The Best Jazz Shows in New York City This Week

Categories: Jazz

Pat Metheny Unity Band.jpg
The Pat Metheny Unity Band
New York is, on any given day, practically oozing with great jazz. Here's a list of jazz shows happening in the city this week we think you'll enjoy.

Jazz for Obama 2012: The Jazz Concert for America's Future
Jazz may have lost its political edge in the 1960s, but that doesn't mean that jazz musicians have stopped caring about politics. The pianist Aaron Goldberg has been organizing jazz benefit concerts for Democratic presidential campaigns since John Kerry's run in 2004. Jazz for Obama 2012, which takes place Tuesday night at Symphony Space, will feature an all-star cast of jazz luminaries, including saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, bassist Ron Carter, guitarist Jim Hall, singer Dee Dee Bridgewater, and pianist Geri Allen, among many others.

See Also:

- Inside With Thelonious Monk
- Peering Inside Pat Metheny's Greenpoint Robot Factory
- Pat Metheny Welcomes Your Jazz Robot Overlords

Bill Charlap Trio
It's autumn in New York, and as the song goes, "It spells the thrill of first-nighting." The Bill Charlap Trio, which happens to play that ballad very well, will kick off the first night of its two-week run at the Village Vanguard on Tuesday. With Charlap on piano, Kenny Washington on drums, and Peter Washington on bass (no relation), the band makes some of the most refined and elegant music in jazz, with an emphasis on beautiful, old standards: American popular song from the first half of the 20th century.

Monk at 95: Counting Down to 100
Thelonious Monk, who died in 1982, would have turned 95 this week. To honor his important legacy, Arts Brookfield presents this free tribute concert on Wednesday, at the World Financial Center, from noon to 3 p.m. The event will spotlight a variety of pianists, interpreting Monk's body of work: Manuel Valera, Elio Villafranca, James Weidman, Michael Cochrane, and Jean-Michel Pilc. This is the fifth year the event has been put on, and it will continue until 2017, which marks the centennial of Monk's birth.

Pat Metheny Unity Band
The newish Pat Metheny Unity Band--which released a solid, self-titled album last June--brings a folkish quality to its music. The group -- including Metheny on guitar, Chris Potter on saxophones and bass clarinet, Ben Williams on bass, and Antonio Sanchez on drums -- is currently touring the United States; it has played nearby in Katonah, New York, and Englewood, New Jersey, but not yet in New York City. This Friday, Metheny brings his quartet to Town Hall for a one-night affair.

Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers
There's a good dose of Louis Armstrong's raffish bonhomie in the demeanor of trumpeter Kermit Ruffins (you may know him from the HBO series Treme). Like Armstrong too, Ruffins, a New Orleans native, can play and sing very well, with a clean trumpet tone and a gravelly voice. This Saturday, Ruffins brings his affable and agile jazz quintet, the Barbecue Swingers, up from the Crescent City for one night at the Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg. The Gold Magnolias, a neo-soul outfit from Brooklyn, will open the set.

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