Herbie Hancock, Francis Wolff, Ron Miles & 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.



JFA Raises $1.3 Million at Annual Gala: The Jazz Foundation of America (JFA) has announced that it raised $1.3 million at its annual A Great Night in Harlem Gala. The event took place on March 28 at the legendary Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York. JFA’s Artistic Director Steve Jordan assembled this year’s lineup that boasted an eclectic list of musical icons from a wide variety of genres, including Sun Ra Arkestra with Marshall Allen, Chuck D performing with Mixmaster Mike and Steve Jordan, Dee Dee Bridgewater with George Coleman and, closing out the show and performing for the first time on the Apollo stage, Bobby Weir. During the event, Richard Parsons accepted the Dr Billy Taylor Humanitarian Award. More here.

New Sierra Green Single and Video: Sierra Green has shared her video for “Break in the Road,” performed with The Giants, her meticulously curated band of top-notch New Orleans musicians. Watch it via the player below. This is the first single from Green’s forthcoming album, which will be released on June 21. The song was originally written by Allen Toussaint and the version that inspired Green was that of The Meters.

NEC Appoints Kalia Vandever to Jazz Studies Faculty: New England Conservatory’s Jazz Studies Department has appointed Grammy-winning trombonist and composer Kalia Vandever to its faculty, beginning in the fall of 2024. “I’m incredibly excited to work with the imaginative students in the jazz department at NEC and cultivate an open and generative space to learn, improvise, and compose,” says Vandever via an official press release. 

New Music from Ron Miles on Blue Note: Blue Note will honor the legacy of trumpeter Ron Miles with the May 10 release of Old Main Chapel, a 2011 live recording featuring Miles’ trio with guitarist Bill Frisell and drummer Brian Blade. Listen to the album’s expansive opening track, “Mr. Kevin,” via the player below. Recorded live at the venue of the same name in Boulder, Colorado, the night before the trio would go into the studio to record their debut album Quiver, Old Main Chapel features seven tracks, including six of Miles’ original compositions, among which are longer versions of five tracks that would appear on Quiver.

Francis Wolff Photography Exhibition: Blue Note Records’ 85th Anniversary celebrations continue with the announcement of the new photography exhibition, The All Seeing Eye: Blue Note Records Through the Lens of Francis Wolff. This exhibition of candid photographs of Blue Note artists at work will be presented by The Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame and will open at the Boch Center in Boston, Massachusetts, on May 1.


New Albums

Raffi Garabedian, The Crazy Dog (self-released): The Crazy Dog is a suite of new chamber jazz music composed and arranged by tenor saxophonist Raffi Garabedian, drawing inspiration from letters written by his paternal grandparents, who fled the Armenian genocide during World War I, as well as his father’s historical fiction inspired by the family’s experience of settling near Boston. The illustrious cast includes clarinet maestro Ben Goldberg and vocalist Danielle Wertz.

Nicki Adams and Michael Eaton, The Transcendental (Steeplechase): Pianist Nicki Adams and saxophonist Michael Eaton push boundaries in original jazz and Third Stream music for a duo on their new collaborative album, The Transcendental. A follow-up to their Steeplechase debut, Paraphrase, The Transcendental features Adams and Eaton similarly looking to classical inspirations, finding them in impressionist harmonic color, twelve-tone abstraction and minimalist rhythmic repetition.

TRIAD, TRIAD (Ropeadope): TRIAD is a trio composed of Dominick Farinacci on trumpet, Michael Ward-Bergeman on accordion and Christian Tamburr on marimba drawing from a wide range of influences but finding common ground in their shared appreciation for melodic composition. While rooted in a classical approach, their self-titled debut album infuses their music with various styles from South America and New Orleans, presenting them freshly and innovatively.

One for All featuring George Coleman, Big George (Smoke Sessions): Eric Alexander, Jim Rotondi, Steve Davis, David Hazeltine, John Webber and Joe Farnsworth reunite as the hard-bop supergroup, One for All. Big George marks their much-anticipated first release in seven years and this time around, the group invited special guest tenor saxophone legend George Coleman for the proceedings.


Live Music and Festival News

Herbie Hancock Returns to NJPAC on September 29: Jazz legend Herbie Hancock will return to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) for a special one-night-only concert performance on September 19. Tickets here. The event will mark the first time Hancock has appeared at NJPAC since 2017 when he performed with the Wayne Shorter Quartet as a special guest.

JazzAscona Celebrates 40th Anniversary: JazzAscona will celebrate its 40th anniversary edition from June 20-29 in Ascona, Switzerland. The important milestone will be marked by a significant artistic program and the largest street art exhibition dedicated to jazz ever organized so far. The festival will be entirely free for the third consecutive year and will offer no less than 300 concerts, spread out throughout the territory. Artists scheduled to perform include the Tremé Lafitte Brass Band, singer Meschya Lake, the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO) and many more. NOJO will also be awarded the 2024 Ascona Jazz Award for its great contribution to the artistic development of the festival in recent years and to the realization of the official twinning between Ascona and New Orleans. More here.

New Jazz Cruise Announced: Jazz Cruises LLC has announced a new program, Journey of Jazz ’25, a seven-day jazz cruise that will sail from Vancouver and end in Los Angeles. Journey of Jazz ’25 will be sailing on the Celebrity Summit on September 12-19 and will be hosted by Marcus Miller and Gregory Porter. A partial list of headliners and special guests has been announced, including Dee Dee Bridgewater, Chucho Valdes, Ron Carter, Ravi Coltrane and more. More here.

Django á Gogo Music Festival, May 1-4: Guitarist, composer and musical director Stephane Wrembel has announced this year’s edition of Django á Gogo Music Festival, scheduled to take place from May 1-4 at The Woodland in Maplewood, New Jersey, and culminating at The Town Hall in New York City. The festival celebrates the legacy of jazz guitarist and composer Django Reinhardt and will comprise four concerts, as well as a guitar camp, offering intensive instruction by esteemed performers. Performers will include Angelo Debarre, Serge Camps, Frank Anastasio, the artists behind the 1989 album Gypsy Guitars, making their first appearance in the United States. More here.

Dan Weiss Album Release Tour: Drummer/composer Dan Weiss will celebrate the release of his daring new album, Even Odds, with a six-city tour including stops in New York City, Toronto, Philadelphia and more on April 29-May 7. Click here for all upcoming tour dates. The tour will feature Weiss performing alongside members of his band from the new album, including alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón and pianist Matt Mitchell.

NEC Jazz Orchestra Celebrates Wayne Shorter, April 18: The NEC Jazz Orchestra will pay tribute to Wayne Shorter with High Life: The Music of Wayne Shorter, a special event taking place on April 18 at NEC’s Jordan Hall in Boston, Massachusetts. The concert will also be livestreamed worldwide. Special guest Carl Atkins, founding director of NEC’s Afro-American Studies and Jazz Departments, and NEC Jazz Studies Co-Chair Ken Schaphorst lead the orchestra in a program that includes live concert premieres of rarely heard arrangements by Shorter, premiere performances of new arrangements of works by Shorter and more. More here.


Featured photo courtesy of artist management.

Like this article? Get more when you subscribe.

Join Our Newsletter
Join thousands of other jazz enthusiasts and get new music, artists, album, events and more delivered to your inbox.

The Authoritative Voice in Jazz