Stevie Wonder, Jane Ira Bloom, John Coltrane: 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.


John Coltrane Listening Party at Jazz at Lincoln Center: On April 3, New York City’s Jazz at Lincoln Center will host a free John Coltrane listening session. During the session, a panel of experts and enthusiasts will play selections and display historical images from the new Coltrane ’58: The Prestige Recordings box-set and engage in a discussion filled with musical revelations and historical insights. Coltrane ’58 is out now on CD and digital, and will be released on vinyl on April 26 via Craft Recordings. The collection features all 37 tracks Coltrane recorded as a leader or co-leader for the independent Prestige label in 1958, documenting the development of his signature “sheets of sound” improvisational style. Watch an unboxing video via the player below:

The Gig; Live Music & More

Baaba Maal to Perform in New York City for the First Time in Eight Years: Singer, guitarist and resonant voice for Africa Baaba Maal, whose voice soared in the Academy Award-winning soundtrack for Black Panther, will appear at New York City’s Town Hall on May 4. This will be Maal’s first performance in New York City in eight years. He will be accompanied by the Town Hall Ensemble, directed by trumpeter, composer, arranger and bandleader Steven Bernstein, augmented by members of Maal’s own band on African percussion and bass.

The Festival Circuit

Jane Ira Bloom at Yale Jazz Festival: Award-winning soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom will make her return to Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut for a performance with her quartet at the Yale Jazz Festival on April 12. She will be joined by longtime bandmates drummer Bobby Previte, keyboardist Dominic Fallacaro and bassist Cameron Brown for an evening of high wire improvisations on the groove, performing selections from her Like Silver, Live Song recording project.

Vermont Jazz Center Presents 2019 Solo Jazz Piano Fest: The Vermont Jazz Center (VJC) will present the 3rd Annual VJC Solo Jazz Piano Fest on the weekend of April 12-14. The festival celebrates the piano by demonstrating how some of the finest jazz pianists living today approach jazz classics and their creative originals, and the structure of the event emphasizes learning about the jazz piano idiom through narrative, educational masterclasses and performances. This year’s lineup features world-class headliners including NEA Jazz Master Joanne Brackeen, George Cables, Julius Rodriguez, Kenny Werner and regional artists to be announced.

Stevie Wonder to Headline British Summer Time Fest: Stevie Wonder will play a headline gig at the British Summer Time festival in London, U.K. The Motown legend will take to the stage at London’s Hyde Park with a show called “Song Party – A Celebration of Life, Love and Music” that will feature special guest Lionel Ritchie.

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah Presents 3rd Stretch Music Festival at New York’s Harlem Stage: Trumpeter, composer and producer Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah will curate and perform his final Stretch Music Festival under his three-year residency with New York’s Harlem Stage on April 9-12. The event is focused on liberating sound from antiquated belief systems that inhibit our ability to truly hear one another. It will include a free music workshop, free pop-up performance, conversations and such special guests as Saul Williams, The Logan Richardson Band and Freelance.

2019 Gotham Jazz Festival Lineup Announced: The Gotham Jazz Festival returns this year to the Players Club in Manhattan, New York City on April 28. The event is presented by Prohibition Productions and New York Hot Jazz Camp and is an all-day music festival featuring over a dozen of New York City’s best hot jazz, swing and blues bands. Artists scheduled to perform this year, among others, include High & Mighty Brass Band, Queen Ester and the Ben Paterson Trio, as well as the Sisterhood of Swing Seven, featuring Bria Skonberg, Camille Thurman, Emily Asher, Champian Fulton, Molly Ryan, Nicki Parrott and Shirazette Tinni.

Wadada Leo Smith Presents 3rd Annual CREATE Festival: Legendary composer-trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith presents the 3rd annual CREATE Festival, a two-day celebration of his inventive music that will take place at Firehouse 12 in New Haven, Connecticut, on April 6-7. This year’s edition will feature works from Smith’s latest release, Rosa Parks: Pure Love, along with World Premieres from upcoming works and a variety of compositions from throughout his acclaimed career, alongside an exhibition of Smith’s Ankhrasmation Symbolic Language Art-Scores in a special gallery at Firehouse 12.

New Release Cheat Sheet

Matthew Herbert Big Band, The State Between Us (Accidental Records)

British electronic musician Matthew Herbert is releasing a new album in response to Brexit today, the historic day on which the U.K. was originally scheduled to leave the European Union. The State Between Us features over 1000 musicians from across the European Union and was first unveiled in 2017 as a collaborative project celebrating artistic and musical collaboration across national borders. While the release of The State Between Us no longer coincides with Brexit, its 16-tracks offer space for reflection, considering what it means to be British.

Joshua Redman Quartet, Come What May (Nonesuch)

Come What May is saxophonist Joshua Redman’s first album with his longtime friends and colleagues pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Gregory Hutchinson. “They’re some of my favorite musicians in the world,” Redman recently said of them in Denver’s Westword newspaper. “We’ve played so much over the years and have been on the road so much, on and off the bandstand, there’s just that sort of camaraderie and friendship and genuine love for and understanding of each other that, for me, [is] the ideal situation for making music.” The four have, in fact, been touring together internationally for several years and have released two albums: Beyond (2000) and Passage of Time (2001). For Come What May, the quartet recorded seven Redman hard bop originals.

Various artists, Nigeria 70: No Wahala (Strut Records)

As part of their 20th-anniversary celebrations, Strut Records present today the fourth volume in their Nigeria 70 series, which is also the first volume in this pioneering series for over eight years. Nigeria 70 aims to bring together rare highlife, Afro-funk and juju from the ’70s and early ’80s. Compiled by collector and DJ Duncan Brooker, Nigeria 70: No Wahala is a new selection of tracks that are receiving their first international release outside of Nigeria and is out today on CD, 2xLP and digital formats.

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