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
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.
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.
Pianist Cory Smythe has worked closely with pioneering artists in new, improvisatory, and classical music, including saxophonist-composer Ingrid Laubrock, violinist Hilary Hahn, and multidisciplinary composers from Anthony Braxton to Zosha Di Castri. His own music “dissolves the lines between composition and improvisation with rigor” (Chicago Reader), and his first record was praised by Jason Moran as “hands down one of the best solo recordings I’ve ever heard.” Smythe has been featured at the Newport Jazz, Wien Modern, Trondheim Chamber Music, Nordic Music Days, Approximation, Concorso Busoni, and Darmstadt festivals, as well as at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart festival, where he was recently invited to premiere new work created in collaboration with Peter Evans and Craig Taborn. He has received commissions from Milwaukee’s Present Music, the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, the International Contemporary Ensemble, of which he is a longtime member, and the Shifting Foundation, which supported his 2020 release, Accelerate Every Voice. Smythe received a Grammy award for his work with Ms. Hahn and plays regularly in the critically acclaimed Tyshawn Sorey Trio.
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