Big Chief Donald Harrison Quartet, Jared Schonig Big Band, and More to Play Birdland This Month

Repeat engagements include David Ostwald's Louis Armstrong Eternity Band, Frank Vignola's Guitar Night, Birdland Big Band, and more.

By: May. 12, 2023
Get Access To Every Broadway Story

Unlock access to every one of the hundreds of articles published daily on BroadwayWorld by logging in with one click.




Existing user? Just click login.

Big Chief Donald Harrison Quartet, Jared Schonig Big Band, and More to Play Birdland This Month Birdland Jazz Club and Birdland Theater have announced jazz programming running May 15 through May 28.

Performers appearing at Birdland Jazz Club include Big Chief Donald Harrison Quartet, Jared Schonig Big Band featuring Michael Mayo, The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra and Champian Fulton Trio.

Downstairs at Birdland Theater, catch The Anderson Brothers, Vince Giordano & the Nighthawks, Richard Cortez and Tyler Henderson, Gil Gutierrez and Steven Wilson's Analog Band.

Repeat engagements include David Ostwald's Louis Armstrong Eternity Band, Frank Vignola's Guitar Night, Birdland Big Band and Arturo O'Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra.

Jazz Programming at Birdland Jazz Club and Birdland Theater May 15 through May 28

May 15 (Monday) 5:30 & 8:30 PM - Birdland Theater
Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks
Vince Giordano, the recipient of a GRAMMY Award for his work scoring the HBO show Boardwalk Empire, is a master composer and arranger whose 11-piece band, The Nighthawks, recreate the jubilant 1920s jazz sound with amazing definition, using violins, tubas, banjos, and collector's item drum sets. The band has provided soundtracks for film and television productions including The Cotton Club, The Aviator, Finding Forrester, Revolutionary Road, Cafe Society, Boardwalk Empire, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and many more. Not to be missed!
$30 tables / $20 bar + $20 food/drink minimum


May 16 (Tuesday) 5:30 PM - Birdland Theater
The Anderson Brothers Play Ellington
Juilliard-trained identical twins Peter and Will Anderson have been hailed as "virtuosos on clarinet and saxophone" by The New York Times. Their passion for classic jazz shines through each time they perform. Having shared the stage with some of the music's biggest straight-ahead jazz acts-including Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Wycliffe Gordon, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Paquito D'Rivera, and Wynton Marsalis-the brothers constitute a formidable force. They've headlined shows at Carnegie Hall, The Blue Note, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and live on Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion Radio Program. Birdland welcomes them every Tuesday in May as they deliver their no-funny-business, straight-down-the-middle, jazz-lover's type of jazz: this month paying tribute to the great Duke Ellington.
$20 + $20 food/drink minimum


May 16-20 (Tuesday-Saturday) 7:00 & 9:30 PM (5/16-18); 8:30 & 10:30 PM (5/19-20) - Birdland Jazz Club
Big Chief Donald Harrison Quartet
Master saxophonist Donald Harrison is one of America's most influential musicians. A mentor to such legends as bassist Christian McBride, emcee The Notorious B.I.G., guitarist Mark Whitfield, and trumpeter Christian Scott, Harrison's profound contributions to the world of music go far beyond the saxophone. In the 1980s, he served as a member of Art Blakey's last stretch of Jazz Messengers alongside Terence Blanchard, setting the stage for torch-bearing innovations in the 90s wherein Harrison pioneered a fusion of swing music with hip hop, New Orleans street rhythm, R&B and smooth jazz. Such records as the 1997 Nouveau Swing became classics. More recently, Harrison has composed orchestral works for the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, the Thailand Philharmonic, and the New York Chamber Orchestra. This all while serving in his native New Orleans as Big Chief of Congo Square, where he nourishes and maintains the secret traditions of Afro-New Orleans culture. This powerful figure leads his 5-piece ensemble through a set of contemporary music that is sure to inspire his audience.
$40 tables / $30 bar + $20 food/drink minimum


May 17 (Wednesday) 5:30 PM - Birdland Theater
David Ostwald's Louis Armstrong Eternity Band
Inspired by the noble jazz pioneers Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke, Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton and their colleagues, David Ostwald's Louis Armstrong Eternity Band breathes life and passion into America's own great art form. Now in its 18th year of residency at Birdland, the weekly post-workday engagement is the city's best musical bargain! Tuba player David Ostwald leads a rotating lineup that features talents such as clarinetist Anat Cohen, trombonist/vocalist Wycliffe Gordon, pianist Ehud Asherie, drummer Marion Felder and more!
$30 tables; $20 bar + $20 food/drink minimum


May 17 (Wednesday) 8:30 PM - Birdland Theater
Frank Vignola's Guitar Night with Perry Smith and Mark Whitfield
It's the best jazz guitar lover's show in the world. Frank Vignola's virtuosity has made him the guitarist of choice for many of the world's top musicians, including Ringo Starr, Madonna, Donald Fagen, Les Paul, the Boston and New York Pops, and more. Every Wednesday at 8:30pm in the Birdland Theater, Frank leads "Frank Vignola's Guitar Night at Birdland." Inspired by journeyman jazz guitarist John Pisano's now famous Los Angeles Guitar Night, the Frank Vignola Trio, featuring bassist Gary Mazzaroppi and drummer Vince Cherico, will perform tunes from the standard repertoire, inviting up a rotation of special guests. This week it's Perry Smith and Mark Whitfield.
$30 tables; $20 bar + $20 food/drink minimum


May 18 (Thursday) 8:30 PM - Birdland Theater
Richard Cortez and Tyler Henderson: Sondheim Explored in the Theater
Appearing for the 5th time at Birdland, song interpreter Richard Cortez returns for one night only with an entirely new show featuring the compositions of Stephen Sondheim reharmonized for jazz. In his most intimate appearance yet, Richard is joined solely by collaborator/pianist Tyler Henderson, and the two bravely explore the complex and expansive works of "the man who reinvented the American musical." With material sourced from Sondheim's most celebrated works like West Side Story, Into the Woods, Gypsy, and the like, and jazz arrangements that harken back to the duo works of Bill Evans and Tony Bennet, this show will feel warm and familiar to any lover of Broadway or Jazz.
$30 tables / $20 bar + $20 food/drink minimum


May 19 (Friday) 5:30 PM - Birdland Jazz Club
The Birdland Big Band
Every Friday, and for two headlining weeks a year, the "BBB" roars into action playing a thrilling and original mix of jazz, funk, Brazilian, Latin and world music for sold-out audiences. Featured weekly guest artists drop in from television bands (David Letterman, Saturday Night Live) and pop music touring bands (Rob Thomas, Rod Stewart). Come see for yourself why Time Out New York called the BBB "A completely unique experience... there isn't another band like this anywhere," and why yelp.com proclaims, "If you hear one band in NYC make sure this is it... and prepare to be blown away!"
$30 + $20 food/drink minimum


May 19-21 (Friday-Sunday) 7:00 & 9:30 PM - Birdland Theater
Gil Gutierrez
Mexican guitar virtuoso Gil Gutiérrez is an icon of his instrument, performing around the world with some of music's greatest names. A master of nylon string guitar and tres, he has performed at the Kennedy Center, the Mexican Cultural Institute of the Mexican Embassy in Washington D.C., and at Carnegie Hall accompanied by the New York Pops with Doc Severinsen; toured internationally with Arturo Sandoval, Ana Gabriel, Ricardo Arjona, Francisco Céspedes and Pedro Guerrail; and was featured with Severinson in 2022 on PBS American Masters series. Join him at the Birdland Theater for a weekend with his group, featuring violinist Bob Stern (Jerry Miller, Charlie Prichard, Laura Branigan) and bassist Dave Rodriguez (Max Roach, Tito Puente). Alternatively soothing, rhythmic, pyrotechnic, and tender, this band will refresh and uplift its audiences.
$30 tables / $20 bar + $20 food/drink minimum


May 21 (Sunday) 5:30 PM - Birdland Jazz Club
Jared Schonig Big Band featuring Michael Mayo
The drummer of choice for a wide range of Birdland favorites, including the jazz orchestras of Jihye Lee, Miggy Miyajima, Mike Holober, Ariana Neikrug, Augie Haas, Duchess, Lauren Kinhan, and so many others, Grammy-Award winning drummer, composer & bandleader Jared Schonig brings his own large ensemble project to the Theater for one Sunday only in May. Teaming up with modern compositional masters Jim McNeely, Darcy James Argue, Miho Hazama and others, Schonig brought his own ideas to life on Two Takes (Volumes I and II for Qunitet and Big Band respectively) both released on Anzic Records in 2021 featuring cast of the world's finest players: Nir Felder on guitar, Scott Wendholt on trumpet, Marshall Gilkes on trombone, Jason Rigby on saxophone, and many others. Schonig himself has toured and/or recorded internationally with A-listers Kurt Elling, Kristen Chenoweth, Cynthia Erivo, Nicholas Payton, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Tim Hagans, Fred Hersch, Wycliffe Gordon, and Tom Harrell, to name a few. A fixture on the Broadway circuit, he held the drum chair in the Tony-, Grammy- and Emmy-award winning Broadway revival of The Color Purple as well as the drum and percussion chairs for Moulin Rouge! The Musical. Enjoy the music of this beloved drummer-composer.
$30 + $20 food/drink minimum


May 21 (Sunday) 8:30 & 10:30 PM - Birdland Jazz Club
Arturo O'Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
Pianist, composer and educator Arturo O'Farrill-leader of the "first family of Afro-Cuban Jazz" (The New York Times)-leads the GRAMMY award winning Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO), who bring together the drama of big band jazz, the culture of Latin music, and the virtuosity of eighteen of the world's most accomplished solo musicians. Twelve years of critically-acclaimed performances internationally have firmly established the ALJO as the standard-bearer for creative interpretation of Latin jazz greats such as Tito Puente, Frank "Machito" Grillo, and Chico O'Farrill, as well as the driving force behind new commissions from Latin music's most talented composers and arrangers.
$30 + $20 food/drink minimum


May 22 (Monday) 5:30 & 8:30 PM - Birdland Theater
Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks
Vince Giordano, the recipient of a GRAMMY Award for his work scoring the HBO show Boardwalk Empire, is a master composer and arranger whose 11-piece band, The Nighthawks, recreate the jubilant 1920s jazz sound with amazing definition, using violins, tubas, banjos, and collector's item drum sets. The band has provided soundtracks for film and television productions including The Cotton Club, The Aviator, Finding Forrester, Revolutionary Road, Cafe Society, Boardwalk Empire, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and many more. Not to be missed!
$30 tables / $20 bar + $20 food/drink minimum


May 23 (Tuesday) 5:30 PM - Birdland Theater
The Anderson Brothers Play Ellington
Juilliard-trained identical twins Peter and Will Anderson have been hailed as "virtuosos on clarinet and saxophone" by The New York Times. Their passion for classic jazz shines through each time they perform. Having shared the stage with some of the music's biggest straight-ahead jazz acts-including Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Wycliffe Gordon, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Paquito D'Rivera, and Wynton Marsalis-the brothers constitute a formidable force. They've headlined shows at Carnegie Hall, The Blue Note, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and live on Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion Radio Program. Birdland welcomes them every Tuesday in May as they deliver their no-funny-business, straight-down-the-middle, jazz-lover's type of jazz: this month paying tribute to the great Duke Ellington.
$20 + $20 food/drink minimum


May 23-27 (Tuesday-Saturday) 7:00 & 9:30 PM (5/23-25); 8:30 & 10:30 PM (5/26-27) - Birdland Jazz Club
The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra directed by Scotty Barnhart, Guest Vocalist Carmen Bradford
What needs to be said about the Count Basie Orchestra? This legendary big band has been synonymous with jazz for nearly 90 years, when Count Basie began leading his ensemble in the 1930s featuring such legends as Lester Young, Jo Jones, Walter Paige, and vocalist Jimmy Rushing. After decades of exuberant swing, iconic dance crazes, artful thematic albums and the perfection of the classic big band sound, Count Basie passed in 1984. Since then, the group has continued touring and recording under the direction of other leaders: Frank Foster, Thad Jones, and others, including Scotty Barnhardt, who had led the Orchestra since 2013. The Orchestra swings hard, delivering famous numbers from the Basie catalog and blessing audiences with its famous swing feeling.
$40 tables / $30 bar + $20 food/drink minimum


May 24 (Wednesday) 5:30 PM - Birdland Theater
David Ostwald's Louis Armstrong Eternity Band
Inspired by the noble jazz pioneers Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke, Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton and their colleagues, David Ostwald's Louis Armstrong Eternity Band breathes life and passion into America's own great art form. Now in its 18th year of residency at Birdland, the weekly post-workday engagement is the city's best musical bargain! Tuba player David Ostwald leads a rotating lineup that features talents such as clarinetist Anat Cohen, trombonist/vocalist Wycliffe Gordon, pianist Ehud Asherie, drummer Marion Felder and more!
$30 tables; $20 bar + $20 food/drink minimum


May 24 (Wednesday) 8:30 PM - Birdland Theater
Frank Vignola's Guitar Night with Roni Ben-Hur
It's the best jazz guitar lover's show in the world. Frank Vignola's virtuosity has made him the guitarist of choice for many of the world's top musicians, including Ringo Starr, Madonna, Donald Fagen, Les Paul, the Boston and New York Pops, and more. Every Wednesday at 8:30pm in the Birdland Theater, Frank leads "Frank Vignola's Guitar Night at Birdland." Inspired by journeyman jazz guitarist John Pisano's now famous Los Angeles Guitar Night, the Frank Vignola Trio, featuring bassist Gary Mazzaroppi and drummer Vince Cherico, will perform tunes from the standard repertoire, inviting up a rotation of special guests. This week it's Roni Ben-Hur.
$30 tables; $20 bar + $20 food/drink minimum


May 26 (Friday) 5:30 PM - Birdland Jazz Club
The Birdland Big Band
Every Friday, and for two headlining weeks a year, the "BBB" roars into action playing a thrilling and original mix of jazz, funk, Brazilian, Latin and world music for sold-out audiences. Featured weekly guest artists drop in from television bands (David Letterman, Saturday Night Live) and pop music touring bands (Rob Thomas, Rod Stewart). Come see for yourself why Time Out New York called the BBB "A completely unique experience... there isn't another band like this anywhere," and why yelp.com proclaims, "If you hear one band in NYC make sure this is it... and prepare to be blown away!"
$30 + $20 food/drink minimum


May 26-28 (Friday-Sunday) 7:00 & 9:30 PM - Birdland Theater
Steve Wilson's Analog Band
One of jazz's most celebrated figures on the alto saxophone, the ever inventive and endlessly passionate Steve Wilson-the leader on 7 acclaimed recordings and sideman on over 130-brings his Analog Band to Birdland Theater for four nights. In 2017, the GRAMMY-winning Wilson released Sit Back, Relax, and Unwind (JMI Recordings) on vinyl only, a totally "analog" session using no digital equipment, as was customary in earlier epochs of recording history. The band from that session, featuring pianist Ray Angry (The Roots, D'Angelo), drummer Willie Jones III (Roy Hargrove), and bassist Corcoran Holt (Kenny Garrett) joins Wilson for this engagement at the Theater. Wilson, who Jazz Times hails as "one of the finest alto and soprano saxophonists of our time," has served as an integral part of trailblazing bands by Maria Schneider, Chick Corea, George Duke, Dave Holland, Christian McBride, and so many more. Don't miss this great artist!
$30 tables / $20 bar + $20 food/drink minimum


May 28 (Sunday) 5:30 PM - Birdland Jazz Club
Champian Fulton Trio Live at Birdland Release Celebration
Champian Fulton celebrates the release of her newest album, which was recorded live at Birdland! A great jazz singer is something special, and something special indeed is Champian Fulton. Daughter of trumpeter Stephen Fulton, Champian grew up inside the world of music, and as she grew she developed a swinging sound on the piano and a voice beyond her years-a sound reminiscent of the old master vocalists. Named the Hot House Readers Poll 2019 Pianist and Vocalist of the Year, and with well over a dozen albums to her name, she is understandably a Birdland fan favorite. Fulton's new album Meet Me at Birdland has received international acclaim, and is available now.
$30 tables / $30 bar + $20 food/drink minimum


May 28 (Sunday) 8:30 & 10:30 PM - Birdland Jazz Club
Arturo O'Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
Pianist, composer and educator Arturo O'Farrill-leader of the "first family of Afro-Cuban Jazz" (The New York Times)-leads the GRAMMY award winning Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO), who bring together the drama of big band jazz, the culture of Latin music, and the virtuosity of eighteen of the world's most accomplished solo musicians. Twelve years of critically-acclaimed performances internationally have firmly established the ALJO as the standard-bearer for creative interpretation of Latin jazz greats such as Tito Puente, Frank "Machito" Grillo, and Chico O'Farrill, as well as the driving force behind new commissions from Latin music's most talented composers and arrangers.
$30 + $20 food/drink minimum




Videos