WED.25.SEP Evan Christopher & David Torkanowsky @ Mezzrow, NYC

By Evan / August 7, 2019

About This Event:

​The best listening room in Manhattan hosts Evan Christopher with living New Orleans legend ​David Torkanowsky. ​


​Wednesday, ​Sep ​25, 2019



​163 West 10th ​St. (Basement)
Greenwich Village,
New York City


Evan Christopher

​David Torkanowsky, piano



​$20 ​Online

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On the occasion of Jelly Roll Morton's birth anniversary, here's some cool stuff to check out!

This photo of Morton taken by Danny Barker in Harlem in the summer of 1939 (from the Danny Barker Collection housed at the Tulane Jazz Archives, used here without permission) was in this "64 Parishes" article – formerly Louisiana Cultural Vistas. Barker's anecdotes about JRM are fascinating.

Behind Morton, you can see the the awning of the Congress Casino Dance Hall and the corner of the sign for the Rhythm Club. There are many stories about cutting-contests and jam sessions there, and the block (7th Ave btwn 131st & 132nd) was also home to famed "Mainstem" hot-spots Connie's Inn and the Lafayette Theatre. Here's a link from the NY Musicians Union describing the climate of that block in the 1930s.

Curious about this street corner in action? Dig the beginning of this archival film clip of Harlem from the same year as the photo:

I've enjoyed trying to play Morton's music for a long time. Reading and seeing this stuff makes me wish I could have worked with him. Just last August, I had the honor of premiering a new arrangement of one his later works, the exotic GANJAM, with the River Raisin Ragtime Revue in Ann Arbor. Excellent group, big fun.

Tom McDermott was there too. Here's GRANDPA's SPELLS.

Django à la Créole, a Europe-based project of mine adapted some of Morton's "Spanish Tinge" compositions. Man, we played MAMANITA to death!

Some of Morton's music without piano can be a challenge, but when they're just great tunes, they work fine! MY HOME IS IN A SOUTHERN TOWN

And in New Orleans, there's a few other Morton devotees with whom I've enjoyed collaborating. One is pianist Kris Tokarski. This is an excerpt of Morton's early blues, NEW ORLEANS JOYS

I love this French Quarter Festival performance of the WOLVERINES with Duke Heitger on trumpet and a band of great musicians who also love Morton's music including Jon-Erik Kellso and Dan Barrett.

A true New Orleans great, take some time to visit his music, the perfect confluence of traditional New Orleans music and early "jazz". Vive Jelly Roll Morton!
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