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Copy of Copy of Black and White Graffiti
 

2020/2021 FEATURED ARTISTS

October 8th 2020, 7:00 PM
LIVE STREAM @ YouTube Channel

Vanisha Gould came to New York in 2015 from Simi Valley, California. Inspired by artists like Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Joni Mitchell, Carmen McRae and Ella Fitzgerald - Vanisha has successfully curated her own sound as a composer and band leader. 

Performing originals and music from the Great American Songbook on several groundbreaking stages both in New York and overseas, she aspires to continue sharing her voice with audiences in New York and beyond.

Her latest project “Song of Solomon” explores sexuality through the eyes of the divine. Using words not of her own but from the book of the Old Testament in the Bible “Song of Songs”. Each number shows two lovers ever pursuing each other and exploring one another’s bodies. This is King Solomon’s fictional love story put to Vanisha’s music in the form of a love suite.

Vanisha Gould - composer/vocalist; Chris McCarthy - piano; Dan Pappalardo - Bass

November 12, 2020, 7:00 PM

LIVE STREAM @ YouTube Channel

On her first jazz quartet "Visions", award-winning saxophonist Melissa Aldana connects her work to the legacy of Latina artists who have come before her, creating a pathway for her own expression. Inspired by the life and works of Frida Kahlo, Aldana creates a parallel between her experiences as a female saxophone player in a male-dominated community, and Kahlo’s experiences as a female visual artist working to assert herself in a landscape dominated by men. On her first jazz quartet recording, Aldana adds a new dimension to her sound, resulting in a transformative movement of expression and self-identity.

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December 10, 2020, 7:00pm

LIVE STREAM @ YouTube Channel

Jen Shyu, vocals, dance, percussion

Immanuel Wilkins, saxophone

Ben Monder, piano

 

In all of her work, Jen Shyu strives to harness the present moment in the world, from a personal as well as universal perspective. This improvised set is a ritual honoring those whom we have lost, not only from the current pandemic, but especially those in our Black and Brown communities worldwide who have been killed, many without mourning or acknowledgement. This will be the first time that Shyu, Wilkins, and Smythe have all improvised together, and it is their aim through sound and movement to inspire reverence, healing, and action for those whom we have lost for generations up to this defining moment.

 

Jen Shyu ("Shyu" pronounced "Shoe" in English, Chinese name: 徐秋雁, Pinyin: Xúqiūyàn) is a groundbreaking, multilingual vocalist, composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist, dancer, 2019 Guggenheim Fellow, 2019 United States Artists Fellow, 2016 Doris Duke Artist, and was voted 2017 Downbeat Critics Poll Rising Star Female Vocalist. Born in Peoria, Illinois, to Taiwanese and East Timorese immigrant parents, Shyu is widely regarded for her virtuosic singing and riveting stage presence, carving out her own beyond-category space in the art world.

A musician in the New York City area for over 35 years, Ben Monder has performed with a wide variety of artists, including Jack McDuff, Marc Johnson, Lee Konitz, Billy Childs, Andrew Cyrille, George Garzone, Paul Motian, Maria Schneider, Louis Cole, Marshall Crenshaw and Jandek. He also contributed guitar parts to the last David Bowie album, "Blackstar". He continues to perform original music internationally in solo and trio settings, and in a long standing duo project with vocalist Theo Bleckmann. Ben has appeared on over 200 CDs as a sideman, and has released 7 as a leader: Day After Day (Sunnyside, 2019) Amorphae (ECM, 2015), Hydra (Sunnyside, 2013), Oceana (Sunnyside, 2005), Excavation (Arabesque, 2000), Dust (Arabesque, 1997), and Flux (Songlines,1995). 

Immanuel Wilkins is a Saxophonist, Composer, Arranger, and Bandleader from the greater Philadelphia-area. While growing up, he honed his skills in the church and studied in programs dedicated to teaching jazz music like the Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts.  Moving to New York in 2015, Immanuel proceeded to earn his bachelor’s degree in Music at Juillard (studying with the saxophonists Bruce Williams and the late Joe Temperley) while simultaneously establishing himself as an in-demand sideman, touring in Japan, Europe, South America, The United Arab Emirates, and the United States and working and/or recording with artists like Jason Moran, the Count Basie Orchestra, Delfeayo Marsalis, Joel Ross, Aaron Parks, Gerald Clayton, Gretchen Parlato, Lalah Hathaway, Solange Knowles, Bob Dylan, and Wynton Marsalis to name just a few. It was also during this same period that he formed his quartet featuring his long-time bandmates:  Micah Thomas (piano), Daryl Johns (bass) and Kweku Sumbry      (drums).  Being a bandleader and having a working group for over four years has  allowed Immanuel to grow both as a composer and arranger — and has led to  him receiving a number of commissions  including, most recently, from The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, The Jazz Gallery Artist Residency Commission Program (A collaboration with Sidra Bell Dance NY, 2020 ) and The Kimmel Center Artist in Residence for 2020 ( a collaboration with photographer Rog Walker and videographer David Dempewolf) Being emerged in the scene at a young age and sharing the stage with various jazz masters,  has  inspired Immanuel  to pursue his goal of being a positive force in music and society. This includes quite an impressive resumé as an educator. In addition to teaching at NYU and the New School, he has taught and given master classes and clinics at schools/venues  like Oberlin, Yale, Indiana University, and the Kimmel Center.   Ultimately, Immanuel’s mission is to create a sound that has a profound spiritual and emotional impact which will allow him  to become a great leader in the long lineage of jazz musicians. Through studying the human pathos of the music and the culture of jazz, Immanuel aspires to bring people together through the commonality of love and belief in this music. His debut recording, Omega — produced by Jason Moran— was released on Blue Note Records on August 7, 2020.   -Immanuel Wilkins    

January 14th, 2021, 7:00pm

LIVE STREAM @ YouTube Channel

Called “the next big jazz guitarist” by NPR, hailed by the New York Times as a “whiz kid”, and dubbed “incredible” by the Montreal Gazette, Nir Felder is a new voice in jazz guitar. Felder's latest project for release in 2020 is a set of two trio recordings featuring bassist Matt Penman and drummer Jimmy Macbride. Using the studio as an instrument and the latest in sound design technology the result is a layered music that blends jazz improvisation with other genres in new ways and stretches the boundaries of what a jazz record is and can be.

February 11, 2021, 7:00 PM

LIVE STREAM @ YouTube Channel

Samora was born a mixed-race kid in the Bay Area, a hotbed of revolutionary organizing and incredible music and art that immediately seeped into his soul. He started playing music at 2 yrs old; His father played him The Delfonics, Tupac, and Bob Marley, while his mother introduced him to Nina Simone, Fela Kuti, and Pete Seeger. 

He became serious about making music his life after living in Cuba studying spiritual musical traditions. He moved to NYC to study at Juilliard under master teachers Kenny Barron and Kendall Briggs; It was during this time that he also met his artistic mentor, MacArthur-winning playwright Anna Deavere Smith. This started him down the path of writing lyrics and combining film/theatre with his music in radical new ways.

March 11, 2021, 7:00 PM

LIVE STREAM @ YouTube Channel

Amirtha Kidambi is invested in the creation and performance of subversive music, from free improvisation and avant-jazz, to experimental bands and new music. She is an educator, activist and organizer, informed by anti-racism, decolonization and anti-capitalism. As a bandleader, she is the creative force behind Elder Ones, featuring rising New York artists Matt Nelson, Nick Dunston and Max Jaffe. Elder Ones’ Holy Science and From Untruth released on Northern Spy, have received critical praise from the New York Times, Pitchfork, Downbeat and WIRE magazine. Kidambi topped the categories of "Rising Star Vocalist", "Rising Star Composer" and "Rising Star Jazz Group" in the Downbeat Critics Poll for 2019. She is active in an improvising duo with electronic musician Lea Bertucci, in a kinetic interaction with reel-to-reel tape machine, with the forthcoming album Phase Eclipse on Astral Spirits. Kidambi is a key collaborator in Mary Halvorson's latest sextet Code Girl, the duo Angels & Demons with Darius Jones (setting Sun Ra poetry) and in various collaborations with William Parker. As an improviser, she has played with New York luminaries including Matana Roberts, Tyshawn Sorey, Maria Grand, Ingrid Laubrock, Ava Mendoza, Fay Victor, Trevor Dunn, Ben Vida, Tyondai Braxton and Shahzad Ismaily. Kidambi worked closely with composer Robert Ashley until the end of his life, premiering his final opera CRASH and had the honor of working with the late composer/pianist Muhal Richard Abrams for the premiere of Dialogue Social. She has performed and presented her music in the U.S. and internationally at Carnegie Hall, The Kitchen, Whitney Museum, EMPAC, Berlin Jazzfest and various DIY/punk spaces. Kidambi has received grants from the Jerome Foundation, Asian Cultural Council and artist residencies at EMPAC, Roulette, Pioneer Works and Bucareli 69 in Mexico City.

María Grand is a saxophonist, composer, educator, and vocalist. She moved to New York City in 2011. She has since become an important member of the city’s creative music scene, performing extensively in projects including musicians such as Nicole Mitchell, Vijay Iyer, Craig Taborn, Mary Halvorson, Jen Shyu, Fay Victor, Joel Ross, Aaron Parks, Miles Okazaki, etc. María writes and performs her original compositions with her ensemble, DiaTribe; her debut EP “TetraWind” was picked as “one of the 2017’s best debuts” by the NYC Jazz Record and her full-length album Magdalena was praised by major publications such as the New York Times, Downbeat, JazzTimes, Billboard, JazzIz, and others. The New York Times calls her “an engrossing young tenor saxophonist with a zesty attack and a solid tonal range”, while Vijay Iyer says she is “a fantastic young saxophonist, virtuosic, conceptually daring, with a lush tone, a powerful vision, and a deepening emotional resonance.” María is a recipient of the 2017 Jazz Gallery Residency Commission, the 2018 Roulette Jerome Foundation Commission, the 2019 Roulette Residency, and the 2020 Jazz Coalition Commission Award. She was nominated for the Jazz Journalists Association Up-And-Coming Musician of the Year 2018 and named the 2018 Newcomer Musician for the El Intruso 11th Annual International Critics Poll, as well as Best New Artist in the 2018 JazzTimes Readers Poll. As an activist in the performing arts, María is a founding member of anti-discrimination group the We Have Voice Collective. María is a member of Mary Halvorson’s Code Girl, Joel Ross’ Parables, has toured with Antoine Roney, and performs and tours regularly with her own ensembles, as well as with RAJAS, led by Carnatic musician Rajna Swaminathan. She has toured Europe, the United States, and South America, playing as a leader in venues and festivals such as WinterJazzFest and BRIC JazzFest in NYC, PDX Jazz in Portland, OR, Jazzdor Festival in Strasbourg, Paris, the YardBird Suite in Edmonton, Canada, JazzUnterfhart in Munich, Germany, Victoria National Scene in Oslo, etc.

Maria Grand and Amirtha Kidambi have worked together in collaborative settings including Grand's ensemble DiaTribe and most recently in Mary Halvorson's sextet Code Girl. This duo exploration is a new project born of their friendship, which developed on the road. Grand and Kidambi shared their final live performances before quarantine on tour in Europe with Code Girl. With the sudden announcement of the travel ban, the tour was cut short and they returned to a lock down. In quarantine,  Kidambi acquired an alto saxophone and they began trading sax lessons for voice lessons over Skype. Grand, who has recently incorporated singing into her compositions, is a dynamic and dextrous saxophonist. Kidambi, a virtuosic vocalist, is an amateur saxophonist with an intuitive approach, similar to Grand's sensitive vocal style. In this duo, they explore the timbral and expressive combinations of their voices and saxophones through collaborative compositions.

April 8th, 2021, 7:00 PM

LIVE STREAM @ YouTube Channel

Immanuel Wilkins is a Saxophonist, Composer, Arranger, and Bandleader from the greater Philadelphia-area. While growing up, he honed his skills in the church and studied in programs dedicated to teaching jazz music like the Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts.  Moving to New York in 2015, Immanuel proceeded to earn his bachelor’s degree in Music at Juilliard (studying with the saxophonists Bruce Williams and the late Joe Temperley) while simultaneously establishing himself as an in-demand sideman, touring in Japan, Europe, South America, The United Arab Emirates, and the United States and working and/or recording with artists like Jason Moran, the Count Basie Orchestra, Delfeayo Marsalis, Joel Ross, Aaron Parks, Gerald Clayton, Gretchen Parlato, Lalah Hathaway, Solange Knowles, Bob Dylan, and Wynton Marsalis to name just a few. It was also during this same period that he formed his quartet featuring his long-time bandmates:  Micah Thomas (piano), Daryl Johns (bass) and Kweku Sumbry      (drums). 

 

Being a bandleader and having a working group for over four years has  allowed Immanuel to grow both as a composer and arranger — and has led to  him receiving a number of commissions  including, most recently, from The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, The Jazz Gallery Artist Residency Commission Program (A collaboration with Sidra Bell Dance NY, 2020 ) and The Kimmel Center Artist in Residence for 2020 ( a collaboration with photographer Rog Walker and videographer David Dempewolf) Being emerged in the scene at a young age and sharing the stage with various jazz masters,  has  inspired Immanuel  to pursue his goal of being a positive force in music and society. This includes quite an impressive resumé as an educator. In addition to teaching at NYU and the New School, he has taught and given master classes and clinics at schools/venues  like Oberlin, Yale   and the Kimmel Center. 

 

Ultimately, Immanuel’s mission is to create a sound that has a profound spiritual and emotional impact which will allow him  to become a great leader in the long lineage of jazz musicians. Through studying the human pathos of the music and the culture of jazz, Immanuel aspires to bring people together through the commonality of love and belief in this music. His debut recording, Omega — produced by Jason Moran— was released on Blue Note Recordings on August 7, 2020.

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THE JAZZ GALLERY

Thursday Night Jazz is presented in partnership with The Jazz Gallery

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CANOPUS DRUMS

Canopus Drums is the sponsor for jazz series

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