Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Trendy Jazz Vocalist Series Every Wednesday Night in Chelsea.

Every Wednesday evening, music, arts and recording studio "Zeb's" (short for Zebulon Sound and Light) runs a Jazz Vocalist Series featuring a different performer. Some of the musicians are "up and coming" while others are more seasoned artists, but nearly all give pretty memorable performances. Last time I attended, singer Gregory Porter was the featured vocalist and was also promoting his new CD, Water, which was nominated for a Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album, a fun fact that Mr. Porter happened to learn on his way to Zeb's that evening! Tomorrow night's vocalist, who I am quite excited to see, is Johnny O'Neal, who was featured in the movie Ray as famed jazz pianist, Art Tatum.

The doors at the large loft-style studio, located at 228 W. 28th Street, 2nd floor, open at 8pm, although artists do not usually start until around 8:30 or 8:45pm. After an approximately one-hour set by the featured vocalist, "professional" singers and musicians are invited to participate in a jam session that sometimes goes on for hours (if you want to sing, sign up at the front door when you come in).

There is some limited seating, and there is also plenty of standing room. Cover is $10 and there are usually free cookies as well as $5 glasses of self-service wine (money for wine is collected in an honesty jar of sorts).

Be sure to look down, around and up when you arrive at the loft. There are many unique and unusual art pieces made by Zeb himself (aka Saul Zebulon Rubin). Zeb is also involved in various other musical and artistic ventures. His studio hosted the 2010 NYC Jazz Guitar Festival, and Zeb also contributes his talents to jazz quartets around NYC and is a member of the groovy indie-rock band, Juicy Bruce, which will be performing at the studio on March 26.

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