Performances 2013-14

The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra

The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra

Saturday, September 14, 2013, 7:30 p.m.

The Village Vanguard in NYC has been a favorite destination for jazz lovers for almost 80 years.  The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra (originally the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra) has played weekly at the Vanguard for nearly 50 of those years.  The 16-member big band has long been esteemed for brilliant style, composition, and musicianship, and it won a Grammy in 2009 for Monday Night Live at the Village Vanguard.  Now led by director John Mosca, the group has a varied and challenging repertoire that includes relaxing swing, 70's-style jazz-funk, ballads with complex structures, and avant-garde tunes with modern rhythms.


Manuel Barrueco with Cuarteto Casals

Manuel Barrueco with Cuarteto Casals

Friday, October 25, 2013, 7:30 p.m.

Cuban-born, Grammy-nominated Manuel Barrueco is internationally recognized as one of the most important guitarists of our time, a superb instrumentalist possessing a seductive sound and uncommon lyrical gifts. He has performed in major concert venues all over the world, and made made television appearances on “CBS Sunday Morning,” A&E’s “Breakfast with the Arts,” and “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”  He is the subject of a biographical documentary, “Manuel Barrueco: A Gift and a Life,” which has aired on PBS.  He will share the stage with Cuarteto Casals, an award-winning Spanish string quartet with a wide-ranging repertoire.  The New York Times praised the quartet for having “a sonic signature entirely its own.”


The David Grisman Quintet

The David Grisman Quintet

Saturday, November 23, 2013, 7:30 p.m.

Despite warnings from his piano teacher that it wasn't a "real" instrument, David Grisman discovered the mandolin as a teenager and learned to play in the style of Bill Monroe, the father of bluegrass music.  Half a century later, he is a guiding force in the evolving world of acoustic music as a composer, bandleader, and producer.  “Dawg music” is what Grisman calls his mixture of bluegrass and jazz, influenced by Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt.  A member of the early folk scene since the early 1960s, Grisman has played with Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead, Stephane Grappelli, John Hartford, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, Earl Scruggs, James Taylor, John Sebastian, and Doc Watson.


Dr. Lonnie Smith and His Octet

Dr. Lonnie Smith and His Octet

Saturday, January 25, 2014, 7:30 p.m.

Dr. Lonnie Smith learned to play the Hammond organ in his hometown of Buffalo in the 1950’s.  He worked in the jazz clubs, including the famous Pine Grill, where he came to the attention of George Benson.  Benson recruited him for his group, and Smith played with Benson for many years.  Now in his 70’s, Dr. Lonnie shows no signs of slowing down.  In addition to his own compositions, his work includes unique interpretations of Jimi Hendrix, John Coltrane, the Beatles, Jeff Beck, and the Eurythmics.  Smith has been named Top Organist of the Year by DownBeat and he has been inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame.  For Civic Music, he appears with an electrifying eight piece band replete with horns and an extended rhythm section.


Imani Winds

Imani Winds

Friday, February 14, 2014, 7:30 p.m.

Imani Winds has established itself as North America’s premier wind quintet.  Since 1997, the Grammy-nominated quintet has taken a unique path in the classical music world with its dynamic playing, cross-cultural repertoire, and poignant and inspirational programs.  Imani Winds actively seeks to engage new music and new voices into the modern classical idiom.  Some of jazz music’s biggest names—Wayne Shorter, Jason Moran, Paquito D’Rivera—have written pieces for the Winds.  The group’s touring schedule has taken it across the globe; at home, the Winds have performed in the nation’s major concert venues, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Disney Hall, and Kimmel Center.


Patti LuPone

Patti LuPone

Saturday, April 19, 2014, 7:30 p.m.

Patti LuPone most recently starred on Broadway in the musical, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.  For her performance as Rose in the critically acclaimed Broadway production of Gypsy, she swept the 2008 theater awards, winning the Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Actress in a Musical, and the Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance.  Her numerous stage credits include Sweeney Todd, Evita, Anything Goes, Sunset Boulevard, and Les Miserables.  Ms. LuPone has appeared in many movies, including Driving Miss Daisy.  In addition to hosting her own specials on PBS, she has been a guest on 30 Rock and Will and Grace, playing herself.  Her autobiography Patti LuPone: A Memoir is a New York Times Bestseller.