A Place for Jazz Is Back With Its Fall Concert Series

The Pedrito Martinez Band performing last week at the Albany Riverfront Jazz Fest (photo by Stanley Johnson)
The Pedrito Martinez Band performing last week at the Albany Riverfront Jazz Fest (photo by Stanley Johnson)

Founded back in 1987, A Place for Jazz isn’t really a “place” at all, but rather a group of devoted jazz fans – a non-profit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to presenting the best in jazz through concerts, public workshops, school clinics, a website and general support of jazz and its musicians.

Having said that, however, A Place for Jazz’s concert series kicks off its 2012 season on Friday (September 14), and once again the concerts will be held at the First Unitarian Society of Schenectady’s Whisperdome, which is truly one of Nippertown’s hidden treasures. It’s an intimate listening room with great acoustics, and if you haven’t visited there yet, you should most definitely make an effort to attend one of this season’s concerts just to experience some music in the venue.

And the music that A Place for Jazz is presenting this season is definitely world-class stuff, beginning with the sublime trumpet titan Tom Harrell, who kicks of the season on Friday.

Tix for each of the concerts are $15; students $7; and children under 12 are free if they’re with an adult. Memberships are also available.

Here’s the line-up of concerts for A Place for Jazz’s 2012 season:

Friday (September 14), 7:30pm
He’s been one of the most acclaimed trumpeters since the early ’80s, having worked with greats like Woody Herman, Horace Silver and Phil Woods, while recording nearly two dozen albums on his own as a bandleader, including the new Number Five.

Friday, September 28, 7:30pm
If you don’t recognize the name of this fabulous veteran jazz vocalist, don’t be too embarrassed. As The New York Times wrote, ““Perhaps the best jazz singer alive today is a woman almost everybody seems to have missed. Her name is Mary Stallings.” Perhaps it’s time to discover her for yourself…

Friday, October 12, 7:30pm
A solo concert by the legendary pianist, who can capture and express the entire history of jazz – from early New Orleans, ragtime, swing, be-bop up through post-modern innovations. His 65-year career as composer, songwriter, conductor, pianist, organist and arranger has encompassed a who’s who of jazz and beyond with unmatched versatility, energy and talent.

Friday, October 26, 7:30pm
Yes, they’re local, but they’re national-level jazz talents. Drummer-vibraphonist Michael Benedict leads the stellar sextet – featuring the world’s No. 1 ranked baritone saxman Gary Smulyan, pianist Bruce Barth, trumpeter Chris Pasin and homegrown jazz heroes Brian Patneaude (sax) and Mike Lawrence (bass) – as they showcase selections from their acclaimed sophomore album, Five and One.

Friday, November 9, 7:30pm
World-class Cuban conga player and singer Pedrito Martinez is a energetic, joyous percussionist extraordinaire who has performed on more than 100 CDs. And he’s certainly no stranger to Nippertown jazz fans, having already brought down the house this year at Mountain Jam, the Freihofer Saratoga Jazz Festival and the Albany Riverfront Jazz Fest.

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