Every day is opening night.

Birdland Jazz Club Announces August 2012 Schedule

Contact: Rick Miramontez




Birdland (315 West 44th Street – between 8th & 9th Aves.) is pleased to announce a world-class line-up of extraordinary entertainment for the month of August, 2012


  • The Masters Quartet

Steve Kuhn (piano), Dave Liebman (saxophone), Steve Swallow (bass), and Billy Drummond (drums)
Returning in 2012 by popular demand!  Four of the leading instrumentalists in jazz come together as The Masters Quartet.  Pianist Steve Kuhn first made his mark as a sideman with John Coltrane, Stan Getz, Chet Baker, and Art Farmer.  He grew beyond the powerful early influence of Bill Evans to become a unique stylist with an incredible technique and sense of dynamics and lyricism.  Saxophonist Dave Liebman, a 2010 “NEA Jazz Master,” learned directly from jazz icons, spending extensive periods as a member of groups led by Miles Davis and Elvin Jones.  As a leader, Liebman has been associated since 1970 with a succession of extraordinary groups from Open Sky Trio to Lookout Farm to Quest, each of which has framed a distinct phase of his musical evolution.  Bass guitar master and composer Steve Swallow joined the Paul Bley Trio in 1960, subsequently playing in groups led by Jimmy Giuffre, George Russell, Art Farmer, Stan Getz, and Gary Burton.  Since the late 1970’s, Swallow has been closely associated with his wife Carla Bley's groups, while also touring and recording with various other top jazz performers including John Scofield, Lee Konitz, and Paul Motian.  Drummer Billy Drummond, an in-demand sideman and “one of the hippest drummers working,” (Downbeat) began his career with the Horace Silver Sextet and later played with J. J. Johnson and Sonny Rollins.  Drummond has also been a longtime member of Carla Bley's Lost Chords Quartet and the Steve Kuhn Trio.
July 31 – August 4 @ 8:30 p.m. & 11:00 p.m. ($30 Side Seating, $40 Center Seating)

  • Al Foster & George Mraz Quartet

Featuring Mark Turner (tenor sax), Bill Charlap (piano, 8/7-9), Renee Rosnes (piano, 8/10-11)
Last year, ten years after the passing of pantheonic tenor saxophonist and composer Joe Henderson, former associates – drummer Al Foster and bassist George Mraz – convened an all-star group around what would have been Henderson's 74th birthday to celebrate his enduring legacy as a composer as well as distinctive and influential improviser.  That legacy includes now standard jazz compositions such as “Black Narcissus,” “Caribbean Fire Dance,” “Inner Urge,” “In'n Out,” “Isotope,” “The Kicker,” “Our Thing,” “Recorda Me,” “Serenity,” “A Shade of Jade,” and many more.  For this return engagement guest pianists Bill Charlap and Reneee Rosnes (also a Henderson associate) and tenor saxophonist Mark Turner round out the quartet.
August 7-11 @ 8:30 & 11:00 p.m. ($30 Side Seating, $40 Center Seating)

  • John Abercrombie Quartet

Featuring Joe Lovano (saxophone), Adam Nussbaum (drums), and Drew Gress (bass)
In a career spanning more than 40 years and nearly 50 albums, John Abercrombie has established himself as one of the masters of jazz guitar.  A restless experimenter, working firmly in the jazz tradition while pushing the boundaries of harmony and texture, Abercrombie has performed live and recorded with a long list of jazz greats including Gil Evans, Chico Hamilton, Jack DeJohnette, John Scofield, and Richie Beirach.  He has also enjoyed a 30+ year association with ECM Records.  This engagement, celebrating Abercrombie's latest release for the esteemed label, “Within A Song,” features tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano, “one of the most creative saxophonists going” (Boston Globe).
August 14-18 @ 8:30 p.m. & 11:00 p.m. ($30 Side Seating, $40 Center Seating)

  • Richie Beirach Quintet

Featuring Randy Brecker (trumpet), George Mraz (bass), Billy Hart (drums), and Gregor Huebner (violin)
Richard “Richie” Beirach’s career as a jazz pianist began when he studied both classical and jazz at the Berklee College of Music.  In 1972 he joined a group led by legendary saxophonist Stan Getz and went on to collaborate with trumpeter Chet Baker and French saxophonist Henrik Frisk.  Since the early 1970's Beirach has also maintained an evolving partnership with saxophonist Dave Liebman in the groups “Lookout Farm,” “Quest,” and as a duo.  Several of his compositions, such as “Leaving” and “Elm,” are fixtures in the jazz repertoire.  Richie’s style is influenced by pianists Art Tatum and Bill Evans, as well as his earlier classical music training, a blend that is perfectly complimented by his quintet, which appears annually at Birdland.
August 21-25 @ 8:30 p.m. & 11:00 p.m. ($30 Side Seating, $40 Center Seating)

  • Charlie Parker Birthday Celebration Quintet

Featuring Tom Harrell (trumpet, 8/28-31), Brian Lynch (trumpet, 9/1), Vincent Herring (alto saxophone), George Cables (piano), Victor Lewis (drums), and Lonnie Plaxico (bass)
Born August 29th, 1920, Charlie “Bird” Parker was one of the most influential and iconic artists in jazz history.  As the central figure in the development of bebop in the 1940’s, Bird was a legendary figure in his own lifetime and was idolized by those who worked with him including Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, Bud Powell, and Miles Davis.  He was the inspiration for Birdland and practically defined its mission as the home for modern jazz in New York City.  Since his death in 1955 at age 34, Bird has inspired every subsequent generation of jazz artist and left a rich legacy of distinctive compositions and signature melodic vocabulary that still informs every style of jazz.  For this celebration, Birdland presents a group of jazz all-stars who can move seamlessly between classic and contemporary Bird-inspired material.
August 28-September 1 @ 8:30 p.m. & 11:00 p.m. ($30 Side Seating, $40 Center Seating)



  • The Birdland Jazz Party hosted by vocalist Molly Ryan

Join the party with vocalist Molly Ryan and a rotating line-up of New York's finest jazz musicians playing an early set on Sunday nights.  With an elegant vocal style that evokes the big band singers of the 1930s, Molly Ryan is, “…quite a find, with an expressive full voice and the right sound for this kind of music” (American Rag Jazz Magazine).  Since moving to New York City in 2003, Molly has appeared with swing notables such as Howard Alden, Jon-Erik Kellso, and Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks.  She can also be heard on the soundtrack for the hit HBO series “Boardwalk Empire.”
Sundays, August 5, 12, 19, 26 @ 6:00 p.m. ($25)

  • Arturo O'Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra

Grammy Award winning pianist, composer and educator Arturo O'Farrill – leader of the “first family of Afro-Cuban Jazz” (The New York Times) – was born in Mexico and grew up in New York City.  Son of the late, great composer Chico O'Farrill, Arturo was Educated at Manhattan School of Music, Brooklyn College Conservatory, and the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College.  He played piano in Carla Bley's Big Band from 1979 through 1983 and earned a reputation as a soloist in groups led by Dizzy Gillespie, Steve Turre, Freddy Cole, Lester Bowie, Wynton Marsalis, and Harry Belafonte. After leading his late father's orchestra for many years, Arturo formed his own band, The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra in order to explore his and other compositions in the panoply of Afro Latin music.  Birdland is pleased to host Arturo and the ALJO in a Sunday night residency.
Sundays, August 5, 12, 19, 26 @ 9:00 p.m. & 11:00 p.m. ($30)


“No one can be called a true New Yorker until they’ve been to the ‘Cast Party,’ which is to Broadway what the Conde-Nast cafeteria is to publishing. Divas and dapper-dans insouciantly sip cocktails while watching each other sing and perform at the open-mic event during Broadway’s dark night,” says Next Magazine. Broadway impresario Jim Caruso hosts a combination open-mic, networking event and party in which the biggest stars on Broadway relax on their night off by performing their favorite songs in an informal setting.
Mondays, August 6, 13, 20, 27 @ 9:30 p.m. ($20)

  • David Ostwald's Louis Armstrong Centennial Band

“Tubaist David Ostwald’s fabulous early-swing band is about as good as it gets.  Known for their energetic treatment of Louis Armstrong’s repertoire, these cats like to entertain as much as they like to swing.” (Time Out New York)
Wednesdays, August 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 @ 5:00 p.m. ($20)

The Birdland Big Band directed by Tommy Igoe (August 3 only) with Guest Conductor Rob Middleton (August 10, 17, 24, & 31)
Every Friday the “BBB” roars into action playing a thrilling and original mix of jazz, funk, Brazilian, Latin, and world music for sold-out audiences.  Featured weekly guest artists drop-in from television bands (“Late Show with David Letterman,” “Saturday Night Live”) and pop music touring bands (Rob Thomas, Rod Stewart).  Come see for yourself why Time Out New York called the BBB, “a completely unique experience… there isn't another band like this anywhere,” and yelp.com proclaims, “if you hear one band in NYC make sure this is it… and prepare to be blown away!”
Fridays, August 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 @ 5:00 p.m. ($20)


  • Music charges vary by performer.
  • At the tables, there is a $10 food/drink minimum per person in addition to the music charge.
  • At the bar, the music charge includes one complimentary drink, no additional minimum.
  • American Fare with a Cajun Accent is served nightly from 5:00 p.m. –Midnight and until 1:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
  • Discount parking garage across the street at 332 West 44th Street.
  • For further information and reservations call (212) 581-3080.
  • Purchase tickets 24 hours a day at: www.birdlandjazz.com


$25 music charge at tables/$20 music charge at bar/$10 minimum

DISCOUNT ADMISSION SPECIALS (subject to availability)
STUDENTS (with current ID): 50% off music charge, 11PM shows only.

50% off music charge for all 11PM shows with Broadway ticket stub (day of performance) when presented at door.