Suzanne Lorge


United States

Suzanne's areas of specialization as a freelance writer are music, culture, and business. Her work has been published by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, Huffington Post, Washington Times, Institutional Investor magazine, and various trades. In addition to staff positions at two magazines (Institutional Investor and Insight at The Washington Times), Suzanne has held editorial or writing positions at several prominent financial institutions, among them The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, and Citi.

Suzanne contributes features and reviews to Downbeat magazine, Jazziz magazine, and The New York City Jazz Record, where she has served as the VoxNews columnist for 15 years. Other recent clients include the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Classical Singer magazine, United Nations Population Fund, and World Goodwill @ the UN.


What's New

DownBeat Magazine
Happy Trails with Hilary Gardner

What Hilary Gardner wanted most growing up was to move to New York and sing jazz. But she lived in a small town in rural Alaska, and "the first music I ever got paid to sing was Patsy Cline covers at dive bars," she revealed to the...

DownBeat Magazine
Myles Wright's Gaming Music

Australian composer/arranger Myles Wright chose the repertoire for his latest self-produced release, Gamer, with particular care. He was adapting classic gaming soundtracks for jazz orchestra and these tunes, though utterly captivating,...

DownBeat Magazine
Time to Be Adventurous

Samara Joy posted a personal video on her social media this fall in which her grandfather, Elder Goldwire McLendon, is singing "It Is Well With My Soul," surrounded by relatives gathered in a diner to celebrate his 93rd birthday. At...

New York City Jazz Record
VoxNews Column

Suzanne has written NYCJR's VoxNews column for 15 years.

Suzanne Lorge

Suzanne's albums are available through Bandcamp.

Oldies but Goodies

The New York Times
Krugman & Co

Suzanne wrote 90+ sidebars on economist Paul Krugman's op-ed pages for the New York Times Syndicate during 2010-11.

New York Times
The Metropolitan Diary

An anecdote about a little boy's happy warbling on a sweltering subway.

Suzanne Lorge
Julie Benko: A Wish

Before NYC-based singer/actor Julie Benko took top honors in the American Traditions Competition in Savannah, Georgia, this past February, she'd already completed two Broadway contracts, two national tours, and several regional shows. In a recent phone call from her TheatreWorks Silicon Valley gig i

Unlocking the Value of Veterans in the Workplace

Every year at Veteran's Day we hear a lot about the need for companies to do a better job of recruiting veterans. The good news is that corporate outreach to veterans is working. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that corporate hiring of veterans has risen by 11% since 2011, the year the "VOW to Hire Heroes" Act passed.

The New York City Jazz Record
Creating Freedom

Cover story on multiple-Grammy-winning jazz pianist/composer Chick Corea.

Music, Music, and More Music

DownBeat Magazine
Sean Mason's Southern Spirit of Celebration

Pianist-composer Sean Mason lives in New York - he moved there in 2018 to attend Juilliard - but he remains deeply immersed in the cultural heritage of his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. He summons this birthright on his 2023...

Downbeat Magazine
Matana Roberts: COIN COIN Chapter Five: in the garden

So many female histories are forgotten—if they were ever noted to begin with. On COIN COIN Chapter Five: in the garden (Constellation), composer and multi-instrumentalist Matana Roberts not only asserts this truth but seeks to remedy at least one such omission.

DownBeat Magazine
Artemis, Jazz Group of the Year

In some ways, it's hard to believe that Artemis is only 6 years old. Not just for the group's rapid ascent into the jazz firmament, but for its players' cool-headed resilience in the face of tectonic change. First, there was the...

DownBeat Magazine
Darcy James Argue's Walk Through History

In 2010, when Darcy James Argue wrote "Dymaxion," a masterstroke for large ensemble, he knew it was the beginning of something bigger - a series of musical portraits, each celebrating a forward-looking 20th-century thinker. This...

Downbeat Magazine
jaimie branch: Fly or Die Fly or Die Fly or Die ((world war))

During jaimie branch’s too-short life—she died in August 2022 at age 39—the forward-leaning trumpeter challenged many a status quo. You can hear her tearing down walls on Fly or Die Fly or Die Fly or Die ((world war)), her posthumous release for Chicago’s International Anthem label.

DownBeat Magazine
Arturo O'Farrill: The Trio as Jazz Orchestra

The cover of Arturo O'Farrill's new trio album, Legacies, shows a 12-year-old O'Farrill sitting on his father's knee. His legendary father, bandleader Chico O'Farrill (1921-2001), liked to spend hours listening to...

DownBeat Magazine
Saratoga Jazz Fest Presents a Tide of Musical Cross-Currents

The Saratoga Jazz Festival, now in its 46th year, hosted 21 top-tier acts at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center the weekend of June 24-25. SPAC, a historic venue nestled in the verdure of Saratoga State Park in upstate New York,...

Downbeat Magazine
Rachel Eckroth Ponders Her Jazz Predilections

This arresting collection of solo pieces for acoustic piano—entirely improvised—reveals the powerful musical mind that feeds all of Rachel Eckroth’s ensemble projects.

Downbeat Magazine
Chico Pinheiro & Romero Lubambo: Two Brothers

A pair of mountains along the Ipanema coastline serves as inspiration for Two Brothers, the latest offering from Brazilian guitarists Chico Pinheiro and Romero Lubambo. The 12 duets on this Sunnyside release give expression to the breadth of the instrumentalists’ musical passions, from classic sambas to jazz standards to contemporary pop.

Downbeat Magazine
Kurt Elling & Charlie Hunter: Superblue: Guilty Pleasures

Each track on singer Kurt Elling’s newest release with guitarist Charlie Hunter, Superblue: Guilty Pleasures, opens with a rhythmic signal: a rap on the rim, a kick against the skin, a thwack on a string. These salvos ignite the momentum of each tune—no question that what comes next is going to be decisive, powerful, and groove-heavy.

Downbeat Magazine
The Baylor Project's Storefront Church

Hundreds of chrysanthemums filled the dim-lit room at Apparatus, a midtown Manhattan design studio where the Baylor Project performed for three nights last May. On a whim, the husband-wife duo decided to record the event. That album, The Evening: Live at Apparatus, would earn them their fifth and sixth Grammy nominations.

New York City Jazz Record
Encore: Rosa Passos

On Rosa Passos’ new live recording, Samba Sem Você (Storyville), the celebrated Brazilian singer/guitarist maneuvers the rhythmic currents and fast-paced melodies artfully, her longtime trio synchronized to her pace. By the time she recorded this album, the Bahian artist was two decades out from her debut, Recriação, the record that launched her reputation as one of the foremost interpreters of the Bossa Songbook.

Suzanne Lorge
Dena DeRose & the 2023 JEN Conference

A tenured professor at Austria's KUG, DeRose continues to head the University's vocal jazz program almost 17 years on, and Graz is her permanent home. From this perch at the center of European culture, she's crafted eight albums and solidified her global reputation as a top-tier jazz musician.

Downbeat Magazine
Bill Frisell: Four

With his newest album, guitarist Bill Frisell honors several close friends who recently passed. From this place of loss springs a serene work inspired by these deep, lasting bonds.

DownBeat Magazine
Readers Poll Winner / Christian McBride: Bass On Top

Christian McBride never strays too far from his bass, not even when he's offstage. Not when he's producing an international jazz festival, or running an intensive workshop, or broadcasting a radio show. His bass informs just about every aspect of his professional life.

Downbeat Magazine
Claudia Acuña: El Arte del Duo

Singer-songwriter Claudia Acuña had thought about doing a duets album for a long time. The emotional exposure of the pared-down structure intrigued her. The concept behind the musical content excited her. And the first steps toward booking the sessions made her nervous.

DownBeat Magazine
The Beauty of Jon Batiste's Spiritual Journey

On the surface of things, it seems counterintuitive that DownBeat critics would name the same musician both Jazz Artist of the Year and Beyond Artist of the Year - until you learn that the musician in question is Jon Batiste, and...

Shabaka Hutchings: Afrikan Culture

Bandleader Shabaka Hutchings departs from the usual with Afrikan Culture, his solo debut on Impulse! Records. Not that the Barbadian-British tenor player traffics much in the usual.

The Beat: Incentive & Revelation

Standards, blues, theater, rock, R&B—jazz singers find musical incentive everywhere that groove and verse intersect. Six new releases show how this incentive, in a skilled vocalist’s hands, leads to artistic revelation.

Joel Ross: The Parable of the Poet

When you hear vibraphonist Joel Ross play live, what amazes is his ability to extemporize compositions as fully fledged as if he'd fussed over their design for days.

William Hooker: Big Moon

Just how does William Hooker get all of his improvisational ideas to coalesce in real time?

Pat Metheny: Side-Eye's Raised Eyebrow

Pat Metheny's most recent album, Side-Eye NYC (V1-IV)—launched through Modern Recordings on September 10—is of a new order altogether. The album features his latest group, The Side-Eye Trio, which Metheny formed in 2016 as a platform for up-and-coming players.

The Arts Fuse
The 2021 Jazz Critics Poll: Only the Best - The Arts Fuse

Jazz isn't an orthodoxy, a religion, a form of faith healing, or a tribal rite - you don't have to be in the room with it the moment it happens to reap its benefits. When I had to scramble to find new headquarters for my annual Jazz Critics Poll once before, I called it "the oldest, established, permanent, floating crap game" in ...

Downbeat Magazine
Craig Taborn: Shadow Plays

Ten years after Craig Taborn introduced Avenging Angel, the studio album that first captured the composer’s singular approach to improvised solo piano, he releases Shadow Plays, an extrapolation of the earlier achievement.

Downbeat Magazine
Silke Eberhard & Takatsuki Trio Quartett: At Kühlspot

The Takatsuki Trio Quartett takes the first part of its name from the Japanese city that rests equidistant between Osaka and Kyoto. It takes the second part—the paradoxical part—from its gig format.

Downbeat Magazine
William Hooker: Big Moon

On William Hooker's second Org Music release of all new music, the prolific drummer again reveals an uncommon talent for spontaneous compositional design.

DownBeat Magazine
Meaning of the Blues in Three Takes

Warren Haynes: 'The First Sound That Moved Me' At last, Warren Haynes is carrying the banner of the blues. For the first time in the long life of his jam band Gov't Mule, the guitarist has hunkered down and recorded a blues album...

DownBeat Magazine
Berlin Jazz Fest Returns to Live

Jazzfest Berlin returned to in-person concerts Nov. 4–7 with the 58th edition of the acclaimed arts organization’s annual jazz festival. Building on last year’s innovative digital hook-up, this year’s festival aired concert broadcasts from four global cultural centers, featuring well over a hundred musicians in 40 improvisatory performances under the overarching theme Scenes of Now.

Downbeat Magazine
The Beat: Follow What You Love

“A big philosophy of mine is to follow what you love,” says free jazz legend Jay Clayton, who turned 80 this past October.

Matt Mitchell/Kate Gentile: Snark Horse

The concept behind Snark Horse, pianist Matt Mitchell and percussionist Kate Gentile's new release for Pi Recordings, intrigues as much for its exhaustive execution as for its perspicacious musicianship.

DownBeat Magazine
Carla Bley: The Voice

Given the tenor of the times, Carla Bley's extraordinary career shouldn't have happened. What were the chances in the 1950s that a teenaged girl from Oakland, California, would land smack in the middle of New York's vibrant jazz scene, much less emerge as one of its most lasting compositional voices?

DownBeat Magazine
Jazz Foundation of America Gala Returns

Midway through the 2021 Jazz Foundation of America Gala on June 30, singer Norah Jones took her seat at the piano, the smattering of sequins on her jacket glinting here and there in the lights of the City Winery stage. "It's my first...

James Francies: Purest Form

Purest Form (Blue Note) By Suzanne Lorge   |   Published July 2021 On James Francies' second Blue Note album, the pianist doesn't so much compose music as conjure fascinating nebulae of sound. Like Flight, his 2018 label debut, the sequel continues Francies' research into music as an abstract language grounded in the stuff of everyday life - vulnerability, resolve, love.

Todd Cochran TC3: Then and Again, Here and Now

Todd Cochran, a chameleon at the keyboards, breaks a 10-year hiatus from recording with Then And Again, Here And Now. That Cochran chose to return with a standards album seems significant.
The 2020 NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll

Below are the results of NPR Music's 8th Annual Jazz Critics Poll (my 15th, going back to the poll's beginnings in the Village Voice). These are the jazz albums that lit up a dark, unsettling year.

Jihye Lee: Daring Mind

Daring Mind (Motéma 0385) By Suzanne Lorge   |   Published May 2021 In 2018, South Korean composer/leader Jihye Lee won the BMI Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Prize for her big band chart "Unshakeable Mind," which led to a commission for a second piece, "Revived Mind."

DownBeat Magazine
Zenón Finds Light in Ornette

Once, when alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón was working as Charlie Haden's sideman, Ornette Coleman joined his former bassist on stage for an encore. Decades before, these two players had spearheaded the free-jazz movement as founding members of Coleman's revolutionary quartet. "That was the only time I ever saw them play together," Zenón remarked during an interview from his Manhattan home.

Pat Metheny: Road to the Sun

Pat Metheny's latest, Road To The Sun, represents several departures for the individualistic guitarist-composer.

DownBeat Magazine
Jennifer Wharton: Trombone Ecstasy

The trombone's warm, reverberating sound often goes unappreciated, contends Jennifer Wharton. Look to jazz history for the reason: The trombone, once the bellwether of swing, lost its popular footing when bebop arrived. Slides just can't move as fast as valves. "People forget that the trombone is so glorious," Wharton remarked in a remote interview from her New York home.

Benoît Delbecq: The Weight of Light

The little-known fact that light has mass intrigues Paris-based pianist Benoît Delbecq. In a quest to elucidate the physical manifestation of such ineffable things, the improvisatory composer launches The Weight Of Light, his first solo piano recording in more than a decade.

New York City Jazz Record
Hudson Jazz Fest Celebrates Black Lives

Many things recommend the former whaling town of Hudson, N.Y. besides its river perch, Greek Revivalist architecture and mid-century modern antique stores. Not the least of these is the Hudson Jazz Festival (Feb. 10-13 and Feb. 17-20), now in its fourth year.

Chris Potter: Sunrise Reprise

It's hard to think of Chris Potter as only a saxophone phenom after There Is A Tide, his 2020 solo album recorded at home and launched during lockdown. A one-man jazz orchestra, he played 14 instruments on the release, his third for the U.K.-based Edition imprint.

DownBeat Magazine
Eckemoff Excels in Numerous Art Forms

With Adventures Of The Wildflower, Yelena Eckemoff's new release on her label L&H Production, the composer adds another voluptuous creation to her extensive oeuvre of nature-themed works. This modern jazz song cycle-18 distinct pieces in all-depicts the life of a columbine plant, from seed to eventual death and rebirth.

Francisco Mela: MPT Trio Volume 1

Only once does drummer Francisco Mela cede control on MPT Trio Volume 1, his first album with tenorist Hery Paz and guitarist Juanma Trujillo.

Keith Jarrett: Budapest Concert

In the summer of 2016, pianist Keith Jarrett set out on a solo tour, concertizing extemporaneously in some of Europe's greatest performance halls. ECM, his label since the 1970s, was on hand to document the performances.

The Westerlies/Theo Bleckmann: This Land

On This Land, The Westerlies, an impeccably calibrated brass quartet, continues to stretch our understanding of musical inventiveness. This time, the pair of trumpeters and trombonists join forces with vocalist Theo Bleckmann on a program that alternates between stirring protest songs and soothing palliatives.

JAZZIZ Magazine
The Torchbearers: Young Jazz Leaders for 2021 - JAZZIZ Magazine

The next generation of jazz leaders does not hesitate to push past artistic boundaries. From their positions of increasing visibility,... This content is available to subscribers only. To continue reading, please login or start a FREE 14-Day Digital Subscription. Bundle your subscription with our award-winning print magazine here.

DownBeat Magazine
Gretchen Parlato In Bloom

In 2014, Gretchen Parlato's album Live In NYC earned her a Grammy nomination-a crowning glory to a decade of career triumphs-and then the singer-songwriter nearly dropped out of sight. Through the nine tracks on her new album, Flor (Edition), Parlato speaks to the personal transformation that inspired this career hiatus.

DownBeat Magazine
Ivo Perelman's Massive Oeuvre

In 2020, soon after the pandemic reached Brooklyn, Ivo Perelman's base of operation for decades, the tenor saxophonist decided to relocate to Fortaleza, a city in the northeast corner of his native Brazil. Perelman appreciates the daily routines he's established since then: a jaunt to the beach, diving in the Atlantic Ocean and hours of studying bel canto opera.

DownBeat Magazine
John Coltrane, Out Of Obscurity

In late June of 1964, in between Impulse Records studio dates for Crescent and A Love Supreme, saxophonist John Coltrane brought his classic quartet with pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Jimmy Garrison and drummer Elvin Jones to Rudy Van Gelder's New Jersey studio to lay down a handful of abbreviated tracks.

Thelonious Monk: Palo Alto

Thanks to an anonymous custodian with a tape recorder, today we have Palo Alto, the live recording of an unscheduled, off-tour concert that Thelonious Monk and his road band played in the fall of 1968.

Michael Feinberg: From Where We Came

Michael Feinberg tackles the concept of place on From Where We Came, the bassist's originals taking their titles from the names of cities that fostered groundbreaking talents-a device that suggests more than a passing interest in the formative conditions begetting greatness.

DownBeat Magazine
Dayna Stephens Fulfills Long-Held Dreams

Saxophonist Dayna Stephens' worldview differs from that of most people. As the survivor of a rare kidney disease, he understood the threat of the impending global pandemic earlier than most. "At the beginning [of the COVID-19 outbreak], I was really freaked out, because I'm on immunosuppressant drugs to keep the kidney I received," he recalled during a recent Zoom call.

DownBeat Magazine
Veronica Swift's Unconventional Turns

Singer Veronica Swift returned home from a gig in Italy just in time to celebrate the birthday of her mother, acclaimed jazz singer and educator Stephanie Nakasian. On Aug. 28 Swift, billed as one of "The Three Divas," had played...

Diana Krall: This Dream Of You

Diana Krall's This Dream Of You marks a turning point in the singer-pianist's career: a full-length, self-produced album. These 12 tracks-taken from earlier sessions with Tommy LiPuma (1936-2017), Krall's dedicated producer since 1995-not only channel the collaborators' past creative relationship, but further her move in other musical directions.

Yellowjackets: Jackets XL

On Jackets XL, Yellowjackets partner with WDR Big Band, one of Germany's most illustrious jazz organizations. It seems inevitable that these two ensembles would meet up: Longtime Yellowjackets saxophonist/EWI player Bob Mintzer has been conductor of the large ensemble for the past four years.

DownBeat Magazine
With Livestream And Transatlantic Performance Spaces, Jazzfest Berlin Goes Global

Live, News, COVID-19, Henry Threadgill, Potsa Lotsa XL, Anna Webber, Lakecia Benjamin, Tomas Fujiwara, Joel Ross, Kris Davis, Ingrid Laubrock, Craig Taborn In curating Jazzfest Berlin, Artistic Director Nadin Deventer always looks for a unifying narrative. For this year's edition, which ran Nov. 5-8, the fest's narrative wrote itself-but the plot twists kept Deventer hustling for months.

Edward Simon: 25 Years

During Edward Simon's lengthy career, his profile as a go-to sideman rose with gigs for heavy-hitters like Terence Blanchard. His own 13-disc catalog as a leader has received less attention, but 25 Years works to correct the lapse.

JD Allen: Toys Die Dreaming

By mashing up the names of two individualistic tunes, tenorist JD Allen arrived at the title of his new album, Toys/Die Dreaming. The first, "Toys," smolders as a freely melodic rumination, with Allen feeling out impressionistic lines alongside bassist Ian Kenselaar and drummer Nic Cacioppo.

Azymuth: JID 004

For the fourth release on their newly established Jazz Is Dead label, composers Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad team up with Azymuth, a long-standing Brazilian fusion trio.

DownBeat Magazine
In Newport, A Quiet August And The Virus' Financial Fallout

Fort Adams State Park-traditionally home to the Newport Jazz Festival-was uncharacteristically quiet the first week of August this year. Across the harbor from the park, sailboats rocked gently in the Newport, Rhode Island, marina and remained locked up tight. In town, only a few masked folks-girded against the pandemic-strolled the sidewalks.

DownBeat Magazine
The Sheer Force Of Artemis

Last fall, Blue Note Records made history by signing pianist Renee Rosnes' adventurous septet, Artemis, to its roster. The deal stands out for its departure from the norm: Blue Note typically represents solo artists and bandleaders. The self-led groups it does represent tend to be small.

Eddie Henderson: Shuffle And Deal

Heading into his 80th birthday, Eddie Henderson issues Shuffle And Deal-a material addition to his vast oeuvre of leader dates. The album builds on several long-term creative relationships fostered during the trumpeter's prolific career.

Jimmy Heath: Love Letter

Love Letter, completed just weeks before Jimmy Heath's death in January, represents a significant first: Of the saxophonist's more than 20 albums as a leader, this poignant farewell is his only recording solely consisting of ballads.

Rudresh Mahanthappa: Hero Trio

Alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa continues to dig into the Charlie Parker songbook on Hero Trio (Whirlwind), a smart sequel to his 2015 album Bird Calls (ACT).

Arturo O'Farrill: Four Questions

With Four Questions, Arturo O'Farrill proves prescient. On his first album of all self-composed pieces, the Grammy-winning pianist shoulders what he calls his "sacred obligation" to counter injustice. The exhilarating Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, O'Farrill's big-band vehicle, delivers both the pith and the punch of his message.

DownBeat Magazine
Joey DeFrancesco Expands His Skill Set

With touring on hold due to the pandemic, multi-instrumentalist and jazz organ icon Joey DeFrancesco has been staying put in his Arizona home. For him, this break from the road has been a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence: During his 33 years as a professional musician, DeFrancesco rarely has spent an extended period of time at home, instead living his life on the stage and in the recording studio.

DownBeat Magazine
Pianist Andy Milne Designs His Future

Pianist Andy Milne uses building metaphors to talk about music. Construction is "about how you bind two things together-and that's how I think about composition," he explained during a March interview in the Harlem apartment that he shares with his wife, singer La Tanya Hall.

DownBeat Magazine
John Medeski Demonstrates Startling Adaptability

When the progressive trio Medeski Martin & Wood first got together, they all agreed to keep the ensemble going only as long as it felt good. Keyboardist John Medeski thought that maybe the group would last five years. Tops. That was...

DownBeat Magazine
This Batch of Albums Investigates Piano-Led Ensembles

Pianist Aruán Ortiz recalls the cacophony of ritmas that pervaded his childhood in Santiago de Cuba on Inside Rhythmic Falls (Intakt 339; 49:22 ***1/2). Joining with drummer Andrew Cyrille and percussionist Mauricio Herrera, Ortiz descends into a deep feeling on these 10 tracks, each one the personalization of some aspect of his musical life.

DownBeat Magazine
Lakecia Benjamin Pursues a Spiritual Quest

When saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin finished the fourth song of her set, "Pursuance," at Le Poisson Rouge in Manhattan on Jan. 11, a techie gave her a time warning. The amped-up crowd expressed dismay. "Don't tempt me," she quipped into the mic. "Any woman who made a Coltrane album will play all night."
The 2019 NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll

Below are the results of NPR Music's 7th Annual Jazz Critics Poll (my 14th, going back to the poll's beginnings in the Village Voice). 2019's results provided surprise after surprise. The only predictable winner was in Latin Jazz: Miguel Zenon's Sonero, the alto saxophonist's fifth victory in this category.

DownBeat Magazine
Origin Records Puts Superlative Musicianship on Display

In 1997, Seattle musicians Matt Jorgensen and John Bishop birthed Origin Records, an independent label "run by musicians for musicians." An instrumentalist-led jazz label was a daring concept 23 years ago, when players had few recording options aside from those that the majors provided. But Origin was nothing if not daring.

DownBeat Magazine
Fred Hersch Trio Commands the Room

The box set The Fred Hersch Trio: 10 Years/6 Discs captures a landmark ensemble in the studio, on the road and at its spiritual home, the Village Vanguard in Greenwich Village. Two of the albums' six discs were session gigs and the...

DownBeat Magazine
Nona Hendryx Honors Sun Ra at New York's Metropolitan Museum

Vocal doyen Nona Hendryx commanded the stage at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art on Feb. 29, bedecked in a silver, winged spacesuit and dark helmet. "Welcome to this Afrofuturistic-cala-fragilistic evening," she told the crowd that assembled for Nona Hendryx and Disciples of Sun Ra in the Temple.

DownBeat Magazine
Actress Close, Reedist Nash Explore 'Transformation' at JALC

A few years ago, actress Glenn Close and saxophonist Ted Nash started to toss around ideas for a new collaborative project. They were fresh off the success of Nash's Grammy-winning recording, Presidential Suite: Eight Variations On...

Classical Singer magazine
Tribute to Francisco Casanova

Dominican operatic tenor Francisco Casanova, recognized for his ringing, bel canto vocal style, died on 26 September 2019, in Providence, Rhode Island, at the age of 61. He had been undergoing treatment for gallbladder and liver cancer for several months before his death from complications related to this illness.

DownBeat Magazine
Landmark ECM Anniversary Celebrated at Jazz at Lincoln Center

The curation for ECM Records at 50, Jazz at Lincoln Center's tribute to the famed record label on Nov. 1 and 2 in New York, must have been near impossible. How to choose from the legions of venerable artists who have recorded for Manfred...

DownBeat Magazine
Historic Meeting: Valdés & Corea Collaborate in NYC

Chucho Valdés and Chick Corea had never played together before they squared off across two grand pianos in the Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York on Nov. 15. This four-handed performance was the first of two evenings for...

DownBeat Magazine
A New Golden Age of Pianists

Jazz pianism today stands at an apex. There have been other moments in the music's history when innovation rushed ahead of performers and listeners. But more than a century after jazz's emergence, there are countless virtuosic...

DownBeat Magazine
Kenny Barron on Compatibility, Writing and Mulgrew Miller

Last year, Blue Note released Kenny Barron's leader debut for the label: Concentric Circles, a tour de force for quintet featuring, for the most part, the pianist's original compositions. Barron had recorded for Blue Note on other high-profile dates-as a sideman for bassist Ron Carter, saxophonist Sonny Fortune, singer Dianne Reeves and vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, for example-but never under his own name.

DownBeat Magazine
Sara Gazarek Charts Path Through Loss, Heartache on 'Thirsty Ghost'

Pain might not be pretty, but honesty is riveting. Thirsty Ghost is an unabashed exploration of loss, heartache and, ultimately, healing. It represents a departure for vocalist Sara Gazarek, whose career began its ascent when she was a teenager singing with Wynton Marsalis at Avery Fisher Hall. It’s also the most exciting recording of her career.

DownBeat Magazine
Belgrade Festival Expands for 35th Anniversary

On the penultimate evening of the 35th annual Belgrade Jazz Festival, which ran Oct. 21-28 in the Serbian capital, pianist Gerald Clayton sat alone on a darkened stage. His fingers seemed barely to touch the keys as he launched into "La...

DownBeat Magazine
Michael Janisch Holds Down Bass and Business at Whirlwind

First and foremost, Michael Janisch is a bassist. He’s about to drop his third solo album after having worked as a sideperson with dozens of A-list jazz players and toured relentlessly with innumerable bands. So, yes, a bassist first.

DownBeat Magazine
Diverse Curation Sustains Belgrade Jazz Festival

Vojislav Pantić, the artistic director of the Belgrade Jazz Festival, can recount all sorts of stories about the jazz greats who have played the event, which will present its 35th edition this fall. There was the time in 1971, the...

DownBeat Magazine
Terri Lyne Carrington Transforms the Culture

What would jazz without patriarchy sound like? It's a provocative question-and one that drummer Terri Lyne Carrington seeks to answer. To this end, she founded the Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice at Berklee College of Music, inaugurated at an open house at the Boston campus on Oct. 30.

DownBeat Magazine
Mark Walker Displays Rhythmic Refinement

One reason that reedist Paquito D’Rivera likes playing with Mark Walker is that the Grammy-winning drummer “doesn’t play too loud.”

DownBeat Magazine
Céline Rudolph's Passion for Borderless Music

Berlin-based singer-songwriter Céline Rudolph grew up immersed in multiculturalism, surrounded by different languages, the grooves of several continents and the tones of various instruments. Her mother taught her French and introduced her to the melodic richness of chanson. Her father taught her German and presented Rudolph with the compelling grooves of African drumming and the soft sweetness of Brazilian vocal jazz.

DownBeat Magazine
Percussionist Adam Rudolph Crafts a Tapestry of Sounds

Bandleader and percussionist Adam Rudolph sees himself as an inventor, rather than a composer. Composers typically generate written music using a pencil or a music notation program, but he does more than that.

DownBeat Magazine
Sara Serpa's Insightful Investigations

Violence. Brutality. Segregation. Exploitation. These are the words that singer/composer Sara Serpa uses when she talks about the family legacy that she inherited—a legacy that her latest musical projects tackle head-on.

DownBeat Magazine
Cultivating the Legacy of Sam Rivers

There’s a photo of Sam Rivers at the White House, most likely from the so-called “White House Jazz Festival” on the South Lawn during Jimmy Carter’s administration. “That blue suit he had on? He made that,” said Monique Rivers Williams, daughter of the revered multi-instrumentalist. “He sewed all his own clothes ... he wasn’t just a musician.”

DownBeat Magazine
Linda May Han Oh Reaches Across the Musical Spectrum

Linda May Han Oh has gotten used to carrying her double bass up the four flights of stairs to the Harlem walk-up she shares with her husband, pianist Fabian Almazan. No doubt she's had lots of practice of late. Besides composing for...

DownBeat Magazine
Andrew Cyrille's Deftly Calibrated Drumming Showcased at Vision Festival

Free-jazz percussionist Andrew Cyrille introduced tenor player Edward “Kidd” Jordan from behind the kit at Brooklyn’s Roulette on June 11, the opening night of the 2019 Vision Festival. “We’re going to take you someplace else,” he said before jumping into mesmeric repartee with the saxophonist and monster improviser.

DownBeat Magazine
The Borderless Music of Antonio Sánchez

In May 2018, drummer Antonio Sánchez was performing with pianist/composer Arturo O'Farrill at the Fandango Fronterizo, a trans-border festival at the 18-foot-high fence that separates San Diego, California, from Tijuana, Mexico. What...

DownBeat Magazine
Vossa Festival Not a Place for Faint of Heart

The day before guitarist/composer Hedvig Mollestad and her six-person band headlined the 46th annual Vossa Jazz Festival, which ran April 12-14, the group went hang-gliding in the mountains surrounding Voss, Norway. A small village on the train line between Bergen and Oslo, Voss is a popular center for extreme sports-longboarding, dirt biking, BASE jumping-and the local delicacy is half a roasted sheep's head, eye intact.

All About Jazz
On Stage at JALC: Paul Jost

On Stage at JALC: Paul Jost by Suzanne Lorge, published on June 23, 2018 at All About Jazz. Find more Profiles articles

DownBeat Magazine
Allison Miller's Life of Juxtapositions

​Much of drummer Allison Miller's life is about juxtapositions. She's the creative force behind two related but very different bands. She manages an active music career while co-parenting her two preschoolers. And she gives voice to her activism through her art.

All About Jazz
Anwar Robinson: From American Idol To United Palace

Anwar Robinson has the kind of voice that could stop traffic-rich, soulful, and reverberant. Beyond his innately spectacular instrument, Anwar is well-schooled in just about all vocal styles-jazz, blues, R&B, pop, musical theater, spirituals. So it's no wonder that in 2004, he moved quickly into the winners' circle on the fourth season of American Idol, one of the most popular shows in television history.
The 2018 NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll

Below are the results of NPR Music's 6 th Annual Jazz Critics Poll (my 13 th annual, going back to its beginnings in the Village Voice). Wayne Shorter's Emanon was voted Album of the Year, and Cecile McLorin Salvant's The Window Best Vocal.

DownBeat Magazine
The Social Chemistry of Corcoran Holt

With his new album, bassist Corcoran Holt demonstrates that a shared connection trumps musical athleticism at every turn.

DownBeat Magazine
The Revelations of Claudia Villela's Voice

Claudia Villela was all set to catch a December 2017 return flight to California from her native Brazil when a fire broke out in her Rio de Janeiro apartment. The singer and composer suffered several severe injuries that day, and the...

DownBeat Magazine
McCoy Tyner, Charles McPherson Feted at Jazz at Lincoln Center Performance

In his intro to “McCoy Tyner and Charles McPherson at 80,” a tribute concert honoring the two jazz giants at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater on April 5–6, saxophonist Sherman Irby summed up pianist/composer Tyner’s distinguished career in one sentence: “McCoy Tyner has presented the world with almost six decades of pure excellence.”

DownBeat Magazine
Oscar Peterson Festival Highlights Canadian Talent

On the final afternoon of the second Oscar Peterson International Jazz Festival, a quintet led by pianist Kenny Barron launched into a magnetic, hard-swinging rendition of "I've Never Been In Love Before," the opener of a nearly two-hour set.

DownBeat Magazine
Camille Thurman Finds Her Voice on 'Waiting For The Sunrise'

Saxophonist Camille Thurman kept her singing under wraps all throughout her time at the famed LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts in New York City. And in college at SUNY-Binghamton, she wasn't even a music major-she earned a...

DownBeat Magazine
A Geographic Shift Helps Stéphane Spira Realize His Vision

Even as an expatriate engineer in Saudi Arabia, French-born saxophonist Stéphane Spira found opportunities to play. As a student, he'd excelled in math, a skill that gained him entrée to one of the best polytechnic schools in Paris,...

DownBeat Magazine
Bassist Adi Meyerson's Poise and Presence

Adi Meyerson not only hears music, she also sees it. "I have this thing called synesthesia," the bassist said during a recent interview at Jazz at Lincoln Center, explaining that her brain is wired to link sound with colors, letters...

DownBeat Magazine
The Reconfigured Pathways of Sanah Kadoura's Mind

In January 2017, drummer Sanah Kadoura fell in her New York apartment and hit her head on the corner of a windowsill. Three days later, she was on her way to a gig when she became disoriented and unable to breathe, and by the next day,...

DownBeat Magazine
Émile Parisien Wants To Blur the Edges

To say that French alto and soprano saxophonist Émile Parisien is doing well in Europe would be an understatement. In 2016, he received his third Victoires du Jazz Award, the French equivalent of a Grammy, in the album of the year...

DownBeat Magazine
New England Jazz Ensemble Merges Prokofiev, Jazz

Aug 14, 2018 8:55 AM Medeski Martin & Wood is set to issue Omnisphere (Indirecto), a live disc the trio recorded in Colorado during 2015... Aug 17, 2018 3:30 PM The creative seeds that 23-year-old trumpeter and vocalist Andrea Motis has been planting since her days as a teen...

DownBeat Magazine
Whirlwind Recordings Gathering Steam

Aug 14, 2018 8:55 AM Medeski Martin & Wood is set to issue Omnisphere (Indirecto), a live disc the trio recorded in Colorado during 2015... Aug 17, 2018 3:30 PM The creative seeds that 23-year-old trumpeter and vocalist Andrea Motis has been planting since her days as a teen...
The 2017 NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll

This is what consensus in jazz looks like now: In winning the vote for 2017's best new recording in NPR's Fifth Annual Jazz Critics Poll, Vijay Iyer's Far from Over was named on 53 of 137 ballots - almost twice as many as either Steve Coleman's Morphogenesis or Tyshawn Sorey's Verisimilitude, which finished second and third, respectively.

All About Jazz
Dara Tucker: Seeds of the Divine

Rising jazz star Dara Tucker has added three new trophies to a rapidly growing lineup of awards. At this year's Nashville Industry Music Awards (NIMAs) she won Best Jazz Vocalist, Best Jazz Album, and Song of the Year for her April release, Oklahoma Rain (Watchman Music).

All About Jazz
The Dazzling Alexis Cole

Jazz singer Alexis Cole's career has been anything but conventional. She's done residencies in far-flung places like Ecuador, India, and Japan. She fronted the Army's big band for several years as a soldier herself. And now she's a faculty member in the jazz program at SUNY Purchase.

The New York City Jazz Record

Composer John Zorn headlined at the 2016 Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville in Québec, Canada.

The New York City Jazz Record
In The Break

MacArthur Grant winner and Grammy nominee Vijay Iyer raises social awareness with his music.

The New York City Jazz Record
Dominican Jazz Festival 2015

The Dominican Jazz Festival features some of the best Latin jazz musicians around.

The New York City Jazz Record
Primacy of the Ear

This cover story on pianist Ran Blake discusses his relationship with jazz theorist George Russell and Blake's own theory of jazz composition and performance.

The New York City Jazz Record
Beautiful Life

I interviewed singer Dianne Reeves for this cover story the month before she won a Grammy for the album "Beautiful Life."

The New York City Jazz Record
Panama Jazz Festival 2015

The Panama Jazz Festival, founded by pianist Danilo Pérez, both inspires and entertains.

The New York City Jazz Record
Jamie Baum: In This Life

I write CD reviews regularly for this monthly jazz trade paper.

All About Jazz
Mark Murphy: Inside the Mystery

Beyond its stylistic differentiators, jazz contains what vocalist Mark Murphy calls "a wonderful mystery," a mystery that was fostered in small, regional clubs around the US during the '30s-40s, when Murphy was developing the distinctive vocal style that launched his decades-long career. "I've seen this mysterious quality of jazz set rooms on fire," Murphy attests.

The Village Voice
Village Voice Jazz Critics Poll

I voted in The Village Voice Jazz Critics Poll, edited by Francis Davis, during my years as the VoxNews columnist for All About Jazz.

The New York City Jazz Record
A Boy Named Charlie Brown

A review of the re-release of this beloved jazz soundtrack by the Vince Guaraldi Trio.

All About Jazz
Nancy King: Overdue Accolades

Before her October 23, 2004 gig at the Jazz Standard, singer Nancy King hadn't played a major New York club in several years. She's never been signed to a major jazz label, although she's come close.

All About Jazz
Jay Clayton: Believing in The Word

Jay Clayton's career as a singer defies easy classification. True, she most often sings jazz, but she's also collaborated with two of the most prominent modern composers of art music-Steve Reich and John Cage. Even when it comes to jazz, her palette is nothing if not diverse; she is as comfortable with free improvisation and electronic music as with standards.

All About Jazz
Steve Kuhn

On March 27-30, 1986, Steve Kuhn played the Village Vanguard with bassist Ron Carter and drummer Al Foster. This noteworthy gig produced two live recordings, The Vanguard Date (Owl, 1986) and Life's Magic (Blackhawk, 1986).