© 2024 WRTI
Your Classical and Jazz Source
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Moment's Notice: Peter Bernstein honors Larry McKenna, and more

Happy New Year! We’ve hit the ground running in 2024, with an already-packed club and concert calendar and a full agenda. This week brings the Winter Jazzfest, which will draw many listeners (including some of us at WRTI) up to New York City. But if you’re staying local, there’s still plenty at your disposal. Here are our top recommendations. (Don’t forget: you can sign up here to receive Moment’s Notice straight to your inbox!)

Peter Bernstein Remembers Larry McKenna — Friday and Saturday, Chris’ Jazz Cafe

The impeccable modern jazz guitarist Peter Bernstein only shared a stage once with Larry McKenna — at Chris’ Jazz Cafe about 15 years ago, as he recalls, on a gig that also featured McKenna’s fellow tenor sax legend Bootsie Barnes. But once was enough to leave a lasting impression. “It was beautiful,” Bernstein tells WRTI, “and every time I ever heard Larry on record and live once or twice since then, I was struck by the beauty and lyricism of his playing. He really had an effortless swing to his playing.” This weekend, Bernstein returns for a tribute to McKenna, who died last fall at 86. He’ll be joined by a group of musicians, billed as the Chris’ All Stars, who knew McKenna as an encouraging elder, even a mentor: Aidan McKeon on saxophones, Joe Block on piano, Alex Claffy on bass and Joe Peri on drums.

Jan. 12 and 13 at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., Chris’ Jazz Cafe, 1421 Sansom Street, $30 to $105, with dinner packages; purchase tickets.

Pianist, bandleader, composer and label proprietor Orrin Evans.
courtesy of the artist
Pianist, bandleader, composer and label proprietor Orrin Evans.

Jazz Jam with Orrin Evans — Wednesday, World Cafe Live

As a pianist, a composer, a bandleader and a label proprietor, Orrin Evans is always pushing for communion. He has recently organized a series of jam sessions in that spirit, and with this one he welcomes a special guest: the singer and songwriter Michelle Lordi, whose recent album Two Moons was released on Evans’ independent Imani Records, and features his musical cohort.

Jan. 10 at 8:30 p.m., The Lounge at World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut Street, free; RSVP for guaranteed seating.

Robert Glasper
courtesy of the artist
Pianist, producer and bandleader Robert Glasper.

Robert Glasper — Friday through Sunday, City Winery

“My audience is… colorful,” keyboardist and producer Robert Glasper told Lara Downes in a recent episode of Amplify, speaking during the course of his “Robtober” residency at the Blue Note in New York. That diversity is a mirror of his musical identity, a distinctive admixture of jazz, R&B and hip-hop that has become a robust microgenre unto itself. There’s no doubt that he’ll stretch out during this weekend stand, with a well-oiled band featuring DJ Jahi Sundance, bassist Burniss Travis, and drummer Justin Tyson.

Jan. 12-14 at 6 and 9:30 p.m., City Winery, 990 Filbert Street, $45 to $85; tickets and information

Atlantic City Jazz Fest ‘Winter Edition’ — Jan 13, Resorts Casino Hotel

A reliable down-the-shore enticement for fans of smooth jazz, the Atlantic City Jazz Fest holds its main event in September. But it also regroups for this winter edition, with trombonist Jeff Bradshaw and a group billing itself as The Queens of Soul Jazz, featuring saxophonist Jeanette Harris and flutist Althea Rene.

Jan. 13 at 7 p,m., Superstar Theater, Resorts Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, $30; tickets and information.

Nate Chinen has been writing about music for more than 25 years. He spent a dozen of them working as a critic for The New York Times, and helmed a long-running column for JazzTimes. As Editorial Director at WRTI, he oversees a range of classical and jazz coverage, and contributes regularly to NPR.