Ethan Iverson, GoGo Penguin, Duke Ellington & 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.



Ronnie Scott’s Musical Instrument Amnesty 2022: London’s famed jazz venue Ronnie Scott’s will host an all-day Musical Instrument Amnesty, collecting unused or broken musical instruments on January 22. All instruments will be donated to school-aged children in the U.K. and overseas to enable music education amongst communities across the world. Doors will be open for collection between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. More here.


New Play-Along Jazz App Launched: London-based UK Music Apps Ltd. recently launched a brand new app called Jazz300 for iPad and iPhone. The app offers musicians of all abilities to play along to a collection of 300 backing tracks of jazz standards with the option to change keys and tempo. The backing tracks were recorded by Kirk Whalum, Chris Standring and Jason Rebello. Download the app here.


Rob Turner Leaves GoGo Penguin: Drummer Rob Turner has announced his exit from GoGo Penguin, the left-field jazz piano trio from Manchester, England, that he co-founded, due to creative differences. He will be replaced by drummer Jon Scott. Turner took to social media to discuss his recent departure from the group, including on a video uploaded on his new YouTube account earlier this month that you can watch via the player below.


Jazz North Appoints New Chief Executive: Jazz North, the jazz development agency of the North of England, has announced the appointment of Chris Bye as its Chief Executive. He will be tasked with leading Jazz North’s next phase of development, growing opportunities for artists, audiences, promoters and young people across the region. “Artists are crying out for opportunities and it is my aim to diversify our approach and expand our partnership,” says Bye via an official statement. “I’m enormously excited to be joining and looking forward to working with an amazing group of people.”

Album Announcements

The OGJB Quartet, Ode to O (TUM): The OGJB Quartet featuring saxophonist Oliver Lake, Graham Hayes on cornet and electronics, bassist Joe Fonda and drummer Barry Altschul draw on a variety of influences on Ode to O, due out January 21 via TUM Records. The album finds each band member contributing compositions to the new recording, including Altschul’s title composition dedicated to the late great Ornette Coleman, and collective improvisations. “On this recording, we pulled out all the stops,” says Fonda via a press release. Pre-order Ode to O here.


Ethan Iverson, Every Note Is True (Blue Note): On February 11, pianist/composer Ethan Iverson expands on his own musical history by revisiting the pop/rock-inflected jazz style of his influential trio, The Bad Plus, on his new album. The music on his Blue Note debut, Every Note Is True, is performed in a stellar trio with bassist Larry Grenadier and legendary drummer Jack DeJohnette. Pre-order Every Note Is True here.


Oscar Hernández & Alma Libre, Visión (Ovation): Pianist/composer/bandleader Oscar Hernández, also known as the leader and producer of the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, is set to release a new album with his longstanding quintet Alma Libre on January 22 via his new label Ovation Records. Visión will feature ten new original compositions that reaffirm his standing as one of the most important voices in Latin music and features special guests, including Joe Locke, Aaron Janik and Luisito Quintero.


Mathis Picard, Live at the Museum (Outside In): Pianist Mathis Picard will release a new solo piano record, Live at the Museum, on January 28 via Outside in Music. The album was recorded live at the National Jazz Museum of Harlem and is a personal sonic journey through which Picard honors his roots in jazz, classical and electronic music. Pre-order it here.


Live Music and Festival News

Igor Levit to Premiere New Fred Hersch Composition in Carnegie Hall: A new Fred Hersch piece, “Variations on a Folk Song,” will receive its world premiere in a performance by pianist Igor Levit on January 13 at New York’s Carnegie Hall. The composition will be part of a program of solo interpretations including music by Beethoven, Wagner and Liszt. Tickets here.

Photo credit: Robbie Lawrence


First Blue Note New York NFT Drop: Blue Note New York has released a 40-year anniversary NFT in partnership with YellowHeart. Each NFT unlocks a VIP reserved seat ticket to select Blue Note shows taking place until January 23, 2022. This will be Blue Note New York’s inaugural NFT drop, making it one of New York City’s first entertainment venues to adopt blockchain technology. Tickets here.


Dr. Phillips Center Presents Ellington World Premiere: The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts of Orlando, Florida, will present the professional premiere of Randall Keith Horton’s new orchestral arrangement of Duke Ellington’s Black, Brown & Beige as part of the opening celebration of its new Steinmetz Hall. The arrangement will be performed by Audra McDonald, London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Jazz Orchestra at Dr. Phillips Center, musicians from Jazz at Lincoln Center and Bethune-Cookman University Concert Chorale. The one-night event will take place on January 26 and also include a performance of Ellington’s Sacred Music. Tickets here.


Joey DeFrancesco Spring 2022 Tour: Joey DeFrancesco has announced dates for his U.S. Spring 2022 tour in support of his latest album, More Music, available now on Mack Avenue. Check out all upcoming dates here. More Music finds DeFrancesco showcasing his chops on a variety of instruments, including on tenor saxophone for the first time. Order it here.

Featured photo by Keith Major.

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