Jul 31, 2018 • 2:15 PM


Acclaimed Festival Continues BRIC’s 40th Anniversary Season, Bringing Together Globe-Trotting Jazz Legends and Groundbreaking Emerging Jazz Artists From Brooklyn and Beyond

2018 BRIC JazzFest’s Full Week of Programming, Much of it Free, Includes:

  • A Three-Night Marathon, With 23 Groups Performing Overlapping Sets in the BRIC House Ballroom, Gallery, and Artist Studio, Featuring Meshell Ndegeocello, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Cyrus Chestnut Trio, Stefon Harris & Blackout ft. Casey Benjamin, Mark de Clive-Lowe, Xenia Rubinos, The Jazz Passengers, Keyon Harrold, Deva Mahal, Madison McFerrin, and Many More, October 18-20

  • A Jazz Film Series Highlighting the Legends of the Jazz World, Featuring Screenings of Chet Baker Documentary Let’s Get Lost and Betty Davis: They Say I’m Different, October 14

  • Brooklyn Poetry Slam, Hosted by Poet, Activist, and Educator Mahogany L. Browne and with Music by DJ Jive Poetic, October 15

  • Talk ‘Trane, an Interactive Movement Experience with Urban Bush Women and GRAMMY-winning Pianist George Caldwell, October 16

  • In Conversation with Nate Chinen, a Talk Between Playing Changes: Jazz for the New Century Writer and Critic Nate Chinen, Acclaimed New Orleans Trumpeter Terence Blanchard, and Jazz Guitarist and Vocalist Camila Meza, October 17


Festival to Feature the World Premiere of a New Work by Keyon Harrold, Commissioned by BRIC for its 40th Anniversary

BRIC is pleased to announce full programming for the 2018 BRIC JazzFest, the fourth annual edition of the celebrated Brooklyn jazz festival, which continues a yearlong celebration to cap off four decades for the pioneering NYC arts-and-media organization and leading presenter of free cultural programming in Brooklyn. The multidisciplinary festival takes place over the course of a week (October 13-20) and thrives as what the New Yorker calls a “proudly eclectic gathering [that] remains unbounded by convention.” This year’s edition will feature film, dance, a panel discussion, workshops, and culminates with a three-night concert marathon, with performances occurring simultaneously throughout the various spaces comprising the dynamic BRIC House (647 Fulton Street, Brooklyn). For its 40th anniversary, BRIC has commissioned rising star trumpeter Keyon Harrold to write a new piece of music which will have its world premiere at the 2018 BRIC JazzFest.

The three-night jazz marathon (October 18-20) includes performances by Meshell Ndegeocello, Terence Blanchard and The E-Collective, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Cyrus Chestnut Trio, Stefon Harris & Blackout ft. Casey Benjamin, Brownout Presents: Fear of a Brown Planet ft. Third Root, Mark de Clive-Lowe, Xenia Rubinos, The Jazz Passengers, Keyon Harrold, Deva Mahal, Madison McFerrin, Kat Edmonson, JD Allen, Lakecia Benjamin & SoulSquad, Camila Meza, Resident Alien ft. Ali Sethi & Sunny Jain, Arnetta Johnson & SUNNY, Yasser Tejeda & Palotré, Yotam Ben-Or Quartet, Noa Fort, Melanie Charles & Make Jazz Trill Again, and Michael Sarian & The Chabones. Performances take place in the state-of-the-art BRIC Ballroom, the relaxed Stoop overlooking visual artist Mary Mattingly’s What Happens After exhibition in the BRIC Gallery, and the BRIC Artist Studio, which transforms into an intimate jazz club.

BRIC JazzFest has, in its four years, shown how jazz’s legacy, present, and future, can be approached through a variety of means. This year, film, poetry, dance, and discourse also add to the festival’s explosive musical lineup. Two films, projected onto a giant screen in the BRIC House Ballroom, will shed new light on legendary figures from jazz history. Let’s Get Lost, fashion photographer Bruce Weber’s 1988 documentary about trumpeter and vocalist Chet Baker, will screen at 4pm in the BRIC House Ballroom, October 14. The Telegraph describes the film as “so lyrical and so eloquent,” continuing, “Let’s Get Lost is not just a film about jazz; it is a jazz film, one that balances storytelling with stylized digressions and near-dream sequences—much as a soloist might veer away from the rest of his band to make space for improvisation.” Phillip Cox’s recent documentary Betty Davis: They Say I’m Different will screen at 6:30pm that same evening. Praising the film’s depiction of how funk-rock pioneer Betty Davis “revolutionized the music landscape for black women,” Little White Lies called it “compassionate” and “sizzling…a cinematic interpretation of Davis’ life, emulating her subversive style by blending testimony with psychedelic animation and an assortment of unconventional nonfiction techniques.”

BRIC’s Brooklyn Poetry Slam—“a packed night of stellar local poets” (TimeOut)—comes to JazzFest this year, October 15. Mahogany L. Browne—the poet, activist, and educator whose most recent book, Black Girl Magic, was described by Kirkus Reviews as “an emerging, beloved tome for black girls of all ages to read and share…whenever or wherever one needs an assuring word”—hosts the event, with music by DJ Jive Poetic.

Boundary-pushing, Brooklyn-based dance company Urban Bush Women and GRAMMY-winning pianist George Caldwell will host Talk ‘Trane, open to everyone, with no dance experience necessary (October 16). This interactive movement experience brings participants into the creative process by which Urban Bush Women and Caldwell made their 2015 performance Walking with ‘Trane, an “evening full of fire, passion, and commitment” (The Washington Post) inspired by the musical life and spiritual journey of John Coltrane.

Jazz critic Nate Chinen, New Orleans trumpeter Terence Blanchard, and jazz guitarist and vocalist Camila Meza will discuss the evolution of jazz, and Chinen’s new book, Playing Changes: Jazz for the New Century, on October 17, with a book signing following the conversation.

“In its fourth year, we curated BRIC JazzFest using the multidisciplinary and inclusive approach that BRIC is known for, creating different points of entry to experience jazz in the broadest sense through film, dance, poetry and discussion; and an immersive, multi-stage concert experience where you can discover an array of new artists and see multiple legendary performers in full sets each night with accessible ticket prices,” said Jack Walsh, BRIC’s Vice President of Performing Arts.

With BRIC JazzFest, BRIC brings its decades of experience hosting the beloved summer-long BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival into their state-of-the-art home in Fort Greene, providing an experience that’s true to their mission of making cultural programming genuinely accessible. Billboard writes, “[BRIC JazzFest] prove[s] an excellent argument for standing-room jazz functions in general: lower financial barrier to entry, higher population of listeners, and a more engaged audience.”

Free events require RSVP at Single-day tickets for the BRIC JazzFest Marathon, which go on sale to BRIC members on Tuesday, July 31 and to the general public on Thursday, August 2, are $30 advance/$35 door (per day), and there is a limited number of 3-day passes available for $75 (available now). Tickets can be purchased by visiting The Box Office at BRIC House is open on performance days only, one hour prior to the event. BRIC House is located at 647 Fulton Street in Downtown Brooklyn and is open weekdays and Saturdays at 8am and Sundays at 10am.


Schedule, Tickets, and Event Details


BRIC JazzFest features one-of-a-kind documentaries that highlight legends in the jazz world.  

Let’s Get Lost (1988)
Directed by Bruce Weber | 2hrs
Sun, Oct 14 | 4pm 

“Everyone has a story about Chet.” Thus opens director and longtime jazz critic Bruce Weber’s documentary feature about the legendary trumpeter and vocalist Chet Baker.

Betty Davis: They Say I’m Different (2017)
Directed by Phillip Cox | 1h 32min
Sun, Oct 14 | 6:30pm

Original Funk Queen Betty Davis took on 1970s establishment America and changed the course of women in music forever. Then she vanished. Forty years later, Betty, in a creative and constructed narrative, finally shares her extraordinary story.


Brooklyn Poetry Slam
Mon, Oct 15 | 7:00PM

The Brooklyn Poetry Slam will expand BRIC JazzFest into another dimension, with Brooklyn’s best slam poets convening for a gathering of words, wisdom and music to highlight the crisscrossing influences and beats of jazz, poetry and hip-hop. This event, hosted by poet, activist, and educator Mahogany L. Browne and with music by DJ Jive Poetic, will feature a special, to-be-announced poet. 


Talk ‘Trane 
Tues, Oct 16 | 6:30PM - 8PM

Talk ‘Trane is an interactive movement experience that takes participants behind the creative process of the making of Urban Bush Women’s evening-length piece, Walking with 'Trane (2015). Walking with 'Trane was inspired by the musical life and spiritual journey of John Coltrane, a composer at the forefront of jazz innovation in a racially-charged America of the ‘50s and ‘60s. In this workshop, pianist George Caldwell shares excerpts of his original score and talks about his inspiration for the work, and how he interpreted the music of John Coltrane in his own voice. Urban Bush Women’s dancers will informally show excerpts of process and respond to the music Caldwell plays in the moment, demonstrating the collaborative and responsive approach taken in making the piece. Participants are guided through explorations used in the choreographic process and encouraged to respond to the music with their own movement. Talk 'Trane is open to everyone, no dance experience necessary.


In Conversation with Nate Chinen
Wed, Oct 17 | 7PM

In a conversation about his new book, Playing Changes: Jazz for the New Century, one of jazz’s leading critics Nate Chinen will discuss the evolution of jazz, and how it exists in contemporary times in both the United States and abroad, along with fellow panelists Terence Blanchard and Camila Meza. Signing will follow, with copies of the book available for sale via Greenlight Bookstore.


OCT 18-20 | 7:30PM
$30 Adv / $35 Day-of-show (Per Day)
Limited-quantity3-day passes $75 Adv
General Admission: STANDING (Limited Seating is First Come, First Served)

BRIC JazzFest culminates in a three-night marathon with ensembles performing staggered sets in multiple spaces throughout BRIC House. You can move freely among performances and catch as many artists as you like each night—all happening in the state-of-the-art Ballroom, the relaxed Stoop overlooking the Mary Mattingly: What Happens After exhibition in the Gallery at BRIC House, and our intimate jazz club in the BRIC Artist Studio.

Thursday, October 18 at 7:30pm

Featuring Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Stefon Harris & Blackout ft. Casey Benjamin, Mark de Clive-Lowe, Lakecia Benjamin & SoulSquad, Madison McFerrin, JD Allen, Melanie Charles & Make Jazz Trill Again, and the Yotam Ben-Or Quartet.

Friday, October 19 at 7:30pm

Featuring Meshell Ndegeocello, Cyrus Chestnut Trio, Keyon Harrold, The Jazz Passengers, Xenia Rubinos, Camila Meza, Michael Sarian & The Chabones, and Yasser Tejeda & Palotré.

Saturday, October 20 at 7:30pm
Featuring Terence Blanchard and The E-Collective, Brownout Presents: Fear of a Brown Planet ft. Third Root, Deva Mahal, Kat Edmonson, Arnetta Johnson & SUNNY, Resident Alien ft. Ali Sethi & Sunny Jain, and Noa Fort.

About BRIC

BRIC is the leading presenter of free cultural programming in Brooklyn, and one of the largest in New York City. The organization presents and incubates work by artists and media-makers that reflects the diversity of New York. BRIC programs reach hundreds of thousands of people each year.

BRIC’s main venue, BRIC House, offers a public media center, a major contemporary art exhibition space, two performance spaces, a glass-walled TV studio and artist work spaces.

Some of BRIC’s most acclaimed programs include the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival in Prospect Park; groundbreaking media initiatives, including BRIC TV, BRIC Radio, and Brooklyn Free Speech; and renowned contemporary art exhibitions. BRIC also offers education and community-building programs at BRIC House and throughout Brooklyn.

In addition to making cultural programming genuinely accessible, BRIC is dedicated to providing substantial support to artists and media makers in their efforts to develop work and reach new audiences. BRIC is unusual in both presenting exceptional cultural experiences and nurturing individual expression. This dual commitment enables BRIC to most effectively reflect New York City’s innate cultural richness and diversity.

Learn more at


Press contact: Ron Gaskill or Matt Gross at Blake Zidell & Associates:
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