Music: Vance Provey/Bob Gorry/Paul Gunsberg play jazz Wed., Aug. 28

The trio of Vance Provey/Bob Gorry/Paul Gunsberg plays Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Aug. 28. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

The collective trio of Vance Provey (Trumpet) , Bob Gorry (Guitar), and Paul Gunsberg (Drums & Saxophone) will bring their music to Best Video.

Provey is a trumpet soloist with a long history as a composer and leader. His approach is rooted in the jazz idiom using strong melodic and rhythmic approaches, but now mostly in a more free improvisatory space. His work with Bill Dixon at Bennington College in The Black Music Division is a guiding influence.

Bob Gorry leads the New Haven Improvisers Collective and has developed his own approach to the guitar blending rock, free improvisation, new art music with Jazz elements. Paul Gunsberg’s drum work brings the room together and takes it somewhere else and with his saxophone work the trio reaches another level entirely. Paul announced his arrival on the New Haven scene in a trio with Joe Morris and Jaimie Branch with a stunning set at Multiplex.

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Music: Groovin’ jazz from BadSlax Thurs., Aug. 1

The jazz quartet BadSlax plays Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Aug. 1. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $10.

One of the area’s liveliest and groovin’est bands, BadSlax is four seasoned musicians who love to play. Their eclectic-but-accessible repertoire which features tunes from some of the great contemporary and classic jazz composers (John Scofield, Pat Metheny, Charles Mingus, Herbie Hancock)–along with some originals–is consistently funky, sometimes swinging, and always cooking.

In March, 2017 they debuted a new drummer, Keith LeBlanc! Keith is a versatile musician and producer with a long and varied career which goes back to his work with The Sugarhill Gang–yup, the “Rapper’s Delight” guys! Keith joined the lineup of Mark Kaplan, tenor sax; Dave Mazza, guitar; and Jim Ludoviconi, bass.

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Music: Sambeleza serves up sensuous Brazilian music Fri., July 26

Sambeleza plays Best Video Performance Space on Friday, July 26. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is $10. The group will feature Jeff Fuller (bass), Joe Carter (guitar), and Isabella Mendes (vocals, piano).

Sambeleza performs a wide variety of Brazilian songs, both old and new, with a jazz twist. Featured composers include Tom Jobim and Ary Barroso, as well as younger composers like Djavan, Debora Gurgel and Arlindo Cruz. A few originals by group members are added to the mix.

Their first CD, “Sambeleza Live,” was released in the spring of 2015. It was recorded live at Summer Solstice Samba in June, 2014 at Voices Cafe of the Unitarian Church in Westport in association with WPKN-FM. Along with Sambeleza members Isabella Mendes, Jeff Fuller and Joe Carter on that date were special guests Ali Ryerson (flute), Adriano Santos (drums) and Ze Mauricio (percussion).

Brasil (spelled with an “s” in Portuguese) is well known for its rich heritage—a blend of indigenous, African and European cultures—from which the music has risen with fascinating rhythms, soaring melodies and colorful harmonies. The musicians of Sambeleza are outstanding U. S. and Brazilian interpreters of the great songs of the bossa nova and samba traditions, as well as outstanding jazz artists in their own right. Sambeleza derives its name from two words: samba, the national dance of Brasil, and beleza, Portuguese for “beauty.”

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Music: Thabisa performs Afro-soul Thurs., July 25, at Best Video

Thabisa plays Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, July 25. The show starts at 8 PM. The cover is a sliding scale from $10-15 but $5 will also allow you to enjoy the show.

A night of reflection and openness to new beginnings as Thabisa carves and weaves her way through these grounds of unfamiliar territory. This singer songwriter from South Africa and now New Haven’s songbird will share her talents and journey through music and storytelling. Accompanied by the Hamden’s talented musicians Myke Ross (guitar) and Sam Oliver (percussion/drums) she will bring in songs unsung and a few of your favourites from both her “Eyodidi” and “The Journey” albums.

Thabisa’s story begins in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Born and raised by her grandparents in KwaZakhele township, she could always be found singing and dancing outside her home. Neighbors gave her the name “Little Brenda” for the legendary South African pop star Brenda Fassie.

In 2012 she entered the national singing competition, Idols South Africa, and finished in the Top 18. The following year, she signed on with the independent record label Tammy Music and produced two albums, Eyodidi (2015) and The Journey (2013).

Thabisa received a nomination for Best Video at the South African Traditional Music Awards (SATMA) for the song “Vula” off her first album, The Journey. Musically, she finds inspiration from the likes of Miriam Makeba and Billy Holiday, and has shared a stage with living legends Caiphus Simenya, Bebe and Cece Winans, Thandiswa Mazwai and Freshly Ground.

Thabisa currently lives with her family in the United States. “What makes my music worthwhile, is the opportunities it opens for me to work with children and inspire them to dream big” she explained. THABISA volunteers with children using music, cultural exchange, and story-telling.

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Music: The Afro-Semitic Experience presents “Letters From the Affair” Wed., July 17

The Afro-Semitic Experience performs the David Chevan composition “Letters from the Affair” at Best Video Performance space on Wednesday, July 17, at 8 PM. Advance tickets are $10; tickets at the door will be $15.

“Letters from the Affair” is a multi-media musical—there’s a little jazz, a little opera, some cantorial singing, and even a little art history. The work is based upon a series of letters written by the Impressionist painters Camille Pissarro and Edgar Degas. These letters are framed to tell a little-known story from the end of the 19th century about the relationship between these two founding members of the French Impressionist Art movement. The story centers on their friendship as artists and how it deteriorated and then completely ended because of their differing views regarding the Dreyfus affair.

“Letters from the Affair”: a new musical by David Chevan, performed by the Afro-Semitic Experience
with:

Cantor Martin Levson: Edgar Degas
Cantor Malachi Kanfer: Camille Pissarro
Alvin Carter: Narrator, drums
Jocelyn Pleasant: Zoe, percussion
Adam Matlock: accordion
Will Bartlett: saxophone and clarinets
David Chevan: bass

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Music: Jazz from Ernie Mazza & Friends Thurs., June 27

Ernie Mazza & Friends play Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, June 27. The show starts at 8 Pm and the cover is $5.

Veteran pianist Ernie Mazza hosts an evening of cookin’ jazz at the performance space. He’ll be joined by wife, Mary, on vocals (They met on a gig, ya know!); son, Dave, on guitar; Mark Kaplan on sax, and the tasty rhythm section of Art Principe and John Rispoli on bass and drums, respectively. They’ll be playing some of their favorites from the jazz repertoire including standards, be-bop, Latin, and a couple of surprises along the way.

A New Haven native, and a regular on the local music scene for decades, Ernie has assembled a fine ensemble of versatile and seasoned pros to join him for what is sure to be a fun evening of jazz music with friends and family.

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Music: Jazz from The Paul Shanley Quintet Fri., May 17

The Paul Shanley Quintet plays Best Video Performance Space on Friday, May 17. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is $8.

The Paul Shanley Quintet seeks to bring fresh perspectives to a wide range of jazz styles from Cole Porter to Thelonious Monk. The goal of our music is to create something in the moment that is unique, exciting, and played with energy and passion. Everyone in the group has their own thoughts and feelings about the music and how they like to play, then we come together through our common interests. Playing live is an essential part of the music and the instant response that we get is the largest reward. Nothing comes close to the experience of listening to great live music. This group will do everything in our power to create a great performance for you the listener.

Shanley plays bass. He will be acompanied by Barry Ries (drums and trumpet), Anton Kot (piano), Gary Grippo (guitar), and Andrew Breskin (sax).

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Music: “Two Bass Hit”—jazz bassists David Chevan & Jeff Fuller duet Thurs., May 16

David Chevan and Jeff Fuller bring their basses to Best Video Performance Space to play a program of Bach, Monk, Pettiford, and original compositions on Thursday, May 16. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is $10.

David Chevan is a rare individual in the music world. An active bassist and composer, he is involved in some of the most dynamic and musically exciting jazz projects in Southern Connecticut. In addition to his busy performance schedule, Chevan also holds a Ph.D. in jazz history and is a full-time professor of music at Southern Connecticut State University.

Chevan’s artistic career has continued to blossom. He leads two of his own ensembles, Bassology and The Afro-Semitic Experience, performs in two critically acclaimed duos, and is a free-lance bassist in the New Haven area. Chevan also performs regularly in the Nu Haven Kapelye klezmer ensemble.

Whether performing on stage and in clubs, teaching jazz and coaching ensembles, or composing and arranging in his home studio, Jeff Fuller brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to all his musical endeavors.

An integral part of the Connecticut, New York and international jazz scenes, Fuller toured worldwide and recorded with saxophonists Lou Donaldson and Paquito D’Rivera. He has played with jazz masters from all styles and eras including such diverse artists as Dizzy Gillespie, Mose Allison, “Papa” Jo Jones, Gerry Mulligan, and Clark Terry.

Fuller is one of the most sought after jazz bassists in Connecticut, and currently leads his own ensembles in many jazz venues. In September, 2014, he was awarded the annual Jazz Haven Award, “For all you have done in presenting and preserving the culture and music of jazz.” Fuller plays the Upton Hawkes Hybrid double bass, and a Ken Smith 6-string bass guitar.

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Music: Anton Kot Jazz Trio plays Thurs., May 9

The Anton Kot Jazz Trio presents an evening of classic and contemporary jazz at Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, May 9. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5. The band features Anton Kot on drums, Lucas Gazianis on piano, and Sameer Shankarlingam on bass.

Anton is a local young musician who explored his earlier years growing up in trendy Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY. With the bi-lingual band Louie Miranda and Subanda, he performed with world class musicians starting as a four-year-old djembe player. While sometimes before crowds of thousands at the Philadelphia Please Touch Museum Countdowns, the NYC Tribeca Family Film Festivals, and the American Museum of Natural History annual October events, the group also presented to smaller audiences at the NYC Harvard Club, the New York Botanical Gardens, the Jewish Museum, Children’s Museum in Manhattan, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the Living Room, and in other festivals and venues in the tri-state area.

More recently, Anton’s performance on piano, drums and/or gamelan instruments include sets at the New Haven International Festival of Arts and Ideas, the Litchfield Jazz Festival, Newport Jazz Festival with the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, and the International Gamelan Festival in Solo, Indonesia. One of many memorable experiences includes improvising on piano at the Provincetown Playhouse in Greenwich Village with soprano, alto, and tenor saxophonist Billy Drewes, of the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, who led with his composition Big Ben. Locally, Anton performs with the NMS Premier Jazz Ensemble directed by local bassist and arranger Jeff Fuller.

Most recently, Anton feels honored to have been invited to perform as a member of the 2018 NAfME All National Jazz Ensemble, conducted by Jazz at the Lincoln Center’s Todd Stoll, and with Special Guest Pharez Whitted. He is currently a Junior in high school and will be touring Asia this summer for performance and cultural exchanges with Carnegie Hall’s NYO Jazz, featuring bandleader and trumpeter Sean Jones and vocalist Kurt Elling.

From Greenwich, CT, Lucas Gazianis played piano in the Darian Jazz Festival, and the Musical Club of Hartford Festival at the Westminster Presbyterian Church. Along with Anton, he performed at Dizzy’s Club in NYC led by Ted Nash and Tatum Greenblatt and with Guest Artists Sherman Irby and Marshall Gilkes, the NYU Skirball Center with the Public Shakespeare’s Theater and the Jazz at the Lincoln Center Youth Orchestra, and at Fordham University at the Lincoln Center. Lucas and Anton also opened for the iconic fiddler and composer Mark O’Conner and his Grammy Award-winning band at Jazz at the Lincoln Center. Lucas is a Junior in high school and has been studying piano for ten years.

Bassist Sameer Shankarlingam was on stage with the Birdland Big Band and performed in the Greenwich Town Party. He is a Freshman at the SUNY Purchase Jazz Conservatory, headed by jazz legend Jon Faddis, and where he performs under the guidance of Todd Coolman and Doug Weiss. Sameer was selected for the Connecticut Western Region Jazz and All-State Jazz Ensembles two years in a row. He is from Cos Cob, CT.

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Music: BadSlax plays soulful jazz Wed., Apr. 3

The jazz quartet BadSlax plays Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Apr. 3. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $7.

One of the area’s liveliest and groovin’est bands, BadSlax is four seasoned musicians who love to play. Their eclectic-but-accessible repertoire which features tunes from some of the great contemporary and classic jazz composers (John Scofield, Pat Metheny, Charles Mingus, Herbie Hancock)–along with some originals–is consistently funky, sometimes swinging, and always cooking.

In March, 2017 they debuted a new drummer, Keith LeBlanc! Keith is a versatile musician and producer with a long and varied career which goes back to his work with The Sugarhill Gang–yup, the “Rapper’s Delight” guys! Keith joined the lineup of Mark Kaplan, tenor sax; Dave Mazza, guitar; and Jim Ludoviconi, bass.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.