The New York City Winter Jazzfest brings the heat on Jan 13-17, 2016

By Matt Micucci

The 12th edition of the New York City Winter Jazzfest will run January 13-17. Plans for the Greenwich Village-based festival are heating up!

This year, the festival will feature more than 120 groups performing on 12 different stages. Featured headliners include saxophonist Kamasi Washington as well as The Bad Plus drummer David King, who will serve as the fest’s artist in residence.

The kick-off concert on January 13 celebrates collective creativity, featuring three leaderless groups from around the globe: The Ex, a Dutch ensemble that draws on punk, Ethiopian funk and improvised jazz; bassist Bill Laswell and low-reed specialist Colin Stetson in a duo setting; and Happy Apple, a Minneapolis-based band that will feature King, saxophonist Mike Lewis and bassist Erik Fratzke.

On January 14, Winter Jazzfest will welcome Washington and guests to Webster Hall. The Los Angeles-based saxophonist will energize audiences with material from his latest album, The Epic, which was released May 5 on Brainfeeder.

January 15-16 will then see the return of the festival’s signature Marathon, an event that straddles venues on the north and south ends of Greenwich Village. Some of the returning festival performers who will participate in the “marathon” are Amir Elsaffar, José James, Takuya Kuroda, Marc Cary, Lakecia Benjamin, Dawn of Midi, Cyrus Chestnut, Julian Lage and Sexmob.

The festival will then close on January 17 with a John Coltrane project by San Francisco Bay Area saxophone quartet Rova. It will feature an expansive cast of New York improvisers, including guitarist Nels Cline, harpist Zeena Parkins, trumpeter Nate Wooley, drummer Ikue Mori, bassist Trevor Dunn, drummer Gerald Cleaver and violinists Charles Burnham and Jason Kao Hwang.

Winter Jazzfest was established in 2005 with the goal of introducing underexposed artists to professional presenters attending the Arts Presenters Conference (APAP).

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