By J. R. Carroll
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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).
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.