Sunday, January 11, 2015

NYC winter jazzfest 2015

NYC Winter Jazzfest took place across several venues during Jan 8-10, 2015. On Jan 10, I braved the cold to choose my own adventure down in the village. This year there were 10 venues and 100+ bands which made itineraries and combinations a tricky affair. I tried the best I can to fit in different bands and different venues. Clearly, I can't seem to just sit still in one or two places (which would make things much easier logistically).  

The Prep

Prior to the weekend, I browsed through the bands' albums on the Winter Jazzfest itunes playlist. There I found I really enjoyed listening to Hadar Noiberg (I play the flute so always looking for flute performances) and marked her appearance on my prep list. I also think it's interesting to read through the personnel listing to find out what instruments / people are listed for the different groups. 

Check-in and Stop 1 - Piano

The check-in at the Judson Church was wrapped around two street block corners. I was in no mood to stand in line in the brutal, wind-chilled evening so opted to take my chances at the secondary check-in site at Subculture. Luckily, there was no line and I caught the end of a performance and grabbed a Crisp beer. While taking a break between acts, I took the opportunity to review the official program (paper is better than mobile phone) and mark up bands/venues with a small highlighter. Some of it is purely logistics (trying to make my way across the different venues) while others feature bands/instruments that I'm interested in (flute, cello, trumpet, etc). I also bookmarked the crowd report site which gave an indication of the space capacity at various venues every 15 minutes. 

Alfredo Rodriguez Trio (band link)
I really enjoyed the ballad piece called veinte anos (20 years).  

Stop 2 - Electric Cello Hip Hop

Dana Leong Trio (band link)
I wish I had seen more of this performance. Very good crowd energy and really, what beats electric cello hip hop? have to look into more of their shows.

Stop 3 - Flute Melodies 

Now I know why there was a huge line last time I tried to go here. It's not a huge space and the immediate area next to the stage are sit-down seats/tables only (no standing). Luckily I got a seat not too far from the crowd and was able to enjoy the show. Very cozy space and good drinks, probably will come back for other shows.

Hadar Noiberg Trio (band link)
I enjoyed the piece called Persian love song. need to see what type of flute she has because it certainly sounded different. 

I ordered "the A train" with gin (with cucumber, lime, pimms, and white cranberry juice). 

Stop 4 - Sax Magic

Minetta Lane Theatre
Rudresh Mahanthappa's Bird Calls (Charlie Parker project)

Stop 5 - Dancin' Good Hearty Warm Jazz

David Ostwald's Louis Armstrong Eternity Band (David link) - they perform every Wed at Birdland!
I loved "Dream a little Dream", "Stardust" and really everything they played. The crowd loved them too.

of course after reading a bit more about them, I realized that the band does not always feature the same members. Listing some other performers and their site(s) so you can check them out too. I listed them according to order in pic above (left to right)

Clarinet/ Tenor Sax - Adrian Cunningham
Banjo / Guitar - Jared Engel
Trumpet - Bria Skonberg
Tuba/Lead - David Ostwald

Trombone - Dion Tucker (official site?)
Drums - Joe Saylor (official site?)

some other pics

previous Winter Jazzfest write-up [link]
look forward to the next winter jazzfest!

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