12 pop, rock and jazz concerts to discover in New York this weekend
TRIO AGUAS at Birdland (until February 22, 8:30 p.m. and 11 p.m.). Somewhere between New Age hypnosis, the ingrained wisdom of folk songs, and the haphazard interplay of jazz improvisation, you’ll find the Aguas Trio. It is a collaboration between Cuban pianist Omar Sosa, Cuban violinist and singer Yilian CaÃ±izares and Venezuelan percussionist Gustavo Ovalles, and he lives from its namesake: The cool and fluid music of the trio is meant to evoke the spirit of Oshun, the deity of love and mistress of the rivers in the Cuban LucumÃ tradition.
CURTIS BROTHERS at the Jazz Gallery (February 27, 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.). Over the past decade, Zaccai Curtis, a pianist, and Luques Curtis, a bassist, have become a bridge between the older generations of jazz and theirs (the brothers are between 30 and 30), and between Latin and The right way. Jazz. They’ve been backing musicians for some of music’s most respected figures – from Eddie Palmieri to Orrin Evans to Jerry and Andy Gonzalez – and they also run a label, Truth Revolution Records, dedicated to raising the underrated musicians of the generation above them, as well as young and up-and-coming artists. The brothers themselves recently released a powerful new album, “Algorithm,” full of high-pitched and lively postbop; they’ll likely play some of that material here, joined by Nick Biello on saxophone, Josh Lawrence on trumpet and Mark Whitfield Jr. on drums.
FATOUMATA DIAWARA at the Town Hall (February 21, 8 p.m.). With a rich viola and a vivacious stage presence, this Malian singer, songwriter, guitarist and actress has become one of the the most exciting young musical performers. She has collaborated with older Malian musicians like Amadou & Mariam as well as with her creative peers around the world, like Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca. His most recent album, “Fenfo”, nominated for the Grammy Awards in 2018, was praised for its blend of Malian tradition, Afropop and southern blues. At City Hall, Gaby Moreno, a Guatemalan-born singer-songwriter who mixes influences from jazz, soul and folk, will perform an opening set.
JON IRABAGON Ã la Pierre (February 25-29, 8:30 p.m.). Among the most supernatural saxophonists working today, Irabagon places few limits on his expression. He is also likely to blow a surprisingly swinging chorus on a jazz standard as it is to unleash a burning sound explosion on a dissolute free-jazz accompaniment. Here, he presents five different projects in as many evenings, including 3Dom Factor, an indoor-outdoor group led by senior drummer Barry Altschul, on Tuesday; and a quartet with Matt Mitchell on piano, Chris Lightcap on bass and Dan Weiss on drums on February 28.
FRANCISCO MELA at the Zinc Bar (February 22, 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.). A drummer of Cuban descent, Mela is deeply rooted in the Afro-Caribbean percussion tradition – and thirsty to explore the outer limits of a drum’s capabilities, often playing with extreme lightness of touch or letting the tempo s ‘blend, giving way to texture. For more than 20 years in New York City, he accompanied some of jazz’s best conductors, including Joe Lovano and Joanne Brackeen. Particularly since the 2016 release of “Fe”, a remarkable small group album, he has threatened to become a great conductor himself. He appears there with saxophonist Hery Paz, guitarist Juanma Trujillo and two special guests from a generation his elder: bassist William Parker and pianist Cooper-Moore.
TRIO 3 at the Jazz Standard (February 20-23, 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.). This triumvirate of free jazz alumni has over 150 years of collective experience at the forefront of American improvised music. With Oliver Lake on saxophone, Reggie Workman on bass, and Andrew Cyrille on drums, this band could easily dazzle on their own, but their preferred format is usually in partnership with a guest pianist. This weekend at Jazz Standard, the trio will perform each evening with a different pianist, all world-class talent: Vijay Iyer on Thursday, David Virelles on Friday, Marilyn Crispell on Saturday and Jason Moran on Sunday.