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Vanguard Jazz Orchestra


February 25


Dick Oatts (lead alto and soprano saxophones, flute)

Billy Drewes (alto and soprano saxophones, flute, clarinet)

Rich Perry (tenor saxophone, flute)

Ralph LaLama (tenor saxophone, flute, clarinet)

Gary Smulyan (baritone saxophone, bass clarinet)


Nick Marchione (lead)

John Chudoba

Terell Stafford

Scott Wendholt


John Mosca (lead)

Luis Bonilla

Jason Jackson

Douglas Purviance (bass trombone)


Jim McNeely (piano)

John Riley (drums)

David Wong (bass)

The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra is a multiple Grammy Award-winning 16-piece jazz orchestra, comprised of a Who’s Who of New York City’s finest musicians. The ensemble began its life as the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra in 1966. They are celebrating their 53rd year performing at the Village Vanguard with this special week long residency!

Vanguard Jazz Orchestra

Every Monday Night

The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra Performs Every Monday Night

Vanguard Jazz Orchestra

Every Monday Night Since 1966

The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra is the current title for the band that began its life as the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra in 1966 and has performed continuously for over 50 years.

Ambrose Akinmusire

Photo by John Rogers


March 5 - March 10

Ambrose Akinmusire (trumpet)

Walter Smith (tenor sax)

Sullivan Fortner (piano)

Harish Raghavan (bass)

Justin Brown (drums)

Thrillingly high-end level fun...
— The Guardian
Miguel Zenon


March 12 - March 17

Miguel Zenón (alto sax)

Luis Perdomo (piano)

Hans Glawischnig (bass)

Henry Cole (drums)

[Zenón] has carved out a unique path for himself as an interpreter of the music of his native Puerto Rico through the lens of cutting-edge, acoustic jazz. This isn’t the kind of jazz that is influenced by Afro-Cuban music and percussion. The compositions he writes for his long-standing quartet bristles and pops with the excitement of vision of his peers, a generation that is challenging and changing the aesthetic of jazz.
The Bad Plus


March 19 - March 24

Reid Anderson (bass)

Orrin Evans (piano)

Dave King (drums)

The Bad Plus came together at the end of the 20th century and has avoided easy categorization ever since, winning critical hosannas and a legion of fans worldwide with their creativity, unique sound and flair for live performance. The intensely collaborative trio has constantly searched for rules to break and boundaries to cross, bridging genres and techniques while exploring the infinite possibilities of three exceptional musicians working in perfect sync. The band consists of founding members Reid Anderson (bass) and Dave King (drums) and new member Orrin Evans (piano) — a group of passionate collaborators with no single “leader.” Never Stop II is the first full-length release from this lineup, comprised entirely of original music with each member contributing fresh compositions. The New York Times calls it “an exhilarating document” that sparks an exciting new chapter for the iconic group.
Broken Shadows


March 26 - March 31

Tim Berne (alto sax)

Chris Speed (tenor sax)

Reid Anderson (bass)

Dave King (drums)

Named for one of Ornette Coleman’s most evocative compositions, this all-star project honors the Coleman legacy along with the music of Coleman’s fellow Fort Worth native reed players Dewey Redman and Julius Hemphill, featuring the wildly inventive saxophonists Tim Berne and Chris Speed, and the Bad Plus rhythm section of bassist Reid Anderson and drummer Dave King.
Steve Wilson and Wilsonian's Grain


April 9 - April 14

Steve Wilson (alto saxophone)

Orrin Evans (piano)

Ugonna Okegwo (bass)

Ulysses Owens, Jr. (drums)

A musician of honesty within the vast field of mainstream post-bop, but never constrained by its of the finest saxophonists in the business
Tom Harrell Infinity

Photo by John Rogers

TOM HARRELL “Infinity”

April 16 - April 21

Mark Turner - tenor saxophone

Charles Altura - guitar

Ugonna Okegwo - bass

Johnathan Blake - drums

The trumpeter Tom Harrell has been doing this a long time, through various schools and vogues: He can play slow and fast and in between, sometimes all within a single line. But his improvising is always temperate and proportionate. He keeps you on the hook, but doesn’t shout, doesn’t stop the clock. Plenty of improvisers are specialists in now-ness, revealing a solo as a series of events, or present-tense flashes. With Mr. Harrell, it’s all one event. He’s always processing ahead and behind, and you feel as if you’re hearing the whole of the narrative at all times, from was to is to will be...Mr. Harrell has been one of the best composers, improvisers and bandleaders in jazz since the late ’80s, and he knows how to make contrasts sound exciting: playing slowly over a fast tempo, playing quietly but with power. But he also uses the contrast of his own sound set against that of the groups he’s playing in.
— The New York Times
Gerald Clayton Quintet

Photo by Keith Major


April 23 - April 28

Logan Richardson - alto saxophone

Walter Smith III - tenor saxophone

Gerald Clayton - piano

Joe Sanders - bass

Marcus Gilmore – drums

The music is forever moving, riding streams of intriguing, pleasing sounds — ambling grooves, burrowing piano solos and colorful and often unpredictable multi-saxophone lines. All are tributaries of a highly personal music that’s clearly drawn from jazz tradition but headed in new, unexpected directions. It’s brainy, yes, but heavy on emotional content, too.
— Jazziz
Gilad Hekselman


April 30 - May 5

The guitarist Gilad Hekselman has a vision of modern jazz that’s harmonically fluent but not averse to simple melody or gentle, approachable effect.
— The New York Times