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Blue Notes

What’s up with jazz and blues

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Lionel Young

Jam sessions aren’t as popular today as they were when clubs ruled Baltimore’s Pennsylvania Avenue, but some remain around town. Phaze 10, a new restaurant/lounge on North Howard Street, hosts one every Wednesday night. And on Aug. 29, Creme Restaurant and Lounge in Mount Vernon hosts its own, featuring Will Allen on drums.

On Sept. 2 the Baltimore Blues Society puts on the 16th annual Alonzo’s Memorial Picnic in Rosedale, featuring Lionel Young Band and the Holmes Brothers. It’s BYOB and tickets are $35.

The Baltimore Jazz Alliance Big Band plays Loyola University Maryland’s McManus Theatre on Sept. 11. Since forming nearly a decade ago, the Baltimore Jazz Alliance has sought to stem the tide of disinterest in the local jazz scene. Jazz pianist and Loyola music instructor Anthony Villa will conduct.

New York-based jazz pianist Roberta Piket plays two solo shows at An die Musik on Sept. 14 in support of her first solo album, which features Piket’s versions of jazz standards by legends like Thelonious Monk, Wayne Shorter, and Chick Corea. Piket has played previously with bassist and Peabody instructor Michael Formanek.

In the early 1970s, the Towson State College Jazz Ensemble was famous for playing circles around the competition at the Quinnipiac Jazz Festival. The band’s conductor, Hank Levy, favored odd time signatures—5/4, 7/4, 13/8—and was known for his convoluted yet rewarding compositions. While Levy passed away in 2001, his musical spirit lives on in the Hank Levy Legacy Band, which is performing at An die Musik on Monday, Oct. 8.

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