Workshop Alumni Happenings Dec 28, 2022- Jan 17, 2023

By Vail Jazz

Alumni Happenings

Dec 28, 2022- Jan 17, 2023


1997 piano alum Robert Glasper hosts and performs in the Blue Note at Sea Cruise, leaving Ft.
Lauderdale FL and sailing January 13-20. The cruise also features headliner Chief Adjuah (fka
Christian Scott) (2001 trumpet), Gerald Clayton (2002 piano), Luques Curtis (2000 bass),
Sullivan Fortner (2002 piano) and Joe Sanders (2001 bass). All aboard!




Trumpeter Benny Benack III (2008) holds a late-night jam session residency at Small’s in NYC on
December 28 and anchors a “Daddy Rabbit” speakeasy at LouLou in NYC on December 30.
Benack then hosts a New Year’s Eve show with a quartet and vocalist Stella Cole at The Django
in NYC on December 31, and he’s at the Society of Four Arts in Palm Beach FL on January 1, co-
leading a band with trumpeter Bria Skonberg. Benack performs with vocalist Anais Reno at
Chris’s Jazz Café in Philadelphia on January 3 and 4 and has a multi-night gig at Café Carlyle in
NYC January 14-17.


2001 piano alum Frank LoCrasto performs at 5 Points Music Sanctuary in Roanoke VA on
December 29.


You can catch Grace Kelly (2008 saxophone) in a December 30 performance featuring singer-
songwriter Jonathan Butler at The Center for Arts in Natick MA. And she’ll take the Banyan
Bowl Stage at South Motors Jazz at Pinecrest Gardens, in Pinecrest FL, on January 14.


Saxophonist Chad Lefkowitz-Brown (2007) has multi-night gigs with trumpeter Chris Botti,
January 3-8 at the SF Jazz Center in San Francisco and January 12-15 at Jazz Alley in Seattle.


The Smoke Jazz Club in NYC presents “Countdown 2023: Billy Harper 80th Birthday
Celebration,” January 5-8, with 2002 trumpet alum Josh Evans in the performing quintet
alongside tenor saxophonist Harper.


2010 piano alum Chase Morrin leads the Chase Morrin Trio in a performance on January 8 at
the Encinitas Library in San Diego CA. Morrin is an assistant professor at Berklee College of
Music and his trio will be releasing its first album next month.


The NYC Winter JazzFest 2023 includes performances by Tia Fuller (1996 saxophone) in a “New
Standards Songbook” show curated by drummer Terri Lyne Carrington at City Winery on
January 12; and Lakecia Benjamin (1999 saxophone) and Maurice “Mobetta” Brown (1999
trumpet) are in the “Manhattan Marathon” line-up at that same venue on January 13.


Bassist Russell Hall (2010 bass) performs on January 13 at the Peter J. Sharp Building’s BAM
Café, in a Brooklyn Academy of Music celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in Brooklyn NY.


James Francies (2012 piano) is in residency at the Blue Note in NYC for two shows on January


2018 saxophone alum Coby Petricone-Berg performs at Arlene’s Grocery in NYC on January 16.




The fifth full-length album by 2009 saxophone alum Braxton Cook, Who Are You When No One
Is Watching?, is due out February 24, and he kicks off a headlining U.S. tour the following week.
(Stay tuned to “Alumni Happenings” for those dates.) Meanwhile, listen to “MB (for Ma’Khia
Bryant),” which will appear on that album.


2001 trumpet alum Chief Adjuah (fka Christian Scott) (see Performances, above) is a guest
musician on singer Sarah Elizabeth Charles’s new album, Blank Canvas. Listen to “Freedom Day”


Pianist Justin Kauflin (2003) will embark on a California mini-tour in mid-March to celebrate the
vinyl release of his forthcoming album, Live At Sam First. Here’s a snippet of his trio’s recording
of “You Do Something To Me,” from that album.


Recognitions, Awards & Other Items of Note


WVPE 88.1 in Elkhart/South Bend IN airs Episode 23 of “The Sauce” on January 9, and it
features 1999 saxophone alum Lakecia Benjamin (see Performances, above). The program is a
monthly radio broadcast focusing on the arts, music and culture in the Michiana area (a region
in northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan centered on the city of South Bend IN).