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What’s up, April? Evening of Jazz for Newtown, Gospel According to Jazz...

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The variety of gigs going on lately runs the gamut, not always within the confines — however swanky and sweet — of a nightclub. Guitarsmith Bill Frisell returns to his home base of Seattle for the 2014 Bellevue Jazz Festival in a May showing. Can’t wait that long?

At New York’s Hungarian Consulate General, photographer Santa Istvan Csaba presents jazz stars and legends through his photography. Over in Wayne, N.J., at the Firemen’s Hall on Parish Drive, music lovers can pore over rare, new, and used record and CD collections, along with other memorabilia, provided by dealers from the state and beyond. Of the many awesome concerts left in Berks Jazz Fest (Keiko Matsui and the Reading Pops Orchestra! Lalah Hathaway!), end the 10 days right with the Gospel According to Jazz Celebration, featuring Kirk and Kevin Whalum, Oleta Adams, John Stoddart, Gerald Veasley, Rick Braun, and the DOXA Gospel Ensemble. Then there’s Hawaii slack key sensation Makana (The Descendants), who’ll perform with the Hawaii Pacific University Symphony Orchestra in Maui for the Symphonic Sound of Hawaii. And, musicians coming together for a very special cause.

Jazz stars put on An Evening Of Jazz For Newtown
Jazz stars put on An Evening Of Jazz For Newtown c/o Evening of Jazz for Newtown

Jazz stars put on An Evening Of Jazz For Newtown

When tragedy strikes, it’s usually the musicians who act first to help. Remember the Titanic? Yeah. These gracious jazz artists — trombonist Andre Hayward (Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra), vocalist Monica Lynk Anderson (2013 Thelonious Monk competition winner), tenor saxophonist Tim Ries (Rolling Stones), and the award-winning Newark Academy Jazz Program — will put on quite a show to help those affected by the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary Newtown shootings. The second annual Evening of Jazz for Newtown falls on April 11, 7:30 p.m.-9 p.m., at the Newark Academy Auditorium, 91 South Orange Ave., Livingston, N.J. Call the Newark Academy Bookstore at (973) 992-700, ext. 428, or email for more info. Admission is only $10; donations welcome. “All proceeds will go directly to the families of Sandy Hook and to the Ana Grace Fund,” explained Julius Tolentino, the Newark Academy jazz director. “Ana Grace Marquez-Greene was one of the children killed in the Newtown shootings. Her parents, Jimmy and Nelba, are dear friends of mine that go back to my college years. Our contributions as a school and a jazz community will continue to support the families of Newtown as they work to support each other and in their efforts to prevent the causes of gun violence. It is fitting to honor Ana’s memory with music, as she was musically gifted.”

Makana’s Symphonic Sound of Hawaii crosses genres
Makana’s Symphonic Sound of Hawaii crosses genres c/o Makana

Makana’s Symphonic Sound of Hawaii crosses genres

The 2012 Na Hoku Ki Ho’alu (Slack Key) winner, Makana is beloved in the islands for both his soul-stirring music and his social outreach. He’s enjoyed a multitude of success for one so young, in film — his music appears in George Clooney’s Oscar-winning film, The Descendants, performances worldwide, and an array of critically acclaimed records, the latest being “Ripe,” with some award-winning producers attached — Ron Nevison (The Who, Rolling Stone, Led Zeppelin) and Mitchell Froom (Elvis Costello, Crowded House) — and a stunning mix of styles. While he’s known as a slack key guitarist, Makana can also sing, crossing several musical genres. On April 5, 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m., he’ll join the Hawai'i Pacific University Symphony Orchestra onstage at Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Castle Theater for an unforgettable Symphonic Sound.

Wrap up Berks Jazz Fest with Gospel Jazz Celebration
Wrap up Berks Jazz Fest with Gospel Jazz Celebration Gospel According to Jazz Celebration

Wrap up Berks Jazz Fest with Gospel Jazz Celebration

The annual Berks Jazz Fest in Reading, PA notoriously attracts the cream of the crop. This year was no exception: guitarist Kevin Eubanks, saxophonist Boney James, guitarist Chuck Loeb, multi-instrumentalist Brian Culbertson, 2014 Grammy-winning vocalist Gregory Porter, Ms. Lalah Hathaway, another recent Grammy winner, y’know? A Berks Jazz Fest tradition, the Gospel According to Jazz Celebration is a fitting way to wrap up 10 days of killer live soundtracks, April 6, 7 p.m., at the Scottish Rite Cathedral. The evening is in good hands with these artists to guide the audience and lift them off their seats: saxophonist/flutist Kirk, an ordained minister, and his brother, vocalist Kevin Whalum, pianist/vocalist Oleta Adams, trumpeter Rick Braun, pianist/vocalist John Stoddart, bassist Gerald Veasley, and Reading’s DOXA Gospel Ensemble.

Transylvanian photographer shows Jazz Faces
Transylvanian photographer shows Jazz Faces Jazz Faces

Transylvanian photographer shows Jazz Faces

Santa Istvan Csaba captures the moving art form of jazz in the faces of its musicians. The Hungarian freelance photographer spent the better part of the past decade taking photographic inventory of the movers and shakers of the jazz scene, having visited major jazz festivals all over the globe. He’s holding a Jazz Faces opening party April 3, 7:30 p.m., at the Hungarian Consulate General in New York, 223 East 52nd St. RSVP today by email to attend. Special guest star Joanne Brackeen will perform on piano. Musicians are welcome for the jam session sure to ensue. Important speakers are also on tap, but come for the photos. His exhibition continues April 4-30, Mon.-Wed.-Fri., 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., by appointment only (212-660-7904).

Calling all record collectors!
Calling all record collectors! Second Saturday Record & CD Collectors Expo™

Calling all record collectors!

Music dealers from New York, N.J., Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Ohio will open up their collections for music lovers lucky enough to make it to the Second Saturday Record & CD Collectors Expo™, April 12, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., at Firemen’s Hall, Parish Dr., Rt. 23 and 202S (North of Rt. 46 and 890), in Wayne, N.J. For just a $6 admission, gain access to new and used, rare and common records, CDs, tapes, and memorabilia — cutting across all musical styles. Records are priced as low as $1 and CDs, $2. A new CD could easily go for $9, a bargain. Call (973) 209-6067 or email Fred Falk at for more info.

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