The best jazz shows this month in NYC

Wanna see some jazz? Check out our picks for the best jazz shows happening in New York City this month.

Photograph: Hollis King

Despite what folks in other cities might think, NYC remains the best place in the world for jazz. So many of the city’s best jazz clubs feature top talent every night of the week, and there’s no shortage of the best music venues to explore. Whether you’re looking for a romantic date idea, or flying solo, these shows won’t disappoint.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to jazz in NYC

Best jazz shows this month in NYC

Nik Bärtsch's Ronin

On his previous ECM releases, Swiss pianist Bartsch and his "Zen funk" band Ronin have served up hypnotic interlocking funk grooves that draw upon minimalism, techno and glitchy electronica, sheathed in an deceptively icy veneer. Awase—the band's first release in six years—features a trim quartet lineup that allows newfound flexibility in Bartsch's slow-burn approach.

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06 May 2018

Bill Charlap Trio

Although pianist Charlap didn't write many of the songs in his trio's repertoire, it's not inappropriate to call him a songsmith; he reshapes the Great American Songbook until it becomes something new, if not altogether different.

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Tue May 8 - Sat May 12
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Fred Hersch

Piano veteran Hersch holds court at the Jazz Standard, pairing with a different collaborator on four of his five nights. The run starts with clarinetist Anat Cohen and closes with bassist Esperanza Spalding. In between, duos with vocalist Kate McGarry and alto saxist Miguel Zenon and a weekend engagement of Hersch's Pocket Orchestra showcase a different angle on the mesmerizing improviser.

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Tue May 8 - Sun May 13

Vijay Iyer

This trailblazing pianist—one of his generation's brightest jazz luminaries—explores jazz, pop and electronica vanguards with equal curiosity. You can hear the eclecticism throughout his impressively prolific portfolio the past few years: chamber works and a multimedia collaboration via his new label, ECM, cementing an alliance with all-star crew Trio 3 on the strong Wiring album and finishing a collaborative effort with trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith. Here he augments his highly acclaimed progressive-jazz trio to a six-man combo, playing behind the sextet's superb 2017 release, Far from Over.

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Tue May 15 - Sun May 20
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Oz Noy

The technically mesmerizing Israeli guitarist digs into crunchy, groovesome fusion with a little help from a couple jazz vets: molten, grooving drummer Lenny White and Late Show with David Letterman alumnus Will Lee.

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Iridium , Midtown West Saturday May 26 2018

The Bad Plus

This alt-jazz phenomenon made its name—and earned itself a few haters—interpreting favorites by Blondie, Nirvana and other rock icons, but has since aimed the spotlight on its striking, inventive postbop-gone-pop originals, tunes that handily demonstrate the group's uncommonly broad pool of influences. This week of shows welcomes a new chapter in the band's history, as Orrin Evans takes over the piano bench in the idiosyncratic Ethan Iverson's absence.

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Blue Note , Greenwich Village Tuesday May 29 2018 - Sunday June 3 2018
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Billy Hart Quartet

This veteran drummer's quartet with saxist Chris Potter, pianist Ethan Iverson and bassist Ben Street is one of the finest working bands on the current jazz landscape. The group’s elegantly shaded originals and ingeniously tweaked standards add up to a strikingly unpredictable take on postbop orthodoxy.

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Village Vanguard , West Village Tuesday May 29 2018 - Sunday June 3 2018

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