May 5th, 2014

Hello Friends:

I want to say a few words about a great musician who has had an enormous impact on the jazz scene in the last three years.  That man is Johnny O'Neal.  I had first heard about Johnny from drummer Montez Coleman who URGED me to bring him into the club.  Finally, on Montez' rec I contacted Johnny and brought him in with his trio.  Everyone was floored.  Johnny had a reputation for being a phenomenal pianist but we really weren't prepared for what he brought to the table.  Johnny and I hit it off right away and became friends. He mentioned that he would be moving back to New York.  I promised him a steady gig at the club if he did and within a few months he became the regular act on Sunday evenings - family night at Smalls.  Over the last couple of years, Johnny has become more and more popular, touching the hearts and minds of young musicians who have flocked to him to become disciples.  Johnny quickly developed a trio of younger players and last year we recorded him for the label, SmallsLIVE.  Last week Johnny got his due with a tremendous article about him in the New York Times (CLICK HERE TO READ).  This is a very candid article where Johnny talks about his health and personal life and gives one further insight into his mind and his art.  In a time when masters of this music are fewer and fewer, Johnny is a savior.  He is a real jazz hero, playing right from the tradition with a feeling that few alive today can match.  If you want to have a taste of what the giants of this music must have felt like then I urge you to come out and catch Johnny at one of his Sunday shows at Smalls.  He's here every Sunday from 10PM to about 11:30PM - one long show and it's usually packed, so get there early.

As always, I look forward to having you at Smalls.  Don't forget that compassion is the key to world peace.



This Week At Smalls:

(a selection of featured shows)

For our full schedule please go to

Monday - 5/5
Ari Hoenig Quartet
Sets at 10:15 & 12:00 AM
Ari Hoenig has been the resident aritst on Monday nights for about seven years now.  His bands are dynamic and everchanging.  This week he comes in with the stellar pianist Aaron Goldberg, the creative Tivon Pennicott on tenor and bassist Danton Boller.
Tuesday - 5/6
The Smalls Legacy Band
Featuring Frank Lacy

Sets at 10:30 PM & 12 AM

Frank Lacy is a force of nature - a powerful musical spirit that will rock your world.  The Legacy Band is a six piece group that features the work of trumpetist Josh Evans, tenor Stacy Dillard, pianist Theo Hill, bassist Ameen Saleem and drummer Kush Abadey.  Come out for the experience.
Wednesday - 5/7
The Greg Tardy Trio
Sets at 9:30 PM & 11 PM

Greg Tardy was once a ubiquitous presence on the scene.  These days he's more rare.  Come out and discover the soulful work of this artist in a trio context.  With bassist Sean Connely and drummer Jamieo Brown.
Wednesday - 5/7
The Greg Glassman Quartet
"Round Midnight" - one set.
Trumpeter Greg Glassman has a true jazz feeling and deep knowledge of the idiom.  Come out to discover this fine musician and his excellent quartet with Jeremy Manasia, Danton Boller and Chris Beck.
Thurday 5/8
The Matt Brewer Group
Sets at 9:30 PM & 11 PM

Matt Brewer has quietly established himself as one of the top bassists on the scene.  Tonight he comes in as the leader of his own group.  With him is a stellar cast including Dayna Stephens, Steve Lehman, Aaron Parks and Marcus Gilmore.
Thursday 5/8
The Carlos Abadie Quintet

"Round Midnight" - one set.

Carlos Abadie has been a steadfast player on the scene, quietly massing experience and gravity.  His excellent quintet plays from the hard-bop repertoire and features the work of Joe Succato, Peter Zak, Clovis Nicholas and Luca Satinello.
Friday - 5/9
The Tardo Hammer Trio

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

Tardo Hammer is a pianists pianist.  Steeped in the tradition of Bud Powell, he's his own man and plays with authority and feeling.  Come out to hear him with his regular working trio with Lee Hudson on bass and the legendary Jimmy Wormworth on drums.
Saturday - 5/10
The Hayes Greenfield & Roger Rosenberg Quartet
Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 AM
$20 for this show.

Hayes Greenfield and Roger Rosenberg have an amazing chemistry between them born of years and years of playing together.  The music is swinging and quirky but overall enjoyable and accessible.  In the rhythm section is Dean Johnson on bass and Scott Neuman on drums.
Friday & Saturday - 5/9 & 5/10
The George Burton Group

Sets at 10:30 PM & 12 PM
$20 for this show.

George Burton is a wonderful pianist with a modern sensibility and an original writing style.  He is our featured performer for the weekend and will be bringing in an all-star group featuring Terrell Stafford on trumpet and Tim Warfield on tenor sax.
Sunday - 5/11
The Clifford Barbaro Quartet
"Round Midnight" - One Set

Clifford Barbaro is a legend.  All present on the scene and plays with everyone.  Here he is, finally, as a leader of his own group.  With the amazing Behn Gilece on vibraphone, Rick Germanson on piano and David Wong on bass.

Mon, "Afterhours" -
Spencer Murphy Jam

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

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

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

The "Early Bird" with:

Fri, 4PM to 7PM -
OPEN Afternoon Jam

Sat, 4PM to 7PM -
OPEN Afternoon Jam 

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

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


Photo of the week : 

photo by Una Stade

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  Frank Lacy          Johnny O'Neal

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Highlight of the week 

Scott Hamilton CD release on iTunes & HD Records 



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