Grammy + New Albums + Videos

Greetings! I’m happy to report I played drums on a Grammy-winning album! The Color Purple took home the statue for Best Musical Theatre album. I’ll be receiving a plaque and am more than thrilled to have worked on this incredible production.

A couple albums that I worked on are currently out: Tony-award winning singer/songwriter LaChanze has released a beautiful EP entitled Feeling Good, produced by the great Michael Olatuja.

Vocal supergroup Duchess has released their sophomore album, Laughing At Life, to critical acclaim across the board. Check out a great live review of our CD release at the 55 Bar here.

Finally, I’ve updated my YouTube channel with lots of videos as well as videos of my Chaka Khan tribute show last year. A few are up to start- check them out here.

Wee + 3 Available Now!

The Wee Trio‘s new album, Wee + 3, is available now! Featuring the trio plus three incredible guest artists- trumpeter Nicholas Payton, guitarist Nir Felder, and pianist Fabian Almazan.

url.jpg

Fall 2016

A lot of stuff to update on…

First off, The Wee Trio! The guys and I are releasing a brand new record at the end of September (the 30th, to be exact). We put our heart and soul into this one and asked some of our favorite musicians to collaborate with us. Trumpeter Nicholas Payton, guitarist Nir Felder and pianist Fabian Almazan all make multiple appearances on the record. We’ve entitled it “Wee + 3.” We will playing CD release gigs and touring across the country this fall, so please check the tour section to see if we will be in a city near you.

TheWeeTrio_FbookBanner

Also, my friend and fantastic pianist Laurence Hobgood recently launched a new project called “Tessaterra” which is a standard jazz piano trio pared with the awesome Ethel String Quartet. Check it out at Laurence’s website linked above.

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 6.22.40 PM

 

Cynthia Erivo + Color Purple Band On Colbert

An incredible performance from leading lady and Tony-nominated star Cynthia Erivo and our amazing band (augmented by a beautiful string section) on Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Check it out here !

New Project!

Next Monday marks an important step in my career: my first truly solo project. I fell in love with the music of Chaka Khan from the late 70’s/early 80’s many years ago, and have always envisioned putting a great band together to sing these tunes with some amazing singers. The time has come! I’m producing/music directing/hosting and playing drums for this. The band includes some of my favorite musicians on the planet as well as some of my favorite singers I’ve played with and also ever heard! The evening will feature brand-new arrangements of Chaka’s greatest hits from the ‘70s and ‘80s including “I’m Every Woman,” “We Can Work it Out,” “Tell Me Something Good,” “Through the Fire” and more, interpreted by Tony and Emmy Award winner LaChanze (If/Then, original The Color Purple); Broadway stars Lindsay Mendez (Wicked, Godspell) and Bre Jackson (The Color Purple, The Book of Mormon); vocal powerhouses Shayna Steele (International Recording artist, Bette Midler, Rihanna) and Amy Lynn Zanetto (Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Amy Lynn & The Gunshow); and Jennie Harney (Motown National Tour). Also including Marcus Paul James, Helen White and Angela Birchett. Backed by an 8-piece band of some of Broadway and pop’s top musicians, this promises to be an unforgettable night of vocal acrobatics and undeniable musical energy, honoring Chaka Khan’s legacy as one of the greatest entertainers of the 20th century.

Band:

Trumpet: Brian Pareschi
Saxes: Dave Mann
Trombone: Mike Davis
Piano/Keyboards: Dave Cook
Guitars: Larry Saltzman & Sean Driscoll
Bass: Michael Olatuja
Drums/MD: Jared Schonig

 

More Info:

 

Monday, April 4 2016
Doors 8:45pm
Performance 9:30pm
 
Feinstein’s/54 Below
254 West 54th Street
Cellar
New York NY 10019
 
More information: info@54below.com; (646) 476-3551
CHAKAPOSTER

 

New Records

Happy New Year from warm(ish) Palm Beach, FL. I’m down here with some great friends and musicians playing for the awesome Spencer Day. A couple of cool things to report on this month: the great saxophonist/clarinetist and all-around good guy Josh Rutner has released his first solo record. Josh spent 4 years working on this, largely by himself, and I am on a bunch of tracks on this album. EVERY track is incredible so listen to this whole thing. You can check it out here. I also tracked violinist Meg Okura’s new project down at the great studio Eastside Sound with engineer-extraordanaire Marc Urselli. Look out for this incredible record; a fusion of world music and jazz. It also features trumpet legend Tom Harrell.

A few months I had the pleasure of tracking a couple tunes with the great guitarist Ben Verdery and rapper/lyricist Billy Dean. The result of one of the tracks is represented by an incredible music video which unfortunately I couldn’t attend, but nonetheless both the music and video are great.

Finally, we tracked the Color Purple cast revival album featuring Cynthia Erivo, Jennifer Hudson and Danielle Brooks last month at Avatar. The pre-order link is here. Stay warm!

Jennifer Hudson + The Color Purple On Good Morning America

Jennifer Hudson, Cynthia Erivo and most of the cast of The Color Purple appeared on Good Morning America last week performing the title track from the hit musical. Check it out here.

Fall + Wee Trio New Album + Kurt Elling + Laurence Hobgood

Going to try and post a little more often starting now! Been having a nice fall so far.

A few weeks ago, The Wee Trio recorded our fifth album. It went incredibly well and we were thrilled to have special guests Nicholas PaytonFabian Almazan, and Nir Felder with us. James, Dan and I each wrote new material for our guests and they did not disappoint. We will be releasing some music videos shortly and will keep everyone posted on the release date of the album.

I had the great fortune of playing with two of my favorite artists this past month.  First off, I returned to my favorite club in the world, The Green Mill, with pianist Laurence Hobgood‘s trio with bassist Matt Clohesy. We did a CD Pre-release gig, and got a stellar review from resident jazz critic Howard Reich. You can check it out here. Some great photos as well. After that, I returned to New York to do a week long residency at the famed Cafe Carlyle at the Carlyle Hotel with Kurt Elling. Kurt and the band sounded incredible and it was a real treat to do a 5-day run in my hometown. Great review from the Huffington Post here.

The Wee Trio travels West on Thursday to Bucknell University to do a clinic with the band and a free concert open to the public at 7:30 PM. More info here.

Discography is being updated. Check it out!

Spring

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. Sorry about that. I’ve got a nice May and June coming up and am looking forward to making a lot of beautiful music.

This past weekend I got to play with one of my favs, Nadje Noordhuis, at the Bell House opening up for Darcy James Argue’s 10 year anniversary bash of Secret Society. Both bands sounded incredible and it was a great evening.

Coming up this May are a few gigs with the great Sara Caswell and her band at St. Peters Church on May 17 and at the 55 Bar on May 31.

Really looking forward to playing with vibraphonist Chris Dingman and his band (Loren Stillman, Fabian Almazan, Ryan Ferreira, Linda Oh) at Bryant Park on May 18. We’ll be playing the music from his gorgeous new record The Subliminal and The Sublime to be released in June.

A couple great big bands to round out the month; First, at the Jazz Gallery with Jazz Composers Workshop Vol 3 playing the music of the great composers Nathan Parker Smith, Tom Erickson and John Yao on May 28, then with the always fun Birdland Big Band the next day on May 29 at of course, Birdland.

Summer Update

Summer in New York! It’s been a very mild summer so far here in New York, perhaps due to the harsh winter we encountered what seems like just a few months ago. I’ll be doing a nice concert with violinist Sara Caswell’s band on August 1 at Neighborhood Church in the West Village. She’s on the cover of Strings magazine this month. She rocks. Also, a few dates with the Birdland Big Band in August as well, which is always a blast.

I recorded a few albums as well that should be on their way out soon. First, guitarist Chris Biesterfeldt’s trio record dedicated to the music and styles of pianist Phineas Newborn, with great bassist Matthew Rybicki. Super swinging and turned out really well. Second, is Nathan Parker Smith‘s new prog-rock heavy metal big band album. I can’t say enough about how much I dig this guy and his music. So fun to play and to listen to. Really excited for this record. CD release date set in October, check the tour section for more info. Third, the new Ike Sturm record (which I mentioned in the last news update) went incredibly well and sounds amazing. There is a teaser video up on his site here, that Ike edited himself. Bad cat.

The Wee Trio tour in California this December is shaping up to be busy and exciting. Look for dates coming soon.

Spring Update

It’s almost Spring in New York (well, it’s still cold, but it’s sunny… kind of…).

Couple cool things to update. I filmed an episode of Glee. I think that’s all I can say for now. Should air in the next month or so.

I’m starting to play with the great Donna Lewis coming up this and next month. Visit her website here. She has had a few huge pop hits in the 90s and made an incredible record with the Bad Plus as her band. More info in the Tour section. We’ll also be doing a weekly residency at a great club starting at the end of April.

I’ll be playing with the great John Daversa‘s band again at Shapeshifter Labs. John is a fantastic musician, composer and arranger. I really dig his stuff.

Last, at the end of the month, I’ll be recording a new record with Ike Sturm‘s band. These are my favorite people, and my favorite music. Fabian Almazan, Jesse Lewis, Chris Dingman, Melissa Stylianou, Loren Stillman, Misty Ann Sturm, and Ike Sturm.

Wee Trio New Album + Fall Update

Greetings! It’s Fall in New York City and I’ve just returned to Brooklyn after a few fantastic tours. The most recent was a great trip with the Laurence Hobgood Quintet, featuring Ernie Watts on saxophone, Marquis Hill on trumpet, Clark Sommers on bass, and myself on drums. We played all new music Laurence wrote specifically for the group, and played some of my favorite places on Earth including Jazz at the Bistro in St. Louis and the incredibly packed Green Mill in Chicago.

The first tour was the official CD release tour for the Wee Trio’s Live At The Bistro album. The album was released last month and is getting fantastic reviews. This was our 2nd international tour as we traveled everywhere from St. Louis to Detroit to Canada and back to NYC for a great gig at Subculture. The album is available on Itunes and on CDBaby.

The Wee Trio will be back out on the road in support of the new album in early December on the West Coast, including dates at Vitellos in Los Angeles and Yoshi’s in San Francisco, so check the Tour Dates section for more info.

Official Paiste Artist

Happy to announce that I’ve become a member of the Paiste Cymbals family! I am proud to use their cymbals and am honored to be a Paiste Artist.  Check out my artist page on the Paiste website here.

Pippin Wins 4 Tony Awards Including Best Musical Revival!

I’m proud to announce that Pippin received four Tony Awards this weekend – Best Musical Revival, Best Director (Diane Paulus), Best Leading Actress in a Musical (Patina Miller) and Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Andrea Martin).  So proud to be a part of this production!  Check out the video of our performance during the telecast here!

The Wee Trio Live at SubCulture in NYC June 6!

I’m looking forward to playing with my group The Wee Trio at the wonderful new venue SubCulture in New York City’s NoHo neighborhood on June 6.  Doors open at 6:30pm.
Check out the poster below and get your tickets here.

 

Wee Trio Subculture

 

 

PIPPIN Opening Night on Broadway!

I’m really pleased to announce that the Broadway revival of Pippin (Dir. Diane Paulus) is officially opening tonight (April 25) on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre.  I am so proud to be a part of this production!

Michael Webster’s “Momentus”

Another quick note: One of my favorite people and musicians, Michael Webster, has a new album is. It’s entitled “Momentus,” and is one of my favorite records that I have had the pleasure of being a part of. The album was released a few months ago on OA2 Records, out of Seattle, and features Mike, Ingrid Jensen on trumpet, Chris Dingman on vibes, Jesse Lewis on guitar, Ike Sturm on bass, and myself on drums. The band will be playing on Saturday at Somethin Jazz in Manhattan from 7-8:45 PM. Check out this beautiful recording and hope to see you soon.

New Music Released

Hey everyone. Just wanted to let you know about some fantastic music that’s out which I had the pleasure of playing drums on.

First is a wonderful tune called “Down, Down, Down” by Amy Crawford. The song is available on iTunes, Bandcamp, and a Youtube lyric video here.

Second is trumpeter and composer Pablo Masis‘ album, Intrinsic. The album features Chad Leftowitz-Brown on tenor saxophone, Alex Brown on piano, Linda Oh on bass, and myself on drums. I’m very proud of the way this album turned out. Great tunes and playing as well as a beautiful sound captured at Tedesco Studios and mixed and mastered by Michael Perez-Cisneros.

Kennedy Center w/ New York Voices and National Symphony Orchestra

I’m extremely excited to be in D.C. this week performing in the Concert Hall with Grammy-winning New York Voices and the National Symphony Orchestra. We did our first show last night and it was fantastic. Here for three more nights and trying to savor every moment.

Sarah Kirkland Snider’s “Penelope” feat. My Brightest Diamond in Canada

I had the recent pleasure of doing a few concerts up in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario. This was an INCREDIBLE experience playing some of the most beautiful music with some of the most beautiful people. “Penelope” is a song cycle by Sarah Kirkland Snider released by New Amsterdam Records for orchestra, rhythm section and live electronics. It featured vocalist Shara Worden, who is the voice and compositional brilliance behind My Brightest Diamond. It was truly a pleasure to work with these beautiful people and hopefully will be doing some more in the next year.

Wee Trio End of Summer Midwest/New York Tour

Hey!

The Wee Trio will be ending the summer with a quick trip to the Midwest. We will be performing at the legendary club The Green Mill in Chicago on Friday, August 31, then traveling to Menasha, Wisconsin, where we will be playing the Fox River Jazz Fest on Saturday, September 1 at 2:45 PM. Then rounding it out will be a concert at Cornelia Street Cafe in New York City on Tuesday, September 4 at 8:30 PM. Hope to see some familiar faces in both the Midwest and NYC!

Modern Drummer Magazine: Featured Blogger!

I am happy to announce that I am featured on Modern Drummer Magazine’s website as a guest blogger. It’s a huge honor!  Click on the screen shot below to check it out the full article.  Thanks Modern Drummer!

Scandinavian Tour with Ike Sturm Ensemble

Jared is pleased to announce an 8-day tour with the Ike Sturm Ensemble that will include venues in Norway, Sweden and Denmark in March 2012. The band features Ike Sturm on bass and compositions, Misty Ann Sturm on voice, Loren Stillman on alto saxophone, Chris Dingman on vibraphone, Jesse Lewis on guitar and Jared Schonig on drums. Special guests include Uwe Steinmetz on saxophones and Ingrid Jensen on trumpet.

Residency with Grammy Award-winning vocalist Kurt Elling at Jazz at the Bistro

Jared is happy to announce his performance with Grammy Award-winning jazz vocalist Kurt Elling during a weeklong residency at Jazz at the Bistro in St. Louis, MO. To view more upcoming events, click here.

NBC’s “Smash” Episode Appearance: “The Cost of Art” with Nick Jonas & Megan Hilty

See Jared Schonig perform two numbers on the NBC show “Smash” in an episode guest starring Nick Jonas here.

New Wee Trio Album “Ashes to Ashes: A David Bowie Intraspective” Released 01/01/12

A deep exploration into the eclectic icon’s music, and the Wee Trio’s follow up to their first two critically acclaimed albums, Capitol Diner Vol. 1, and Capitol Diner Vol. 2 Animal Style. This new release as well as the trio’s complete discography is available for purchase here. A national tour has been announced for February 2012. View dates here.