August Line-Up Set For Smoke Jazz Club, Including Fred Hersch Trio, Johnathan Blake, and More

august performances at smoke jazz club to feature renowned artists

By: Jun. 24, 2024
August Line-Up Set For Smoke Jazz Club, Including Fred Hersch Trio, Johnathan Blake, and More
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SMOKE Jazz Club will continue its 25th anniversary season with another month of today's leading artists in jazz. For the first time in the club's history, the multi-GRAMMY-nominated pianist Fred Hersch performs on the SMOKE Stage. He is joined by his trio (Alexander Claffy and Jochen Rueckert) which The Wall Street Journal calls “one of the major ensembles of our time.” Johnathan Blake returns for five nights (Aug 7-11) with an all-star cast including Chris Potter, Marquis Hill, Steve Wilson, Sullivan Fortner, and Dezron Douglas. SMOKE also welcomes back audience favorites leading their respective Quintets: trumpeter Eddie Henderson (Aug 1-4) and drummer Joe Farnsworth (Aug 15-18). For the complete August schedule and most updated calendar, please visit

August 2024 Concert Schedule (subject to change):

Thu-Sun Aug 1-4: Eddie Henderson Quintet

Eddie Henderson – trumpet 
Vincent Herring – alto saxophone 
Peter Zak – piano 
Nat Reeves – bass 
Mike Clark – drums 

Trumpeter Eddie Henderson leads a spectacular quintet of close collaborators with alto saxophonist Vincent Herring, pianist Peter Zak, bassist Nat Reeves, and drummer Mike Clark. It has been an important year for Henderson: He was the subject of a compelling biographic documentary of his incredible life, Eddie Henderson: Uncommon Genius airing nationwide on PBS, and he released an acclaimed new album in 2023, Witness to History (SMOKE Sessions), coinciding with the 50th anniversary of his 1973 recording debut as a leader, Realization. 

Wed-Sun Aug 7-11: Johnathan Blake Quintet

Steve Wilson – alto saxophone 
Chris Potter – tenor saxophone (Wed-Fri)
Marquis Hill – trumpet (Sat-Sun)
Sullivan Fortner – piano 
Dezron Douglas – bass 
Johnathan Blake – drums 

Johnathan Blake—a drummer whose dynamic playing, artistic vision, and innate versatility led NPR's John Murph to call him “the ultimate modernist” — leads a scintillating quintet with saxophone masters Steve Wilson, Chris Potter (Wed–Fri) and Marquis Hill (Sat-Sun), piano phenom Sullivan Fortner, and rock-solid bassist Dezron Douglas. Blake's most recent album, Passage, was widely recognized as among the best of 2023 and was dedicated to the memory of his father, the renowned violinist John Blake Jr., who composed the title track. 

Wed Aug 14: Laurin Talese

Laurin Talese – vocals 
John Ellis – saxophone & flute 
Mike King – piano 
Jonathan Munir-Cotton – bass 
Anwar Marshall – drums 
Vocalist Laurin Talese is the epitome of the 21st Century jazz singer delivering tradition informed by the present. The pure quality of her voice has captivated audiences around the world, from the Newport Festival and Jazz at Lincoln Center Shanghai to the Kennedy Center, NJPAC, and beyond. Talese has also served as cultural ambassador for the State Department. She has collaborated with artists such as Bilal, Robert Glasper, Christian McBride, Ulysses Owens, Christian Sands, and Yannick Nezet-Seguin with the Philadelphia Orchestra. In 2018, she won the Sarah Vaughn International Jazz Vocal Competition. 

Thu-Sun Aug 15-18: Joe Farnsworth Quintet “Time to Swing”

Nicholas Payton – trumpet 
Sarah Hanahan – alto saxophone 
Sullivan Fortner – piano (Fri-Sun only) 
Luther Allison – piano (Thu only) 
Peter Washington – bass 
Joe Farnsworth – drums 

Joe Farnsworth leads a particularly fiery version of his “Time to Swing” quintet with trumpeter Nicholas Payton, saxophonist Sarah Hanahan, pianists Sullivan Fortner (Fri-Sun), Luther Allison (Thu), and bassist Peter Washington.  Farnworth released a momentous new album last year, In What Direction Are You Headed? furthering his growing reputation as an inspired bandleader, a reflection of his decades working for such notable leaders as George Coleman, Benny Golson, Pharaoh Sanders, Cedar Walton, Harold Mabern, and McCoy Tyner.

Wed-Sun Aug 21-25: Fred Hersch Trio SMOKE Jazz Club Debut

Fred Hersch – piano 
Alexander Claffy – bass 
Jochen Rueckert – drums 

Pianist Fred Hersch makes his highly anticipated SMOKE debut leading an inspired trio featuring bassist Alexander Claffy and drummer Jochen Rueckert. Called “the most arrestingly innovative pianist in jazz over the last decade” by Vanity Fair and “a living legend” by The New Yorker, Hersch is a 17-time GRAMMY nominee and the recipient of many of jazz's most prestigious awards. His trio is venerated as the epitome of thrilling interplay and dynamic spontaneity.


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