15 pop, rock and jazz concerts to discover in New York this weekend
SARAH ELIZABETH CHARLES AND JARRETT CHERNER at the Cell Theater (June 9, 9 p.m.). Ms. Charles’s voice is haunting and ethereal, but her lyrics tend to touch on issues of social justice and contemporary society. It was clear on “Free of Form”, her breathtaking album from 2017. Here she launches a collection of new music written with Mr. Cherner, a pianist.
‘THE EVER FONKY LOWDOWN’ at Jazz at Lincoln Center (until June 9, 8 p.m.). Wynton Marsalis, the trumpeter and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, recently lit a small storm when he suggested that hip-hop was one of the greatest threats to the well-being of African Americans. In some ways he seemed determined to put his foot in his mouth, but Mr. Marsalis was aiming for a bigger and more viable point: Anyone who looks at the racial disparities in today’s United States and doesn’t see it. necessity because wholesale social change needs its “head to be examined,” he said. This weekend, Mr. Marsalis is releasing âThe Ever Fonky Lowdown,â a sequel he wrote for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra that investigates the nation’s lingering racial dilemma. The orchestra will be joined by three singers, three dancers and actor Wendell Pierce.
IMPROV NIGHT Ã la Pierre (June 8, 8:30 p.m.). The Stone’s regular improv party takes place for the first time in its new space at The New School. These shows offer round-robin exchanges between different groups of improvisers. It’s always a mixed bag: sometimes these brief conversations never take off; other times, the results are direct, wonderful and memorable. This week, electronic musician Jad Atoui is the artist in residence at Stone; he will perform there with saxophonist John Zorn, who directs the space, and half a dozen other artists.
JAMES REESE EUROPE CENTENARY OF WWI at the Espace Symphonie (June 8, 8 p.m.). James Reese Europe was arguably America’s most important conductor in the years just before jazz became a national craze. During World War I, leading the âHarlem Hellfightersâ group of the 369th Infantry Regiment, he infused ragtime, blues and early-jazz influences into an orchestral sound that was also influenced by the marches of John Philip Sousa. (The two had been neighbors during Europe’s childhood in Washington.) The Hellfighters made their first appearance in France in 1918, helping to whet Europe’s appetite for jazz. At Symphony Space, Ron Wasserman and his New York Jazzharmonic Trad-Jazz Sextet will celebrate the centenary of this event by playing new arrangements of European music.
ORCHESTRA OF SALSA EDDIE PALMIERI at Sony Hall (June 14, 8 p.m.). At 81, Mr. Palmieri is arguably the most respected living musician in Latin jazz, and he still hasn’t lost the spark plug intensity that made him so an electrifying artist in the 60s and 70s. At the time, his eagerness to blend jazz and soul influences with Afro-Cuban musical traditions helped lead a wave of innovation in salsa. Today his big orchestra performs in a slightly more traditional style, but still embraces the diverse repertoire he amassed over nearly 60 years as a conductor. This concert at the recently opened Sony Hall is part of the Blue Note Jazz Festival.