2011 treated me pretty well — I finished off my first semester at Columbia, explored the city’s jazz sphere (extensively!), ate too much NYC grub, and miraculously stumbled upon a way to spend my nights at the Village Vanguard. I even got a chance to enjoy a bit of the same party back here in Los Angeles — as I mentioned before, I spent New Year’s Eve at the Blue Whale with Alex Rodriguez (check out his blog, Lubricity), Becca Pulliam, and some other new friends at WBGO for the annual NPR/WBGO Toast of the Nation.
But of course, New York City’s a pretty big place — I’m far from close to seeing everything I’ve been wanting to see since I first found out I’d be taking off to the city. I’ve only been gone for winter break since the 21st of December and I’m already kicking myself for the things that I’m missing — the Brad Mehldau Trio (with Jeff Ballard and Larry Grenadier) at the Vanguard and the NYC Winter JazzFest, among other things. And while I was talking to Tim Lefebvre between sets at the Blue Whale on New Year’s Eve (playing bass for the Billy Childs Quartet during the Toast of the Nation broadcast), I was reminded that while I’ve (still) been getting over my euphoria in the Vanguard coatroom, I’ve overlooked a few key jazz venues — 55 Bar, for one (which Lefebvre mentioned), The Stone, Dizzy’s, and a handful of others. I’m also still yet to venture out into Brooklyn (outside of a few trips to Williamsburg), which is home to the Tea Lounge, the Knitting Factory, the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s (BAM) concert venue, and some others as well.
So while I’m packing up my suitcase to head back to my little dorm room in the city, here are some things that I’m looking forward to once I get back, featuring artists/venues that I haven’t yet visited (or haven’t visited enough). Here’s to a 2012 of new adventures.
1. Geri Allen, Esperanza Spalding, and Terri Lyne Carrington at the Village Vanguard. January 10-15th. (Purchase your tickets here.)
2. Aaron Parks Quintet (with Dayna Stephens, Pete Rende, Thomas Morgan, and Nate Smith) at The Jazz Gallery. January 21-22nd. (Check it out here.)
3. Le Boeuf Brothers at the Tea Lounge. January 26th. (Check it out here.)
4. Ryuichi Sakamoto with various artists, including John Zorn, Mayo Yamaguchi, Aya Nishina, and Taylor Deupree at The Stone. April 24-29th. (Check it out here.)
See you back in New York!
CURRENTLY LISTENING TO: Think of One/Pilc Moutin Hoenig/Threedom