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Category: Concert Previews

Trefoil, An All-Star Team of Ambrose Akinmusire, Gerald Cleaver & Kris Davis, Come To Bop Stop

When the final buzzer sounded at the NBA All-Star Game on February 20, it was the end of All-Star weekend in Cleveland but it was the opening bell for an all-star month of jazz. First came the March 3 appearance at Tri-C of the Jazz Gallery All-Stars (previewed here), a band that in every way lived up to its name. Starting Sunday, the action shifts to Bop Stop at the Music Settlement where Ambrose Akinmusire and Dr. Eddie Henderson, two of the leading voices of the jazz trumpet will appear in a three-day span. And that’s not all.

Akinmusire will be in Cleveland as part of a new trio, Trefoil, of pianist Kris Davis and drummer Gerald Cleaver, all-stars in their own right. The term supergroup is overused, but there’s no other way to describe this collaboration.

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The Jazz Gallery All-Stars Finally Land in Cleveland for a March 6 Concert

Back in the 1980s, listings of events in The New Yorker’s Goings On About Town section were introduced with this charmingly worded caveat: Musicians and night-club proprietors live complicated lives that are subject to last-minute change; it is therefore always advisable to call ahead.

For presenters and musicians who ply their trades during winter on the Great Lakes, that advice goes double, especially when high winds and more than a foot of snow arrived to slam the door on the Feb. 3 concert by the Jazz Gallery All-Stars at Cleveland’s Tri-C Auditorium. Yet when Tri-C JazzFest director Terri Pontremoli canceled that show, it wasn’t a double bar, but only a fermata.

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Mostly Other People Do the Killing Finds the Laughter in “Disasters” At Bop Stop

 

Mostly Other People Do the Killing
from left: Moppa Elliot, Ron Stabinsky and Kevin Shea of Mostly Other People Do the Killing

If you can’t figure out why the song titles at tomorrow night’s Bop Stop concert by Mostly Other People Do the Killing might provoke laughter among some audience members, don’t worry. They’re just Pennsylvanians who are in on the joke.

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Chicago’s Ethnic Heritage Ensemble Returns To Erie With the Spirit

 

Ethnic Heritage Ensemble at Artlore Studio 2019

Lately there’s been a revival of interest in so-called spiritual jazz, a meditative offshoot of the 1960’s avant-garde that was advanced by figures such as the late harpist and organist Alice Coltrane and Pharaoh Sanders, a tenor saxophonist very much with us whose “Promises,” a collaboration with British electronic musician Floating Points, topped many critics’ lists of 2021’s best jazz recordings.

The attention these once undervalued players are receiving is both gratifying and overdue, but spiritual jazz has never gone away, as anyone who has had the privilege of attending the nearly annual Erie concerts of Kahil El’Zabar‘s Ethnic Heritage Ensemble can tell you.

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Check Out Jazz at the Library with Céline Iris and Dan Bruce

A good measure of the health of a scene is the different kinds of venues that present the music.  You expect to find jazz at outdoor festivals, college music departments, concert halls and, of course, in jazz clubs. And yes, all music scenes have taken hits over the last 23 months, but the appearance of a jazz concert on a Sunday afternoon at a public library has to be taken as a hopeful sign.

When that concert, Sunday, 2 p.m. at Wadsworth Public Library, involves artists as eminent as guitarist Dan Bruce and vocalist Céline Iris, it’s a very positive development indeed.

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