Norah Jones, Henry Threadgill, Thundercat and more: Jazz Week

Jazz Week is your roundup of new and remarkable stories from the world of jazz. It’s a one-stop destination for music news you need to know. Let’s take it from the top.


Verve/UMe Acoustic Sounds audiophile vinyl enters its third year: Verve/UMe’s series of all-analog vinyl reissues, Acoustic Sounds, enters its third year and continues to deliver definitive vinyl pressings of some of the label’s best-known jazz albums. Scheduled releases for 2022 include classic records from Bill Evans, Coleman Hawkins, Ella Fitzgerald, John Coltrane and more. This month’s reissue, Duke Ellington meets Coleman Hawkins (Impulse!, 1963), will be released on May 13.

Tommy Castro big winner at the Blues Music Awards 2022: The winners of the 2022 Blues Music Awards (BMAs) were announced at a ceremony at the Resonant Convention Center in Memphis, Tennessee on May 5. Tommy Castro was the top honoree of the night, earning three BMAs, for BB King Entertainer of the Year, for Album of the Year for Tommy Castro presents a bluesman come to town, and for Group of the Year with his band, Tommy Castro & The Painkillers. Sue Foley and Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, among others, also received awards. Click here for a full list of winners.

Norah Jones returns to tonight’s show: Last week, Norah Jones returned to The show tonight, where she made her television debut 20 years ago. She performed “Don’t Know Why”, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of her debut album, Come with me. Watch the performance via the player below. 20th anniversary editions of Come with meincluding a Super Deluxe Edition featuring 22 previously unreleased tracks, are now available in multiple formats via Blue Note Records.

New Orleans City Council proclaims Kidd Jordan Day: Edward “Kidd” Jordan celebrated his 87th birthday on May 5, and the New Orleans City Council proclaimed Kidd Jordan City Council Day with a ceremony held before the council’s weekly meeting on the city’s first floor. An esteemed saxophonist, Jordan taught several generations of students for over seven decades and even led Southern University’s Institute for Jazz Studies for four decades beginning in the 1970s. Students who benefited from Kidd include Kid Thomas , Wynton and Branford Marsalis, Jon Batiste, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah ​​and many others.

New and upcoming albums

Juan Carlos Quintero, Table for Five! (Moondo): Acclaimed guitarist Juan Carlos Quintero is out Table for Five! on March 11 via his Moondo Music label. It is a new integral quintet which finds him for the first time on the semi-hollow electric guitar. Table for five! includes five jazz standards, three Latin standards and two original compositions and is the first of his own albums that Quintero has produced since his debut in 1988.

Clemens Grassman, grass machine (self-published): Berlin drummer Clemens Grassmann’s next album, grass machine, carries a traditional sound while advancing the harmonies of modern jazz. His music is interpreted by an atypical septet made up of three saxophones and a trumpet. The resulting sound sounds like both a big band and, at times, an “acoustic synthesizer”. grass machine was released on April 8.

Flora Purim, If you want (to strut): Brazilian jazz fusion legend Flora Purim released it If you wanthis first studio album in over 15 years, on April 29. The record brings together many of her closest musicians, including her husband Airto Moreira, and explores new compositions alongside new versions of some of her favorite personal songs and positive lyrics from throughout her varied career.

Tomas Fujiwara’s triple double, March (Barracks 12): Drummer/composer Tomas Fujiwara reprises his Triple Double sextet, featuring six distinctive and innovative voices in contemporary creative music, including drummers Tomas Fujiwara and Gerald Cleaver, guitarists Mary Halvorson and Brandon Seabrook, and trumpeter Ralph Alessi and cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum. Their new album, Marchwas released on March 4 and is a collection of new music inspired by dance and protest.

Live music and festival news

New multimedia masterpiece from Henry Threadgill: Henry Threadgill will premiere a new multimedia masterpiece inspired by the late jazz drummer Milford Graves May 20-21 at Roulette in Brooklyn, New York. The presentation incorporates film, visual art, vocal loops, orchestral music, and even footage from a heart rate monitor. It will be split into two performances, “One” (May 20) and “The Other One” (May 21), both performances in memory of the late cultural critic Greg Tate.

Carnegie Hall announces a concert for Ukraine, May 23: Carnegie Hall has announced Concert for Ukraine, a benefit performance in solidarity with the Ukrainian people that will take place on May 23. This special evening will feature artists from the world of classical music, jazz, Broadway and popular music. Proceeds from this one-night-only event will support Direct Relief, a non-profit humanitarian organization that provides emergency medical supplies to relief groups on the ground in Ukraine. Tickets here.

National Sawdust and Chelsea Factory announce programming partnership: National Sawdust and its co-founder/artistic director, composer Paola Prestini, and New York’s Chelsea Factory announced the first companies to hit the stage as part of the organizations inaugural programmatic partnership. Arturo O’Farrill and his Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra with special guest Emaline Michel will take the stage June 16-17 to present Jazz Across the Americas – An Afro Caribbean Experience. Bare Opera, unconventional and experimental, will offer two performances of Tomas Cabaniss’ Firesongs on June 18. More information here.

Kris Bowers was commissioned to create and present an exclusive work at the Monterey Jazz Festival: Acclaimed jazz pianist Kris Bowers has been commissioned by the Monterey Jazz Festival to write and perform a piece at his year’s event, celebrating the festival’s 65th anniversary. “Kris, as an alumnus of our Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, is a perfect example of the type of artist we enjoy working with. young, exciting, innovative and with a unique point of view,” says Tim Jackson, Artistic Director of the Monterey Jazz Festival, which takes place September 23-25, 2022. The Monterey Jazz Festival has begun commissioning original works from artists in 1959. More here.

Thundercat Announces Summer 2022 Tour Dates: Bass virtuoso Thundercat has announced a series of new tour dates for the summer of 2022. These dates will occur alongside his first stint with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Khruangbin, as well as multiple festival appearances, notably at the Blue Note Jazz Festival Napa on July 30. Check out all upcoming tour dates here.

Feature photo: John Rodgers

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Blues Music Awards, Clemens Grassman, Coleman Hawkins, Duke Ellington, Flora Purim, Henry Threadgill, Juan Carlos Quintero, Kidd Jordan, Kris Bowers, Norah Jones, Thundercat, Tomas Fujiwara, Tommy Castro

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