2018 Annual Winter Jazz Festival - New York City Article
2018 Winter JazzFest
For further info and tickets, please visit www.winterjazzfest.com
What I wrote for last year's edition is even more true for 2018:
This long running annual event is often described as a marathon, but it’s more like a long-distance smorgasbord, a mega-buffet of all the various styles and subdivisions included under the general umbrella of the term jazz. As it has been for a baker’s dozen years, the Winter Jazz Fest is centered in multiple venues mostly in the West Village and is timed to coincide with the annual Association of Performing Arts Presenters convention (which is mostly at the New York Hilton and other midtown environs). Dozens if not hundreds of bands and artists are all performing within a short walk from each other, and it’s all available for one reasonable price. This year, there’s a strong political motivation to a lot of the performances (don’t tell me you didn’t see that coming!) but overall it’s a highly equal-opportunity representation of the general state of the music at the start of the year. As always, I plan to spend most of my time at the Hot Jazz Festival Stage in the Django (at the Roxy Hotel in Tribeca) but there’s something for everyone on Friday and Saturday nights.
Some highly-recommended highlights of the 2018 edition:
An all-star tribute to the late and already much-missed pianist and composer Geri Allen (with Esperanza Spalding, Jack Dejohnette, Vijay Iyer, Angela Davis, Terri Lyne Carrington, and more, Jan 15).
Ravi Coltrane, whom one normally expects to hear celebrating the legacy of his father, the legendary John Coltrane, but instead playing the wonderful and overlooked music of his celebrated mother, Alice McLeod Coltrane, on January 14.
Other musicians whom we can’t get enough of: Terri Lynn Carrington, Fred Hirsch, Wadada Leo Smith, and too many others to name.
And again, just a few highlights of the two evenings of The New York Hot Jazz Festival Stage at ht: Ehud Asherie, the wonderful jazz vocal trio Duchess, Eddy Davis’s New Orleans Jazz Band (honoring the worthy composer Lil Hardin Armstrong), Stephane Wrembel, Jumaane Smith celebrating Three Guys Named Louis with Nancy Harms, Mike Sailor with Vuyo Sotashe, hot violin savant Aaron Weinstein, our favorite living blues singer Catherine Russell, Jason Prover’s Sneak Thievery Orchestra and guitar guru Matt Munisteri.
And we’re especially looking forward to Kat Edmonson (on at the Hot Jazz Festival Stage on Saturday January 13, also pictured here), whose forthcoming album Old Fashioned Gal is already clearly a winner, and it won’t even be out until April 27. (And whose attitude towards the subject of art and politics is rather refreshing as well.)
Author: Will Friedwald
Will Friedwald writes about music and popular culture for THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, VANITY FAIR and PLAYBOY magazine and reviews current shows for THE CITIVIEW NEW YORK. He also is the author of nine books, including the award-winning A BIOGRAPHICAL GUIDE TO THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP SINGERS, SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU, STARDUST MELODIES, TONY BENNETT: THE GOOD LIFE, LOONEY TUNES & MERRIE MELODIES, and JAZZ SINGING. He has written over 600 liner notes for compact discs, received ten Grammy nominations, and appears frequently on television and other documentaries. He is also a consultant and curator for Apple Music.
SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU - NEW REVISED EDITION (Chicago Review Press, May 2018)