The Modern Martinis

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The Modern Martinis

Sunday, April 28, 2024 3:00pm

Bio

The Modern Martinis are an eclectic jazz group based out of New York City featuring Melanie Goerlitz on vocals and Darin Brown on piano and vocals. It’s a vintage jazz sound with a modern twist where you can expect anything from Cole Porter to Amy Winehouse. Before they met, they both performed regularly across the entire globe including with orchestras and major acts. Once they met, there was no denying their chemistry. They both crossover into many styles of music, which keeps their shows interesting and fun. Their worldly vibe will take you from Paris to Rome and Rio in one evening. Melanie is classically trained but crosses all styles. Darin is very much at home with a Sinatra standard or Billy Joel classic. In other words, The Modern Martinis love to shake it up. Follow them on instagram: @modernmartinis.

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Simona Daniele

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Simona Daniele

Saturday, April 27, 2024 7:00pm

Bio

Simona Daniele, an Italian vocalist, vocal coach, and instructor based in New York City, has had a remarkable musical journey. Her talent has led her to perform at prestigious festivals and venues, showcasing her exceptional skills.

Born in Calabria, in Vibo Valentia and raised in Lombardia, in Monza, her performances have graced renowned stages like Jazz at Lincoln Center and Expo Dubai 2020 with the Italian National Jazz Orchestra. Simona participated in the Milan jazz festival JAZZMI and the Peperoncino Jazz Festival New York edition, as well as the Sicilia Jazz Festival in Palermo, leaving a lasting impression on the audience. She captivated listeners at esteemed venues in Italy, including the Blue Note Milano and the Auditorium Parco Della Musica in Rome.  She even had the opportunity to perform at historical locations and museums such as Castello Sforzesco, Pinacoteca di Brera, and Museo Del ‘900.

Taking her musical journey further, Simona was awarded a Fulbright scholarship in 2022, which led her to the heart of jazz, New York City. There, she pursued her second Master’s degree in Jazz Performance at The City College of New York, immersing herself in the vibrant and diverse jazz scene of the city.

Simona’s dedication and artistry have been evident throughout her journey. In 2021, she qualified first at the vocal auditions for the National Jazz Orchestra of Italian Conservatories. The same year, she successfully earned her Master’s degree in Jazz Performance from the prestigious Milan Conservatory of Music Giuseppe Verdi, graduating cum laude with an honorable mention.

In terms of recognition and accolades, Simona’s talent has not gone unnoticed. In 2019, she received a special mention in the Jazz Soloists category of the National Arts Award, paying tribute to the iconic Italian singer-songwriter Pino Daniele. Additionally, she won the audience award at the “Chicco Bettinardi” national competition held at Piacenza Jazz Club in 2020.

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Pete Caldera

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Pete Caldera

Saturday, April 27, 2024 3:00pm

Bio

Pete Caldera sings standards, mainly at New York’s Carnegie Club. He performs there monthly and is the primary sub for the long-running ‘Sinatra Saturday’ show with the 11-piece Stan Rubin Orchestra.

 

Away from the stage, Pete writes for the Bergen Record and the USA Today network, covering the Yankees. He is a past chairman of the New York Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. 

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Dan Pearson and the Refinery Raggers

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Dan Pearson and the Refinery Raggers

Friday, April 26, 2023 7:00pm

Bio

“I wanted to play trumpet but Mr Albano, my 4th grade band teacher, said I have to play saxophone. So here I am years later still having a go at it”
Between the fourth grade in NYC public school and now, Dan studied music at The Hartt School and The Manhattan School of Music, then went on to performing all over the country and globe. More currently in NYC Dan has been going back and performing a lot of early jazz with some of New York’s finest traditional jazz musicians  like Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks, The Grove Street Stompers and Terry Waldo’s Gotham City Band. Dan is very excited to bring many of these same superb musicians to Winnie’s Jazz Bar!

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Michael Weiss

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Michael Weiss

Thursday, April 25, 2024 9:30pm

Bio

“he can focus the intensity in a tune as well as any pianist in mainstream jazz.”
– New York Times
“Weiss’ shrewd writing and arranging skills are as clearly in view as his sleek piano work”
– The New Yorker
“An energy and irrepressible inventiveness… The nimbleness of Weiss’ technique was
matched by the intellectual heft of his ideas.” – Chicago Tribune
“Weiss’ compositions take on different shapes, great complexity and fresh perspectives”
– Washington Post
“One of the most fluent and flexible pianists of his generation.” – BMI Music World
“Combines the wonder of spontaneity with a workmanlike acknowledgment of his
materials: art and craft in delightful balance.” – Chicago Reader
You can tell a lot about a musician by the company he keeps. The star-studded resume
that pianist and composer Michael Weiss has quietly assembled over the past 40 years
proves that some of the greatest names in jazz have long considered Weiss one of the best
in the business. Since arriving in New York in 1982, the Dallas native has forged a
formidable career working in the bands of jazz legends Johnny Griffin, Art Farmer,
Benny Golson, Slide Hampton, Frank Wess, Jimmy Heath and the Heath Brothers,
George Coleman, Charles McPherson, Jon Hendricks, Lou Donaldson, Junior Cook/Bill
Hardman Quintet, Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, and Mingus Epitaph Orchestra. Weiss’
fifteen year association with Griffin, yielded four recordings and annual tours in the USA
and around the world. He has also performed with Joe Henderson, Woody Shaw, Clark
Terry, Clifford Jordan, Gary Bartz, Phil Woods, Pepper Adams, Joe Lovano, Ron Carter,
David Newman, Gerry Mulligan, Nancy Wilson, Randy Brecker, Tom Harrell, Gerry
Mulligan, Wynton Marsalis, and numerous other jazz greats.
As a band leader, Weiss has headlined at the Village Vanguard, Detroit Jazz Festival,
Detroit Symphony Hall, Smithsonian Institution, and major New York venues such as the
Blue Note, Jazz Standard, Birdland, Bradley’s, Iridium, Sweet Basil, Smoke and Merkin
Concert Hall. Reviewing his Vanguard debut, the New York Times wrote that Weiss
“demonstrated a strong sense of leadership and organization” exhibiting “sensitivity and
logic, along with crisp control.” Television appearances include CBS-TV’s Nightwatch
and PBS’ Live From Lincoln Center: The City of Jazz. NPR radio appearances include
PianoJazz with Marion McPartland, Making the Music with Wynton Marsalis, Jazzset, and
the Jazz Piano Christmas Special. Weiss was the 1989 second prizewinner in the
Thelonious Monk Institute’s International Piano Competition.

Weiss has also been recognized for his writing. He was the grand prize winner of the
2000 BMI/Thelonious Monk Institute’s Composition Competition presented to him by
Wayne Shorter, and is a two-time Chamber Music America New Works grant recipient.
Weiss’ compositions reveal eclectic influences from the worlds of jazz, 20th Century
classical and popular music. Weiss focuses on extended forms, thematic development and
attention to detail.
In 2022 Weiss celebrates the release of his fifth recording as a leader, Persistence (Cellar
Live). His previous recordings on the CrissCross, SteepleChase, DIW and Sintra labels
have been hailed by the critics:
“Weiss has a rich palette of composing devices at his command” – Downbeat
“Weiss’ original compositions conjured a distinct world of sound, a testament to the
nature of Weiss’ imagination.” – Chicago Tribune
“Warmth, integrity and above all, originality. Weiss’ originals are formful and dynamic
enough to sound as if they were standards of the genre.” – JazzTimes
“the songs simply smoke” – Detroit Free Press
“Weiss is a vital talent with something important to say” – All About Jazz
“About as close to perfection as a recording can get….If there is truly justice in our
world, this should be a Grammy nominee.” – Jazz Improv
“A prodigious bop-and-beyond pianist and composer…. consummate musicianship and
alluring improvisations” – The Star Ledger
“This music lives and breathes freshness and exhilarating originality. The individual
selections are strong and attractive enough, to still be played as jazz vehicles in 10, 20,
or even 50 year’s time.” – Jazz Journal
“a masterwork. Soul Journey is terrific. The work is majestic, brash and dynamic
throughout.” – Jazzwax.com
As a sideman Weiss appears on recordings of Johnny Griffin, Frank Wess, Charles
McPherson, Steve Grossman, Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Ronnie Cuber, Louis Smith,
Dick Oatts, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and others.
Weiss is deeply committed to jazz education. He has held faculty positions at Indiana
University, Hartt College of Music, Queens College. In master classes and residencies
throughout the world Weiss aims to relay his bandstand experience through a host of
topics that directly address the standards and performance practices required of a
professional jazz musician.
Visit www.michaelweiss.info

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Victor Neufeld

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Victor Neufeld

Thursday, April 252, 2024, 6:30pm

Bio

Victor Neufeld has been leading his Jazz Band of NYC Jazz musicians for a number of years, after a long and very successful career as an Executive Producer of many well-known network TV news programs. For twenty years, Victor was the Executive Producer of 20/20, at ABC News, winning 23 Emmy awards. He is a New York native.

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Bryan Eng

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Bryan Eng

Wednesday, April 24, 2024 7:00 pm

Bio

Multifaceted actor and New York jazz musician, Bryan Eng has already begun to make big strides across industries in the entertainment scene.  His unique talents have been featured on Broadway, TV, feature films, commercials, and revered performance venues around the country such as the Kennedy Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall, Birdland Jazz Club, Drury Lane Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre, Marriott Theatre, Ford’s Theatre, and others.

Growing up in Potomac, Maryland, Bryan began singing and playing the piano at the age of 5, developing his fluid classical technique.  His natural showmanship ultimately led him to the theatre where his starring acting roles throughout high school earned him a Superintendent’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Theatre and a DC Metro Theatre Arts recognition for Outstanding Performance.  Bryan’s access to the vibrant DC arts scene proved influential to his burgeoning career with performance debuts at the Kennedy Center, Ford’s Theatre and Studio Theatre before graduating high school.
Bryan continued his education studying Theatre and Music Direction at Northwestern University where once again, his proximity to a world-class entertainment capital would prove invaluable.  After his first year, he enrolled at Northwestern’s Bienen School of Music adding a second major in Music.  Composition, orchestration and arranging came naturally to him, and after a year of study, he was hired to orchestrate the music for a multi-million dollar gala hosted by Stephen Colbert.  His seamless ability to create music for ensembles across genres has led to orchestrating for numerous Broadway performers such as Heather Headley, Nancy Dussault and Richard Kind, as well as arranging for The American Pops Orchestra and Transcendence Theatre Company.  At the end of his sophomore year, he returned to the Kennedy Center to originate the role of Junker G in the world-premiere of Laura Schellhardt’s play, Ever in the Glades.

Shortly before turning 20 years old, Bryan’s talents as a performer earned him representation from one of Chicago’s finest talent agencies, Stewart Talent.  While still a student, and within his first year represented on the Chicago scene, Bryan made his network television debut, commercial debut and Chicago theatre debut as an actor.  In that same year, he released his tour de force debut album, 20, featuring his talents as a singer, pianist, arranger, orchestrator and producer leading a 27-piece jazz orchestra.  This landmark debut year as a Chicago entertainer established him as one of his generation’s most promising young entertainers.At the beginning of 2022, Bryan was invited to join the cast of Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite on Broadway starring Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker.  Now, living in the entertainment capital of the world, Bryan’s talents are being recognized on the most elite stage.  After the limited run of Plaza Suite closed, Bryan went on to be featured in Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall and headline his debut sold-out show at the premier, Birdland Jazz Club.  His ‘Circle Room’ trio is currently in residence at the esteemed Carlyle Hotel.

Bryan holds a Double-Major Bachelors Degree from Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music and School of Communication, where he studied Acting with Dawn Mora, Jazz Piano with Jeremy Kahn, and Music Direction with Dr. Ryan Nelson.  Additional Acting training was completed at the world-famous Second City Chicago.  Bryan continues his lifelong study of jazz music under the mentorship of New York City jazz pianist, Emmet Cohen and trumpeter, Bruce Harris.

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Pasquale Grasso

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Pasquale Grasso

Tuesday, April 23, 2024 7:00pm

Bio

It was the kind of endorsement most rising guitarists can only dream of, and then some. In his interview for Vintage Guitar magazine’s February 2016 cover story, Pat Metheny was asked to name some younger musicians who’d impressed him. “The best guitar player I’ve heard in maybe my entire life is floating around now, Pasquale Grasso,” said the jazz-guitar icon and NEA Jazz Master. “This guy is doing something so amazingly musical and so difficult.
“Mostly what I hear now are guitar players who sound a little bit like me mixed with a little bit of [John Scofield] and a little bit of [Bill Frisell],” he continued. “What’s interesting about Pasquale is that he doesn’t sound anything like that at all. In a way, it is a little bit of a throwback, because his model—which is an incredible model to have—is Bud Powell. He has somehow captured the essence of that language from piano onto guitar in a way that almost nobody has ever addressed. He’s the most significant new guy I’ve heard in many, many years.”
As he’s done with many rising jazz stars, Metheny later invited Grasso over to his New York pad to jam and share some wisdom. He’s since become a generous presence in Grasso’s life, and his assessment of Grasso’s playing is—no surprise—spot-on. Born in Italy and now based in New York City, the 30-year- old guitarist has developed an astounding technique and concept informed not by jazz guitarists so much as by bebop pioneers like Powell, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie and the classical-guitar tradition. His new digital-only EP series, available beginning in June from Sony Masterworks, showcases Grasso in the solo-guitar format, where his intensive studies of both midcentury jazz and classical meld into a signature mastery that is, remarkably, at once unprecedented and evocative.
But whom does it evoke? After a surface listen, Joe Pass and his essential Virtuoso LPs might come to mind. Now listen again. The sparkling, immaculately balanced tone; the tasteful tinges of stride and boogie-woogie rhythm; the stunning single-note lines that connect his equally striking use of chordal harmony—for Grasso, great solo arranging equals Art Tatum.
Many serious guitar heads have been hip to Grasso for a while now and are aware of his jaw-dropping online performance videos, his beautiful custom instrument — built in France by Trenier Guitars — and his early career triumphs. In 2015, he won the Wes Montgomery International Jazz Guitar Competition in New York City, taking home a $5,000 prize and performing with guitar legend Pat Martino’s organ trio. Last year at D.C.’s Kennedy Center, as part of the NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert, Grasso participated in a special performance to honor Pat Metheny, alongside his guitar-wunderkind peers Dan Wilson, Camila Meza, Gilad Hekselman and Nir Felder.
These days, Grasso teaches and maintains a packed gig schedule around New York, including frequent solo performances at the popular Greenwich Village haunt Mezzrow, where a regular Monday-night gig allowed him to develop his solo-arranging skillset. Not that Grasso thinks his work is done. “All [of the musicians I love are] inspiration for me to get new ideas and form my style, because it’s still growing,” Pasquale says. “And it’s gonna be growing until the day I die.”
***
How Grasso came to be such a tremendous talent is also, in many ways, the story of his older brother, Luigi Grasso, a gifted alto saxophonist who tours globally as a bandleader and collaborator. The brothers were born and raised in Ariano Irpino, a bucolic hillside town in Italy’s Campania region. Their parents, while not being musicians themselves, were nonetheless passionate music lovers who filled the family home with jazz and classical sounds and took their sons along to events like Umbria Jazz. “Instead of watching TV at night,” Grasso recalls, “my dad would put on a Chet Baker record and we’d listen.”
Both boys started in music young. Luigi, suffering from asthma, began playing sax on the advice of a doctor who believed it would help the 6-year-old with his breathing. Pasquale decided not much later that he needed to play an instrument too, and when he browsed a local shop, the guitar caught his interest immediately. Dad happily bought the instrument, but not before striking a deal with his son: “If I buy this for you, you have to promise me that you’ll practice.” In the ensuing years Pasquale kept up his end of the bargain, as did his brother, hour after hour, every day. Grasso’s mother later bought a book on how to read music, teaching her sons the skill as she absorbed it herself.
Grasso found his first important mentor in Agostino Di Giorgio, a New York-raised guitarist who’d moved to Italy as an adult, to take care of his aging grandparents. Di Giorgio, a spirited, hilarious character and a brilliant musician, was a star pupil to Chuck Wayne, the deeply influential guitarist and educator recognized for his work with Woody Herman, George Shearing and Tony Bennett, among many others. Di Giorgio helped Wayne to codify his distinctive concepts of chords and scales in two highly sought-after books and passed Wayne’s methods along to Grasso. In the summer of 1998, the brothers attended a jazz workshop with bebop-piano royal Barry Harris in Switzerland. Harris showed both boys great kindness, and a relationship was quickly formed. Eventually, the Grasso brothers went from students at Harris’ global lineup of workshops to being two of his right-hand instructors and assistants. To this day, if Pasquale doesn’t have a gig on Tuesday night, he’ll drop in on Harris’ marathon teaching sessions in Manhattan to learn something new.
Harris’ guidance helped to firm up Grasso’s tastes and perspective in jazz, as did a couple of invaluable recordings his father introduced to him: One Night in Birdland, a live Charlie Parker Quintet compilation featuring Bud Powell and Fats Navarro; and Art Tatum’s Solo Masterpieces box set. Regarding the latter, Grasso remembers, “I couldn’t believe it. I would just play that all day, and I couldn’t understand anything he was doing. It seemed like there were two pianos.” Grass felt a near-identical revelation later, after taking in a concert by the renowned classical guitarist David Russell. “I was shocked by his technique,” he says, “because it sounded like two jazz guitars together. I told my dad, ‘Maybe I should study classical, because I think that would help the way I want to play jazz.’” Grasso began in 2008 to fuse his hard- earned jazz technique with classical revisions and refinements at the Conservatory of Bologna, under the tutelage of guitarist Walter Zanetti.
In 2012, the same year that Pasquale toured extensively as a Jazz Ambassador on behalf of the U.S. Embassy, the guitarist relocated to New York. He hit the scene running, soon enough becoming part of working bands led by Ari Roland and Chris Byars, and settling into a regular gig with the late, great saxophonist Charles Davis. Grasso has also performed with Freddie Redd, Frank Wess, Leroy Williams, Ray Drummond, Steve Grossman, Tardo Hammer, Jimmy Wormworth, John Mosca, Sacha Perry, Bucky Pizzarelli, China Moses, Harry Allen, Grant Stewart and Joe Cohn.
On his initial Sony Masterworks recordings, Pasquale explores standards, ballads, and the repertoire of Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell and Charlie Parker, showcasing his sweeping abilities in the most intimate possible setting. Here you can experience his lifetime of listening and of challenging himself to transcend a bar set by Art Tatum so many decades ago. Coming later in 2021 will be Pasquale Plays Duke, including recordings with his trio and featuring vocalists Samara Joy and Sheila Jordan.

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Jazz Jam with John Lang

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Jazz Jam with the John Lang Quartet

Monday, April 22, 2024 7pm

About John Lang

Bassist John Lang offers a distinguished resume in performance, arranging and composition. Lang is most recognized in New York as a straight-ahead bassist. He hosted the Burgundy Wine Jazz Duets Series for 8 years in the early 2000s, featuring such modern-days stars as Saul Rubin, Ehud Asherie, Kris Kaiser, Yotam Silberstein, Jeremy Manasia, Nat Harris, Vito Dieterle, Larry Ham, Tardo Hammer, Michael Moore and Randy Napolean. Lang’s quintet has performed at Smalls, The Jazz Forum, Fat Cat, Little Branch, Times Square Café, The Hawaiian Tropic Room and Toons.

Lang founded La Onda Va Bien, the Latin jazz ensemble that recorded 2003’s “La Vuelta,” featuring 10 of his original songs. His second CD, “Lend Me Your Ears,” premiered at Smalls in 2009 and was called “a rare collection of swing and modernity” by reviewer Scott Yanow. Lang is a member of the Kolotov Mocktails, a modern jazz band comprised of stellar jazz musicians from across the United States. The band’s 2020 debut recording “Ivy Hall,” is enjoying radio play and positive reviews from fans and critics alike. He released “Now Ear This,” his first electric project, to rave reviews in 2021. “NET” features 9 original songs as well as fresh arrangements of “Pusherman” and “Four on Six” and was produced by jazz legend John Patitucci. Modern drumming powerhouse Richie Morales noted the album’s “clear arrangements, great solos and tight ensemble work. Take a listen!” Lang is currently a member of the Kolotov Mocktails, a new American jazz band. Their debut recording, “Ivy Hall” is enjoying radio play and critical acclaim in America and Europe.

Lang has recorded and arranged for many Broadway singers including Natalie Toro and Rita Harvey, as well as for the cast recordings of Fat Camp and the Adventures of Flat Stanley. His big band arrangements were featured in the 2006 production of “Little Jack Frost,” a recreation of a 1940s radio show, and he has toured internationally with the Jack Cassidy and Adrienne Hindmarsh trios.

Lang also doubles on electric bass and in that capacity has performed and recorded with Kinny Landrum and the Gumbo Roux, Cady Huffman, Mary Ann Renza, Rocksteady, Stolen Moments, and Sis Boom Bah.

He has served on the faculty of the Music Conservatory of Westchester since 2014, and maintains a healthy roster of private students. In the fall 2020 he began studies as SUNY Purchase for a master’s in jazz performance under bassist Doug Weiss. Lang resides in the Hudson River Valley, just north of New York City, with his wife Damaris and son Milo.

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Gabriel Schillinger

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Gabriel Schillinger

Sunday, April 21, 2024 3:00pm

Bio

Born and raised in San Francisco, now based in NYC, Gabriel showcases a catalogue of original music, jazz standards, and arrangements of works by Bill Evans, Chick Corea, Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, Cedar Walton, and Keith Jarrett. Gabriel honors the history of these master pianists with performances that are both soulful and hard-hitting. You’ll find him performing almost every night with distinguished jazz musicians at household New York City jazz venues including The Django, Ornithology, The Harlem Jazz Museum, Chelsea Table and Stage, Cellar Dog, and more.

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