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April is Jazz Appreciation Month and it also marks the return of our annual music series “Jazz at the Rubin“!

Craig Taborn ECM CD release concert in 2011, improvising in response to a mandala in the Rubin Museum's collection. Photo by Ed Berger.
Craig Taborn ECM CD release concert in 2011, improvising in response to a mandala in the Rubin Museum’s collection. Photo by Ed Berger.

The musicians performing in this series will tour the Rubin’s vast collection in advance of their show to find creative inspiration. This inspiration might result in a new piece of music, an improvisation, or simply a mindset in which to frame their concert. During the performance, the musician will briefly discuss the artwork that inspired him or her while an image of the piece is projected behind them on stage. The result is a classic Rubin Museum experience—the joining of two perspectives that play off one another to create a rich, unexpected chemistry.

Ben Allison. Photo by Greg Aiello.
Ben Allison. Photo by Greg Aiello.

The first concert of the season is the Ben Allison, Steve Cardenas, and Ted Nash Trio on April 24. Recent winner of Downbeat’s Rising Star Composer award, bassist Ben Allison is one of few band leaders working in jazz today who has developed his own instantly recognizable sound. Known for his inspired arrangements, inventive grooves, and hummable melodies, Ben draws from the jazz tradition and a range of influences from rock and folk to 20th century classical and world music traditions, seamlessly blending them into a cinematic, cohesive whole. Allison has been called “one of today’s best young jazz musicians” by the Boston Globe and a “visionary composer, adventurous improviser, and strong organizational force on the New York City jazz scene” by JazzTimes.

He will be joined by graceful guitarist Steve Cardenas and the inimitable Ted Nash on saxophones, and together the trio will explore the music of jazz icons Jim Hall and Jimmy Guiffre in this acoustic concert.

Be sure not to miss the rest of our fantastic jazz lineup, featuring pianist/vocalist Loston Harris celebrating Frank Sinatra’s centennial, Cuban pianist and composer Fabian Almazan, new jazz vocal trio Duchess, NYC-based flutist/composer Jamie Baum Septet, and award-winning trumpeter/vocalist/composer Bria Skonberg.

We hope to see you on the 24th for the Ben Allison Trio, and at all of our jazz performances to follow! If you’re itching for a good beat and you can’t wait until the 24th for a musical performance at the Rubin, check out our Naked Soul concert featuring Toshi Reagon, a one-woman celebration of all that’s dynamic, progressive and uplifting in American music on April 17.