August 4th, 2014

Dear Friends:
Greetings from Paris!  I’m on my final couple of days here after a mini-tour with my trio (Ugonna Okegwo and Anthony Pinciotti).  We had four successful shows, two at the renown Duc Des Lombards (my thanks to Sebastien Vidal for his hospitality) and two at a very local spot called “Le Caveau Des Legends” where I got to play with my old friend, guitarist Yves Brouqui.  As always, it was a lot of fun and warmly received.  Paris is great, any time of year.
I wanted to mention that there’s an article that appears in this week’s New Yorker magazine that is supposed to be a “satire” making fun (of all people) of Sonny Rollins.  Why this happened is baffling.  So that you can read it for yourself, here is the link -->

Please keep in mind that even though it’s called “In His Own Words”, it is a complete fiction and one done without Sonny’s consent.  Sonny Rollins is a musical hero and an uncompromising artist.  At this point in his career he needs be celebrated not ridiculed.  Furthermore, this music has already been much maligned and misunderstood.  An article like this is destructive.  For the large majority of people who read the magazine and may not be familiar with Sonny Rollins or jazz music it may be reason to not take him or his work seriously or this music.  This satire is vague enough that unless you really know it could be construed that these really are “his own words.”  I have written the following letter to the editors:
As a professional jazz musician and owner/manager of Smalls Jazz Club here in Greenwich Village I was appalled by the satire “Sonny Rollins: In His Own Words” by Django Gold (July 31rst issue).  Not only was it not funny but also vague enough to be construed that it was actually “his own words”.  Mr. Rollins is one of the most beloved figures in jazz, renown for his uncompromising artistic integrity.  Why at age 83 after a lifetime dedicated to the music he loves and champions he needs to be the subject of ridicule in your magazine is beyond me.  Instead, the New Yorker should publish a profile celebrating the life and accomplishments of this great American artist.  Jazz is already a much maligned and misunderstood art form.  An article like this does a great disservice to the music and the musicians who spend their lives playing it and is beneath the stature of your magazine.
Spike Wilner
Smalls Jazz Club
New York City

If you are so inclined, you can reach out to the editors of the New Yorker here -->
Humor is one thing but let’s set our priorities straight – this music needs to be supported and shared, not ridiculed and maligned.  The great artists of our time need to be celebrated and honored, not ridiculed and further misunderstood.
I wish you all peace and thank you for supporting this music and the club.

(a selection of featured shows)

For our full schedule please go to

Monday - 8/4
The Harold O'Neal Trio

Sets at 7:30 PM & 9:00 PM
Harold O'Neal is a pianist and composer known for blending the genres of 20th- century impressionist music with modern jazz - a true delight to listen to. This Monday night he is joined by his trio, featuring the talented Matt Brewer on bass and Jason Brown on drums. 
Moday - 8/4
Diego Obregon Band

Sets at 10:30 PM & 12 AM

Distinct, pacific, fun: these are the sounds of the Diego Obregon Band.  Come out and hear a true marimba master, and his grooving band, featuring Monday night Small's legend Ari Hoenig on drums, Justin Wood on soprano saxophone, Jeremy Powell on tenor sax, Nester Gomez on percussion, Alejandro Florez on guitar, and Ricky Rodriguez on bass.  
Wednesday - 8/6
An All-Star Tribute to Mulgrew Miller :
"Grew's Tunes"

Sets at 9:30 PM & 11 PM
Check out this phenomenal lineup of musicians as they pay tribute to a true legend of bop music, Mulgrew Miller. He was a gentleman with a warm heart, whose piano playing reflected the precision of bebop and the intrigue of modal jazz. Watch as Seamus Blake (tenor sax), Gerald Cannon (bass), Willie Jones III (drums), and Eric Reed (piano) celebrate the music and joy Miller brought to this earth.
Wednesday - 8/6
"Round Midnight" with:
Lummie Spann

Set at 12:30 AM 

Lummie Spann is a world class performer, electrifying the alto saxophone player. Each note he plays is crammed with passion and soul. Tonight he is accompanied by a stellar lineup, showcasing Dezron Douglas on the bass, David Bryant on piano, and Charles Goold on drums. 
Thursday - 8/6
Abraham Burton Quartet

Sets at 9:30 PM & 11 PM

A very accomplished musician and member of the Mingus Big Band since 1998, Abraham Burton is a powerful force on the saxophone, whose distinct sound and explosive solos commands the attention of the listener. Tonight he is joined by a powerful quartet, featuring David Bryant on piano, Dezron Douglas on bass, and Eric McPherson on drums.
Friday - 8/8
Sylvia Cuenca Quartet

Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM
$20 for this show

Sylvia Cuenca is a young drummer who is incredibly active in the jazz scene. And it shows, because not only does she have chops, but she definitely has that swing. Tonight her quartet features the superb lineup of Tivon Pennicott on tenor sax, Paul Bollenback on guitar, and Jared Gold on the organ. 
Saturday - 8/9
Ralph Lalama & "Bop-Juice"

Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM
$20 for this show.

Ralph Lalama is a tenor sax player with a robust tone and the improvisational skill of a true veteran. Bob-Juice is his chord-less trio, with the amazing Clifford Barbaro on drums and Mike Karn on bass, often draws parallels from critics to the great Sonny Rollins trios of the late 50's. As the name of the group implies, this group of guys sure know how to swing. 
Friday & Saturday - 8/8 & 8/9
The Montez Coleman Group

Sets at 10:30 PM & 12 AM

Just take a glance at this picture on the left. How could you not want to be at this gig? Montez Coleman is a fantastic drummer with a killer groove whose passion for the music is both palpable and infectious. Check out this dynamic group!
Sunday - 8/10
"Round Midnight" With :
Behn Gillece Quintet

Come vibe out with the Behn Gillece Quintet - pun intended. Behn Gillece is a skillful vibraphone player whose approach evokes the likes of Milt Jackson and Bobby Hutcherson, yet is distinct and unique. His dexterity and command of his instrument is at the forefront of this quintet that includes the accomplished Ken Fowser on tenor sax, Rick Germanson on piano, Paul Gill on bass, and Charles Ruggiero on drums. 


Mon, "Afterhours" with :
Spencer Murphy 

Tues, 7:30PM to 10PM -
The Spike Wilner Trio

Tues, "Afterhours" -
Kyle Poole "Next Generation" Jam

Wed, 6PM to 9PM -
Michela Lerman Tap Dance Jam
Thur, 6PM to 9PM

The "Early Bird" with Zaid Nasser

Fri, 4PM to 7PM -
Friday Afternoon Open Jam Session

Fri, 1:30 AM -
"Afterhours" With : Lawrence Leathers

Sat, 4:30 PM to 7PM -
Saturday Afternoon With Joel Press Quartet

Sun, 1PM to 3PM
Marion Cowings Vocal Masterclass
($40 to participate)

Sun, 10PM to 11:30PM  - 
The Legendary Johnny O'Neal


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