trumpet), with djembe/drummer Weedie Braimah, is at the PDX Jazz Festival in Portland OR on February 24. He then appears with Braimah and drummer Idris Muhammad at The Crocodile in Seattle WA on February 25.


2018 piano alum Esteban Castro is in the Birsa Chatterjee Quartet performing at The Jazz Gallery (NYC) on February 24.


James Francies (2012 piano) continues his tour with Pat Metheny & Side Eye, performing in his Houston TX birthplace on February 25 at Cullen Theater (Wortham Theater Center).


Patrick Bartley (2010 saxophone) and Justin Kauflin (2003 piano) are in the John Clayton & the Friends & Brothers Band performing a February 26 concert dedicated to John’s late younger brother (and former VJ Workshop saxophone mentor) Jeff Clayton, at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center in Goshen IN.


Pianist Isaiah Thompson (2014) leads the IT’s Freedom Band in performances on February 26 at the BOMBYX Center for Arts & Equity in Northampton MA and February 27 at the Next Stage Arts Project in Putney, VT.


Benny Benack III (2008 trumpet) performs with Isaac Mizrahi and the Ben Waltzer Quintet on March 1 at Café Carlyle in NYC.


1996 saxophone alum Tia Fuller is featured on Bird Lives, the recently-released album by the SWR Big Band. Listen to her here on “Summertime.”


Saxophonist Kamasi Washington’s newly-released single, “The Garden Path,” features 1996 bass alum Miles Mosley


Vocalist Hinda Hoffman’s recently-released People collaboration with the Soul Message Band, featuring alto sax player Greg Ward (1999), includes this tune, “Get Out of Town.”