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May 2nd, 2016

Dear Friends:

I think it's difficult for outsiders to understand that the Jazz Community is a real community of people - tightly knit and really like a family.  I first experienced this in my very earliest years as a music student when I started to go to Barry Harris' Jazz Cultural Theater, which was on 8th ave in the upper 20's (a terrible neighborhood at the time).  I had never experienced anything like it before.  It was a workshop but it was also a family gathering.  Old friends, musicians, hangers-on, abiding together in a communal love - bound by the music and a common viewpoint about life and culture.  Home cooked food was served and jazz abounded.  Great musicians rolled through - I met Tommy Flanagan there for the first time and Jaki Byard.  It was so informal and warm, like a family reunion.  I experienced the same thing at St. Peter's Church in mid-town, the "jazz" church, where concerts where held and memorials where held for our passed brothers and sisters.   Jazz music is a complete life-style.  If you commit yourself to it it takes every fiber of your being and 100% commitment to play it.  For outsiders it may be hard to understand but there is no racial barrier, there is no sex barrier - it's just about how you play and if you can play you are accorded respect.  Age, sex, race doesn't matter - if you can play, you can play - and if you can't play, you'll never fool anyone.  Real commitment to jazz is a matter of life and death - it's not a game.  Great heroes have risen and fallen on this artistic battlefield.

Even though we've lost many of the great ones, this community in New York City is still vibrant and strong.  I see it night after night in my clubs as the musicians gather to listen and to hang out.  I see the warmth, the hugs and the deep respect musicians have for one and other.  The music is humbling - to play this music, even moderately well, takes so much that when you see your musical brother or sister you just feel love - joy.  Every musician knows what I mean.  The family of Jazz Musicians in New York City is real and strong.

This was extremely apparent last Wednesday at a tribute we had for guitarist Rick Stone.  Rick has been a long-time professional jazz musician and teacher.  One of the "lifers" that may not be a household name but known to everyone in the community.  A self-effacing and modest man, Rick was recently diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.  Originally scheduled to play at Mezzrow on that night, Rick called to let me know that he was no longer able to play the guitar because of paralysis in his left hand.  We thought to ask a few guitarist to come and play on his behalf (Rick had hired pianist Tardo Hammer and bassist Harvie S to be his rhythm section).  As Rick's condition worsened, the evening took on greater implications and soon became an all-out tribute of love for Rick by his musical family.  That evening the club was packed with musicians, including Barry Harris who stopped by to play and say a few words.  The family came together to show Rick support and love and sympathy.  Rick watched from the hospital on the live stream and from folks with "facetime" on their phones.  Him and Barry spoke during the evening and Rick addressed the entire crowd there via telephone.  Rick, who has a subtle sense of humor, told me "it was like watching his own memorial service".  Gallows humor but such brave words, really.

People often tell me "I don't know how you do it, Spike", meaning how the heck do you run both these clubs night after night.  But I always say I don't do this alone.  This is a "family business".  I always say these clubs are our home - home for the family to come by each night and hug, high-five, laugh, smoke, drink, bitch and moan, talk-shit and ultimately adore the music that we've spent literally our entire lives trying to perfect each day - to just play one good chorus of B flat "rhythm changes" - just one!  Jazz is alive in New York all you have to do is show up.

Regards,

Spike

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20 shows added per week

 
NOW: A cover paid at Mezzrow also gets you admission to Smalls.

Monday - 5/2
Eli Degibri with
Kevin Hays & Doug Weiss

Tenor saxophonist Eli Digibri is a dramitc and dynamic improvisor.  Please join him for an evening with his trio with pianist Kevin Hays and bassist Doug Weiss.

Doors @ 7:30 PM
John Merrill ( no cover ) @ 8 PM
Eli Degibri sets @ 9 PM & 10:30 PM

To advance purchase a reserved seat click:
CLICK HERE TO RESERVE

Tuesday - 5/3
Hilary Gardner & Ehud Asherie

Vocalist Hilary Gardner is a charmer with an exceptional vocal instrument, wide range of repertoire and wonderful jazz feel.  She is joined by pianist Ehud Asherie for an evening of vocal duos.

Doors @ 7:30 PM
Hilary Gardner sets @ 8 PM & 9:30 PM
Mezzrow "Polite Jam Session" @ 10:30 PM


To advance purchase a reserved seat click:
CLICK HERE TO RESERVE

Wednesday - 5/4
Ben Wolfe & Orrin Evans

Bassist Ben Wolfe and pianist Orrin Evans are two serious jazz veterans committed to swing and soulful jazz feeling.  Join them for an evening of duets.

Doors @ 7:30 PM
Ben Wolfe sets @ 8 PM & 9:30 PM
Mezzrow "Polite Jam Session" @ 10:30 PM


To advance purchase a reserved seat click:
CLICK HERE TO RESERVE

Thursday - 5/5
Fleurine with
Gregoire Maret & Ian Faquini

Vocalist Fleurine has a wide range of repertoire from originals to Brazilian.  She also has a great feeling and lovely voice.  With her is the virtuoso harmonica player Gregoire Maret and guitarist Ian Faquini.

Spike Wilner ( no cover ) @ 7:30 PM
Fleurine sets @ 9:30 PM & 11 PM
Davis Whitfield "After-hours" @ 12 AM


To advance purchase a reserved seat click:
 CLICK HERE TO RESERVE

Friday, Saturday - 5/6-7
Bruce Barth with Steve Nelson ( 5/6 ) & Vicente Archer ( 5/7 )

Pianist Bruce Barth is a veteran player with a modern-thinking concept and a fluid swinging feeling.  With him is vibraphone legend Steve Nelson (5/6) & bassist Vicente Archer (5/7) for an evening of duo.

5/6 - Ehud Asherie ( no cover ) @ 7:30 PM
5/7 Spike Wilner ( no cover ) @ 7:30 PM

Bruce Barth sets @ 9:30 PM & 11 PM
5/6 - Johnny O'Neal "After-hours" @ 12 AM
5/7 Jon Davis - "After-hours" @ 12 AM


To advance purchase a reserved seat click:
5/6 - CLICK HERE TO RESERVE
5/7 - CLICK HERE TO RESERVE

 Sunday - 5/8
Joel Frahm & Spike Wilner Duo

  • Tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm is a wide-ranging and creative improvisor full of mirth and joy.  Join him for an evening of duets with pianist Spike Wilner
Pasquale Grasso ( no cover ) @ 7:30 PM
Joel Frahm sets @ 9:30 PM & 11 PM

To advance purchase a reserved seat click:
CLICK HERE TO RESERVE
Mezzrow proudly endorses Steinway pianos

THIS WEEK AT SMALLS
(a selection of featured shows)

For our full schedule please go to www.smallslive.com

Monday - 5/2
The Fausto Ferraiuolo Trio
 Set from 7:30 PM & 9 PM

     with Fausto Ferraiuolo - Piano, Joseph Lepore - Bass, Eliot Zigmund - Drums
Monday - 5/2
The Sebastian Chames Quintet
 Set from 10:30 PM & 12 AM

     with Sebastian Chames - Piano, Jeremy Pelt - Trumpet, Greg Tardy - Tenor Sax, Javier Moreno - Bass, Jonathan Barber - Drums
Tuesday - 5/3
The Spike Wilner Trio
 Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM

     with Spike Wilner - Piano, Tyler MItchell - Bass, Anthony Pinciotti - Drums
Tuesday - 5/3
The Amos Hoffman Quintet
 Sets at 10:30 PM & 12 AM

     with Amos Hoffman - Guitar, Sam Newsome - Soprano Sax, Shai Maestro - Piano, Eric Wheeler - Bass, Eric McPherson - Drums
Wednesday - 5/4
Dan Blake & "The Digging"
Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM

     with Dan Blake - Soprano Sax, Dmitry Ishenko - Bass, Jeff Williams - Drums
Wednesday - 5/4
Swanbean Quintet
Sets at 10:30 PM & 12 AM

     with Mavis "Swan" Poole - Vocalist, Jeremy "Bean" Clemons - Drums, Al Strong - Trumpet, Michael King - Piano, Rashaan Carter - Bass
Thursday - 5/5
Ulysses Owens Jr. "Tribute to Mulgrew Miller"
 Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM

     with Ulysses Owens - Drums, Benny Benack III - Trumpet, Joel Ross - Vibraphone, Allyn Johnson - Piano, Yasushi Nakamura - Bass
Thursday - 5/5
The Ken Fowser Quintet

Sets at 10:30 PM & 12 AM
 
     with Ken Fowser - Tenor Sax, Josh Bruneau - Trompet, Rick Germanson - Piano, Tyler Mitchell - Bass, Jason Tiemann - Drums
Friday - 5/6
Scott Neumann "Spin Cycle" 
     with Scott Neumann - Drums, Tom Christensen - Tenor Sax, Pete McCann - Guitar, Phil Palombi - Bass
Saturday - 5/7
The Joey "G-Clef" Cavaseno Quartet

Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM
     with Joe "G-Clef" Cavaseno - Tenor Sax, Jeremy Bacon - Piano, William Ash - Guitar, David F. Gibson - Drums
Friday & Saturday - 5/6-7
The Dwayne Clemons Quintet

Sets at 10:30 PM & 12 AM

     with Dwayne Clemons - Trumpet, Josh Benko - Alto Sax, Sacha Perry - Piano, Murray Wall - Bass, Jimmy Wormworth - Drums
Sunday - 5/8
The Eyal Vilner Big Band

Sets at 4:30 PM & 5:30 PM
     with Eyal Vilner - Leader/Alto Sax, Brianna Thomas - Vocalist, Bryan Davis, Wayne Tucker, Andy Graish, Itamar Borochov - Trumpet, Nick Finzer, Robert Edwards, Ron Wilkins - Trombone, Jordan Pettay, Eitan Gofman, Asaf Yuria, Andrew Gutauskas - Saxophone, Ray Gallon - Piano, Clovis Nicolas - Bass, Joe Strasser - Drums
Sunday - 5/8
The Johnny O'Neal Trio

Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM
     with Johnny O'Neal - Piano, Luke Sellick - Bass, Charles Goold - Drums
Sunday - 5/8
The Tad Shull Quartet

Sets at 10:30 PM & 12 AM
     with Tad Shull - Tenor Sax, Rob Schneiderman - Piano, Neal Miner - Bass, Joe Strasser - Drums

SMALLS JAZZ CLUB REGULAR SHOWS

Monday - 5/2,  1 AM to close
After-hours with Jonathan Michel

 

Tuesday - 5/3, 12:30 AM to close 
After-hours with Corey Wallace DUBtet


Wednesday - 5/4, 1:30 AM to close 
After-hours Jam Session with Sanah Kadoura

 

Thursday - 5/5, 1:30 AM to close 
After-hours Jam Session with Tony Hewitt

 

Friday - 5/6,  4 PM - 7 PM
Afternoon Jam Session with Tuomo Uusitalo

Friday - 5/6, 1:15 AM
After-hours with Lawrence Leathers

Saturday - 5/7, 4 PM to 7 PM
Afternoon Jam Session with Robert Edwards

 

Saturday - 5/7, 1:30 AM to close
After-hours with Brooklyn Circle


 

Sunday - 5/8,  1 PM to 3 PM
Vocal workshop with Marion Cowings

 

Sunday - 5/8,  1 AM to close
After-hours with Hillel Salem

 
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