Monday, January 14, 2013

2013 NYC Winter Jazzfest

Catchy line spotted on the subway: shorter days mean longer nights. Interesting way of looking at it, since most people complain about the lack of sunlight and outdoor activities in the winter months (ski is all well and good, but not a city sport). The cure? Music!
While I was researching activities from my various sources (Time Out, Village Voice, The Skint, etc), I found out about the Winter Jazzfest. Later on I found on this festival has already been going on for 9 years. It’s grown to 6 venues and 70+ bands spanning two nights. The final tally for me was 1 evening, 5 venues, 2 bar drinks, 1 coffee break, 3 complete performances, and a hand full of partial performances.

Favorite Performance

Gregory Porter (at Le Poisson Rouge)

Favorite Venue

Le Poisson Rouge: I was here most of the evening. Many friends recommended this venue and I finally checked it out. The fish tank at the entrance is still a bit weird for me but the performance space is excellent. The gallery room is a good place to take a break too.
photo 1

Other Venues

The Bitter End: Small venue with giant mural with legends on the left and photos of music greats on the right.

Sullivan Hall: I didn’t note the surroundings but I was within 5 rows of the band.
photo 2

Bowery Electric: This venue was a bit far from the action (the other 5 venues are within block of each other). I did like the “cave” nook they set up for the performer though.
photo 3

Culture Project Theater: Not a bar obviously. Can come back to check out the performances.
photo 4
Zinc Bar: This is the only venue I didn’t get to visit.

List of Performance I Saw (* ones I particularly liked)

  • Pedrito Martinez
  • The Big Picture featuring David Krakauer
  • Ari Hoenig Group*
  • 40Twenty feat. Vinnie Sperazza
  • Tony Malaby Tuba Trio
  • James Carter Organ Trio*
  • Gregory Porter*
  • Bugge 'n Friends with Erik Truffaz, Ilhan Ersahin, Joaquin 'Joe' Claussell

Tips for next year and beyond

  • Wear comfortable shoes.
  • Don’t wear huge jackets.
  • Take drink breaks (this includes coffee, water, soda, etc)
  • Be open to hear new things, but feel free to venue hop
  • Sit and relax once in a while. This is of course only possible in Le Poisson Rouge (in the gallery room there are some benches and seating) and Culture Project (theater has seats).
  • Bookmark venues in your map app so you can look them up quickly if you venue-hop. The official program (paper copy) also has a small map which is handy. Why wasn’t it on the website?
  • Check official twitter page for updates.
  • Support the bands and have a great time!


official site
online jazz radio

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