Upcoming Jazz Music: BIRDLAND JAZZ CLUB AND THEATER (May 2-15, 2022)

Post image for Upcoming Jazz Music: BIRDLAND JAZZ CLUB AND THEATER (May 2-15, 2022)

by Tony Frankel on April 29, 2022

in Music,Theater-International,Theater-New York

WHERE THE RHYTHM SWOOPS AND SWIRLS,
THIS IS THE JAZZ CORNER OF THE WORLD

It amazes me how many of my NY friends haven’t been to Birdland Jazz Club on 44th near Times Square (I’m an L.A. boy and have been there more than they). It’s a must-visit for tourists and New Yorkers alike. There are two rooms: The one on top, the club, has the audience curved around the musical acts, sitting at classy tables. The food is astounding and, considering you are in a club, quite affordable. Downstairs at Birdland Theater, where the same fare is available, you will see the bigger bands — the powerful intimacy of both spaces is something to behold. Plus, four tickets and food are less than one ticket for many of the orchestra seats at a Broadway show.

Here is the upcoming schedule May 2-15, 2022. High on the list is the great Bill Charlap (whose dad, Moose, contributed to the songs from Broadway’s Peter Pan!) and David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band, a standard-rich ensemble that really makes you happy. But you can’t go wrong with any act.

May 2 (Monday) 8:30 PM – Birdland TheaterAnaïs Reno QuartetIn 2021, the young Anaïs Reno celebrated the release of her debut album, Lovesome Thing – Anaïs Reno Sings Ellington and Strayhorn, recorded at age 16 and backed by the lively Emmet Cohen Trio. The record reached #6 on the jazz charts and stayed in the top 10 for four weeks. Reno returns to Birdland now with her working band, a trio helmed by veteran pianist Pete Maliverni. Recipient of the Julie Wilson Award and the first prize in the Mabel Mercer Competition, Reno’s recent work includes a performance of “America The Beautiful” on national television for the Mets/Yankees game on September 11th, as well as an album of all Tadd Dameron songs recorded with renowned saxophonist Gary Smulyan, set for Fall 2022 release. At work on her second solo album, and looking forward to national tours over the rest of this year, the young Reno is developing a warm, swinging approach that delights audiences.$30 tables / $20 bar + $20 food/drink minimum

May 3-7 (Tuesday-Saturday) 7:00 & 9:30 PM (5/3-5); 8:30 & 10:30 PM (5/6-7) – Birdland Jazz ClubBill Charlap TrioOne of the world’s leading pianists for the past thirty years, Bill Charlap served for many years as Tony Bennett’s primary pianist, all the while leading his working trio with legendary drum/bass team Kenny Washington and Peter Washington to the heights of jazz honor. Nominated for a Grammy for the records Somewhere: The Songs of Leonard Bernstein and Live at the Village Vanguard, this trio’s communication is finely tuned, its energy boundless, its taste immaculate, and its repertoire expansive. Working together, these three gentleman of jazz are known for their telepathic connection, admirable restraint, and tight arrangements of standard material. They perform at Birdland for two consecutive weeks. Jazz fans will regret missing this band!$40 tables / $30 bar + $20 food/drink minimum

May 4 (Wednesday) 5:30 PM – Birdland TheaterDavid Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity BandInspired by the noble jazz pioneers Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke, Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton and their colleagues, David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band breathes life and passion into America’s own great art form. Now in its 18th year of residency at Birdland, the weekly post-workday engagement is the city’s best musical bargain! Tuba player David Ostwald leads a rotating lineup that features talents such as clarinetist Anat Cohen, trombonist/vocalist Wycliffe Gordon, pianist Ehud Asherie, drummer Marion Felder and more!$30 tables; $20 bar + $20 food/drink minimumMay 4 (Wednesday) 8:30 PM – Birdland Theater Livestream EventFrank Vignola’s Guitar NightIt’s the best jazz guitar lover’s show in the world.Frank Vignola’s virtuosity has made him the guitarist of choice for many of the world’s top musicians, including Ringo Starr, Madonna, Donald Fagen, Les Paul, the Boston and New York Pops, and more. Every Wednesday @ 8:30pm in the Birdland Theater, Frank leads “Frank Vignola’s Guitar Night at Birdland.” Inspired by journeyman jazz guitarist John Pisano’s now famous Los Angeles Guitar Night, “The Frank Vignola/Jimmy Bruno Quartet” featuring bassist Gary Mazzaroppi and drummer Vince Cherico, will perform tunes from the Standards repertoire + special guests: John DiMartino (4/6), Aaron Weinstein (4/13), Olli Soikkeli (4/20, Dave Stryker* (4/27), Martin Taylor (5/4). *The last Wednesday of the month is “Solo Guitar Night,” a Round-Robin of unaccompanied solo, duo, and trio guitar performances.$30 tables; $20 bar + $20 food/drink minimum
May 5 (Thursday) 8:30 PM – Birdland TheaterLauren Henderson QuartetA jazz singer with a truly sultry sound, Lauren Henderson fulfills the mission of the jazz tradition with her love of traditional forms and her forward-thinking approach. Henderson’s music runs the gamut—from the hip and highly swinging, to the funky 1970s, to contemporary pop soundscapes, and back again—within an album and sometimes within one song, and always retaining naturalness and ease. Praised by The New York Times and The Financial Times, and reaching the Top 5 of the Jazz Charts, the vocalist conjures late-night pictures with her stellar cast of jazz’s young stars as she sings her way through the African Diaspora, diving into her Panamanian, Montserratian, and Caribbean roots and her North American upbringing in such selections as “Todo Tiene Su Final,” “Alma Oscura,” and her arrangement of Amy Winehouse’s “Love Is a Losing Game.”$30 tables / $20 bar $20 food/drink minimum

May 6-8 (Friday-Sunday) 7:00 & 9:30 PM – Birdland TheaterSteve Slagle BandSaxophonist Steve Slagle is storyteller whose robust, unique melodies and open-hearted sound have endeared audiences since the mid-70s, when he began working with legendary forces such as Charlie Haden, Carla Bley, McCoy Tyner, the Mingus Big Band, and Ray Barretto. He has been a saxophonist of choice for the Joe Lovano Nonet, Milton Nascimiento, and even the Beastie Boys, in addition to leading over 20 solo recording projects. A true proponent of the jazz tradition, Slagle’s latest release, entitled Ballads: Into the Heart of It, features a swinging ensemble of his close compatriots, including Ugonna Okegwo, bass; Randy Brecker, trumpet; Bruce Barth, piano; and Jason Tiemann, drums. Brecker is replaced by Scott Wendholt for this weekend engagement at the Birdland Theater.$30 tables / $20 bar + $20 food/drink minimum

May 6 (Friday) 5:00 PM – Birdland Jazz ClubThe Birdland Big BandEvery Friday, and for two headlining weeks a year, the “BBB” roars into action playing a thrilling and original mix of jazz, funk, Brazilian, Latin and world music for sold-out audiences. Featured weekly guest artists drop in from television bands (David Letterman, Saturday Night Live) and pop music touring bands (Rob Thomas, Rod Stewart). Come see for yourself why Time Out New York called the BBB “A completely unique experience… there isn’t another band like this anywhere,” and why yelp.com proclaims, “If you hear one band in NYC make sure this is it… and prepare to be blown away!”$30 + $20 food/drink minimum

May 7 (Saturday) 5:30 PM – Birdland Jazz ClubBill Charlap Solo PianoBill Charlap has proven himself time and time again as a sensitive interpreter of popular song, a prolific artist whose collaborations with jazz legends—be it Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ron Carter, Houston Person, or his own trio of Kenny Washington and Peter Washington—are always highly satisfying. As a solo performer, he delivers similarly heartwarming renditions of classics from the Great American songbook, with deft fingers, flights of the imagination, and a passionate commitment to the tradition of piano. Twice Grammy-nominated, Charlap is an adored figure in jazz. His trio performs for two full weeks at Birdland this month, and on each Saturday, he will perform solo for one early evening set before joining his trio for another two sets.$40 tables / $30 bar + $20 food/drink minimum

May 8 (Sunday) 5:00 PM – Birdland Jazz ClubAndy Farber and his OrchestraAward-winning jazz composer, arranger, and saxophonist Andy Farber is one of the most in-demand artists of his generation. His eye-popping list of musical associates include Shirley Horn, Bobby Short, Joe Lovano, Joe Temperley, Regina Carter, Lee Konitz, Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Billy Stritch, and more. Last summer, he released his long-awaited new album Early Blue Evening on the Grammy-winning label Artist Share. Farber’s 17-piece big band speaks the foundational language of big band’s forebears — swing and the blues — in a decidedly contemporary dialect, navigating deft originals and newly arranged standards with a rare, elegant blend of verve and verisimilitude that is, at once, inspired by history but never bound by it.  Farber “doesn’t recreate specific existing charts or records,” writes noted author and music critic Will Friedwald,  “Nor does he slavishly strive to make everything sound as contemporary as possible. He has found a viable and exciting middle path, expanding the legacy of Duke and the Count, rather than strictly recreating their work.” $30 tables + $20 food/drink minimum

May 8 (Sunday) 8:30 & 10:30 PM – Birdland Jazz ClubArturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz EnsemblePianist, composer and educator Arturo O’Farrill—leader of the “first family of Afro-Cuban Jazz” (The New York Times)—leads the GRAMMY® award winning Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO), who bring together the drama of big band jazz, the culture of Latin music, and the virtuosity of eighteen of the world’s most accomplished solo musicians. Twelve years of critically-acclaimed performances internationally have firmly established the ALJO as the standard-bearer for creative interpretation of Latin jazz greats such as Tito Puente, Frank “Machito” Grillo, and Chico O’Farrill, as well as the driving force behind new commissions from Latin music’s most talented composers and arrangers.$30 + $20 food/drink minimum

May 9 (Monday) 8:30 PM – Birdland TheaterMafalda MinnozziThe Italian singer-songwriter Mafalda Minnozzi is an international sensation, having performed in over 1,000 concerts on 3 continents, released 18 CDs and 2 DVDs over 35 glorious years. Equipped with a purring voice and an unmatched imagination, Minnozzi has been utterly prolific, releasing 5 albums since the pandemic began and 2 documentary films. The first, SENSORIAL – Portraits in Bossa and Jazz, stayed on the Jazz Top 100 for 34 weeks straight. She followed that with April 2021’s To Naples – Port of the Soul, blending Brazilian and Italian rhythms and approaches; then, in June 2021, she released PRIMAVERA and ESTATE in September. In October, she released CINEMA CITY – Jazz Scenes From Italian Film, and in her performance at Birdland, entitled “FOTOGRAMMI – Scenes from Life and Music by Mafalda Minnozzi,” the songstress, backed by an all-star Brazilian ensemble, combines these latest projects into an enveloping narrative. The result is sure to be both universal and—as her intimate, sweetly-styled vocals always are—highly personal.$30 tables / $20 bar + $20 food/drink minimum

May 10-14 (Tuesday-Saturday) 7:00 & 9:30 PM (5/3-5); 8:30 & 10:30 PM (5/6-7) – Birdland Jazz Club / Live Stream Event (MBill Charlap TrioOne of the world’s leading pianists for the past thirty years, Bill Charlap served for many years as Tony Bennett’s primary pianist, all the while leading his working trio with legendary drum/bass team Kenny Washington and Peter Washington to the heights of jazz honor. Nominated for a Grammy for the records Somewhere: The Songs of Leonard Bernstein and Live at the Village Vanguard, this trio’s communication is finely tuned, its energy boundless, its taste immaculate, and its repertoire expansive. Working together, these three gentleman of jazz are known for their telepathic connection, admirable restraint, and tight arrangements of standard material. They perform at Birdland for two consecutive weeks. Jazz fans will regret missing this band!$40 tables / $30 bar + $20 food/drink minimum

May 11 (Wednesday) 5:30 PM – Birdland TheaterDavid Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity BandInspired by the noble jazz pioneers Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke, Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton and their colleagues, David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band breathes life and passion into America’s own great art form. Now in its 18th year of residency at Birdland, the weekly post-workday engagement is the city’s best musical bargain! Tuba player David Ostwald leads a rotating lineup that features talents such as clarinetist Anat Cohen, trombonist/vocalist Wycliffe Gordon, pianist Ehud Asherie, drummer Marion Felder and more!$30 tables; $20 bar + $20 food/drink minimumMay 11 (Wednesday) 8:30 PM – Birdland Theater Livestream EventFrank Vignola’s Guitar NightIt’s the best jazz guitar lover’s show in the world.Frank Vignola’s virtuosity has made him the guitarist of choice for many of the world’s top musicians, including Ringo Starr, Madonna, Donald Fagen, Les Paul, the Boston and New York Pops, and more. Every Wednesday @ 8:30pm in the Birdland Theater, Frank leads “Frank Vignola’s Guitar Night at Birdland.” Inspired by journeyman jazz guitarist John Pisano’s now famous Los Angeles Guitar Night, “The Frank Vignola/Jimmy Bruno Quartet” featuring bassist Gary Mazzaroppi and drummer Vince Cherico, will perform tunes from the Standards repertoire + special guests: John DiMartino (4/6), Aaron Weinstein (4/13), Olli Soikkeli (4/20, Dave Stryker* (4/27), Martin Taylor (5/4). *The last Wednesday of the month is “Solo Guitar Night,” a Round-Robin of unaccompanied solo, duo, and trio guitar performances.$30 tables; $20 bar + $20 food/drink minimum

May 12 (Thursday) 8:30 PM – Birdland TheaterKristen Lee Sergeant“From Greek myths to outer space, I hope to bring listeners on a rewarding and thoughtful journey in sound,” muses Kristen Lee Sergeant. “And I get to be their Virgil, stumbling down ahead of them.” The forward-thinking vocalist Sergeant writes music that swings, waltzes, and stumbles into high-concept song-cycles. On her just-released Falling (Tiger Turn, 2022), the artist adds a cellist into a traditional jazz ensemble of piano, bass, drums, and soprano saxophone. With her lyrics alternating between the prescient and the suave, the album is a testament to the many exciting possibilities that exist for an ambitious, thoughtful jazz artist today. Sergeant is joined by Ted Nash on soprano saxophone; Helen Sung, piano; a cellist to be announced; Hannah Marks on bass; and Jay Sawyer on drums.$30 tables / $20 bar $20 food/drink minimum

May 13 (Friday) 5:00 PM – Birdland Jazz ClubThe Birdland Big BandEvery Friday, and for two headlining weeks a year, the “BBB” roars into action playing a thrilling and original mix of jazz, funk, Brazilian, Latin and world music for sold-out audiences. Featured weekly guest artists drop in from television bands (David Letterman, Saturday Night Live) and pop music touring bands (Rob Thomas, Rod Stewart). Come see for yourself why Time Out New York called the BBB “A completely unique experience… there isn’t another band like this anywhere,” and why yelp.com proclaims, “If you hear one band in NYC make sure this is it… and prepare to be blown away!”$30 + $20 food/drink minimum

May 13-15 (Friday-Sunday) 7:00 & 9:30 PM – Birdland TheaterThe Royal Bopsters 10th Anniversary Celebration (with Special Guest Sheila Jordan, 5/14-15)“When it comes to group jazz singing and the art of vocalese,” writes JAZZIZ, “The Royal Bopsters are keepers of the flame.” After a decade delivering swift rhythmic turns in smart four-part harmony, this lovable crew of brilliant vocalists presents “The Royal Bopsters 10th Anniversary Celebration” at the Birdland Theater. Amy London, Jeanne O’Connor, Pete McGuinness, and Dylan Pramuk have always honored the legends of jazz singing—in particular, Lambert, Hendricks & Ross and Mark Murphy, who perfected the art of group singing and “vocalese,” or writing lyrics to famous jazz improvisations—and these formidable four are in prime form and gaining momentum! To celebrate their ten years together, they invite vocal legend and NEA Jazz Master Sheila Jordan to join them on Saturday and Sunday. The Bopsters were voted the #1 Jazz Vocal Group in the 2021 JazzTimes Expanded Critics’ Poll, and they were chosen as this year’s Jazz Artist Winner for the Bistro Awards. Their latest recording, Party of Four (Motéma Music, 2020) received a prestigious 4-star rating from DownBeat Magazine. Expect to walk away smiling.$30 tables / $20 bar + $20 food/drink minimum

May 14 (Saturday) 5:30 PM – Birdland Jazz ClubBill Charlap Solo PianoBill Charlap has proven himself time and time again as a sensitive interpreter of popular song, a prolific artist whose collaborations with jazz legends—be it Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ron Carter, Houston Person, or his own trio of Kenny Washington and Peter Washington—are always highly satisfying. As a solo performer, he delivers similarly heartwarming renditions of classics from the Great American songbook, with deft fingers, flights of the imagination, and a passionate commitment to the tradition of piano. Twice Grammy-nominated, Charlap is an adored figure in jazz. His trio performs for two full weeks at Birdland this month, and on each Saturday, he will perform solo for one early evening set before joining his trio for another two sets.$40 tables / $30 bar + $20 food/drink minimum

May 15 (Sunday) 5:30 PM – Birdland Jazz ClubNYC All-City Latin Ensemble and the Fat CatsMany know all about Birdland’s many-years-long Sunday night residency of Arturo O’Farill’s Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO). Lesser known, however, are the Fat Afro Latin Jazz Cats, or Fat Cats for short, a group founded by O’Farill in 2010 to bring together the most talented Latin-jazz-playing youth in NYC. Directed by O’Farill’s son Zach, ALJO trumpeter Jim Seeley, and ALJO bassist Bam Bam Rodríguez, the high-school-aged Latin jazz orchestra performs standards of both Latin jazz and swinging jazz. Its members regularly end up in top conservatories across the country, including New York City’s own Manhattan School of Music, upstate’s SUNY Purchase, Oberlin Conservatory, and New England Conservatory. See for yourself: a lively group of young devotees, the Fat Cats’ excellence goes far beyond their years.$30 tables / $30 bar + $20 food/drink minimumMay 15 (Sunday) 8:30 & 10:30 PM – Birdland Jazz ClubArturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz EnsemblePianist, composer and educator Arturo O’Farrill—leader of the “first family of Afro-Cuban Jazz” (The New York Times)—leads the GRAMMY® award winning Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO), who bring together the drama of big band jazz, the culture of Latin music, and the virtuosity of eighteen of the world’s most accomplished solo musicians. Twelve years of critically-acclaimed performances internationally have firmly established the ALJO as the standard-bearer for creative interpretation of Latin jazz greats such as Tito Puente, Frank “Machito” Grillo, and Chico O’Farrill, as well as the driving force behind new commissions from Latin music’s most talented composers and arrangers.$30 + $20 food/drink minimum

Comments on this entry are closed.