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Jesse Stacken


Born and raised in Minnesota, Jesse Stacken began playing piano at the age of ten.  He quickly developed a passion for jazz improvisation and began playing professionally at the age of 16.   Jesse moved to New York City in 2002, where he now lives and performs with artists such as Michael Blake, Tyshawn Sorey, Peter Van Huffel, Liam Sillery, Sherisse Rogers, and Erica vonKleist. Jesse has appeared at noted New York City venues including Carnegie Hall, the Jazz Gallery, the Jazz Standard, the Stone, 55bar, the Cornelia St. Café, the Center for Improvisational Music, and Barbes.  He leads the Jesse Stacken Trio, which has been together since early 2005 and released “That That” on Fresh Sound records in 2008.  The album features bassist Eivind Opsvik and drummer Jeff Davis peforming ten of Jesse’s original compositions and two group improvisations, and has received critical acclaim.  Other current projects include “No Truck” featuring trumpeter Kirk Knuffke, saxophonist Justin Keller, and drummer Ziv Ravitz, and the Stacken/Knuffke duo, which released "Mockingbird" on the Steeplechase label in August 2009.  Jesse has toured North and South America, Europe, and Japan, and is featured on recordings such as The Peter Van Huffel Quintet “Silvester Battlefield” (Fresh Sound), Liam Sillery “Minor Changes” and "Outskirts" (OA2 records), Erica vonKleist “Project E” (self-released), and Sherisse Roger’s “Sleight of Hand” (self released) featuring Donny McCaslin, Joel Frahm, and Dave Liebman


Article: Album Review

Whit Dickey/Kirk Knuffke: Drone Dream

Read "Drone Dream" reviewed by Mark Corroto

If the duo of drummer Whit Dickey and cornetist Kirk Knuffke were a baseball team, their signature style would be small ball, the opposite of towering home runs and 100 mph fast balls. They would win games like they sound here with tight efficient playing. They lay down perfect bunts and easily turn the double play ...


Article: Radio & Podcasts

Dan Tepfer & Kirk Knuffke: Generous Versatility

Read "Dan Tepfer & Kirk Knuffke: Generous Versatility" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

Dan Tepfer and Kirk Knuffke are two musicians that, despite being being only in their thirties, have already become reference players on their respective instruments. Known for their versatility, which allows them to be equally at home with the repertoires of Johann Sebastian Bach or Erik Satie as well as with all-out improvisation, they have a ...


Article: Album Review

Kirk Knuffke/Ben Goldberg: Uncompahgre

Read "Uncompahgre" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Two of the most in-demand horn players in the current creative music scene, cornetist Kirk Knuffke and clarinetist Ben Goldberg delight in making music that combines a deep respect for the history of jazz with an unmistakable spirit of adventure and risk. Both are seasoned veterans with nothing to prove, and they can do it all, ...


Article: Album Review

Whit Dickey/Kirk Knuffke: Fierce Silence

Read "Fierce Silence" reviewed by Mark Corroto

The fitness instructor kept yelling, “feel the burn, feel the burn." After an hour of aerobic exercise, that was not a difficult task. A much easier and painless way to experience the same fire is to listen to just one track of Fierce Silence, a collection of improvised duos between drummer Whit Dickey and cornetist Kirk ...


Article: Album Review

John Yao: Flip-Flop

Read "Flip-Flop" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

On his 2012 debut, trombonist John Yao navigated multiple complex territories ranging from the experimental to traditional balladry. A regular presence on the New York scene, Yao has worked with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and Arturo O'Farrill's Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra. Having absorbed those big band sensibilities, Yao graduates from his inaugural quintet to a seventeen-piece ensemble. ...

Article: Album Review

Kirk Knuffke: Arms & Hands

Read "Arms & Hands" reviewed by Vincenzo Roggero

Grande ammiratore di Mark Helias e di Bill Goodwin e collaboratore in alcuni dei loro progetti, il trombettista Kirk Knuffke, è riuscito nell'intento di farli suonare per la prima volta insieme in Arms & Hands, album al quale collabora un'altro eroe del leader come il sassofonista Daniel Carter. Knuffke è musicista atipico e trasversale, impossibile da ...


Article: Album Review

John Yao and His 17-Piece Instrument: Flip-Flop

Read "Flip-Flop" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Music aside, you have to love the name of this band: John Yao and His 17-Piece Instrument. Now there's confidence with a capital C! Yao, a New York City-based trombonist who arrived there from his native Chicago more than a decade ago, has more recently turned his hand to composing and arranging. Yao writes with the ...


Article: Album Review

Kirk Knuffke: Arms & Hands

Read "Arms & Hands" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Sometime, watch children as they eat the M&Ms. They will separate the colors into several piles--green, red, brown, yellow, orange, and blue. It's not that each color tastes different, except for maybe blue--I don't remember ever seeing that color before. Nonetheless, they go about savoring each color batch as an independent experience. Those little candies come ...

Article: My Playlist

10 CD nel CD-Player di... Jesse Stacken

Read "10 CD nel CD-Player di... Jesse Stacken" reviewed by AAJ Italy Staff

01. Tom Waits - Closing Time (Elektra - 1993). Manca l'eccentricità dei suoi ultimi lavori, ma che canzoni! 02. Agustí Fernández - El Laberint de la Memòria (Mbari - 2011). L'ho visto dal vivo allo Stone di NYC su suggerimento di Joachim Badenhorst. Questo disco è più morbido rispetto all'esibizione live, ma entrambi sono super stimolanti. ...


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