Nat King Cole, Holiday Gift Guide 2022, Ahmad Jamal & 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.



Jazz Detective Launches with Previously Unreleased Ahmad Jamal Live Recordings: Producer Zev Feldman will launch his new imprint, Jazz Detective, on Record Store Day’s Black Friday (November 25) with the release of two previously-unreleased double-LP sets by master pianist Ahmad Jamal. The two volumes of Emerald City Nights: Live at the Penthouse capture spectacular performances, from 1963-1964 and 1965-1966 respectively, by the legendary pianist’s trio at the Penthouse in Seattle. The releases were produced by Feldman and supervised by Jamal himself, and will be released on vinyl with audio remastered from original tapes.

JAZZIZ Music Lovers: Holiday Gift Guide 2022: The holidays are almost here and we have created a special video to let you know about a few items we think that every music lover will enjoy for themselves or for their loved ones. Take a look at our special “Holiday Gift Guide 2022” video via the player below.

PJCE Announces Ryan Meagher As Its New Artistic Director: The Portland Jazz Composer Ensemble (PJCE) has announced the appointment of guitarist Ryan Meagher as its new Artistic Director. Meagher succeeds Douglas Detrick in the role, who led PJCE’s production of more ambitious, culturally-relevant programming, raising the profile of the organization and building a more diverse coalition of partners. Meagher’s work in this new role at PJCE begins immediately.

Capitol/UMe Unveils New Nat King Cole Holiday-Themed Visualizers: Capitol/UMe has unveiled new holiday-themed visualizers for two of Nat King Cole’s sentimental and most beloved festive season classics. One is for “Caroling, Caroling,” and you can watch it via the player below. The other is for the legendary vocalist’s rendition of “O Tannenbaum.”

Lucía Gutiérrez Rebolloso is the Winner of the 11th Annual Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition: Lucía Gutiérrez Rebelloso, a 21-year-old singer born in Veracruz, was announced as the winner of the 11th Annual Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition. The announcement of the winner of this year’s SASSY Award came at the conclusion of a star-studded, sold-out performance held last week on the NJPAC stage at Newark, New Jersey, hosted by WBGO Radio’s Gary Walker.


New and Upcoming Albums

Miguel Zenón, Música de las Americas (Miel): Miguel Zenón’s Musica De Las Americas features all-original music inspired by the history of the American continent, reflecting the dynamism and complexity of America’s indigenous cultures, their encounters with European colonists and the resulting historical implications. The album features the renowned saxophonist/composer’s longtime working quartet with pianist Luis Perdomo, bassist Hans Glawischnig and drummer Henry Cole, plus master percussionists from his native Puerto Rico.

Manel Fortià, Despertar (Segell Microscopi/Altafonte Distribution): Barcelona-born bassist Manel Fortià’s trio album is a collection of original compositions drawing on his profound musical experiences while living in New York City between 2016 and 2020. Despertar is a lyrical, musical self-portrait that touches on influences as varied as Charlie Haden, Maurice Ravel, Keith Jarrett and more, and is performed in a trio with Spanish pianist Marco Mezquida and the brilliant French drummer Raphaël Pannier.

Various Artists, Here It Is: A Tribute To Leonard Cohen (Blue Note): Blue Note Records has released a star-studded tribute album to much-missed legendary singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen. Here It Is produced by Larry Klein, his longtime friend, and presents stunning renditions of some of Cohen’s most profound songs, performed by guest vocalists Norah Jones, Iggy Pop, Gregory Porter, James Taylor, Luciana Souza and Peter Gabriel among others.

Dave Koz, Christmas Ballads (25th Anniversary Collection) (self-released): Saxophonist Dave Koz released Christmas Ballads, his eighth holiday-themed album, on September 23. Designed as a romantic side of the season, Christmas Ballads also finds the saxophonist joined by pianist David Benoit, trumpeter Rick Brand guitarist Peter White, the friends who have accompanied him on the road in the earliest years of his fabled Dave Koz & Friends Christmas Tour, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and holds the record as the longest-running, jazz-based Christmas tour.


Live Music and Festival News

NEC Presents Annual Gunther Schuller Legacy Concert, November 22: The Contemporary Musical Arts program of the New England Conservatory (NEC) will present its annual Gunther Schuller Legacy concert today (November 22) at the Jordan Hall. The annual concert honors the legacy of the visionary artist, who also serves at NEC’s President. This year’s theme is “Founding Family,” celebrating exceptional artists brought to NEC to teach and perform.

Smoke Jazz Club Presents 10th Annual Coltrane Festival: New York City’s Smoke Jazz Club will present its 10th Annual Coltrane Festival, “Countdown 2023,” on December 20, 2022-January 8, 2023. An annual homage to the trailblazing saxophonist/composer John Coltrane, this year’s edition of the festival will showcase some of today’s top saxophonists, in a program including performances by such artists as Melissa Aldana, Eric Alexander, George Coleman, Vincent Herring and Billy Harper. More here.

Blue Note New York Announces Partnership with WBGO: New York City’s Blue Note Jazz Club has announced a partnership with WBGO 88.3 FM for their Sunday brunch series. The series is titled WBGO Presents Brunch at The Blue Note. The one-year partnership will kick off with two weekends of performances from The World Famous Harlem Gospel Choir on November 13 and November 20. More here.

Ernie Haase & Signature Sound Announce A Jazzy Little Christmas Tour 2022 Dates: GRAMMY-nominated group Ernie Haase & Signature Sound have announced dates for their festive tour, A Jazzy Little Christmas Tour, which will be taking place throughout the month of December. Check out all tour dates here. The band, featuring a four-part harmony and a three-piece jazz band, will be performing a collection of festive favorites, holiday originals and sacred seasonal songs.

Jazz at Lincoln Center Jack Rudin Jazz Championship, January 14-15: Jazz at Lincoln Center has announced the third annual Jack Rudin Jazz Championship, a two-day invitational competition featuring ensembles from ten of the most well-regarded university jazz programs in the United States. The competition will take place on January 14-15, 2023, throughout the Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of the Jazz at Lincoln Center. Tickets here.


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