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Michael Verity

Michael Verity Jazz Blog


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Live From New York...

Monday June 2, 2014


...it's a great array of jazz performances.

Headlining the list is a trio set tonight at the shape shifter lab by Jack DeJohnette, Ravi Coltrane and Matthew Garrison. The Blue Note Jazz Festival also starts today and runs all month, with artists ranging from Aretha Franklin to Wayne Shorter (albeit not performing together, as far as we know). And we're hoping the folks at Smoke Sessions will get to release a recording of Helen Sung's two night stand at Smoke Jazz Bar on June 6 and 7.

Want more information? Check out the Village Voice blog.

Photo of Jack DeJohnette by Michael Verity

June Is Here And The Jazz Is In Bloom

Monday June 2, 2014


June is prime time for outdoor jazz festivals. The first half of the month includes some classics, including the venerable Playboy Jazz Festival in Los Angeles. See below for a short list of what's shakin'.

For a complete list of festivals throughout the year, take a look at The World's Best Jazz Festival Guide.

Capital Jazz Fest

Annapolis, MD
June 6-8, 2014
Featured Artists: Diane Reeves, Rachelle Ferrell

San Francisco Jazz Festival

San Francisco, CA
June 12-23, 2014
Featured Artists: Ahmad Jamal, John Scofield, David Sanborn, Gregory Porter

Playboy Jazz Festival
Los Angeles, CA
June 14-15, 2014
Featured Artists: Dianne Reeves, Kenny Barron, Arturo Sandoval, George Benson with Earl Klugh, Jose James


Coming Up This Weekend

Tuesday May 27, 2014

Cecile-McLorin-Salvant-9065-small.jpgOn the festival docket this weekend:

Cape May, NJ's Exit 0 International Jazz Fest featuring Dee Dee Bridgewater, Roy Hargrove, Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Gerald Clayton,

The Newport Jazz Festival in Newport Beach, CA with Spyrogyra and Chaka Khan, and,

Burlington Vermont's excellent Discover Jazz Festival with Gregoire Maret, Tony Bennett, Regina Carter, Ron Carter and Benny Golson, Geoffrey Keezer, Maceo Parker and Cecile McLorin Salvant.

Get thee to the box office!

Photo of Cecile McLorin Salvant at the PDX Jazz Festival by Michael Verity


Sun Ra Centennial

Friday May 23, 2014

sun ra coverHad he lived another decade, Herman "Sonny" Blunt (aka Sun Ra) would have turned 100 years old this year. In celebration of his centennial birthday, his native city of Birmingham, Alabama is presenting a concert tomorrow night at the city's Carver Theater. According to an article on AL.com, "the agenda also includes a black-light installation, interactive art [and] a Sun Ra mural." For more information and some interesting tidbits about a many who lived on multiple planes of time and space, go here.

Pianist Adopts Band

Friday May 23, 2014

Jason Moran

In an effort to expand the horizons of jazz -- and help young players, as well -- Jason Moran has, in effect, adopted a high school jazz band. So says Gerald Powell of Chicago's Kenwood Academy High School, whose band has garnered the attention and support of the well-known jazz pianist. As part of his work with the group of teenagers, who range in age from 7th to 12th grade, Moran will present the 25-piece band in a concert of original music next fall. For more information, read this story from The Chicago Tribune.

Photo of Jason Moran by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images

140 Words On...

Friday May 23, 2014


How about four more quick reviews as we roll into the Memorial Day weekend? Click here for reviews of Nils Landgren, Kavita Shah, Alfredo Rodriguez and Ian Carey and Ben Stolorow.

Theo Croker Gets Props

Thursday May 22, 2014


We're pleased to say we were one of the first sites to get on the Theo Croker bandwagon with our review of his album AfroPhysicist. Now NPR is finally getting in the game.

Read their take on young on their music page.

140 Words On...

Thursday May 22, 2014


We can't summarize an album in 140 characters a la Twitter but we can say a lot in 140 words. Click here for 140 words each on new albums by The Rippingtons, Arturo O'Farrill, John Clayton and a reissue by Jaco Pastorius.

Collage by Michael Verity/Album covers by the labels

Meet Alfredo Rodriguez

Tuesday May 20, 2014


Young pianist Alfredo Rodriguez has a new album out and a story to tell. Learn more about him here.

Photo by Anna Webber/Courtesy of Mack Avenue Records

A Trip To Haslanger's Gallery

Tuesday May 20, 2014


Elias Haslanger's recently released album, Live At The Gallery, is a tasteful and well-tuned collection of jazz standards that cover everything from Cannonball Adderley to Wayne Shorter. Read our review here.

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