All posts by John Burdick

Hudson Jazz Festival this weekend

Hudson Jazz Festival this weekend

Friday-Sunday, February 15-17: In an age when Aerosmith has headlined major jazz festivals and the lineups tend to be stacked with non-jazz acts, the Hudson affair is micro and boutique, small and intensive and truly designed for aficionados on the cutting edge of jazz aesthetics.

Mohonk and the Smileys chronicles 150 years of stewardship

Mohonk and the Smileys chronicles 150 years of stewardship

Not only alcohol but also cards and dancing were prohibited at the original Mohonk (quite a change from the tavern of John Stokes, from whom the Smileys bought the original chunk of property, and who was known to chain unruly drunks to a tree). But the resort also served as the site of numerous conferences and social initiatives that were, by the standards of the time, progressive if not downright incendiary.

50th-anniversary Woodstock Festivals set for Bethel & Watkins Glen this August

50th-anniversary Woodstock Festivals set for Bethel & Watkins Glen this August

Let us put to rest – before we even begin – all debates and squabbles regarding the rightful heirs and owners of the Woodstock Festival tradition, as its 50th anniversary approaches. Brand wars, it seems to me, are not exactly in the spirit of the original event, and in this case, both of the major festivals scheduled for that weekend in August 2019 have a compelling claim. One has the very field itself; the other has Michael Lang.

Menegon Quartet marks George Shearing’s 100th at Senate Garage

Menegon Quartet marks George Shearing’s 100th at Senate Garage

Friday, January 11: The great, blind British pianist and composer George Shearing lived so long and recorded so much with so many that no one even remembers how he used to be dismissed by the hardasses of jazz. He outlasted them all, and emerged as a pioneer in several respects: as the man principally responsible for the sophisticated “locked-hands” piano technique, and also as one of jazz’s earliest adopters of Latin music.