Cimafunk, Pat Metheny, Fred Hersch & 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.



Top Jazz Labels of American Join Forces in Support of Musicians Affected by the Pandemic: Blue Note, Concord, Mack Avenue, Nonesuch, Universal, Verve and Warner have all joined hands for an all-star 2-LP compilation of previously unreleased music, the net profits of which will benefit the Jazz Foundation of America’s Emergency Fund, established in support of jazz musicians affected by the pandemic. Relief is due out September 24 and features several greats, including Christian McBride, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Charles Lloyd, Kenny Garrett, Hiromi and many more. Pre-order it here.


U.S. Postal Service Celebrates Tap Dance: The U.S. Postal Service celebrated the American art of tap dance by issuing special edition Tap Dance stamps during the New York City Tap Festival in Times Square on July 10. The stamps are now available at Post Offices nationwide. They feature tap dancers Ayodele Casel, Michela Marino Lerman and Max Pollak, and were photographed by Matthew Murphy. Order the stamps here.


Newvelle Releases Star-Studded Frank Kimbrough Anthology: Newvelle Records has released a 61-track digital anthology of original compositions by Frank Kimbrough, who passed away in December 2020. The collection is titled KIMBROUGH and features tributes from 67 of his former bandmates, students and friends across multiple generations. It was recorded in just over three days in New York in May 2021. All proceeds from KIMBROUGH will benefit the Frank Kimbrough Jazz Scholarship at The Juilliard School. Order it here.


New Charlie Brown Christmas Collectible Vinyl Edition Announced: Craft will release a special vinyl edition of the Vince Guaraldi Trio’s enduring soundtrack to the fabled 1965 animated Peanuts special, A Charlie Brown Christmas, on October 1. This collectible release reimagined its classic jacket wrapped in a silver foil with the Peanuts characters embossed on the cover. It also comes in a variety of colored vinyl variants and a festive glitter-infused edition. Pre-order it here.


Album Announcements

Pat Metheny, SIDE-EYE NYC (V1- IV) (BMG Modern): Pat Metheny will release his new live album, SIDE-EYE NYC (V1- IV), recorded just before the pandemic and due out September 10 via BMG Modern Recordings. It features the guitar great at his most rocking, performing new originals and inventive reworkings of some of his most beloved compositions, accompanied by a handpicked and rotating cast of players. This will be his second full-length of 2021, following his classical guitar multi-movement Road to the Sun, released earlier this year. Pre-order SIDE-EYE NYC (V1- IV) here.


Steph Yates, Disturbing Body (Boiled): Disturbing Body is an intimate debut album and solo project by composer/singer/guitarist Steph Yates. The project blends elements of bossa nova, folk, jazz and classical against a modern backdrop to paint a celestial portrait of lost love and consequence. Disturbing Body is set for release on August 11 via Boiled Records and you can pre-order it HERE.


Hilary Kole, Sophisticated Lady (Japan Victor): Renowned New York City-based vocalist Hilary Kole released her new album, Sophisticated Lady, on June 23. This is a collection of mature, nuanced renditions of jazz classics, which retain a spirit both heartfelt and adventurous. She is joined on the record by guitarist John Hart, pianist Adam Birnbaum, bassist Paul Gill, drummer Aaron Kimmel, vibraphonist Tom Beckham and woodwinds player Chris Byars. Order it here.


Matt Mitchell and Kate Gentile, Snark Horse (PI): Snark Horse features highly-detailed one-bar compositions by pianist/composer Matt Mitchell and drummer/composer Kate Gentile, designed to incite inventive, multi-directional improvisation. Both artists have been performing this music in various combinations since 2013 and present it here across an expansive and audacious six-disc set. Snark Horse is out on July 30 via PI Recordings and you can pre-order it HERE.


Live Music and Festival News

EFG London Jazz Festival Lineup Announced: The 29th EFG London Jazz Festival, one of the major annual UK jazz events, will return to live audiences on November 12-21 at a variety of venues all throughout the British capital. The lineup includes Dave Holland and John Scofield, the Vijay Iyer Trio, Dianne Reeves, Brad Mehldau, Cécile McLorin Salvant and many more. Charles Lloyd will also join the electrifying ensemble Nérija for a one-night stand on November 20, while November 13 will also feature a star-studded Ton Allen retrospective at the Royal Festival Hall. Click here for more.


Birdland Announces August 2021 Performance Schedule: New York City’s Birdland Jazz Club has announced more great acts for its August 2021, including Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble, Jim Caruso’s Cast Party, The Lineup with Susie Mosher and David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band. As a thank you to all returning patrons, Birdland will also continue with 1949 prices through the month of August, charging only .99 cents for tickets when booked in advance. More info here.

Noah Haidu Livestream Concert: Pianist Noah Haidu will celebrate his recent Sunnyside Records recording, Slowly: Song for Keith Jarrett, with a livestream concert at 7 p.m. EDT on August 29. The performance is part of the Thursday Live at the Jazz Forum series and features Haidu alongside trio mates bassist Todd Coolman and drummer Billy Hart. Click here for more.


Fred Hersch Announces New Album and Touring Dates: Fred Hersch will be heading to the studio in August to record his first-ever album with a rhythm section and a string quartet. Fred Hersch: Refuge is set to be released on January 7, 2022, via Palmetto Records and features the iconic pianist/composer alongside Drew Gress, Jochen Rueckert and the all-female NYC-based Hudson String Quartet. Hersch will also continue touring both the U.S. and Europe throughout the fall. Click here for upcoming tour dates.

Photo: Rebecca Ashley


Brooklyn Conservatory of Music Free Concert Series to Kick Off on July 22: Brooklyn Conservatory of Music’s Midsummer Nights: Stoop Concert series of free gigs is set to kick off on July 22 and will continue every Thursday through August 12. The series will feature performances by Tahira Clayton’s Jazz Trio, Klezmer Music with Zoe Aqua, Dan Blacksberg and Ira Temple, and the Kirk Driscoll trio. Performers for the series finale will be announced at a later date. Click here for more.


Cimafunk Returns to the Blue Note: Cuban visionary musician Cimafunk will be performing at New York City’s historic Blue Note Jazz Club on August 26 and September 2. These will be Cimafunk’s only New York appearances of 2021. “I can’t wait to bring the house down again at the Blue Note with some Afrocuban Funk,” says Cimafunk via a press release. “It’s been exactly two years since our last Blue Note gigs and we have lots of new music and many surprises; some really funk stuff.” Tickets are available here.


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