Top 25 “Must-See” Summer Jazz Shows in NY

Summer is a time to enjoy the sun as well as take a break from the 5-month period of hard work that the new year brought. For me, summer is a time to accomplish everything that I wasn’t able to do before the next school year comes around, robbing my time with intensive studying and late night educational cram sessions. But, for many, summer is a time to enjoy all that the “Big Apple” has to offer, specifically in the genre of music that it is most known for—the jazz capital of the world. New York is an iconic place in which welcomes and attracts top jazz musicians. Providing venues and a supportive environment for artists to explore their artistic edge and creative pursuits, New York City has taken on the role of a city that never stops producing top jazz shows in the world.

This summer, NYC proves itself again as the most prominent jazz mecca in the world. Time Out New York, an entertainment magazine for social enthusiasts, recently put together a list of “The 25 Must-See NYC Summer Jazz Shows”. This compilation of shows include performances by jazz legends as well as up-and-coming artists. Below are a list of my “Must-See” summer jazz shows from this exciting jazz calendar.

June 7-12 Billy Hart Quartet @ the Village Vanguard

Showtime- 9 pm, 11 pm; Cost- $25 plus one-drink minimum

Elusive saxophonist Mark Turner, engaging pianist Ethan Iverson and earthy bassist Ben Street help to ignite drummer Billy Hart’s fiery conceptions.

June 16-19 James Farm @ the Jazz Standard

Showtime- 7:30 pm; Cost- $35

This groundbreaking new collective featuring saxophonist Joshua Redman, pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Matt Penman and drummer Eric Harland celebrates the release of its eponymous Nonesuch début disc. 

June 21 Ninety Miles @ S.O.B.’s

Showtime- 8pm, 10:30 pm; Cost- $25

Vibist Stefon Harris, saxist David Sánchez and trumpeter Christian Scott embark on a vibrant cultural exchange with Cuban pianists Rember Duharte and Harold López-Nussa.


June 23-26 2011 NYC Undead JazzFest

Four-day pass $50; two-day pass $35; single-day pass $25; June 24 only $15

An indisputable highlight of the NYC jazz year, Undead stretches beyond the West Village this year, blanketing the city with stimulating sounds. The line-up includes artists like: Gerald Clayton, Ari Hoenig Quartet, Escreet / Binney / Krantz / Gilmore, John Irabagon and Mike Pride, Logan Richardson with Ben Williams and Nasheet Waits, Matt Wilson solo, Marc Ribot solo, and many more.

June 30-July 3 Gerald Clayton @ the Jazz Standard

Showtime- 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm; Cost- $25-$30

Young-buck pianist Gerald Clayton thinks like a modern and swaggers like a master onBond: The Paris Sessions, the hugely impressive new CD he’ll be celebrating all weekend with his tightly wound trio.

July 9 Ari Hoenig @ the Cornelia Street Café

Showtime- 9 pm, 10:30 pm; Cost- $15 plus one-drink minimum

A daredevil drummer celebrates the release of Lines of Oppression, a highly groovesome new album despite its downcast title.

July 20 The Key Players @ the 92nd Street Y

Showtime- 8 pm; Cost- $50–$65, ages 35 and under $25

Get a crash course in mainstream jazz piano circa now as four outstanding keyboardists—Kenny Barron, Bill Charlap, Bruce Barth and Bill Mays—share the stage in this Jazz in July affair.

July 26-31 Paul Motian Septet @ the Village Vanguard

Showtime- 9 pm, 11 pm; Cost- $25 plus one-drink minimum

Iconoclastic drum wizard Paul Motian shows off the equally impressive range of his composing pen in this latest engagement with this large ensemble fronted by saxophonists Bill McHenry and Chris Cheek.

August 3-7,9-14 Cedar WaltonQuartet/Quintet @ the Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola

Showtime- 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm; Cost- $30-$35 plus $5-$10 minimum

Venerated pianist and composer Cedar Walton settles into Dizzy’s for a two-week residency; altoist Vincent Herring plays the leader’s steady foil, with trombonist Steve Turre sliding in for the second week.

To view the complete Time Out New York listing of the “25 Must-See NYC Summer Jazz Shows” compiled by Hank Shteamer and Steve Smith, click here. Time Out New York also released an article highlighting the  “25 Most Essential New York Jazz Icons”. Also written by Hank Shteamer and Steve Smith, this list is composed of avant-garde musicians who have been identified as crucial artists to the New York City jazz scene. It includes artists like Ari Hoenig, Gretchen Parlato, Jon Irabagon, Fred Hersch, Jason Moran, Roy Haynes, Wynton Marsalis, and Paul Motion. To view the complete article on Time Out New York, click here.


3 thoughts on “Top 25 “Must-See” Summer Jazz Shows in NY

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