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JVC’s Piano Jazz

This year’s JVC Jazz festival, taking place in New York City from June 16 to 29, features a stellar lineup of many instrumentalists, but jazz pianists are taking center stage.

On Friday, June 21 at 8 p.m., Brad Mehldau makes his debut at Carnegie Hall. Mehldau’s trio, featuring Larry Grenadier on bass and Jorge Rossy on drums, released Progression, the fifth album in its Art of the Trio series, in September, 2001. The album features the trio performing their own versions of several standards, such as “Long ago and Far Away,” and “How Long Has this Been Going On.” The Carnegie Hall performance will feature songs from the album as well as tracks from Largo, Mehldau’s upcoming CD, released August 13, which features a larger instrumental lineup.

Following Mehldau, Keith Jarrett, bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette will play Carnegie Hall on Wednesday, June 26, also at 8 p.m. Inside Out, which came out last October on ECM, is the trio’s latest CD.

Two days later Herbie Hancock (pictured) plays Carnegie Hall at 8.p.m. on June 28 with the Directions in Music group to the celebrate the release of its new Verve CD, Directions in Music: Live at Massey Hall. The band, featuring Michael Brecker on saxophone and Roy Hargrove on trumpet and flugelhorn, has been touring over the past year playing the music of Miles Davis and John Coltrane, in addition to many of Hancock, Brecker and Hargrove’s own compositions.

Eddie Palmieri and his band La Perfecta II, featuring vocalists Ismael Quintana and Herman Olivera, then salsa over Carnegie on June 29. The legendary Latin dance/jazz band Orquesta Aragon, featuring flutists Dave Valentin and Eddie Zervigon, will also be playing that night.

Other pianists who can be seen as part of the JVC Jazz Festival in New York:

–Jason Moran with Greg Osby at the Studio Museum, June 20, 7:30 p.m.

With his own trio at the Village Vanguard, June 29, 9:30, 11:30, and 1am

–Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra at Birdland, June 23, 9 p.m.

–Bill Charlap trio at Birdland, June 24, 9 and 11 p.m.

–Michael Abene and George Wein, JVC Jazz festival producer, at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, June 24, 8 p.m.

–John Bunch, Benny Green and Marian McPartland, at the Kaye Playhouse on June 25,

8 p.m.

–Barbara Carroll and Peter Cincotti Quartet at the Kaye Playhouse, June 26, 8 p.m.

–Kenny Barron Quartet at Birdland, June 27, 9 p.m. and 11 p.m.

–Cyrus Chestnut with Charles McPherson Quartet at Birdland, June 28 and 29, 9 p.m.

For a complete listing of all JVC Jazz Festival New York performances, log on to

Originally Published