On Stage at the Django This Month

November at The Django

Five emerging, award-winning female vocalists hit our stage in November: Armenian native Lucy Yeghiazaryan 11/3, Jazz Gallery founder Lezlie Harrison 11/13, winner of JazzMobile Vocal Competition Emily Braden 11/17, Ron Carter’s mentee Brandi Disterheft 11/19, followed by Sarah Vaughan Competition winner Samara Joy 11/24.


A pair of exceptional guitarists lead their respective trios starting with Ed Cherry 11/12, and Yotam Silberstein 11/27. Our new weekly residency with the Mingus Big Band continues every Tuesday appearing 11/5, 11/12, 11/19, and 11/26. Our monthly Mark Whitfield residency continues 11/4 and the Ken Fowser Quintet graces our stage every Friday night (11/5, 11/12, 11/19, 11/26).


Below is our complete schedule of November performances!

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



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 recently released her second album In Her Words. RESERVE


Cory Weeds and David Hazeltine have undeniable musical chemistry. The blend of the nimble, modern touch of Hazeltine and the classic tone of Weeds’s alto are a natural match. Effortless is how it sounds. Both men are studied and accomplished musicians with clear reverence not only for each other, but also the masters of the music. Their latest recording Day By Day spent 21 weeks on the Jazz Week Charts making it as high as #1! RESERVE

KEN FOWSER QUINTET Friday Residency 10PM

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


Charles Owens is a master tenor saxophonist, composer, band leader, recording artist, and educator and has been performing, composing, and teaching for over 30 years. After attending the New School and working as a musician in New York City from 1992 to 2004, he moved to Richmond, VA. Charles is an integral part of the vibrant music scene there and in Charlottesville, VA. He also travels back to New York several times a year to perform at venues such as Smalls, The Django, and others. 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


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. RESERVE


Johnny O’Neal is a legendary jazz pianist, having performed both as a leader as well as with luminaries such as: Art Blakey (including a one-year stint as a member of Blakey’s ‘Jazz Messengers’ ensemble), Clark Terry, Milt Jackson, Ray Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Nancy Wilson, Joe Pass, Lionel Hampton, Anita O’Day, Sonny Stitt, Carmen MacRae, Kenny Burrell, Benny Golson, Sarah Vaughn, Wynton Marsalis, and Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, among others. He is a NYC institution, having enjoyed residences at Minton’s, Ginny’s Supper Club, Mezzrow, and 10+ years at Smoke. According to San Francisco Classical Voice, “he possesses the buoyant rhythmic feel, open-hearted wit, and twohanded drive that turns up-tempo numbers into rip-snorting adventures and ballads into finely calibrated, self-contained narratives.” Audiences might recognize him from his film appearance in the Oscar winning film Ray where he was cast as Art Tatum. RESERVE


Pianist and composer Joe Block is a dynamic rising talent in the jazz world. A proud Philadelphia native, Joe has had the opportunity to work and play with Wynton Marsalis, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Leslie Odom Jr., Peter Bernstein, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Ari Hoenig, Victor Lewis, Jaleel Shaw, Hannibal Lokumbe, and The Captain Black Big Band. He is an active and versatile sideman in the New York and Philadelphia jazz scenes and leads his own trio and quintet. Hailed by Jazz at Lincoln Center as one of “jazz’s most promising young composers,” Joe has been commissioned to write or arrange music for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra, the Wynton Marsalis Septet, and the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia. He appears on the 2020 Grammy-nominated record The Intangible Between by Orrin Evans and the Captain Black Big Band. Joe currently lives in NYC where he attends both the Juilliard School and Columbia University. RESERVE


Born and raised in New Orleans by his maternal grandparents, trombonist and singer Jeffery Miller understands that you don’t get to where you want to be without sacrifice. When jazz vanguard Wynton Marsalis hand picked him out of high school to join him at Juilliard, Jeffery knew that he would have to leave his aging grandparents behind to chase his dream in New York. Now 25, Miller has scored three GRAMMY® nominations in 2019 for contributions to projects by Jon Batiste and John Legend. Graduating from Juilliard with both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees (in 2018 and 2020 respectively), he’s set on a path to make his mark as a solo artist merging two musical souls. One remains deeply rooted in the melodic jazz trombone that rings closer to home, and the other in his voice echoing the sound of contemporary R&B artists like Ty Dolla $ign and Frank Ocean. Both are intertwined by a tale of two cities and the people in them who make Jeffery Miller who he is today. 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


Jonathan Beshay-jazz saxophonist, bandleader, and composer-says that there’s no agenda when his group takes the bandstand. Fortunately for audiences, Beshay likes to hear good music. After many years of performing and listening, the result is an adaptable, energetic, fearlessly hardswinging sound that pulls from a vast body of musical sources. Beshay has no trouble moving from the street-band wailing of traditional jazz to the intricate post-bop melodies of a Joe Henderson tune. It’s all fair game, “. . . as long as it sounds good!” In addition to his own musical projects, Beshay has also served as musical director for both Winard Harper and his brother Philip Harper through tours at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Jazz Showcase in Chicago, and the Omani Royal Opera House. He also spent time in New Orleans with Delfayo Marsalis, and has performed with many other masters including Anthony Wonsey, Frank Lacy and Rodney Whitaker. 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, aoul, the American song form, original compositions, or any song in ANY form, Ms. Harrison 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 reveal 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. 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, Ms. Lezlie Harrison 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


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


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 makes audiences stand-up and holler, but also her innovative live shows showcasing her up-tempo, swinging originals and ambient voice. Her mother, a Chicago-born jazz B3 organist who opened for acts such as the Supremes and Carlos Jobim in the 1960’s, trained Brandi’s ears from the tender age of five when she began classical piano studies; yet, her aunt, a Grammy award-winning session singer in Los Angeles (Claire Fischer, Sergio Mendez) encouraged Brandi to sing. RESERVE


Virtuosic pianist Michael King, a Chicagoan native began playing drums in his local church band at the early age of 4. This fortuitously melodic schooling nurtured an undeniable affinity to the piano and organ, the very seat that he began to occupy, by ear, at age 14. Mr. King is an alumnus of Lincoln Park High School and the prestigious Oberlin Conservatory. He was selected to attend the Thelonious Monk Institute and The Ravinia Jazz Scholars program on merit scholarships. Michael has performed with Bobby Watson, Kevin Eubanks, Dave Liebeman, Gary Bartz, Billy Hart, Joel Frahm, Rufus Reid, & Antonio Hart, among others. Currently you can catch Mr. King touring internationally with: The Mike King Trio, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Robin Eubanks, Marquis Hill, Theo Croker, Soul Understated, Melissa Aldana, & Marcus Printup. 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


A familiar and popular jazz vocalist on the New York scene, Tony is a Brooklyn native who began his career in the United States Navy in Pensacola, Florida, where he joined his first band. Upon returning to New York he started performing with masterful musicians such as John Hicks, Roy Hargrove, Pharaoh Sanders, Cedar Walton and Karrin Allyson among many others and he is currently performing with the George Gee orchestra. RESERVE


With a voice as smooth as velvet, Samara Joy’s star only seems to rise with each performance. At only 21 years old, Samara has already performed in many of the great jazz venues in NYC, including Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, The Blue Note, and Mezzrow, in addition to working with jazz greats such as Christian McBride, Pasquale Grasso, Kirk Lightsey, Cyrus Chestnut, and NEA Jazz Master Dr. Barry Harris. Following her winning the 2019 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, she released her debut album in 2021 and performed at the famed Newport Jazz Festival this past year. RESERVE


Nick Hempton is an alto and tenor saxophonist producing new music in the modern/mainstream tradition. Calling New York home since 2004, he headlines clubs throughout the city, as well as concert halls and festivals around the world. Influenced by the greats of the instrument– Dexter Gordon, Sonny Stitt, Cannonball Adderley– and informed by a youth misspent playing Rhythm & Blues and Ska in his native Australia, Hempton’s jazz is original, approachable, and always swinging. His latest album Slick (TBR 11.21.2021) celebrates its release on our stage! RESERVE


As a young musician in Tel Aviv, Yotam Silberstein was quickly recognized as a prodigy and was invited to perform with many of the nation’s top musicians. At 21, he performed at Italy’s renowned Umbria Jazz Festival, released a critically acclaimed debut album and set out on an extensive tour of Europe. Upon receiving a scholarship to the prestigious New School, Yotam Silberstein moved to New York in 2005. He was a finalist in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Guitar Competition in 2005 with one critic noting: “Yotam’s tones are exquisitely old school but his playing fresh, fiery and bursting with joyful exuberance, and musically he is one heavy cat.” Jazz Times noted that Yotam has “made an impact on the scene with his precision bebop lines and fleet fingered improvisation”. All About Jazz saw a resemblance between his 2009 release, “Next Page” and “the heyday of Blue Note Records”, adding that Yotam is “forging his own path with skills and style.” RESERVE


Itai Kriss, a Grammy-nominated recording artist praised by Jazzwax as “one of the most exciting new flutist-composers” on the scene, commands a variety of musical genres with an eclectic style infused with Jazz, Latin and Middle Eastern sounds. According to Downbeat magazine, there is a “tangy, exotic flavor” to the New York musician’s style, which can be heard on his debut album, The Shark (2010) as well as on his latest release, TELAVANA (2018). After spending the past 15 years working at the forefront of New York City’s Jazz scene while performing, recording and touring with some of the world’s top Afro-Cuban, Latin and Salsa artists, Kriss fuses the sounds of his native Israel with those of his adopted homelands in the Americas to create TELEVANA. From the desert shores of Israel to the tropical beaches of Cuba, TELAVANA bridges the musical spheres of the Middle East and the Caribbean by combining Timba, Soul, North African music and jazz to create a unique and lively mix of rhythms and textures. RESERVE