Herbie Hancock, GRAMMYs, Bill Frisell & 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.



2022 GRAMMY Winners Announced: The 2022 GRAMMY winners were announced on April 3 at an awards ceremony held in Las Vegas and hosted by Comedy Central’s Trevor Noah. Winners of the jazz categories include Chick Corea, Eliane Elias and the Christian McBride Big Band, among others. Elsewhere, Jon Batiste received recognition for his full-length We Are and as one of the composers of the original score for the animated feature Soul, while Arooj Aftab made history by becoming the first Pakistani-born artist to win a GRAMMY. Check out all winners here.


Herbie Hancock to Receive George Peabody Medal: Herbie Hancock will receive the George Peabody Medal for Outstanding Contribution to Music. This is the highest honor bestowed by the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. Hancock will receive the medal and address graduates during the Peabody Conservatory’s 2022 graduation ceremony on May 25. “It is a true honor to present this award to Herbie Hancock, a genuine icon of contemporary American music,” noted Peabody Dean Fred Bronstein. “His prolific artistic output as solo performer, recording artist and bandleader is remarkable, and its impact is magnified by his lifelong commitment to fostering connection among communities and understanding across cultures with his art.”


Omnivore to Reissue Final Bonnie Pointer Album: Omnivore Recordings will release the final album from R&B icon Bonnie Pointer, founding member of the Pointed Sisters, with three previously unissued tracks on April 8. Like a Picasso, Pointer’s overlooked full-length collaboration with songwriters/producers Lloyd Poe and Robin Taylor, was originally released in 2011. The newly remastered edition comes with new liner notes telling the story of how the material came about and why it deserves another shot. Pre-order Like a Picasso here.


Definitive Bill Frisell Autobiography Out Soon: A definitive biography on guitar master Bill Frisell will be released on May 24. The biography is titled Bill Frisell, Beautiful Dreamer: The Guitarist Who Changed the Sound of American Music and it was written by Philip Watson. Order it here. To mark the book’s release, a virtual conversation with Frisell and Watson will take place on May 22, and the guitarist will be performing a special book release concert on May 28 at Brooklyn’s Roulette.


Carol Sloane Celebrates 60th Anniversary as a Recording Artist with New Album and Documentary: Vocalist Carol Sloane will release her first album in over a decade, Live at Birdland, on April 8 via Club44 Records. The LP celebrates her 60th anniversary as a recording artist and features renditions of classics and lesser-known gems, performed at New York’s fabled jazz venue in 2019 with an all-star trio. A documentary feature profiling her career and the creation of his album is currently in production.


Blue Note Announces New Run of Classic Vinyl Reissue Sereis Titles: Blue Note Records has announced a new run of titles in its Classic Vinyl Reissue Series, continuing to explore the label’s eight-decade history presented by themes: Bebop, Hard Bop, Soul Jazz, Post-Bop, Avant-Garde, The 70s, The Rebirth, and Hidden Gems. The new run will begin on May 20 with the release of Ronnie Foster’s Two Headed Freap from 1972 and Brother Jack McDuff’s Moon Rappin’ from 1969. The series is curated by Don Was and Cem Kurosman.


Nick Finzer Releases His First Music Business Book: Outside In Music founder/CEO Nick Finzer has released his first music business book. Create, Connect, Repeat: Building an Artistic Business in the 21st Century offers creatives a blueprint to success that focuses on both creating and sharing. The goal of this book, remarks Finzer via a press release is to “show at artists at all stages of their career that the life that they want is within their reach by committing to the process and focusing less on the outcome. With a little bit of patience, creativity and persistence, it’s possible for any artist to build a sustainable artistic business today.” Order Create, Connect, Repeat here.


Album Announcements

Satoko Fujii and Joe Fonda, Thread of Light (SFR): Pianist Satoko Fujii and bassist Joe Fonda join forces to create powerful music together despite being on different sides of the globe on their unique duo collaboration, Thread of Light. Released on February 25, the album finds them employing a new creative process, the result of which sounds spontaneous, fresh and independent. Order it here.


Iwan VanHetten, Parabbean Tales (Blue Canoe): UK-based trumpeter/keyboardist/composer Iwan VanHetten combines Caribbean-influenced music with contemporary jazz and funk on his upcoming Blue Canoe debut, Parabbean Tales. Released on February 4, the album weaves a narrative of VanHetten’s childhood and expresses his love for his native music. Order it here.


Jean-Michel Plic, Alive – Live at Dièse Onze – Montréal (Justin Time): Multi-faceted pianist/composer Jean-Michel Plic is joined by bassist Rémi-Jean LeBlanc and drummer Jim Doxas on his Justin Time Records debut, Alive – Live at Dièse Onze – Montréal. Released on March 25, the album represents the immediacy of creativity, a state that LeBlanc described via a press release as “improvising musicians in their natural habitat, the jazz club, playing music for the sake of music, never repeating themselves and creating sounds that they will never replicate.” Order it here. 


Paulo Morello, Mulo Francel, Sven Faller, Living Is Easy, Mostly (GLM): Guitarist Paulo Morello, saxophonist Mulo Francel and bassist Sven Faller have released a collaborative full-length of original music, Living Is Easy, Mostly, on March 18. Together, this supergroup crafts an idiosyncratic sound from their wide-ranging individual experiences and influences, from South American influences harmonies to foxtrot grooves to German gypsy-jazz and beyond.


Live Music and Festival News

Jazz at Lincoln Center Charles Mingus Centennial Celebration: Jazz at Lincoln Center will present a week-long Charles Mingus Centennial Celebration on April 19-29. Six different ensembles will pay tribute to the vast range of the composer’s repertoire and musical influences in both the Rose Theater and Dizzy’s Club. The celebration will include performances by the Mingus Dynasty (Big band and Orchestra), as well as the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, led by trombonist Vincent Gardner. Check out all details and the full lineup here.


Chelsea Table + Stage and Jazz Foundation of America Concert Series This April: A special concert series will take place every Wednesday in April at New York’s Chelsea Table + Stage, in partnership with the Jazz Foundation of America. The series will benefit the JFA Musicians’ Fund, which provides financial assistance to musicians in crisis. It will feature the Russell Malone Quartet, Stefon Harris, Camille Thurman and Sullivan Fortner. More here.


NJPAC Celebrates International Jazz Day: The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) has announced a free musical celebration in honor of International Jazz Day on April 30. The event will feature performances by over 100 young New Jersey musicians with special guest Newark Mayor Ras Baraka. The free event will run at a limited capacity and reservations are required. Tickets here.


Joey Alexander U.S. Tour: Pianist/composer Joey Alexander is touring the U.S. in support of his Mack Avenue debut album, Origins. The tour kicked off this past weekend with a run of performances at New York’s Blue Note. Check out all upcoming dates here. Origin, due out May 20 is Alexander’s first album to feature entirely his own material and its music is performed with longtime collaborators Larry Grenadier and Kendrick Scott, plus special guests. Pre-order it here.


Initial Lineup for 18th Annual DC JazzFest Announced: The DC Jazz Festival has announced the initial lineup for the 18th annual DC JazzFest, which will take place on August 21-September 4. Featured artists include Christian McBride & Inside Straight, Cindy Blackman Santana Band, DCJF Artist-In-Residence Orrin Evans’ Captain Black Big Band, Dianne Reeves, The Baylor Project, Emmet Cohen and many more. More here.


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