Big cities do not have exclusive rights to major jazz artists. First-rank musicians play performance halls in small and medium-sized towns that New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris and Tokyo may think of as the hinterlands. Here are five US examples, among dozens.
Saturday, January 12, pianist Stanley Cowell will play a concert at Cityfolk in Dayton, Ohio. Go here to read about it. Check out the left-hand column of the Cityfolk page for the future lineup of pianists–Steve Kuhn, Bruce Barth with Terell Stafford, Bill Charlap with Houston Person. There’s serious listening in Dayton.
The same evening, the brilliant Swedish pianist Jan Lundgren plays a trio concert at The Seasons in Yakima, Washington, his only US engagement following a recording session in Los Angeles and an evening at the Jazz Bakery. Nancy King will play The Seasons on January 26, the Bill Charlap Trio on February 16.
In February, The Shedd Institute will present The Bad Plus, a highlight of the winter season in Eugene, Oregon. The town will never be the same.
Wynton Marsalis brings the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra to The Outpost in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They’ll be followed by Pat Metheny with Christian McBride and Antonio Sanchez.
At Cambria on the California coast halfway between L.A. and San Francisco, The Hamlet At Moonstone Gardens becomes a concert hall on Sundays. Vibraphonist Charlie Shoemake and his vocalist wife Sandi bring in other name musicians. Tomorrow, January 6, the guest will be big band trumpet mainstay Don Rader. January 20 alto saxophonist Lanny Morgan (pictured above) joins the Shoemakes with pianist Tom Ranier, bassist Tom Warrington and drummer Joe LaBarbera.
Think Topeka, Kansas, isn’t hip? The Topeka Jazz Workshop recently had concerts by Gary Foster and by B.E.D. with Rebecca Kilgore, Eddie Erickson and Dan Barrett. This winter, the hall has booked dates by the rising young pianist John Proulx and by Tiger Okoshi, a trumpeter who has melded into academia but lost none of his power to astonish listeners.
Look around your area. There may be more music than you think.
In Northern California, the Redwood Jazz Alliance has started bringing jazz performers to Humboldt County. Our next show is Myra Melford and friends, on 1/26/08. Check out our season and come visit us for a show!
Dave and the RJA