Live Jazz Line-up for December

December at The Django

Today’s leading artists gather for live jazz in New York on The Django stage to celebrate NEA Jazz Master Dr. Lonnie Smith in special back-to-back tribute concerts 12/9. Two leading pianists make their Django debut: Benito Gonzalez 12/3 followed by Orrin Evans and the new Brazilian project “Terreno Comum” featuring vocalist Alexia Bomtempo on 12/8. The holidays are in full swing with festive concerts by Charles Turner Uptown Swing Dance 12/11, Duchess 12/17, New Alchemy Jazz Orchestra 12/22, and Martina DaSilva and Danny Jonokuchi Quintet Holiday Special 12/23, followed by a New Year’s Eve celebration 12/31 with jazz legend Houston Person and emerging vocalist Lucy Yeghiazaryan followed by leading gay jazz artist Richard Cortez bringing in his provocative and high-energy, horn-driven show to ring in 2022. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased here.


The Django’s new weekly residency with Mingus Big Band continues every Tuesday appearing 12/14, 12/21, and 12/28, with a special appearance by the Mingus Orchestra 12/7. The Ken Fowser Quintet returns for its weekly Friday night show 12/13 and 12/10, and guitarist Mark Whitfield hosts his monthly Django gig 12/10.


Below is our complete schedule of December performances!


Ken Fowser is the Music Curator for The Roxy Hotel New York, Music Director of The Django, and performs every Friday night on our stage with special guests each week. Since his arrival on the New York scene in 2005, Ken Fowser has continued to steer traditional harmony in uncharted directions. His lyrical approach to line construction and depth of harmonic sensibility allows him to record and play all over the world. A prolific composer, Fowser has celebrated four cooperative releases on Posi-tone Records, co-led with vibraphone virtuoso, Behn Gillece. His debut release as a leader, Standing Tall earned him the #1 spot on Jazz Week Radio Chart seven weeks in a row. Fowser enjoyed both downtown and uptown residencies at iconic New York venues, hosting the session at Smalls Jazz Club every Tuesday for four years and playing the late set at Smoke Jazz and Supper Club every Friday for two years. RESERVE










Jason Marshall’s 2003 arrival in New York City signified the continuation of hard swinging, forward thinking baritone saxophone playing. With early encouragement to appreciate all types of music, Jason has developed a style that encompasses with whole of African-American music. A special interest is given to the amalgamation of soul, R and B, and funk with straight-ahead jazz. Years of dedication and perseverance have resulted in a giant, soulful sound and instantly appealing concept. Influences such as Leo Parker, Nick Brignola and Bruce Johnstone have coalesced to ensure an open perception of the baritone sax and a “take -no-prisoners” approach to playing jazz music. RESERVE




Our popular Mingus series resumes tonight with the eclectic Mingus Orchestra, deploying its blend of “jazz” and “non–jazz” instrumentation to perform some of the legendary bassist/composer’s most adventurous compositions. “Among the giants of jazz, composer, bandleader, and string bass player Charles Mingus ranged the furthest stylistically. While focusing on bop, especially hard bop, his performances explored all of the other main currents in jazz – the New Orleans style, swing, free jazz, and fusion – and other genres as well – blues, rhythm & blues, boogie woogie, and gospel music.” – From The Blackwell Guide to Recorded Jazz, edited by Barry Kernfeld (1992) RESERVE




Pianist-composer Orrin Evans unveiled his new Brazilian project for the first time in Cape May. Born out of a commissioned project by The August Wilson African American Cultural Center, Terreno Comun is a powerful collective comprised of some of the most acclaimed musicians in modern jazz and Brazilian music. With Evans as musical director, this new quintet features Brazilian-American singer-songwriter Alexia Bomtempo, bassist Luques Curtis, drummer Clarence Penn and São Paulo-born guitarist Leandro Pellegrino. The song list includes beautiful arrangements of Brazilian standards giving an opportunity for all to shine. Their debut album will be released on Evans’ label, Imani Records, later in 2021. While the members of Terreno Comun may come from disparate backgrounds — Alexia from Rio de Janeiro, Leandro from São Paulo, Luques from Hartford, Clarence from Detroit, Orrin from Trenton — they share a musical “common ground” (the English translation of the band name). RESERVE




Described as “somewhere between a comforting whisper and a cogent declaration” by The New York Times, Lauren Henderson paints a reflective and impassioned stories with her haunting voice and enchanting compositions. Breaking the Jazz Charts Top 5 and the Year End Jazz Week Top 50 (2020), Henderson’s eclectic vocal influences spread across genres producing a distinct yet versatile sound. Henderson uncovers layers of her diverse background in English and Spanish. Her compositions paint stories reflecting journeys imposed through the African Diaspora in connection to Henderson’s Panamanian, Montserratian, and vast Caribbean roots as they interplay with her North American upbringing. RESERVE




Four of Dr. Lonnie Smith’s long time band mates come together to pay tribute to one of the most prolific Hammond B3 organists of all time. This special tribute concert honors the music and legacy of NEA Jazz Master Dr. Lonnie Smith who died earlier this year (1942-2021). Often hailed as “The Doc, a “Legend,” a “Living Musical Icon,” Lonnie was an unparalleled musician, composer, performer, and recording artist. He was an authentic master and guru of the Hammond B-3 organist for over five decades. RESERVE




The Lonnie Smith celebration continues with a tribute concert by saxophonist Ian Hendrickson-Smith, longtime co-producer of and performer on many of The Doc’s albums including the last recording of Lonnie Smith, Breathe (Blue Note) released in 2021. New York City-based saxophonist and flutist Ian Hendrickson-Smith is mostly noted for his remarkable tone, soulful approach and blues-driven melodies. Equally adept on all the saxophones, Ian stays very busy doing what he loves and loves staying busy! Currently, you can find Ian playing on the road with The Roots or on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. Hendrickson-Smith’s extensive recording experience includes the release of 12 jazz records as a leader. His most recent, The Lowdown (Cellar Music 2020) is currently charting at #18 on the national jazz charts. RESERVE




The Django is thrilled to welcome back Mark Whitfield as part of a monthly residency. Whitfield graduated from Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music, the world’s foremost institution for the study of Jazz and modern American music in the spring of 1987. Shortly thereafter, he returned to his to his native New York to embark on a career as a Jazz Guitarist that afforded him the opportunity to collaborate with legendary artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Quincy Jones, Ray Charles, Herbie Hancock, Carmen McRae, Gladys Knight, Burt Bacharach, Jimmy Smith, Clark Terry, Shirley Horn, Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Joe Williams, Stanley Turrentine and his greatest teacher and mentor George Benson. In 1990 The New York Times dubbed Whitfield “The Best Young Guitarist in the Business”. Later that year, Warner Bros. released his debut album The Marksman. The success of his debut release led to a recording career that has produced a total of 14 solo recordings and a myriad of collaborative efforts with some of the most important artists in recent years; Sting, Steven Tyler, D’Angelo, Mary J. Blige, John Mayer, Chaka Khan, Jill Scott, Diana Krall, Christian McBride, Chris Botti, Roy Hargrove and Nicholas Payton. RESERVE




Sasha Berliner is a musician, composer, producer, and band leader from San Francisco, CA. In addition to performing internationally with her own project, Sasha Berliner Azalea, her recent notable performances and recordings have been with musicians such as Tyshawn Sorey, Nicholas Payton, and Quincy Davis. She is an endorsing artist for Vater and Marimba One, and is a faculty member at the MalletLab percussion intensive, where she gives masterclasses and clinics. She has also lead masterclasses and Q&As at esteemed universities like MSU Denver and Berklee College of Music. RESERVE




Charles Turner is a multi-faceted, charismatic, Brooklyn-based composer and vocalist whose work transcends borders and styles from Jazz, R&B to Soul. Turner has held residencies, hosted, and performed at venues such as Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Birdland, Smoke Jazz club and the historic Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem. A regular at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s latenight dance sessions, Turner and his five-piece rhythm and horn section, Uptown Swing, make their way downtown, bringing a lively evening of melodies from the Harlem Renaissance through to today’s swing music. For this special one-nighter, Turner peppers the set with some fun, festive tunes. RESERVE



MINGUS BIG BAND Tuesday Residency 7:30PM + 9:30PM

The Django welcomes the Grammy award-winning Mingus Big Band to its stage every Tuesday night. The “city’s hardest big band (Time Out New York),” celebrates the music of composer/bassist Charles Mingus, who died in 1979. Under the artistic direction of Sue Mingus, this 14-piece band performed Thursday nights from 1991 to 2004 at Fez under Time Cafe in New York City. It maintained weekly performances in the city from May 2004 until October 2008, when it began “Mingus Mondays” at Jazz Standard where it alternated with the Mingus Orchestra and Mingus Dynasty. Mingus Mondays became a NYC institution and Monday night stronghold for over 12 years, halted only by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Mingus Big Band tours extensively in the United States and abroad, and has 11 recordings to its credit, six of which have been nominated for Grammys. RESERVE




Combining a joyful swing feel with an impeccable touch, Steinway Artist Ben Paterson has quickly established himself as one of the most exciting young pianist / organists on the jazz scene today, garnering international acclaim for his superb musicianship and engaging performances. Originally from Philadelphia, Ben studied both classical and jazz music before moving to the great city of Chicago, absorbing the unique blend of jazz and blues that can only be found in the Windy City. Now based in New York, Ben is poised to bring his unique talents and style to a wider audience, performing regularly at top notch venues around town, and at clubs and festivals around the world. In 2018 Ben was named as the First Place Winner of the Ellis Marsalis International Jazz Piano Competition. Notable collaborations include work with NEA Jazz Master Von Freeman, Bobby Broom, Johnny O’Neal, Red Holloway, Eldee Young, Jerry Weldon, Peter Bernstein and Ed Cherry to name a few, with performances opening for groups such as Steely Dan and B.B. King. RESERVE




Members of the Roots and Dap-Kings unite to form a collective unit known as “The Zealots”, playing a unique blend of jazz, soul, and funk. Join us for a very special debut performance of this super group, only at the Django! RESERVE




Sure-footed swing, sweet-toned harmony, and ever-insouciant charm are embodied in the jazz vocal trio Duchess, featuring notable New York singers Amy Cervini, Hilary Gardner, and Melissa Stylianou. Blending the classic and the contemporary, the trio has performed at major festivals and esteemed jazz clubs throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Israel, rightly earning a reputation for beautiful singing and big fun. The New York City-based threesome debuted on Anzic Records in 2015 with the eponymous Duchess, channeling the 1930s inspiration of the virtuosic Boswell Sisters into a wonderfully entertaining package. Their 2017 follow-up, Laughing at Life (Anzic), garnered rave reviews, prompting Downbeat Magazine to declare, “For a good time, call Duchess.” The trio released their critically acclaimed holiday EP, Harmony for the Holidays, in 2018. Duchess debuted in Europe in July 2019, and their recording, Live at Jazz Standard, was released to rave reviews on Anzic Records in 2020. Duchess enjoys an ongoing collaboration with the Paul Taylor Dance Company and performed the music of the Andrews Sisters for Taylor’s seminal piece, “Company B,” at Lincoln Center in October/November 2019. In the inaugural year for the category, Duchess was named “Vocal Group of the Year” in the 2021 Jazz Journalists Association Awards. “Catching a live Duchess show should be on your “to-do list” next time they are in town.” – Blu Jazz. RESERVE




12/17 10PM

Gotham Kings is a high energy immersive jazz experience! Two-time Grammy nominated trumpeter, Alphonso Horne has put together a band that weaves the sound of New Orleans into a rich musical fabric that demonstrates the history of the trumpet and the story of jazz. Inspired by the music of King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band, Gotham Kings uses the virtuosity of the young Louis Armstrong and innovative genius of King Oliver to take you on a journey of sound that encompasses rags, stomps, shouts and funk! The band has played in venues including Caramoor Jazz Festival, Louis Armstrong House Museum, Jazz at Lincoln Center and many more!  RESERVE




Whether you’ve heard guitarist Dave Stryker leading his own group (with 30 CDs as a leader to date), or as a featured sideman with Stanley Turrentine, Jack McDuff, and many others, you know why the Village Voice calls him “one of the most distinctive guitarists to come along in recent years.” Hot House magazine awarded him Best Guitarist Fans Decision for 2017. He was recently voted once again as one of the top Jazz Guitarists in the 2019 Downbeat Critics and Readers Polls for the 10th time. RESERVE




One of the most highly regarded jazz drummers on the scene today, Joe is known for his blazing speed, precision, musical, and melodic playing. Upon moving to New York City, he led the weekend jazz combos at Augie’s (now Smoke Jazz & Supper Club). He performed with Junior Cook, Cecil Payne, John Ore, Big John Patton, Harold Mabern, Eddie Henderson, John Jenkins and his brothers, John and James. Joseph’s career includes recording over 100 CDs as leader and sideman, jazz festivals and world tours with Pharaoh Sanders, Horace Silver, Harold Mabern, McCoy Tyner, Cedar Walton, Diana Krall, Benny Golson, George Coleman, Johnny Griffin, Lou Donaldson, Benny Green, Harold Mabern, Barry Harris, Curtis Fuller to name a few. RESERVE




HOLIDAY SHOW 12/22 7:30PM + 9:30PM

The New Alchemy Jazz Orchestra (NAJO) is an exciting 17-piece big band taking New York City by storm. Broadway World wrote they are “the best musicians NYC has to offer”. The band has featured a variety of guest artists like Peter Bernstein, Dick Oatts, and Terell Stafford, and they exclusively perform new arrangements of classic and contemporary works by the inspired coleaders John Lake, Mike Sailors, Steve Kortyka, and Danny Jonokuchi. Their holiday show features newly wrapped arrangements of Christmas classics with decorations of soul, r&b, and blues. Listen to their single “We Three Kings” featuring vocal sensation J. Hoard and an exquisite arrangement by co-leader John Lake. RESERVE




New York native Martina DaSilva has been captivating audiences with her signature blend of daring technical virtuosity and expressive emotional sensitivity since she burst on the scene. Drawing equally from the styles of early jazz, opera, and chamber music, her musicality transcends conventional genre labelling. As a Brazilian-American, Martina also has a passion for performing the works of Brazilian composers. She is perhaps best known as the leader of the jazz vocal harmony group The Ladybugs. In 2020, she released the festive album A Very ChimyTina Christmas (Outside in), a reflection of Dan Chmielinski and DaSilva’s favorite holiday classics, as well as their own personal take on the Christmas spirit. For this holiday concert at The Django, DaSilva will bring a rich, warm blend of timbres that brings all listeners a warm, holiday glow. RESERVE




Danny Jonokuchi is an award-winning trumpeter and composer and has been called “a sound of this era” (Nextbop). As a New York City-based jazz trumpeter, arranger, producer, vocalist, and educator, few artists are as diversely involved in their craft. You can hear his original compositions and “world-class arrangements” (Broadway World) in renowned jazz clubs, listen to albums he has arranged and produced for a myriad of artists, and hear him perform on Broadway stages. In 2020, he was unanimously named winner of the inaugural Count Basie Great American Swing Contest by a panel of noteworthy judges. Vibraphonist Stefon Harris noted that Danny “understood the feel of the music—the importance and the value of the spiritual energy that’s embodied in swing.” DownBeat Magazine remarked, “The music is expertly executed and offers an infectious, kinetic quality.” Danny was also the recipient of the 2020 ASCAP Foundation Louis Armstrong Award. RESERVE




Big, bad beauty from Boise, Idaho, Emily Braden covers a lot of ground. Whether she’s fronting an orchestra or leading a world-class trio in the heart of Manhattan, Braden has the innate ability to win the heart of any audience with her powerhouse vocals and striking stage presence. Winner of New York City’s prestigious “Best of the Best” Jazzmobile Vocal Competition, Braden’s signature sound is an effortless blend of jazz and soul. She is currently completing her sophomore release Cannon & Sparrow. Her debut album Soul Walk is composed of high-energy originals, bilingual improvisations (Braden is fluent in Spanish and received her Masters degree in Latin American Studies) and “flipped-out” jazz standards. Producer Misha Piatigorsky says, “As a singer, Emily has no boundaries. She gives me goosebumps.” Before the COVID-19 global pandemic, Braden toured regularly and could be seen every first Friday at NYC’s famed 55 Bar. She has performed at NYC’s Blue Note Jazz Club, Birdland Jazz Club and Minton’s Playhouse as well as on international festival circuits. She has been a featured vocalist with Postmodern Jukebox and is the front woman for NYC’s Sketchy Orkestra. RESERVE



J. HOARD 12/29 9PM

J. Hoard is a Brooklyn-based artist. In one performance you are given the core of the Black church and the allure of “The Great White Way” (Broadway). His original compositions and arrangements easily shift genre to articulate his vivid songwriting. This eclecticism has yielded collaborations with artists such as Black Coffee, Chance the Rapper, Brasstracks, and hip-hop royalty Jean Grae & Quelle Chris. Additionally, he has worked closely with a host of jazz/experimental artists such as Sonnymoon, Javier Santiago, Jose James TheLessonGK, and music legend Meshell Ndegeocello. RESERVE




A NYC-native, pianist Ray Gallon has been a mainstay on the jazz scene for over 30 years. Rooted in bebop and blues, his expressive, swinging playing melds old and new into a fresh, original style. As a young player, Ray was mentored by jazz piano giants John Lewis, Hank Jones, and Jaki Byard. He has performed at major jazz festivals and venues around the world with such luminaries as Ron Carter, Lionel Hampton, Art Farmer, Benny Golson, George Adams, Les Paul, and Wycliffe Gordon. Ray has appeared at the White House and the Kennedy Center, sharing the stage with jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie, Milt Jackson, Sweets Edison, and Joe Williams. An in-demand accompanist, he has worked with many vocal greats, including Jon Hendricks, Sheila Jordan, Dakota Staton, Gloria Lynne, Jane Monheit and Chaka Khan. Ray’s inventive compositions have been recorded by acclaimed artists T.S. Monk and George Adams. His new trio album Make Your Move is available on Cellar Live and features the stellar rhythm section of David Wong and Kenny Washington, with liner notes by Ron Carter. Ray is a faculty member of the jazz programs at The City College of NY in Harlem and the Vermont Jazz Center’s Summer Workshop Series and has taught classes at Juilliard and The New School. RESERVE




From birth, Alexander Claffy was raised in a musical household (his father is a pianist, his mother, a vocalist), and had many of his earliest lessons on bandstands in the heart of Philadelphia. As a teenager, Claffy was fortunate enough to find a mentor in many Philly natives, and has continued his study of the double bass with some of the world’s finest musicians, including Ron Carter, Dwayne Burno and Orin O’Brien. Since moving to New York City in 2011, he has had the honor of working with many of his living heroes, including Jimmy Cobb, Louis Hayes, Harold Mabern, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Christian Scott, Joey Alexander, Wallace Roney and many more. In the past three years he has recorded for the Verve, HighNote, Positone, RopeADope and LaReserve record labels. RESERVE






12/31 7:00-9:45PM

As a young immigrant who has brought the real richness of her Armenian heritage together with her love for what is truly American, Lucy beautifully sounds out the best expression of the American dream. Finalist in the 2015 Monk Competition, Yeghiazaryan is also a grant recipient for various projects from the Doris Duke Foundation, Chamber Music America and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She has shared the stage with Grant Stewart, Harold Mabern, Houston Person, Bernadette Peters and will release her second album In Her Words this September.

With his robust sound and swinging style, tenor saxophonist Houston Person has kept the hard bop and organ-soaked soul-jazz traditions alive. Emerging from organist Johnny “Hammond” Smith’s group, Person established his reputation as one of the Big Boss tenors in the Gene Ammons style with albums including 1968’s Blue Odyssey, 1969’s Goodness!, and 1970’s Person to Person. He joins Lucy this New Year’s Eve for what promises to be an exceptional night of music! Tickets: $125 per person includes cover charge and three-course pre-fixe menu. Does not include beverages, tax, or hospitality. RESERVE




12/31 10:00PM-1:30AM

In the true spirit of the Roaring Twenties, radically queer jazz song interpreter, Richard Cortez, spent the pandemic setting the underground music scene ablaze with his provocative and high energy, horn-driven shows. Cortez, known for his ambition and extensive knowledge of The Great American Songbook, currently performs four weekly residencies (Club Cumming, REBAR, and more) with his band that features some of New York City’s most celebrated jazz musicians. Richard breathes exciting new life into this beloved timeless material, forever reminding us that as we progress as a society – so do our stories told within these sacred songs. According to Get Out Mag, “Richard Cortez is entertaining New York’s nightlife in an original way. Tickets: $200 per person includes cover charge, three-course pre-fixe menu, and midnight glass of champagne. Does not include beverages, tax, or hospitality. RESERVE