NYC Winter Jazzfest presents Blue Note Now! – SOLD OUT! NYC Winter Jazzfest presents Blue Note Now! – SOLD OUT!

with Robert Glasper Trio, Lean On Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers, Derrick Hodge & Kendrick Scott

Thu January 8th, 2015


Main Space

Minimum Age: 18+

Doors Open: 7:00PM

Show Time: 8:00PM

Event Ticket: $25

Day of Show: $30

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event description event description

This evening will include 4 sets, featuring:
Robert Glasper Trio: Robert Glasper (piano), Vicente Archer (bass), Damion Reid (drums)
José James: José James (vocals), Keyon Harold (trumpet), Corey King (trombone), Sullivan Fortner (piano), Solomon Dorsey (electric bass), Eric Harland (drums)
Derrick Hodge: Derrick Hodge (bass), Federico Pena (keys), Michael Aaberg (keys), Mark Colenburg (drums)
Kendrick Scott: Kendrick Scott (drums), Matt Penman (bass), Taylor Eigsti (piano), Mike Moreno (guitar), John Ellis (sax)


$25 ADV
$30 DOS
OR $75 with WJF 3 day pass, details here
This is a general admission, standing event.
Happy hour from 7-8pm including $3 beer and $5 well.

the artists the artists


NYC Winter Jazzfest presents Blue Note Now! – SOLD OUT!

Robert Glasper Trio

Breakthrough success can often be a tough act to follow. But with a little help from some notable friends, Robert Glasper Experiment is set to up the ante with the follow-up to his successful GRAMMY-winning album Black Radio. Flaunting a diverse array of featured guests including Common, Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy, Brandy, Jill Scott, Dwele, Marsha Ambrosius, Anthony Hamilton, Faith Evans, Norah Jones, Snoop Dogg, Lupe Fiasco, Luke James, Emeli Sandé, Lalah Hathaway, and Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Black Radio 2 is certain to surprise and delight critics and fans alike. With a unique fusion of R&B, jazz, and hip-hop that brazenly traverses the boundaries of all three genres, Black Radio 2 finds Glasper and his musical cohorts creating in a vibrant new chasm, brilliantly contrasting its predecessor in the process. (read more here)

Lean On Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers

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Celebrating the eightieth birth year of the legendary R&B singer songwriter, Blue Note recording artist José James presents “Lean On Me: José James celebrates Bill Withers.” Vetted personally by Mr. Withers himself, the show is an exploration of the deep musical catalogue that touched millions of hearts and united communities worldwide. Featuring Withers’ top ten hits as well as his soul ballads and rare grooves, James brings both a deep musical appreciation and a contemporary approach to songs such as “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Hope She’ll Be Happier,” and “Just the Two of Us.” Fittingly, James has assembled a truly all star cast of musicians: Nate Smith on drums, Ben Williams on bass, Sullivan Fortner on keys and Brad Allen Williams on guitar.

José James on the project:

We’ve lost a lot of phenomenal musicians over the last few years. David Bowie, Sharon Jones, Leonard Cohen, Prince. That combined with the insanity of our current world events made me want to focus on our living genius and positive energy as a people. I’ve been drawn to Bill Withers’ music for years and started performing a medley of his songs in my live set. It was an organic thing that started at sound check then grew to become a massive 20 minute musical and emotional highlight of my live show. When I discovered that he was turning 80 in 2018 I thought, “What better way to bring positivity to the world while challenging the racist, fascist and sexist status quo?” His songs reflect a love for community, for unification; his music respects elders, mentors and explores male vulnerability in a way that’s missing from today’s R&B. And his catalog is vast and powerful. He’s simply one of the best living songwriters, period. “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Lean on Me,” “Grandma’s Hands,” “Lovely Day,” “Just the Two of Us” – who wouldn’t want to sing these amazing songs? The hard part was choosing between his nine albums,but I had a lot of help from Don Was and from the band. I think we found the perfect balance between soulful ballads, the radio hits and the deep cut rare grooves.

José James on meeting Bill:

Meeting Bill Withers was one of the personal highlights of my life. We had dinner at Musso and Frank’s and sat in the Frank Sinatra booth, just down the street from the Capitol building. He’s a total genius and one of the coolest people I’ve ever met. I learned more in that one hour with him than I learned at music school or a decade’s worth of live shows. He’s seen it all and worked with the best of them, in every category. At one point he pulled out his phone and started chatting about friends he’s made in the business, moving easily between Muhammad Ali, James Brown and John Mayer. We all adore him and any songwriter worth their salt knows that Bill is up there with Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, Smokey Robinson, Carole King, Leonard Cohen, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Elton John, Billy Joel – he’s in the pantheon of greats. Plus he’s an amazing singer and developed a sophisticated sound that blends funk, singer-songwriter, blues, R&B and gospel. This is where John Legend, Alicia Keys, D’angelo, people like that come from. This is home. I showed him my list of his songs and he absolutely loved it. I think he’s happy that his music still has a place in the lives and hearts of people worldwide and that we all want to celebrate his life and talent.

José James on the band:

The first time that I played with these guys I knew that we had something special. It was a session in Brooklyn and we started playing “Grandma’s Hands” – no rehearsal, just playing. It was super deep and soulful in a way that can only be described as spiritual. This is easily the best band I’ve ever played with, everything we touch is magic. The chemistry is just unbelievable. We all have a deep love and respect for Bill’s music, but we never get the chance to play like this. Most of these guys are huge stars in the Jazz world so people mainly know them for that; but trust me, this is one of the funkiest most soulful bands that you’ll ever hear. Nate Smith on drums is from Chesapeake, Virginia; Brad Allen Williams on guitar is from Memphis; Ben Williams on bass is from D.C.; and Sullivan Fortner on keys is from New Orleans. So we have a whole lot of southern American musical and cultural identity in the band. Blues, funk, R&B, jazz, rock, soul and church music .. it’s all there. I grew up in Minneapolis, which is Prince and Bob Dylan territory, so I’m bringing that storytelling aspect. And through his music Bill is one of the greatest storytellers of all time.


José James – vocals, guitar
Sullivan Fortner – piano, Fender Rhodes
Brad Allen Williams – guitars
Ben Williams – basses
Nate Smith – drums

Set List:

Ain’t No Sunshine
Grandma’s Hands
Who is He (And What is He to You?)
Use Me
Lean on Me
Kissing My Love
Hello Like Before
Lovely Day
Make a Smile for Me
Look to Each Other for Love
Just the Two of Us
Hope She’ll Be Happier
I Can’t Write Left-Handed
Better Off Dead

Photo credit: Janette Beckman

Derrick Hodge

Live Today signals a new journey for bassist and composer Derrick Hodge as he embarks on a solo recording career. The title alludes to his top guiding principle in creating his debut album, a stunning achievement that showcases the profound depth and breadth of his musicality. “This whole album was putting on my composer’s hat, but letting go and making sure that I’m giving people raw examples of how I feel on any given day,” he explains.
Even though Hodge has played with such jazz titans as pianist Mulgrew Miller and trumpeter (and labelmate) Terence Blanchard, as well as R&B stars Jill Scott and Maxwell, the 33-year-old bassist is probably best known for anchoring the Grammy award-winning Robert Glasper Experiment.  Similar to how Glasper concocts a distinctive mélange of modern jazz, hip-hop, and R&B, Live Today too integrates those genres and more into something that’s potent and personal. However, it is no Experiment offshoot. Similarities aside, the Live Today asserts a unique sound.
Glasper does contribute on several songs on Live Today, as do the rest of the Experiment members: saxophonist/vocoderist Casey Benjamin, and drummers Chris Dave and Mark Colenburg. Hodge, however, cast a wider net for recruiting musicians. The diverse cast includes rapper Common, singer/guitarist, Alan Hampton, keyboardists James Poyser and Aaron Parks, saxophonist Marcus Strickland, trumpeter Keyon Harrold, and the American String Quartet, among others.
As a bassist, Hodge tucks in his virtuosic prowess to focus more on the overall compositional sound. “I didn’t think so much about the timbre and the sound of the actual instrument that I play when I wrote this music,” he says, “I gravitated toward the band sound and worked within that framework.”
Derrick Hodge official site
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Photo credit: Chris Baldwin

Kendrick Scott

In the relatively short span of ten years, drummer and composer Kendrick Scott has established himself as an artist of great versatility and depth. Having toured and recorded with such luminaries as Terence Blanchard, Herbie Hancock, the Crusaders and others, he has proven his ability to adapt his style to virtually any occasion or circumstance, and at the same time maintain his own distinctive voice in the process.
In addition to his work as a support figure, he has also developed a reputation as an innovative composer and bandleader, with the help of his ever-evolving musical collective. The Kendrick Scott Oracle began their creative odyssey in 2007 with an eclectic and ambitious debut recording called The Source, and followed up on its success with Conviction, an album set for release on Concord Jazz in March 2013.
Born in July 1980, Scott grew up in Houston, Texas in a family of musicians whose eclectic interests ran to gospel, classical and R&B. His earliest musical experiences were in his church, where his parents and older brother were involved in the music ministry. “I remember sitting in a pew in church when I was very young, and I remember feeling a chill in my body during one of the songs. I thought, ‘What is this feeling?’ I had to know what it was and what was causing it. I had to be a part of it. I knew even then that the source of that feeling was something that I wanted to pursue.”
By age 8, Scott’s parents set him up with some sticks, pads and drum lessons. The combination of innate talent, discipline and support from his parents earned him a seat in Houston’s renowned High School for the Performing and Visual Arts – a school whose roster of prestigious alums also includes Robert Glasper, Chris Dave, Mike Moreno, Jason Moran, Eric Harland, Beyoncé, and many others.
“I was naïve enough to never really have any doubt about playing music as a career,” Scott says of his high school years. “I never really thought about the possibility that it couldn’t be done. It was a blessing to just be a part of that environment, where I saw so many guys – like Eric Harland, who was four years older than me – doing great things. When you’re in an environment like that, the extraordinary becomes the ordinary.”
Before finishing high school, Scott won a number of Downbeat Magazine student awards, as well as the Clifford Brown/Stan Getz Award from the International Association of Jazz Educators and the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts. He was later awarded a scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music, where he majored in music education.
In addition to long hours of instruction and practice, the Berklee years also presented Scott with the opportunity to establish relationships with prominent artists like Kenny Garrett, Pat Metheny, the Crusaders and others. After he graduated in 2003, he had offers to tour first with the Crusaders, and later with Terence Blanchard. He has played with Blanchard for most of the ten years since.
“Kendrick is a true artist of the highest order,” says Blanchard. “He is not bound by the conventional wisdom of the music world. I’ve noticed that he never says why, but rather why not. He is exactly what the music world needs: someone with the vision and courage to press forward and expand the world of music. I am blessed to have him around and I look forward to seeing what he does every time we play.”
It was Blanchard who encouraged Scott to record The Source, his debut album with Oracle. “He’d been telling me for years to just go ahead and put something out there,” Scott recalls. “He told me that the work doesn’t have to define who you are for all time. It’s just a little piece of who you are in that moment. I actually started recording The Source in 2005, then I re-recorded it in 2006, and then it came out in 2007. All of those early experiences – being around the Crusaders, being around Terence, being around all the other musicians whom I grew up with in my community – that really spurred me to create that CD. I had a lot of people playing on that album, including Robert Glasper and Gretchen Parlato. It was about a sense of musical community that I felt that I should try to capture on a record.”
More than five years after the release of The Source, Conviction is the next step in the creative evolution of Kendrick Scott Oracle – a band whose lineup is now saxophonist and bass clarinetist John Ellis, guitarist Mike Moreno (the only member to also appear on The Source) pianist Taylor Eigsti and bassist Joe Sanders. Guest vocalist and guitarist Alan Hampton makes appearances on two tracks.
“I wanted to make this more of a band statement,” says Scott. “This current lineup of the band just molded itself around this music, and then took it in all different kinds of directions at the same time. It all came together so easily and so well.”
Scott is committed to keeping his artistic vision fresh and new. “Making a piece of art should never have a sense of finality to it,” he says. “When I make a record, I listen to it and I always think about rewriting some part or some section. Sometimes I think that when we play it on the road, it will sound so different to people that they might not even recognize it. It’s that constant state of evolution that I’m hoping to achieve.”
Kendrick Scott official site
Kendrick Scott on Facebook
Kendrick Scott on Twitter

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