Workshop Alumni Happenings March 15 – March 28, 2023

By Vail Jazz

Alumni Happenings

March 15 –  March 28, 2023


Saxophonist/flutist Charles Lloyd celebrates his 85th birthday on March 18 at the Jazz at Naz
Festival, with Gerald Clayton (2002) on piano in Lloyd’s Ocean Trio, at the Younes and Soraya
Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts at California State University in Northridge CA. Clayton
then accompanies guitarist Bill Frisell at Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox in Denver CO on March 21.
He performs again with Frisell at the LowDown in Tulsa OK on March 24 and 25. Listen here to
Clayton accompanying vocalist Samara Joy in a newly-released duo recording of “Guess Who I
Saw Today?” (which Joy performed with a full band on her most recent Grammy winning
album, Linger Awhile).




The Queen Amina Music Club presents a free concert featuring Tia Fuller (1996 saxophone) on
March 15 at the Lawrence High School Auditorium in Lawrence Township NJ. The concert caps
Fuller’s teaching artist-in-residency for the 4th through 8th grade female students who have
participated in the club, some of whom will also perform.


Trumpeter Benny Benack III (2008) performs in a jazz jam residency at Smalls in NYC on March


The band Peaceful Faces, led by Tree Palmedo (2008 trumpet), performs March 16 at C’mon
Everybody in Brooklyn NY.


Saxophonist Khris Royal (2004) has multi-night engagements with the No Boss Band at Bullet’s
Sports Bar in New Orleans, on March 16 and 17 and again March 23-26.


Pianist Isaiah J. Thompson (2014) [see lead item under Recordings, below] presents back-to-
back album release shows at Dizzy’s in NYC, March 16 and 17. On March 23, he performs in a
quartet at Hancher Auditorium in Iowa City, IA.


The Emmet Cohen Trio, with 2016 alum Philip Norris on bass, performs March 16-19 at the Jazz
Showcase in Chicago.


The Joshua Redman Trio, featuring Marcus Gilmore (2002) on drums, performs on March 23 at
Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley in Seattle. Gilmore plays on saxophonist Chris Potter’s forthcoming (June
23) release, Got The Keys To The Kingdom: Live At The Village Vanguard; here’s the title track.


Christian McGhee (2014 drums) is musical director, show composer, and drummer for
“Wrapped,” a high-concept cabaret, at The Green Room 42 in NYC on March 25.


2012 piano alum James Francies performs at the Blue Note in NYC on March 27.


Saxophonist Terrace Martin (1997) [see final item under Recordings, below], performs with
special guests during a six-night residency at the Blue Note in NYC, March 28 – April 2.


Drummer Blaque Dynamite (aka 2011 alum Mike Mitchell) performs at Nublu 151 in NYC on
March 29.




Pianist Isaiah J. Thompson (2014) [see Performances, above] releases his first live album –
called The Power of the Spirit – on March 17, and it includes 2016 alum Philip Norris on bass.
Here’s the title track.


Singer Genevieve Artadi releases Forever Forever on March 17, and it features 2014 piano alum
Chris Fishman on piano and synthesizers. Listen to “I Know” from the new album.


Pianist Billy Childs releases The Winds of Change on March 17, leading a quartet that features
trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire (2000). Listen to “The End of Innocence” from the new album.


Coinciding with the vinyl release of 2003 piano alum Justin Kauflin’s Live At Sam First album,
Kauflin performs on March 17 and 18 at Sam First in LA. Here’s a portion of “You Do Something
To Me,” from the album. Kauflin is the subject of an article, “Justin Kauflin’s Live Adventure,” by
Alexa Peters, in the April 2023 issue of DownBeat magazine.


The original Broadway cast recording of Some Like It Hot, co-produced by 2007 drums alum
Bryan Carter, will be released on streaming and digital platforms worldwide on March 24, with
physical release to follow. Here’s a recent ABC-TV Good Morning America clip of the Broadway
cast in a live Times Square (NYC) performance of “You Can’t Have Me” from the show.


Electronic music producer Medasin has dropped the lead single, “Star Song,” from her
forthcoming album, and it features 2007 alum Hailey Niswanger on saxophone. Listen here.


Thai vocalist SORN recently unveiled “Not A Friend,” a song produced by 2014 trombone alum
Nick Lee. Here’s the official lyric video of the release.


Singer Rickie Lee Jones has released “September Song,” from her forthcoming American
Songbook album, Pieces of Treasure (due out April 28), and it features 1999 alum David Wong
on bass. Check out the song here.


Saxophonist Ben Wendel has released “Speak Joy,” a track from his forthcoming album, and it
features 2011 saxophone alum Elena Pinderhughes; listen here.


The Dinner Party group, which includes 1997 Workshop alumni Robert Glasper (piano) and
Terrace Martin (saxophone) [see Performances, above] along with saxophonist Kamasi
Washington, has released a new song, “Insane,” featuring Ant Clemons on vocals. Listen here.
Martin also contributed to rap artist BLXST’s new four-track EP, Just For Clarity II; listen to
“Ghetto Cinderella.”


Recognitions, Awards & Other Items of Note


A new image campaign by headwear brand Stetson spotlights rising jazz talents, including Chad
Lefkowitz-Brown (2007 saxophone), photographed against some of NYC’s most iconic
backdrops (e.g., Minton’s jazz club in Harlem). Here’s a piece in MR magazine with some of the
Stetson photos.


Congratulations to Ben Feldman (2017 bass) on his recent selection as a semi-finalist in the
International Society of Bassists Jazz Competition! He will perform in the finals held June 5-6 at
the University of Michigan. Best wishes, Ben!