Jeff Lorber, Henry Threadgill, Kings Return & 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.



NJPAC Announces Milt Hinton Institute for Bass Educational Program Starting Summer 2024: The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) will host the Milt Hinton Institute for Studio Bass, a summer music education program for teens, in residence at Montclair State University in July 2024. The Hinton Institute is designed to support intermediate and advanced bass players ages 14 through 18, for a week of expert classes, performances, ensemble work, studio sessions, lectures, workshops and more. The camp will run from July 14-20 and registration will open December 16. More here.

Kings Return on Kings Return recently joined to help kick off the holiday season with a rendition of “Mary, Did You Know?,” which you can watch via the player below. The track is from the group’s newest Christmas EP, We Four Kings, which features new spins on favorites, like “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “Jingle Bell Rock” and more.

Johnny Lytle Vinyl Reissue: Craft Recordings and Jazz Dispensary will release the first-ever vinyl reissue of vibraphonist and composer Johnny Lytle’s 1972 soul-jazz album, People & Love, on February 16. The album will be reissued as part of Jazz Dispensary’s Top Shelf series and showcases Lytle’s talents, leading a stellar lineup of players including Daahoud Hadi on the electric piano and organ, Bob Crenshaw on the electric bass and harpist Betty Glamann on a stimulating program of originals and covers.

Jeff Lorber on the JAZZIZ Podcast: We recently shared our JAZZIZ Podcast conversation with GRAMMY-winning keyboardist, composer and bandleader Jeff Lorber, who recently released his new album, The Drop, via Shanachie Entertainment. Listen to it via the player below. Lorber joined us to talk about the record’s artistic statement, the evolution of his Jeff Lorber Fusion project over the years and more.


New Albums

Uriel Herman Quartet, Different Eyes (Ubuntu): Israeli pianist/composer Uriel Herman’s third album, Different Eyes, draws from his classical piano upbringing, jazz sensibility and mastery of complex Middle Eastern rhythms and melodies. The recording includes six original compositions and covers, and is described as an intimate portrait that begins in the artist’s childhood streets of Jerusalem and concludes with an interpretation of an Israeli lullaby dedicated to his son.

Jono Heyes, Beehive (Asphalt Tango): Global singer/songwriter Jono Heyes has curated an album and video project named Beehive, collaborating with international musicians to creatively reinterpret diverse global roots music. The album, helmed by studio engineer Jerry Boys, is complemented by a digital storybook containing track-specific inspirations, poems and whimsical tales authored by Jono Heyes himself.

Geof Bradfield, Richard D. Johnson, John Tate and Samuel Jewell, Our Heroes (AFAR): Saxophonist Geof Bradfield, pianist Richard D. Johnson, bassist John Tate and drummer Samuel Jewell pay tribute to a selection of adored musical idols through a collection of heartfelt originals on Our Heroes. “It’s important that listeners understand that this music is passed on from generation to generation,” says Johnson via a press release.

Joey Alexander, Continuance (Mack Avenue): Continuance is the seventh album by pianist Joey Alexander and his first recorded with his regular touring trio of bassist Kris Funn and drummer John Davis. Along with being augmented by guest trumpeter Theo Croker on four tracks, the album continues to spotlight Alexander’s evolving compositional prowess on a program primarily consisting of originals, plus a rendition of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me.”


Live Music and Festival News

BigEars 2024 Announces Fifth Performance of Henry Threadgill Music: In celebration of Henry Threadgill’s 70th birthday, The BigEars Festival is expanding its Henry Threadgill retrospective with an additional fifth performance. This special event will showcase an Air repertory band, including drummer Pheeroan AkLaff, bassist Hillard Greene, and Marty Ehrlich. Threadgill personally recommended Ehrlich to assume his role in the trio for this commemorative performance. The BigEars Festival is set to take place in Knoxville, Tennessee, on March 21-24, 2024. Click here to find out more about its Threagill celebration and full performance lineup.

Carnegie Hall Announces Weimar Festival: From January through May 2024, Carnegie Hall will present Fall of the Weimar Republic: Dancing on the Precipice, a citywide festival exploring Germany’s Weimar Republic of 1919-1933 through concerts and multidisciplinary events at more than 50 cultural and academic institutions across New York City. Among the artists and ensembles presented by the Hall as part of the festival lineup are The Cleveland Orchestra and Vienna Philharmonic, led by Carnegie Hall Perspectives artist Franz Welser-Möst, the National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Gianandrea Noseda, Ensemble Modern led by HK Gruber, The Hot Sardines with Alan Cumming, The Knights, Ute Lemper, Meow Meow, Jason Moran, and Max Raabe & Palast Orchester. More here.

JACK Quartet and Tyshawn Sorey “For Grachan Monchur III” U.S. Premiere at 92NY: The 92nd Street Y, New York will present the U.S. premiere of For Grachan Moncur III by JACK Quartet with Tyshawn Sorey, percussion on December 16. Following a world premiere at the Lucerne Festival in summer 2022, the work is in homage to Moncur, the late composer and trombonist, who had a major influence on Sorey’s musical development. This concert is under 90 minutes and will be performed without intermission Tickets here.

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts Announces New Venue: The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando, Florida, has announced the grand opening of its fifth venue, the Joyce & Hudson Green Room, to be known as “Judson’s Live.” The intimate music space will open on February 6 with a month of diverse programming that will create another space for live entertainment in Central Florida. Headliners for the grand opening performances include the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Joshua Redman, Michel Camilo and Keb’ Mo’. Tickets here.


Featured photo courtesy of Shanachie Entertainment.

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