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Feb 032013
 

By J. R. Carroll

Alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón

For Miguel Zenón, Identities Are Interchangeable

 
Miguel Zenón and Catherine Russell digging deep into the Great Puerto Rican and African-American Songbooks, celebrations of Jimi Hendrix, Quincy Jones, and the Third Stream, and an impressive series of CD releases highlight the shortest month of the year.

Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix – Photo by Antonio Cambronero

If you’re up near the Merrimack Valley, catch the Fernando Huergo Quartet at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 5, at Methuen’s Sahara Club.

The main event on Tuesday, though, takes place at the Berklee Performance Center at 8:15 p.m. when the Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra celebrates the music of Jimi Hendrix with an evening of original arrangements.

Head over to the New England Conservatory’s Brown Hall on Wednesday, February 6, at 8 p.m. to hear pianist Anthony Coleman and the Damaged Quartet perform his composition “Seven Words.”

The Regattabar is the place to be on Thursday, February 7, at 7:30 p.m., for the long-awaited release of composer/pianist Pablo Ablanedo’s new CD, Recontradoble.

Then, at 10 p.m., dash over to the Lily Pad for a performance by balafon master Famoro Dioubate and his band Africa America.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of K–12 music education. The Camelia Latin Jazz Quintet hosts a fundraiser on Friday, February, at 7 p.m. at the Carpenters Center in Dorchester to benefit the Roger Clap Innovation School’s new music program.

Also on Friday and again on Saturday, February 9, the McCoy Tyner Quartet (featuring saxophonist Gary Bartz) pay a visit to the Regattabar at 7:30 and 10 p.m.

On the same two evenings, at 7:30 p.m., the Institute of Contemporary Art presents pianist Donal Fox and cellist Maya Beiser in a program of music from “Piazzolla to Bach.”

And on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, saxophonist Branford Marsalis brings his quartet of “MFs Playin’ Tunes” to Scullers, at 8 and 10 p.m.

Saturday, February 9, offers two events warming up for the following week’s holidays. At 7 p.m., the Acton Jazz Cafe gets ready for Carnaval with the Fernando Holz Band.

And at Arlington’s Regent Theatre, vocalist Rebecca Parris and her trio present their annual Valentine’s Day show at 8 p.m.

The acoustics of churches aren’t always that congenial to live jazz, but the chamber trio Tre Corda (trumpeter Greg Hopkins, cellist Eugene Friesen, and pianist Tim Ray) is a perfect match for Harvard, MA’s Unitarian Universalist Church, where they’ll be in concert at 4 p.m. on Sunday, February 10.

Why would anyone from Miami come to New Hampshire in February? Maybe it has to do with their name. The University of Miami’s Frost Jazz Sextet takes the snowbird route the other direction to Portsmouth’s Press Room at 6 p.m. on Sunday. (“Frost,” by the way, is actually the name of the university’s excellent school of music.)

Hussar Tribe describes its music as a mash-up of jazz, minimalism, videogame music, and Renaissance polyphony. Check them out at 8 p.m., also on Sunday, at Outpost 186.

It’s an especially Fat Tuesday in Cambridge when the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble teams with saxophonist Charles Neville on February 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the Regattabar.

There’ll also be a whole lot shakin’ at 8 p.m. at UMass–Amherst’s Bezanson Recital Hall when Blood Drum Spirit take the stage.

Guitarist Yuto Kanazawa and his band Earthwards launch their eponymous first CD at Scullers on Wednesday, February 13, at 8 p.m.

There’ll be plenty of the usual Valentine’s Day shows, but for something unique, at 8:30 p.m. the Berklee Performance Center will be the site of Terri Lyne Carrington’s release party for her new CD, Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue, which takes a fresh look at the singular match-up of Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, and Max Roach (though presumably without the brouhaha that attended that 1962 recording session).

At 8 and 10 p.m. on Friday, February 15, vocalist Catherine Russell once again digs deep into the Great African-American Songbook for a memorable evening at Scullers.

Also at 8 p.m., pianist Yoko Miwa and her trio will be joined by vocalist Rebecca Parris at Rockport’s Shalin Liu Performance Center (where, incidentally, Catherine Russell performed back in November).

The Kevin Harris Project, with guest saxophonist Greg Osby, release their new CD, Museum, Vol. 1 at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 16 at the Regattabar.

Then, make a quick dash across the Charles to Scullers for the 10 p.m. family reunion of the 3 Cohens and their sextet. (There’s also an earlier show at 8 p.m.)

Up north on Saturday at 8 p.m., Brattleboro’s Vermont Jazz Center breaks the chill with trumpeter Ray Vega and his NY Latin Quintet.

Heading east on Sunday, February 17, Jerry Sabatini’s Sonic Explorers find themselves in Portsmouth, NH at the Press Room at 6 p.m.

On Tuesday, February 19, the 40th anniversary festivities for the New England Conservatory’s Contemporary Improvisation department roll on with a special 8 p.m. program in Jordan Hall curated by Gunther Schuller and Tanya Kalmanovitch entitled “From Third Stream to Contemporary Improvisation.” A panel discussion at 6:15 p.m. precedes the concert.

At Ryles at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, February 20, the Claudio Ragazzi Quartet reunites the guitarist with longtime collaborators Nando Michelin on piano, Fernando Huergo on bass, and Franco Pinna on drums.

Drummer Adam Cruz is the guest of honor when the Berklee Global Jazz Ambassadors roll into the Berklee Performance Center at 8:15 p.m. on Thursday, February 21.

If you go to only one event this month, reserve Friday evening, February 22 on your calendar. At 8 p.m. in Jordan Hall, alto saxophonist, composer/arranger, and MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellow Miguel Zenón continues to probe the complexities and contradictions of the Puerto Rican experience in the multimedia presentation “Identities Are Changeable,” created in collaboration with video artist David Dempewolf. (Dempewolf also created the video segments for Jason Moran’s spectacular exploration of Thelonious Monk, “In My Mind,” which was one of last year’s most significant musical events.) For this occasion Zenón’s stellar quartet is joined by the ensemble forces of the NEC Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of leader Ken Schaphorst.

Afterwards, voyage upriver to Scullers for the 10 p.m. performance by drummer Antonio Sanchez. (There’s also an earlier show at 8 p.m.) If you can’t be there in person, and especially if you missed the earlier broadcasts by Regina Carter and Roberta Gambarini, tune in to WGBH, where Eric Jackson will host the 10 p.m. show live.

Saxophonist Paul Combs’ long-anticipated Dameronia, an exhaustive biographical study of the music of composer/arranger Tadd Dameron, was recently published by University of Michigan Press. (We’ll have a review here in the not-too-distant future.) Paul and his quintet will devote an entire evening to Dameron’s music on Saturday, February 23, at 8 p.m. at the Chelmsford Center for the Arts.

Berklee faculty and students celebrate the 80th birthday of Quincy Jones with a program of new arrangements at Berklee Performance Center at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 24.

Back at the BPC the following night, Monday, February 25, at 8:15 P.M. the Women of the World offer a multicultural perspective, both vocal and instrumental.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, February 26-27, at 7:30 and 10 p.m., guitarist Mike Stern comes to the Regattabar in the company of trumpeter Randy Brecker, bassist Anthony Jackson and drummer Dave Weckl, all of whom appeared on Stern’s 2012 CD, All Over the Place.

The pairing of vocalist Dominique Eade and pianist Ran Blake promises a very special evening at Scullers. The astute and inquisitive duo perform at 8 p.m.

For the final day of the month, you’ll have to flip a coin. At 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 28, the Regattabar hosts the Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet.

But at 8 p.m., Scullers features the Fred Hersch Trio.

Your choice, but either way its a good one. And that’s it for February—get out there and hear some of it, and tell them you read about it in the Arts Fuse.

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