Jam Session Thursdaze
The Travis Sullivan Quartet performs jazz standards and originals at the legendary jazz hotspot Minton’s Playhouse. Every Thursday night, 8pm-9pm. Followed by the weekly jam session from 9pm-11pm. All are welcome to come and play!
Travis Sullivan: alto saxophone & piano
Griffin Fink: bass
Robert Rucker: drums
Hosted by Diana Kazakova, vocals.
General Admission Ticket: $20
Student Ticket Online (must show ID. limited quantity): $10
Student Ticket at the door: $15
($20 Minimum Spend Per Guest)
($10 Minimum Spend Per Student)
Visit the Minton’s website jam session page for more details!
Alto saxophonist, pianist, and composer Travis Sullivan (www.travissullivan.com) performs jazz standards and originals with his band, The Travis Sullivan Quartet, every Thursday at Minton’s Playhouse. Each week, the Travis Sullivan Quartet features a unique lineup of all-star jazz musicians, including Minton’s regulars and jazz legends.
Hosted by acclaimed vocalist and producer Diana Kazakova, Minton’s Thursday Night Jam continues nearly 20 years of creative collaboration with Sullivan. Most notably, Kazakova was the founding lead singer of Travis Sullivan’s Bjorkestra, a globally acclaimed 18-piece jazz orchestra performing the pop icon Bjork’s music.
Henry Minton’s Jam Nights
In late 1940 Minton’s owner, Henry Minton, hired ex-band leader Teddy Hill as manager. In early 1941 Hill in turn engaged Kenny Clarke, who had played in Hill’s orchestra, to organize a house band for Minton’s Monday “Celebrity Night” jam sessions.
His choice for pianist was Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie and the brilliant electric guitarist Charlie Christian. Word quickly got out that Minton’s on Mondays was a place to sit in, and the club was soon packed with big-name musicians either listening or waiting their turns to play; including band leaders Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and soloists Lester Young, Roy Eldridge, Hot Lips Page, Ben Webster and Don Byas.
In the fall of 1941 Charlie Parker, an obscure alto player, started to attract attention at after-hours jams at another Harlem club, Monroe’s Uptown House. Clarke, in the Parker biography “Bird Lives!”, recalled that “Bird was playing stuff we’d never heard before. He was into figures I thought I’d invented for drums. He was twice as fast as Lester Young and into harmony Lester hadn’t touched. Bird was running the same way we were, but he was way ahead of us. I don’t think he was aware of the changes he had created. It was his way of playing jazz, part of his own experience.”
Clarke and Monk made arrangements for Parker to move to Minton’s, where Parker emerged as a leader of the new music after Charlie Christian’s death in March 1942 (at 25, from tuberculosis). Hill refused Clarke’s and Monk’s request to hire Parker for the house band, so they paid him from their own salaries. Over time, other budding stars of bebop – Bud Powell, Sonny Stitt, Max Roach, Art Blakey, Dexter Gordon, Miles Davis, Fats Navarro and others – would be drawn over to Minton’s to join the revolution. According to Barry Kernfeld, editor of the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, “the sessions became famous for demonstrations of virtuosity – unexpected harmonies, fast tempos, unusual keys – that discouraged those whose style did not fit in well. These experimental sounds were crucial to the development of bebop.”