Workshop Alumni Happenings May 25, 2022
By Vail Jazz
Trumpeter Joey Curreri (2018) has been awarded the 2022 Dave Brubeck Composer and Pianist Scholarship by the Jazz Education Network (JEN). JEN’s scholarship program annually recognizes talented, hardworking, aspiring students with a passion for jazz. Currently a senior at the University of Miami Frost School of Music, Curreri has formed the Joey Curreri Quintet, and we’ll likely be hearing much about them in the future. Congratulations, Joey!
Curreri (see above) was also recognized in DownBeat magazine’s 45th Annual Student Music Awards as an Undergraduate College Outstanding Soloist in the Small Jazz Combo category (with the Joey Curreri Quintet). Several other young Workshop alumni were honored too: Varun Das (2018 drums), Vittorio Stropoli (2019 piano), and Summer Camargo (2018 trumpet) for Outstanding Undergraduate College Performances in the Jazz Soloist category; Esteban Castro (2018 piano) as the Undergraduate College Winner in that category and an honoree for Undergraduate College Outstanding Recording; and Skylar Tang (2021 trumpet) as a Jazz Arrangement honoree for the Tisol/Ellington classic “Caravan,” arranged for the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Combo in which she plays.
Jeffery Miller (2012 trombone) appears in an “Uptown Swing” concert at the Alhambra Ballroom in Harlem NY on World Lindy Hop Day, May 26, and again on May 27.
Saxophonist Sophie Faught (2004) leads her own Quartet in a performance on May 27 at the Live at the Center series at the Palladium in Indianapolis, and it is live-streamed at 6:00 pm (MDT) at www.thecenterpresents.org.
Bassist David Wong (1999) joins pianist Aaron Diehl in back-to-back duo performances at Birdland Theater in NYC, May 27-28.
The Jacksonville Jazz Festival features The Emmet Cohen Trio with Russell Hall (2010 bass) and The John Lumpkin Trio with Patrick Bartley (2010 saxophone) on May 28 in Jacksonville FL. Hall performs again with The Emmet Cohen Trio in an outdoor Memorial Day concert at Baroque Jazz Club, La Merced Chapel in Miami on May 30.
Robert Glasper (1997 piano) performs with vocalist Erykah Badu at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison CO on June 7, and has a busy performance schedule before then: he appears at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh NC on May 26 and at the Neighborhood Theatre in Charlotte NC on May 27; accompanies singer Lalah Hathaway in the Wade Ford Concert Series on May 28 at the Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre in Mableton GA and performs at the Jacksonville (FL) Jazz Festival on May 29; and, as the Blue Note Jazz Festival’s Artist-in-Residence, performs a free show during that festival on June 1 in Washington Square Park, NYC. He then performs at the Blue Note in NYC on June 2, at the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank NJ on June 3, and with vocalist Bilal on June 4 and 5 during the Toots Picnic at the Mann Center in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia. Glasper is featured on “Still Wonder,” from vocalist Alex Isley’s new album, Marigold.
The lineup for the Atlanta Jazz Fest, in Piedmont Park in Atlanta over Memorial Day weekend, includes 1996 saxophone alum Tia Fuller‘s Intersections on May 28. Fuller is also featured at the Fest in a “Jazz 101” conversation on May 29 at the Park Tavern.
2008 trumpet alum Benny Benack III appears in a tribute to Frank Sinatra on May 26 at 74Wythe in Brooklyn NY and performs music from the Great American Songbook on May 28 for “Accentuate the Positive” at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space in NYC.
2014 trumpet alum Anthony Hervey performs with a quintet at the Django in NYC on May 28.
Pianist Gerald Clayton (2002) and his dad, VJW Director of Education John Clayton, grace the cover of the June 2022 issue of Downbeat magazine in a feature story on “Artistry & Family.” The younger Clayton performs on June 1 at BOP STOP at The Music Settlement in Cleveland, and with bassist Vicente Archer and drummer Kendrick Scott at Jimmy’s Jazz & Blues Club in Portsmouth NH on June 4 and at the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport MA on June 5.
Keyboardist Brandon Coleman’s newly-released album, Interstellar Black Space, includes musical contributions by Ryan Porter (1996 trombone), Keyon Harrold (1997 trumpet) and Marcus Gilmore (2002 drums); here is the album’s lead single, “Blast Off.” Harrold performs at Ballpark Village Fan Fest in St. Louis during the Enjoy Illinois 300 NASCAR Cup Series race weekend, June 2-5. And Gilmore plays on the newly-released The Jazz All Stars Vol. 2, anchored by the piano and compositions of Vail Jazz Workshop mentor Bill Cunliffe. Listen to “Whatever You Say.”
Isaiah J. Thompson (2014 piano) performs in the SFJAZZ Gala with the Wynton Marsalis Quartet at SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco on June 3.
Drums alum Evan Sherman (2009) and his “Homecoming” Quartet perform at New Jersey Jazz Society on June 5 at the Madison Community Arts Center in Madison NJ.
Drummer Aaron Seeber’s debut album as a bandleader, First Move, recorded at Ornithology Jazz Club in Brooklyn NY, includes saxophonist Tim Green (1998) and pianist Sullivan Fortner (2002). Listen to “Duke Ellington’s Sound of Love.”
Saxophonist Greg Ward plays alto on guitarist Mike Allemana’s new album, Vonology, set for release on May 27, when you can tune in at 7:30 pm (MDT) to a live-stream performance of the five-part suite from Constellation in Chicago.
The Friendship Trio, which includes drummer Kofi Shepsu (2017) and his VJW classmate Ben Feldman (bass), recently released its sophomore album, Ghost Stories. Watch this video of the Trio – led by pianist/composer Jenny Xu – performing Xu’s “If Lies Were Flowers (You’d Fill Oceans with Sakura),” and read this piece about Shepsu in a recent publication of Richmond VA’s Style Weekly.