On Stage This Month at The Django

January at The Django

We have begun 2022 by opening our doors another day—now, patrons can enjoy jazz in the cellar six days a week Monday-Saturday. On January 6th, The Django stage humbly hosts an evening dedicated to the great guitarist Pat Martino comprising a documentary screening, and tribute concerts by Rick Germanson, four all-star guitarists Peter BernsteinDave StrykerPaul Bollenback and Mark Whitfield, and special guests.


The Django plays host to two CD release concerts: drummer Evan Sherman’s Sidewalkin’ 1/07, and Michael Stephenson Meets the Alexander Caffy Trio 1/26. The Django’s weekly residency with the Mingus Big Band switches from Tuesdays to Mondays appearing 1/101/24, and Mingus Dynasty 1/31. The Ken Fowser Quintet returns for its weekly Friday night show 1/071/141/21, and 1/28, guitarist Mark Whitfield hosts his monthly Django gig 1/13, and vocalist Sachal Vasandani returns 1/19 for his monthly concert series featuring young, emerging singers.


Below is our complete schedule of January performances!


Jazz bassist Brandi Disterheft relocated to NYC to begin an apprenticeship under Miles Davis’s bassist Ron Carter. It’s not only her fiery bass playing that make audiences stand-up and holler, but also her innovative live shows showcasing her up-tempo, swinging originals and ambient voice. Winning a JUNO (Canadian Grammy) for her “Debut” album, Brandi had the honor to be the bassist for the legendary Hank Jones on the album “Pleased to Meet You” and has since captivated international audiences at jazz festivals in Japan, Haiti, Canada, Europe, USA and at prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, and the Vienna Opera House. Recordings and performances include collaborations with top drawer musicians such as Anita O’day, Benny Green, Cyrus Chestnut, Vincent Herring and Renee Rosnes to name a few. “She is quite the bass player, and I appreciate her expertise and talent. It was a great pleasure making an album together.” -George Coleman Brandi’s fifth album, Surfboard is her most accomplished yet. Joined by two iconic octogenarian masters — virtuoso tenor saxophonist George Coleman and the definitive Brazilian drummer Portinho — and world-class pianist Klaus Mueller, Disterheft authoritatively and organically guides the flow on a varied program that reflects her capacious interests. RESERVE


PAT MARTINO TRIBUTE: ON FILM AND STAGE 1/06 Rick Germanson 7pm, Documentary Screening 9pm

Peter Bernstein, Paul Bollenback, Mark Whitfield, Eric Alexander, Pat Bianchi AND Carmen Intorre 10pm

KEN FOWSER QUINTET 1/07, 1/14, 1/21, 1/28 7pm

Ken Fowser is the 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


Born into a musical family in New Jersey, Evan Sherman (b. 1993) began playing the drums at age five and had his first professional gigs at 13. Since then, Evan performed, recorded and toured with Wynton Marsalis & the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Roy Hargrove, Ron Carter, Jimmy Heath, the Dizzy Gillespie All-Stars, Cyrus Chestnut, Branford Marsalis, and more. He has performed at the Village Vanguard, the Blue Note, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Birdland, Jazz Standard, London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, New Morning in Paris, Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall, JALC Doha & Shanghai, and Washington’s Kennedy Center as well as the Newport, Detroit, and Jerusalem jazz festivals. His latest album Sidewalkin’ (released September 2021) was born during the COVID shutdown. “Last year, when NYC was completely shut down, this particular cast of my musical heroes got together to play on the streets of the #upperwestside. Mr. Wonsey called them “sparring” sessions that kept us in shape while the clubs were closed. After a couple months and winter setting in, we all got Covid tests and made a pilgrimage across the GW bridge to spend the afternoon recording at Rudy Van Gelder Studio.” – Sherman RESERVE


Isaiah J. Thompson is a jazz pianist, bandleader and composer from West Orange, New Jersey. He began studying at The Calderone School of Music at an early age, and soon after continued his studies with Jazz House Kids and NJPAC Jazz For Teens. He was later admitted to The Juilliard School at the age of 18, and graduated with his B.M. in 2019 and his M.M. in 2020. Isaiah has performed with major artists, including Ron Carter, John Pizzarelli, Christian McBride, Steve Turre and Buster Williams. His recording debut was featured on Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Blue Engine Records’ Handful of Keys album with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, and his debut album as a leader, Isaiah J. Thompson Plays the Music of Buddy Montgomery, was released in 2020.



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


The Django brings back its popular Tuesday Latin jazz concert series each month: Martes Latinos.

Born and raised in Havana, Cuba, Grammy nominated pianist and composer Manuel Valera is a Guggenheim Fellow who has recorded 13 CDs as a bandleader with touring projects ranging from his Grammy nominated group New Cuban Express to modern contemporary jazz trio to solo piano. “He leaves no doubt that he’s destined to play a role in the future of jazz. Valera shows a keen jazz vocabulary, a gift for creating grooves that invite stellar solo flights from his collaborators and the nerve to romance a melody when it suits him.” (Billboard) RESERVE

LOS HACHEROS 1/11 10pm

Brooklyn’s Los Hacheros, modern-day torchbearers of the Golden Age of Latin music, is a band of only five musicians, yet can sound like a conjunto of 12. Los Hacheros revives folkloric styles like son montuno, guaracha and salsa, and often combine them with Bomba, a fiery rhythm from the mountains of Puerto Rico. RESERVE


“Ms. Stravelli’s emotional intelligence coincides with a phenomenal voice that she wielded with an easygoing confidence and impeccable taste.” – The New York Times Gabrielle Stravelli’s pairing of a jazz artist’s musicianship with an ability to interpret lyrics and connect with an audience has led to a richly varied career. She premiered pianist Fred Hersch’s song cycle “Rooms of Light” and toured the U.S. premiering Wynton Marsalis’s “Abyssinian Mass.” She regularly leads her quartet in performances at the country’s finest jazz clubs and performing arts centers and has headlined domestic and international jazz festivals including the 2021 & 2018 WBGO Jazz on the Mountain Festival in New Paltz, NY, the 2019 Providencia Jazz Festival in Santiago, Chile, the 2016 All That Jazz Festival in Eleuthera, Bahamas and the 2014 Maree Sonore Festival in Venice, Italy. As a US State Department “Jazz Ambassador” she has performed and taught throughout Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and South America. The rhythmic swing of jazz frames her original compositions while as an actor and storyteller she reinterprets the Great American Songbook as well as works by contemporary artists. Unexpected, highly individual choices are her trademark. RESERVE


Ashley Pezzotti is a young jazz vocalist rapidly making a name for herself. She began taking voice lessons at only four years old, and in 2018 she completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music with a full tuition scholarship. In 2019 Pezzotti moved to New York City to further her career, and since then she has performed and/or toured with jazz giants such as Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and Arturo Sandoval. RESERVE


Leandro Pellegrino is an internationally acclaimed guitarist who has been steadily developing his reputation as one of the finest guitarists of his generation. Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Leandro studied music composition and Jazz improvisations during his teenage years. After earning his Bachelor’s degree, Leandro auditioned for the prestigious Berklee College of Music and was awarded a full-ride scholarship to pursue his studies in Jazz and improvised music. In the Fall of 2011, Leandro moved to the U.S to live his dream of being immersed in the country’s fertile musical environment. Since then he has gained an impressive reputation among his peers and had the chance to work with many of the greatest Jazz musicians on the scene. He has already performed with Dave Liebman, Danilo Perez, Christian McBride, John Pattittuci, Bob Cranshaw, Terri Lyne Carrington, Eric Harland, Donny McCaslin, Gerald Clayton, among others. He is also part of the Grammy-award winning album “Beautiful Life” by the exceptional jazz singer Dianne Reeves. Back in 2013, Leandro entered the Montreux Jazz Guitar Competition and was awarded the 1st prize by the hands of the legendary Lee Ritenour. He was also the first South American guitarist to ever win this Competition. In the following year, Leandro performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival as the opening act for Lee Ritenour. Since then Leandro has been performing and teaching all over the world. 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


Lincoln Center’s emerging artist of 2019 and Detroit native Endea Owens is a vibrant up and coming bassist. She has been mentored by the likes of Marcus Belgrave, Rodney Whitaker, and Ron Carter. She has toured and performed with Jennifer Holliday, Rhonda and Diana Ross, Jazzmeia Horn, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Steve Turre, and Lea Delaria from the Netflix original series Orange is the New Black. Endea is the bassist for Jon Batiste’s Stay Human and the house bassist for the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. RESERVE


Grammy Award-winning tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery is one of the jazz world’s most talented rising stars and in-demand sidemen. For over a decade, Escoffery was mostly associated with trumpet master Tom Harrell’s working quintet, recording seven CDs and touring the world. He has also been a member of the Mingus Dynasty, Big Band, and Orchestra since 2000. You can catch him at The Django every Monday night performing with the Mingus Big Band. Over the years he has recorded and performed with Ron Carter, Ben Riley, Eric Reed, Carl Allen, Al Foster, and Billy Hart to name just a few. RESERVE


Internationally renowned veteran sax man Jerry Weldon, has been a player on the jazz scene for more than 35 years. With eight CDs as a leader and more sideman sides than even he can count… or remember, this native New Yorker’s performance/recording resume’ reflects his venerable tenor tenure and reads like a virtual “Who’s Who of Jazz”. In 1990, Jerry became a charter member and featured soloist with Harry Connick Jr.’s newly formed big band. Since then Jerry has toured the U.S., Europe, Asia and Australia with Harry and was also part of Connick’s Broadway musical production, “Thou Shalt Not” and appeared on stage as well as in the orchestra. Thanks to his talent, and long association with Connick, Jerry was part of the “house band” on HARRY, Connick’s daytime television variety show for its two-year run. RESERVE


Six bands featuring some of the finest French and NYC Jazz musicians come together for one night! RESERVE


Pete Malinverni has been a mainstay on the NYC jazz scene since the early 1980s, his 15 recordings as a leader having received excellent notices and heavy airplay. Originally from Niagara Falls, NY, Pete has shared club bandstands and stages with the likes of Mel Lewis, Vernel Fournier, Joe Lovano, Charles Davis, Gary Smulyan and so many others, adding, in each instance, his own inimitable style, rooted firmly in the tradition yet always reaching for the new thing. Guest vocalist Anais Reno has been hailed for her “grace, gravitas, serenity, and prodigious skills—one can proclaim that the work of Anaïs is impressive without any added qualifier/caveat like “…for someone her age…”’ (Talkin’ Broadway). After winning the 2016 Forte International Competition’s Platinum Award at Carnegie Hall, Anaïs won Second Place at Michael Feinstein’s Great American Song Book Academy competition in the summer of 2018 being the youngest contestant ever, First Place at the Mabel Mercer Foundation competition, in New York, in March of 2019. In 2020, she won the Julie Wilson award and in November 2021, was just announced as one of the finalists for Young Arts in jazz voice. RESERVE


It has quickly become a monthly engagement at The Django, Sachal Vasandani returns to our stage with surprise guest vocalists. This new series features Sachal sharing the stage with different emerging singers each month exploring, improvising, and celebrating each other. Sachal is recognized for his singular voice, with a tone and unique phrasing that mark him as one of the most compelling artists on the scene today. Thoroughly rooted in jazz, Sachal has the swagger to front the most swinging big bands and the vulnerability to present definitive takes of classic ballads. His deeply creative approach to improvisation across lyrics, melodic changes and time signatures is always soulful, and he has come to be regarded as one of the eminent vocal improvisers of his generation. Sachal’s 2018 release, Shadow Train (GSI), celebrates twin themes of romance and respect with an open spirit. Songs like Abbey Lincoln’s “Throw it Away” highlight this: Sachal’s performance is equal parts virility and empathy. The Nat “King” Cole classic, “Unforgettable,” is honored with a spare, haunting style, and is revered by listeners with nearly a million streams across platforms since its release in 2019. RESERVE


Largely self-taught, or rather, “old-schooled,” Asherie learned the ropes at Smalls, spending much of his early teens becoming a fixture of the late-night jam sessions held at this now legendary Greenwich Village club in New York City. Mentored by the late Frank Hewitt, Asherie began to develop “his virtuosity and his ear for clean, crisp lines” (The Star Ledger). Later, an admiration for earlier piano styles took hold; soon enough Asherie had absorbed them into his playing becoming, in the words of The New Yorker, “a master of swing and stride.” His present style combines this broad tradition, merging idioms into a distinctly personalized approach. He is joined by legendary jazz drummer Kenny Washington. A Brooklyn born, Staten Island-bread drummer, Kenny has played behind Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Ahmad Jamal and a never-ending list of amazing players. He teaches jazz drumming at the New School in New York City. RESERVE


New York City-based saxophonist and flutist Ian Hendrickson-Smith returns to The Django this month leading his own quartet. He 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


Saxophonist Craig Handy began his career performing with jazz masters such as Art Blakey, Roy Haynes, Abdullah Ibrahim, and the Mingus Dynasty Band. By his late 20s, Handy was already known for his technical mastery and prodigious post-bop talent, as well as the versatility demonstrated by performing with vocalists like Betty Carter and Dee Dee Bridgewater. Handy has since toured and performed with numerous jazz masters, including Herbie Hancock, Cedar Walton, Wynton Marsalis, and The Cookers. Handy now leads a new project entitled Craig Handy & 2nd Line Smith, drawing on New Orleans music and the groove-filled re-imaginings of originals and standards by the late, great organist Jimmy Smith. RESERVE


Bruce is currently Adjunct Professor at Julliard School of Music. He hails from Washington, D.C., and has performed, toured, and recorded with a long roster of jazz legends such as: Little Jimmy Scott, Frank Foster, The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Stanley Cowell, Louis Smith, Cecil Brooks III, The Count Basie Orchestra, The World Saxophone Quartet, Russell Gunn, Curtis Fuller, and Roy Hargrove to just name a few. Bruce is a versatile saxophonist who is currently the newest and youngest member, of the internationally recognized jazz group, “The World Saxophone Quartet” as well as a member of a newly founded group by legendary drummer Ben Riley, the “Thelonious Monk Legacy Septet”. 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

MINGUS MONDAYS: MINGUS BIG BAND 1/24, 1/31 7:30pm + 9:30pm

The Django welcomes the Grammy award-winning Mingus Big Band to its stage every Monday 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


Trumpeter Philip Harper can often be found on The Django stage performing with the Mingus Big Band every Monday night. He returns for this special one-nighter with vocalist/guitarist Ilya Lushtak. Lushtak is a Russian-born, seasoned New York jazz musician who has played with such greats as Hank Jones, Barry Harris, Cedar Walton, Jimmy Cobb, Frank Wess and numerous others. RESERVE


Ed Cherry is an American jazz guitarist and studio musician. Cherry is perhaps best known for his long association with trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, with whom he performed from 1978 until shortly before Gillespie’s death in 1993. Since that time, he has worked with Paquito Rivera, Jon Faddis, John Patton, Hamiet Bluiett, Henry Threadgill, and Paula West. He has recorded a number of albums as a leader, his most recent Soul Tree and It’s All Good for Posi-tone Records. RESERVE


The Django Allstars is a collective unit comprised of some of the best musicians in NYC. All of them have led multiple gigs at The Django, and have performed throughout the world. This super group represents straight ahead and modern jazz at its finest. RESERVE

HUDSON HORNS 1/28 10pm

Hudson Horns, LLC was born from the famous underground Daybreaker parties five years ago and has grown into one of the most sought-after brass bands in NYC. Professional trained, fused with their love of music, the HH band members excel in sound, creativity and performance. Hudson Horns is comprised of professionally trained musicians from renowned programs such as The New School, University of Michigan, Julliard, Harvard, The University of The Arts, and Manhattan School of Music. Hudson Horns artists have collaborated with leading performers such as Rihanna, Solange, Ricky Martin, Joe Jonas, Shawn Mendes, Macklemore, Busta Rhymes, Dave Chapelle, The Legendary Johnny O’neal, Roy Hargrove, and The Skatelites. RESERVE


Mike LeDonne is a world-renowned jazz pianist and Hammond organist. Oscar Peterson named him as one of his favorite pianists of this era. Since moving to New York City in 1978 he has worked with a wide spectrum of Jazz greats from Benny Goodman to Sonny Rollins, Bobby Hutcherson and many others. He spent 11 years as pianist and musical director for vibes legend Milt Jackson, and has been working with Benny Golson since 1997. He was nominated for “Best Keyboards” 2012 by the Jazz Journalists Association and won the Downbeat Critic’s Poll as “Rising Star” on organ that same year. Mike’s on over 150 recordings and has 22 out under his own name. He co-authored a piano comping book as part of Jim Snidero’s Jazz Conception series on Advance Music and spent four years at Juilliard and is presently on the faculty at William Patterson University. RESERVE


Lezlie Harrison is her own personal renaissance. Her constant state of evolution and growth brings with it, gifts for those paying attention. As a vocalist both bold and subtle, her vulnerability attends to the fragile matters of our collective human affairs while her optimistic momentum inspires us to rise above any tribulation to rejoice. Be it Jazz, Blues, Gospel, Soul, The American Song Form, original compositions, or any song in ANY form, Lezlie will imbue it with her distinctive stamp and make a very personal delivery. On the planet’s premier jazz radio station, WBGO, her voice as a regular curator and presenter reveals the love and pride with which she regards America’s classical music. Hyper-active on the New York and global jazz scenes, Lezlie is also, along with the late Dale Fitzgerald and trumpeter Roy Hargrove, a member of the triumvirate responsible for launching New York’s world-renowned Jazz Gallery club. On occasion Lezlie lends her regal presence to the stage as an actress, bringing to those endeavors, the same sense of organic elegance that she brought to the runways and photo studios of Paris some years ago. By way of her childhood in New York and North Carolina or her maturation in New York, Boston or on stages throughout Asia, Russia, Europe, and elsewhere, Lezlie shows aesthetic evidence that she is a recipient of the lessons of dignity, integrity, and grace bestowed upon her by her elders and fine-tuned by her own history. RESERVE


We hope you’ll join us for dinner, libations, and jazz virtuosos.