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Vanguard Jazz Orchestra Live


Celebrating 54 Years of Monday Nights

February 10 ‑ February 17

Dick Oatts (lead alto)
Billy Drewes (alto)
Rich Perry (tenor)
Ralph Lalama (tenor)
Gary Smulyan (bari)

Nick Marchione (lead trumpet)
John Chudoba, Terell Stafford, Scott Wendholt

Marshall Gilkes (lead trombone)
Jason Jackson, Dion Tucker, Douglas Purviance (bass trombone)

Adam Birnbaum (piano)
David Wong (bass)
John Riley (drums)

The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra began its life as the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra in 1966.The world-famous Village Vanguard jazz club in New York City booked the newly formed band for three Monday nights that February. Those performances were wildly successful and the engagement was extended indefinitely. The Village Vanguard’s owner, Max Gordon, told Mel Lewis, “We’ll keep it going until it tapers off.” Over half a century and more than 2700 Monday nights later, it still hasn’t. The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra stands apart from all other modern ensembles of its kind and is still as strong and vital as ever.
Emmet Cohen Trio



February 18 - February 23

Emmet Cohen (piano)

Ron Carter (bass)

Evan Sherman (drums)

Cohen isn’t turning out cheetah fast melodic lines for the sake of flash, and he’s not overcompensating. His nimble touch, measured stride and warm harmonic vocabulary indicate he’s above any convoluted technical showmanship.
— Downbeat Magazine


February 25 - March 1

Cecile McLorin Salvant (vocals)

Alexa Tarantino (alto sax)

James Chirillo (guitar)

Sullivan Fortner (piano)

Keita Ogawa (percussion)

She sings clearly, with her full pitch range, from a pronounced low end to full and distinct high notes, used sparingly [...] Her voice clamps into each song, performing careful variations on pitch, stretching words but generally not scatting; her face conveys meaning, representing sorrow or serenity like a silent-movie actor.
— The New York Times
Bill Stewart Gretsch Drums

Bill Stewart Trio

March 3 - March 8

Walter Smith III (saxophone)

Vicente Archer (Bass)

Bill Stewart (drums)

Stewart’s efficiency and exceptional taste are everywhere, whether when he hits the drums with roiling emotion or when slows down to a relaxed pace. He is a drummer with big ears, who categorically makes his co-workers sound better.
— Jazz Trail
Peter Bernstein Playing Guitar

Photo by Jordi Suol

Peter Bernstein Quartet

March 10 - March 15

Peter Bernstein (guitar)

Sullivan Fortner (piano)

Doug Weiss (bass)

Joe Farnsworth (drums)

The jazz guitarist, among the most sought after in the New York area, has a feather-light touch, an encyclopedic knowledge of chords and the ability to play standards like he’s inventing them on the spot.
— The Los Angeles Daily News
Marcus Roberts Trio

Marcus Roberts Trio

March 17 - March 22

Marcus Roberts (piano)

Rodney Jordan (bass)

Jason Marsalis (drums)

Jazz paragon Marcus Roberts exemplifies sterling artistic integrity, creativity, and pure talent. A true innovator, he has received numerous commissioning awards from the likes of Jazz at Lincoln Center, Chamber Music America, and ASCAP. Wynton Marsalis call him "the genius of modern piano."  
The Bad Plus

Photo by Christopher Kayfield

The Bad Plus

March 24 - March 29

Reid Anderson (bass)

Orrin Evans (piano)

Dave King (drums)

Activate Infinity is the second album from The Bad Plus since pianist Orrin Evans joined the trio back in 2018. With their sights set on a new trajectory, combined with an abundance of spirit and creativity, the trio have produced one of their finest and most original albums to date. This is group music played with vibrant imagination and vigour. It’s real, deeply honest and personal. Their joy in music making together is clear and their vision is committed and democratic.
Donny McCaslin

Photo by Jimmy Fontaine

Donny McCaslin

March 31 - April 5

Donny McCaslin (saxophone)

Jason Lindner (piano)

Tim Lefebvre (Bass)

Zach Danziger (drums)

For more than two decades, protean saxist and composer Donny McCaslin has relentlessly expanded his musical purview in a variety of ensemble settings: as a sideman, as the pilot of his own diverse groups and, more recently, as a collaborator on the late Bowie's final album, Blackstar. That investment in genres outside of jazz is visible on the tenorist’s recent work.
— Time Out New York
Tom Harrell

Photo by Angela Harrell

Tom Harrell


April 7 - April 12

Tom Harrell (trumpet)

Mark Turner (saxophone)

Charles Altura (guitar)

Ugonna Okegwo (bass)

Johnathan Blake (drums)

A supreme trumpet/flugelhorn player, Tom Harrell has an endless flow of bubbling, intricate ideas conveyed with an almost serene delivery. His equal ability as a formidable post-bop composer remains in full flower on this melodic, sharply conceived music. From dangerous tear-ups to near abstract to conventional balladry, Harrell is a master."
— Mojo Magazine
Tom Harrell

Tom Harrell Quartet

April 14 - April 19

Tom Harrell (piano)

Danny Grissett (piano)

Ugonna Okegwo (bass)

Adam Cruz (drums)

A supreme trumpet/flugelhorn player, Tom Harrell has an endless flow of bubbling, intricate ideas conveyed with an almost serene delivery. His equal ability as a formidable post-bop composer remains in full flower on this melodic, sharply conceived music. From dangerous tear-ups to near abstract to conventional balladry, Harrell is a master.
— Mojo Magazine
John Zorn Portrait



April 19 -

John Zorn, sax

Julian Lage, guitar

Jorge Roeder, bass

Kenny Wollesen, drums

[In the 1990's] renegade composer and saxophonist John Zorn set out to redefine Jewish music with an ambitious set of pieces he called the "Masada Songbook." There are now over 200 pieces in the catalog, which take their inspiration from klezmer, Middle Eastern and classical music. In his original group, John Zorn played saxophone alongside a trumpeter, bass player and drummer. But the catalog was designed to be played by any group of instruments, and Zorn's discography has since expanded to include renditions by klezmer bands, jazz combos and vocalists.
Kris Davis

Photo by Calla Kessler

Kris Davis

Diatom Ribbons

April 21 - April 26

Tues & Wed

Kris Davis (piano), Val Jeanty (DJ, electronics), Trevor Dunn (bass), Terri Lyne Carrington (drums)

PLUS Thurs & Fri only

Tony Malaby, JD Allen (saxophone)

Sat & Sun

Nels Cline (guitar), Kris Davis (piano), Val Jeanty (DJ, electronics), Terri Lyne Carrington (drums)

Since moving to New York in the early 2000s, the pianist Kris Davis has released close to an album a year under her own name, rarely with the same group twice, while also becoming one of the most trusted side musicians in avant-garde jazz. Her signature style, based in miniature gestures, has a peculiar appeal: Rarely does such serrated, asymmetrical music — often diced up into odd time signatures, or improvised freely — feel this fun to listen to. Last year she tied for the top spot in the “Rising Star Artist” category in DownBeat magazine’s critics poll, a good gauge of who’s next in line. And she has stepped up her work as an impresario and educator: She recently formed a nonprofit organization, which now houses her record label, Pyroclastic Records, and this fall she took on a leadership position at Berklee College of Music’s new Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice. In all of these roles, Ms. Davis, 39, is fighting for fringe music, guiding it toward a more engaged — and maybe even accessible — future.
— The New York Times
Gerald Clayton

Photo by Devin Dehaven


April 28 - May 3

Marquis Hill (trumpet)

Immanuel Wilkins (saxophone)

Gerald Clayton (piano)

Matt Brewer (bass)

Eric Harland (drums)

Clayton is an artist who does not work in a vacuum.  Clayton is recognized by peers and public alike to hungrily seek opportunities which allow for creative musical exchanges with other artists. And he understands that any successful artistic venture requires listening as much as expressing, open-mindedness as well as respect for the input of others.  It requires leadership and, most importantly, demands a shared love for the art form and each other.  Clayton understands that these are the conditions that create a forum for something truly magical to emerge.