Louis Armstrong, Kenny Barron, Brandon Lopez & 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.



United States Artists Announces 2023 USA Fellows: Chicago-based arts funding organization United States Artists has announced its 2023 USA Fellows in the following disciplines: Architecture & Design, Craft, Dance, Film, Media, Music, Theater & Performance, Traditional Arts, Visual Art, and Writing. Among the 45 recipients are four Music fellows: Abdu Ali, Arooj Aftab, Jlin and Eduardo Alegria. Each honoree will receive an unrestricted $50,000 cash award. More here.

Rare Louis Armstrong Performance on Ed Sullivan Show: A 1955 Louis Armstrong performance on The Ed Sullivan Show has been made available for the first time in several decades. Uploaded on the long-running variety series’ official YouTube channel, it features Satchmo and tenor/actor Robert Merrill performing a medley of “Vesti la Giubba” and “Honeysuckle Rose.” Watch it via the player below.

Take Me To the River Documentary on Streaming Platforms: Take Me To The River: New Orleans will be available to stream beginning February 3. Martin Shore’s documentary film celebrates the rich musical history, heritage, legacy and influence of New Orleans and Louisiana through live sessions with local artists. Its soundtrack features the GRAMMY-nominated song, “Stompin’ Ground.”

Grant Geissman on The JAZZIZ Podcast: Veteran guitarist Grant Geissman is the latest guest of our JAZZIZ Podcast series. The artist talks with us about his GRAMMY-nominated album BLOOZ and more in our podcast conversation, which you can listen to via the player below.


New and Upcoming Albums

Natsuki Tamura, Iyaho (self-released): Trumpeter/composer Natsuki Tamura adds new twists to the sixth unaccompanied solo album of his career, Iyaho, released last year. Recorded at home, the new album focuses on his enigmatic vocalizing and recent interest in homemade percussion, as well as his lyrical trumpet playing. “I never think about whether it is jazz or not,” Tamura says via a press release. “I just express the music that comes out of me.”

Seth McFarlane, Blue Skies (Verve/Republic): Seth McFarlane’s Blue Skies, released last year, is a 14-track collection of swinging tunes with modern big band jazz orchestrations by Andrew Cottee, performed by an all-star ensemble. This is the GRAMMY-nominated singer’s seventh album and it was recorded at the celebrated Abbey Road studios in London.

NYO Jazz, We’re Still Here (Platoon): Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Jazz Orchestra’s debut album, featuring artistic director/bandleader/trumpeter Sean Jones, includes Carnegie Hall-commissioned works by Miguel Zenón, Ayn Inserto, John Beasley, and Igmar Thomas, plus classics and contemporary songs. We’re Still Here, released in 2022, also features special guests Melissa Aldana and Wycliffe Gordon.

Kenny Barron, The Source (Artwork): On January 20, NEA Jazz Master Kenny Barron issued his first solo piano release since 1981. Relying solely on the music and the moment to guide his exploration, The Source finds Barron returning to four original compositions and five enduring tunes, creating new pathways through familiar forms.


Live Music and Festival News

World Music Institute Announces Spring/Summer 2023 Season: The World Music Institute has announced its Spring/Summer 2023 season, celebrating its 38th ear in New York City with 16 performances by artists from over a dozen countries. This season’s highlights include performances by Hermeto Pascoal, Vieux Farka Touré and Fatoumata Diawara, ADG7 and the 12th annual edition of the popular Dancing the Gods Indian dance festival. More here.

Highlights in Jazz 50th Anniversary Gala Concert, February 23: Highlights in Jazz returns to BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center for a festive 50th-anniversary gala concert on February 23. Jack Kleinsinger, the founder and producer of the highly regarded landmark jazz series, has put together an exciting, generation-crossing all-star concert lineup to mark the occasion. Taking to the BMCC stage will be Sheila Jordan, Gene Bertoncini, Russell Malone, Roni Ben-Hur, Jay Leonhart, Harvie S, Danny Gottlieb, Dylan Meek, Steve Frieder and special guests. More here.

Arts for Art Brandon Lopez Residency: Arts for Art presents a three-week residency for bassist Brandon Lopez, presented in partnership with 411 Kent. Kicking off on February 10, the residency will find Lopez performing at SHIFT in a trio with Tom Rainey and Hans Young Binter every Friday for three weeks in February, as well as performing the music of highly respected artists  Jessica Pavone, Michael Foster and Darius Jones in with a second band. More here.

Artists Confirmed for Nocturne Live 2023: The Nocturne Live concert series is set to return at The Great Court at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom, on June 2023. Gregory Porter, Emeli Sandé and Lighthouse Family’s Tunde Baiyewu are among the artists to have been confirmed for this year’s edition. Click here for the full Nocturne Live 2023 schedule.

Featured image courtesy of EdSullivan.com.

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