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The Jazz Times of Nashville 9/18

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.

Hello everyone! I am happy to say that the JTN is back, and here to stay! My apologies for the hiatus, things got pretty crazy over the summer, but we are back, and we’ve got an exciting couple of weeks ahead!

Remember to click each event for more information!

The Nashville Jazz Workshop

The Joe Davidian Trio

Friday, September 20 8:00 PM – The Joe Davidian Trio, “New Songs for Old Souls”
The Joe Davidian Trio returns to the Jazz Cave. Davidian spent many years as a standout talent in the Nashville scene before moving to New York City. He studied with jazz greats Kenny Werner and Jim McNeely, and has performed with legends such as Joe Lovano, Tito Puente, and others. Davidian’s interpretation of the music has ranked him among the greatest pianists of the day.

The trio features Jamie Ousley on bass and Austin McMahon on drums.

Friday, September 27 8:00 PM – Connye Florence
Internationally-renowned jazz vocalist Connye Florence performs at the Jazz Cave. Florence has earned favor among jazz fans and adult-contemporary listeners alike. She has gained notoriety through constant performances in nightclubs, on and off Broadway, and area jazz festivals.

Saturday, September 28 7:00 PM – The Beegie Adair Trio
One of Nashville’s true musical treasures returns to the Jazz Cave. An integral part of Nashville’s music scene for more than four decades, Adair was a sought-after studio musician in the 60’s and 70’s, and played as a session musician on the Johnny Cash Show from ’69 to ’71. Adair’s recordings are some of the highest selling in the world, and she was the top selling jazz artist in Japan in 2010. The trio recently released an album titled By Request which is a collection of their most requested songs. Adair was named a “Jazz Hero” by the Jazz Journalists Association in 2013, and has received numerous other honors and accolades.

The other members of the trio are extremely accomplished musicians in their own right. Bassist Roger Spencer and drummer Chris Brown are both widely respected players, having played with some of the finest musicians in jazz.

Rudy’s Jazz Room

Friday, September 20
5:30 PM – Les Sabler
Formerly of Montreal, Les Sabler has made Nashville his home for the last five years, and is making his debut performance at Rudy’s. Sabler’s latest CD Jobim Tribute, has gotten a lot of good press, and reached #1 on Amazon Brazilian Jazz and Latin Jazz and #36 Latin Music one week after release.

8:00 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.

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, September 21
8:00 PM – Kenneth Brown
Son of Donald Brown, Knoxville-based jazz piano legend and former Art Blakey band member, Kenneth Brown grew up in a musical family, starting drums at the age of three. His career has only grown since then. Brown has established himself as a gigging musician in a variety of genres, from jazz and R&B to funk and rock. His latest recording is called 3Down.

Brown is joined by Taber Gable on keys, Will Boyd on sax, Rod Mcgaha on trumpet, and Joey Navarro on bass.

11:30 PM – Oracle Blue
Jazz Fusion band Oracle Blue returns to Rudy’s. The band grew out of a university jazz combo, and has turned itself into a touring band. The band’s exact style is difficult to pin down, as their repertoire includes both original recordings featuring elements of a number of genres, as well as reinterpretations of classic jazz standards. Our Derek Volkmann attended one of their previous performances at Rudy’s. Check out his review here.

Tuesday, September 24 6:00 PM – David Williford
Knoxville native David Williford draws inspiration from many different avenues. From an early age he played blues and soul music with his father. Now residing in Nashville, Williford studied classical and jazz with artists like Don Aliquo. Williford’s band presents original music, free improvisation, as well as re-imagined standards.

Thursday, September 26 9:00 PM – The Elias/Enslow 5tet
A quintet featuring some of Nashville’s top talent, The Elias/Enslow 5tet features Nikki Elias on vocals, Tyler Enslow on bass, Marc Widenhofer on drums, Jeff Goodkind on keys, and Don Aliquo on sax. With influences from Sarah Vaughan to Chick Corea, this group offers a unique jazz experience.

Friday, September 28
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 PM – Gregory Tardy w/ Mark Boling, Roger Spencer & Griffen Photoglou
Knoxville based saxophone phenom Greg Tardy returns to Rudy’s, this time with a different lineup. Tardy is one of the most sought-after musicians on the scene today, having performed or recorded with Dave Douglas, Wynton Marsalis, Bill Frisell, John Patitucci, and Ravi Coltrane, among many others. He has been featured on several Downbeat Albums of the Year, as well as several Grammy nominated recordings, including a Grammy winning CD in 2006. He has also recorded fourteen albums under his own name.

11:30 PM – Geoff Pfeifer
Another chance to catch this electric group.

Saturday, September 29
8:00 PM – The 3D Jazz Trio
All-female powerhouse trio 3D Jazz Trio features a group of extremely dedicated, award-winning musicians. J

The 3D Jazz Trio

ackie Warren, a Cleveland Jazz Legend Award Winner, Amy Shook, critically acclaimed jazz bassist and Artist-in-Residence at Capital Jazz Project, and Sherrie Maricle, Kennedy Center – Mary Lou Williams Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, make this group an unstoppable force. The group plays original, traditional and contemporary standards of all genres.

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.

The Ryman

Wednesday, September 18 7:30 PM – Snarky Puppy
Jazz fusion behemoth Snarky Puppy comes to the Ryman. This group has built a loyal following by crossing genres between jazz, rock, funk, among others. This Grammy-winning group offers a unique experience in today’s music scene.

University Jazz Life

Middle Tennessee State University
Monday, September 23 8:00 PM – Jamey Simmons Jazz Trumpet Faculty Recital
MTSU Head of Jazz Studies and Nashville musician Jamey Simmons will give a faculty recital in MTSU’s Wright Music Building, Room 173. An accomplished arranger and composer, Simmons will be sure to showcase some of his own compositions, as well as unique arrangements on classic tunes.

Monday, September 30 6:00 PM – Calypso Celebration
Fulbright Scholar and long-time Nashville resident J. Hunter Moore will discuss his research and interviews with Trinidad and Tobago musicians and Blair School of Music instructor of steel drumming will perform on steel pans. This event coincides with the Wilson Music Library adding a new database. It will also include a light reception with Caribbean food. This event will take place in Ingram Hall.

Friday, September 20 12:00 PM – Jazz Small Groups
Belmont’s Jazz Small Groups will perform at the MPAC Atrium for an outdoor concert.


Those are your highlights for the next couple weeks! As always, please let us know what you think about this series, and if there is an event you think should be on here, let us know that too! Our email is open at

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