Want to see some world-class jazz? Well,
put away your tokens and your MetroCard because you don’t have
to "Take the ’A’ Train" to the Village Vanguard or
the Blue Note. If it’s great jazz music you want, Brooklyn is
the place to be.
During the month of April, Brooklyn will
play host to the Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium’s second annual
Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival. The festival, which will include
performances, panel discussions, a youth jazz jam and a gala
event, runs from April 4 through April 15. The events will take
place at clubs, churches and cultural centers all around the
Featured artists for the festival include
trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, vocalist Billy Paul, saxophonists
James Spaulding and Billy Harper and pianists Ronnie Matthews
and Barry Harris.
Although last year’s festival was a success
by all accounts, the 2001 festival promises to be even better.
"This year’s festival is expected
to exceed last year’s," said Torrie McCartney, a Jazz Consortium
spokeswoman. "While last year’s festival was nine days,
this year’s is 12, and we have also added new venues to the festival
such as the Williamsburg Music Center, Concord Baptist and St.
Philip’s Episcopal Church."
The Jazz Consortium was created last year
to coordinate the first Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival. According
to McCartney, the CBJC is "an organization comprised of
17 local groups, including educational groups, clubs, churches,
not-for-profits and businesses, in order to forward jazz music
in the community. The consortium hopes to promote jazz music,
but also to promote economic growth for the community, and for
On April 4, the 2001 Central Brooklyn Jazz
Festival will kick off on a high note with a gala event at the
Sugarhill Supper Club [DeKalb and Nostrand avenues, (718) 797-1727]
in Bedford-Stuyvesant. In addition to performances by the CBJC
All-Star Band and The Ronnie Matthews Trio, the gala will also
include a birthday celebration for pianist Randy Weston and the
2001 induction ceremony for the Brooklyn Jazz Hall of Fame.
The Hall of Fame was created in conjunction
with last year’s festival, and this year, the late jazz vocalist
Betty Roche, who sang with the Duke Ellington Orchestra in the
1940s and 1950s, will be added to its prestigious roster. Lifetime
achievement awards will be presented to pianist Randy Weston,
bassist Leonard Gaskin and legendary bebop drummer Max Roach,
while Ed Stoute will be this year’s recipient of the Jazz Impact
"The Jazz Impact Award is an honor
given to a local jazz musician who has improved and contributed
to the community, even if he or she has not received worldwide
recognition," explained McCartney. "This year’s recipient,
Ed Stoute, is a longtime employee of Con Edison in Brooklyn and
a pianist-composer who, for over 20 years, has played for local
events and has always given the community great music,"
Two of the festival’s standout performances
will take place at the Up Over Jazz Cafe [351 Flatbush Ave.,
(718) 398-5413] in Park Slope. On April 7 at 9 pm, 11 pm and
midnight, the club will host the beautiful tone and technique
of hard-bop trumpeter Freddie Hubbard for the reunion of the
Night of the Cookers band.
These sets will bring together most of
the players who recorded the Blue Note album "Night of the
Cookers" live at the Marchal Supper Club, including Hubbard,
saxophonist James Spaulding, bassist Larry Ridley and Pete "La
Roca" Sims on drums. Not only is the reunion a special event,
but since April 7 is the birthday of both Hubbard and Sims, it
is sure to be a real happening.
On April 13 and 14 at 9 pm, 10 pm and midnight,
Up Over Jazz will present the Billy Harper Quintet as its featured
event of the festival. Saxophonist Harper, with his distinctive
hymnal-bop style, made his name playing with the likes of Gil
Evans, Lee Morgan and McCoy Tyner, and continues to record and
Robert Myers of Up Over Jazz participated
in last year’s festival and is involved again this year. He believes
that the Jazz Consortium and the festival have had a visible
and important impact on Brooklyn.
"Since last year, I have seen the
emergence of new jazz clubs in Brooklyn, such as the Five Spot
[259 Myrtle Ave. at Washington Avenue in Clinton Hill] and Sista’s
Place [456 Nostrand Ave. at Jefferson Avenue in Bed-Stuy], which
have music at least a couple nights a week," said Myers.
"Jazz flourished in Brooklyn from the ’50s until around
1965, when there were many legendary clubs on Fulton Street,
like the Blue Coronet, that brought in some of the great artists
of the time, such as Thelonious Monk, Max Roach and Miles Davis.
"The festival," said Myers. "is
helping to bring jazz back home to Brooklyn."
The second annual Central Brooklyn Jazz
Festival takes place at venues around Brooklyn from April 4 through
April 15. For more information, call the Central Brooklyn Jazz
Consortium at (718) 875-1016.
Jazz fest events
April 4, 6 pm
Sugar Hill Restaurant Supper Club [609 DeKalb Ave. at Nostrand
Avenue, (718) 797-1727]. Admission: $10
CBJC All-star Band. Trombonist Benny Powell, trumpeter Ahkmed
Abdullah, bass guitarist Stanley Banks, pianist Danny Mixon.
Brooklyn Jazz Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Randy Weston Birthday
celebration and lifetime achievement presentation and performance
by The Ronnie Mathews Trio.
April 5, 7 pm
Brown Sugar Club [433 Marcus Garvey Boulevard at Macon Street,
(718) 919-4163]. Admission: $5
The First Jazz Circle Band
April 6, 7 pm
Skylight Gallery [1368 Fulton St. at New York Avenue, (718) 636-0919].
"Women’s Viewpoint in Jazz: The Real Deal," a panel
discussion and performance. Panelists-performers Melba Joyce,
Paula Hampton, Kim Clark, Joanne P. Brackeen and Karen Taylor.
Also, a tribute to the late Rosalind Blair.
April 7, 6 pm
Medgar Evers Auditorium [1650 Bedford Ave. at Crown Street, (718)
875-1016]. Admission: $25
Billie Holiday Jazz Festival and Billy Paul’s "Remembering
Me and Mrs. Jones."
April 8, 7:30 pm
Williamsburg Music Center [367 Bedford Ave. at South Sixth Street,
(718) 384-1654]. Admission: $10
Williamsburg All-stars Gerry Eastman, Joe Ford, Leon Dorsey,
Mfergue and Newman Taylor Baker.
April 9, 8 pm
Sista’s Place [456 Nostrand Ave. at Jefferson Ave., (718) 398-1766].
James Spaulding Ensemble
April 10, 7 pm
Akwaaba Cafe [347 McDonough St. at Lewis Avenue, (718) 774-1444].
April 11, 7 pm
Club Traci’s [414-416 Tompkins Ave. at Halsey Avenue, (718) 398-2916].
Cliff Lee Plus 3
April 12, 9 pm
Pumpkins [1448 Nostrand Ave. at Church Avenue, (718) 284-9086].
Bobby Forrester, Tootsie Bean and Friends
April 13, 7 pm
The Concord Baptist Church of Christ [833 Gardner C. Taylor Blvd.
at Putnam Avenue, (718) 434-4438]. Donations accepted
"Good Friday Jazz Vesper" with Dr. Barry Harris and
The Barry Harris Jazz Chorus.
April 13, 8 pm and 10 pm
Jazz 966 [966 Fulton St. at Cambridge Place, (718) 638-6910].
"Billie’s Birthday Bounce" with Benny Russell Band
and swing dancing.
April 13, noon
Prospect Heights High School [883 Classon Ave.]. Admission: $3
adults, and $1 youths
"Youth Jam" featuring Crown Heights Youth Collective
and Non-Stop Productions.
April 14, 9 pm, 10:30 pm and midnight
Up Over Jazz Cafe [351 Flatbush Ave. at Seventh Avenue, (718)
398-5413]. Admission: $20
Billy Harper Quintet
April 14, 8 pm
Restoration Plaza [Bed-Stuy Restoration, 1368 Fulton St., (718)
636-6944]. Admission: $10
Bass guitarist Stanley Banks and Friends
April 15, 8 am
Five Spot Soul Food Restaurant [459 Myrtle Ave. and Washington
Avenue, (718) 852-0202]. Admission: $10
All-day jazz brunch featuring percussionist Eric Frazier.
April 28, 3 pm
St. Phillips Episcopal Church [265 Decatur St., (718) 778-8700]
Drake Colley Quartet and Torrie McCartney Quintet
– compiled by Terence Minerbrook