Mary Halvorson In November

November 13, 2009

Photo by Peter Gannushkin

Fresh off a successful European duo tour with Jessica Pavone that ended earlier in the month, guitarist/composer Mary Halvorson is only playing a few gigs in November with Crackleknob, Ellery Eskelin and Lisa Mezzacappa.

Next month things heat up again when she will play two gigs with her quintet, record the follow-up to her acclaimed debut, Dragon’s Head (Firehouse 12 Records), and head back to Europe for a week-long tour with her longstanding trio featuring John Hébert and Ches Smith.

11/15 :: Douglass Street Music Collective (Brooklyn, NY)

Ellery Eskelin
11/21 :: Cornelia Street Cafe (New York, NY)

Lisa Mezzacappa
11/22 :: Zebulon (Brooklyn, NY)

Mary Halvorson Quintet In Philly Tonight

September 11, 2009
Photo by Peter Gannushkin

Photo by Peter Gannushkin

Tonight, guitarist/composer Mary Halvorson and her newest group, the Mary Halvorson Quintet, will open Ars Nova Workshop‘s 10th anniversary season with a performance at the International House in Philadelphia.

The line-up for this concert will feature Jonathan Finlayson (trumpet), Jon Irabagon (alto saxophone), Trevor Dunn (bass) and Tomas Fujiwara (drums).

This will be one of only three performances this fall, with varying personnel due to scheduling conflicts, before the group goes into the studio to record the follow-up to Ms. Halvorson’s widely acclaimed debut, Dragon’s Head (Firehouse 12 Records).

She will also be performing this month with Matthew Welch’s Blarvuster on September 17th and 18th at The Kitchen in New York and with Ches Smith and These Arches on September 23rd at Barbès in Brooklyn.

Darcy James Argue To Host Brooklyn Big Band Bonanza October 19th

August 20, 2009
© 2009 Oliver Heisch/Moers Festival

© 2009 Oliver Heisch/Moers Festival

On Monday, October 19th, will present Brooklyn Big Band Bonanza, a celebration of innovative big bands organized by acclaimed composer Darcy James Argue, at The Bell House in Brooklyn. Performers will include Travis Sullivan’s Bjorkestra, Andrew Durkin’s Industrial Jazz Group and Argue’s own acclaimed 18-piece steampunk big band, Secret Society, which will headline the event. All three bands are led by composers working to reinvigorate the big band format for the 21st Century by integrating influences from a wide variety of other sounds and genres.

“Monday night has long been the traditional big band night in New York,” Argue explains, “so it seemed like it could be fun to take a Monday night at a rock club and use that for a non-traditional big band showcase. The Bjorkestra, the Industrial Jazz Group, and Secret Society represent three very distinct approaches to the project of re-imagining the classic jazz big band. But we’re all trying, in our own way, to engage with stuff that’s outside of the jazz tradition and make it our own, whether it’s by lovingly deconstructing songs like Björk’s ‘Hyperballad’, posing existential questions like ‘Should I Play in the Industrial Jazz Group or in Christina Aguilera’s Band?’ or juxtaposing Bernard Purdie grooves with bulería patterns.”

A native of Vancouver, and former member of the Montreal jazz scene, Argue moved to New York in 2003 after earning a Master’s Degree in Boston while studying with legendary composer Bob Brookmeyer. Since the debut of Secret Society in 2005, he has become one of the most visible and respected musicians in New York, as well as one of the jazz world’s most prolific and influential bloggers. His recent career highlights include the release of his widely celebrated debut, Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam Records), profiles in publications such as the New York Observer, Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal and the Village Voice, and three nominations in this year’s Jazz Journalists Association Awards.

The Bell House is located at 149 7th Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenues) in the Gowanus area of Park Slope in Brooklyn. Venue information is available at or by calling (718) 643-6510. Music will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 and will be available in advance online through TicketWeb.

Reminder: Wildlife CD Release Party Tonight At Barbes

July 17, 2009

The collective trio of bassist Joe Morris, saxophonist Petr Cancura and drummer Luther Gray will celebrate the release of their self-titled debut, Wildlife (AUM Fidelity), at Barbès tonight at 8:00 p.m.

The group will also perform at The Local 269 in Manhattan on Monday, August 10th.

Please see our street date post from earlier this week for samples of the positive reviews received by this trio so far.

Fay Victor in July

July 2, 2009


Photo by Jochem van Dijk

Fans of innovative jazz vocals will have two chances to see Fay Victor perform in New York this month, first in her new standards duo with guitarist Dom Minasi and later in the month with her longstanding flagship band, The Fay Victor Ensemble, which will release its second recording, The FreeSong Suite (Greene Avenue Music), in September.


July 2nd at 8:30 p.m.
Infrequent Seams presents:
Fay Victor/Dom Minasi Duo
Le Grand Dakar
Brooklyn, NY

July 15th at 10:00 p.m.
The Fay Victor Ensemble
The Stone
New York, NY

Reminder: Floriculture At Monkey Town 6/23

June 22, 2009
Photo by Joshua Ponte

Photo by Joshua Ponte

Keyboardist/composer Carl Maguire and his longstanding group Floriculture will celebrate the release of their second recording, Sided Silver Solid (Firehouse 12 Records), at Brooklyn’s Monkey Town on Tuesday, June 23rd at 8:00 p.m.

Reservations are recommended for this event, which will feature the band collaborating with visual artist, Joshua Ponte.

Floriculture, which has performed Maguire’s sophisticated compositions around New York since 2001, features Stephanie Griffin (viola), Oscar Noriega (clarinets), John Hébert (bass) and Dan Weiss (drums).

Harris Eisenstadt Performances In June

June 11, 2009
Photo by Peter Gannushkin

Photo by Peter Gannushkin

Drummer/composer Harris Eisenstadt is laying a bit low this month waiting for his first child to be born, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still a few gigs worth mentioning around New York, including a performance with Jessica Pavone‘s new name-challenged quartet and duets with Brahim Fribgane (in Howard Mandel’s ethnomusicology class at NYU) and Ellery Eskelin (as part of Jeremiah Cymerman’s Telluric Currents series).

Band Without a Name is the Name for Now
06/13: Jessica Pavone Presents @ Ibeam (Brooklyn, NY) 

Harris Eisenstadt/Brahim Fribgane Duo
06/15: New York University (New York, NY)

Harris Eisenstadt/Ellery Eskelin Duo
06/19: Telluric Currents Series @ Ibeam (Brooklyn, NY)