Following on the heels of successful runs with pianist Aaron Parks and vibraphonist Joel Ross, as well as guitarist Miles Okazaki and pianist Paul Cornish, The Jazz Gallery kicks off its third and final edition of the 2016 Mentorship Series with a pair of multi-reedists—mentor Dayna Stephens and mentee Patrick Bartley.
Stephens (who is filling in for announced mentor Ambrose Akinmusire due to scheduling conflicts), is a longtime member of The Jazz Gallery family. He’s one of the hardest-working musicians in New York, always running several projects at once. While his last album, Peace (Sunnyside), featured a slate of classic jazz ballads and a top-flight rhythm section featuring pianist Brad Mehldau and drummer Eric Harland, one of Stephens’s current active projects is a plugged-in trio called “3WI,”where Stephens explores the myriad possibilities of the EWI (Electric Wind Instrument). Stephens has sat down with The Jazz Gallery’s blog Jazz Speaks a number of times, so check out the interviews below to get a sense of Stephens’s musical approach.
While most young jazz musicians today would profess to be into a wide variety of music, Patrick Bartley takes that commitment to musical omnivorism to a new level. Just this past month, Bartley released the debut album of his collaborative ensemble J-Music, a group of his peers from the Manhattan School of Music that explores Japanese pop music through improvisation. In addition, Bartley led a group that performed the music of Bix Beiderbecke and Frankie Trumbauer at the NYC Hot Jazz Festival. This past summer, he toured with Wynton Marsalis and the Young Stars of Jazz, showing how effortlessly Bartley can navigate varied styles and musical sub-communities in New York. And like Stephens, Bartley has taken to the EWI, even performing on it with Jon Batiste & Stay Human on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
Over the course of four concerts, Stephens will mentor Bartley by exploring the possibilities afforded by different woodwind instruments, from saxophone to clarinet to EWI. They’ll play a number of compositions by Stephens, as well as some of Bartley’s, and like in Stephens’s own groups, will work with a rotating cast of top-notch rhythm section players, including bassist Ben Street and drummer Johnathan Blake. The concert schedule is as follows:
Thursday, November 3rd – 9 PM – SEEDS (617 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY)
Wednesday, November 16th – 7 PM – Shapeshifter Lab (18 Whitwell Pl, Brooklyn, NY)
Monday, November 21st – 7 PM – The National Jazz Museum in Harlem (58 West 129th Street, Harlem, New York, NY)
Thursday, December 15th – 7:30 and 9:30 PM – The Jazz Gallery (1160 Broadway, New York, NY)