Workshop Alumni Happenings Apr 13, 2022

By Vail Jazz

82-year-old Morton Block was only 19 years old when he met Susan, the love of his life ever since, just before he was deployed to Europe aboard a US Navy ship. It was then that he wrote “My Love” for Susan, and sometimes sang it to her as his wife in the years following his return. Decades later, Block’s grandson decided to record and release the song on his own label. The family collaborated with 2008 trumpet alum Benny Benack III, who sings the vocals on the newly released song; Benack’s 2007 piano alum colleague Christian Li arranged the music. Take a listen!


Benack (see above) performs in a quartet with vocalist Martina DaSilva at Chris’s Jazz Café in Philadelphia on April 16; with the Yamaha Mamas (Cate Hayman and Georgia Mendes) at Feinstein’s 54 Below (NYC) on April 17; in a Frank Sinatra celebration at 74Wythe in Kings County NY on April 20; and with vocalist Cyrille Aimee at Birdland (NYC) for two nights, April 22-23.


The soon-to-be-released soundtrack, Take Me To The River: New Orleans, for a forthcoming documentary film celebrating the music and culture of the Crescent City, features new recordings by 2001 trumpet alum Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah. Watch the documentary trailer.


Keyboardist Cameron Graves’s new fusion-style quartet album, Live From the Seven Spheres, includes bassist Max Gerl (2012) and drummer Mike Mitchell (2011). Check out “Sacred Spheres.”


2018 trumpet alum Summer Camargo and 2002 piano alum Sullivan Fortner give special guest performances at the Jazz at Lincoln Center Annual Gala with Wynton Marsalis at the Frederick P. Rose Hall in NYC on April 13.


Isaiah J. Thompson (2014 piano) performs in a quartet on April 13 at Jazz at Lincoln Center (NYC), and with the John Pizzarelli Trio at Café Carlyle in NYC on April 26.


Jazz in the Key of Ellison, a concert production inspired by the musical life of writer (and accomplished trumpeter) Ralph Ellison, includes 2014 alum Anthony Hervey on trumpet, at the Kimmel Cultural Campus in Philadelphia on April 14.


Also on April 14, the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center in Miami Beach FL hosts drummer Ulysses Owens Jr.’s Generation Y, a quintet of talented jazz musicians under age 30 which includes 2016 alum Philip Norris on bass.


Composer, filmmaker and interdisciplinary artist Samora Pinderhuges’s new album, Grief, slated for release April 15, features an ensemble that includes 2002 alum Marcus Gilmore on drums and 2011 saxophone alum (and Samora’s younger sister) Elena Pinderhughes on flute.


In celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month, 1997 piano alum Robert Glasper performs on April 16 at the Kennedy Center in DC with another pianist, Jason Moran, the institution’s Artistic Director for Jazz.


2002 piano alum Gerald Clayton performs with guitarist John Scofield at SF Jazz Center in San Francisco on April 16. Clayton plays piano and keyboards on guitarist Anthony Wilson’s album, The Plan of Paris, to be released May 20. Watch this lyric video of the title song.


Songs of Rebirth is the upcoming (April 22) double-album set from 2003 piano alum Jeremy Siskind, and you can listen here to the lead single, “Unbroken String,” featuring Siskind on piano, Nancy Harms on vocals, and Lucas Pino on woodwinds.


Keyon Harrold (1997 trumpet), currently Creative Advisor for Jazz St. Louis, performs at Jazz St. Louis’s Ferring Jazz Bistro, April 22-23.


Alphonso Horne (2004 trumpet) composed the music for Theater for a New Audience’s off-Broadway show, Wedding Band: A Love/Hate Story in Black and White, previewing April 23 in NYC and scheduled to run May 8-15. Apparently, Horne will not attend the preview, as he’s slated to perform with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Quartet that night at the Hancher Auditorium in Iowa City, IA.


2001 saxophone alum Hitomi Oba performs during the Joe Henderson Festival April 23 at the SF Jazz Center in San Francisco.


Bassist Katie Thiroux (2005) conducts Jazz in the Schools programs April 23-24 at California State University in Seaside CA, and April 25-26 at Seabury Hall in Makawao HI. 


Pianist Lisa Hilton’s recently-released album, Life is Beautiful, features Luques Curtis (2000) on bass. Listen to “Santa Monica Samba.”


Rapper Buddy’s new single, “Coolest Things,” from his Superghetto album, was co-produced by Terrace Martin (1997 saxophone). Listen here.