Workshop Alumni Happenings June 18 – July 1, 2024

By Vail Jazz

1997 alum and multi-Grammy winner Robert Glasper (piano) recently completed an Artistic Residency at the Blue Note Jazz Club in NYC and has performed in this role at other prestigious institutions and festivals such as The Kennedy Center in Washington DC and later this summer at the Blue Note Jazz Festival in Napa CA. Glasper also just signed an exclusive streaming deal with Apple Music for his newly-released album, Let Go, and he wrote the score for a new Apple TV+ series, “The Big Cigar.” On June 20, Glasper performs at Ludlow Garage in Cincinnati. On June 21, vocalist Yebba is featured with him at the Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre in Detroit. Then he heads to GLC Live for a performance with saxophonist Kamasi Washington at 20 Monroe in Grand Rapids MI on June 22. He plays at City Winery in Nashvile on June 24 and returns to the Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre in Detroit on June 26. Then he has a show at the Mission Ballroom in Denver CO on June 29.




The Todd Hill (1998 bass) Quintet performs on June 18 at the Central Park Amphitheater in Murray KY.


Trumpeter Benny Benack III has a jam session residency at Smalls in NYC on June 18. Then he brings his Quartet to the Rochester International Jazz Festival, June 21, in Rochester NY. He’s at The Craftsman in NYC on June 23, and is featured with the Steven Feifke Big Band at Birdland in NYC on June 24.


You can catch trombonist Jeffery Miller (2013) at The Ned Nomad Hotel in NYC, June 19-20.


Chief Adjuah (fka 2001 trumpet alum Christian Scott) and Grace Kelly (2008 saxophone) are featured artists at the Clifford Brown Jazz Fest in Rodney Square, Wilmington DE, with Adjuah performing on June 19 and Kelly taking the stage on June 22. Kelly performs again on June 23 at The Jazz Kitchen in Indianapolis IN and on June 25 at Ball State University in Muncie IN. Meanwhile, Adjuah is joined by 2014 saxophone alum Morgan Guerin at Yoshi’s in Oakland CA on June 20 and at Bacchus Landing during the Healdsburg Jazz Festival in Healdsburg CA on June 21; then he’s got a multi-night run, June 27-30, at the Blue Note in NYC.


Saxophonist Braxton Cook (2009) hits a number of West Coast spots: the Music Box in San Diego on June 19; the Belasco Theater in LA on June 20; The Independent in San Francisco June 22-23; the McMenamins Mission Theater in Portland OR on June 25; and The Crocodile in Seattle on June 26.


Keyon Harrold (1997 trumpet) performs at Ferring Jazz Bistro, June 19-23, during Jazz St. Louis.


Saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin (1999) performs at Dartmouth Green in Hanover NH on June 20.


Trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire (2000)’s Owl Song Trio takes the stage at the Stanford Jazz Festival in Stanford CA on June 21. Akinmusire is also in the lineup at the Healdsburg Jazz Festival in Healdsburg CA, with guitarist Bill Frisell and drummer Herlin Riley, performing alongside the Brandee Younger Trio at Bacchus Landing on June 22


2014 piano alum Isaiah J. Thompson continues playing with the John Pizzarelli Trio, and they have the following dates: June 21 at Scullers in Boston; June 22 at Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton MA; June 25 at The Kate in Old Saybrook CT; June 27 at The Vogel in Red Bank, NJ; June 29 at Jazz Forum in Tarrytown NY; and June 30 at Jimmy’s Jazz & Blues in Portsmouth NH.


Bassist Katie Thiroux (2005) is in the lineup for the Jazz Aspen Snowmass JAS June Experience, in Aspen CO, on June 22.


The Charles Lloyd Ocean Trio II, featuring 2002 piano alum Gerald Clayton, performs at the Tri-C Jazz Festival, taking place at Playhouse Square in Cleveland June 22.


Trumpeter Curtis Taylor (2001) performs at the Tri-C Jazz Festival in Cleveland on June 22 and at Hollywood Improv in Hollywood CA on June 30.


Pianist Esteban Castro (2018) performs with bassist Jayla Chee and drummer Kayvon Gordon at Close Up (NYC) on June 23.


The Monday Night Jazz Jam Session at TEN ATL in Atlanta on June 24 includes Kenny Banks Jr. (2004) on piano.


Trumpeter Summer Camargo (2018) is the guest artist at the University of Texas at Tyler’s Jazz Camp, June 24-28.


2007 piano alum Christian Li performs with saxophonist Kevin Sun, bassist Henry Fraser, and drummer Kayvon Gordon, at Close Up (NYC) on June 27.


On June 27, the Live in the Lobby jazz series at the Kroger Center for the Arts at the University of South Carolina in Columbia SC hosts Alphonso Horne (2004 trumpet) & The Gotham Kings. Horne and the band are featured again on June 30 at the Queens Theatre in NY during an “Armstrong at the World’s Fair Revisited” tribute to the legacy of Louis Armstrong, who played a concert in that city at the 1964 World’s Fair.


Saxophonist Tia Fuller (1996) performs at Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival in Saratoga Springs NY on June 29.


2000 trumpet alum Brandon Lee performs with pianist Glenn Zaleski, saxophonist Lucas Pino, bassist Desmond White, and drummer Allen Mednard, at Close Up (NYC) on June 29.


Pianist Harold Lopez-Nussa performs, with Luques Curtis (2000) on bass, at the Exit Zero Jazz Festival Summer Nights Series on June 30, at Carney’s Other Room in Cape May NJ.


Jumaane (“Sweet Baby”) Smith (1998 trumpet), performs consecutive nights, June 28-29, at Uncle Cheef in Brewster NY, and takes the stage on July 1 at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua NY.




2011 piano alum Philip Golub releases Abiding Memory, his debut LP as a bandleader, on June 21.


Saxophonist Hailey Niswanger (2007)’s newly-released track, “Nurture,” was featured on a recent Bandcamp weekly show and then was the lead item on a “Fresh Finds Jazz” Spotify playlist. Here’s her set with the Mt. Hood Jazz Collective at the Mt. Hood Jazz Festival last month.


Saxophonist Wayne Escoffery’s forthcoming (August 30) album, Alone, features Gerald Clayton (see Performances, above), as well as bassist Ron Carter and drummer Carl Allen.


Drummer Matt Wilson’s quintet, with Tia Fuller (see Performances, above) on saxophone, has released a new album, Good Trouble. Here’s the title track.


Freedom, Justice, and Hope, the new album by trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, includes a commission work, “Elaine,” by Josh Evans (2002 trumpet). Here you can see the work performed.


Multi-instrumentalist Julius Rodriguez’s new album, Evergreen, includes Keyon Harrold (see Performances, above) on “Love Everlasting.” Listen here.


Recognitions, Awards & Other Items of Note

Bryan Carter (2007 drums) is one of the instructors at the Joye in Aiken Summer Jazz Camp (for students aged 13-18), held June 20-23 at the USC Aiken campus in South Carolina.


[If you’re a Vail Jazz Workshop alum, do you know about the communication channel we created exclusively for alumni? It’s free on Slack and is a great way to keep in touch with your alumni colleagues and stay current on what’s happening with them. To join, contact Alan Tanenbaum at alumni@vailjazz.org and he’ll send you the link!] 


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