2013 Winter Jazz Festival: Incredible music trumps the cold

13 Jan

It would be difficult to not like the Winter Jazz Festival: The quality of the music is usually unparalleled (even if and when you have to wait online sometimes before you can get into some of the clubs). You may not be able to sit, or see the performers very well, but it does not matter: In one night only you can listen to Gregory Porter, Erik Truffaz, Gerald Clayton, The Cookers, James Carter, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Rez Abbasi, Michael Rodriguez, Jason Lindner, Somi and Tigran Hamasyan. When else in New York can you do that in the very same evening, and within just a few blocks? So be prepared to enjoy wonderful sounds with thrilled crowds.

Last night I was really taken by the Ari Hoenig band. His drumming shook the crowd. East African singer Somi was also delightful. She performed with guitar player Liberty Ellman (known for his work with Henry Threadgill), Nigerian bass player Michael Olatuja and singer Alicia Olatuja as well as pianist Toru Dodo and none other than Otis Brown III on drums. Somi paid tribute to Nina Simone and to women in general, which was most pertinent given India’s recent news.

Otis Brown III performed with his own band afterwards, which featured Ben Williams on bass, Gerald Clayton on piano and fender rhodes, John Ellis on saxophone and Michael Rodriguez on trumpet. The band performed one Wayne Shorter tune as well as some of their own compositions. It was really tight and lovely.

Last night was very special: New Yorkers gathered together for a series of most special shows and showed their appreciation for the music. The Winter Jazz Festival reminds us that there is an audience for jazz, and a jazz community. The venues for this year were: Le Poisson Rouge (158 Bleecker Street), the Zinc Bar (82 West 3rd Street), Sullivan Hall (214 Sullivan Street), Bowery Electric (327 Bowery), the Bitter End (147 Bleecker Street) and the Culture Project Theater (45 Bleecker Street).


One Response to “2013 Winter Jazz Festival: Incredible music trumps the cold”

  1. Amedar Consulting January 15, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

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