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World-Renowned SMOKE Jazz Club Announces October Schedule Including Dizzy Gillespie/Charlie Parker Celebration

World-Renowned SMOKE Jazz Club Announces October Schedule Including Dizzy Gillespie/Charlie Parker Celebration

Courtesy Jimmy Katz

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Album Release Concert: Elio Villafranca & The Jass Syncopators (Sep 29-Oct 2)

Bird & Diz: Dizzy Gillespie Celebration (Oct 14-16)

The Music of Monk: Lovano, Hays, Street, and Foster (Oct 20-23) and more...

One of New York City’s premier live music venues, Smoke Jazz Club, presents a stellar line-up of both legendary jazz performers and emerging voices during the month of October. Acclaimed for its essential music programming and inspired setting, Smoke Jazz Club recently reopened to much fanfare after being closed to indoor performances and dining for over two years. This revered institution has undertaken an impressive expansion and renovation that anchors its place as a world-renowned destination for the best in classic and modern jazz.

October begins with a highly anticipated four-night run led by Guggenheim Fellow Elio Villafranca in celebration of his latest Artist Share album Standing at the Crossroads (Sep 29-Oct 2). Smoke welcomes some of today’s top players to help pay tribute to two jazz geniuses: Bria Skonberg and Benny Green(among others) make their Smoke debut in celebration of Dizzy Gillespie (Oct 14-16) followed by an all-star quartet comprised of Joe Lovano, Kevin Hays, Ben Street, and Al Foster paying homage to Thelonious Monk (Oct 20-23). The biweekly Wednesday night showcase of vocalists continues with Cynthia Scott (Oct 5) and Amina Figarova (Oct 19). Please scroll down for complete schedule or visit SMOKEjazz.com.

Upcoming Concert Schedule

Thr-Sun Sep 29-Oct 2 Elio Villafranca & The Jass Syncopators Album Release
Elio Villafranca – piano
Steve Wilson – alto & soprano saxophone
Vincent Herring – tenor saxophone and flute
Alex Norris – trumpet
Edward Perez – bass
Dion Parson – drums
Mauricio Herrera – percussion

“Villafranca is a Cuban pianist of high technical prowess and rhythmic clarity.”—-The New York Times

Smoke is thrilled to welcome back Cuban jazz pianist and composer Elio Villafranca to celebrate the release of his latest album Standing at the Crossroads. This recording speaks about his own life experiences as an artist, growing up in the small town of San Luis, Pinar del Rio, surrounded by Congolese drums, educated in Russian classical music, while falling in love with jazz. Elio Villafranca leads his exciting group the Jazz Syncopators. Villafranca is a spellbinding pianist who has recorded and performed with master artists such as Pat Martino, Terell Stafford, Billy Hart, Paquito D’Rivera, Eric Alexander, Lewis Nash, David Murray, and Wynton Marsalis. He brings an original musical perspective and is at the forefront of an exciting new generation of musicians. Downbeat states, “Villafranca has emerged as a commanding presence on the jazz scene, not just in the U.S. but throughout the world.” The Jass Syncopators highlight the significant influence from the Caribbean region, specifically from Cuba, on jazz music from its earliest days in New Orleans.

Wed Oct 5 Cynthia Scott
Cynthia Scott – vocals

“Blending the sinewy grit of Gladys Knight and the sophisticated sass of Shirley Horn.” — JazzTimes Cynthia Scott is singer who deftly combines the swing of jazz, the soul of blues, the vibe of R&B, and the sacred stirrings of gospel music. Chicago Tribune called her “a mesmerizing vocalist.” She has performed and charmed audiences from New York to Africa, Europe to Asia; and with an impressive cast of musicians including Wynton Marsalis and Ray Charles – who “discovered” her.

Thr-Sun Oct 6-9 Cyrus Chestnut Quartet
Cyrus Chestnut – piano
Freddie Hendrix – trumpet
Willie Jones III – drums

“The Best Pianist of His Generation” – Time

Cyrus Chestnut, one of the great jazz pianists, leads a rewarding quartet featuring trumpeter Freddie Hendrix and drummer Willie Jones III. “His brand of crisp articulation and blues inflected harmony evokes another era… multifaceted and dynamic…” says The New York Times. Inspired by gospel music throughout his life, Cyrus draws on a range of musical influences while never straying too far from the blues which The New York Daily News adds makes him “the rightful heir to Bud Powell, Art Tatum and Erroll Garner.”

Fri-Sun Oct 14-16 Bird & Diz: Dizzy Gillespie Celebration
Bria Skonberg—trumpet
Vincent Herring – alto saxophone
Benny Green—piano
Yasushi Nakamura—-bass
Kenny Washington – drums

An all-star band gathers to play the music of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. This highly anticipated celebration of the music of John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie and Charlie “Bird” Parker teams some of the most acclaimed artists of our time and is the Smoke debut for two of them: trumpeter Bria Skonberg and pianist Benny Green. Gillespie, the great trumpet, bandleader, and bebop innovator, would have been 105 years old on October 21. Trumpeter Skonberg is “poised to be one of the most versatile and imposing musicians of her generation,” writes The Wall Street Journal. She teams with alto saxophonist Vincent Herring who the New York City Jazz Record “has firmly established himself as one of his generation’s masters.” Their rhythm section is no less impressive with bassist Yasushi Nakamura, drummer Kenny Washington and pianist Green who NPR praised as “a conservationist of the bebop idiom, and a joyful guardian of its lexicon.”

Wed Oct 19 Amina Figarova Sextet
Amina Figarova—piano
Wayne Escoffery—tenor saxophone
Alex Pope Norris—trumpet
Bart Platteau—flutes
Yasushi Nakamura—bass
Rudy Royston – drums

Pianist and composer Amina Figarova leads her superb sextet. Her deeply personal, highly evocative responses to social turmoil, distinctive personalities she’s encountered, and universal transitions of life inform this music. The Jazz Police reports, “This is a band that built its reputation playing original repertoire, each musician a powerful soloist in his or her own right; yet it is their signature interplay that moves the Amina Figarova Sextet above and beyond the vast majority of large chamber ensembles in modern jazz and places the pianist among the top echelon of composer/bandleaders….”

Thr-Sun Oct 20-23 The Music of Monk: Lovano, Hays, Street, and Foster
Joe Lovano – tenor saxophone
Kevin Hays – piano
Ben Street – bass
Al Foster – drums

An all-star quartet featuring Joe Lovano, Kevin Hays, Ben Street and Al Foster revisits the music of Thelonious Sphere Monk, one of the great geniuses and innovators of modern music, in celebration of his October 10th birthday. Joe Lovano is “one of the great connectors in the history of New York jazz over the last few generations” (The New York Times) reunites with drummer Al Foster “a not-so-secret special groove ingredient enlivening performances and sessions by a long list of heavy hitters.” (Jazz Times) The quartet is completed by striking musical partners Kevin Hays on piano and Ben Street on bass.

Thu-Sun Oct 27-30 Russell Malone Quartet
Russell Malone – guitar
Rick Germanson – piano
Vincent Dupont – bass
Neal Smith – drums

“Russell Malone has the storytelling skills of a great, perhaps a legacy of his many years with Harry Connick, Jr. and Diana Krall.” – The Times of London

Guitar master Russell Malone leads his exceptional and beloved quartet with pianist Rick Germanson, bassist Vincent Dupont and drummer Neal Smith. Malone is a musician deeply rooted in the blues and bebop and his soulfully swinging approach is just one of many reasons why he is so popular. Chicago Tribune states, “Though he spikes his solos with occasional running lines, it’s gently rolled chords and lush sequences of harmonies that ultimately define his work,” and Jazz Times describes him as “an uncommonly sensitive interpreter of ballads.”

About SMOKE

Located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side at the junction of Broadway and 106th Street (aka Duke Ellington Boulevard), Smoke Jazz Club is one of New York City’s premier live music venues. Renowned for offering top-notch programming of accessible, timeless jazz featuring legendary performers, modern masters and rising stars, Smoke stands apart with its candlelit dining room, stellar acoustics, and classic American cuisine. Founded in 1999, SMOKE also boasts a GRAMMY-nominated label, Smoke Sessions Records, and a celebrated streaming concert series, Smoke Screens.

Every Wednesday-Sunday @ 7:00 p.m. + 9:00 p.m. and additional 10:30 p.m. (Fri & Sat only). Doors open at 5:00 p.m.

Smoke Jazz & Supper Club
2751 Broadway
New York, NY 10025
212-864-6662
[email protected]

In-Person $25-$60. Livestream $15. For more information and to make reservations visit our website (link below).

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