Thursday December 7, 2023 9:30pm
Dennis Lichtman is a multi-instrumentalist (mainly clarinet, fiddle, and mandolin) who is deeply entrenched in early- to mid-1900’s American music, from traditional jazz and swing to bluegrass and western swing. His elegant voice carries through on all his instruments, lending a thread that weaves together the various genres he navigates. Originally from Boston, MA, Lichtman has been living in New York City since 2002.
In August 2018, Lichtman released Just Cross the River, celebrating with two sold-out shows at Dizzy’s Club at Jazz At Lincoln Center hosted by the New York Hot Jazz Festival. The album features nine original compositions inspired by the migration of jazz legends into the borough of Queens, NY beginning in the 1920’s. The project was instigated by a grant from the Queens Council on the Arts.
Since 2007, Dennis has been the clarinetist and bandleader of the famed Tuesday night traditional-jazz jam session at Mona’s in downtown New York, which was profiled in the New York Times, and has been described by the Wall Street Journal as “ground zero for an emerging late-night scene of young swing and traditional jazz players.” December 2012 saw the release of Tuesdays At Mona’s, a 19-minute documentary about the Mona’s session produced by Hi-Tide Films, accompanied by a live CD of Mona’s Hot Four with 19 guest musicians.
Dennis switches deftly between fiddle, clarinet, and mandolin while leading his western swing sextet, The Brain Cloud, through a broad array of American music including original compositions and new arrangements of old songs. The Brain Cloud, featuring vocalist Tamar Korn, has held a Monday night residency at the prestigious-yet-intimate Brooklyn venue Barbés since 2011. The band’s third full-length release, Live At Barbés, was released in April 2017.
Lichtman has performed at Carnegie Hall, major festivals throughout the United States, and on stages in Europe, Brazil, and China. He is on the faculty of the Welbourne Traditional Jazz Camp in Middleburg, VA, and has led college master classes and inner-city school workshops through the Midori Foundation, Lincoln Center’s Meet The Artist Series, and Beijing’s Ping-Pong Productions.He has performed and recorded as a regular member of Ghost Train Orchestra, Pokey LaFarge Band, Nation Beat, Jim Kweskin Band, and many more.