There was a time not long ago when you had to travel to Manhattan jazz clubs and pay a cover just to listen to great jazz, but that is no longer true and great jazz has arrived locally in Greenpoint. Thursday, August 16 from 7pm-9pm in McGolrick Park some of the best local jazz musicians will show their virtuosity and their love of this unique art form, presented by OSA (The Open Space Alliance of North Brooklyn) at the location of the new Earth-shaped Ziemia sculpture in the middle of the park.
The driving force behind the emergence of local jazz is Jesse Lynch, a classical pianist who fell in love with jazz. He has amazing dexterity and a great left hand, suiting him to playing even the most demanding jazz melodies.
Lynch arrived in Greenpoint looking for a place to practice and play intimate local gigs with other highly talented musicians. These underground sessions evolved into what Lynch has named The Vortex, a monthly series in his private loft featuring rotating combinations of musicians playing jazz standards and original compositions in an intimate, casual setting. Though the musicians might change from session to session, the quality of the music does not and there is a unique vibe and energy to Lynch’s sessions that listeners will also hear in McGolrick Park on Thursday.
The musicians are all committed to improvisational style of play, listening to each other and reacting to the musical leads set by the other players. All of the musicians love playing together and are deeply committed to exploring fresh takes on jazz standards and other tunes. The musicians clearly love their collaboration and the vibe and energy evident in their playing, which equals the very best of Manhattan jazz clubs. One of the exciting features of these Vortex sessions is the inherent trust that the musicians have for the ear of the other players. Sometimes all but one of the players will stop and listen to a musician’s take on the rhythm, trusting him to interpret the tune in a creative way. That this trust is rewarded with a creative interpretation is a sign of the high level of performance that is the trademark of these talented players.
Lynch has been influenced by such jazz greats as Bill Evans, Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Herbie Hancock, but his musical influences also include Cecil Taylor, Sonic Youth, Radiohead, Hiatus Kaiyote, Bob Dylan, The Roots, Neil Young, Glenn Gould, Beethoven and Erykah Badu, amongst many others.
Lynch will be joined by other equally talented musicians who are also deeply committed to jazz improvisation and breaking musical boundaries. The McGolrick Park concert will feature Jerad Lippi on Drums. Moppa Elliott on bass and Bobby Spellman on trumpet. Bassist Moppa Elliot has been a bandleader and composer for over a decade in New York City, he has four bands, most notably “Mostly Other People do the Killing”. Jerad Lippi plays drums for the progressive metal group “Ever Forthright” , as well as performing regularly with the great jazz pianist Jean-Michel Pilc. Bobby Spellman is a Brooklyn-based trumpeter, who composes and performs throughout the New York area.
If you have not caught one of the magic Vortex sessions and are eager to catch some of the best jazz being played anywhere in New York City, head to McGolrick Park Thursday night. To stay updated about jazz in the park this summer and other Vortex events follow @brooklynvortex on Instagram or visit their site.