Sunday, December 29, 2013

Boston Pops Swing Orchestra and Bo Winiker Ushering in New Year on Tuesday, December 31 at Symphony Hall

Bo Winiker, photo by Theresa Johnson 

The Boston Pops Swing Orchestra, led by bandmaster Bo Winiker, are ushering in New Year's Eve in style on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 at Boston Symphony Hall.  The concert goes from 10:00 p.m. to midnight, with doors opening at 8:00 p.m.

Tickets are $50-$135 and are available online for purchase.

The songbook includes melodies from Duke Ellington, Glen Miller, ABBA and Elvis Presley. Here is a bio of Bo Winiker.

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Friday, December 27, 2013

Live Jazz & Blues in Massachusetts on New Year's Eve

Dwight & Nicole

Looking for some live jazz and blues to usher in the New Year?  Check out these venues around Massachusetts on Tuesday, December 31, 2013.

Central Mass
103 Nagog Park, Acton
Rebecca Parris and  Paul Broadnax Trio (7-9 pm)
JP’s Rock & Blues Ensemble (10-midnight)

Bull Run Restaurant
215 Great Road
James Montgomery Band, Uptown Horns and Lydia Warren

Boston Swing Central presents
Great Gatsby New Year’s Eve Party
Crosby Whistle Stop
24 Roland St, Charlestown
Baby Soda Jazz Band

Lucky’s Lounge
355 Congress St
Alex MacDougall, Live Sinatra

One Bennett Street, Harvard Square
Dwight & Nicole

400 Soldiers Field Road
Pieces of a Dream with Wannetta Jackson

Top of the Hub Restaurant
Prudential Tower, 52nd Floor
800 Boylston Street
Back Bay, Boston
Bob Nieske and Maggie Galloway
Villa Victoria Center for the Arts
85 W. Newton St.
South End, Boston
The Envy of Gatsby - A New Year's Eve Celebration

Cape Cod
Riverway Lobster House
South Yarmouth, Cape Cod
Bart Weisman Trio

South Shore
45 Hull Shore Dr.
Johnny Bluehorn & The Caretakers New Year’s Eve Bash

Western Mass
Castle Street Cafe
10 Castle Street
Great Barrington
Kelly-Putnam Quartet

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Jazz Saxophonist Donald Harrison Performs First Night Concert at Berklee College of Music on December 31

New Orleans jazz saxophonist, composer and king of nouvous swing Donald Harrison and his quintet perform at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston, on Tuesday, December 31, 2013, at at 8:45 p.m. Tickets are $10.
The show is being broadcast live on Toast of the Nation from National Public Radio (NPR), as part of First Night Boston coverage through local station WGBH 89.7. 
Born in New Orleans, Donald Harrison is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and an accomplished musician, composer, educator, actor and community leader.
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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Aardvark Orchestra's 41st Annual Christmas Concert Presents Duke Ellington's arrangement of the Nutcracker Suite, December 21

The Aardvark Orchestra, one of New England's premier jazz ensembles, is performing the complete Duke Ellington / Billy Strayhorn arrangement of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite at its 41st annual Christmas concert this year.

The concert takes place at the glorious Emmanuel  Church on Newbury Street in Boston's Back Bay at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 21, 2013. Tickets are $20 and can only be purchased at the door. Find more information here, or by calling (617 452-3205).  Here are directions to the church.

Proceeds of the concert will benefit the Pine Street Inn, which helps over 1,600 men and women in Boston each day.

The Ellington/Stayhorn jazz arrangement of one of the world's most recognizable classical pieces was first issued in 1960, marking the unique ability of the two artists to apply jazz interpretations to classical music with humor and imagination.

So songs from the Suite like The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy is transformed into The Sugar Rum Cherry, the Russian Dance is recast as The Volga Vouty, and the Waltz of the Flowers is adapted into the Dance of the Floreadores.

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Where to Hear Live Jazz in Massachusetts

Looking for live jazz in Massachusetts this month? Here's a list of Massachusetts jazz clubs compiled by MassJazz, which promotes the state's jazz scene year round.

You can also find details on jazz brunches taking place at hotels, restaurants and cafes on weekends.

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CANCELLED DUE TO SNOWSTORM: Rockport Music Presents Swing Xing! Three Generations of Swing Guitar on Sunday, December 15


This Sunday afternoon, December 15, 87-year-old jazz guitar master Bucky Pizzarelli takes the stage with fellow guitarists Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo at the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport. Tickets are $25 to $39, and can be purchased online (here), by phone ( 978.546.7391), or at the venue. The concert starts at 3:00 p.m..

Pizzarelli is a veteran performer who has worked with such music giants as Frank Sinatra, Stephane Grappelli, Tony Bennett, and Zoot Sims.  Now he is shepharding two of the world's most promising swing guitarists of the next generation into the limelight.

Vignola has performed around the world various artists, ranging from Madonna and Ringo Starr to the Boston Pops and Wynton Marsalis. The New York Times called one of the brightest "stars of the guitar."

New York City native Raniolo is one of the youngest new guitarists to make a wave in the music world, playing alongside  Pizzarelli and Vignola as well as David Grisman and Tommy Emmanuel.

Here is a schedule of upcoming concerts at the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport. 

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Berklee Performance Center Presents Magic of Christmas with Pianist Jim Brickman on Saturday, December 14

With snowfall expected in Boston on Saturday, December 14, this concert is the perfect opportunity to cast off the winter blues and embrace the holiday spirit with Jim Brickman's Magic of Christmas concert. Brickman and his band are set to perform both holiday favorites as well as some of Brickman's own hits.

Tickets are $74 (if you wish for a meet and greet prior to performance), $64, $49, and $39. The concert begins at 8:00 p.m. at the Berklee Performance Center on Massachusetts Avenue. Tickets are available online via the Berklee site, at the Box Office, and by phone (617 747-2261). 

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Jazz composer/ conductor Ken Schaphorst leads NEC Jazz Orchestra in free concert at Jordan Hall on December 12

"Schaphorst's writing and arranging, like that of Duke Ellington, is for individual musicians."
—Mark Corroto, All About Jazz

Ken Schaphorst, New England Conservatory's chair of jazz studies, leads the NEC Jazz Orchestra in a program of his original music and arrangements in a concert at Jordan Hall in Boston on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 8:00 p.m..

The concert is free and open to the public.  Here are directions.

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

New Black Eagle Jazz Band Performs at the Sherborn Inn on Thursday, December 12th

The New Black Eagle Jazz Band is performing at the Sherborn Inn on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.  It's an evening of fine dining and great traditiona, New Orleans-style jazz by one of the region's favorite jazz ensembles.

Formed in 1971, the New Black Eagles have over 40 recordings, and continue to perform reguarly throughout New England, including the second Thursday of every month at the Sherborn.  Here is a schedule of band's upcoming events.

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Alto Saxophonist Patrick Cornelius Performs this Wednesday Night at Berklee's Cafe 939 in Boston

Patrick Cornelius and friends are performing at Berklee's Cafe 939 in the Red Room on Wednesday, December 11. The concert is part of WBGO and NPR Music's The Checkout series. Tickets for this event are $10 for the public, or $5 with a Berklee ID, and available for purchase online at the venue's site. The show kicks off at 8:00 p.m..

This concert series aims to bring back acclaimed Berklee alumni to their alma mater for a performance in an intimate setting. For this occasion, Cornelius is performing a musical set he wrote, based on Alan Alexander Milne's children's book When We Were Very Young. On this project, Cornelius remarked, "This project has had perhaps more personal meaning to me than anything else I've done in my career."

Cornelius is being accompanied on stage by Kendrick Scott (drums), Peter Slavov (bass), Nick Vayenas (trombone), Jason Palmer (trumpet), Gerald Clayton (piano), John Ellis (saxophone), and Miles Okazaki (guitar).

For more event details, visit the NPR Music page here, or the Cafe 939 site here.

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Friday, December 6, 2013

Laszlo Gardony Quartet Performing at Newton High School on December 7

The Laszlo Gardony Quartet is performing at Newton High School this Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 8:00 p.m.. Gardony, who just released his new album Clarity earlier this year, is taking the stage with sax player Stan Strickland, bassist John Lockwood and drummer Yoron Israel.  

Tickets are $20 per guest, or $10 for students. Tickets are available at Newton High School starting at 7:00 p.m. on the night of the concert.  More information on the show is available at Highland Jazz website.

Gardony, a native of Hungary who now lives in Boston and teaches at Berklee College of Music, has been universally praised for his artistry as a jazz musician. JazzReview wrote that “Gardony is clearly a pianist worthy of a larger audience… (he) incorporates music from different cultures in his compositions and the result is a splendid melting pot that displays harmonious expressions with gentle sonic compressors.”

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Jay Messer Jazz Quintet Performing at Baba Louie's in Pittsfield on December 6th

Jazz guitarist  Jay Messer and his quintet are performing at Baba Louie's Backroom on Depot Street in Pittsfield this Friday, December 6, 2013, at 8:00 p.m.,  as part of the city's holiday festivities taking place all month.  

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, and can be purchased online through, or by calling (413) 442-7718.

Messer is a veteran guitarist who has has performed with Marion Brown, the Paradise City Jazz Band, Herb Ellis, John Norris and other jazz artists. His quintet includes Rob Faulkner, Felipe Salles, Dave Santoro and Claire Areius.

The show is part of Pittsfield's monthly Artwalk, which takes place in the city's Upstreet Cultural District and showcases regional artists.

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Jazz Bass Legend Eddie Gomez Performing at the Lily Pad Thursday, December 5th

Eddie Gomez, the legendary bassist with two Grammy Awards, is playing with his quintet at Cambridge’s Lily Pad in Inman Square on Thursday, December 5th, at 9:15 PM. This show is a rare opportunity to see this legend perform in an intimate venue for a really great price.

Gomez is iconic in not only the jazz world, but also in classical, blues and contemporary music.  The 69-year-old artist hails from Puerto Rico and is mostly recognized for his eleven-year stint with the Bill Evans Trio. Some of the artists that Gomez has worked with include Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Nancy Wilson and Chick Corea, and non-jazz artists like Art Garfunkel.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door the night of the show. For more information, go to the Lily Pad’s site here.

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Sun Broadcasting Corp Launches Sun Music Live Shows at Wally's Cafe Jazz Club this Fall

Sun Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) has begun production of Sun Music Live. The inaugural shows set at  Wally’s CafĂ©  in Boston will f...