Workshop Alumni Happenings Nov 16- Nov 15, 2022

By Vail Jazz

Alumni Happenings

Nov. 16- 29, 2022


Benny Benack III (2008 trumpet) has released the lead single, “In A Mellow Tone,” from his
forthcoming album Third Time’s a Charm, featuring trumpeter Bria Skonberg, pianist Emmet
Cohen, drummer Kyle Poole, and bassist Russell Hall (2010). Listen here. Bassist Hall can also be
heard on drummer Tyshawn Sorey’s new album, The Off-Off Broadway Guide to Synergism.




Trumpeter/vocalist Benny Benack III (see lead item, above) certainly is a busy musician. He’s
got a Wednesday Night Jam Residency at Smalls NYC on November 16; appears with singer
Laurent Henderson at the Hart Community Performing Arts Association in Hart MI on
November 18; accompanies the Steven Feifke Big Band in the Annual Birdland Holiday Big Band
Show at Birdland (NYC) on November 20; is back at Smalls for his Wednesday Night Jam
Residency (and birthday show!) on November 23; performs at Arthur’s Tavern in NYC on
November 24; performs with singer Anais Reno at Chris’s Jazz Café in Philadelphia on
November 25; and takes the stage in a quartet at Winters Jazz Club in Chicago on November


Trombonist Jeffery Miller performs at Sleep No More in NYC on November 16 and November


2001 trumpet alum Chief Adjuah (Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah) performs on November 16
and November 17 at the Blue Note in NYC.


Sammy Rae & The Friends, with 2009 saxophone alum Max Zooi, have these upcoming tour
dates: November 16 at Brooklyn Bowl in Las Vegas; and November 17 at Marquee Theatre in
Tempe AZ.


Pianist Sullivan Fortner (2002) backs vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant onstage at Jazz St. Louis,
November 16-20, in St. Louis.


The Lakecia Benjamin (1999 saxophone) Quartet performs at Bowker Auditorium at the
University of Massachusetts in Amherst MA on November 17.


Saxophonist Grace Kelly (2008) leads a nine-piece ensemble in the world premiere of her new
project, “Grace Kelly at the Movies,” featuring reimagined versions of Kelly's favorite movie
music, at the Irvine Barclay Theatre in Irvine CA on November 18.


2004 saxophone alum Sophie Faught is featured in the DePauw University Jazz Ensemble
Concert on November 18, at Moore Theatre in Greencastle IN.


Vail Jazz Workshop alumni are well-represented at the Giants of Jazz Festival on November 19
at the South Orange (NJ) Performing Arts Center, with drummer Evan Sherman (2009) and
bassists David Wong (1999) and Russell Hall (2010) all in the lineup.


Pianist Isaiah Thompson (2014) performs with guitarist John Pizzarelli and singer Jessica
Molaskey on November 19 at Café Carlyle in NYC.


2014 trumpet alum Anthony Hervey is at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark NJ
on November 19 for a night of jazz, hip-hop and spoken word called “Represent!” You can also
catch Chad Lefkowitz-Brown (2007 sax) there that night with bassist Christian McBride.
Lefkowitz-Brown then moves on to a gig at Palm Beach State College in Lake Worth FL on
November 22 and to a performance with trumpeter Chris Botti at the Schermerhorn Symphony
Center in Nashville on November 29.


Guitarist Mike Moreno, with Micah Thomas (2013) on piano and Obed Calvaire (1998) on
drums, performs music from his upcoming release, Standards From Film, November 26-27,
virtually via a private YouTube link.


Pianist Robert Glasper (1997) performs at City Winery in Chicago on November 29.




2009 saxophone alum Braxton Cook contributes vocals on “Lavender Haze,” a track he co-
produced on singer Taylor Swift’s recently-released album, Midnights. Here is that track. Cook
has also collaborated with R&B artist Masego on a new song, “90s,” which will be included on
an album Cook plans to release in Spring 2023; here’s the song’s official video.


Pianist Phillip Golub (2011) has released his solo debut album, Filters. Listen to the track “Loop


1999 Workshop alum Greg Ward plays tenor saxophone on drummer Makaya McCraven’s
recently-released album, In These Times. Here’s “This Place That Place.”


Micah Thomas (2013) plays piano on the latest release, Valse Sinistre, by Billy Drummond &
Freedom of Ideas. Listen to the title track.


David Wong (1999) is at the double-bass on saxophonist Gary Smulyan’s new album, Tadd’s All,
Folks. Check out “Whatever Possessed Me.”


2014 alum Isaiah J. Thompson is behind the piano on trombonist Steve Turre’s latest album,
Generations. Here’s “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.”


2004 bass alum Nick Jozwiak plays cello on violinist Sarah Bernstein’s new release, Veer
Quartet. Listen to “News Cycle Progression.”


Brandon Lee (2000), currently a member of the Count Basie Orchestra, plays trumpet on the
new album, The Jam, by the Eyal Vilner Big Band. Listen to “Another Time.”


The band Peaceful Faces, with Tree Palmedo (2008) on trumpet, has released “Hold On (To
Your Colors),” a track from their yet-to-be-released album, Sifting Through The Goo, Reaching
For The Candlelight. Here’s the official music video.


Recognitions, Awards & Other Items of Note


1997 piano alum Robert Glasper’s Black Radio III is the winner in the Beyond Album category in
DownBeat magazine’s newly-released 87th Readers Poll. Congratulations Robert!