For true fans of jazz, there’s plenty to look forward to at New York’s annual Winter Jazzfest. Since its founding in 2005, the festival has celebrated the musical genre by presenting established and upcoming artists at beloved venues throughout the city. In 2015, the festival was crowned the “#1 Jazz Festival in North America” and continues to attract lovers of music, performance, and jazz. If you’re new to the genre, you can expect to find contemporary artists and engaged audiences at the festival, as well as a diverse lineup of music makers. Come stay at one of the hotels near Wall Street and discover why New York is known as the “jazz capital of the world” and check out some of the acts we’re most excited to see at this year’s festival, which runs from January 8th through the 18th.
Fanatics may be familiar with Marcus Belgrave, a trumpet player from Detroit who was finally inducted into the National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame in 2017. Belgrave started his career as part of Ray Charles’ band before making a name for himself by playing on records for The Temptations, The Four Tops, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald and more. To hear today’s artists paying homage to Belgrave, head to Le Poisson Rouge in the village (just a twelve-minute cab ride from The Wagner) for a collaborative show and pre-show conversation on the rich history of Detroit jazz moderated by historian Mark Stryker.
Whether you’re new to jazz or have been listening for ages, The Netherlands is not the first place you think of when musing about the genre. For that reason, January 12th’s event at Nublu promises to subvert expectations. Sounds of the Dutch Underground will showcase some of the nation’s finest jazz musicians, including Tin Men & The Telephone, Tineke Postma Freya, Niels Broos & Jamie Peet, and Binkbeats.
Musician and lyricist Talib Kweli has had a prolific hip-hop career as an MC, solo artist, and collaborative musician (you know you’re a fan if you can remember his Black Star collaboration with MosDef). For this year’s Jazzfest, he’ll be presenting the music of John Coltrane at the legendary Brooklyn Bowl.
No jazz festival would be complete without an appearance from Brazilian star, Seu Jorge. Internationally recognized after working on the Wes Anderson film, The Life Aquatic, his original music continues to revitalize the Brazilian jazz and samba scenes while garnering fans from across the globe. On January 16th, Jorge will be performing alongside Anat Cohen and Choro Aventuroso at The Town Hall on W 43rd street.