Interviews

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Photo courtesy of the artist. Over the course of his career, Ambrose Akinmusire has complicated traditional labels and categories, collaborating with artists as wide-ranging as Brad Mehldau, Kendrick Lamar, Mary Halvorson, Esperanza Spalding, Robert Glasper, and Steve Coleman. The diversity of his musicianship is also apparent in his albums as a leader, including the forthcoming on […]

Jen Shyu performs Raging Waters, Red Sands at The Jazz Gallery in December 2009. Photo courtesy of the artist. While The Jazz Gallery has postponed upcoming performances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jazz Speaks will continue to share the music and stories of Gallery performers. Today, we present an interview with Jen Shyu, who was to […]

Photo by Una Stade, courtesy of the artist. Housebound in New York, singer and composer Arta Jēkabsone leans in to solitude. Alone in her apartment, her natural effervescence stills, but not entirely, and only for the moment.  Like so many emerging artists, Jēkabsone searches for answers at a time when performances have halted, sessions have stopped […]

Photo by Scott Friedlander, courtesy of the artist. Whether writing for his Claudia Quintet or Large Ensemble, drummer/composer John Hollenbeck creates expansive canvases out of small, sturdy ideas. Hollenbeck’s music is equal parts knotty and lyrical, held together with a playful and subversive sense of humor. Ahead of what was to be a North American […]

Photo by Harrison Weinstein, courtesy of the artist. From conservatory students to seasoned road veterans, everyone across the jazz community is grappling with the same questions right now: How to maintain our mental health, how to keep writing and practicing, how to take care of ourselves and our families, how to make up lost income, […]

Restless in the city that never sleeps, Mary Halvorson spends her waking hours with her music. The guitarist-composer flew back to Brooklyn in the middle of a European tour, after the pandemic reduced her dates from eight to four—and then to none.  Quarantined with her guitar, she explores new possibilities and reinterprets elements from past […]

Photo courtesy of the artist. These days, bassist/composer Alexis Cuadrado leads perhaps more of a local life than many of his constantly touring jazz compatriots. Much of his writing, producing, and recording happens at home, and live performance is not as central to his practice. And yet, the Covid-19 pandemic has deeply altered many aspects […]

Photo by Devin DeHaven, courtesy of the artist. Air traffic wanes over Gerald Clayton’s breezy one bedroom across from LAX. Surfboards hang unwaxed on the wall. Since California Governor Gavin Newsom closed the beaches in March, the pianist-composer’s been spending different hours at his Yamaha—waking hours, meditative and intimate. “It’s probably too early to say […]

Photo by Devin DeHaven, courtesy of the artist. In part 2 (check out part 1 here) of Gerald Clayton’s interview with The Jazz Gallery, the pianist-composer takes a hard look at the confines of his development — artistic and professional, and how an East Coast awakening from his days at MSM continues to influence his musical […]

Photo by Ethan Levitas, courtesy of the artist. A saxophonist of bristling energy and global imagination, Rudresh Mahanthappa has left an indelible mark on improvised music in New York and beyond. Since moving to New York in the late 1990s, Mahanthappa has forged a deep relationship with The Jazz Gallery, developing projects like his album Mother […]


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