March 22nd, 2012

Check out the Tablet Magazine podcast feature about Alon Yavnai here.

Alon Yavnai Big Band appears Sunday March 25th @ 6pm. Tix here.

Israel-born, Brooklyn-based pianist/composer Alon Yavnai has teamed up with Germany’s NDR Bigband for Shir Ahava (Hebrew for “A Love Poem”), his first album of music for a large ensemble and the initial recording for his own AYM label, to be released in March. Yavnai, who has shared Grammy Awards as a participant in projects by Paquito D’Rivera and Yo-Yo Ma and recorded with Freddie Hubbard and Nancy Wilson. Yavnai, who is an Associate Professor at Boston’s acclaimed Berklee College of Music, has released three previous CDs with trios and a sextet. But Shir Ahava finds him working with the 17 members of the Hamburg, Germany-based NDR Bigband, expanding his musical palette and giving the musicians a chance to play music reflecting the composer’s multinational background. The recording takes the big band sound global, weaving the music of Israel, Lebanon, North Africa, Cape Verde and Peru into the classic American big band sound.

For this CD release concert, Yavnai has put together an all-star big band lineup of top jazz musicians, who will be joined by special guests Paquito D’Rivera and Moroccan world/jazz singer Malika Zarra.

March 22nd, 2012

April 3-7 @ 8:30pm & 11pm
“All Our Reasons” CD Release Celebration
Billy Hart Quartet
Billy Hart (drums) Ethan Iverson (piano)
Mark Turner (saxophone) Ben Street (bass)

Legendary drummer Billy Hart has been a fixture on the jazz scene for over fifty years, performing and recording along the way with jazz legends Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul, Herbie Hancock, Stan Getz and Miles Davis. At Birdland — along with iconoclastic pianist Ethan Iverson (The Bad Plus), saxophonist Mark Turner and bassist Ben Street (both members of Kurt Rosenwinkel’s Quartet among other acclaimed groups) — Hart celebrates the release of the first ECM recording of the quartet formed in 2003. Since the group’s 2005 CD for hard-bop label High Note landed on many critics’ best-of-the year lists, the ensemble’s music has gotten more free and spacious. All of the members contribute material including a modern blues, a Coltrane tribute and an Iverson-penned homage to Paul Bley, the wonderfully-titled “Nostalgia for the Impossible.”

April 10-14 @ 8:30pm & 11pm
“Accelerando” CD Release Celebration
Vijay Iyer Trio
Stephan Crump (bass) Marcus Gilmore (drums)

“By now, there can be no doubt that pianist-composer Vijay Iyer stands among the most daringly original jazz artists of the under-40 generation.” (Chicago Tribune) Vijay Iyer (pronounced: “VID-jay EYE-er”) has been described by the The Village Voice as, “the most commanding pianist and composer to emerge in recent years,” by The Boston Globe as, “one of the most challenging and satisfying talents in jazz today” and by L.A. Weekly as, “a boundless and deeply important young star.” Iyer’s discography includes some of the most acclaimed recordings of the past decade including 2009′s, “Historicity,” widely considered to be a modern classic. Now, the trio return to Birdland to celebrate the release of their fourth CD for the ACT label, “Accelerando,” which the New York Times has already greeted as, “…an early front-runner for jazz album of the year, [which] encapsulates his knack for making prickly experimentalism feel approachable, intuitive, even stylish.”

And it’s already gotten a ton of press here:

Birdland Jazz Club
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