2009 Winter Jazzfest | 01.10 | NYC

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Words & Images by: Dino Perrucci

2009 Winter Jazzfest | 01.10.09 | New York City

Saturday, January 10 marked the 5th annual Winter Jazzfest here in NYC. The Festival is held the same weekend as the Association of Performing Arts Presenters conference and is aimed mainly at those attendees, although tickets were also available to the public. This year the event was spread over three venues; Sullivan Hall, Kenny’s Castaways and Le Poisson Rouge, with music going from 6 p.m. until 4 a.m. With all that music going on and overlapping sets it was impossible to see everything.

My night began with Jonathan Batiste and his band at Sullivan Hall. Batiste, one of the brightest young pianists in the music scene and born into one of the great musical families of New Orleans was electric. The Marco Benevento Trio saw keyboardist Benevento joined by Marc Friedman on bass and Slip bandmate Andrew Barr on drums. The set leaned heavily on songs from his forthcoming CD, Me Not Me. Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey played in their new quartet configuration and wowed a packed Kenny’s Castaways. The featured set of the night was The Watts Project. Led by drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts, the Project was rounded out by Christian McBride on bass, Terence Blanchard on trumpet and in a thinly disguised billing, Prometheus Jenkins a.k.a. Branford Marsalis on saxophone. The highly anticipated set lived up to its billing as each artist took turns standing out during their solos. The set was a preview of the CD Watts coming out on February 3. I also got to hear some great music from Toshi Reagon + Big Lovely, Tar Baby and Don Byron‘s Ivey-Divey Trio. The very close proximity of the three venues allowed listeners to at least sample many different sounds even if you couldn’t stick around for the whole set. In all it was a very enjoyable night with some world class musicians.

Jonathan Batiste :: Sullivan Hall
Jonathan Batiste :: Sullivan Hall
Jonathan Batiste :: Sullivan Hall
Jonathan Batiste :: Sullivan Hall
Toshi Reagon + BIG Lovely Sullivan Hall
Toshi Reagon + BIG Lovely Sullivan Hall
Marco Benevento Sullivan Hall
Andrew Barr Sullivan Hall
Don Byron & Jason Moran – Le Poisson Rouge
Stacy Dillard (Tar Baby) Kenny’s Castaways
Eric Revis (Tar Baby) Kenny’s Castaways
Orrin Evans (Tar Baby) Kenny’s Castaways
Tar Baby Kenny’s Castaways
JFJO Kenny’s Castaways
JFJO Kenny’s Castaways
Jeff “Tain” Watts Le Poisson Rouge
Terrence Blanchard & Branford Marsalis Le Poisson Rouge
Terrence Blanchard Le Poisson Rouge
Branford Marsalis Le Poisson Rouge
Branford Marsalis & Christian McBride Le Poisson Rouge
Jeff “Tain” Watts Le Poisson Rouge
Christian McBride Le Poisson Rouge
Christian McBride Le Poisson Rouge

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