The Jazz Gallery – a place “Where the Future is Present”
NEW YORK, NY, November 26, 2019 /24-7PressRelease/ — The Jazz Gallery (TJG), recognized as one of the most important and beloved listening rooms in New York City, is pulling out all of the stops with an impressive and exciting lineup of activities to celebrate 25 years as a leading force in New York City’s Jazz community, supporting the development of the next wave of groundbreaking musicians.
This yearlong milestone celebration kicks-off with a burst of activities at the start of 2020, beginning with The Commission Revisited series, featuring some of the most sophisticated and ardent young composers and bandleaders – all past recipients of The Jazz Gallery Residency Commissions. They will join in honoring the venue that gave them a footing into New York’s music community. Each month for two nights, one artist will take the stage at The Gallery to perform their original commissioned work, beginning in January with Becca Stevens (Regina), and continuing with performances by John Ellis (The Ice Siren), Jen Shyu (Red Sands), Joe Sanders (Bass Suite), Sullivan Fortner (Suite in B for Jazz Quintet), Yosvany Terry (Trio + Keys), Joel Ross (Being A Young Black Man), Jason Lindner (Breeding Ground), Aaron Parks (Archetypes), Melissa Aldana (Visiones), and Miles Okazaki (Figurations). This eclectic group of young trailblazers are just a few of the beneficiaries of The Gallery’s mission to identify and nurture young talent. They are now igniting the Jazz world with their adventurous style and musicianship, proving jazz journalist Ted Panken correct, when he said, “Jazz would not sound the way it does today had not The Jazz Gallery served as a locus for New York’s polyglot musical community to exchange ideas and work on moving to the next step.”
Fans of the Afro-Cuban jazz movement, as well as jazz aficionados everywhere, will be thrilled at the return of Jazz Cubano, a series first launched by Dale Fitzgerald, The Gallery’s founder, and a passionate lover of all things Cuban, and curated by Yosvany Terry more than 20 years ago . One of the pioneering legends of Afro-Cuban Jazz, a six-time Grammy Award winner, and three-time Latin Grammy winner Chucho Valdes was first introduced to New York audiences at the initial launch of this series. Beginning in February of 2020, a mix of Cuba’s young jazzists and established elder statesmen will turn up the heat at The Gallery, among them – David Virelles, Osmany Paredes, Melvis Santa, Roman Filiu, Hilario Duran with his Contumbao Quartet, Xiomara & Axel Laugart, Yosvany Terry, Marvin Diz, Ivan “Melon” Lewis, and guitarist Jorge Chicoy.
Add to this – The Jazz Gallery All Stars tour, in honor of this celebrated institution’s milestone anniversary, plans for both domestic and international stops. The All Stars represent some of the leading creative voices in jazz today—all of whom cut their teeth on The Gallery’s stage, they include Miguel Zenón (alto saxophone), Morgan Guerin (tenor saxophone), Joel Ross (vibraphone), Charles Altura (guitar), Gerald Clayton (piano), Linda Oh (bass), Kendrick Scott (drums), and special guest Renee Neufville (voice).
It is doubtful that anyone could have anticipated back in 1995 what The Jazz Gallery would come to symbolize in the lives of so many artists, the New York City jazz community, and enthusiasts of this ever-evolving genre. When Dale Fitzgerald along with the dynamic trumpeter Roy Hargrove, and singer Lezlie Harrison decided to convert their downtown rehearsal space into a non-profit gallery and performance space for arbiters like themselves, they created a home for the most visionary and inventive creatives in the jazz community. “The Jazz Gallery is an essential part of the New York City Jazz ecosystem,” says the French-American jazz keyboardist, Dan Tepfer. “It’s a truly forward-looking institution that has an uncanny ability to spot new talent. NYC would be much poorer without it.”
Today, musicians like Israeli jazz pianist Shai Maestro agree that The Jazz Gallery has much to celebrate and to look forward to, “The Jazz Gallery has established itself as one of New York’s best venues for live music, and a runway for the new generation of musicians. The Jazz Gallery has a vision of allowing new music to bloom, giving the opportunity to musicians to pursue their craft and helping them in countless ways.”
Over the past twenty-five years, this cultural hub has honored its mission, welcoming musicians who challenge convention, take creative risks and lead their field as performers, composers and thinkers. Through programs like the Residency Commissions, The Jazz Gallery supports the creation of new works, by providing needed resources to a select group of exceptional young composers and bandleaders, enabling them to compose, rehearse, record and premiere their finished projects. The program has supported some 52 artists and the creation of 55 new works. Through The Woodshed program, countless artists with affiliation to The Jazz Gallery are provided free rehearsal space. Through the Mentoring Series, aspiring musicians are given the opportunity to learn, deepen their creative practice and performance skills with the help and guidance of seasoned professionals.
The Jazz Gallery has nurtured more than a dozen winners of the prestigious Thelonious Monk Competition, numerous recipients of the MacArthur Foundation “genius grants”, the Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards, Grammy Awards, and winners of other high honors. It continues to shape the lives of countless numbers of musical artists, some now leading the jazz community – among them Jason Moran and Vijay Iyer – both MacArthur Award recipients, who have emerged as groundbreaking artists, stretching the boundaries of music and their artistry in new directions.
The Jazz Gallery remains a no-frills listening room with an international reputation for sustaining a tradition of artistic excellence, both in the music it presents and the art exhibits it curates and rotates four times a year.
In 2020, The Jazz Gallery will honor the past 25 years and celebrate the next 25 with a focus on expanding and building on the accomplishments it has achieved to date. Vijay Iyer once told the Wall Street Journal, “I can’t imagine how my life would have unfolded without The Jazz Gallery.”
To singer/songwriter Becca Stevens, “The Jazz Gallery is one of the few remaining organizations in New York that truly supports the creation of NEW music. As a believer in the importance of artists nurturing a constantly evolving artistry, having support from a place like The Jazz Gallery is essential to the evolution of music.”
To learn more about The Jazz Gallery’s 25th Anniversary programs, concerts and performances, and for information on the organization’s Annual Gala Event, to be held on June 8, 2020, visit www.jazzgallery.nyc.
About The Jazz Gallery
The Jazz Gallery is a not-for-profit Jazz cultural center founded in 1995. We have been providing a space and audience for musicians at various stages of development to freely experiment, learn, and grow! Our audiences, in turn, enjoy the music in present tense. The Jazz Gallery is located at: 1160 Broadway (below 28th Street), 5th floor, in the Flatiron District of Manhattan.
The Jazz Gallery’s performances are supported in part by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Department of Cultural Affairs for New York City, the Jerome Foundation, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, the Cheswatyr Foundation, and New Music USA, Howard Gilman Foundation.
The 25-years of being home to a litany of musical artists – from the celebrated and established, to the emerging, and as yet undiscovered new voices of jazz. The Jazz Gallery’s 25th Anniversary year-long celebration will launch in January, with a schedule of activities that will highlight its valued position within New York’s jazz community and as a space that promotes complete artistic freedom.
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