August 25th, 2014

Dear Friends:

I had such a nice experience last night.  I headed over to the Village Vanguard to hear the last set of George Cables and his excellent trio with Essiet Okon Essiet on bass and Victor Lewis on drums.  Sunday at the Vanugard, especially the last set, is kind of family night.  It's when musicians come out to hear the group for the final time in the week.  Last night's crowd had that old New York feeling to it - the one I remember when I was a kid trying to sneak into Bradley's.  Sophisticated, hedonistic, intellectual, artistic, super-hip, real New Yorker's and real jazz musicians.  Real jazz music.  I really don't want to get into a polemic about "what is jazz?' - but, as they say, when you hear it - you know what it is!  I don't know how else to define it.  The audience is alive with it - the music is moving but profound - infused with the true spirit of the blues - not an affected blues - but a real, feeling-the-gravity-of-ones-life blues.  Jazz is blues - that feeling has got to be in there.  Anyway, it was there last night at the Vanguard and I wish all these idiot dilettantes who write in major publications could have been there to just listen and shut their damn mouths for one second.  Before condemning this music, try really experiencing it.  Know it first.  If you experience the feeling of real jazz then the idea of criticizing is so absurd - it's too big and too beautiful.  If you don't know it yet, seek it out.

Anyway, I'm also really excited to say we have an opening date for my new jazz room, Mezzrow - we're looking at September 3rd for the official night of business.  Johnny O'Neal will be the first artist.  Then the 4th, 5th and 6th is the wonderful Cyrus Chestnut and the equally wonderful Dezron Douglas for three nights of duets.  I'll be sending a separate email this week to announce the website launch - hopefully by mid-week.  You'll be able to reserve advanced tickets for shows and get all the info on the club.

Enjoy this beautiful weather and my best wishes to you and your loved ones.


(a selection of featured shows)

For our full schedule please go to

Monday - 8/25
Anthony Pinciotti Trio

Sets at 7:30 PM & 9:00 PM

Anthony Pinciotti is a dynamic, fresh drummer who has toured and worked with a slew of high-profile jazz musicians. Catch him tonight as a frontman of this wonderful trio featuring Steve Cardenas on guitar and Gary Versace on organ.
Monday - 8/25
The Ari Hoenig Quartet

Sets at 10:30 PM & 12 AM

Every time Ari Hoenig plays at Smalls, it is exciting and unpredictable. Tonight he is accompanied by some true master instrumentalists; namely, Tivon Pennicott on tenor saxophone, Gilad Hekselman on guitar, and Orlando Le Fleming on bass. 
Tuesday - 8/26
The Josh Evans Big Band
Sets at 10:30 PM & 12 AM

One Tuesday evening you find yourself sitting in Smalls vibing out and then BOOM... it hits you - The Josh Evans Big Band. This band is DYN-A-MITE. With fiery instrumentalists highlighting Evans' killer arrangements, you don't want to miss this. 
Wednesday - 8/27
Tim Hegarty Quintet
Sets at 9:30 PM & 11 PM
If you love jazz music and the tenor saxophone, then you're going to love listening to the Tim Hegarty Quintet - featuring the impressive Mark Sherman on the vibraphone, Jim Ridl on piano, Doug Weiss on bass, and Tim Horner on drums
Thursday - 8/28
Anthony Wilson Group

Sets at 9:30 PM & 11 PM

A wonderful composer and player, Anthony Wilson is a wizard on the guitar with an ear for beautiful melodies. Tonight he is accompanied by John Ellis on tenor sax, Alan Ferber on trombone, Leo Genovese on piano, Jorge Roeder on bass, and Mark Ferber on drums. 
Thursday - 8/28
"Round Midnight" With :
The Carlos Abadie Quintet

Midnight to close

If you haven't had the pleasure of hearing Carlos Abadie play the trumpet, join us for Thursday's "Round Midnight" set for a real treat. Tonight he is joined by the talented Joe Sucato on tenor sax, Peter Zak on piano, Clovis Nicolas on bass, and Luca Santaniello on the drums.
Friday - 8/29
The Ray Gallon Trio

Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM

Ray Gallon is a distinguished pianist who has been a staple in the jazz world for over 25 years. Catch him in action with the terrific Ben Street on bass and Peter Van Nostrand on drums.  
Friday & Saturday - 8/29 & 8/30
Kenny Rampton Band 

Sets at 10:30 PM & 12 AM

Kenny Rampton is a phenomenal trumpet player, each note packed with raw emotion. Joined by great musicians who are too many to list in this tiny box - treat yourself and catch one of their performances.
 Saturday - 8/30
The David Schnitter Quartet 

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

David Schnitter is a contemporary master - as both player and composer. His music has the soulful edge of Coltrane, but its own unique voice. His masterful quartet features Ugonna Okegwo on bass, Spike Wilner on piano, and Anthony Pinciotti on drums. 
Sunday - 8/31
Vocalist Lezlie Harrison
Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM

Let Lezlie Harrison's soulful alto voice, weaving through the guitar playing of Saul Rubin, speak to your inner soul.  Come out and experience this endearing performer.
Sunday - 8/24
"Round Midnight" With :
The Joe Magnarelli Quartet
Set at 12:30 AM

Swing your way into the new week with the sounds of the Joe Magnarelli Quartet. "Mags," as he is known to many in the jazz world, plays with, speed, precision, and intention. With the gifted Jason Brown on drums, Mike Karn on bass, and Anthony Wonsey on piano, this is going to be a good time!

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 :
The Dwayne Clemons Quintet

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

Fri, 1 AM to close
Afterhours With : Jeremy Manasia Trio

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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