Workshop Alumni Happenings June 8, 2022

By Vail Jazz

Workshop alum Bryan Carter (2007 drums) co-orchestrated the music for the popular Broadway musical “A Strange Loop,” and is now co-orchestrating for “Some Like It Hot,” based on the Marilyn Monroe movie, opening on Broadway this fall. Carter’s newly released album, I Believe, features contributions from singer Jon Batiste, and the two co-wrote the album’s first single, “You and I.” The VJW alum is the subject of a recent ABC News TV story, which you can view here, and performs the afternoon of June 18 with 2014 alum Anthony Hervey (trumpet) and the Young Swangers at the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Flushing NY.


Hervey (see above) performs with drummer Cedric Easton & Circle of Friends June 10-12 at Cliff Bell’s in Detroit, and in an evening Big Band Jubilee on June 18 at The Soapbox in NYC.


2008 saxophone alum Grace Kelly, VJW trumpet mentor Terell Stafford, and others perform in a Jazz St. Louis 25-year celebration on June 8 at The Harold & Dorothy Steward Center for Jazz in St. Louis.  Kelly is a special guest performer on “Trouble in Mind,” a track on vocal-bass duo ChimyTina’s new album Constellations, due out on June 17.


Alphonso Horne (2004 trumpet) performs with the Modern Jazz Generation led by pianist Marcus Roberts in the world premiere of a new work, “Tomorrow’s Promises,” on June 9 at The Moon in Tallahassee FL. Horne is also in the lineup for North Jersey Pride on June 12 at Memorial Park in Maplewood NJ. He performs again, as Alphonso Horne & Friends, in a free concert during the Ridge Hill Music in the Streets summer concert series on June 17 in Yonkers NY. And then he leads the Gotham Kings in a June 20 show at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC.


Keyon Harrold (1997 trumpet) will really get around in coming days. He performs at Dazzle in Denver on June 10. He then heads east for a free and live-streamed (www.summerstageanywhere.org) concert at the Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage outdoor performing arts festival in NYC on June 11, and then heads west to Yoshi’s in Oakland CA on June 12.


Bassist Russell Hall (2010) plays with drummer Albert “Tootie” Heath and pianist Emmet Cohen in the Tootie Heath Trio at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan Auditorium, in Wilmington NC, on June 10.


Lakecia Benjamin (1999 saxophone) and her band, Soul Squad, perform at the Waterfront Park Stage on June 10 as part of the Discover Jazz Festival in Burlington VT.


Pianist/drummer Julius Rodriguez’s debut album, Let Sound Tell All, drops on June 10, featuring Daryl Johns (2011) on bass. Check out the single “Gift of the Moon,” from the album.


2002 drums alum Marcus Gilmore performs on June 10 at the McCarter Berlind Theater in Princeton NJ as part of the Jazz in June Festival of the New Jersey Jazz Society. Gilmore appears again on June 18 at Beardfest in Hammonton NJ’s Pineland Preserves along with multi-instrumentalist Taylor McFerrin, and is preceded at Beardfest by Blaque Dynamite (led by 2011 drums alum Mike Mitchell) on June 16.


The Blue Note Jazz Festival in Miami Beach has a pop-up event at the North Beach Bandshell, featuring Robert Glasper (1997 piano) and special guests for a two-night stint June 10-11. The next day, the documentary film Hargrove, about the late trumpeter Roy Hargrove, premiers at the Tribeca Film Festival at Waterfront Plaza at Brookfield Place in NYC, and the film features musician interviews and appearances, including ones by Glasper and drummer Evan Sherman (2009). On June 19, Glasper is in the lineup for “Juneteenth: A Celebration of Freedom” at the Hollywood Bowl in LA.


Benny Benack III (2008 trumpet) presents “Fly Us to the Moon” with vocalist/sax player Michael Stephenson on June 10 at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library in Carnegie PA. Benack then appears in a trio featuring his father on sax and clarinet at the Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts, Lincoln Hall, in Foxburg PA on June 11. And on June 15 he’s in a tribute to Frank Sinatra at 74Wythe in Brooklyn NY.


The John Pizzarelli Trio, featuring Isaiah J. Thompson (2014) on piano, performs June 10-11 at the Jazz Forum in Tarrytown NY. By the way, Thompson and his 2018 Workshop colleague Esteban Castro – two of the five finalists currently vying for the Cole Porter Fellowship presented by the American Pianists Association every four years – recently performed at Yamaha Studio in NYC, and you can watch their performances here; the competition’s finals will be held in April 2023 in Indianapolis.


The Curtis Taylor Quartet, led by 2001 trumpet alum Curtis Taylor, performs on June 11 at The James Theater in Iowa City IA.


Bassist Solomon Gottfried (2015) performs in saxophonist Zachary Hann’s jazz trio on June 11 at Scout’s Coffee Bar + Mercantile in High Bridge NJ.


The line-up for the Huichica Fest, in Sonoma CA, includes Midlake (with 1997 drums alum McKenzie Smith) and Kolumbo (with 2001 piano alum Frank LoCrasto), both on June 11 at Gundlach Bundschu Winery. LoCrasto then performs with multi-instrumentalist Cass McCombs on June 14 at the Constellation Room in Santa Ana CA, June 15 at the Casbah in San Diego, June 17 at the Lodge Room in LA, and June 18 at the Chapel in San Francisco.


2013 trombone alum Jeffery Miller performs with the Steven Feifke Big Band on June 16 at Dizzy’s Club in NYC, and accompanies the Mark Morris Dance Group on June 17 at The Green at Lincoln Center.


Chief Adjuah (fka 2001 trumpet alum Christian Scott) performs at the Blue Note Jazz Festival on June 17 at the Blue Note in NYC. 


Saxophonist Tia Fuller (1996) performs with the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra June 18-19 at the Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall in Seattle.


The keyboard/synth duo of Adam Parry-Davies and Patrick Case has released According to the Sound: In-Tension, featuring trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire (2000). Listen to “Feel It In The Air.”


Max Schwartz (2015 bass), who just completed his Master of Music degree in Jazz Pedagogy at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, is now the stringed bass instructor at the Instrumental Music School of Concord-Carlisle in Concord MA.


A new Gay Pride & Prejudice podcast on Spotify is a modern interpretation of the Jane Austen classic. The leader of its voice cast, Javier Munoz, recently released a single, “Gimme Chicas,” featuring a trumpet solo by 2004 alum Jonathan Challoner.


Guest artists on singer Arin Ray’s sophomore album, Hello Poison, include 1997 saxophone alum Terrace Martin.