May 27, 2022

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BIRDLAND Announces Programming Through May 22nd

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Below, you’ll find details on all jazz programming at Birdland Jazz Club and Birdland Theater running May 9 – May 22. Artists appearing at Birdland Jazz Club include Bill Charlap Trio and Solo, NYC All-City Latin Ensemble and the Fat Cats, Eliane Elias, and George Gee Orchestra.

Downstairs at Birdland Theater, you’ll find Mafalda Minnozzi, Kristen Lee Sergeant, The Royal Bopsters with special guest Sheila Jordan, Oz Noy with Ugonna Okegwo and Ray Marchica and Alexa Tarantino Quartet. Regular events include David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band, Frank Vignola’s Guitar Night, Birdland Big Band and Arturo O’Farrill & The Latin Jazz Ensemble.

May 9 (Monday) 8:30 PM – Birdland Theater
Mafalda Minnozzi
The 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 / Livestream Event, May 12 9:30
Bill Charlap Trio
One 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 Theater
David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band
Inspired 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 minimum


May 11 (Wednesday) 8:30 PM – Birdland Theater / Livestream Event
Frank Vignola’s Guitar Night
It’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 Theater
Kristen 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 Club
The Birdland Big Band
Every 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 Theater
The 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 Club
Bill Charlap Solo Piano
Bill 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 Club
NYC All-City Latin Ensemble and the Fat Cats
Many 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 minimum


May 15 (Sunday) 8:30 & 10:30 PM – Birdland Jazz Club
Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble
Pianist, 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 17-21 (Tuesday-Saturday) 7:00 & 9:30 PM (5/17-19); 8:30 & 10:30 PM (5/20-21) – Birdland Jazz Club
Eliane Elias
With over 2.2 million albums sold to date, Eliane Elias’ singular sound is one of the most unique and immediately recognizable in jazz. Elias blends her Brazilian roots and alluring voice with her instrumental jazz, classical and contemporary skills as a vocalist and pianist. The New York Times has described Elias’ live concert as “a celebration of the vitality of a culture overflowing with life and natural beauty” and JAZZIZ has called her “a citizen of the world” and “an artist beyond category.” Her most recent recording, MIRROR MIRROR (Candid, 2021) – a set of duets with Eliane and Chick Corea, and Eliane and Chucho Valdez – won the 2022 GRAMMY® Award for Best Latin Jazz Album. With her trio of bass master Marc Johnson (Bill Evans Trio) and drummer Rafael Barata (Ivan Lins), she will interpret the music on MIRROR MIRROR for audiences at Birdland.
$40 tables / $30 bar + $20 food/drink minimum

May 18 (Wednesday) 5:30 PM – Birdland Theater
David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band
Inspired 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 minimum

May 18 (Wednesday) 8:30 PM – Birdland Theater / Livestream Event
Frank Vignola’s Guitar Night
It’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 19 (Thursday) 8:30 PM – Birdland Theater
Oz Noy, Ugonna Okegwo, & Ray Marchica: “Riverside” CD Release
When the pandemic hit, musicians tried to find ways to get together safely and play. On Manhattan’s upper west side, three jazz musician neighbors-virtuoso jazz fusion guitarist Oz Noy, ultra-swinging bassist Ugonna Okegwo, and consummate percussionist Ray Marchica-beginning playing twice or three-times weekly in Riverside Park, safely distanced and not taking any money from the regulars that would stand and listen. After five months of this healing ritual, Noy, Marchica, and Okegwo decided to enter the studio and record an album. The result is Riverside, a charming collection of standard jazz repertoire that reflects the trio’s collective sense of relief and relaxation that they created together in an otherwise disorienting time.
$30 tables / $20 bar + $20 food/drink minimum

May 20 (Friday) 5:00 PM – Birdland Jazz Club
The Birdland Big Band
Every 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 20-22 (Friday-Sunday) 7:00 & 9:30 PM – Birdland Theater
Alexa Tarantino Quartet
A talented woodwind artist with a serious output of music, Alexa Tarantino has been praised by Wynton Marsalis as “an indomitable force for expression…and absolute excellence.” Tarantino has been a frequent hire for Marsalis’s Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra; given her command of her multiple instruments (saxophones, flute, and clarinet) and her sense of poise as a soloist within a band, it’s no surprise. Over the past three years she has released three full-length recordings: Firefly (2021), Clarity (2020), and Winds of Change (2019), all on Posi-Tone Records. A Rising Star for Alto Saxophone in DownBeat Magazine‘s 2020 and 2021 Critics Polls, and named one of the Top 5 Alto Saxophonists of 2019 by the JazzTimes Critics’ Poll, Tarantino’s joyful playing has led her to such prestigious venues as Umbria Jazz Festival, Jazz in Marciac Festival, the Kennedy Center, and the Hollywood Bowl.
$30 tables / $20 bar + $20 food/drink minimum

May 22 (Sunday) 5:30 PM – Birdland Jazz Club
George Gee Orchestra
After conducting a 1979 radio interview with the legendary William “Count” Basie, George Gee determined he would one day lead his own big band. Now, with nearly 40 years experience as a conductor and 20 years leading weekly shows in Times Square’s SWING46, Gee’s swing band dreams have blossomed wildly, and he leads what is perhaps New York’s most popular swing dance orchestra. Inspired by the styles of Basie, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Lionel Hampton, and Benny Goodman, Gee-a native New Yorker-began leading his big band in the Big Apple right when swing dancing was revived as an international sensation among young audiences. And-bringing New York’s best musicians along for a stomping-good time-he has been a hit ever since.
$30 tables / $30 bar + $20 food/drink minimum


May 22 (Sunday) 8:30 & 10:30 PM – Birdland Jazz Club
Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble
Pianist, 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

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