Workshop Alumni Happenings Feb 15 – Feb 28, 2023

By Vail Jazz

Alumni Happenings

Feb 15 –  Feb 28, 2023


Congratulations to 1997 Workshop alum Robert Glasper (piano), for bringing home a 2023
Grammy Award in the Best R&B Album category, for his recently released Black Radio III. Here
is a short video of Glasper accepting the Award last week. Two other alumni played on 2023
Grammy-winning recordings: Ambrose Akinmusire (2000 trumpet), on drummer Terri Lyne
Carrington’s new Standards vol. 1; and David Wong (1999 bass), on singer Samara Joy’s Linger
Awhile. Props to all!




Pianist Chris Fishman (2014) and bassist Daryl Johns (2011) are joined by guitarist Pedro
Martins and drummer Justin Brown in a quartet performance at Zebulon, in LA, on February 15.


2014 piano alum Isaiah J. Thompson’s tour as a member of guitarist John Pizzarelli’s trio
continues with performances February 15 and 16 at Jazz, TX in San Antonio and on February 17
at Parker Jazz Club in Austin TX. Thompson then delivers a solo set and a trio set as part of the
American Pianists Awards competition (in which he is a finalist) at The Jazz Kitchen in
Indianapolis IN on February 25, and these performances can be live-streamed at


The Biamp Jazz Festival’s 20th Anniversary gets underway on February 16 with a performance
by the Bill Frisell Four, which includes Gerald Clayton (2002) on piano, at the Patricia Reser
Center for the Arts in Beaverton OR. On February 17, Clayton and his 2000 alum colleague
Ambrose Akinmusire (trumpet) (see lead item above) are with guitarist Frisell at Moore Theatre
in Seattle. And on February 18, Clayton and Akinmusire take the stage together at The Old
Church Concert Hall in Portland. Akinmusire then premiers a commissioned project with
guitarist Rafiq Bhatia on February 26 at the Tabard Theatre in San Jose CA. It’s part of
“Counterpoint with Ukraine,: a cross-cultural collaboration between the San Jose Jazz Winter
Fest and the “Am I Jazz? Festival,” which is the leading-edge jazz programmer in Kyiv, Ukraine.


Trumpeter Anthony Hervey (2014) accompanies singer Gregory Porter in a performance at the
New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark NJ on February 18. Hervey then joins drummer
Ulysses Owens Jr. & Generation Y on stage at Hudson Hall in Hudson NY on February 23 and at
Kimmel Center in Philadelphia on February 25.


On February 20, pianists James Francies (2012) and Kris Davis perform together at the Old
Church Concert Hall in Portland OR (during the BiAmp Jazz Festival). Francies, saxophonist Karl
Denson, and alumni colleagues Keyon Harrold (1997 trumpet) and Blaque Dynamite (aka Mike
Mitchell) (2011 drums), get together for a multi-night gig at the Blue Note in NYC, February 23-
26, during that venue’s 2023 funk and jam series.


On February 22, drummer Marcus Gilmore (2002) performs together with keyboardist Taylor
McFerrin at The Old Church Concert Hall in Portland OR (during the BiAmp Jazz Festival). And
they’re together again on February 23, at the Nectar Lounge in Seattle WA.


Benny Benack III (2008 trumpet) performs on February 22 with trumpeter and singer Bria
Skonberg at the Byham Theater in Pittsburgh, joined by young stars from Jazz at Lincoln Center.
On February 26, Benack’s quartet provides entertainment for brunch at the Blue Note in NYC.


On February 23, the Kenny Banks Jr. Band, led by 2004 piano alum Kenny Banks Jr., performs at
the Lincoln Theatre in Columbus OH.


Saxophonist Coby Petricone-Berg (2018) performs at Heaven Can Wait, in NYC, on February 23.
He then joins bassist Russell Hall (2010) and guitarist David Rourke at The Bowery Electric in
NYC on February 26.


Pianist Sullivan Fortner (2002) is with the Delfeayo Marsalis sextet for February 24 and 25
“Beethoven Meets Bird” performances at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square PA.


2019 alum Anton Kot (drums) is one of ten jazz artists in the northeast whose original
compositions have been commissioned by Berkshires Jazz, Inc. for a world premiere of each
work on February 25 at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield MA, in conjunction with the annual
10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival there.




Saxophonist Braxton Cook (2009) has a new album, Who Are You When No One Is Watching?,
coming out on February 24. Here he is performing an interlude called “Faith” from the album.


1999 alum David Wong is the bassist on singer-songwriter Rickie Lee Jones’s forthcoming (April
28) album, Pieces of Treasure, devoted entirely to the American Songbook. Listen here to the
first track, “Just In Time.”


Rogue Parade, the band led by 1999 saxophone alum Greg Ward, has released Dion’s Quest.
Listen to the track “Crimson Clay.”


Pianist Gerald Clayton (see Performances, above) is featured on a duo version recording of
singer Samara Joy’s “Sweet Pumpkin;” listen here.


Eddie Barbash (2005 saxophone) special guests on the band Mr. Chair’s forthcoming (March 3)
album, Better Days. Check him out here on the track “Fuchsia.”


The band Peaceful Faces, led by 2008 trumpet alum Tree Palmedo, has released “Signature
Blues,” a track from its forthcoming Sifting Through The Goo, Reaching For The Candlelight
album; here is a snippet of it.


Bassist Will Lyle’s new sophomore album, TrioGram, features Kofi Shepsu (2017) on drums.
Shepsu is a member of the Brooklyn-based Friendship Trio, along with his 2017 Workshop
classmate Ben Feldman on bass.


2012 alum Coleman Hughes, who played trombone in his Workshop class and since branched
out with writing and podcasts, has released an independent debut rap album, Amor Fati, under
the name Coldxman. Here’s “25,” a track from the album.


2014 alum Nick Lee (trombone) has co-produced boy band TNX’s second EP, Love Never Dies,
releasing February 15.


Recognitions, Awards & Other Items of Note


The album A Little Louder Now, by Toronto-based bassist Lauren Falls (2003), has been
nominated in the Juno Awards’s “Jazz Album of the Year” category. The Awards happen on
March 13 in Edmonton, Canada. Congrats, Lauren!