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Review: The New York Hot Jazz Festival

All-star hot-jazz and swing fun at a historic NYC venue

Jon-Erik Kellso, Warren Vaché and Scott Robinson (from left) on the frontline at the 2015 New York Hot Jazz Festival; the Players Club, May 3
Two of the New York Hot Jazz Festival’s producers, trumpeter-singer Bria Skonberg and Michael “Misha” Katsobashvili, hang at its 2015 edition; the Players Club, May 3
Dan Levinson, Jon-Erik Kellso and Charlie Caranicas (from left) at the 2015 New York Hot Jazz Festival; the Players Club, May 3
New Orleans clarinet virtuoso Evan Christopher with pianist Ehud Asherie, guitarist James Chirillo and bassist Neal Caine at the 2015 New York Hot Jazz Festival; the Players Club, May 3

Fun was spotted breaking out on the sometimes overly earnest New York jazz scene on Sunday, May 3. The outbreak’s ground zero was the historic Players Club in the Gramercy Park neighborhood of Manhattan. Let’s hope it spreads.

On a beautiful Sunday in early spring, the Club-a historic gathering place for actors and literary figures since 1885-was the site of the annual New York Hot Jazz Festival, a one-day, 14-hour, marathon of traditional jazz, featuring 25 acts on three stages. The festival, now in its third year, has previously highlighted early jazz; this year it expanded to include 1930s and 1940s swing.

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