Kamasi Washington, Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny & 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.



Liberation Hall Announces a Trio of Archival Jazz Releases for May 17: Liberation Hall has announced a new batch of archival jazz releases, including The Cannonball Adderley Quintet’s Live in Montreal 1975, Dizzy Gillespie’s Soul & Salvation, and Cal Tjader’s Huracán. All albums will be released on vinyl and CD on May 17 via MVD Entertainment (U.S.A.) and Wienerworld (U.K.).

New Jimmy Buffett Song and Video Pay Tribute to New Orleans: Jimmy Buffett has released the music video for “University of Bourbon Street,” a standout track from his final album, Equal Strain on All Parts. The track features the legendary Preservation Jazz Hall Band and encapsulates the spirit of the city that left an indelible impact on Buffett. The music video, which you can watch via the player below, is described via a press release as “a time capsule, featuring clips of Jimmy Buffett in New Orleans from the 1970s to recent days, alongside studio footage of the recording session with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.”

Brooklyn Conservatory of Music Opens Applications For Jazz Leaders Fellowship: The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music (BKCM) officially launched the application period for its Jazz Leaders Fellowship. Now in its fourth year, the award program provides $12,500 and resources to Black women and Black non-binary jazz musicians, enabling them to hone their skills and pursue projects that advance their careers. The application deadline is May 15 and the winners will be announced in June. Last year’s award recipients were Miss Olithea and Melanie Charles. More here.

Kamasi Washington Album Announcement: Kamasi Washington released “Prologue,” a new track from Fearless Movement, his first album since 2018’s Heaven and Earth, which will be released on May 3 via Young. Watch its accompanying video via the player below. The new album will feature contributions from Thundercat, Terrace Martin, Patrice Quinn, flautist André 3000, vocalists George Clinton, BJ the Chicago Kid, and D Smoke, and others. Also, click here to check out Washington’s upcoming tour dates.


New Albums

Kaze, Unwritten (Circum/Libra): Cooperative international quartet Kaze features Japanese composer/pianist Satoko Fujii and trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, along with French trumpeter Christian Pruvost and drummer Peter Orins. Recorded in Lille, France, and released via Circum/Libra, Unwritten is their first completely improvised album in their 13-year history, showcasing the depth and connection of the musicians.

Julie Kelly, Freedom Jazz Dance (self-released): Julie Kelly, one of the most acclaimed vocalists on the West Coast, has released her ninth album, Freedom Jazz Dance, featuring Josh Nelson, who arranged all but one of its songs. The album is an eclectic collection of eleven lesser-done tunes, including jazz, pop and Brazilian standards, as well as one original composition.

Mike LeDonne, Wonderful (Cellar): Wonderful delves into the harmonious fusion of a gospel choir with the vibrant sounds of pianist and organist Mike LeDonne’s Groover Quartet, featuring tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander, guitarist Peter Bernstein, and drummer Joe Farnsworth. The album is enriched by special guests Vincent Herring on alto saxophone and percussionist Danny Sadownick, and its thematic focus on love serves as a heartfelt tribute to LeDonne’s wife and daughter.

Luke Carlos O’Reilly, Leave the Gate Open (Imani): Leave the Gate Open is the fourth full-length release and debut trio album by pianist, organist, composer, educator and producer Luke Carlos O’Reilly. Featuring a program of songs dedicated to the people who have been influential in his musical journey, the album showcases his chemistry with two rhythm sections, featuring bassists Vicente Archer and Matt Parrish, as well as drummers Little John Roberts and Jerome Jennings.


Live Music and Festival News

London’s Jazz Cafe Announces First Music Festival: London’s renowned jazz venue, Jazz Cafe, has announced its first-ever jazz festival. The Jazz Cafe Festival will take place in Burgess Park, South London, United Kingdom, on September 15. Some of the artists scheduled to perform have already been announced, including  Nils Frahm, Earl Sweatshirt, ELIZA, Crazy P Soundsystem, Gilles Peterson and many more. More here.

Herbie Hancock to Headline San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2024: The San Jose Jazz Summer Festival will take place across nine indoor and outdoor venues at Plaza de César Chávez in San Jose, California, from August 9-11. This year’s edition will be headlined by Herbie Hancock and is set to feature more than 80 artists. Maze Honoring Frankie Beverly, Cory Henry, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, The Family Stone and many more have also been announced as part of this year’s lineup. More here.

DC Jazz Festival Announces Initial Lineup for 20th Annual DC JazzFest: The DC Jazz Festival has announced the lineup for the 20th Annual DC JazzFest, which will include more than 80 concerts and programs citywide and take place on August 28-September 1. Featured artists will include Samara Joy, Stanley Clarke, Kenny Barron, Dianne Reeves, Bill Frisell, Emmet Cohen, Brandee Younger and many more. More here.

Pat Metheny at the 92nd Street Y, New York, April 7: Pat Metheny will perform a special concert at the 92nd Street Y, New York, on April 7. Tickets here. This will be his only New York City appearance on his current Dream Box solo tour, featuring personal and fan favorites from his nearly 50-year career. Metheny says via a press release, “[This] is something different for me – focused on the various ways of playing solo I have explored across all these decades, in an evening that I think will be very special.”

SMOKE Jazz Club Kickstarts 25th Anniversary Festivities with George Coleman, April 10-14: SMOKE Jazz Club will open its 25th anniversary celebrations with George Coleman and special guests on April 10-14. Tickets here. Coleman opened the doors to SMOKE in April 1999 and christened its newly renovated space post-pandemic in July 2022. Joining the NEA Jazz Master are several guests, including Joe Farnsworth, who also inaugurated the SMOKE stage 25 years ago.

Bryan Carter Jazz at Lincoln Center Performance Rescheduled: Due to unforeseen circumstances, Bryan Carter’s performance of “Rustin in Renaissance,” originally scheduled at Jazz at Lincoln’s Appel Room on March 15-16, has been rescheduled for October 18-19. The event will see Carter leading his Jazz at Pride Orchestra, performing his four-movement meditation on the legacy of singer and activist Bayard Rustin. More here.


Featured photo of Kamasi Washington by B+.

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