Thundercat, Melissa Aldana, Robert Glasper & 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.



Robert Glasper on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah: Last week, Robert Glasper was interviewed on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and performed “Heaven’s Hare” on the show. Watch the interview via the player below. Glasper spoke to Noah about working on his forthcoming album, Black Radio III, which will be released on February 25 and we included in our list of new albums out this month (February 2022) that you need to know about. Pre-order the album HERE.


New Ronnie Scott Documentary Released: Ronnie’s, a new documentary on the life and times of saxophonist Ronnie Scott and his world-famous London jazz club, opened in select theaters and on-demand last week. The film is directed by Oliver Murray and offers a multidimensional view of Scott and the nightclub through interviews, archive footage, music and more, including unheard performances by some of the most iconic figures in musical history. Watch the trailer view the player below.


PJ Morton on Jimmy Kimmel Live!: Last week, PJ Morton performed his latest single, “Please Don’t Walk Away,” with his eight-piece ensemble on Jimmy Kimmel Live! The 2022 GRAMMY nominee is set to deliver a special hometown set at the New Orleans Jazz Fest on April 29 and has recently announced the first leg of his My Peace Tour, which begins next month. Tour dates here.


New ACT Music Live Albums Series: ACT Music is set to launch a new live album series on March 25. The Gallery Concerts is a series of live performances captured from the intimate setting of Berlin’s ACT Art Collection. Its first release documents a duo performance by saxophonist Jakob Manz and pianist Johanna Summer, two of the most respected players of the young German jazz scene and beyond. Pre-order it here.


Thundercat Makes Acting Debut on Star Wars Spin-Off Series: Thundercat made his acting debut in the fourth episode of the Star Wars spin-off series, The Book of Boba Fett. The bass virtuoso plays a body-modification artist with a robot hand in the fourth episode of the show, titled “The Gathering Storm.” The Book of Boba Fett is currently streaming on Disney+. 


Eiko Ishibashi Releases Drive My Car Soundtrack: Japanese musician/producer Eiko Ishibashi has digitally released her soundtrack to the Oscar-nominated film Drive My Car, directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi and based on Haruki Murakami’s short story of the same name. Listen to it via the player below. Ishibashi’s wistful score synthesizes jazzy instrumentals with romantic strings and lush electronics. This release of the soundtrack features new songs.


Album Announcements

Minino Garay, Speaking Tango (Sunnyside): On Speaking Tango, Argentinian-born, Paris-based percussionist Minino Garay utilizes poetry old and new to provide an essence of tango’s feel to his singular style of music, which blends jazz, tango and other diverse sounds. The album will be released on February 25 via Sunnyside and you can pre-order it HERE.


Keith LaMar and Albert Marquès, Freedom First (self-released): Cleveland-born poet/writer/activist Keith LaMar has collaborated with pianist/composer Catalan Marquès, writing and performing new material from a cell at the Ohio State Penitentiary, where he has spent over 28 years in solitary confinement on death row. Originating from a concert series that took place during the Black Lives Matter protests, his first album is titled Freedom First and also features an all-star cast of musicians performing new compositions and selected John Coltrane tunes. Freedom First is due out February 25 and proceeds from the sale will go to Justice for Keith LaMar. Pre-order it HERE.


Bob Stroger and The Headcutters, That’s My Name (Delmark): At 92 years old, Chicago blues veteran Bob Stroger joins forces with Brazil’s The Headcutters for his new album, That’s My Name. Due out February 18 via Delmark, That’s My Name features 13 tracks, including five originals by Stroger and versions of some of his favorite songs by Big Big Broonzy, Ma Rainey, Eddie Taylor, Jay McShann and others. Pre-order it here.


Hinda Hoffman Meets Soul Message, People (Know You Know): Vocalist Hinda Hoffman teams up with organ-led Chicago-based Soul Message Band for the first time on People, released on February 11. The record presents a program of soul-fueled jazz drawn from the vast corners of the American songbook, including well-worn standards and lesser-known gems ingeniously arranged by producer Dennis Carroll. Listen to People via the player blow.


Live Music and Festival News

“AfroCosmicMelatopia” Event Featuring Mwenso and the Shakes, Carnegie Hall, February 27: New Yorkers of all ages will take to the stage at a special upcoming Carnegie Hall event to showcase their original music, photography and poetry alongside Mwenso and the Shakes on February 27. The event, titled “AfroCosmicMelatopia,” presents works inspired by Afrofuturism and is one of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute’s contributions to the Hall’s Afrofuturism Festival, which takes place throughout February and March. Tickets here.

Photo by Oluwaseye Olusa.


Twelve Musicians Encounter Bertoia at Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas: The Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, Texas, will present “Sculpting Sound: Twelve Musicians Encounter Bertoia.” This is a series of six concerts bringing together twelve musicians to explore the expressive range of Harry Bertola’s sounding sculptures. The concerts will take place on February 22-27, and complement the exhibition “Harry Bertola: Sculpting Mid-Century Modern Life.” More here.


Melissa Aldana Upcoming Tour Dates: Saxophonist/composer Melissa Aldana has announced extensive upcoming tour dates across the U.S. and Europe. These include her first-ever headlining week at the famed Village Vanguard in New York City from March 1-6. Dates here. The Santiago-born, Brooklyn-based artist is set to release her Blue Note debut album, 12 Stars, on March 3. Pre-order it here.


Vincent Peirani and Emile Parisien Announce U.S. Tour: Accordionist Vincent Peirani and saxophonist Emile Parisien will be touring the U.S. this March in support of their 2020 album, Abrazo. Tour dates here. Rooted in the tango, Abrazo finds the French experimental duo reimagining the music of South American masters Astor Piazzolla, Tomás Gubitsch and Xavier Cugat, alongside two of their favorite artists, Kate Bush and Jelly Roll Morton. Listen to it via the player below.


Istanbul Jazz Festival Showcases “Young Jazz” on New Album: The Istanbul Jazz Festival recently released a new album showcasing five bands who participated in its Young Jazz series, which provides a platform for amateur and emerging musicians and ensembles in Turkey. The album, Genç Caz 21, was released with support from the Mehmet Uluğ Fund, initiated to honor the memory of Turkish music professional Mehmet Uluğ, who passed away in 2013. Listen to it via the player below.


Jazz at Lincoln Center Presents “Songs We Love,” March 3-19: Jazz at Lincoln Center’s “Songs We Love,” a touring celebration of the first 50 years of jazz, will take place in performing art centers and concert halls throughout the U.S. on March 3-19. Nine shows have been announced, under the direction of Riley Mulherkar and featuring an all-star band of some of New York’s rising stars. More here.


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