Workshop Alumni Happenings March 26 – April 8, 2024

By Vail Jazz

The two piano students who attended the Vail Jazz Workshop class of 2023 aren’t wasting any time staking their claims as rising stars in the jazz world! Last week, Jose Andre had his 19th birthday and celebrated the occasion by leading a jazz quintet in a sold-out performance at the storied Blues Alley jazz club in Washington DC. Also last week, Brandon Goldberg, who celebrated his 18th birthday last month, released a trio album, Live at Dizzy’s, recorded at Dizzy’s Club in NYC. He then held an album-release show at The Kravis Center in West Palm Beach FL; listen here to the album’s closer, “Compulsion.” We’re sure to be hearing lots more from these two!




The Jazz at Lincoln Center Presents production of “Sing & Swing,” a performance of the Great American Songbook by trumpeters Benny Benack III (2008) and Bria Skonberg, takes place on March 26 at the St. Johnsbury Academy in St. Johnsbury VT; and again on March 27 at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord NH.


Pianist Jeremy Siskind (2003) performs with singer Maria Schafer on March 28 at Campus Jax in Newport Beach CA.


2004 saxophone alum Khris Royal is at The Point at DBA in New Orleans on March 28; then has back-to-back gigs with The New Sound at The Spotted Cat in New Orleans on March 30 and 31.


Harlem Stage’s 40th Anniversary season presents trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire (2000) performing Banyan on March 29 and 30 in NYC.


You can catch 2018 saxophone alum Coby Petricone-Berg‘s Juilliard Student Recital (Jazz Alto Saxophone with Collaborative Piano) in NYC on March 29.


The Washington Post’s Musical Highlights of the Spring include Robert Glasper (1997 piano) with the Black Radio Orchestra celebrating the songbooks of Duke Ellington and hip-hop artist J. Dilla on March 30 at The Kennedy Center in DC. 


Trumpeter Jumaane Smith (1998) performs on March 30 at Uncle Cheef in Brewster NY.


2007 saxophone alum Chad Lefkowitz-Brown has a multi-night quartet gig at Birdland in NYC, April 2-6. He then serves a guest residency at King Kekaulike High School in Makawao HI on April 8.


Dayve Stewart (2000 saxophone) fronts the Dayve Stewart Band on April 5 at the Maitland Jazz & Blues Festival in Maitland FL.


Peabody Institute Jazz Studies chair (and trumpeter) Sean Jones leads an inter-generational panel discussion about the past, present, and future of Baltimore’s jazz scene, on April 7 at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, in combination with a Sheridan Libraries exhibition, “Ethel’s Place: Celebrating Ethel Ennis, Baltimore’s First Lady of Jazz.” The panel discussion and subsequent jazz jam session, includes Peabody faculty member and 1998 VJ Workshop alum Tim Green (saxophone).




Multi-instrumentalist Brent Birckhead’s forthcoming album, Cacao, due for release on April 5, features Theljon Allen (2000) on trumpet and flugelhorn on the tune “Headspace.”


2010 bass alum Russell Hall’s band, Bessie and the Rainbowkids, has a new album out – Deep Blue Sea. Take a listen here to a reggae-ized rendition of “The Shadow of Your Smile,” from the album.


To The Surface, the debut album just released by pianist Lawrence Fields, includes Corey Fonville (2006) on drums. Listen to their interplay here on “Parachute.”


Drummer Ulysses Owens Jr. and his band Generatio Y’s most recent album, A New Beat, has musical contributions from alumni Benny Benack III (see Performances, above), Anthony Hervey (2014 trumpet), and Philip Norris (2016 bass). Listen to Benack and Norris here on the track “Sticks.”


New York-based trio Debbie Dopamine’s new single, “Worried,” features Tree Palmedo (2008) on trumpet. Listen here.


Recognitions, Awards & Other Items of Note


Bassist Rufus Reid’s latest album, It’s the Nights I Like, with 2002 alum Sullivan Fortner on piano, has earned a jazzwise magazine Editor’s Choice for Best New Jazz Albums for April 2024.


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