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Jeff Nania

Email: jeff.nania@gmail.com

Jeff Nania

Skerik’s Bandalabra

by Jeff Nania October 1, 2015

  This past Sunday night as the moon was approaching a full eclipse, Parish Public House saw the return of the viscerally heady Seattle alt-jazz power foursome Skerik’s Bandalabra. Led by saxophonist Skerik, who is well ...

0 comments Parish Public House


by Jeff Nania September 24, 2015

  An hour and a half south of Albany is an oasis of avant-garde known as Quinn’s. Curator (and former Metroland writer) James Keepnews has been hosting far-out free jazz, laptop-based groove nights, and jazz legends ...

0 comments Quinn's

See Hear

by Jeff Nania September 10, 2015


  Sept. 2nd was the launch of EMPAC’s new On Screen/Sound series, which explores pioneering uses of images and soundtracks on film. The evening began with a series of four short films: Mosaic, Synchromy, Video Tape ...

0 comments EMPAC

Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival

by Jeff Nania July 2, 2015

  One thing that the Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival consistently does well is put together a weekend of diverse performances. From the cutting-edge NYC fusion of trumpeter-congero Etienne Charles’ group at the gazebo to the down-home ...

1 comment Saratoga Performing Arts Center

Charlie Hunter Trio

by Jeff Nania June 25, 2015


  Let the Bells Ring On is the latest in guitarist Charlie Hunter’s practical oeuvre of work. He is joined by drummer Bobby Previte and trombonist Curtis Fowlkes for a unique trio sound that conjures a ...


The Funky Meters

by Jeff Nania May 4, 2015


  The smiles, grins, and knowing looks shared between Art Neville and George Porter Jr. are the kind that can come only from making music with somebody for more than 60 years. At various times throughout the ...

3 comments Picotte Recital Hall


by Jeff Nania February 20, 2015

  “This is cave music,” saxophonist Mike Wilbur shouted to the crowd toward the end of the nonstop, high-intensity set of music they blew for nearly an hour and a half. While the feel of the night ...

The Hollow Bar + Kitchen

ZSoloSZ: Patrick Higgins, Greg Fox, Sam Hillmer

by Jeff Nania January 22, 2015


  ZSoloSZ was a set of music by the avant-garde trio known as Zs. The brainchild of saxophonist and electronic visionary Sam Hillmer, it is self-described “difficult listening.” This show at the Half Moon in Hudson came ...

The Half Moon

Brad Mehldau Trio

by Jeff Nania December 24, 2014

  The Brad Mehldau Trio might be made up of three incredible individuals, but they truly are a singular organism. From the shared lyricism, to the perfect execution of complex meters, to the necessary trust they ...

1 comment The Egg

Keys to Success

by Jeff Nania December 18, 2014


  “Sometimes I’ll put on a tiger mask and want to dance around on stage and be a freak and wear red pants,” Marco Benevento says as he talks about the freedom he has come to ...

Sounds in Words

by Jeff Nania December 4, 2014

  You have to be careful about what musicians say. This was one of the most valuable pieces of advice anyone ever gave me. It has always helped me to stay focused when writing about music. It’s ...

Mandela Celebration

by Jeff Nania November 26, 2014

  This past Saturday saw an incredible outpouring of positivity and inspiration that was generated in response to the dreams and reality of Nelson Mandela. The evening featured original works by the artist known as HA!Man (Francois ...

GE Theatre at Proctors

Arch Stanton Quartet

by Jeff Nania November 20, 2014


  Blues For Soli is The Arch Stanton Quartet's sophomore release, which comes two years after their first record, and a year after the group collectively traveled to Egypt for a cultural exchange which featured a ...

1 comment

Marco Benevento

by Jeff Nania November 13, 2014


  “Don’t sit down on them . . . what you’re feeling,” Marco Benevento sings on "If I Get to See You at All" from his newest record, Swift. This seems like an apt message for ...


by Jeff Nania October 23, 2014


  The musicians start playing, lights are flashing, confetti is flying, bass is thumping, and camera phones go up in the air to snap a shot. When the lights finally settle, the crowd goes wild as OK ...

The Upstate Concert Hall

Alexis Cole Quintet

by Jeff Nania October 23, 2014

  “In addition to being my first time here, it's also my first time playing a full night of music with Harold Mabern,” Cole said. The group featuring Mabern on piano, saxophonist Eric Alexander, bassist David ...

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Stefon Harris and Nouveau Soul

by Jeff Nania October 9, 2014

  The group began the night with Stefon Harris' arrangement of Horace Silver's “Cape Verdean Blues,” which morphed its way through alternate feels and time signatures and culminated with an impressive drum solo by Jonathan Pinson ...

1 comment GE Theatre at Proctors

Matt Garrison

by Jeff Nania September 25, 2014


  Saxophonist Matt Garrison’s newest album is a collection of tunes and arrangements he has put together over a 15-year period. It features straight-ahead boppish originals like “Steppin Up,” standards like Lee Morgan’s “Ceora,” and pop ...

Clifton Anderson Quintet

by Jeff Nania September 18, 2014


  A Place for Jazz opened its 2014 season with one of the most melodic trombonists and composers on the scene today, who also happens to be jazz royalty. Clifton Anderson may have made a name ...

1 comment A Place for Jazz

John Davey

by Jeff Nania June 5, 2014


  Bassist and composer John Davey's newest album Open Range is a worthwhile listen. He is joined by guitarist Ken McBain and drummer Dean Sharp for 12 songs in the guitar-trio idiom.  Davey's upright bass always ...

Dave Holland with the Empire Jazz Orchestra

by Jeff Nania April 17, 2014

  The Empire Jazz Orchestra are this region's premier repertory Jazz Big Band. Their conductor Bill Meckley always puts together larger-than-life playlists for the group to perform, and this night was no different. Before the heroic guest ...

Come Together (Over Robots)

by Jeff Nania March 27, 2014


  “We’ve all had cool gigs in Schenectady,” guitarist Pat Metheny said when he first addressed the crowd. After making the album Unity Band in 2012 with saxophonist Chris Potter, drummer Antonio Sanchez, and bassist Ben ...

1 comment Proctors

Pat Metheny Unity Band

by Jeff Nania March 26, 2014

  “We've all had cool gigs in Schenectady,” guitarist Pat Metheny said when he first addressed the crowd. After making the album Unity Band in 2012 with saxophonist Chris Potter, drummer Antonio Sanchez, and bassist Ben ...

Stacy Dillard and Victor Gould

by Jeff Nania February 27, 2014

  Saxophonist Stacy Dillard and pianist Victor Gould are not complete newcomers to the Capital Region. Dillard made an appearance at last year’s Freihofer’s Jazz Festival with Ben Williams and Sound Effect, and both Dillard and ...

The Wooten Brothers

by Jeff Nania December 19, 2013

  “All we need is a drummer,” keyboardist-vocalist Joseph Wooten said after taking a selfie from center stage. His brother, Roy “Future Man” Wooten, walked on and started a funk groove from his drumset. Victor and ...

1 comment