The 92nd St Y presents JAZZ IN JULY 2017 - Will's New York Nite Life
The 92nd St Y presents JAZZ IN JULY 2017
Jazz In July
92nd Street Y (92Y)
1395 Lexington Avenue, (212) 415-5500
Tuesday July 18 through Thursday July 20, and
Tuesday July 25 through Thursday July 27
For over 30 years, this midsummer series was always one of the mainstay events for classic jazz. Lately, with the ever-shifting concert scene, Jazz in July has become an increasingly important part of New York’s overall musical lineup - and something that New York jazz fans look forward to all year long. Originally founded by NEA Jazz Master Dick Hyman, whose 90th birthday will be celebrated on the opening night this year (Tuesday July 18), the series originally focused on pre-modern jazz - New Orleans and Swing - but for the last dozen years it’s been run under the more modernizing influence of the brilliant Bill Charlap. (As an example of which, there’s an evening celebrating two of the great bebop composer-instrumentalists, Jimmy Heath, age 90, and Benny Golson, 88, on Wednesday July 19.)
I would eagerly recommend all six evenings, but if you want a hot tip, the two shows devoted to Broadway tunesmiths (Frank Loesser, Thursday July 20, and Cole Porter, Tuesday, July 25, especially with the wonderful Cecile McLorin Salvant as guest vocalist) always sell out first. And the shows offered in honor of the Great Men of jazz follow quickly behind, and this year I’m eagerly anticipating the celebrations of Art Tatum (with Harold Mabern and Aaron Diehl - combined with Mr. Charlap, that’s a lot of piano power, Wednesday July 26) and Louis Armstrong (with a particularly celestial brass lineup, Jon Faddis, Warren Vache, Brian Lynch, and John Allred, not to mention Ken Peplowski, Thursday July 27). In short, this year, every night looks like a winner.
(PS: the only bad news - Ottomanelli’s, on East 93rd St and Lexington Avenue, where I have dined before every 92Y concert for like forever, is now, alas, closed. Can anyone recommend some other presentable establishment with decent burgers in the 92Y area?)
Author: Will Friedwald
Will Friedwald writes about music and popular culture for THE WALL STREET JOURNAL & VANITY FAIR, and reviews current shows for THE OBSERVER and THE CITIVIEW NEW YORK. He also is the author of eight 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)