Catherine Russell, Bria Skonberg's Brass Kicker and More Set for New York Hot Jazz Festival at The Players Club, 5/18
THE 2nd ANNUAL NEW YORK HOT JAZZ FESTIVAL is set for The Players Club - 16 Gramercy Park South, Manhattan on Sunday, May 18 - 1:00pm to 1:00am.
Hot Jazz, once the 20th century's dominant pop music, has found a 21st century home in New York City. As Will Friedwald notes in Vanity Fair, "Hot Jazz is so prevalent now that New York has almost become like New Orleans in the fin de siecle period ... These musicians are working to prove that jazz can be popular music all over again. It seems to be working." Known by many names -- New Orleans Jazz, EarlyJazz, Trad Jazz -- Hot Jazz is still a vital genre as younger audiences and performers continue to re-embrace these roots. From the revolutionary innovations of Louis Armstrong to bands that represent the legacy of Django Reinhardt, who show how American jazz was embraced by cultures all over the world, from the rough-and-ready funkiness of crescent city street bands to the smooth, polished swinging sounds of Benny Goodman, from ragtime to stride piano, from dirty little blues numbers that concern themselves with matters anatomical to the sophisticated words and music of the great poets of Tin Pan Alley ... you'll hear examples of all of this at the 2nd New York Hot Jazz Festival.
Building on the success of last year's sold-out inaugural festival, this year's show, produced by Michael Katsobashvili, performer/producer Bria Skonberg, and producer/composer Patrick Soluri (of The Salon) promises even more all-star players, multiple rooms filled with live Hot Jazz, Ragtime and Stride piano, and the Hot Jazz Film Festival. NY Hot Jazz Fest will feature Grammy Award-winners VINCE GIORDANO AND THE NIGHTHAWKS with special guest vocalist CATHERINE RUSSELL; star swing clarinetist KEN PEPLOWSKI and his NEW SWING quartet (with a special surprise superstar vocal guest); Gypsy Swing guitar god FRANK VIGNOLA, joined by VINNY RANIOLO; one of the Hot JazzRenaissance leaders, trumpeter, and a co-founder of the New York Hot Jazz Festival BRIA SKONBERGleading BRASS KICKER brass band; and, the only returning band from last year's Festival, the exhilarating HOT SARDINES. To go along with the vanguard, audiences will be treated to up and comers like 2013 Sarah Vaughan Vocal Rising Star award-winner KATE DAVIS, Gypsy Swing violinistADRIEN CHEVALIER with the HOT CLUB OF NEW YORK, as well as 22-year-old "eloquent trumpet prodigy" MIKE DAVIS and his NEW WONDERS.
Also joining in this year's festivities will be Birdland regulars DAVID OSTWALD'S LOUIS ARMSTRONG ETERNITY BAND, banjo virtuoso CYNTHIA SAYER & SPARKS FLY with Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra's own Vincent Gardner, swing stars DAN LEVINSON'S GOTHAM SOPHISTICATS with rising star vocalist MOLLY RYAN and wunderkind vocalist / multi-instrumentalist JERRON "BLIND BOY" PAXTON, exciting Hot Jazz reedman ADRIAN CUNNINGHAM with PROFESSOR CUNNINGHAM AND HIS OLD SCHOOL (who will be joined by tap dance star ANDREW NEMR), alongside many more. The night will be capped by an all-hands-on-deck jam session led by DENNIS LICHTMAN, a multi-instrumentalist founder of the storied Mona's hot jazz jam sessions. This year's NY Hot Jazz Festival will include a multinational contingent of young musicians that have embraced Hot Jazz in recent years, with players hailing from Australia, Canada, France, Israel, Brazil, Sweden, and beyond. All told, The Festival will give the audience a rare chance to hear the entire breadth and scope of early jazz, from the beginnings in New Orleans, through the music's glorious migration to Chicago and then Harlem, up through the Roaring '20s, Prohibition, and into the beginning of the Swing era.
This year's festival will also devote more stages for continual live music. Two rooms will host featured bands, while another room will be dedicated to Ragtime and Stride Piano music, featuring pianist (and host of NPR's Piano Jazz) Jon Weber, alongside musicians Ehud Asherie, Mark Shane, Dalton Ridenhour, Jesse Gelber, and Peter Yarin. In yet another room, The Festival will showcase a pair of special film showings, curated by Louis Armstrong scholar and archivist of the Louis Armstrong House Museum, Ricky Riccardi. The first -- THE SATCHMO-THON -- will be six hours of footage of vintage Louis Armstrong performances. During The Festival's second half, THE HOT JAZZ CLIP FEST takes over the projector, featuring all things Hot Jazz as presented in film.
The Players Club is the new home of The New York Hot Jazz Festival. Overlooking Gramercy Park, this clubhouse holds more than a century of social club history, boasting founding members such as Mark Twain, Laurence Hutton, and William Tecumseh Sherman. Today, the venue's goal is to cultivate an ambiance of conviviality, culture, history and comfort; in other words, a perfect setting for the New YorkHot Jazz Festival.
After the music ends, it starts right back up again with a jam session at the Late Night Supper After-Party at Mona's (224 Avenue B, b/t E. 13th and E. 14th Street) from 1am - 4am. We encourage you to help spread the word about The 2014 New York Hot Jazz Festival via our Facebook invite page: www.facebook.com/events/856127397747756.
Complete artist lineup and artist bio information follows:
Grammy-winner VINCE GIORDANO AND THE NIGHTHAWKS have played in New York nightclubs; appeared in films (The Cotton Club, The Aviator, Revolutionary Road); headlined HBOs Boardwalk Empire; and performed live at the Town Hall, JALC and the Newport Jazz Festival. Recording projects include soundtracks for Ghost World, The Savages, The Good Shepherd, Away We Go, Public Enemies, Kill Your Darlings, HBO's Grey Gardens, Mildred Pierce and the upcoming film Carol. Giordano has amassed an amazing collection of over 60,000 band arrangements, 1920's & 30's films, 78 recordings and jazz-age memorabilia. Vince's passion, commitment to authenticity, and knowledge led him to create a sensational band of like-minded players, the Nighthawks. Vince Giordano has single handedly kept alive an amazing genre of American music that continues to spread the joy and pathos of an era that shaped our nation. Joining the band will be Grammy-winning jazz vocalist CATHERINE RUSSELL. Jazz is in Russell's blood-- her father was Louis Armstrong's longtime musical director, while her mother performed with Mary Lou Williams. After a warm critical reception to her debut album, Cat, Russell's next album, Sentimental Streak, was universally praised by critics, winning her the coveted German Record Critics' Award. To couple with her jazz exploits, Russell has also performed and recorded with David Bowie, Steely Dan, Paul Simon, Cyndi Lauper, Jackson Browne and Roseanne Cash. Russell released her latest album, Bring It Back, earlier this year.
Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks: Video / Website / Facebook Catherine Russell: Video / Website / Facebook
KEN PEPLOWSKI is one of the greatest and most well-rounded swing clarinetists playing today. Peplowski began in elementary school in his hometown of Cleveland, where he and his brother were part of a Polish Polka band for weddings and parties. He soon joined the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, which would be his introduction to big ensembles and the touring rules of the road. Afterward, Peplowski settled in New York City, where he played everything from Traditional Jazz to Avant-Garde; when Benny Goodman came out of retirement to start a new band, Peplowski was one of his hand-picked musicians. Since, he has played for a staggeringly eclectic stable of musicians: Charlie Byrd, Madonna, Woody Allen, Marianne Faithfull, Isaac Delgado, Cedar Walton and more. In March, he was awarded a Highlights in Jazz concert in New York City, honoring him for "his matchless musical achievements." Ken Peplowski's New Swing: Video / Website
Frank Vignola with Vinny Raniolo
Library 5:15pm - 6:15pm
FRANK VIGNOLA is one of the most extraordinary jazz guitarists performing today and one of the greatest masters of Gypsy Swing. His stunning virtuosity has made him the guitarist of choice for many of the world's top musicians, including Ringo Starr, Donald Fagen, Wynton Marsalis, the Boston Pops, the New York Pops, Tommy Emmanuel, and guitar legend Les Paul, who named Vignola one of his "Five Most Admired Guitarist" list. Vignola's jaw-dropping technique explains why the New York Times deemed him "one of the brightest stars of the guitar." In 1988 Vignola led his famed Hot Club of France tribute, which forged the way for the many Django Hot Club groups that followed. Some of Vignola's best-loved albums include his collection of Gershwin pieces, Vignola Plays Gershwin, and his collaborations with Tommy Emmanuel (Just Between Frets) and David Grisman (Frank-n-Dawg, Melody Monsters). He has performed hundreds of clinics and masterclasses at major universities and colleges throughout the world, including Julliard and Boston University.
Joining Vignola will be his touring partner VINNY RANIOLO, one of the few guitarists who can keep up with Vignola note for note; together, New York Times called them "stars of the guitar." Even at his young age, Raniolo has already performed and recorded with Bucky Pizzarelli, Tommy Emmanuel and David Grisman just to name a few. Since Frank and Vinny teamed up in 2008 they have performed thousands of shows at some of the most prestigious concert halls and festivals in the world, including the Sydney Opera House, Lincoln Center, Liverpool Philharmonic, Quebec Music Festival and Italy's Teatro Olimpico. Frank Vignola: Video / Website / Facebook
Named "one of the best jazz bands in New York today" by Forbes, THE HOT SARDINES take hot jazz and standards from the 1920s, '30s, and '40s, sprinkle in the Dixieland sounds of New Orleans, add a dash of wartime Paris flavor, and infuse performances with a wealth of musical surprises (including a tap dancer) that hold audiences captive. Led by Parisian-born frontwoman/composer Miz Elizabeth and stride pianist/composer/bandleader Evan "Bibs" Palazzo, the Sardines have brought their blustery brass lineup, dynamic rhythm section, and playful energy to audiences around the world. They've sold out 11 straight shows at Joe's Pub, graced the stage at Lincoln Center's Midsummer Night Swing, and in 2014 will be backed by the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall, play the Montreal Jazz Festival, headline on the TCM Classic Cruise and head out on their first national tour. The Hot Sardines: Video / Website / Facebook
Bandleader and tuba player DAVID OSTWALD has become a familiar face for NYC jazzheads; since 2000, his Louis Armstrong Eternity Band has held a continual weekly residency at Birdland Jazz Club. Over those years, many of New York City's top young Hot Jazz bandleaders have played in this band under Ostwald, including Bria Skonberg, Adrian Cunningham, and Will Anderson. Ostwald has performed with Wynton Marsalis, Dick Hyman, Nicholas Payton, Clark Terry, Benny Waters, Woody Allen, Jon Hendricks, Leon Redbone and the Oxford University Orchestral Society under Sir Jack Westrup. David Ostwald's Louis Armstrong Eternity Band: Video / Website
One of the top performers from the Hot Jazz Renaissance generation, trumpeter, vocalist, composer and bandleader BRIA SKONBERG returns to this year's Hot Jazz Festival with not only a brand-new album, Into Your Own, but also being backed by an explosive, festival-only New Orleans-esque brass band made from Hot Jazz Festival talent, BRASS KICKER. Last year was a big one for Skonberg, who was named a Rising Star by DownBeat, an Up and Coming Jazz Artist by Jazz Journalist Association. This year, Skonberg has already racked up a Bistro Award for an Outstanding Jazz Artist and appeared as one of the star performers in Marian McPartland's memorial concert (along with Tony Bennett, Jon Faddis and Kenny Barron). Hailing from Chilliwack, British Columbia, Skonberg moved from her native Canada to New York City and, in just a few years, has appeared in concert halls and clubs such as Symphony Space, Birdland, The Iridium, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola and The Town Hall, among the likes of Nicholas Payton, Bucky Pizzarelli and Scott Robinson. Bria focuses on innovating while honoring tradition; she has studied with Warren Vache, experimented with fuzz pedals and presented a gig fusing jazz and stand up comedy. It's no mistake that Wall Street Journal jazz critic Will Friedwald said that Skonberg "looks like a Scandinavian angel, plays trumpet like a red hot devil, and sings like a dream." Bria Skonberg: Video / Website / Facebook
Cynthia Sayer & Sparks Fly
Library 1:45pm - 2:45pm
CYNTHIA SAYER single-handedly brings the 4-string banjo to the forefront of jazz. Celebrated as the top 4-string banjoist in the world today and praised for her "drive and virtuosity" by the New York Times, Cynthia is a founding member of Woody Allen's New Orleans Jazz Band, with whom she played and toured for over 10 years. Cynthia's extensive career includes performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the White House, while she has also appeared with The New York Philharmonic, played on feature film and TV soundtracks including Bullets Over Broadway, Purple Rose Of Cairo, and Sophie's Choice. She is also the official banjoist for the New York Yankees. She has worked with a variety of leading jazz, popular, and roots artists, including Bucky Pizzarelli, Dick Hyman, Wynton Marsalis, Les Paul, Marvin Hamlisch, Kenny Davern, Charlie Giordano (Springsteen's E Street Band), Milt Hinton, Marian McPartland, Wycliffe Gordon, Scott Robinson, Randy Sandke, Kenny Davern, Tony Trischka, and many more.
Cynthia Sayer & Sparks Fly: Video / Website