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The Birdland Big Band
Photograph: Rob Shanahan The Birdland Big Band

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.

By Ro S
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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

Village Vanguard, one of NYC's top jazz clubs for decades, is always a good bet for top talent and a wonderfully moody atmosphere.
Photograph: Dominic Perri

1. Cécile McLorin Salvant Sings Billie Holiday

Music Jazz

Rising jazz vocal star Cécile McLorin Salvant sings with a grace and wit that evoke the greats of the idiom. It's easy to hear why she won the prestigious 2010 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition at just 21 years of age.

2. Lionel Loueke Trio

Music Jazz

Known for appearing alongside the like of fusion legend Herbie Hancock and contemporary hard-hitter Avishai Cohen, Beninese guitarist and vocalist Lionel Loueke has earned a winning reputation for his smooth, sophisticated blend of jazzy impulses and African resources.

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3. Blackbox Ensemble

Music Jazz

The Blackbox Ensemble, an ambitious ensemble that creates music with provocative critical frameworks, debuts a new piece, "Artificial Life," which explores the interconnectedness of sound, biology, and physical space. The program features collaborative work by two up-and-coming artists: composer and clarinetist Andrew Moses, an alum fellow with the LA Philharmonic, and violinist and sound artist Lara Lewison, whose diverse work winds between electroacoustics, classical composition, and kaleidoscophic video collage.

4. Jen Shyu

Music Jazz

The work of vocalist-composer Jen Shyu brings tight, jazz-informed interplay to bear on themes of the Asian-American diaspora. She sings, dances and plays various instruments during this weekend's 25th anniversary celebration for the Jazz Gallery.

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Thundercat
Photograph: Red Bull Content Pool/Drew Reynolds

5. Thundercat

Music Rap, hip-hop and R&B

A veteran of Suicidal Tendencies and a protégé of Flying Lotus, electric-bassist Stephen Bruner now plies funky, jazzy grooves as Thundercat, in which guise his work can call to mind vintage Stanley Clarke and Bootsy Collins, as well as more recent low-end theorists Squarepusher and Victor Wooten.

The Bad Plus
Photograph: Courtesy Shervin Lainez

6. The Bad Plus

Music Jazz

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. Experience the next chapter in the band's history here, with Orrin Evans taking over the piano bench in the recent absence of the idiosyncratic Ethan Iverson.

Upcoming jazz shows in NYC

The Bad Plus
Photograph: Courtesy Shervin Lainez

1. The Bad Plus

Music Jazz

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. Experience the next chapter in the band's history here, with Orrin Evans taking over the piano bench in the recent absence of the idiosyncratic Ethan Iverson.

Blue Note
Photograph: Dominic Perri

2. Marcus Miller

Music Jazz

Known as one of the modern greats of his instrument, bassist Miller first broke into widespread jazz fame spearheading the pop-funky 1986 Miles Davis album Tutu. He's since participated in a number of projects—the flashiest of which may have been the shortlived bass supergroup "SMV" with Stanley Clarke and Victor Wooten—so expect a diverse showing at this two-week residency. Expect sophisticated grooves and plenty of four-string slappin’.

Looking for more concerts of every genre?

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