The Soul Rebels, Louis Armstrong, Gregory Porter & 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.



Louis Armstrong House Museum Launches New Digital Guide: The Louis Armstrong House Museum has launched a new digital guide with rare photos, audio clips and videos. The new guide allows users to explore the home and work of the legendary musician virtually from anywhere. It also includes resources to enhance an in-person visit to the Armstrong House Museum, which is based out of Louis Armstrong’s former home in Queens, New York. Access the Bloomberg Connects app here.


The Soul Rebels in Sony’s 360 Reality Audio: The Soul Rebels have released two previously unreleased songs from their 2019 album, Poetry in Motion, mixed exclusively in Sony’s 360 Reality Audio. “Groove Train” and “Musica” are now available on Amazon Music Unlimited, Tidal, Deezer and In addition, The Soul Rebels have also shared their previously released music video for “Good Time” in Sony’s 360 Reality Audio. Watch it via the player below.


Jazz Power Initiative Launches Youth Workshop: Jazz Power Initiative‘s Open Studio is a series of free classes that aims to introduce young performers aged 10-17 to jazz and blues, activating their imagination and self-expression through song and dance. The series is led by pianist/composer/educator Eli Yamin and theater director/choreographer Mickey Davidson. Classes will take place on February 17-March 10 at United Palace in Washington Heights, New York City. Register here.


Andreas Brandis and Siggi Loch Establish Full Partnership for ACT: Andreas Brandis has joined ACT Music founder Siggi Loch as a full partner/shareholder. Brandis has had operational responsibilities for the label’s business side and has been the managing director of ACT’s live management division, Tambour Management, since 2015. The announcement comes as the label enters its 30th year, throughout which there will be various events and special releases.


Album Announcements

Avishai Cohen, Naked Truth (ECM): Avishai Cohen and his quartet with long-time comrades pianist Yonathan Avishai, bassist Barak Mori and drummer Ziv Ravitz return with a meditative and existential new album. Naked Truth, which takes the form of an extemporaneous suite, is described by the trumpeter/composer as a “two-year meditation” and will be released on February 25 via ECM. Pre-order it here.


Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Hero Trio, Animal Crossing (Whirlwind): Saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa reconvenes his Hero Trio with bassist François Moutin and drummer Rudy Royston on a new digital-only-EP, Animal Crossing, due out February 4. The new set comprises interpretations of unlikely additions to the canon, including a version of the theme tune from the popular title videogame and a take on George Michael’s iconic hit song, “Faith,” which you can hear via the player below.


The Matt Gordy Jazz Tonite Sextet, Be With Me (self-released): 40-year veteran Matt Gordy showcases his talents as a drummer, arranger and composer on his second album as a leader, Be With Me. This straight-ahead full-length comprises six standards and four original Gordy compositions performed with his Jazz Tonite Sextet and will be released on January 28. Pre-order it here.


David Benoit, A Midnight Rendezvous (Shanachie): Pianist David Benoit will release a new collection of timeless anthems, A Midnight Rendezvous, on February 18 via Shanachie. “I’m lucky to have had the opportunity to record over 40 albums and this recording best represents where I’m at as a composer, arranger and pianist,” he says via a press release. A Midnight Rendezvous also brings together his big band with labelmates Jeff Lorber, Eric Marienthal and more for the first time. Pre-order it here.


Live Music and Festival News

Gregory Porter Annual Valentine’s Day Concert at Kings Theatre: Gregory Porter will perform his annual Valentine’s Day Concert at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, New York, on February 12. The concert will also feature Kurt Elling and his Superblue band with guitarist Charlie Hunter, plus vocalist Samara Joy. Tickets here.


Arts for Art 2022 Winter Online Performances: New York City’s Arts for Art is releasing new online performances on Tuesdays and Thursdays in January, February and March. The series features Ingrid Laubrock, Ava Mendoza, Sam Newsome, Francisco Mora Catlett and more. A pay-what-you-can donation is required to view each video. All donations will go towards Arts for Art’s Artists & Friends fundraising campaign. More here.


Melissa Aldana Announces New Album and 2022 Tour Dates: Melissa Aldana will release her Blue Note debut album as a leader, 12 Stars, on March 4. Pre-order it here. The saxophonist/composer has also announced upcoming 2022 tour dates, including her first-ever headlining week at New York’s famed Village Vanguard on March 1-6. Check out all upcoming dates here.


2022 DCJazzPrix Application Launched: Applications for DC Jazz Festival’s annual international jazz band competition DCJazzPrix are now open. Entry fees are $25 per band and potential applicants will find guidelines and submission requirements HERE. “DCJazzPrix is designed to help launch and further promote the careers of emerging jazz ensembles who are committed to sustained and creative band development and performance opportunities,” said DC Jazz Festival CEO Sunny Sumter via a press release. Last year’s co-winners of DCJazzPrix were the Giveton Gelin Quintet and Dayramir Gonzalez & Habana enTRANCé.

Rockport Music Cancels January Concerts: Rockport Music has announced the cancellation of all remaining January concerts due to the current surge in COVID-19 cases. However, an official statement says that Rockport Music still plans to proceed with the HD broadcasts at the end of the month with reduced capacity. More here.


New England Conservatory Announces Spring 2022 Season: The New England Conservatory has announced its spring 2022 season, which will feature over 100 free events, including concerts, masterclasses, panels and workshops. Among them, centennial celebrations of Jaki Byard and Charles Mingus and residencies and masterclasses by such musical trailblazers as Dave Holland and Anna Webber. More here.


Tower of Power 2022 Spring Tour: Tower of Power have announced that they will celebrate their 50th-anniversary release, 50 Years of Funk & Soul: Live at the Fox Theater – Oakland, CA – June 2018, with a nationwide spring tour. This will be the legendary soul/funk/R&B band’s first major tour since the onset of COVID-19. Dates here.


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