One is never short of festivals in New York City. As May waves goodbye to one (celebrating literature and language), June ushers in another, making for a continual influx of voices from around the world, spurring cross-cultural conversation and creation. And however fun the topic of translation might be, it’s nice to enjoy an art form that truly speaks a universal language. The Carefusion Jazz Festival , which begins June 17 and goes until the 26th, will be making music at venues all over the city.
Themed events, like the concert held on June 19 at the Louis Armstrong House Museum where some of the finest traditional jazz musicians will perform Armstrong’s greats in the museum’s garden, promise brilliant deliveries of the most loved standards. But after honoring the classics, catch one of the most fascinating new artists, Esperanza Spalding, a bassist/vocalist/composer who, while drawing from the past, refuses to get stuck within admiration for her legendary elders, some of whom she has humbly played with. For the twenty-five year old, jazz is not about looking back, but creating something unique to the present moment. Her music–her many influences range from fusion to funk and soul–has been praised by the New York Times and The New Yorker . On June 21st, along with performing, she’ll be joining a conversation with other musicians on the art of jazz at the Jerome L. Green Performance Space. A couple of days later you can find her in Central Park with the McCoy Tyner Quartet featuring Ravi Coltrane.
Bio: Kristen Brunelli is an intern at Guernica. Read her last article on Daniel Berrigan here.