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The Jazz Times of Nashville 6/12

The Jazz Times of Nashville is a bi-monthly column from editor and jazz writer Wyatt Parks that provides the reader with a streamlined medium for important Nashville jazz news and insights, including major events and appearances, album releases, and more. The column will put an emphasis on major local and national acts, but also attempts to cultivate the jazz scene by including information about university groups and up-and-coming jazz acts.

The next couple weeks have got some great opportunities to hear some incredible music. Many local regulars, with some visiting as well! As always, you can click each event to get more detailed information.

The Nashville Jazz Workshop

Vail Johnson

Saturday, June 15 8:00 PM – Vail Johnson, Around the World in 40 Years
Acclaimed bassist Vail Johnson will present a one-man show at the Jazz Cave, showcasing his unique talents, virtuosic playing, and wide range of styles and influences. Johnson has performed with Kenny G for over three decades, as well as other big names like Stevie Nicks, Herbie Hancock, and George Benson. He’s also produced six solo CD’s.

Friday, June 21 8:00 PM – Liz Johnson/Kelli Cox Quartet
Vocalist Liz Johnson will lead a quartet featuring Kelli Cox on piano, Jonathan Wires on bass, and Rick Reed on drums. In addition to being a regular performer at the Jazz Cave, Johnson is also a longtime faculty member, teaching classes in vocal technique, vocal health, and keyboard skills for vocalists. Johnson has had a long performance career, including a performance at Montreux Switzerland Jazz Festival in 2004. Her latest album is entitled “Joy Unspeakable.”

Monday, June 24-Friday, June 28 – NJW Summer Jazz Camp
The Workshop will host its annual Summer Jazz Camp at Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music. The camp is for students aged 13-19, for all instrumentalists and vocalists. The camp will feature ensembles, masterclasses, ear training, repertoire building, and much more. There will be a final concert on Friday at 3 PM.

Rudy’s Jazz Room

Thursday, June 13 9:00 PM – Big Bad Rhythm
A classic two-guitar swing band playing jazz, blues, and Boogie Woogie, Big Bad Rhythm started as a duo, when pianist Brian Holland and drummer Danny Coots first played together in Kigali, Rwanda. The band gradually grew into a five-piece, now featuring Andy Reiss on guitar, Pat Bergeson on guitar and harmonica, and Sam Rocha on bass.

Friday, June 14

5:30 PM – Cliff Richmond and the CliffNotes
Guitarist Cliff Richmond leads a powerful group serving up a blend of soulful, swinging, and funky jazz. The group’s music incorporates a wide range of styles from mainstream swing to rhythm and blues, Latin and reggae.

8:00 – The Duffy Jackson QuartetLegendary jazz drummer Duffy Jackson, who now calls Nashville home, has played drums since early childhood, making appearances with Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Buddy Rich, and Woody Herman before he finished high school. Throughout his career he has performed with many greats including Herb Ellis, Barney Kessel, Milt Jackson, and more.

11:30 PM – Geoff Pfeifer
Nashville-based saxophonist Geoff Pfeifer and his quartet are a gritty, edgy, group offering real New York City-style jazz. Playing a mix of original tunes and Wayne Shorter music, listeners will be sure to feel the energy with this group.

Saturday, June 15

5:30 – Shaun Munday
One-of-a-kind bass and vocal talent Shaun Munday blends soulful vocals with incredible virtuosity on his instrument. Munday has shared the stage with blues legend Robert Cray, reggae originals Aston Barrett and the Wailers, Devon Allman, and many others. His debut self-titled album was released in March 2017, and received rave reviews.

8:00 PM – Bob SabellicoGuitarist, synthesist and composer Bob Sabellico has become a well-known Nashville favorite over the years. His music blends jazz and R&B, and he’s never afraid to take chances. Sabellico will be joined by Clark Gibson on saxophone, Greg Bryant on bass, and Jerrod “J-rod” Sullivan on drums.

11: 30 PM – Nikki Elias and the Cosmic Collective
Representing the ever-changing landscape of jazz music brought on by the next generation, the Cosmic Collective covers a wide variety of genres, from jazz and

Bossa Nova to pop, funk, and R&B. The band consists of formally trained area musicians including bassist Tyler Enslow, keyboardist Jeff Goodkind, and saxophonist DeVante Buford.

Tuesday, June 18 – PRIDE Night at Rudy’s
Rudy’s kicks off PRIDE week with two shows, beginning at 6:00 and 9:00. The first show features New Orleans favorite, Secondhand Street Band, a collective of musicians that performs a combination of jazz, funk, and other horn-driven styles. The second show presents Rudy’s Dragtime Jazz Cabaret hosted by the infamous Veronika Electronica. Music and drink specials all night. Come celebrate jazz and Nashville’s vibrant LGBTQ community.

Friday, June 21

8:00 PM – The Rusty Holloway Sextet
Rusty Holloway has been playing jazz with some of the biggest names in the industry since the 60’s. He has shared the stage with Al Cohn, Zoot Sims, and Dizzy Gillespie, among many others. He was bass professor in classical and jazz at the University of Tennessee from 1979 until 2014, and a founding member of the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra. This group presents music representing every stage of Holloway’s musical career.

11:30 PM – The Greg Bryant Expansion
Nashville native and bassist Greg Bryant has been playing music his whole life, starting at an early age as he discovered the sounds of jazz, blues and R&B. The Greg Bryant Expansion ranges in size from a quartet to a sextet, and represents Bryant’s diverse musical tastes and interests.

Saturday, June 22

5:30 PM – Jody Nardone Trio
Prominent Nashville pianist Jody Nardone performs with his trio. Nardone has been lauded for his versatility and wide range of style influences from Bill Evans to McCoy Tyner.

8:00 PM – Stephanie Adlington
Known as “the Siren of the South,” Stephanie Adlington is a working singer, songwriter, actor, and vocal coach. While studying at the Royal Academy of Music in London, Adlington recorded with folk-rock band Renaissance, producing three critically acclaimed albums. Known for her unique vocal styling, Adlington hearkens back to the prohibition era, giving audiences an escape from everyday life.

11:30 PM – Geoff Pfeifer
Another chance to catch the great Geoff Pfeifer.

Those are your highlights for the next couple weeks! We love to hear from our readers. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, our inbox at is always open!

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