Brandee Younger, AfroPop, Henry Threadgill & More: The Week in Jazz

The Week in Jazz is your roundup of new and noteworthy stories from the jazz world. It’s a one-stop destination for the music news you need to know. Let’s take it from the top.



Brandee Younger Pays Tribute to Dorothy Ashby on New Album: Harpist/composer Brandee Younger pays tribute to Dorothy Ashby via original works and reinterpretations in a new album, Brand New Life, due out on April 7 and produced by Makaya McCraven. “Creating this album has been a longtime dream of mine,” says Younger via an official statement. “I really had a lot of living to do before being able to execute it, genuinely. The finished product is truly representative of where I am now and it’s an honor to convey through the compositions of one of my heroes.” Listen to the album’s single, a version of the previously unrecorded and evocative Ashby composition “You’re a Girl for One Man Only” via the player below.

Craft Relaunches Original Jazz Classics Reissue Series: Craft Recordings announced the relaunch of Original Jazz Classics, a reissue series with a renewed focus on audiophile-quality vinyl and HD audio releases. The series will relaunch with Workin’ With The Miles Davis Quintet on April 28, followed by Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane on May 26.

AfroPop Documentary Series Celebrates 15th Anniversary: AfroPop: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange, the documentary series on art, life and culture across the African diaspora, celebrates its 16th-anniversary series with a slate of films unified around the theme of black art. The season will bring viewers into the lives of Angélique Kidjo and Thelonious Monk, among others, and will kick off on April 3 and will run through May 1 on WORLD Channel and Black Public Media’s YouTube Channel.

New Henry Threadgill Autobiography Out Soon: Pi Recordings has announced the upcoming release of Henry Threadgill’s long-anticipated autobiography. Easily Slip Into Another World: A Life in Music, co-written with Brent Hayes Edwards, will be released via Knops Publishing on May 16. A new album by the Henry Threadgill Ensemble, titled The Other One, is also scheduled to be released this spring.


New and Upcoming Albums

Maria Mendes, Saudade, Colour of Love (Challenge): Portuguese-born vocalist Maria Mendes’ new live album is a collaboration with John Beasley and the Metropole Orkest, featuring orchestral arrangements of songs from her GRAMMY-nominated 2019 album, Close To Me. A showcase of her sublime blend of symphonic jazz and fado, Saudade, Colour of Love was recorded in May 2022 in Amsterdam and was released last year via Challenge Records.

Matt Ulery, Becoming Giant (Woolgathering): Bassist/composer Matt Ulery has released a new series of movements penned for string sextet and drum set. Titled Becoming Giant, this work began as a commission for the Chamber Music Festival in Lexington, Kentucky, and has evolved into a major work featuring world-renowned violinist Zach Brock and the brilliant Chicago-based KAIA String Quartet.

Danilo Pérez featuring The Global Messengers, Crisálida (Mack Avenue): Pianist/composer Danilo Pérez imagines a world where everyone radiates individual light and humanity regardless of gender, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation on his new album, Crisálida, released last year. The LP is composed of two engrossing suites on which he leads the Global Messengers, a new large ensemble consisting of alumni from Berklee College of Music’s Global Jazz Institute.

We 3 Keys, We 3 Keys (Shanachie): Contemporary jazz supergroup We 3 Keys defines the power of three and celebrates the magic of keyboards on their highly-anticipated new self-titled recording, released on January 20. The group is formed by pianists Bob Baldwin, Gail Jhonson and Phil Davis, and the new record is inspired by some of the trio’s influences, including George Duke, Bernard Wright, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Eliane Elias and Bernie Worrell, among others.


Live Music and Festival News

DC Jazz Festival Announced Initial 2023 Lineup: The DC Jazz Festival announced the initial lineup for the 19th Annual DC JazzFest, which will be taking place on August 30-September 3. Featured artists include Gregory Porter, Samara Joy, Kenny Garrett, Charles Lloyd and Terri Lyne Carrington, among others. The Fesival has also announced the return of its signature event, DC JazzFest at The Wharf, which will be held over Labor Day Weekend on September 2-3. More here.

Temple University Students and Faculty Perform Classical-Jazz Concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center, April 16: Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance will present a classical-jazz concert on April 16 at Jazz at Lincoln Center with orchestral premieres of works by Billy Childs and Bill Cunliffe. Tickets here. The event will also feature performances by over 100 students and faculty artists, including the Faculty Jazz Sextet with Terrell Stafford, Dick Oatts, Bruce Barth, Tim Warfield, Mike Boone and Justin Faulkner, soon to release a new album, Fly With the Wind.

Lettuce and Steel Pulse Join Forces for Co-Headlining Summer Tour: Psychedelic funk sextet Lettuce and legendary roots reggae band Steel Pulse will unite on a three-week-long co-headlining summer tour on June 15-July. The 13-date tour will include stops on the East Coast and Ohio and support by professional big wave surfer-turned-musician Makua Rothman. Check out all upcoming tour dates here.

Avishai Cohen and Abraham Rodriguez Jr. Blue Note Residency: Bassist/composer Avishai Cohen and New York Latin jazz icon Abraham Rodriguez Jr. will release a collaborative album, Iroko, on March 24 via naïve Records. The pair are set to perform a residency at New York’s storied Blue Note on April 25-30 with a full-seven piece Banda Iroko. Tickets here.

Featured photo courtesy of Crossover Media.

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