March 30th, 2015
Dear Friends:

I'm often asked to speak on the "business of music" - most recently at a prominent conservatory.  I really think I'm the wrong guy to ask because I'm not a businessman - I'm a jazz musician.  People always want to know what's the best way to get a gig at Smalls or Mezzrow or the best way to approach club owners (a term that I detest being called - I don't feel as if I 'own' anything.  I prefer 'manager' or 'organizer'... I don't know).  For me, the jazz scene is an organic thing onto itself.  It is self-sustaining and honestly, everyone that plays this music knows what's up.  You can't fool a jazz musician.  So, no matter how slick your PR package is or your "presentation", it doesn't really mean anything unless you can really play and that the Cats regard you with respect.

I love seeing young guys and gals come up through the ranks.  I love seeing a young musician begin to hang in ernest at the sessions and to sit in.  If they play well, those crusty old m-fkers at the bar may cock an ear, raise an eyebrow or even crack a smile.  Eventually this kid starts to become a fixture on the scene.  What happens next is that some senior musician will hire him for a gig with their band.  That's the turning point.  "Yo man, who's that young cat on piano?  He sounds good..." - that's the beginning.  Next thing you know he's playing a lot and with other older and seasoned musicians.  If the young cat hangs tough, show humility, humor, tenacity and originality then there a very good chance that we'll invite him to host a date as a leader at Smalls.  Next step for them might be tours or record dates or whatever.  It's the filter system that jazz has always used and is still in practice today, particularly at Smalls.  No managers.  No agents.  No EPK's.  No nothing.  Just be able to play your ass-off and be a nice person.  That's what it takes.

At this conservatory, I looked out into the audience of young eager grad students who wanted to know about the music "business".  I said; "go to the bar and have drink, hang out late, sit in, practice really hard for many years, and then - you might have a gig, or, perhaps not.  There's no guarantee."  It elicited some laughs and some glares from the professors.  I wasn't being facetious.  Hang out, practice hard and pay your dues in the way that all of the great ones did.  This is not a game and not for the faint of heart.  Jazz is for Wizards and Mystics and ones driven hard enough to not have any other options but to play with passion because that's WHAT YOU ARE...

Great things this month at Mezzrow and Smalls - check the schedule for April.  Highlights include a Greg Hutchinson Masterclass at Mezzrow (and three nights at Smalls), Nick Payton at both Smalls and Mezzrow and many other really great artists coming in.

My best wishes to you and your loved ones and I hope to see you at the clubs.


NOW: A cover paid at Mezzrow also gets you admission to Smalls.
Mezzrow proudly endorses Steinway pianos

Tonight! Monday - 3/30
Steve Ash & Paul Gill

Pianist Steve Ash is a veteran of the jazz scene and a real swinger.  He has class, taste and touch.  What else do you need?

John Merrill Solo Guitar @ 7:30 PM
Duo Sets @ 9:30 PM & 11 PM

To advance purchase a reserved seat click:

Tuesday - 3/31
Vocalist Marion Cowings

Vocalist Marion Cowings is a veteran and a true jazz voice.  He is a lexicon of the American Songbook and has the most gorgeous feeling and voice you'll hear.  Don't miss this chance to hear him in the intimacy of our music room.

Doors open @ 7 PM
Trio sets @ 8 PM & 9:30 PM

Mezzrow "polite jam session" @ 10:30 PM

To advance purchase a reserved seat click:

Wednesday - 4/1
Seamus Blake & Guillermo Klein

Tenor saxophonist Seamus Blake returns to Mezzrow
with the melodic and understated Guillermo Klein on the piano.

 Happy Hour Solo Piano @ 7:30 PM
Duo sets @ 9 PM & 10:30 PM

Mezzrow "polite jam session" @ 11:30 PM

To advance purchase a reserved seat click:

Thursday - 4/2
Camila Meza & Shai Maestro

Camila Meza is a Chilean singer and guitarist with a wonderful, sultry voice and amazing feeling.  With her is the talented Israeli pianist Shai Maestro for an evening of elegant song.

 Happy Hour Solo Piano @ 7:30 PM
Duo sets @ 9 PM & 10:30 PM

Jon Davis Solo Piano @ 11:30 PM

To advance purchase a reserved seat click:

Saturday - 4/4
Greg Hutchinson Drum Masterclass
From 4 PM to 6 PM

This afternoon is a very special event at Mezzrow.  It is a drum masterclass from jazz master Greg Hutchinson.  Greg will be talking about playing the drums from not just a technical aspect but also from the perspective of what it means to be a jazz musician and a professional.  This class is open to anyone interested in music.

Seats are limited so make your reservations early.

To advance purchase a reserved seat click:

Friday to Sunday - 4/3-5
Dave Kikoski & Boris Kozlov
  • David Kikoski is a wizard of the piano.  A firey improvisor with a hyper-modernist approach but always swinging.  Join David for three evenings at Mezzrow.

    Fri - Ehud Asherie Solo Piano @ 7:15 PM
    Sat - Spike Wilner w. special guests 
    @ 7:15 PM
    Sun - Solo Guitar @ 7:30 PM

    Fri & Sat - Duo sets @ 9 PM & 10:30 PM
    Sun - Duo sets @ 9:30 PM & 11 PM

    To advance purchase a reserved seat click:


(a selection of featured shows)

For our full schedule please go to

Monday - 3/30
John Raymond Quartet
feat. Ethan Iverson

Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM
w. John Raymond - Trumpet, Ethan Iverson - Piano,
Matt Brewer - Bass, Rudy Royston - Drums

Trumpeter John Raymont brings in his quartet that features a guest appearance from Ethan Iverson on piano.
Monday - 3/30
Ari Hoenig and Edmar Castaneda
Sets at 10:30 PM & 12 AM

w. Ari Hoenig - Drums, Edmar Castaneda - Harp

Ari Hoenig brings in the harp virtuoso Edmar Castaneda for an evening of music.  If you've never heard Edmar I can't stress enough coming out to hear him.  He is one of the most extraordinary musicians you'll hear.
Tuesday - 3/31
Josh Evans Big Band
Sets at 9:30 PM & 11 PM

Josh Evans has one of the best big bands playing today - all the cats are all-stars and the arrangements are killer.  Don't miss!
Wednesday - 4/1
Remy Le Boeuf Quintet
Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM
 w. Remy Le Boeuf - Alto Sax, Ben Wendel - Tenor Sax, Sam Harris - Piano, Linda Oh - Bass, Justin Brown - Drums

Alto Saxophonist  Remy Le Boeuf has a modern concept for improvising and composing.  He brings in his excellent quintet that features tenor saxophonist Ben Wendel.
Wednesday - 4/1
Joe Magnarelli Quartet
Sets at 10:30 PM & 12 AM
w. Joe Magnarelli - Trumpet, Alan Broadbent - Piano, Ugonna Okegwo - Bass, Victor Lewis - Drums

Hometown hero Joe Magnarelli brings his soulful self back to Smalls with an all-star unit that features the great Alan Broadbent on piano and the legendary Victor Lewis on drums.
Thursday to Saturday - 4/2-4
The Greg Hutchinson Band
Thu - Sets at 7:30 PM & 9:00 PM
Fri, Sat - Sets at 10:30 PM & 12 AM

w. Greg Hutchinson - Drums. John Ellis - Tenor Sax, Dayna Stephens - Tenor Sax, Gerald Clayton - Piano,
 Reuben Rogers - Bass

Drum hero Greg Hutchinson returns to NYC and his homebase of Smalls Jazz Club with a killer group that features the amazing John Ellis on tenor, Dayna Stephens on tenor, Gerald Clayton on piano and Reuben Rogers on bass - wow!
Thursday - 4/2
The Carlos Abadie Quintet
Sets at 10:30 PM & 12 AM

w. Peter Zak - Piano, Luca Santaniello - Drums,
Clovis Nicolas - Bass, Carlos Abadie - Trumpet,
Julian Lee - Tenor Sax

Carlos Abadie is a soulful musician steeped in the tradition of Harbop.  He brings in his excellent quintet that features the young Julian Lee on tenor sax.
Friday - 4/3
The Juini Booth 4tet
Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM
$20 for this show
w. Grant Stewart - Tenor Sax, Rachel Eckroth - Piano, Juini Booth - Bass, Clifford Barbaro - Drums

Juni Booth is a jazz legend and has played with some of the very greatest names of this music.  This evening he presents a group that features the work of tenor saxophonist Grant Stewart
Saturday - 4/3
Don Friedman Quartet
Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM

$20 for this show
 w. Tim Armacost - Tenor Sax, Don Friedman - Piano, Harvie S - Bass, Klemens Marktl - Drums

Don Friedman is a master pianist with an amazing harmonic sense and beautiful touch and feel.  With him is the tenor saxophonist Tim Armacost.
Sunday - 4/5
The Eyal Vilner Big Band
Sets at 4:30 PM & 6 PM
 w. Joel Frahm - Tenor Sax, John Mosca - Trombone, Dan Block - Clarinet, Eyal Vilner - Alto Sax, Charenee Wade - Vocalist, Freddie Hendrix - Trumpet, Tadataka Unno - Piano, Asaf Yuria - Tenor Sax, Wayne Tucker - Trumpetl Andrew Gould - Alto Sax, Vitaly Golovnev - Trumpet, Tamir Shmerling - Bass, Eden Bareket - Baritone Sax, Bryan Davis - Trumpetl Eric Miller - Trombone, Eran Fink - Drums, Ron Wilkins - Trombone
Sunday - 4/5
Lezlie Harrison Organ Quartet
Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM
w. Lezlie Harrison - Vocalist, Ben Paterson - Organ,
Saul Rubin - Guitar, Brandon Lewis - Drums 

Lezlie Harrison has a sultry voice and a deep jazz feeling.  This evening she brings in an organ group that features the swinging work of Chicago born Ben Paterson.
Sunday - 4/5
Charles Owens Trio
Sets at 10:30 PM & 12 AM

w. Charles Owens - Tenor Sax, Kris Monson - Bass,
Kelli Strawbridge - Drums

Smalls Alum Charles Owens has a huge sound and quick mind with a modern concept.  Come out to hear this excellent musician and his trio.


Monday - 3/30, 1 AM to close
Afterhours with Jonathan Barber


Tuesday - 3/31, 7:30 PM to close 
The Spike Wilner Trio

Tuesday - 3/31 12:30 AM to close 
The Next Generation Sessions with Kyle Poole

Wednesday - 4/1, 1:30 AM to close 
Afterhours Jam Session


Thursday - 4/2, 1:30 AM to close 
Afterhours Jam Session


Friday - 4/3, 4:30 PM to 7 PM
Friday afternoon open jam session With :
Sanah Kadoura Trio


Friday - 4/3, 1:15 AM
Friday Afterhours With :
The Eric Wyatt Quartet

Saturday - 4/4, 4 PM to 7 PM
Saturday Afternoon Open Jam Session
With : Jonathan Thomas Trio

Saturday - 4/4, 1:30 AM to close
Afterhours with Stacy Dillard

Sunday - 4/5, 1 PM to 3 PM
Vocal Masterclass with Marion Cowings 
$20 entry, $40 to participate


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