1. The NCCU Big Band sounds great in rehearsal: My Guide To Local Jazz class was lucky enough to sit in on the NCCU Big Band (with Branford Marsalis doing some solos) under the direction of Dr. Ira Wiggins, the man with the incredibly keen ear & quiet voice who helps makes the band as good as it is. Enough reason to attend NCCU jazz events Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday nights.
2. Jim Ketch's Swingtet is a killer straight-ahead jazz sextet: For the fifth time in a row at Sharp Nine last Friday they bowled me & the audience over. They've become a not-to-miss performance.
3. Ariel Pocock & James Suter return to Bar Virgile: This pianist/singer & bass duo hadn't been at BV in a while. They're back most Wednesday nights. Check Ariel's website link.
This Week: This is a week full of unique sounds:
Wednesday: You can hear NCCU student jazz combos at B.N. Duke Auditorium 7p, &/or the D-Town Brass at the Cave 9p as part of the "Crowmeat Bob" monthly "vagrancy". I can't explain what that is. Ya gotta be there!
Thursday: UNC Music hosts a New Orleans Jazz how-to class for students & open to the public at Kenan Music Building 11a; while NCCU student jazz instrumental combos play at B.N. Duke 7p.
Friday: The choice at 8p is either the NCCU Big Band & Vocal Jazz Ensemble at B.N. Duke, or guitarist Keith Ganz returning to Sharp Nine with his quartet after being busy with other things.
Saturday: NC native tenor player Brad Linde brings a big band made up of NC/DC-based musicians led by Miho Hazama, who has arranged an all-Monk night at at Sharp Nine 8p; or the locavore Onyx Club Boys premier their latest gypsy swing jazz CD at the Station 8p.
Sunday: And, if you need an afternoon shot of New Orleans jazz to fight off the Standard Time darkness, try the Decatur Street Boys at Durham's Fullsteam Brewery 4p.
And, those are just tips of the jazz iceberg in this area. There's even more at Usual Suspect venues' weekly gigs...