Wynton Marsalis' New House of Swing

Posted by Lia Chang on Tuesday, 09 November 2004.

Dizzys Club Coca-Cola is one of three elegant new performance venues at Frederick P. Rose Hall, the $128 million new home of the 14-year old Jazz at Lincoln Center program in the Time-Warner Center. The club offers music 365 days a year, with a line up of world renowned jazz artists filling the slate Tuesday through Saturday, special late night hang sets for jam sessions and low-price Monday night shows featuring jazz bands from area colleges.

Wynton Marsalis, the artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, traveled the world for inspiration to create the perfect performance spaces to experience jazz in Frederick P. Rose Hall, the $128 million new home of the 14-year old Jazz at Lincoln Center program, which opened mid-October in the Time-Warner Center.

Spurred on by the vision of Marsalis, the 100,000-square-foot House of Swing, which occupies the fifth and the sixth floor, was designed by Uruguayan-born architect Rafael Vinoly, whose works include the Tokyo International Forum and Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia.

There are three elegant venues- the Rose Theater, modeled on the small opera houses of Italy, seats 1,200; the Allen Room structured on a Greek amphitheater can also be transformed into a romantic cabaret-ballroom where a 50-by-90-foot glass wall offers panoramic views of the fall foliage of Central Park and the Fifth Avenue skyline seats 550.

Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola is the third, with floor to ceiling windows behind the bandstand providing a dramatic backdrop. Along the periphery of the room there are red counters with brown velvet covered chairs that are an extension of the bar. The smooth walls of bamboo have sensuous curves akin to a piano or guitar.

Jamaican pianist Monty Alexander is having a jazz party tonight featuring blues saxophone legend Red Holloway in this spacious caf. Diners are savoring the rosemary baby lambchops, southern fried chicken, North Carolina BBQ ribs, candied yams, and black eye pea fritters.

At 7:30, the lights dim for the first set as Alexander takes the stage with his trio-bassist Hassan Shakur and drummer Herlin Riley. Alexanders fingers fly over the keyboards as they celebrate the bluesier side of jazz. The joy in his playing is infectious, inspiring his fellow musicians and the audience to swing. When Red Holloway joins the trio with his tenor saxophone, their renditions of Loverman and Your Mothers Eyes are so soulful and sublime that I am moved to tears. The lights of the city twinkle behind the musicians as they jam through this sweet set which seems over much too soon.

The club offers music 365 days a year, with a line up of world renowned jazz artists filling the slate Tuesday through Saturday, special late-night hang sets for jam sessions and low-price Monday night shows featuring jazz bands from area colleges.

Frederick P. Rose Hall also contains the Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame, recording studios and classrooms. It is the first performance, education and broadcasting facility custom-built for jazz.

Dizzys Club Coca-Cola
Broadway at 60th St. Columbus Circle, New York
Days/Times: 7:30pm, 9:30pm every day of the week, plus 11pm Fri. & Sat., 11pm late-night hang set Tues.-Thurs. after last artist set Fri. and Sat.; 7:30pm, 9:30pm, Mon. nights feature Jazz Stars of Tomorrow
Reservations: $30 cover charge ($10 minimum at tables, $5 minimum at bar), $15 cover charge (plus minimum) for Mon. night Upstarts!, $10 cover charge (plus minimum) for late-night hang sets, reservations call 212-258-9595 or via www.jalc.org.

Nov 9-14
Monty Alexander's Jazz Party featuring Red Holloway
Monty Alexander (piano) Jazz Party with Red Holloway (tenor saxophone), Hassan Shakur (bass), Clark Terry (trumpet), Herlin Riley (drums).

Nov. 16-21
Diego Maroto Sextet and the Antonio Sanchez Group
Two full shows at 7:30 & 10pm each evening) Jazz at Lincoln Center joins a citywide celebration of Mexico's finest artists and contemporary culture for a week-long dynamic double bill.
Diego Maroto Sextet with Diego Maroto (tenor saxophone/soprano saxophone) all week Rey David "Osito" Alejandre (trombone), Francisco Lelo de la Rea (guitar), Mark Aanderud (piano), Agustin Bernal (bass), Gabriel Puentes (drums).

Antonio Sanchez Group with Antonio Sanchez (drums) all week, Luis Perdomo (piano) 11/16-17 only, Miguel Zenon (alto saxophone) 11/16-17 only, Hans Glawischnig (bass) 11/16-17 only, David Sanchez (tenor saxophone) 11/18-19 only, Reuben Rogers (bass) 11/18-19 only, Adam Rogers (guitar) 11/20-21, only, Ben Street (bass) 11/20-21, only.

Nov. 23-28
Celebration of Coleman Hawkins The Body and the Soul Eric Alexander with George Coleman and Harold Mabern
"Coleman Hawkins is the person who played the tenor saxophone, who woke you up and let you know there was a tenor saxophone," observed his fellow legendary saxophonist Lester Young. This undeniable fact is celebrated by the Eric Alexander (tenor saxophone) Quintet with special guest George Coleman (tenor saxophone) and Harold Mabern (piano), Joe Farnsworth (drums).

Nov. 30-Dec. 5
Soul Jazz with Joey DeFrancesco and David "Fathead" Newman
Hammond B-3 organ grand master Joey DeFrancesco plays a soulful brand of jazz. From Broadway standards to James Brown vamps, Joey covers the musical waterfront with drummer Byron Landham, guitarist Paul Bollenback and special guest, saxophonist and flutist David "Fathead" Newman.

Dec. 7-12
Gonzalo Rubalcaba Quartet
Gonzalo Rubalcaba's hot, Miami-based jazz quartet blends dazzling pyrotechnics and contemplative interpretations of traditional Cuban themes with provocative original compositions, featuring material from their just-released Blue Note recording, Paseo . Gonzalo Rubalcaba (piano), Felipe Lamoglia (saxophones), Armando Gola (bass), Ignacio Berroa (drums).

Dec. 14-19
Marcus Roberts Trio
Jazz pianist Marcus Roberts has developed a unique language of expression with his longtime trio, that is both orchestral and intensely personal. Featuring Marcus Roberts (piano), Roland Guerin (bass), Jason Marsalis (drums).

Dec. 21-26
Holiday Jazz with Cyrus Chestnut and Donald Harrison
Every night is a spirituals-to-swing holiday with Cyrus Chestnut's joyous jazz jamboree featuring Donald Harrison's Mardi Gras hard bop explosions.
Cyrus Chestnut (piano) Trio with special guest Donald Harrison (alto saxophone).

Dec. 28-Jan. 2
New Year's Celebration with the Cyrus Chestnut Trio and Special Guests
Cyrus Chestnut (piano) Trio with Frank Morgan (alto saxophone) and others. New Year's Eve reservation price tba.

Jan. 4-9
Eric Reed Trio featuring Buster Williams and Al Foster
Eric Reed's classic jazz trio melds uplifting swing and passionate lyricism. Eric Reed (piano), Al Foster (drums), Buster Williams (bass).

Jan 11-16
Eric Reed Happiness Sextet
Eric Reed is fast establishing a well-deserved reputation as one of the most solid and consistently exciting arranger/composers on the modern jazz scene today. This special edition of his Happiness Sextet features: Eric Reed (piano), Jeremy Pelt (trumpet), Myron Walden (alto saxophone), Seamus Blake (tenor saxophone), Dwayne Burno (bass) and Billy Drummond (drums).

Jan 18-23
Mulgrew Miller Trio with Gary Bartz
One of the preeminent jazz pianists of our time, Mulgrew Miller joins forces with the soaring swing of alto saxophone grand master Gary Bartz. Featuring Mulgrew Miller (piano), Gary Bartz (alto saxophone).

Jan 25-30
Stefon Harris and Blackout
Stefon Harris (vibes/marimba), Casey Benjamin (alto saxophone), Marc Cary (piano/keyboards), Darryl Hall (bass) and Terreon Gully (drums).