Giant Step Arts WALK WITH THE WIND Series with Melissa Aldana & Darius Jones

Emilee Geist

The series continues October 3.

Giant Step Arts WALK WITH THE WIND Series with Melissa Aldana & Darius Jones

Groundbreaking artist-focused non-profit Giant Step Arts continues Walk With The Wind, a free series of performances in Central Park honoring the legacy of U.S. Representative and civil rights leader John Lewis

Saturday, October 3 at 1 p.m. – Tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana with bassist Pablo Menares and drummer Kush AbadeySunday, October 4 at 1 p.m. – Saxophonist Darius Jones with drummer Gerald Cleaver and bassist Dezron Douglas

“Giant Step Arts [is] a nonprofit dedicated to giving underappreciated but visionary jazz musicians the support they need to make quality live albums. Palmer is a…thrifty improviser with a vast dynamic range and an ambitious composer.” – Giovanni Russonello, The New York Times

When the pandemic hit, Jimmy and Dena Katz, creators of Giant Step Arts, the groundbreaking, artist-focused non-profit dedicated to supporting visionary jazz musicians as they create adventurous new music, realized that it would be a while before they could continue their work commissioning, showcasing and recording music by some of modern jazz’s most innovative artists.They’ve created Walk with the Wind, a series of free performances in Central Park honoring the memory of John Lewis. Performances, which are acoustic and feature small groups, take place at 1 p.m. on The Mall in Central Park. In the event of bad weather, they will be rescheduled. They will continue as long as the weather allows. Upcoming performances include:

• Saturday, October 3 – Saxophonist Melissa Aldena with bassist Pablo Menares, drummer Kush Abadey

• Sunday, October 4 – Saxophonist Darius Jones with drummer Gerald Cleaver and bassist Dezron Douglas• Saturday, October 10 – Saxophonist Nicole Glover – band TBA• Sunday, October 11 – Saxophonist Chris Potter – band TBA”The pandemic has been disastrous for musicians, many of whom normally earn a living through live performances and tours,” says Katz. “We’ve presented and recorded music in various venues, including partnering with the non-profit Jazz Gallery, but the current circumstances have forced us to improvise. We wanted to find a way to continue supporting musicians, bring them together with audiences, safely, and enable them to have a payday! Walk with the Wind, honoring the legacy of the great American John Lewis, is one way we are accomplishing this, and the response has been tremendous. Our goal is to raise enough money from foundations and donors so that we can have performances each spring and fall.”The series began August 28 with Wayne Escoffery’s trio and has also featured The Marquis Hill Quartet, the Michael Thomas Trio, Marcus Strickland Trio, the Eric McPherson Trio, the Leap Day Trio and the Joel Ross Quartet.

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