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What’s Coming Up At Birdland: Jazz Programming May 17

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Get full details for Jazz programming coming up at Birdland Jazz Club and Birdland Theater, May 17 – May 29:

Artists appearing at Birdland Jazz Club include Eliane Elias, George Gee Orchestra, The Tierney Sutton Band and Robert Edwards Big Band.

Downstairs at Birdland Theater, you’ll find Oz Noy with Ugonna Okegwo and Ray Marchica, Alexa Tarantino Quartet, the Bill O’Connell Quartet with Craig Handy, Aaron Diehl & David Wong and Dezron Douglas 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.

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

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) 5:30 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

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

May 24-28 (Tuesday-Saturday) 7:00 & 9:30 PM (5/24-6); 8:30 & 10:30 PM (5/27-8) – Birdland Jazz Club / Livestream Event, Thursday May 26

Hailed by The New York Times as “a serious jazz artist who takes the whole enterprise to another level,” Tierney Sutton is an 8-time Grammy nominee, receiving 7 consecutive “Best Jazz Vocal Album” nominations for each project she has released in the last decade. With a recording and touring history spanning over 20 years and 9 CDs, The Tierney Sutton Band is a true collaborative unit with a rich thematic discography that has addressed Americana (American Road, 2011); materialism (Desire, 2009); the pursuit of happiness (On The Other Side, 2007); the musical legacies of Frank Sinatra (Dancing in The Dark, 2003) and Bill Evans (Blue in Green, 2001); as well as scoring Clint Eastwood‘s Sully. In recent years, Sutton has headlined at The Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center and Jazz At Lincoln Center. Her latest recording, Paris Sessions II, which deepens her musical connection with now-husband Serge Merlaud, is due out in early May. Don’t miss this iconic group!
$40 tables / $30 bar + $20 food/drink minimum

May 25 (Wednesday) 5:30 PM – Birdland Theater

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 25 (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 26 (Thursday) 8:30 PM – Birdland Theater

Bill O’Connell Quartet feat Craig Handy

Bill O’Connell’s creative career in music has seen him performing with and writing for both straight-ahead jazz legends and Latin jazz all-stars. From Mongo Santamaria and Dave Valentin to Charles Fambrough and Nnenna Freelon, the talented O’Connell has appeared on nearly 100 recordings including nearly 20 of his own. Engagements with Sonny Rollins, Chet Baker, Gato Barbieri, Astrud Gilberto, and the Fort Apache Band have marked his star-studded life in music, as well four separate years winning the “Jazz Writer of the Year” award from SESAC. The pianist and composer brings a trio to Birdland to explore his flights of fancy across multiple musical worlds. $30 tables / $20 bar + $20 food/drink minimum

May 27 (Friday) 5:30 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 27-28 (Friday-Saturday) 7:00 & 9:30 PM – Birdland Theater

Aaron Diehl & David Wong Duo in the Theater

Pianist and composer Aaron Diehl mystifies listeners with his layered artistry. At once temporal and ethereal, his expression transforms the piano into an orchestral vessel in the spirit of beloved predecessors Ahmad Jamal, Erroll Garner and Jelly Roll Morton. He is joined here by bassist David Wong. Wong was born and raised in New York City, and is a graduate of the LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and the Performing Arts, where he developed his passion for music under the tutelage of tuba master Bob Stewart. This dynamic duo is sure to impress. $30 tables / $20 bar + $20 food/drink minimum

May 29 (Sunday) 5:30 PM – Birdland Jazz Club

Legendary bassist John Lee has called Robert Edwards “One of the future giants of the jazz trombone.” Educated at the prestigious Juilliard School, and an alumnus of the bands of Jimmy Heath, Claudio Roditi, Roy Hargrove, Christian McBride, and the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, Edwards has proved himself as a highly gifted voice in the upper echelons of the New York scene. “A wonderful trombonist,” says the great Steve Turre. Edwards’s debut on D Clef Records, Sound Business, features a stellar cast of young talent and the trombonist’s arrangements and compositions which range from clever to pensive, from twisting to expansive. For this engagement at Birdland Jazz Club, he assembles a full big band. Edwards plays Michael Rath trombones exclusively. $30 tables / $30 bar + $20 food/drink minimum


May 29 (Sunday) 7:00 & 9:30 PM – Birdland Theater

Dezron Douglas Quartet

Regarded as one of the foremost bassists of his generation, Dezron Douglas is a composer, bandleader, and educator whose presence in the bands of Pharoah Sanders, Ravi Coltrane, Cyrus Chestnut, David Murray, Louis Hayes, Enrico Rava, George Cables, Eric Reed, Mulgrew Miller, Benny Green, and Trey Anastasio have cemented his reputation as a star. As young man, Douglas was the protégé of the great saxophonist Jackie McLean. Now, recorded on over 100 albums, including 6 as a leader, Douglas is a full-fledged power of his own. He recently released Force Majeure with harpist Brandee Younger (International Anthem, 2020) and the solo bass record Meditations of Faith (2021), and sits on faculty at NYU Steinhardt School of Music. $30 tables / $20 bar + $20 food/drink minimum

May 29 (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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