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Winter JazzFest's Weekend Marathon: A Survival Guide

Ludovico Granvassu By

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Friday 11th:
  • 6:20PM. Michael Formanek (Le Poisson Rouge)
  • 7:40PM. Ezra Collective (Bowery Ballroom)
  • 8:20PM. Nate Wood (Subculture)
  • 9PM. Makaya McCraven (Bowery Ballroom)
  • 10:20PM. Ben LaMar Gay (NuBlu)
  • 11:40PM. Louis Cole Big Band (Sheen Center)
  • 12AM. Susan Alcorn (SoHo Playhouse)
  • 1AM. Late Night JAM Session led by Jaimie Branch (NuBlu)
A good alternative:
  • 6PM. Howard Fishman (Public Arts)
  • 6:40PM. Ingrid Jensen (Zinc Bar)
  • 8PM. Maria Grand (Zinc Bar)
  • 9PM. Makaya McCraven (Bowery Ballroom)
  • 10:20PM. Ben LaMar Gay (NuBlu)
  • 11:40PM. Joshua Abrams (NuBlu)
  • 1:20AM. Tomas Fujiwara (Zinc Bar)
Saturday 12th:
  • 6:20PM. Vijay Iyer-Craig Taborn (Le Poisson Rouge)
  • 8PM. Jenny Scheinman & Allison Miller's Parlour Game (Subculture)
  • 9:20PM. Nubya Garcia (SOBs)
  • 10:40PM. Allison Miller and Carmen Staaf 'Science Fair' (Subculture)
  • 11:40PM. Celebration of Life: Roy Hargrove Tribute (Bowery Ballroom)
  • 12:20AM. Stephanie Richards (SoHo Playhouse)
  • 1:20AM. Kassa Overall Trio feat Mark Shim
A good alternative:
  • 6:20PM. Vijay Iyer-Craig Taborn (Le Poisson Rouge)
  • 8:20PM. Pocket Science with Gary Bartz, Kahil El Zabar, Jamaladeen Tacuma, Robert Irving III (Sheen Center)
  • 9:40PM. Impressions of Pepper Round Robin (Mark Guiliana, Liberty Ellman, Makaya McCraven, Brian Jackson, Davíd Virelles, Keyon Harrold, Brandee Younger, Clark Gayton, Matthew Whitaker, Nate Wood, JD Allen, The Ju Ju Exchange) (Sheen Center)
  • 11PM. Amina Claudine Myers: (Sheen Center)
  • 12AM. JD Allen Encounters David McMurray (Subculture)
  • 1:20AM. Kassa Overall Trio feat. Mark Shim (Subculture)
Yet another good alternative:
  • 6PM. Evan Christopher's Clarinet Road (Public Arts)
  • 7PM. Sisterhood of Swing Led by Bria Skonberg (Sheen Center)
  • 8:40PM. Camille Bertault (Zinc Bar)
  • 9:40PM. Irreversible Entanglements (SoHo Playhouse)
  • 11PM. Jon Irabagon (SoHo Playhouse)
  • 12:20AM. Stephanie Richards (SoHo Playhouse)
  • 1:20AM. Kassa Overall Trio feat Mark Shim

The gender mainstreaming approach

After hosting a panel entitled "Jazz and Gender: Challenging Inequality and Forging a New Legacy" in 2018, this year the Winter JazzFest has furthered its commitment towards a more gender-balanced program by endorsing the Code of Conduct of We Have a Voice and partnering with the British initiative Keychange. As a result, the presence of female musicians at the festival has increased. The concerts listed below make it clear that if women had more performance opportunities, we'd have a healthier jazz ecosystem. Since it's never too late to correct past biases, here is what you should check out:

Friday 11th:
  • 6:40PM. Ingrid Jensen (Zinc Bar)
  • 8PM. Maria Grand (Zinc Bar)
  • 9:20PM. Borderlands Trio with Kris Davis, Stephan Crump and Eric McPherson (Zinc Bar)
  • 10:20. Meshell Ndegeocello & Jeff Parker (Bowery Ballroom)
  • 12:20AM. Sarah Elizabeth Charles & SCOPE (Subculture)
  • Saturday 12th 1AM. Late Night JAM Session led by Jaimie Branch (NuBlu)
A good alternative:
  • 6:40PM. Ingrid Jensen (Zinc Bar)
  • 8:40PM. Mary Halvorson Code Girl (Sheen Center)
  • 10:20 Meshelle Ndegeocello & Jeff Parker
  • 11PM. Amirtha Kidambi Elder Ones (Subculture)
  • 12:20AM. Sarah Elizabeth Charles & SCOPE (Subculture)
  • Saturday 12th 1AM. Late Night JAM Session led by Jaimie Branch (NuBlu)
Saturday 12th:
  • 6:40PM. Fay Victor's Mutations for Justice (SOBs)
  • 8:20PM. Jen Shyu (SoHo Playhouse)
  • 8PM. Jenny Scheinman & Allison Miller's Parlour Game (Subculture)
  • 9:20PM. Nubya Garcia (SOBs)
  • 10:40PM. Allison Miller and Carmen Staaf 'Science Fair' (Subculture)
  • 12:20AM. Stephanie Richards (SoHo Playhouse)
A good alternative:
  • 6:40PM. Fay Victor's Mutations for Justice (SOBs)
  • 8PM. Anteloper (SOBs)
  • 9:20PM. Nubya Garcia (SOBs)
  • 10:40PM. Allison Miller and Carmen Staaf 'Science Fair' (Subculture)
  • 12:20AM. Stephanie Richards (SoHo Playhouse)
Also a very good, more mainstream, alternative:

Geographical Approaches

New York has the highest density of daily jazz performances in the world, but they mostly feature the countless, and very busy, musicians that belong to the local scene. The Winter JazzFest has traditionally offered a welcome opportunity to check out acts that rarely perform in the Big Apple. These are bands that come either from abroad (e.g. London or Paris) or from Chicago. If you live in New York, here are a few 'trails' you can follow to compare and contrast what you know about the scene you're familiar with vis-a-vis the best of what's going on around the world.

The British trail

For decades the United Kingdrom has had one of the most vibrant European jazz scenes. The media (and a much younger than usual audience) seem to have suddenly woken up and (re)discovered this reality, thanks to an alignment of brand new British talent that has emerged over the past few years. Here's how you can experience this thrill without having to travel to London's cutting edge venues:
  • Friday 11th 7:40PM. Ezra Collective (Bowery Ballroom)
  • Saturday 12th 7:20PM. Tawiah (Mercury Lounge)
  • Saturday 12th -9:20PM. Nubya Garcia (SOBs)
In addition, don't miss the showcase hosted at Le Poisson Rouge on Wednesday 9 January at 7PM. For the second consecutive year, famed DJ and producer Gilles Peterson, in collaboration with the PRS Foundation and BBC Music, will present some of the most prominent names emerging from today's London new jazz scene: Ezra Collective, Tawiah, Yazmin Lacey and Emma Jean Thacray's Walrus.
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