New York Beat

Nick Catalano has a beat on the Big Apple. Find out what's cookin' in NYC.


Carol Fredette at Jazz at Kitano

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Carol Fredette Jazz at Kitano New York, NY November 19, 2015 Jazz at Kitano, the club in Gotham's Kitano Hotel on Park Ave. and 38th St., continues to grow in popularity with artists and audiences alike -the former avidly competing for the best dates and the latter chatting about the room's intimacy and sensible pricing policy. On November 19th we caught Carol Fredette's opening set joining the packed house ...


Juilliard Jazz Ensemble at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola

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One of the most important booking traditions established early on at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola is “Monday Student Night" where pupils are admitted for a small fee and are able to see and hear outstanding musicians. Very quickly, Mondays became showcases for two of Gotham's premier music schools--The Manhattan School of Music and The Juilliard School of Music. Both institutions have top notch jazz ensembles and I have frequently taken my music students at Pace University down to the club where ...


Erik Charlston at Cafe Wha

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Erik Charlston and JazzBrasil, a sextet from his CD Essentially Hermeto (Sunnyside) came to Café Wha for a one set offering of their music on Sunday June 28. Charlston has gained wide attention for his knowledge and performances of the music of Hermeto Pascoal. This illustrious composer/ musician/producer from Lagoa da Canoa, Alagoas, whose genius has been woefully neglected by American jazz writers, stands at the very top rung of Brazilian music and, through the years, the few times that ...


The Pittsburgh Jazz Festival

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It is difficult to overestimate the importance of jny: Pittsburgh in the annals of jazz history. Just a few of the legendary names--Ahmad Jamal, Errol Garner, Mary Lou Williams, Billy Eckstine, Billy Strayhorn, George Benson, Ray Brown, Stanley Turrentine--are sufficient to raise the proverbial jazz fan eyebrows. I actually performed there in the halcyon days of bebop and so it was the memory of a gig long ago in the Hill District that drew me back to the scene.


Vince Giordano at Iguana

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If you go to Iguana on 54th St. and sit down on a Monday or Tuesday evening to dine on some sensible Mexican food you can also do some time traveling. When the Nighthawks hit at 8:00pm you won't have any trouble imagining that it is 1925 and you are in a speakeasy at the musical height of the Jazz Age. Hot tune after hot tune (some titles you won't recognize even if you're a maven) are performed so flawlessly ...


Jazz at Lincoln Center: The Search for Original African Music

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Although jazz emerged as an art form around the turn of the Twentieth century in the southern United States, its roots extend backward over several centuries. The music largely developed from a synthesis of many African and European forms that was achieved through the institution of slavery. Blacks were captured or purchased from specific “factory" areas in West Africa--the Portuguese took from Senegal and transported to Brazil, the English plundered the Ashantis of the Gold Coast and sold them in ...


Marcos Valle and Stacey Kent at Birdland

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Another of Brazil's music luminaries from the sixties, Marcos Valle, came to Gotham on December 9, 2014 to team up with Stacey Kent and Jim Tomlinson and advance the Brazilian omnipresence here of late. Last month I wrote of the dramatic emergence of the Spokfrevo Orquestra at Lincoln Center and everywhere this month there are appearances by Romero Lubambo, Nilson Matta, Duduka da Fonseca, Hendrik Meurkens and many other Brasilieros. And the jazz audiences I joined both at Lincoln Center ...


Spok Frevo Orquestra at Jazz at Lincoln Center

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Frevo--a feverish, exuberant dance music from the state of Pernambuco in northeastern Brazil--made its Big Apple debut last night (October 25th, 2014) at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Appel Theater. Virtually unknown in the U.S., it was originated by a composer known as Zuzinha as a street martial arts/ dance music and organized around carnival in cities like Recife in 1907, taking its name from the Portuguese verb “ferver"--to boil. It was presented by the Spok Frevo Orquestra--a group constructed along ...

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