As a Jazz musician, I am the product of New York City's jam sessions. One of my very first professional gigs was hosting the jam session every Sunday afternoon at the (unfortunately now defunct) Village Gate. It's through the jam session that musicians of all levels can come and make their presence known and to get heard. It's a way to meet your peers and to be evaluated by professionals. Jam sessions can be awful or they can be sublime -it's a roll of the dice. I've participated in jam sessions where one blues went on for 75 minutes without respite and as a rhythm section player this can be akin to being a slave in a galley ship - just keep on rowing! I've also been at jam sessions where the level was so high that it seemed like a dream. Because of jam sessions I've had the opportunity to play with literally some of the greatest names in Jazz. You'll be confronted with tunes that you don't know and be forced to learn them on the fly - challenge your ears to hear the changes, figure out the form. This is real Jazz education - getting your ass kicked! It's so important. At Smalls we value the jam session and present them every day. I don't often feature the jam sessions in my newsletter but I'd like to mention all of them this week because I feel like they are being overlooked. I cannot stress enough how important they are - for all levels. Students, take heed! Please take advantage of these sessions and participate. Getting heard at one session is worth 10,000 "demo CD's" - I guarantee that. Older musician - don't rest on your laurels - deeds not words! Come in and show the youngsters what it's all about. This is the only way we can truly propagate our music.
Here are the jam sessions at Smalls - most are "after-hours", that is to say after midnight but we also host several afternoon jam sessions as well. Try to come and check some of them out. On Monday after-hours we have Spencer Murphy. Spencer's a young bassist with a modern outlook but a strong foundation in the tradition. His sessions tend to be younger cats but it's always on a high level. This is a dynamic session and can be quite challenging. Tuesday after-hours is hosted by a young drummer named Kyle Poole. He calls his session "next generation session" and indeed most of the musicians are still in college but there's been appearances of some masters at these sessions lately. This is an enthusiastic session and a lot of fun. On Wednesday afternoon we have Michela Lerman who hosts our weekly tap-dance jam session. This is a unique event and brings out the tap dance community who come to jam. Musicians are also welcome but it's in service of the dancers. Michela has been hosting this session nearly three years now and has been featured in the New York times and other publications. This is a special show with a family type feeling - you'll see kids, dogs, cats, tap dancers, painters - it's a trip! On Thursday afternoon we have Sam Raderman and his excellent quartet hosting a session. These are young guys but play in a mature modern bop style - the level is high and the music is always good. They start around 5pm and go all the way to 9PM. Thursday after-hours features the excellent Carlos Abadie and his quintet. This is a veteran Jazz musician session, no bullshit. You come to play and need to be prepared but the music is always good and the cats go about their work with a machine-like efficiency. On Friday afternoon we have Pasquale Grasso and his trio. Pasquale plays in a pure be-bop style -this is a session where you can really learn those Charlie Parker heads or some rarely heard standards. Our weekends also have late, late after-hours- that is to say, it doesn't start until 1 AM. We rotate several groups but notably Stacy Dillard and his wonderful trio "Brooklyn Circle", who play in a contemporary Jazz fashion and host a colorful and vibrant session. Also, Philip Harper, a master who comes in with his young group and hosts a truly friendly but serious session. These are most of our regular sessions, however there are also many "impromptu" sessions that just happen after the main shows are over. Jam sessions tend to go late but that's when the creativity starts to flow - we're not bankers here! So take a nap or something and get a cup of coffee and stay up late and do some playing. Musicians, our community depends on this kind of interaction to survive- to share this language and the tradition of this music. It's all here for you at Smalls!
This Week At Smalls:
Monday we begin our week with a performance from Vadim Neselovski. Vadim is a fascinating pianist presenting some original music. With him is vocalist Tammy Scheffer, Dan Loomis on bass and Ronen Itzik on drums. He'll be opening for our artist-in-residence Ari Hoenig and his excellent group. Be sure to read Ari's interview in our Smalls Interview Blog this week. CLICK
Tuesday night we feature a wonderful singer who has been getting quite a bit of attention lately - Cyrille Aimee. Cyrille is a real musicians singer - she can scat better than anyone and really sings the changes. She's a hard swinger and is coming in with her guitar group featuring Michael Valeanu & Adrien Moignard on guitars. Also joining them is Sam Anning on bass and Rajiv Jayaweera on drums. This is going to be a fun show!
Wednesday and Thursday night we have a true master coming to Smalls - the great David Leibman and his group "Expansions". Dave is a truly expressive and original artist, teacher and composer and this is definitely gong to be an event. If you've never heard Dave live, this is a great chance to hear him in an intimate setting. He'll be coming in with Matt Vaslishan on alto, Bobby Avey on piano, Tony Marion on bass and Alex Ritz on drums - great group and should be a great couple of nights. Our "Round Midnight" concert on Wednesday features bass player Ryan Berg who's getting to lead a group. He's got Stacy Dillard, Craig Magnano & "Bean" Clemons on drums. Definitely going to be swinging. On Thursday for "Round Midnight" is the wonderful Emmet Cohen and his trio who will play a set and host the afterhours session.
This weekend we're psyched to have the dynamic Rob Scheps and his "Core-tet" back at the club. This band is always killing with great writing and playing. Coming in with Rob is Jim O'Connor on trumpet, Jamie Reynolds on piano, Cameron Brown on bass and Anthony Pinciotti on drums. Our early show on Friday features "Bop Juice" - the trio led by Ralph LaLama with Mike Karn on bass and Clifford Barbaro on drums. On Saturday the earlier show features one of our truly great voices on tenor sax: Grant Stewart. With Grant is Tardo Hammer, Phil Stewart and Paul Sikivie.
Sunday afternoon we are really happy to present our second "Chamber Music Salon" featuring some excellent classical musicians - Rachel Lee & Rebekah Durham on violin. Daniel Adams on viola and Amy Kang & Lutz Rath on cello. They'll be playing music from Dvorak and Schubert. Come out and experience this classical music event at Smalls. Following them is the pianist Ehud Asherie and his trio and then the brilliant Johnny O'Neal. Later, I'll be hosting the after-hours myself and celebrating my birthday (I'm turning 18) - come on out and have a drink with me - it's going to be a party!
As always, I appreciate your support of this club and of this music. I urge you to do good deeds and I wish for your well being.
FREE LIVE VIDEO Tuesday, June 11th
7:00 PM to close
Go to www.smallsjazzclub.com and click "LIVE VIDEO" - please enjoy our live video show. We hope you consider becoming a subscribing member
Catch all our shows on our LIVE STREAM. Become a SmallsLIVE Member and watch our shows from your home computer or mobile device. Also, sign up for the free use of our Audio Archive, nearly 6 years of recorded material, artist bios and information. All at www.smallsjazzclub.com
OUR SCHEDULE THIS WEEK:
Monday, June 10th
7:30 PM to 9:30 PM - The Vadim Neselovskyi Quartet Tammy Scheffer - Vocalist , Vadim Neselovskyi - Piano , Dan Loomis - Bass , Ronen Itzik - Drums 10:30 PM to 12:00 AM - The Ari Hoenig Group Gilad Hekselman - Guitar , Orlando Le Fleming - Bass , Ari Hoenig - Drums , 12:30 AM to close - Afterhours with: SpencerMurphy Spencer Murphy - Bass ,
Tuesday, June 11th
7:30 PM to 9:30 PM - The Mike Hashim Trio Mike Hashim - Alto Sax , Spike Wilner - Piano 9:30 PM to 12:00 AM - Vocalist Cyrille Aimee Cyrille Aimee - Vocalist , Michael Valeanu - Guitar , Adrien Moignard - Guitar , Sam Anning - Bass , Rajiv Jayaweera - Drums Midnight to close - The Next Generation Sessions hosted by Kyle Poole and Friends Kyle Poole - Drums ,
Wednesday, June 12th
6:00 PM to 8:45 PM - Tap Dance Jam! Hosted by Michela Lerman ($10 cover/Musicians free) Michela Marino Lerman - Tap Dancer , 9:30 PM to 12:00 AM - David Liebman: Expansions David Liebman - Tenor Sax , Bobby Avey - Piano , Matt Vaslishan - Alto Sax , Tony Marino - Bass , Alex Ritz - Drums 12:30 AM to close - "Round Midnight" with: The Ryan Berg Quartet Stacy Dillard - Tenor Sax , Craig Magnano - Guitar , Ryan Berg - Bass , Jeremy "Bean" Clemons - Drums
Thursday, June 13th
5:00 PM to 8:45 PM ($10 cover/Musicians free) - Afternoon Open Jam Session with: Sam Raderman and Luc Decker Luc Decker - Drums , Nial Djuliarso - Piano , Sam Raderman - Guitar , 9:30 PM to 12:00 AM - David Liebman: Expansions David Liebman - Tenor Sax , Bobby Avey - Piano , Matt Vaslishan - Alto Sax , Tony Marino - Bass , Alex Ritz - Drums Midnight to close - "Round Midnight" with: The Emmet Cohen Trio Emmet Cohen - Piano ,
Friday, June 14th
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM ($10 cover/musicians free) - Happy Hour Jam Session with: Pasquale Grasso Pasquale Grasso - Guitar , 7:30 PM to 10:00 PM - Ralph Lalama and "Bop Juice" Ralph Lalama - Tenor Sax , Mike Karn - Bass , Clifford Barbaro - Drums 10:30 PM to 1:00 AM - The Rob Scheps "Core-tet" Rob Scheps - Tenor Sax , Jim O'Connor - Trumpet , Jamie Reynolds - Piano , Cameron Brown - Bass , Anthony Pinciotti - Drums 1:15 AM to close - Afterhours with: The Lawrence Leathers Trio Lawrence Leathers - Drums ,
Saturday, June 15th
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM - The Dwayne Clemons Quintet Jimmy Wormworth - Drums , Sacha Perry - Piano , Dwayne Clemons - Trumpet , Josh Benko - Alto Sax , Murray Wall - Bass 7:30 PM to 10:00 PM - The Grant Stewart Quartet Paul Sikivie - Bass , Grant Stewart - Tenor Sax , Tardo Hammer - Piano , Phil Stewart - Drums 10:30 PM to 1:00 AM - The Rob Scheps "Core-tet" Rob Scheps - Tenor Sax , Jim O'Connor - Trumpet , Jamie Reynolds - Piano , Cameron Brown - Bass , Anthony Pinciotti - Drums 1:00 AM to close - Afterhours with: Philip Harper Philip Harper - Trumpet ,
Sunday, June 16th
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM - Vocal Masterclass with Marion Cowings $20 entry - $40 to participate Marion Cowings - Vocalist 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM - Smalls Sunday Afternoon Chamber Music Salon Rachel Lee - Violin, Rebekah Durham - Violin ,Daniel Adams - Viola, Amy Kang- Cello ,Carlos Avila - Piano
7:30 PM to 9:30 PM - The Ehud Asherie Duo Ehud Asherie - Piano , 9:30 PM to 11:00 PM - The Legendary Johnny O'Neal Johnny O'Neal - Piano , 11:30 PM to close - Spike Wilner Birthday Party - please come!