Workshop Alumni Happenings Mar 2, 2022

By Vail Jazz

Ambrose Akinmusire (2000 trumpet) performs with the 30-piece San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra backing his quartet (with 2002 Workshop alum Gerald Clayton on piano) in the West Coast premiere of his new work “Porter” at SFJazz Center in San Francisco CA, March 3-4, dedicated to his late trumpet mentor Richard Porter. Akinmusire is currently SFJazz’s Resident Artistic Director. Akinmusire performs again at SFJazz Center March 5-6 with guitarist Bill Frisell and drummer Herlin Riley, and in a Wayne Shorter Celebration at Disney Hall in LA on March 9. You can check out Akinmusire’s trumpet work on “Marivi,” a track on Spanish-born pianist Marta Sanchez’s newly-released SAAM (Spanish American Art Museum) album.


Trumpeter Benny Benack III leads a quintet in jam sessions at Smalls in NYC on March 2 and 9, and his quartet performs in Sunset Jazz at Bayside Restaurant in Newport Beach CA on March 15.


Saxophonist Melissa Aldana’s debut Blue Note Records album, 12 Stars, is due out March 4 and features Sullivan Fortner (2002 piano) on keyboards. Here’s the title track.


2007 saxophone alum Chad Lefkowitz-Brown is touring with trumpeter Chris Botti, with gigs at Miller Theater in Augusta GA on March 4, Ruby Diamond Concert Hall in Tallahassee FL on March 5, Alys Stephens Center in Birmingham AL on March 6, The Peace Center in Greenville SC on March 8, and Reilly Arts Center in Ocala FL on March 10.


Natalie Barbieri (2019 saxophone) leads The Barbieri Project at the Red River Inn in Yaphank NY on March 4.


Alphonso Horne (2004 trumpet) and the Gotham Kings perform on March 5 at the Joye in Aiken festival in Aiken SC. On March 15, Horne takes part in a jam session at Mona’s Bar in NYC.


Lakecia Benjamin (1999 saxophone) fronts her band Pursuance in performances at Arden Gild Hall in Wilmington DE on March 5 and in the Lively Arts Series at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell PA on March 6.


2009 saxophone alum Braxton Cook performs two shows at the Blue Note in NYC on March 7.


Trumpeter Keyon Harrold (1997) headlines two shows a night from March 8 through 13 at the Blue Note in NYC.


Jazz bassist Adi Meyerson performs her 2021 work, I Want To Sing My Heart Out in Praise of Life, at the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning in Queens NY on March 10, featuring 2014 alum Anthony Hervey on trumpet.


James Francies (2012 piano) has a solo gig at Scullers Jazz Club in Boston MA on March 5, and is featured on keyboards on trumpeter Marquis Hill’s New Gospel Revisited live album scheduled for release on March 11.


2005 bass alum Katie Thiroux leads a trio with guitarist Larry Koonse and drummer Matt Wilson at SFJazz Center in San Francisco CA on March 12.


1997 piano alum Robert Glasper performs at the Vermont Hollywood in LA on March 4, at City Winery in Boston MA March 12-13, and at the Blue Note in NYC for two shows per night March 15-20, part of an extensive national tour that also includes stops in Portland, Seattle, and more; tour dates at robertglasper.com.


Frank LoCrasto (2001 piano) is among the musicians who teamed up with The Miraculous Love Kids, a non-profit that has served as Afghanistan’s only school of music, and together released a new song – “God Help Us All” – and video; the tune was recorded weeks before the Taliban takeover. 


“A Picture of Her Face,” from pianist Lara Downes’s newly released album, Reflections: Scott Joplin Reconsidered, was arranged by 2003 piano alum Jeremy Siskind; listen to it here.