Friday, September 16, 2022
September 16 @ 6pm
Hery Paz – tenor sax / flute
Carlos Cuevas – piano
Alex “Apolo” Ayala – bass
Joel E. Mateo – drums
Chembo Corniel – congas / percussion
Percussionist & GRAMMY nominee Wilson “Chembo” Corniel was raised in the humble streets of Red Hook, Brooklyn. It was during these years as a quick-witted youngster that he had the privilege and honor to study with luminaries of the Afro-Caribbean percussion tradition, such as Tommy Lopez Sr., “Little Ray” Romero, Louie Bauzo and Cachete Maldonado. Chembo honed his skills at The Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts in New York and at the prestigious La Escuela Nacional de Arte in Havana, Cuba under the direction of the great Chucho Valdés.
His intense studies with such legends channeled his energy onto a path where he has now created a reputation for himself among musicians and the public. Today, he is considered as one of the best hard-hitting, versatile percussionists around. Chembo has toured with many major artists throughout Europe, Asia, North & South America, and the Caribbean. He received a GRAMMY nomination for “Best Latin Jazz Album” for his CD release Things I Wanted To Do.
As a part of this evening’s program, a long-time collaborator and friend, poet and spoken word artist David Gonzalez will join the group on stage.
Regional jazz favorites playing around town – check back soon for locations!
Saturday, September 17th, 2022
September 17 @ 1pm
Gilad Hekselman is one of the leading voices in jazz guitar. Only a few years after his arrival to NY in 2004, this native Israeli was already sharing stages with some of the greatest artists in the New York City jazz scene including Chris Potter, Eric Harland, Fred Hersch, Mark Turner, Anat Cohen, Ari Hoenig, Esperanza Spalding, Jeff Ballard, Ben Wendel, Gretchen Parlato, Ben Williams, Avishai Cohen, Tigran Hamasyan, Aaron Parks and Becca Stevens among many others.
In May 2019, Hekselman featured his quartet at the legendary NYC venue The Village Vanguard. He has also been playing all other major jazz clubs in New York City, including the Blue Note, The Jazz Standard, Dizzy’s Club and Smalls. He is constantly touring world-wide and has played most noteworthy jazz festivals and venues including Montreux, North Sea, Montreal & SFJazz to name a few.
September 17 @ 3pm
With a voice as smooth as velvet, Samara Joy’s star seems to rise with each performance. Following her winning the 2019 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, she has just release her debut recording, featuring guitarist Pasquale Grasso, bassist Ari Roland, and drummer Kenny Washington.
Although having only recently celebrated her 21st birthday, Samara has already performed in many of the great jazz venues in NYC, including Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, The Blue Note, and Mezzrow, in addition to working with jazz greats such as Christian McBride, Pasquale Grasso, Kirk Lightsey, Cyrus Chestnut, and NEA Jazz Master Dr. Barry Harris.
Growing up in New York, music was a pervasive presence, due to the inspiration of her paternal grandparents, Elder Goldwire and Ruth McLendon, who led the well-known Philadelphia-based gospel group, The Savettes. Her father toured with the renowned Gospel artist Andrae Crouch, and her home was filled with the sounds of not only her father’s songs and songwriting process, but the inspiration of many Gospel and R&B artists, including Stevie Wonder, Lalah Hathaway, George Duke, Musiq Soulchild, Kim Burrell, Commissioned, and many others.
Samara’s first exposure to jazz was while attending Fordham High School for the Arts, where she performed regularly with the jazz band, eventually winning Best Vocalist at JALC’s Essentially Ellington competition.
Winning the Vaughan award was transformational for Joy. “I was suddenly on the jazz radar. It’s still bizarre to think of how fast things have progressed.” Since then, Joy has dug deep to discover her jazz roots, without losing sight of the innate simplicity that makes her sound shine. Her first album announces the arrival of a young artist destined for greatness.
September 17 @ 5pm
Ike Sturm – bass & compositions
Melissa Stylianou – voice
Godwin Louis – saxophone
Chris Dingman – vibraphone
Jesse Lewis – guitar
Johnathan Blake – drums
Bassist and composer Ike Sturm was raised in a musical home in Wisconsin, learning from his father, renowned composer and arranger, Fred Sturm. Ike has performed with Gene Bertoncini, Theo Bleckmann, Ingrid Jensen, Donny McCaslin, Bobby McFerrin, Ben Monder, Maria Schneider and Kenny Wheeler. He has played on four Downbeat award-winning recordings, as well as several Steve Reich releases on Cantaloupe and Nonesuch Records. He has performed with Alarm Will Sound and the International Contemporary Ensemble, along with numerous creative ensembles in New York.
Ike studied jazz and classical bass and composition while earning undergraduate and graduate degrees at the Eastman School of Music. In addition, he drew inspiration from studies with legendary bassist Dave Holland.
Saint Peter’s Church in Manhattan, where Sturm served as Music Director for the Jazz Ministry from 2004-2021, commissioned him to compose Jazz Mass, a work for voices, strings and soloists that merges diverse musical languages into a powerfully unified aesthetic. The piece was released to critical international acclaim, named one of Downbeat’s “Best Albums of the Year” and has been performed across the U.S., Scandinavia and Europe.
Endless Field, Ike’s ambient acoustic duo with guitarist Jesse Lewis has been featured live on WBGO New York’s “The Checkout” and on NPR. Their eponymous 2017 album was released on Biophilia Records and includes GRAMMY-winning soloist Donny McCaslin. The project aims to engage others in environmental awareness and activism through music and volunteer activities. In 2019 Ike and Jesse trekked to Utah to record a live wilderness album using a solar-powered battery, collaborating with National Geographic videographers and L.A. sound engineers. Alive in the Wilderness was released to critical acclaim in 2020. Endless Field has been featured live on NYC’s “The Checkout” on WBGO and National Public Radio (NPR). Ike is currently touring and finishing several new albums, including a large-scale project for choir, string orchestra and chamber jazz ensemble.
September 17 @ 7pm
As a composer, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and unique interpreter of the jazz tradition, Camille Thurman is quickly becoming one of the standard bearers for the form, making a considerable and dynamic contribution to the legacy of jazz while paying tribute to its heroes.
Fluid and powerful on the tenor saxophone and highly inventive as a vocalist, she also plays bass clarinet, flute, and piccolo. Her rich sax sound has been compared to Joe Henderson and Dexter Gordon, while her vocal approach—including an impressive scatting ability—has been classified alongside those of Ella Fitzgerald and Betty Carter.
In a few short years, Thurman has shared stages with such jazz and R&B luminaries as George Coleman, Roy Haynes, Dianne Reeves, Wynton Marsalis, The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JALCO) featuring Wynton Marsalis, Kenny Barron, Buster Williams, Charles Tolliver, Jack DeJohnette, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Terri Lyne Carrington, Jon Hendricks, Harry Connick Jr., Jon Batiste, Audra MacDonald, Diana Krall, Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight, Chaka Khan, Louis Hayes, Russell Malone, Nicholas Payton, Jacky Terrasson, Janelle Monáe, Alicia Keys, Lalah Hathaway, Jill Scott and Erykah Badu, among others.
The New York City native has already amassed several distinctive honors for her musicianship: runner up in the 2013 Sarah Vaughan International Vocal Competition, two-time winner of the ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers Award and a winner of the Fulbright Scholars Cultural Ambassador Grant, The Chamber Music of America Performance Plus Grant (Sponsored by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation) and the Jazz Coalition Composers Grant among others. Thurman also has four full-length recordings as a leader to her credit.
Her compositions were featured and performed by her quartet in the ASCAP/The Kennedy Center “Songwriters: The Next Generation” showcase as well as the Greenwich School of Music “Uncharted” Series. Camille has appeared on BET’s “Black Girls Rock” as the saxophonist and flutist in the All-Star Band. Equally adept as a player and a singer, and recognized for her compositional abilities as well, Thurman has also earned accolades from the media, from Jazz Times to Downbeat, All About Jazz to the New York Times, NPR to Sirius XM Satellite Radio, BET to Jazz Night In America.
Thurman toured internationally toured two seasons with the world-renowned Jazz At Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis as a saxophonist, becoming the first woman in 30 years to tour and perform full time (2018-2020).
Sunday, September 18th, 2022
September 18 @ 1pm
Zach Brock – violin
Aaron Goldberg – piano
Yasushi Nakamura – bass
Clarence Penn – drums
Critically acclaimed as the “pre-eminent improvising violinist of his generation,” Zach Brock is an American jazz violinist and multi GRAMMY Award-winning member of Snarky Puppy. He has toured with Stanley Clarke and Phil Markowitz, released seven solo albums, and was named “Rising Star Violinist” of 2013 by Downbeat Magazine. A passionate educator, Zach has coached hundreds of musicians, led masterclasses at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and Carnegie Hall in New York, and as a five-year “Artist In Residence” at Temple University in Philadelphia.
Born to a musical family in Lexington, KY, he began studying violin at the age of four and performing publicly by the age of six. Zach’s improvisational skills were honed in the rich Chicago jazz scene while studying classical violin at Northwestern University. He released his debut album, Zach Brock & The Coffee Achievers, in 2003. Two years and two records later he was invited to perform at Carnegie Hall by trumpeter and composer Dave Douglas. Zach joined the band of legendary bassist Stanley Clarke in 2007.
Zach is most widely recognized through his twelve years of touring and recording with the genre- bending super group Snarky Puppy, playing on several albums including the 2017 Grammy Award-winning album Culcha Vulcha, 2019’s Immigrance and the 2021 Grammy Award-winning Live At The Royal Albert Hall.
Zach remains a perennial coffee fanatic and skateboard enthusiast, and currently lives with his wife and daughters in the NYC area.
September 18 @ 3pm
Vanderlei was born into a musical family in Macaé, Brazil, a coastal city a little over 100 miles north of Rio de Janeiro and began playing professionally as a teenager. He moved to Rio as a young man, where he pursued a multifaceted career in jazz, popular, and classical music, including a six-year performance internship with the renowned Orquesta Sinfónica Brasiliera (OSB).
As Vanderlei’s inherited retinitis pigmentosa progressed and his vision deteriorated, he realized he could no longer continue working in the classical realm, and proceeded to dedicate himself full-time to playing jazz and other non-classical forms of music. He came to be known as one of the top jazz drummers in Rio,as well as being a highly regarded player of samba and MPB, working steadily even after he lost his sight completely.
He moved to New York City in 1988, and quickly became an in-demand drummer on the New York Brazilian music scene. His versatility has enabled him to shine in performances and recordings with numerous outstanding artists, including Toots Thielemans, Airto Moreira and Flora Purim, Sivuca, Johnny Alf, Dom Salvador, Tito Puente, Leny Andrade, Rosa Passos, Paul Winter, Arturo O’Farrill’s Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, Claudio Roditi, Bebel Gilberto, and many others.
When asked about the challenges of being a blind musician, Vanderlei says: “I try to keep a positive attitude. I had to deal with losing my vision while continuing to work full-time as a musician. It took over twenty years to truly accept my blindness and develop the ability to see the positive things in everyday life. I try as much as I can to share some of that optimism with everyone I interact with daily. I would hate to think that people feel sorry for me because of my visual impairment. I’m blind, but so what? I’ve still got music and my own way of seeing things, thank God. I try to channel that energy and I think it comes through in my playing.”
September 18 @ 5pm
Born in the Pinar del Río province of Cuba, pianist and composer Elio Villafranca was classically trained in percussion and composition at the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana, Cuba. He is a GRAMMY-Nominated Steinway Artist, and recipient of the 2014 Jazz At Lincoln Center Millennium Swing Award.
Since his arrival in the U.S. in mid-1995, Elio Villafranca is at the forefront of the latest generation of remarkable pianists, composers and bandleaders. In 2015, Mr. Villafranca was among the 5 pianists hand-picked by Chick Corea to perform at the first Chick Corea Jazz Festival at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Over the years Elio Villafranca has recorded and performed nationally and internationally as a leader, featuring jazz master artists such as Pat Martino, Terell Stafford, Billy Hart, Paquito D’Rivera, Eric Alexander, Lewis Nash, David Murray and Wynton Marsalis among others. As a sideman Elio Villafranca has collaborated with leading jazz and Latin jazz artists including: Chick Corea, Jon Faddis, Billy Harper, Sonny Fortune, Giovanni Hidalgo, Miguel Zenón, and Johnny Pacheco among others.
Elio Villafranca’s album Caribbean Tinge (Motema), received a 2014 Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik Nomination by the German Records Critics Award, as well has been selected by JazzTimes and DownBeat magazines for a feature on their very competitive section Editor’s Pick.
He has received a GRAMMY Nomination in the Best Latin Jazz Album of the Year category and received the first NFA/Heineken Green Ribbon Master Artist Music Grant to compose his Concerto for Mariachi, for Afro-Cuban Percussion and Symphony Orchestra. In 2017, Elio Villafranca received The Sunshine Award to recognize excellence in the performing arts, education, science and sports of the various Caribbean countries, South America, Central America, and Africa.