Julius Rodriguez, Tomasz Stanko, Louis Armstrong & 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.



New Julius Rodriguez Dual Single: Multi-instrumentalist and producer Julius Rodriguez has released dual singles from his forthcoming album, Evergreen, which will be released on June 14 via Verve Records. Rodriguez teams up with trumpeter Keyon Harrold for “Everlasting Love” and vocalist Georgia Anne Muldrow for “Champion’s Call.” Listen to them via the player below.

Previously Unreleased Tomasz Stanko Quartet Live Recording Out Soon: On June 21, ECM will release September Night, a previously unreleased 2004 concert recording of the Tomasz Stanko Quartet, recorded at the Muffathalle in Munich, Germany, with the guitarist alongside pianist Marcin Wasilewski, bassist Slawomir Kurkiewicz and drummer Michal Miskiewicz. An official press release describes September Night as “a fascinating document, capturing a developmental chapter in the group’s music: between the song forms of the Suspended Night repertoire and the improvised areas that the Polish players would explore on Lontano.”

Louis Armstrong Live at the BBC: On July 12, Verve Records will release Louis in London, documenting Louis Armstrong’s live performance at BBC Studios from July 2, 1968, just weeks after hitting the #1 spot on the U.K. charts with “What a Wonderful World.” The 13-track collection spans his groundbreaking career, from W.C. Handy’s “Ole Miss” to worldwide hits like “Mack the Knife.” Louis in London will be available on standard black and exclusive blue vinyl, plus CD and digital platforms. Watch Amstrong’s performance of “Hello, Dolly!” from the set via the player below.

MVD and Cherry Red Announce Jay Records Deal: MVD Entertainment has announced a new strategic partnership with Cherry Red Records to acquire distribution rights to Jay Records’ full physical catalog in perpetuity. Jay Records is a UK-based label specializing in theatrical recordings of some of the biggest classical and musical theater stars and composers, including Kurt Weill, Leonard Bernstein, Cole Porter, Liza Minnelli and more. The upcoming release schedule will include key titles on vinyl for the first time ever, as well as reissue CD packages and select new releases.

Lakecia Benjamin on Colbert: Lakecia Benjamin’s performance of “Commercial Breakdown” from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert has been shared online and you can watch it via the player below. The performance came at the close of Benjamin’s week-long stint with the show’s band and features special guests Angie Swan, Louis Cato and The Late Show Band. “Phoenix Reimagined” is included in Benjamin’s new album, Phoenix Reimagined, which will be released on July 12 via Ropeadope. Ahead of the album’s release, the saxophonist and composer has also dropped a double single, “Let Go (Live)” and “Phoenix Reimagined (Live),” featuring jazz greats Randy Brecker, John Scofield and Jeff “Tain” Watts.


New Albums

Edy Forey, Culture Today (So Soul): Culture Today marks the urban-jazz album debut by U.K. duo Edy Forey, formed by vocalist Edy Szewy and keyboardist Guilhem Forey. Offering songs that showcase high musicality and themes of personal depth, the album also features several noteworthy guest appearances by such esteemed artists as Snarky Puppy’s Michael League and Bob Reynolds, as well as Sharay Reed and Femi Koleoso.

Dan Pugach, Bianca: Music for Paws and Persistence (Outside In): Dan Pugach’s second album as a leader, Bianca: Music for Paws and Persistence, is a big band jazz project that finds its inspiration in animal rescue and is inspired by his own pitbull Bianca. For this work, Pugach was awarded the Charlie Parker Composition Prize and Manny Albam Commission for Big Band.

New Orleans Klezmer All Stars, Tipish (self-released): The New Orleans Klezmer All Stars, led by Glenn Hartman and Jonathan Feilich, showcase their unique blend of klezmer with early jazz and Dixieland influences on their first album in nearly a decade. Recorded at New Orleans’ Happyland Theater in November 2023 without isolation booths or overdubs, Tipish comprises seven original compositions and two reimagined traditionals and its lineup includes members of Galactic, Trombone Shorty, The Iguanas and Naughty Professors.

Michael Wolff, Mike Clark and Leon Lee Dorsey, A Letter To Bill Evans (Jazz Avenue 1): Pianist Michael Wolff, bassist Leon Lee Dorsey and drummer Mike Clark explore nine tunes from the Bill Evans repertoire through their unique, collective lens on their collaborative full-length, A Letter to Bill Evans. Showcasing three masterful musicians at work, this heartfelt tribute to the great pianist marks the seventh collaboration between Dorsey and Clark, and the second with Wolff.


Live Music and Festival News

Miller Theater Announces 2024-25 Season: New York’s Miller Theater, under the direction of Executive Director Melissa Smey, has announced its 2024-25 season, combining new and early music, as seen through its core series Composer Portraits, Early Music and Jazz, alongside Morningside Lights and Pop-Up Concerts. Jazz highlights will include Miguel Zenón’s premiere of Golden City (November 14, 2024), and performances by Luciana Souza with Chico Pinheira (October 5, 2024), the Billy Childs Quartet (February 8, 2025) and the Rudresh Mahanthappa Hero Trio (March 1, 2025). More here.

New Montreux Jazz Festival Series to Premiere at Tribeca: They All Came Out to Montreux is a new series telling the story of the Montreux Jazz Festival that will premiere at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival on June 7. The series, directed by Oliver Murray and executive produced by Quincy Jones, features dozens of concert performances and testimonies from several great artists who have graced the Montreux stages throughout the years.

Jon De Lucia Celebrates Dave Brubeck Octet in Concert: Saxophonist Jon De Lucia and his octet will perform a tribute to the David Brubeck Octet at the Wilton Library in Wilton, Connecticut, on June 15. Tickets here. The Brubeck Octet was formed in the 1940s at Mills College and granted Brubeck the opportunity to explore musical concepts like polytonality and odd meters for the first time. The concert at Wilton Library will see De Lucia and his octet bringing Brubeck’s most famous octet arrangements back to life for the first time since the 1950s.

Nicholas Payton on Tour: Trumpeter, keyboardist and composer Nicholas Payton is on the road this year and next with a variety of his own ensembles, as well as a featured headliner and integral part of the Bill Charlap Trio with Dee Dee Bridgewater. Check out all upcoming tour dates here. Payton’s latest album, Drip, finds him offering a new take on six previously recorded original compositions and was released in September 2023 on his own label, Paytone Records.

Nori Nina Simone Tribute Show at The 04 Center in Austin, Texas, July 13: Eclectic modern jazz band Nori will be curating and performing a Nina Simone tribute show at The 04 Center in Austin, Texas, on July 13. Tickets here. The concert will feature original compositions and selected arrangements from Simone’s celebrated catalog. Nori, fearuring Akina Adderley on vocals, Erik Telford on trumpet, Nick Litterski on keys, Aaron Allen on upright bass and Andy Beaudoin on drums, will also be accompanied by a nine-piece string band.


Featured photo by Atiba Jefferson.

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