Tag Archives: Ben Ratliff

Photos | Dispatch from the Big Apple: Geri Allen & Ben Williams hold it down at Winter Jazzfest

Pianist Geri Allen, a Howard University graduate and force behind last year's acclaimed "Flying Toward the Sound," plays with Don Byron's New Gospel Quintet.

by Giovanni Russonello
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NEW YORK – It’s an undeniable reality that New York City is the Mecca for jazz musicians, the ultimate point of ascension. And, bittersweet as it is to see talented cats leave D.C. behind, it’s hard to deny the appeal of a town boasting dozens of places to play, plus a forward-marching sense of innovation and creative community. Some of that is definitely present in D.C., and it’s growing. But this past weekend’s Winter Jazzfest in New York was the quintessential example of how much remarkable talent and wildly varied music is bouncing around the Big Apple.

Of course, some of the two-night, five-venue festival’s best performers did have roots in D.C. Howard University jazz studies graduate Geri Allen, who often returns to the District, performed with legendary reedist Don Byron’s New Gospel Quintet (above), one of the weekend’s most unexpected and exhilarating acts. Allen applied driving abandon to the group’s knees-on-the-ground, hands-in-the-air, rump-shaking-every-which-way repertoire of Black church music. Continue reading

Search & Restore spreads new jazz gospel to D.C.

Search & Restore founder Adam Schatz comes to D.C. today. Courtesy Adam Schatz

by Giovanni Russonello
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Adam Schatz has a goal. It’s one that’s been contemplated, attempted and botched more than Coltrane’s “Giant Steps.” But then, Schatz isn’t the type of guy to take no for an answer.

He wants to get young people to love jazz music, in droves. Continue reading