Smoke Jazz Club Announces Fall Concert Schedule

One of New York’s premier live music venues, Smoke Jazz Club, presents a stellar lineup of legendary jazz artists and emerging voices for the fall season. Acclaimed for its essential music programming and inspired setting, the Smoke Jazz Club recently reopened to great fanfare after being closed to live entertainment and indoor dining for more than two years. This revered institution has embarked on an impressive expansion and renovation that is cementing its place as a world-renowned destination for the best in classical and modern jazz.

The fall season features four releases from Smoke Sessions Records: legendary drummer Al Foster Reflections (September 1-4); Steve Turre and His Sextet Generations (September 14); Nicholas Payton Trio (November 10-13) and a special Thanksgiving weekend concert series by Wayne Escoffery Quintet (November 25-27). Inimitable pianist/composer Vijay Iyer makes his Smoke Jazz Club debut (September 15-18). An all-star roster of Joe Lovano (tenor sax), Kevin Hays (piano), Ben Street (bass) and Al Foster (drums) celebrates one of jazz’s most prolific composers, Thelonious Monk, in an unforgettable run of four nights (13-16 October). Please scroll down for more artist information and full schedule or visit When: every Wednesday-Sunday at 7 p.m. + 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
(Friday and Saturday only). Doors open at 5:00 p.m.

Complete range:

Thursday September 1-4 Al Foster Quintet: Reflections (Smoke Sessions Records) cd release
Chris Potter – tenor saxophone
Nicholas Payton – trumpet
Kevin Hays – piano
Vincent Archer – bass
Al Foster – drums

The great drummer Al Foster celebrates the release of his eloquent and important new recording. Available now on Smoke Sessions Records, Reflections pays homage and thanks to loved ones and mentors such as Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis. Foster is well known for his long association with Miles Davis. His melodic drumming and rhythmic inventions were the pulse of Davis’ bands throughout the 70s and 80s. everyone is playing and could keep the rhythm forever”. Famous for making everyone around him better, Foster’s life in music has many other highlights, including significant work with Sonny Rollin, Herbie HancockStan Getz, McCoy Tyner and Joe Henderson. Rollins called him “the last of the great living jazz drummers”. This special Labor Day weekend concert series features a simply brilliant quintet featuring trumpeter Nicholas Payton, saxophonist Chris Potter, pianist Kevin Hays and bassist Vincent Archer.

Thu-Sun September 8-11 Eddie Henderson Quintet
Eddie Henderson – trumpet
Donald Harrison – alto saxophone
George Cables – piano
Gerald Cannon – bass
Lenny White – drums

According to The New York Times, “trumpet master Eddie Henderson’s deft feel and sumptuous sound made him a central figure in the worlds of jazz-funk and hard-bop in the 1970s”. But the most recent recordings of the perennial young Henderson have also been widely acclaimed and prove that he is some of the most important music of his career into his 80s. The Chicago Reader adds, “His progressive, assured, imaginative improvisations unfold in a glorious, sun-splashed tone … he seems to dance through his solos, balancing his fast clockwork technique with bursts of bluesy soul.” According to Downbeat, “His musical wisdom, gleaned over decades from the finest jazz bandstands, informs every note infallibly.” Lenny White, all major conductors themselves.

Wednesday September 14 Steve Turre Sextet: Generations (Smoke Sessions Records) cd release
Steve Turre – trombone and shells
Wallace Roney Jr. – trumpet
Emilio Modeste – tenor saxophone
Isaiah Thompson – piano
Corcoran Holt – bass
Orion Turre – drums

Steve Turre, a legendary artistic innovator with both trombone and seashells, celebrates the release of his new album Generations (Smoke Sessions Records, TBR 9/16). His energetic and youthful ensemble includes the trumpeter Wallace Roney Jr., saxophonist Emilio Modeste, pianist Isaiah Thompson, bassist Corcoran Holt and drummer Orion Turre, an impressive crop of emerging jazz voices. Turre’s storied career includes collaborations with music legends such as Ray Charles, Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Woody Shaw, and he has consistently won readers’ and critics’ polls in JazzTimes, Downbeat and Jazziz for “Best Trombone” and for “Best Miscellaneous Instrumentalist (Shells)”. A versatile master and true jazz original, he’s equally at home on everything from rocking classic bop lines to evoking Rahsaan over a deep groove. Downbeat says, “Few artists ‘own’ their instrument as much as trombonist Steve Turre. Whether playing the music of Rahsaan Roland Kirk, performing as a member of house band Saturday Night Live or with one of his own units, his voice is distinctive and memorable.”

Thr-Sun Sept 15-18 Vijay Iyer Trio
Vijay Iyer – piano
Harish Raghavan – bass
Jeremy Dutton – drums
with special guest
Graham Haynes – trumpet (Friday and Saturday only)

Vijay Iyer has been described by The New York Times as “a social conscience, multimedia collaborator, system builder, rhapsodist, historical thinker, and multicultural bridge.” He is also one of the most famous and renowned pianists and composers of the 21st century. He is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, among many accolades, and has been named Jazz Artist of the Year by Downbeat four times in the past decade. He was called an “American treasure” by Minnesota Public Radio and hailed by Pitchfork as “one of the best in the world at what he does”. His latest recording UnEasy features an illuminating and fascinating trio and he leads another here with bassist Harish Raghavan and drummer Jeremy Dutton for his highly anticipated Smoke Jazz Club debut. Iyer will also feature special guest trumpeter Graham Haynes on Friday and Saturday only.

Thu-Sun Sep 22-25 One For All
Jim Rotondi – trumpet
Eric Alexander – tenor saxophone
Steve Davis – trombone
David Hazeltine – piano
John Webber – bass
Joe Farnsworth – drums

Originally influenced by the music of Art Blakey, Horace Silver, Art Farmer and Benny Golson, beloved sextet One for All have been called “New York’s first hard bop supergroup” by the Jazz Times. “Cohesive and interdependent, these musicians bring out the best in each other,” adds All About Jazz. The name of the group is taken from Steve DavisBlakey’s line-up and lead song for Jazz Messengers’ latest album, One for All. This original lineup with trumpeter Jim Rotondi, saxophonist Eric Alexandertrombonist Steve Davis, pianist David Hazeltine, bassist Peter Washington and drummer Joe Farnsworth first performed 25 years ago. Over this quarter century, One for All have delivered many unforgettable performances to Smoke, as they are sure to do again.

Wed Sep 28 Micah Thomas Trio
Micah Thomas – piano
Dean Torrey – bass
Kayvon Gordon – drums

Pianist Micah Thomas is one of the emerging leaders of a new generation who brings a new perspective and creative energy to the tradition of modern jazz. In addition to leading his trio, Thomas is a regular member of the Immanuel Wilkins Quartet and the Giveton Gelin Quintet, and as a sideman for Ambrose Akinmusire, Lage Lund, Joel Ross, Nicole Glover, Melissa Aldana, Gabe Schnider and others. The New York Times states, “Only occasionally—a few times in a generation, even—does a pianist turn up who seems to have engulfed and processed as much music as his style can make sense of both the history and present of jazz in a single movement.Micah Thomas is one of these players.

Thu-Sun Sept 29-Oct 2 Elio Villafranca & The Jass Syncopators cd release
Elio Villafranca – piano
Steve Wilson – alto and soprano saxophone
Vincent Herring – tenor saxophone and flute
Alex Norris – trumpet
Edward Perez – bass
Dion Parson – drums
Mauricio Herrera – percussion

Smoke is delighted to welcome back Cuban jazz pianist and composer Elio Villafranca to celebrate the release of his latest album Standing at the Crossroads. This recording speaks of his own life experiences as an artist, growing up in the small town of San Luis, Pinar del Rio, surrounded by Congolese drummers, trained in Russian classical music, while falling in love with jazz. Elio Villafranca leads his exciting band the Jazz Syncopators. Villafranca is a spellbinding pianist who has recorded and performed with masters such as Pat Martino, Terell Stafford, Billy Hart, Paquito D’Rivera, Eric AlexanderLewis Nash, David Murrayand Wynton Marsalis. He brings an original musical perspective and is at the forefront of an exciting new generation of musicians. Downbeat states, “Villafranca has become a dominant presence on the jazz scene, not just in the United States but around the world.” The Jass Syncopators highlight the significant influence of the Caribbean region, particularly Cuba, on jazz music since its beginnings in New Orleans.

Thu-Sun Oct 6-9 Chestnut Cyrus Quartet
Chestnut Cyrus -piano
Freddie Hendrix – trumpet
TBD – low
Willie Jones III – drums

Oct. 13-16 Bird & Diz: Dizzy Gillespie Party

Wed 19 Oct Amina Figarova Sextet
Amina Figarova -piano
Wayne Escoffery – tenor saxophone
Alex Pope Norris – trumpet
Bart Platteau – flutes
Yasushi Nakamura – bass
Rudy Royston – drums

October 20 to 23, Thursday to Sunday Monk’s Music: Hays/Lovano/Foster/Street
Joe Lovano – tenor saxophone
Kevin Hays – piano
Ben Street – bass
Al Foster – drums

Thu-Sun Oct 27-30 Russell Malone Quartet
Russell Malone – guitar
Rick Germanson – piano
Vincent Dupont – bass
Neal Smith – drums

November 3-6 November 3-6 Charles McPherson Quartet
Charles McPherson – alto saxophone
Terell Stafford – trumpet
Jeb Patton – piano
David Wong – bass
Billy Drummond – drums

Thr-Sun Nov 10-13 Nicholas Payton Trio with Buster Williams & Lenny White (Smoke Sessions Records) cd release
Nicholas Payton – trumpet, piano and rhodes
Buster Williams – bass
Lenny White – drums

Fri-Sun November 25-27 Wayne Escoffery Quintet (Smoke Sessions Records) cd release

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