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News

Workshop Alumni Happenings June 22, 2022

By Vail Jazz

While serving a life sentence for a murder conviction after a drug deal went awry, saxophone
player Tiyo Attallah Salah-El wrote a number of songs that he never got to hear anyone play
outside the prison walls. Salah-El died in 2018, but an album of his songs, Tiyo’s Songs of Life,
was posthumously recorded and just released by saxophonist Felipe Sallas and a band that
includes 1999 VJ Workshop alum Zaccai Curtis on piano. Listen here to the song “I’m Reaching
Out,” from the album.

 

Bassist Katie Thiroux (2005) has a couple of upcoming multi-day performance/mentoring dates:
at the Drew School during the Golden Gate Bass Camp in San Francisco through June 24 and at
Seabury Hall June 27-July 2 during the Jazz Maui Camp in Makawao HI.

 

2007 saxophone alum Chad Lefkowitz-Brown puts in a guest performance on June 23 at the
University of Texas at Tyler, in Tyler TX.

 

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah (2001 trumpet) performs at Yoshi’s in Oakland CA on June 23.
He then appears at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, which begins June 30.

 

Comedian Tim Heidecker, whose new album of songs drops June 24, announced a North
American tour of comedy and music performances with the Very Good Band, featuring Eliana
Athayde (2007) on bass and vocals. The tour kicks off with shows July 5-11 at the Elysian
Theatre in Los Angeles.

 

2010 bass alum Russell Hall performs in The Emmet Cohen Trio with trumpeter Bruce Harris at
the Twin Cities Jazz Festival in Saint Paul MN on June 24.

 

James Francies (2012 piano) performs with VJW colleague Blaque Dynamite (aka Mike
Mitchell, 2011 drums) and vibraphonist Joel Ross at NuBlu 151 in NYC on June 24. Francies then
has a trio performance July 1 at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs NY.

 

The band Kolumbo, featuring 2002 piano alum Frank LoCrasto, has a number of upcoming East
Coast gigs: June 24 at Café 9 in New Haven CT, June 25 at Brooklyn Made in Brooklyn NY, June
26 at Johnny Brenda’s in Philadelphia, and a vinyl release show on June 29 at the Sultan Room
in Brooklyn NY.

 

2002 trumpet alum Josh Evans performs with 16-year-old pianist Brandon Goldberg and
Goldberg’s quintet at the Twin Cities Jazz Fest at Mears Park on June 25.

 

Two members of saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins’s quartet are VJW alumni – bassist Daryl Johns
(2011) and pianist Micah Thomas (2013) – and the quartet performs on June 25 at the Temple
Theater as part of the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival in Rochester NY.

 

Robert Glasper (1997 piano) co-wrote the Academy Award-nominated theme song, “Show Me
Your Soul” (for the documentary film “Mr. Soul!”), and the film recently won the prestigious
2022 Peabody Award. You can listen to the song here. Glasper performs in the Amphitheater at
the 45th Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival in Saratoga Springs NY on June 25. His 2006
Workshop colleague, Corey Fonville, is behind the drums with SuperBlue at the same venue on
June 26. Later in the month, Glasper appears at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, which
begins June 30.

 

Gerald Clayton (2002 piano) performs at the Hollywood Bowl Jazz Festival (formerly the
Playboy Jazz Festival) on June 25 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, and Christian Scott
aTunde Adjuah (see above) takes the stage there on June 26. Clayton also appears on June 26
at The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park in San Diego as a guest performer in “Straight, No Chaser: The
Music of Thelonious Monk,” a show honoring the late piano master.

 

Pianist Isaiah Thompson (2014) is with the John Clayton All-Star Big Band in a performance at
the Tri-C JazzFest, at Connor Palace in Cleveland on June 25.

 

2012 trombone alum Coleman Hughes performs on June 25 at the Beacon Theatre in NYC.

Bryan Carter (2007 drums) performs in Jazz at Pride at Lincoln Center (NYC) on June 27.

 

Just Jazz presents the Julieta Eugenio Group, with Max Gerl (2012) on bass, at MR Musichead
Gallery in Los Angeles on June 29.

 

2003 piano alum Jeremy Siskind is a guest artist and teacher at the Utah State University
Summer Piano Festival June 29-July 2 in Logan UT.

 

1997 trumpet alum Keyon Harrold performs with his quintet at Jimmy’s Jazz & Blues Club in
Portsmouth NH on June 30.

 

Drummer Evan Sherman (2009) takes the stage at Sony Hall in NYC on June 30.

 

1996 saxophone alum Tia Fuller performs at Caffe Lena with the Skidmore Jazz Institute in
Saratoga Springs NY on June 30.

 

The Altons perform with Wesley Watkins (2006) on trumpet, July 3 at the Levitt Pavilion in
Denver CO.

 

The Louis Armstrong House Museum’s new creative initiative, Armstrong Now! – in which
today’s leading artists engage with the famed trumpeter’s legacy and the Museum’s newly
digitized archives through original works – includes Braxton Cook (2009 saxophone) among the
first season of collaborators. The Museum is located on 107th Street in Queens NY. Cook has
released a video of his latest single, “The Same,” with trumpeter Marquis Hill.

 

Alto saxophonist David Binney’s new album, Tomorrow’s Journey, includes 2015 Workshop
alum Luca Mendoza on piano. Listen to Mendoza’s work on the song “Casa.”