A Good Place: Celebrating the Village Vanguard
Part of the TD James Moody Democracy of Jazz Festival Jazz

A Good Place: Celebrating the Village Vanguard

A one-night-only musical tribute to a woman who’s spent her entire life at the vanguard of jazz: NEA Jazz Master and Village Vanguard owner Lorraine Gordon

At age 90, Lorraine Gordon is an undisputed jazz icon—a lifelong advocate for America’s music, an NEA Jazz Master and the owner of the most famous jazz club in the world, the Village Vanguard.

A Good Place: Celebrating Lorraine Gordon and The Village Vanguard, a musical tribute to Gordon’s life and times, features the 16-piece Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and special guests Barry Harris, organist Rhoda Scott and Christian McBride; plus the Anat Cohen Quartet. Hosted by Christian McBride.

New York magazine once wrote: "A musician hasn't truly arrived in the jazz world until he's played at the 'Carnegie Hall of Cool,' the Village Vanguard." For decades, that Manhattan jazz mecca has been owned and operated by Newark-born Lorraine Gordon. A jazz haven for more than 55 years and the location for more than 100 live recordings by artists ranging from John Coltrane to Sonny Rollins to Wynton Marsalis, the Village Vanguard is still going strong under Gordon’s guardianship, maintaining a vital spot in America’s cultural history. As Wall Street Journal critic Nat Hentoff once said, the Village Vanguard “is the closest we have to the Camelot of jazz rooms."

NJPAC’s one-night-only musical tribute to Gordon includes the legendary Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, founded in 1966 by Thad Jones and Mel Lewis. The Village Vanguard’s resident ensemble, this all-star unit is known internationally for a wide-ranging repertoire that moves from smooth swing and 1970s-style jazz-funk to avant-garde tunes and modern rhythms.

Joining the ensemble as special guests is Gordon’s fellow NEA Jazz Master, American bebop pianist Barry Harris and organist Rhoda Scott. In addition, the two-time Grammy Award-winning composer Slide Hampton will be writing a special arrangement of a James Moody number in honor of the TD James Moody Democracy of Jazz Festival.

The evening also features the Anat Cohen Quartet, led by the Israeli-born, New York-based clarinetist and saxophonist who The Washington Post calls "one of the brightest, most original young instrumentalists in jazz." Cohen’s distinctive sound melds modern jazz with elements of classical music, Brazilian choro, and Argentinean tango.

Tier 3

Tier 3 Café

Tier 3 Café will be open for this performance.
Click here for more information about this new, buffet-style dining option at NJPAC.  Call Tier 3 Cafe (973) 297-5124 for available dates and reservations.

“(Barry Harris’s playing is) pretty gorgeous. It’s performance — Mr. Harris rises to the occasion of a song, if mostly to humor himself — but it’s also relaxed play, at its highest refinement…”
The New York Times

“(Harris’s) relish for the musical workplace is as infectious as ever…”
The London Guardian

“Slide Hampton's constructions are marvels of sophistication and craft. He is one of jazz's most gifted arrangers, and his pieces ring with variety…”
The New York Times

“Anat Cohen not only proved to be a woodwind revelation of dark tones and delicious lyricism, but also a dynamic leader who danced and shouted out encouragement to her group…”
Down Beat

"Anat Cohen is one of the brightest, most original young instrumentalists in jazz…"
The Washington Post


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