Donny McCaslin’s group…was so explosive that it threatened to set the Toff in Town stage on fire

Donny McCaslin’s group, on the other hand, was so explosive that it threatened to set the Toff in Town stage on fire. Jonathan Maron’s visceral electric bass and Jason Lindner’s pitch-bending synths sent vibrations through our feet and into our heads, while Zach Danziger’s drums thundered and roiled to the back of the packed room and beyond. In the midst of all the turbulence, McCaslin and his saxophone stood firmly in the eye of the storm, unleashing bold, reverberant tones that grew increasingly fervent as the band built climax upon gritty climax, each more intense than the last. But even at their most fierce, the effect was more euphoric than aggressive. McCaslin and his band are also more than capable of harnessing their energy (just as they have harnessed the enormous attention their work on David Bowie’s Blackstar has brought them) and keeping it in check. Click here to read the full Review.


Pedrito Martinez Group Wows Spoleto

To say that explosive musical energy was on display in the house on that night was like calling a hurricane an earthquake. This group thumps, rocks and grooves like very few Latin based groups can…The entire group is tight and, you see, the one sure way to describe Perdrito Martinez and his entourage’s sound would be to say that they are all musically gifted. Their passionate, infectious Afro-Cuban rhythmic sound is a refreshingly vibrant interpretation of the group’s ardent Latino based sound, and it’s a totally modern combination of get up and dance Afro-Latin based drumming and rhythmic music and so much more. Click here to read the full Review.


Steven Bernstein and Henry Butler’s disparate backgrounds form the perfect old-school New Orleans jazz band

If you’ve never believed that pure joy can be expressed through instrumental music, specifically jazz music, then you might need to take a listen to the collaboration between pianist Henry Butler and trumpeter/bandleader Steven Bernstein. Their band, Butler Bernstein & The Hot 9, pits a six-piece horn section against Butler’s playful, virtuosic playing — and comes up a winner every time. Click here to read the full article.


Pedrito Martinez Group’s rumba transports audiences to Cuba

At age 25, Martinez was earning $1 a month playing in a Havana hotel’s house band when Canadian flautist/saxophonist Jane Bunnett asked him to join her touring band in North America. He never looked back, soon settling in New Jersey, where he steadily built a reputation as a versatile hand percussionist and scored gigs with Paul Simon, Wynton Marsalis, and John Scofield. Click here to read the full article.


Electric Kif Pulls a ‘Heist’ with New Album and Takes It on the Road

If you’re searching for “post-nuclear music,” look no further than Electric Kif, an outstanding quartet from Planet Earth (possibly South Florida). They claim to play experimental music, which to our ears includes jazz, funk, metal and fusion. They are a sonic delight. They have played lots of festivals, including Hulaween and the recent inaugural GroundUp Music Festival, and lots of club and concert dates as well. Click here to read the full article.


Donny McCaslin: International Jazz Artist of the Year

The Rolling Stones, Laura Mvula, Damien Chazelle, Donny McCaslin and Gilles Peterson were among the winners at the 2017 Jazz FM Awards, which took place this evening at Shoreditch Town Hall in the heart of East London. A glittering array of UK and international talent turned out to celebrate the very best of jazz, blues, soul and beyond, as the music industry and public figures, including Charlie Watts, Mick Jagger, Ronnie Wood, Laura Mvula, Van Morrison, Georgie Fame, Adrian Lester, Will Young, Maxi Jazz, The Brand New Heavies, Courtney Pine and more, gathered at a ceremony hosted by Jazz FM presenter Jez Nelson. Click here to read the full press release.


Donny McCaslin winner Paul Acket Award 2017

Donny McCaslin is the winner of the Paul Acket Award 2017, a prize awarded yearly by the festival and presented to an artist deserving wider recognition for their extraordinary musicianship. Last year, the saxophonist surprised audiences by collaborating with David Bowie on the latter’s impressive final album, Blackstar. Late last year McCaslin released his album Beyond Now, a posthumous tribute to Bowie. Click here to read the full press release.


Maria Schneider Orchestra Soars

Although they have been around for decades and are world-renowned, this was the Maria Schneider Orchestra, and it would be an understatement to say that the group made a good first impression. With the diminutive conductor out front, the 18-member band soared through a single long set of Schneider originals that never lagged, consistently exploring new instrumental combinations and ravishing arrangements. Click here to read the full review.

Donny McCaslin Accepts Grammy Award on Behalf of David Bowie

Here’s Donny McCaslin accepting the Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance at the 59th Grammy Awards. Click here to watch!

We are giving back…here’s how

We are thrilled to announce a new partnership with the MusicLink Foundation. This means each time you book one of our artists, you are helping to empower a student in need who would otherwise not be able to afford private music lessons. The MusicLink Foundation is a non-profit organization located in Arlington Virginia with a twenty five year program history of developing the talents of promising students in financial need across the country. MusicLink professional teachers have provided over 450,000 hours of instruction to over 6500 students in 50 states and 4 Canadian provinces. equivalent to over $11million of in-kind service to the program. You can learn more about our new initiative by clicking here.

Donny McCaslin: Tiny Desk Concert

David Bowie had long wanted to make a record with a jazz band, and on Jan. 8 of last year, he realized his dream with the release of Blackstar. Two days later, he was gone. Donny McCaslin’s band helped him make that record, and now, a year later, we pay tribute to Bowie and Blackstar by bringing McCaslin’s band to the Tiny Desk. Click here to watch!

It’s been exciting to see jazz find its way into the broader music world in recent years; think Kendrick Lamar and hip-hop in general. Musicians such as McCaslin often play in their own small circuit, but have much to offer popular music. As a bandleader and sax player, he’s put out a dozen albums, the most recent of which is Beyond Now, with musicians Tim Lefebvre on bass, drummer Mark Guiliana and keyboardist Jason Lindner.

Beyond Now was recorded after Blackstar, features a few Bowie covers and stretches the band’s own usual boundaries. For this Tiny Desk concert, you can hear an extraordinary group playing extraordinary music — including an instrumental version of “Lazarus,” from Blackstar. Just as Bowie brought these musicians into his rock-leaning world, I hope this set takes you down McCaslin’s jazz path. – Bob Boilen

Rene Marie listed on NPR’s Best 50 Albums of 2016

“Before we talk about Sound of Red let’s first touch on the color itself. It’s a bold tone that can be almost intimidating. One that can evoke different emotions, from rage to sadness to pride and love. This album seems to touch on all four of these feelings separately and collectively. René Marie sings songs of wisdom from the voice of a woman who has been through some tough times and is now confident and happy to sing about them. Getting to that point is never easy for anyone, but Sound of Red serves as a healing reminder that we can and will get there. Tunes like “Go Home” and “This is (Not) a Protest Song” can bring tears to your eyes for two very different reasons while the title track and “Stronger Than You Think” give you a feeling of empowerment. You’ll dance to “Joy of Jazz” and get lost in a good way to “Lost.” This is René Marie’s 13th album and by far her most truthful. We seem to be living in a day and age where honest music is as much a necessity as air, food and water, and this is an album that brings a certain kind of life back to your soul.” Click here for the full list.

Grammy Nominations!

Congratulations to our 2016 Grammy Nominees!

Fred Hersch: Best Improvised Jazz Solo and Best Jazz Instrumental Album

Rene Marie: Best Jazz Vocal Album

This is Fred’s tenth overall nomination and Rene’s second. Way to go!

Click here for the full list of nominees.


We are thrilled to announce the following APAP Showcases for 2017! Performances will include the Donny McCaslin Group, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Fred Hersch Trio +2, Pedrito Martinez Group, and Edmar Castaneda World Ensemble. Do not miss this great opportunity to see these great artists in action!

Donny McCaslin Group

Friday, January 6, 2017
(Le) Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker Street, New York, NY

Monday, January 9, 2017
315 W 44th St., New York, NY

Spanish Harlem Orchestra

Friday, January 6, 2017
New School 12th St. Auditorium
66 W. 12th Street, New York, NY

Fred Hersch Trio + 2

Tuesday, January 3, 2017 through Sunday, January 8, 2017
Shows at 8:30PM and 10:30PM each night
Village Vanguard
178 7th Ave. S., New York, NY

Pedrito Martinez Group

Saturday, January 7, 2017
Joe’s Pub
425 Lafayette St., New York, NY

Edmar Castaneda World Ensemble

Saturday, January 7, 2017
New School, 5th Floor Theater
55 W. 13th Street, New York, NY

Donny McCaslin goes beyond with Bowie, sweat and tears at Rich Mix

Thus these most extraordinary of times require extraordinary artistic responses and Bowie’s Blackstar band, here in the form of McCaslin’s stellar quartet of keyboardist Jason Lindner, bassist Jonathon Maron and drummer Mark Guiliana, have extended what they started with the Thin White Duke on the saxophonist’s suitably interstellar album, Beyond Now. Indeed, it’s a sense of transcendence that touches much of the music here, yes it’s rooted in the throbbing analogue synths of Bowie’s dark 1970s albums, jazz-punk and post-rock but it’s super-charged with Lindner’s fizzing textures and Guiliana’s exceptional, febrile virtuosity that really sets the gig on fire.

Click here to read the review.