Join BRIC on October 21, 22 and 23 for our seventh annual JazzFest! This acclaimed three-day marathon Jazz festival will return in-person to BRIC House (647 Fulton) this fall.
One of BRIC’s premiere performing arts programs, JazzFest is a widely-known Jazz music festival that brings together legendary figures, groundbreaking artists and newcomers from across the genre.
This year’s stacked lineup is co-curated by performer Madison McFerrin along with Executive Producer Lia Camille Crockett and Winter JazzFest Founder Brice Rosenbloom.
**In accordance with the Key to NYC mandate, please note that this event will require proof of vaccination for entry. View our full COVID-19 safety protocals here.**
Renowned for his singular combination of robust swing and poetic insight, two-time Grammy winner Kurt Elling has a secure place among the world’s foremost jazz vocalists. His voice is instantly recognizable, embracing listeners with a warm, rich baritone and navigating the full span of his four-octave range as a virtuoso improvisor and a compelling storyteller. With the addition of hybrid guitarist Charlie Hunter their new music moves beyond bebop, swing, and Blues and explores progressive jazz, neo-soul and full-on funk.
Trumpeter Sean Jones is a firebrand musician with a bent toward muscular post-bop. Born in Warren, Ohio, in 1978, Jones began playing trumpet in the fifth grade. By high school, he developed a strong interest in jazz, especially the music of legendary trumpeter Miles Davis.
Yasser Tejeda is a guitarist, vocalist, composer and producer born and raised in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic currently based in Brooklyn. Yasser's debut album 'Mezclansa' (2009) was dubbed one of the “100 essential recordings of Dominican music” by the Nation’s Association of Art Writers (Acroarte) and his second album Kijombo (2019) received six awards from Dominican Republic's Indie awards 'Premios Indie,' including Best Album.
Sasha Berliner is a musician, composer, producer, and bandleader from San Francisco, CA. Post-graduation, Sasha’s music work remains primarily based in New York City. In addition to performing internationally with her own project, Sasha Berliner Azalea, her recent notable performances, and recordings have been with musicians such as Tyshawn Sorey, Nicholas Payton, and Quincy Davis.
Adam O'Farrill is a trumpet player and composer from Brooklyn, NY. As a trumpeter, he has performed and has recorded with artists such as Rudresh Mahanthappa, Mary Halvorson, and Arturo O'Farrill. As a composer and bandleader, he has led the quartet Stranger Days, comprised of Xavier Del Castillo, Walter Stinson, and Zack O'Farrill.
Since Sun Ra’s death in 1993, the ensemble has been led by saxophonist Marshall Allen, and continues to carry on Sun Ra’s indomitable spirit, perpetuating his unique contributions to jazz and Afrofuturism. The Arkestra is an uplifting avant-garde history lesson in cosmic jazz, incorporating elements from throughout jazz history, including ragtime, swing, bebop, free jazz, and fusion.
In the 1980s and 1990s, saxophonist-composer-poet-actor Roy Nathanson personified downtown cool as a member of The Lounge Lizards and later with his signature group, The Jazz Passengers, bringing him together with trailblazers such as Hal Willner, Debbie Harry, Elvis Costello and Jeff Buckley. In the 2000s, he began teaching in New York City schools, where he met a new generation of iconoclasts, leading up to recent collaborations with the genre-agnostic Onyx Collective and neo-soul singer Nick Hakim, with whom he released an acclaimed April 2021 album entitled "Small Things." Of the collaboration, RollingStone.com wrote “The two musicians met while playing a gig with the polyglot downtown jazz group Onyx Collective at New York Winter Jazzfest in 2018.
Both had been in the Onyx Collective orbit for years: Hakim as an associate and frequent collaborator; Nathanson as the mentor and former teacher of the group’s co-founder, Isaiah Barr. When Hakim read through some of Nathanson’s poetry and asked if he could put the words to song, the jazz veteran agreed immediately.” Meanwhile the New York Times described the project thusly: “Hakim has a voice made of smoke that can rattle you like thunder...as he wanders through Nathanson’s wistful, stream-of-consciousness poetry.”
An innovative Ethiopian keyboardist, accordionist, and bandleader, Hailu Mergia rose to prominence in the early '70s fronting the Walias Band, an instrumental funk and jazz ensemble and fixture of the Addis Ababa hotel circuit. Immigrating to the U.S. in the early '80s, Mergia issued a series of homemade solo releases while working as a taxi driver, later rediscovered by the Awesome Tapes from Africa label, whose reissues in the 2000s helped him mount a successful late-career surge that resulted in the 2018 comeback album Lala Belu.
Two-time Grammy nominated Thana Alexa brings her meaningful music to BRIC Jazzfest with "ONA." As Alexa describes, “ONA's universal message mines the depths of what it means to be a woman. Translated to "SHE" from my family's native Croatian, "ONA" was inspired by the cross generational and cross-cultural stories of the immigrant women in my family and evolved into an exploration of the experiences of contemporary women everywhere.”
Born on a Hilltop in Tacoma but raised in the Southend of Seattle, Stas represents her home through and through. After learning all the lyrics to Snoop Dogg's "Gin and Juice" at the age of 8, she realized that a career in Hip-Hop was her destiny. She is formerly one half of the Psychedelic-Space-Rap-Jazz duo THEESatisfaction, with whom she produced, wrote, and performed.
Adi Meyerson is an Israeli bassist & composer. Since moving to New York, Meyerson has successfully impacted the NYC scene and earned her title as an up and coming young talent, both as a bassist and Composer.
Madison McFerrin is an independent singer-songwriter based in Brooklyn, NY. The New York Times remarked how her sound “shows wonderful vocal dexterity, deftly swerving from sharp, clearly enunciated staccato bursts to fluttery, free-form melismata.” As the guest curator at BRIC Jazzfest this year Madison brings refreshing programming flavor to the lineup.
Legendary bandleader, trombonist, and author Fred Wesley is one of the forefathers of funk, still setting the standard with his jazz-funk band The New JBs. Together for more than 25 years, the band is a living celebration of roots funk and more, performing such hits as “Pass the Peas” made with James Brown and the JBs including Maceo Parker, as well as selections from the P-Funk years and Fred’s own and others’ soulful jazz and blues compositions.
Brooklyn-born and based experimentalist and multi-instrumentalist Taja Cheek, aka L’Rain, is mapping the enormity of how to change. Her forthcoming second album, Fatigue, demands introspection from ready ears with an array of keyboards, synths, and hauntingly delicate vocals that create a genre entirely her own. Cheek has dipped her toes in every corner of the arts, through her work at some of the most prestigious art institutions in NYC and collaborations with the likes of Naama Tsabar, Kevin Beasley, Justin Allen, and others in contemporary arts.
Jaimie Branch is a Brooklyn-based musician and artist working in the areas of improvisation and composition. Through her musical practice, her main interests lie in extending and expanding the technical limitations of the trumpet and the musical language of free jazz and improvised music. Branch is joined by bassist Luke Stewart and drummer Tcheser Holmes.
Linda Diaz is a native New Yorker who grew up in Manhattan's Lower East Side. She makes dreamy R&B anchored by her skilled and soulful voice. In 2020 Linda won the Tiny Desk Contest presented by NPR music. With over 6,000 entries across the country, she won with her amazing song "Green Tea Ice Cream."
We’ll close out this year’s BRIC JazzFest with our first-ever massive jam session led by multi-instrumentalist Louis Cato, featuring artists from throughout the festival and surprise special guests. Best known as a member of Jon Batiste & Stay Human, the house band of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” Cato is also also known for his collaborations with Snarky Puppy, David Sanborn, George Duke, and A Tribe Called Quest.
BRIC House is Brooklyn’s cultural living room: a 40,000 square foot multi-disciplinary arts and media complex in the former Strand Theatre, where emerging and established artists can create work that deepens their practice and engages the diverse communities of the borough. **In accordance with the Key to NYC mandate, please note that this event will require proof of vaccination for entry. View our full COVID-19 safety protocals here.**
BRIC is committed to welcoming people of all abilities. The main floor of BRIC House has an accessible entrance on Rockwell Place, in addition to an accessible, all-gender bathroom. The BRIC Media Center, located on the 2nd floor, is accessible via elevator. The Gallery level is accessible via a wheelchair lift. Portable FM assistive listening devices are available for programs on the Stoop and in the Ballroom upon request. To make a specific access request, or to let us know other ways we can provide you with a welcoming experience, please contact Emma Osmundson at email@example.com or 718.683.9350.